Saturday, May 18, 2013

Azkals vs. Kyrgyzstan on June 8th


Source : Inquirer Sports
THE PHILIPPINES will face fellow AFC Challenge Cup final round qualifier Kyrgyzstan in an international friendly in Bishkek on June 8.

Philippine Football Federation general secretary Ed Gastanes confirmed the development to the Inquirer, even as the PFF is also close to sealing an agreement to play against Tajikistan on June 11.

Gastanes said the match with Tajikistan is also ideal as the country is just south of Kyrgyzstan and the national team would not need longer travel time between the two former Soviet Union states.

The Azkals are squaring off with Hong Kong on June 4 at Mongkok Stadium and team manager Dan Palami is already looking forward to gaining plenty of experience in their matches which he said will come in handy when the Filipinos vie for an Asian Cup slot in the Challenge Cup in Maldives next year.

Because the matches fall on international match dates, the Azkals will have the full compliment of players, including Europe-based stars Stephan Schrock, Neil Etheridge, Paul Mulders, Jerry Lucena and Dennis Cagara as well as Javier Patino who is currently making waves in the Thai Premier League.

National team coach Michael Weiss said the Central Asians are just the kind of opponents the Azkals need in preparation for the Challenge Cup next year.

“They are a big, physical and strong team with a lot of experience at a good level of football in Asia and we saw it in the Presidents Cup,” said Weiss. “Our team really needs matches like this to develop.”

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