The Philippine Azkals are hoping that their overseas-based players will be available when they take on the Singapore Lions in the semi-finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup.
For the second straight tournament, the Azkals made it to the last four of the Suzuki Cup, but they are unsure if they will have the services of some of their key players.
Azkals head coach Michael Weiss told the official tournament website that several Azkals were only cleared by their clubs to play in the group stage.
“We have all things in plan. We were first planning for the first three matches,” he said.
Among the key players who play for foreign clubs are striker Angel Guirado, defender Dennis Cagara, midfielder Jerry Lucena, midfielder Paul Mulders, defender Ray Jonsson and goal-keeper Roland Muller.
“We now have to start again to negotiate with the clubs,” Weiss said. “There is a possibility that all of them will not be available.”
Guirado was a key figure in the Azkals’ 2-0 victory against Myanmar, scoring the second goal in added time as they sewed up their slot in the semi-finals.
Cagara, meanwhile, has been part of a solid defensive line for the Azkals, while Lucena and Mulders were influential in the midfield.
Muller was included in the final 22-man line-up but did not participate in the group stage.
The Azkals will play Singapore in the first leg of the semi-finals on December 8 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, with the second leg to be held on December 12 at the Jalan Basar Stadium.
ABS CBN News