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Azkals, Guamanians collide

Ian Suyu



The Philippine Azkals attempt to shore up its point production when they battle Guam on Friday in the group stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup joint qualifiers in Sharjah Stadium, United Arab Emirates.

Kickoff starts at 10 p.m. (Manila time) as the national squad will attempt to get back into the winning column and solidify its chances to advance in the next round of Asian Cup qualifiers.

“Hopefully, we can move on to this game and get the points that we want and (Asian Cup) qualifying spot,” Azkals head coach Scott Cooper said.

“Of course, it will be a different plan because it will be a different set of players and a different system.”

Following their 0-2 defeat against China, the Filipinos were stuck in the third place of the Group A standings, virtually eliminating them for the World Cup qualification.

But they still have a strong chance to advance in the third round of the Asian Cup qualifiers should they increase their points and win their match against Guam.

After all, the squad has already proven its firepower against the opposing camp, when they ripped the Guamanians, 4-1, during their first counter back in 2019.

Despite their favorable chances, Cooper said they are not letting themselves become complacent against a hungry and determined Guam side.

Seated in the fourth place with a 2-4 win-loss card, Guam opened its qualification campaign with a 7-0 loss against China and then followed by a 0-3 defeat against Syria.