MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Azkals will need a crucial win against former champion Thailand in the opener of the 2012 Suzuki Cup to boost their chances of reaching the semifinals.
Azkals team captain Chieffy Caligdong said it is crucial for them to gain the needed points especially in their early games.
“Depends on us kung anong magiging resulta sa first game. If we get the 3 points from that game, mababawasan ang pressure sa amin,” said the fleet-footed Filipino.
According to the tournament rules, three (3) points shall be awarded for each win and one point for a draw. No point will be given to the losing team.
The Azkals will be facing host Thailand in their first game on November 24.
Thailand is a former three-time titlist having won the 1996, 2000 and 2002 editions of the Cup.
Caligdong said they are expecting a tough game from the Thais.
“[We anticipate] a very physical game from the host team,” he said.
After the Thailand match, the Filipino will face 2008 champion Vietnam on November 27.
The Azkals will wind up their Group A matches on November 30 against Myanmar.