Azkals test progress versus CambodiansBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
PHNOM PENH—The Philippines’ buildup for the AFF Suzuki Cup makes a stop in this quaint city by the Mekong River, evoking memories of the long and tough grind the Azkals went through two years ago.
The Filipinos face an old foe in the Cambodians at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in a friendly at National Olympic Stadium here.
It will mark the first clash between the two sides since they played to a scoreless draw in the AFF Suzuki Cup qualifying in Vientiane, Laos.
While the Azkals advanced to the main tournament because of the standoff, the Cambodians were stalled on goal difference.
“We barely survived them last time, so it’s going to be interesting how far both teams have progressed since then,” said Azkals manager Dan Palami.
The Azkals will be armed to the teeth with Europe-based Neil Etheridge, Paul Mulders and Jerry Lucena playing.
James Younghusband is suspended for the game by the PFF Disciplinary Committee.
Coach Michael Weiss and Palami, who were both slapped with two-game bans for a “failure in leadership” during the incident that led to the complaint of AFC match commissioner Cristy Ramos, have also appealed their sanctions.
Nonetheless, Weiss believes his team is in good shape.
“The team should be in a very good condition,” said Weiss, whose team will visit Singapore on Friday and Laos on Monday.