Any team hoping to lift a trophy in Southeast Asian men's football must go through Thailand.
After years being denied by their neighbors and with little to no success against them, the Philippines national side painfully knows that for a fact.
The Azkals host 5-time holders Thailand in the ongoing ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup in Bacolod on Wednesday night looking to get a foot in the semifinals door.
Kickoff is set at 7:30 p.m.
The Filipinos, under the guidance of recently appointed coach Sven Goran Eriksson, are off to an undefeated start after 2 matches in the Cup, keyed by wins over Singapore and Timor-Leste. They enter the Panaad match enjoying home-field advantage and brimming with confidence after enjoying a yearlong stretch of success.
But those all go out the window against the Thais, the acknowledged powerhouse of the region and winners of the past 2 editions of the biennial competition.
The Azkals are winless in 16 matches against Thailand, seven of those in the Suzuki Cup.
While the Philippines are 2-0 for a share of Group B top spot with the Thais, the latter took care of business much easier, bludgeoning Timor Leste 7-0 and downing Indonesia 4-2.
The last time the Philippines took a point against Thailand was a goalless draw in a semifinal match in the 2014 Suzuki Cup.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.