The Philippine men’s national football team will face a well-rested Thailand squad tonight in the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup at the Thammasat Stadium in Pathum Thani, Thailand.
Kickoff begins at 8:30 p.m. (Manila time) with both the Azkals and the War Elephants bidding to boost their respective targets for a semifinal appearance.
Defending champion Thailand will come in fresher after beating Brunei, 5-0, last Tuesday.
The Philippines also defeated Brunei, 5-1, but it took place Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, its first win on home soil since the 30th Southeast Asian Games in 2019.
This was also head coach Josep Ferre’s first win for the Azkals since assuming the role last 8 December.
The War Elephants are on top of Group A despite holding a 1-0 win-loss record while the Azkals are at second in the group with a 1-1 record.
While the national team produced a great game against the Tebuan on home soil, Ferre cautioned that they can’t be overconfident against the Thais, the most successful team in the tournament with six titles.
“The players did their best in the game against Brunei but against teams against Thailand and Indonesia, it will not be easy. We cannot think now that we can beat Thailand because we won at home,” Ferre said.
“Every game is different. It’s a fight where everybody tries to do his best and let’s see which team will be able to do things better.”
Kenshiro Daniels is the leading scorer of the tournament after scoring three goals in two games for the Azkals, making him a threat for the Thais as well as Jens Rasmussen who scored two goals against Brunei.
The Philippines will have to be wary of Thailand’s Peeradon Chamratsamee, who has two goals in the tournament.