BY JOSEF T. RAMOS CORRESPONDENT
AZKALS’ team captain Aly Borromeo made a fearless forecast on the possible outcome of the much-awaited Philippines vs. Mongolia match in the first leg of the two-game qualifying series of 2011 Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup in Panaad Stadium, Bacolod City, February 9. “It’s going to be 3-0 in favor of the Azkals,” said the 27-year-old Borromeo, also the team’s versatile centerback. Borromeo told The Manila Times on Friday that the Azkals’ intense focus is to win the game, not by a single goal only but by as many as three.
“I’m very confident we can win it but hopefully by more than three goals in order to give us the advantage when we play in Mongolia in the second leg. The climate there is cold so we really need to gain as much advantage as we can in the first leg,” he explained.
If ranking would be the sole basis, Borromeo said that the Filipinos have the edge to win against Mongolia.
The Fédération Internationale De Football Association ranked the Philippines 150th and Mongolia 183rd.
“We have to proved that we’re better against them [Mongolians]. I’m so really excited to play in front of my fellow Filipinos. It is a great pleasure,” said Borromeo.
Borromeo praised Azkals new mentor Hans Michael Weiss who replaced British Simon McMenemy. The latter was replaced for the lack of A-License, a requirement in any AFC tournaments. “We are focusing more on conditioning and defense. He [Weiss] is absolutely a good coach and we’re very much excited,” Borromeo said.
Azkals team manager Dan Palami and Philippine Football Federation President Mariano Araneta also have positive assessments of the German coach, “He’s quite good,” said Palami. “He knows what the team exactly needs,” said Araneta.