Meaningful match to be expected as Azkals and Nokor duke it out again

Expect a meaningful match when both the Philippines and North Korea take the Rizal turf later tonight.
By Kevin Estrada

MANILA-- Both the Philippines and North Korea are expecting a meaningful game in their upcoming friendly after talking to the football media yesterday morning at Century Park Hotel.

Both teams are represented by their managers and key players, as Thomas Dooley and Phil Younghusband took to the table alongside Jørn Andersen and Pak Kwang-Ryong.

"We're also expecting a tough match, but we're also excited for the good match in preparation for the Suzuki Cup", said the Loyola striker who missed out on the Azkals' memorable victory last March 29 due to injury as this match had huge implications for their homestand in November for Southeast Asia's premeir tournament.

"[North Korea] are looking forward to play here again [in Manila] and I'm very happy to meet Thomas Dooley here," quoted the Norwegian who was also seen in Rizal Memorial last Friday night, scouting the hosts in their loss to Bahrain. "Tomorrow, we will maybe see some results from this," added Andersen, who was the first foreign manager to lead the isolated country since Hungarian Pal Csernai 25 years ago.

For the Lausanne marksman, it will be a meaningful return to the capital almost six months since they lost to the Azkals that knocked them out of World Cup contention. "I see them yesterday and today have a big development from yesterday maybe because of their coach. They [the Azkals] are not the team from yesterday anymore," said the 24-year-old thru a translator.

For Dooley, his emphasis was on some players he put in last Friday. "It's a learning process, it doesn't come overnight. It takes months, even years to get what we want," said the former USA skipper. "This game is important, it's important for the development, but the Suzuki Cup is something you have to achieve," Dooley concluded.

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