Pressure on for Azkals after draw vs Nepal | Inquirer Sports

Pressure on for Azkals after draw vs Nepal

By: - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ
/ 05:20 AM November 16, 2017

Photo from GoNepal.com

The draw against bottom team Nepal last Tuesday in Kathmandu cranked up the pressure on the Philippine Azkals, who are suddenly on a slump after a strong start to the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

And while the Azkals are still on top of Group F with nine points and are still unbeaten in five matches, the fact remains that the squad has dropped six points in the last three games after two draws with Yemen and the goalless tie with Nepal.

Azkals coach Thomas Dooley has refused to put the blame on his players, saying they fought well despite the conditions in Nepal, where some standouts like Misagh Bahadoran suffered altitude sickness.

FEATURED STORIES

“The players did an excellent job when you think what they had to go through the past three months,” said Dooley, noting the compressed schedule of the Philippines Football League as well as the conditions in Nepal.

In Manila, Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta expressed alarm over the run of results of the team, which needs a draw against Tajikistan on the final day of qualifiers on March 27 to clinch an Asian Cup berth.

But Araneta said the federation, which spent an additional P700,000 more for the Azkals’ accommodations in Nepal after they arrived a few days earlier to acclimatize, will give the team its all-out support to ensure qualification.

“It’s disappointing,” said Araneta. “We have to talk to coach (Dooley) on what the team needs as we should have won that game. I don’t know what are the reasons for that but we can’t afford another bad result.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Araneta said he would also sit down with Azkals manager Dan Palami to discuss preparations for the next game, which will probably include a training camp, before the start of the PFL season.

The nightmare scenario for the Azkals is a loss to Tajikistan and a win by Yemen over Nepal on March 27. Even with a loss, the Azkals will still qualify if Nepal holds Yemen to at least a draw.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

TAGS: AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers, Philippine Azkals

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.