Azkals looking for ideal result vs Thailand

Sandro Reyes of the Philippine Azkals.  Photo from PFF

The Philippines’ Azkals have seen themselves as the underdog as they struggled for a much-needed result on Monday against hosts and defending champions Thailand at the Southeast Asian Football Federation (AFF) Mitsubishi Electric Cup. ) in Pathum Thani.

Coach Josep Ferre was quick to temper expectations ahead of the 8:30pm (Manila time) match to be held on the outskirts of Bangkok, three days after creating his first 5-1 win over Brunei in front of the home team. crowd at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

“Thailand, as you can see in the last game (beat Brunei 5–0) and historically, have a very good squad and some excellent players with experience in Spain and Japan. , and they can decide the game at any time,” said Ferre.

The match will decide if the Azkals can compete for one of the two semi-finals in Group A. Philippines is deadlocked against Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia with the same three points.

Ferre hopes that his side can at least repeat the performance they had in their loss to Vietnam in a friendly held before the AFF tournament. The Azkals were minutes away from forcing a goalless draw when the Golden Stars scored before the final whistle blew.

“Of course, it will certainly be difficult against them. It was a tough game against Vietnam and we turned it into an interesting game. So we have to try to exploit their weakness and protect ourselves because they play very well,” he added.

Players like Kenshiro Daniels, top scorer surprise for the Azkals and the league over two days of competition, and Sandro Reyes are among those tipped to step up against the Thai-led side. by the legendary Teerasil Dangda.

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