Azkals back on the saddle, take on Malaysia in international friendly

ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 22, 2017 11:36 AM
Azkals back on the saddle, take on Malaysia in friendly
The Philippine Azkals gear up for international duty once again, as they take on Malaysia in an international friendly match

Almost three months since their last match at the AFF Suzuki Cup, the Philippine Azkals are back and are ready for international duty once again, as they take on the Malaysian men's national football team in an international friendly match, Wednesday evening at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. 

"It's good to be back after a long break, we've got a big year ahead of us, we're excited for this coming year, with the Asian Cup Qualifiers, we're very excited because we know we have a good chance in making Philippine Football History, by being the first Philippine football team to make it to the Asian Cup." Azkals skipper Phil Younghusband said during the pre-match press conference. "That's a big goal for us, we expect that we can do it." 

The matchup against Malaysia will be a precursor to what Younghusband alluded to, the upcoming AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers, which will begin on March 28th against Nepal, also at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, just days after their match with Malaysia. 

And while it's only an international friendly match, there's still a bit of motivation for the Pinoy side to come out on top, given the fact that it has been nearly three decades since the Philippines has gotten a victory over Malaysia. (The 1991 Southeast Asian Games, to be exact.) 

Younghusband added that winning over Malaysia is a step in preparation to taking on even bigger challenges as the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers roll on. 

"Obviously, we want to progress, and play against stronger and stronger teams, and we know that if we want to do that, we have to beat teams that we failed to do so in the past." 

"Each time we play them, it's a chance to win, because we know we're getting stronger and stronger." Younghusband added. 

For the Malaysian side, the match against the Philippines is also a way to stay in shape as they prepare for their own AFC Asian Cup campaign, which begins in June against North Korea. 

The Azkals and Malaysia kick off at 7:30 PM. 

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