Philippine Azkals begin 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup campaign versus Singapore
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 13, 2018 10:08 AM
Team Captain Phil Younghusband and the rest of the Philippine Azkals hope to redeem themselves from their most recent AFF Suzuki Cup performance, which saw them fail to get out of the group stage for the first time since 2006.
The Philippine Men's National Football team begin the first of two very important tournaments, as they kick off their 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup campaign with a match against visiting Singapore on Tuesday, November 13th at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod.
This will be the Azkals' first major tournament since finishing at the top of their group in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers tournament last March to clinch a spot in the prestigious quadrennial tournament next January.
Since then, a number of changes have befallen the Azkals, including a pair of coaching changes that saw English football legend Terry Butcher replace former Thomas Dooley, only to withdraw from the position two months later.
In early November, decorated club and national team coach Sven-Goran Eriksson was named as the Azkals' new head coach for at least the next six months, where he'll be calling the shots as the Philippine national team participates in the AFF Suzuki Cup and the AFC Asian Cup.
With a renewed sense of confidence stemming from their most recent milestones and an injection of fresh energy with the arrival of such a decorated mentor in Eriksson, the Azkals hope to once again enjoy a deep run in the biennilal Southeast Asian tournament.
Furthermore, the Azkals would like to forget their previous Suzuki Cup run in 2016, which saw them fail to get out of the Group Stages for the first time in three tournaments.
Again, it won't be an easy task for the Pinoy side, as they find themselves once again in the middle of the so-called 'Group of Death' alongside Southeast Asian football powerhouses Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia. Timor-Leste rounds out the rest of the cast in Group B.
Kickoff time is at 8:00 PM.