Azkals delighted to end Suzuki Cup preps with a Kyrgyzstan repeat
By Kevin Estrada
MANILA -- Thomas Dooley, Chieffy Caligdong and the rest of the Philippines national football team expressed sheer delight after seeing off Kyrgyzstan once again in their final friendly before the AFF Suzuki Cup when they met the press last night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Although delighted at the result, the assistant to the former US stalwart sense that they still have some things to improve.
"We need to improve our discipline sa back four," Caligdong said, added that they had good things that they made, including their transition from defence to attack and the half-time switch that led to the winner by Misagh Bahadoran.
"We're on 70% on fitness, pero we add more on the attitude on the field. It's more than 101% if we play yung attitude sa loob ng field," he concluded when asked about the readiness of the team for the Suzuki Cup.
Dooley echoed Caligdong's statements, added that they take a rest today before going back to work in preparations for ASEAN's showcase event.
"I hope no now, that we can even have 20-30% more," the American replied, noting that they have to play their own game come the Suzuki Cup, noting that their opponents in Group A are too close to call.
Match-winner Misagh Bahadoran could not hide his happiness after the win, noting that he came back from hamstring and groin injuries to score the match's lone goal.
"They [Kyrgyzstan] are a good team. I think we're better organized, the matches with Bahrain and North Korea teaches us to fix our weaknesses," he quipped.
For team manager Dan Palami, the win was a huge confidence booster for the Azkals, with the Suzuki Cup just nine days away.
"I think we played better than the two friendlies, not just based on the results, but really how the players moved on the pitch. So I'm quite happy with the where we are right now, and we should be peaking at the right time as we enter the Suzuki Cup," Palami said.