Azkals clash with Kyrgyzstan side in away-friendly
THE PHILIPPINE Azkals finally return to action on Tuesday when they clash with powerhouse Kyrgyzstan in a friendly in Spartak Stadium in Bishkek.
After a canceled friendly at home against Turkmenistan last Sept. 2, the Azkals’ preparations for the AFF Suzuki Cup shift to high gear with the game against the Central Asian powerhouse squad ranked 105th by Fifa.
The Azkals held two training sessions on Monday in preparation for the clash after traveling 27 hours to the Kyrgyz capital.
“Its never easy to travel that long and be 100 percent, but we have to make sure that when we get there, we have to give the best possible chance to get a result,” said Azkals skipper Phil Younghusband.
Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, who plays for Walsall in the English third tier, is among the first team players available for coach Thomas Dooley, who will miss striker Javier Patino and midfielder Stephan Schrock.
Veterans Simone Rota and Patrick Reichelt are sidelined after sustaining ACL injuries the past two weeks.
Meanwhile, ex-Azkals star Chieffy Caligdong has been appointed to the coaching staff for the Suzuki Cup.
“As an Azkals legend, Chieffy’s presence and experience will come in handy as he tries to pass it on to our younger players,” said Azkals manager Dan Palami.
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