The Philippine Men’s National Team may have had a forgettable outing against China PR last Friday, but the team still hopes to advance to the knockout stages of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
After a formidable display against Korea Republic in the first game, the Azkals were given a reality check on the toughness of the tournament after losing to China, 3-0.
“This is the Asian Cup. These are the best teams in Asia, the best players in Asia. They’re the difference between winning and losing a game when you’ve got quality like that,” said Phil Younghusband.
Head coach Sven Goran Eriksson remained steadfast on the team’s chances of qualifying despite losing their first two matches.
“We have shown that we can play football,” said Eriksson. “We are not going home yet, and we will see what happens in the last group stage game (vs Kyrgyz Republic).”
The Philippines currently sit at the bottom of Group C with only one match left in the group stages. A win over the Kyrgyz Republic on Wednesday 16 January 2019 at the Rashid Stadium might propel the team to the Round of 16 as one of the four best third placed teams at the end of the group stages.
“We still have the Kyrgyzstan game. If we can get the three points there, then we have every chance of qualifying to the next round,” added Younghusband.
“We really want to advance,” echoed Stephan Schröck. “We have to beat Kyrgyz Republic to have that chance.”
Photos from: Pam Puri, AFC