MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Azkals will use the Singapore friendly on November 15 as a final tuneup before they compete in the 2012 Suzuki Cup on November 24.
The Azkals, who defeated Singapore 2-0 last September, will be backed by a home crowd as the game is set in Cebu City.
“With the crowd behind us, we will be able to defeat Singapore,” said Azkals coach Michael Weiss during Suzuki Philippines’ sendoff party for the Azkals on Wednesday.
However, he said beating Singapore won’t be an easy task as the Lions will be fielding a more complete lineup in Cebu.
“They are playing complete, last time there were players missing. But of course, we are in the position now, we are strong enough to not look at the players of the opponent but rather look on our own strength and rise to the occasion,” said Weiss.
Expected to suit up for Singapore are mainstays Aleksandr Duric, Sharil Ishak and Daniel Bennett.
Azkals team captain Chieffy Caligdong said they will use the friendly as their final assessment before plunging into the Suzuki Cup tournament.
The Philippines faces host team and Southeast Asian powerhouse Thailand in their opener on November 24.
“Sa 15, kung anong magiging result don, ico-correct namin kung anong weaknesses ng team, kung anong system ang gagamitin namin. Kukuha kami ng idea dun para sa laban namin sa Thailand," Caligdong said.
Caligdong still considers the Azkals as underdogs against the likes of Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar.
“Underdogs pa rin kami. Pero iba na ang version ng Azkals kumpara sa 2010. Hindi naman kami naga-assume na makakapasok agad sa semifinals, pero siguro may tiwala ako sa kakayanan naming lahat,” he said.
The Azkals gained national recognition when they finished third in the 2010 Suzuki Cup.