The Philippines has been handed challenging group in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 following the draw ceremony held at the Hotel Mulia Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The AFF Suzuki Cup has a new format for this year. There will be 2 groups of 5 countries that will be playing 2 games at home and 2 games away. The Philippines were in Pot 3 for the draw alongside Myanmar.
The Philippines is in Group B and was drawn against defending champions Thailand, Indonesia, 4-time winners Singapore, and the qualifying round winner between Brunei and Timor Leste in the group stage.
The other group is composed of Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia, and the play-off winner between Brunei and Timor Leste. The top two teams at the end of the group stages will qualify for the knockout stages.
The tournament will run from 8 November until 15 December 2018.
PFF president Mariano Araneta Jr., who attended the draw in Jakarta along with general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes, is cautiously optimistic of the Philippines’ chances in the tournament, which is seen as the team’s preparation for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 on January 2019.
“The AFF Suzuki Cup is the springboard that lifted Philippine football to greater heights. We are looking forward for the tournament as it will now have a different format compared from previous years,” said Araneta. “We may have gotten a tough draw for the group stage, but this is a perfect opportunity for the team as they will also prepare for the AFC Asian Cup next year.”