Azkals eyes bounce back vs Guam in FIFA qualifier today

MANILA – The Philippine men’s football team hopes to avoid its second straight defeat when it faces Guam in the 2022 World Cup / 2023 Asian Cup qualification this afternoon at the Guam National Football Stadium.

The Azkals were stunned in their opening match Thursday last week against visiting Syria, 5-2, despite the boisterous Bacolodnon crowd at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City.

But even with the lopsided defeat, Azkals assistant team manager Scott Cooper said not much changes were done in their game plan ahead of their 1 p.m. game today.

“After that defeat, the worst thing we can do is overreact. We lost against Syria and they were a good team,” Cooper said. “Do we change everything in a game where we rocked them for 20 minutes? I don’t think so.”

He added: “We were brave, we went out and got on the front foot. We just didn’t have the know-how and the intellect to maintain that,” added the former national men’s football team mentor.

Azkals team captain Stephan Schrock, for his part, said they remain positive as they were able to scare the Syrians in the early goings of the game on a Javier Patino goal.

“The positive thing is that our plan worked, but unfortunately for us, the striker of Syria had a golden boot,” Schrock said.

 “I’ve barely seen finishing just like this. There’s kinda like a gap, but if you look at the stats, we were not far from the other team and we took the game to them,” he added./PN

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