PH Azkals stake Peace Cup against Burma tonight
BRACING for a tougher outing this time, the Philippines tries to keep the Peace Cup at home when it faces Southeast Asian rival Burma (Myanmar) tonight at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Azkals, coming off a 5-1 win over Chinese Taipei last Wednesday night, seek to extend their mastery of the Burmese side in the 7 p.m. final.
Palestine, the AFC Challenge Cup champion, clashes with Chinese Taipei for third at 4 p.m.
The Azkals have won their last two meetings with Burma at the senior level, including a 2-0 triumph in the AFF Suzuki Cup in Bangkok two years ago.
But the Burmese side now has Serbian coach Radojko Avramovic, who is familiar with the Philippine side. The Serbian plotted the elimination of the Azkals while handling Singapore two years ago in the Suzuki Cup semifinals.
“I would be lying if I say there’s no extra motivation knowing coach Raddy (Avramovic) is on the other side,” said Azkals skipper Rob Gier.
“It was devastating to lose the semifinal to them (Singapore). It would be nice to get one over him for sure.”
Burma reached the final with an emphatic 4-1 victory over a sluggish Palestine side which missed key cogs of its successful Challenge Cup campaign.
Not to be outdone, the Azkals put five goals past the Taiwanese with substitute Mark Hartmann scoring twice in a match delayed by rain Wednesday night.
It remains to be seen whether Azkals coach Thomas Dooley would keep the same starting eleven. Cedelf P. Tupas
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