Monday, 7 February 2011

Azkals aim a shot in the dark

Posted by chardyboy on Monday, February 07, 2011 0 comments

Azkals aim a shot in the dark
Clueless Philippine team plays Mongolia, also clueless

MANILA, Philippines —  Ranged against a team they’ve never met or much less played against, the Philippine Azkals will try to use their instincts and simply adjust on what Mongolia will bring to the table in their AFC Challenge Cup qualifying match Wednesday at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.

“The only time we can size them up is when we are already playing,” Azkals assistant coach Edzel Bracamonte admitted saying they are clueless as much as the Mongolians are against the Azkals in their muchawaited encounter.
“So we’ll just try to adjust to their style of play.”
In adherence to German coach Hans Michael Weiss’ philosophy of aggressive play, Bracamonte said they intend to use a 4-4-2 formation against the Mongolians, the same ploy they utilized in the Suzuki Cup last year when the team was still under British coach Simon McMenemy.
That formation – four defenders, four midfielders and two forwards – worked wonders for the Azkals, who managed to limit the high-scoring Indonesians during their semis series.
The Azkals lost twice in the home-and-away series on identical 1-0 scores, but held the Indonesians to a significantly low output considering they were the best attacking team in the tourney with 13 goals with five players scoring twice each prior to
their clash with the Filipinos.
Bracamonte said the formation is very effective and is the same strategy used by Spain in winning last year’s World Cup at the expense of The Netherlands.
Even Germany loves to use the same formula.
The Mongolians arrived on Monday, and the Azkals were clueless of how their lower-ranked rivals play.
Unlike in the Suzuki Cup, we don’t have any video to watch to get to know them better,” said Bracamonte.
The only scouting report that reached Philippine soil revealed that the Mongolians, ranked 182 by the FIFA, are composed of young players and they trained and played four matches in Guangzhou, China to acclimatize Philippine weather.
“We don’t know much about Mongolia which sometimes makes it difficult because we don’t know what to expect. But we will be more aggressive and more attack minded,” striker Phil Younghusband said whose team is ranked slightly higher at 152 by FIFA.
“I think the new coach (Weiss) wants me to play higher up the field to be more effective and closer to the goal,” Younghusband said. “We are very confident of a good result in front of our home fans and we want to entertain them as well as win.”
The Mongolians took a one-year hiatus, with their last international tournament being the AFC Challenge Cup qualifier against Macau back in 2009. They also lost to Guam, 0-1, one of the weakest teams in the world. With the team already complete with the arrival of Fil-Icelandic left back Ray Anthony Johnson Monday, Palami is confident they can give the fans a great show.
Meanwhile, Aly Borromeo, Eduard Sacapano, Neil Etheridge, Anton del Rosario, Jerry Barbaso, Kim Relucio, Joebel Bermejo, Rob Gier, Ray Jonnson, Nestorio Margarse, Emilio Caligdong, Simon Greatwich, Peter Jaugan, Mark Ferrer, James and Phil
Younghusband, Reymark Palmes, Jason de Jong, Patrick Hinrichsen, Jason Sabio, and Ian Araneta comprise the team’s 23-man line up.


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