The Dossier presents Azkals vs Bahrain preview

By Kevin Estrada and JP Abcede

LADIES and gentlemen, welcome to The Dossier, the official football preview of Dugout Philippines.

So, what's in the name?
For the uninitiated, when you look at the dictionary, a dossier is a collection of documents related to a certain subject, person, or event.

And in a football sense, this is a homage to Don Revie, the former Leeds managerial great, credited for modernizing the game with lengthy collections of details of his opponents.

With that, we at Dugout Philippines will pore through everything about the Philippine men's football team's opponent prior to the match.

On our first installment, we take a look at the friendly of the Azkals against Bahrain on Friday night.

Here we go again

Bahrain now becomes the Azkals' favorite Middle East opponent. (file photo)
Since they first played in a goalless stalemate four years ago, Bahrain solidifies its hold as the Azkals' favorite Middle East opponent, playing for the fifth time in the past four years, thrice last year.

Who did they play against recently?

Ever since ending its campaign at the WCQ in a positive note with a 3-2 come-from-behind win over North Koreain home soil, the Philippines has not seen much time on the field with the focus going to club-level competitions.

Things did not improve when Turkmenistan backed out of its match against the Azkals on September 2 in the last minute, leaving fans of Philippine football disappointed and desperately wanting.

Nevertheless, the away match against higher ranked Kyrgyzstan on September 6 pushed through with the Azkals schockingly winning in Bishkek, Kevin Ingreso opening his goalscoring account and Misagh Bahadoran adding another, and Neil Etheridge denying the Central Asians from the spot to secure a 2-1 win.

Meanwhile, Bahrain also took a considerable break after the FIFA World Cup qualifiers second round, seeing action next against Singapore on September 1, in a match they won, 3-1, This was followed by a scoreless draw against Jordan three days later.

Who's in, who's out?

Both teams have unveiled few new faces for this match. The visitors have shaken up the touchline with Czech Miroslav Soukup replacing Sergio Batista late July on a two-year deal.

The Azkals, on the other hand, features a relatively new face in Mike Ott. The 21-year old from Nuremburg's reserves was in the lineup in that infamous friendly in Hong Kong three years ago, but did not see action due to injury. This will be the first call up in a home match for Manny's younger brother.


Bahrain might hold the advantage in head-to-head match-ups, but the Philippines' confidence is at an all-time high. Add the fact that each side has held court at home, this further augurs well towards our favor.

As for the scoreline, if coach Thomas Dooley employs a methodical approach, expect either a goalless draw or at least have one goal in from either camp. If the match breaks down and turns into an up-and-down affair, expect a flurry of goals with the Azkals prevailing, 2-1.

Follow them on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada and @jpabcede