The Philippine Azkals kick of their Suzuki Cup campaign against Laos.
The Philippine Men's National Football Team kicks off its campaign in the 2014 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup as it collides with Laos in Group A at the My Dihn National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The Azkals will be making their ninth appearance in the AFF Championships, making it all the way to the semifinals in their last two stints in 2010 and 2012, when they fell to Indonesia and Singapore, respectively.
Coach Thomas Dooley's squad will be spearheaded by Phil Younghusband, who recently scored his 40th international goal in a 3-0 victory over Cambodia last November 14.
Joining Younghusband on the team are captain Rob Gier, Simone Rota, Daisuke Sato, Chris Greatwich, Patrick Reichelt, Manny Ott and goal keeper Patrick Deyto.
The Azkals will be coming into the Suzuki Cup hungry for a title after coming up short in their last two outings in the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup and the 20014 PFF Peace Cup.
Laos qualified for the Suzuki Cup after coming in as runners-up in this year’s tournament qualifying round taking, and will be making their tenth AFF Championship appearance. The “Thim Xad” will be on everyone’s radar, as they have proven to be a tough out for any team they have been put against. The Laotian Squad, led by forward Khampheng Sayavutth competed in their first ever AFC Challenge Cup last May, will look to build off on the experience and translate that in to a successful tournament this year.
The Philippines and Laos met in the Group Stage of the AFC Challenge Cup last May and the Azkals came away with a 2-0 win courtesy of goals from Rota and Reichelt.
In the other Group A match, host Vietnam will battle Indonesia.
Philippines vs. Laos will air this Saturday, November 22, 9pm on ABS-CBN Sports + Action channel 23