Dooley not expecting Thailand to relax versus Azkals
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 24, 2016 06:58 PM
"They donít want to lose their first game against us, they want to win"
Defending Suzuki Cup champions Thailand clinched their spot in the semifinals, Tuesday evening after squeezing out a win against Singapore following a literally 'last minute' goal from Sarawut Masuk.
The win gave the War Elephants six points to lead Group A, and secure a spot in the next round with one more game to play in the group stages.
That game happens to be against the Philippine Azkals on Friday at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan.
While the Philippine Azkals will need all the points that they can get, the Thai team can basically coast through the match, given that they're already into the next round, whatever the result.
Azkals head coach Thomas Dooley however believes that the defending champions won't be taking it easy on the Group A hosts.
"I don’t think we have an advantage. Thailand doesn’t wanna lose, I think they come out and try to play as well as they can," Dooley said during the post-match presser, Tuesday. "
Dooley added that he doubts that Thailand will use the Azkals game to field seldom used players and give their starters a breather.
"They don’t want to lose their first game against us, they want to win, so it will be a very important game and we don’t expect them to pull back and give some players a chance to play because they are already in the next round."
"I don't think so." Dooley said.
Whatever the case will be with Thailand, the Azkals will need to leave Bocaue on Friday with a win and three points, or it'll be harder for them to find their way into the next round.