Philippines vs Indonesia Friendly Preview-A A +A
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
THE Philippine Azkals will host the Indonesia Merah Putih (Red and White) at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on June 5 as part of the FIFA-sanctioned international friendly.
The last time the two teams met was during the 2010 Suzuki Cup semifinals where they beat the Azkals in two critical matches to advance to the championship. This time, they will be facing a different Philippine team sharpened and tested by several international matches.
Last Friday, the Azkals held the Malaysian Tigers to a 0-0 draw, despite missing the services of striker Phil Younghusband, midfielder James Younghusband and goal keeper Neil Etheridge. Despite the handicap, the brave Azkals withered the storm and the team showed character and cohesion.
What we can expect this time against the Indonesians:
W for Weiss. Expect the Azkals line up to be complete this time and coach Hans Michael Weiss will look for the all out win in front of the thousands of fans who will troop to the stadium. It will be a disappointment if the Azkals will settle for a draw or less.
With the team complete including Stephen Schrock and Dennis Wolf in fighting form, the Indonesians will be facing a different Azkals of two years back. Coach Weiss has the complete material now to make the team progress in any international competitions. Any given night, the Philippine Azkals can score two goals and must put pressure.
Play cohesively as a team. The Azkals have been thriving on difficult circumstances and able to withstand the opposition every time they play their match in the field. The team has been playing on a high gear and, with the return of dependable players, we expect our Azkals to be in fighting form.
With the Younghusbands back, the defense of Jason Sabio, Rob Geir and Jerry Lucena at the back will try to hold on the strikers of Indonesia. The trio is formidable without Ali Borromeo and playing at home is big advantage. Paul Mulders, Chieffy Caligdong and Angel Guirado will help control the midfield.
Momentum. Playing at home in this friendly match is an advantage for the Azkals. A victory will definitely increase the team's morale and will definitely boost the the Azkals' stocks, currently at 148 in the FIFA rankings. Coach Weiss will definitely not let this opportunity slip and the time is now to rattle the Indonesians. A victory will carry the team's energy into another level when they face Guam on June 12 here in Panaad Stadium. (Jun-jun Carballo)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on June 05, 2012.