27 October 2010

RP booters 2nd in Laos, head for Vietnam in Suzuki Cup

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will be heading to Hanoi, Vietnam in December after winding up second to host Laos in the Suzuki Cup qualifying tournament at the National Stadium, Vientiane, Tuesday night.

The RP booters were edged out by Laos, 6-1. The victory gave Laos the top spot in the 4-nation meet.

The second-placing has given the nationals a ticket to Group B with defending champion Vietnam, Singapore and Myanmar.

On the other hand, Laos will be bracketed in Group A with Thailand, host Indonesia and Malaysia. Some football observers believe this group is much stronger than Vietnam’s.

In their first match, the Filipino players were held to a scoreless draw by Cambodia by the difference of a solitary goal.

Thank you, mentors

Forward Ian Araneta, who had a hat-trick of headers in the 5-0 lacing of Timor Leste last Friday, noted that the team’s improved form was due to the system installed by former English coach Des Bulpin, who resigned last July.

“We owe a lot to coach Des and, of course, the management which has been very supportive to our needs,” he said.

Taking over the coaching helm is Bulpin’s compatriot, Simon McMenemy, who is on a 2-month trial.

Araneta also acknowledged national team manager Dan Palami, who has been bankrolling the team since it began training in December last year.

“There’s hardly been a management team that’s been this supportive in my years with the national team and we wouldn’t have qualified if not for the help of coach Des and Palami,” he said.

Heads up

RP co-skippers Aly Borromeo and Chieffy Caligdong said they were optimistic of a better showing this time in the December 2 to 9 tournament.

Borromeo provided sterling backline defense with Rob Gier, and was also a consistent threat on set plays.

Meanwhile Caligdong, who bucked a groin injury in the match against the Cambodians, said they should be cautious for the event.
“We need to prepare better to stand a chance,” he said.

The RP side will be reinforced by Filipino-German midfielder Stephan Schrock, who plays in the Bundesliga Second Division, in the Hanoi meet.

However, the team might miss goalie mainstay Neil Etheridge because of his commitments to his club Fulham in the English Premier League.

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  1. Yun lang! With no Etheridge on the team will be a big blow. There would be no chance to win any match in the main tournament. Unless Roland Müller shows up. But I doubt it's gonna happen.

  2. HasThisBeenTaken27 October 2010 at 18:59

    Come on justine.... First of all I agree that it would be a big blow if Etheridge were to miss the tournament. But even with Etheridge, do you honestly think the Philippines will register a win at the main tournament??

    Let's be realistic and not kid ourselves. Like I've said in another topic here, the Philippines' chances of making any sort of impact at the main tournament isn't realistic. We're nowhere near that level yet. However, the aim should be to be as competitive as possible and anything extra would be bonus.

    But once again, I do agree that we need our best players to be able to be competitive as possible.

  3. A win over Myanmar is quite realistic for as long as we're able to maintain our more prepared core players plus Stephan. Finishing second in the qualifiers is a blessing in disguise. If we're grouped in group A then I would admit that we have a very small chance of winning.

  4. HasThisBeenTaken28 October 2010 at 16:37

    Finishing second in the qualifiers may enable the Philippines to be a little more competitive in the main tournament but it's still not going to be easy. Therefore I wouldn't really say it's that realistic to get a win over Myanmar.

    Myanmar is also the Philippines' last game. And the Philippines usually gets tired by the time the last game comes around. Myanmar football is also on a high. One of their clubs have just won the AFC President's Cup, becoming the first Burmese club to do so and they'll want to finish the year by doing well in the Suzuki Cup. They'll most likely see the Philippines as somewhat of an easier win and they'll be up for it especially if it would mean that they reach the knockout round.

    Again, just don't get your hopes up too high because it does seem like you're expecting something big from the national team when it's not realistic yet.