Azkals shift focus on AFC Asian Cup qualifying
Philippine coach Thomas Dooley refused to dwell on the latest setback suffered by the Azkals even as he shifted his focus on preparing the team for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying tournament starting March next year.
Dooley’s charges exited the AFF Suzuki Cup at home after a disappointing campaign that saw them draw with Singapore and Indonesia, before being ousted by Thailand, 0-1, Friday night at Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Although they played at home, the Azkals were a shadow of the team that reached the semifinals of the past three tournaments.
“It’s a disaster,” said Stephan Schrock. “We can’t shy away from that.”
Dooley expects a stronger showing from his squad in the Asian Cup qualifying.
“We’ll take a rest and plan for the Asian Cup [qualifying],” Dooley said. “We want to do things right. We need a full week of camp. We need to have good preparation, maybe four weeks before the matches.”
The Azkals will be playing at least five home matches in their bid for Asian Cup qualification.