MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Azkals will need to score goals in their away game against the Singapore Lions on Wednesday or they will miss the trip to the 2012 Suzuki Cup finals.
The Lions held the Azkals to a goalless draw in the semis home game that took place at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila last Saturday.
This makes it imperative for the Filipinos to work past the Singaporean defenders and secure their place in the finals.
“Everybody’s excited. Everybody must deliver now. You have to show on the field and do everything to if you want to be in the final," Azkals coach Hans Michael Weiss said in Yahoo! Sports.
“A victory or a draw with goals that is what we are working on,” he said in another report.
Based on tournament rules, the Azkals will advance if they hold the hosts to a scoring draw.
But if the game ends in a scoreless draw, it will result in two extra 15-minute periods.
A penalty shootout will ensue if there are still no goals.
Weiss said they will also need to step up their defense as the Lions are expected to play aggressive on their turf at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
He said the recovery period between games will help their cause as most of the injured players will be fully healed.
Among those who are expected to be at 100% are defender Jason Sabio, midfielder Chris Greatwich and striker Denis Wolf.
Danish-Filipino Jerry Lucena will also reunite with the Azkals, beefing up the midfield.
Weiss also expects Dennis Cagara, who arrived in Manila on the eve of Saturday’s match, to have fully recovered from jet lag and become a force again on the defensive end.
“Singapore is a strong unit, has good concept, and plays to its strengths. As a coach, we have to find the formula and the right strategy. We have slight advantage on experience and hunger. I hope those can make up for that,” said Weiss.
Game time is at 7:30 p.m.