18 June 2015

Azkals get big boost for FIFA elims

By Olmin Leyba
MANILA, Philippines - With two morale-boosting victories and a share of the lead, the Philippine Azkals will carry more confidence not to mention the needed momentum as they pursue their dreams in the Fifa World Cup qualifiers.
“We look forward to the next games with hope that we continue to build on what we have produced so far and build on this momentum,” said Azkals team manager Dan Palami.
The Azkals, fielding what many believed is the strongest team to date, upstaged higher-ranked Bahrain last June 11 at home, 2-1, then followed it up with an impressive 2-0 shutout of Yemen Tuesday night in Qatar, to join North Korea atop the Group H table after two match days.
“We take it one game at a time but as you get the result, first against Bahrain and then against Yemen, somehow, you’ll feel that you’re a step closer to what your objectives are and you would like to believe that somehow, what we dream is achievable. So we believe,” said Palami, whose team targeted to advance to the third round of the WC qualifiers.
The Pinoy booters’ WC campaign resumes on Sept. 8 with a home outing against Uzbekistan, the top-ranked team in the group that should be aching to bounce back from a 2-4 loss to North Korea over in Pyongyang last June 16.
“We’ll play against a very strong team Uzbekistan. They lost to North Korea in North Korea and with the pressure, they will certainly come out strong and play with everything they got against the Philippines. So we have to make sure we’re ready as a team and we really hope the fans will come in droves to support the Azkals,” said Palami.
The Azkals will get together again in the last week of August to prepare for the Uzbekistan game. Palami said the Philippine Football is arranging an international friendly on Sept. 3.



  1. Planned friendly is against Thailand

    Link: www.matichon.co.th/news_detail.php?newsid=1434618887 (Thai)

    1. I don't think it will materialize because PFF wants a home friendly game in PSS or RMS, it's the other way around: Thailand goes to Philippines
      Not worth the travel to Thailand for Philippines side, not worth jet-lagging the team before the game against a powerhouse Uzbekistan
      If the game is against Uzbekistan on Sep 8 then PFF should play against teams that have similar gameplay to Uzbeks and Thailand plays ASEAN-style

    2. Thailand is only 3and a half hrs fr. Manila so jet-lag is not really a problem. Remember Thailand will also play Iran on Sep. 8 and they have much more money than us....so do you think they are not thinking what you think?

      Pocket wise man...

    3. So hosting a team is more expensive than being the guests?
      If a country wants a friendly game that bad then will they have to pay the expenses of the opposing team?
      I understand FIFA tournaments like the game vs Bahrain is subsidized by FIFA
      PFF invited and wanted a home friendly against Malaysia Indonesia and Vietnam scheduled on June 1 but they all snubbed it
      And Turkmenistan was invited too but their stopover to Manila en route to Guam was too late and too close to the Bahrain game (on June 7) to be unable to arrange a friendly
      If there is any team available for PHI home friendly it is Vietnam, which will go to Taipei on September 8, or any eliminated AFC team
      A stopover warm-up game in Manila won't be so bad

    4. an eliminated AFC team might play lackluster. i don't think the azkals will benefit much from that. we need stronger friendlies. i'd rather that we play thailand in such a case since they too are of similar in motivation to the azkals in wanting to move to the next round

    5. Getting a friendly with one of the former Soviet Union states is preferable for the qualifiers against Uzbekistan. Although schedule is an issue including those in UEFA such as Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, etc.

    6. @Anonymous 19 June 2015 4:42
      Take a look at Singapore - played friendly vs eliminated team Brunei FT 1:0 prior to June 11 and June 16 matches
      Results: Singapore Defeated Cambodia and drew JAPAN in JPN's home turf

  2. How is the knee of Schrock? Seriously injured?

  3. I like the possibility of a friendly with Thailand. We have never beaten them. So it will be a good test. It does not matter whether in PH or TH; the conditions are the same and it is just a 3-hr flight.

  4. The wins over Bahrain & Yemen will put back the Azkals to be the best ranked ASEAN team for July Fifa rankings. Will definitely reach their highest ever ranking as well ~121-123 (best rank was at 127). Yes I know, fifa ranking is just on paper and not a true reflection of the best team, especially we know that Thailand is still the King of ASEAN. So it would definitely be a good measure of where we really are now (with our best team assembled ever) if we can match the Thais for this possible friendly.