The Philippine National Football Team will be battling Bahrain in an exhibition match at 8 p.m. today at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.
Fresh from their conquest of Kyrgyzstan in September, the Philippine Azkals are looking to ride on their winning momentum when they clash with the Central Asian team.
The two squads last met in Group H in the second round of the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers. The Philippines finished third in that cluster.
In their two-game series, the Philippines took home the victory in the initial leg, 2-1, while Bahrain scored a 2-0 win in the second leg.
According to Azkals team captain Phil Younghusband, a victory against the Bahrainis will boost their confidence going into the Suzuki Cup.
“For us, getting good results against two strong teams with our rankings gives us confidence going into the Suzuki Cup and confidence is everything in football,” he said during the pregame news conference on Thursday.
Despite the short preparation, the Azkals are all geared up for battle, “We want to make sure that we get good results. In the national team, we don’t have a lot of time to prepare and its difficult to always make everything perfect but we will be doing our best to get good results,” Younghusband added.
The Philippines is currently No.1 in the Southeast Asian region and No. 125 in the world.
Bahrain is No. 126.
After Bahrain, the Philippines will also play a in a goodwill match against the North Koreans on October 10 at the same venue.
The two friendlies are part of the team’s build up for the upcoming Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup that will kick off on November 19.