Even with two straight stalemates in two months against his team, Malaysian coach Ong Kim Swee believes the Philippines has improved tremendously and tips the Azkals to be a stronger contender in the AFC Challenge Cup.
Having steered Malaysia to the Southeast Asian Games title in 2011, Ong is considered one of the brightest young coaches in the region.
“The Philippines has improved tremendously,” said Ong when asked to assess the Azkals’ performance when they fought to a scoreless draw Sunday night in Cebu City.
“They got good players. If opponents are not familiar with the style it’s a team that is very difficult to beat,” added Ong.
The two teams fought to a scoreless draw despite good chances by the Azkals. Goalkeeper Patrick Deyto heroically saved Safee Sali’s penalty in stoppage time to avert a defeat to the visitors.