Young Azkals open Philippines’ SEA Games 2023 campaign
MANILA, Philippines–Men’s football kicks off the Philippine campaign in the 32nd Cambodia Southeast Asian Games when it takes on fancied Indonesia on Saturday at Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh.
Rob Gier will look to put the Young Azkals in an early position to qualify for a semifinals berth despite a tall order against the bronze medalist of the previous edition at 4 p.m. local time (5 p.m. Manila time).
The former Azkals defender was tapped to call the shots for the team that is attempting to reach the semis for the first time since the 1991 Manila Games.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐏𝐇𝐈 𝐔𝟐𝟐 𝐢𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐄𝐀 𝐆𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐬Rob Gier gives us an update on the #PHIU22MNT's preparations for the upcoming 32nd Southeast Asian Games! 💪🏻😤⚽️🇵🇭#LabanPilipinas #ParaSaBayan
Gier has been with the team the past two weeks, first at Rizal Memorial Stadium before continuing the training sessions in Cambodia.
The Young Azkals appear to have a solid chance of sneaking a top two finish in Group A which also has host Cambodia, Myanmar and Timor-Leste.
But the Philippines placed just fourth in Group A of last year’s meet in Vietnam that saw a 4-0 loss to Indonesia, a 3-2 defeat to Myanmar and a 4-0 drubbing of Timor-Leste.
The top two teams from the group will advance to the semifinals along with their counterparts in Group B, composed of defending champion Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Laos.
Women’s football, featuring the World Cup-bound Filipinas, will start on May 3.