Fastest way to Asian Cup
BACOLOD CITY—Considering what his players have gone through the past few months—lack of training time together and a compact club schedule—Philippines coach Thomas Dooley feels the Azkals have performed better than expected in the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup qualifiers.
Dooley hopes the Azkals’ form continues when they face a travel-weary Yemen side on Tuesday night in Group F of the qualifiers at Panaad Stadium here.
“I don’t care if we win, 4-0 or 1-0, just as long as we win because these games are the best way to go to the Asian Cup,” said Dooley.
The Azkals sit on top of the group with six points after a 4-1 victory over Nepal in Manila last March and a 4-3 away triumph in Tajikistan last June.
The Yemenis are second with four points after a goalless draw with Nepal last June. The top two teams from the group qualify for the Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates in 2019.
Dooley will try a new defensive combination to compensate for the absence of Amani Aguinaldo and Daisuke Sato. Carlie De Murga and Dennis Villanueva are expected to start at the back along with the returning Stephan Palla.
“If we win, it gives us a good chance of going through,” said Azkals skipper Phil Younghusband.