Azkals, Thailand brace for titanic encounter

All Set. Thomas Dooley relishes another do-or-die match, as the Azkals are looking to seal their semifinal spot with a win over Thailand. (file photo)
By Kevin Estrada

PASIG CITY -- The Philippines and Thailand brace for an epic top of the group encounter when they met the press for the final pre-match press conference today at the Marco Polo Ortigas.

The coaches of the respective sides are looking forward for their blockbuster tiff tomorrow in Bocaue to decide who will join the War Elephants to advance from the group of death, apart from Singapore and Indonesia who are also playing for the second spot.

Despite already advancing to the semifinal, Thai gaffer Kiatisuk Senamuang told that they are still taking this match seriously.

"We already progressed to the next round, but tomorrow's game is also important. our goal is still the same in the past two matches," the man also named as Zico said thru his translator, with Thailand looking to aim for maximum points for the third consecutive Suzuki Cup.

Despite winning the group after the Azkals drew with Indonesia last Tueday, Thailand's Zico is still taking this encounter with the Azkals very seriously.
Thomas Dooley meanwhile expressed excitement on the importance of it, noting that the hosts is still winless over their Thai counterparts in 44 years, as a win tomorrow will break another long standing drought against an ASEAN side.

"These are the games that the players and the coaches are looking for," the American said about their all-or-nothing encounter between two of the top 3 sides of the ASEAN region.

The former Team USA skipper thinks that the bad record of the Azkals against Thailand since 1972 gives the hosts extra motivation to summon their never-say-die spirit displayed against North Korea last march and against Indonesia last Tuesday.

"Sometimes in football anything can happen. The only thing that you can do is to prepare the way you should do," Dooley concluded.

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