Azkals back to square one, but they will rise
BOCAUE, Philippines – The Philippine Azkals have come full circle in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup.
From an outsider pre-2010, they forced themselves into the company of the regions elite. From a certified contender carrying high expectations six years later, they now found themselves plummeting back to the doghouse after a bungled campaign on home soil.
“We won’t shy away from it, it’s a disaster,” said Fil-German Stephan Schrock.
The Filipinos bombed out of the Last-4 picture after yielding a 0-1 heartbreaker to a Thailand side that, with an early semis qualification on hand, sat out top guns like Teerasil Dangda, Chanatip Songkram and Kawin Thamsatchanan.
It didn’t help any that the Azkals settled for back-to-back draws to start their bid, failing to get the maximum points in the opener against 10-man Singapore and rallying back to tie Indon esia.