MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Azkals are expected to play a cautious game against former titlist Thailand when the 2012 Suzuki Cup kicks off on November 24.
The game will take place at Thailand’s turf in Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok.
Azkals coach Michael Weiss said they are anticipating a strong attacking game from the Thais who are out to please the home crowd.
“The first match will be interesting from the point of view that we will play a little bit conservative and really go for strong counters,” said Weiss during Suzuki Philippines’ sendoff for the Philippine team.
“[Thailand] has to do something home because with the home crowd they cannot go for defensive work. They have to score earlier,” he said.
Thailand is a former three-time titlist having won the 1996, 2000 and 2002 editions of the Cup.
The Philippine-Thai match is set at 9:20 p.m.( Manila time).
This will be followed by a match against 2008 champion Vietnam on November 27 at 6:30 p.m.
The Azkals will wind up their Group A matches on November 30 against Myanmar at 9:20 p.m.
The tournament will be a single-round series with the top two teams in Group A advancing to the crossover semifinals against the two topnotchers in Group B.
Group B features Suzuki Cup defending champion Malaysia, runner-up Indonesia, Laos and Singapore.
The semifinals will be a home-and-away series starting on December 8 with the Group A winner tackling the Group B runner-up, while the Group B victor faces the Group A runner-up on December 9. The second matches will be played on December 12 and December 13, respectively.
The winners of the crossover semis by aggregate goals will dispute the Suzuki Cup in another home-and-away series set December 19 and December 22.