Thomas Dooley: Maldives, Uzbekistan have similar styles of play
Santino Honasan on Sep 03, 2015 01:57 PM
(Josh Albelda/ABS-CBN Sports)
After having a couple of months off since their last World Cup Qualifiers win, the Philippine Azkals will be stepping onto the pitch as a team once again when they take on the Maldives in an international friendly match.
The exhibition match will serve as a tune-up of sorts, given that there has been quite a number of changes to the national team’s roster since their win against Yemen, and head coach Thomas Dooley plans to give some of those lesser-used guys some time on the pitch.
“We want to play our game, we want to play our system and give the players who don’t get to play that much a chance to play a little bit longer. “ Dooley told ABS-CBN Sports.
“We want them to get more familiar with the system that we play, because they train with us, but they really couldn’t show it in the field. It would be great if we could give them the opportunity in a game like this.” Dooley added.
More importantly, Dooley sees the Maldives as a perfect preparation match for the Azkals because of the similarities of their style of play.
“I watched Maldives before, in a couple of games that they played, and they play kind of what we might expect from Uzbekistan also. The way that they played in the last two games was high-pressing with six, seven, eight players, and that’ what I think Uzbekistan is trying to do too. They’ll let us play a little bit, and then they’ll put the pressure on us. That’s what we have to deal with, and I think Maldives will be great training for us.”
As of the latest FIFA World Rankings, the Philippines is ranked at 125, while the Maldives is fifty spots below at 175.
The Philippine Azkals and the Maldives kick off on Thursday, September 8 at 8:00 pm. Catch it LIVE on ABS-CBN Sports+Action 23 starting at 7:45 pm!