Playing in their third match of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Qualifiers, Philippine Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Dooley expects a tough Yemen side that will face them on 5 September 2017 at the Pana-ad Park and Football Stadium.
The Azkals arrived in Bacolod last Monday to prepare for the match against Yemen, which are two points behind in Group F after the two matches.
“Our form is everything but perfect,” said Dooley noting on the absences of key players such as Javier Patiño, Amani Aguinaldo, and Kenshiro Daniels due to injury, and Daisuke Sato due to card accumulations.
Dooley will field 23 players for the match. Four of the players called up in the squad are new to the team in Dylan De Bruycker, Harry Föll, Joshua Grommen, and Tyler Matas.
“I hope they are team players and give everything they have,” added Dooley. “Those are future players and you never know how they do, so I hope we can find one or 2 more surprises.”
In their past meetings with Yemen during the Joint Preliminary Round 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia – Asian Qualifiers / AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Qualifiers, the Philippines won 2-0 away from home last June 2015 but lost the home match, 0-1, last November 2015. Dooley is hoping that the run of form they have from the wins over Nepal and Tajikistan will continue against Yemen.
“Yemen is much better than the last time and it will take everything from us to beat the team,” continued Dooley. “We need to finish our chances and be focused for the whole match.”