Azkals friendly vs Turkmenistan scrapped; Rota hurt
The Philippines’ buildup for the AFF Suzuki Cup suffered a double blow following the cancellation of the friendly match against Turkmenistan on Sept. 2 and news that defender Simone Rota sustained a knee injury that could rule him out of the tournament.
Citing injuries to players, Turkmenistan decided to call off the match with the Philippines at Philippine Sports Stadium in Bulacan, leaving the Azkals with only one game during the international window.
With the cancellation coming just a week before the match, it is highly unlikely that the Philippine Football Federation could find an opponent to replace the Turkmen.
The Azkals still have one friendly match for the window against Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek on Sept. 6.
The Suzuki Cup is slated Nov. 19.
Rota revealed Thursday he sustained a partial ACL tear, which could leave the Azkals without their most experienced defender in the Suzuki Cup.