Azkals join Group of Death-A A +A
Friday, July 13, 2012
THE Philippine Azkals drew ASEAN powerhouse Thailand and Vietnam in Group A of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 this coming November. Thailand is the three-time ASEAN champs while Vietnam was the 2008 title holder.
This means that the Azkals will be in a very tough position to duplicate its feat in the 2010 edition where it made a historic semifinal breakthrough and shocked Vietnam 2-0 in the eliminations.
Group A eliminations will be played in Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok Thailand. The Philippines will face Thailand on November 24 and Vietnam on November 27.
The Azkals faced so many adversities before starting and this is the same scenario the team is facing. This time the Azkal team has improved a lot and gathered some of the best Filipino footballers to plug the needs of the team. The predicament, however, is if team manager Dan Palami can gather the players in time for the tournament.
This time, ace defender Aly Borromeo is back in the line-up coming from injury and will anchor the team’s defense.
The last two teams will play a qualifying tournament this coming October. Vying for the slots are host Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Brunei and Timor Leste.
Will the Azkals endure the pressure and continue with their scintillating run in football?
Well, we have done it before and this time we might pull off some upset once more. With the team already running in fine form, the next three months will prove vital for the Suzuki Cup.
With time, financial support and international exposure given to the players to harness their skills, the Philippine Azkals will definitely rise to the challenge. (Jun-jun Carballo)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 13, 2012.