Azkals in Group B for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018
The Philippines will face familiar opposition in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018.
The draw held last Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at the Hotel Mulia Senayan in Jakarta Indonesia, saw the Philippines drawn into Group B. Joining them are defending champions Thailand, five-time runners up Indonesia, four-time winners Singapore, and the winner of the Qualifying Round between Brunei and Timor Leste.
Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos complete the cast for Group A.
The Philippines are three-time AFF Suzuki Cup semifinalists, they finished at that stage in 2010, 2012, and 2014. In 2016, against the same opponents, the Philippines bowed out at the group stage, much to the disappointment of the team and supporters alike. It was doubly disappointing because the country was one of the hosts for the group stage.
The Suzuki Cup group stage matches are scheduled for November 8-25, 2018. The semifinals and finals will be played between December 1-15, 2018.
Speaking after the draw, Azkals Team Manager Dan Palami sees the tournament as a chance for the country’s redemption after missing out on the knockout stages in the tournament’s last edition.
“”Well, it’s virtually the same teams [we were up against] in 2016,” the Team Manager said, “but we’re looking forward to a better performance.”
Palami, who is scheduled to leave for the United Arab Emirates for the Asian Cup draw on May 4, added: “The Suzuki Cup has always been a tough competition, but we’re hoping that with the preparation we have in mind, we’ll have a better, maybe even the best, result.”