Azkals unfazed by tough World Cup sched
No stranger to pulling off surprises in big tournaments, the Philippine Azkals don’t see any reason why they couldn’t do the same in the World Cup Qualifiers starting June.
The Azkals landed in one of the most difficult brackets of the tournament in Group H along with Uzbekistan, Bahrain, North Korea and Yemen.
But while the Filipinos have suffered losses against three of the teams in the group in recent years, the Azkals are unfazed by the pedigree of the opposition. The Philippines has yet to face Yemen in a competitive tournament.
“It’s a tough draw considering that three Asian powerhouses are there,” said Azkals manager Dan Palami. “North Korea has been to the World Cup in 2010 and Uzbekistan is always a strong contender while Bahrain has long been considered as a top team in Asia.”
Azkals skipper Rob Gier believes the team can pull off an upset.
“I think any group would have been tough,” Gier said. “I think we might surprise a few people this year.”
The Azkals will host Uzbekistan on Sept. 8, before playing another home leg against Yemen on Nov. 12. They wrap up their campaign at home against North Korea on March 29 next year.
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