Azkals face Guam in PanaadBy Cedelf Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines — Returning to the site of one their biggest victories, the Philippine Azkals will take on Guam on June 12 at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
A match against Bahrain’s Under-22 team was initially considered before the Philippine Football Federation decided on inviting Guam, which is positioned near the bottom of the Fifa rankings.
The game caps a three-match swing for the Azkals in June that starts with a game against Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on June 1 and a date with Indonesia at the Rizal Memorial Stadium four days later.
The Azkals last played in Panaad in February last year when they defeated Mongolia, 2-0, in their AFC Challenge Cup Pre-qualifying match. The national team also won against Timor Leste, 7-0, in the AFF Championship five years ago in Bacolod in one of the country’s most convincing wins in history.
“We wanted to play against Bahrain Under-22 but it was also important for us to get Fifa ranking points and that can only happen if we play senior teams,” said Azkals manager Dan Palami.
“The team is delighted at the prospect of playing again in Bacolod where support for the Azkals has also been overwhelming.”
In preparation for the friendly matches, Azkals coach Michael Weiss said the team will be undergoing a week-long training camp in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental starting May 21.
With the United Football League heading into the homestretch, Weiss said he thought it was better to leave his UFL players with their clubs as of the moment.
But the German vowed to send a “very competitive” team for the three matches.
The team, Weiss said, could actually include several new players as he plans to invite more local-based standouts, particularly Green Archers Globe goalkeeper Patrick Deyto.