Azkals seek fan support vs Thailand
The Philippine Azkals are hoping that home fans will make their presence felt at Rizal Memorial Stadium on Saturday night to help them overcome a strong Thailand side in the first leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup semifinals.
Advancing to the semifinals for the third straight edition of the tournament, the Azkals face an uphill climb against the unbeaten Thais as they seek a first finals appearance.
Azkals manager Dan Palami said home-crowd support will be a big boost to the squad, which will try to end a 14-game winless drought against Thailand.
“We want to take every advantage that we have in the semifinals and one of that is crowd support,” said Palami. “Let’s show them that the Filipino fans can also be a factor in the games.”
Crowds during home games have dwindled the past two years for Azkals games, after an unprecedented surge of support in 2011 when World Cup Qualifying Games against Kuwait and Sri Lanka drew a packed venue.
The second leg of the semifinal series with Thailand is slated Dec. 10 in Bangkok, where the Azkals are anticipating a rude welcome.