Philippine Azkals standout Misagh Bahadoran vowed that they will be come back stronger following their disappointing exit in the 2016 Suzuki Cup.
“It was a big disappointment that we did not qualify for the Suzuki Cup semifinals but we will come back stronger,” Bahadoran said after the Azkals crashed out of the group stage.
The Philippines’ dream of entering the semifinals of the biennial regional football championship ended with a 0-1 loss to defending champions Thailand at the Philippine Sports Stadium on Friday.
The Philippines’ match with Indonesia ended 2-2 on November 22, the second consecutive draw it posted in the tourney. The Azkals’ bout against Singapore on the opening day ended in a goalless draw
“We did our best during the tournament but we were unlucky and we did not finish again. That’s one of the weaknesses that we have – to score goals. We need to release the ball faster to each other to score goals,” Bahadoran lamented.
With just two draws and a loss on their card, the Philippines were booted out of the preliminary round of the competition for the first time since the 2010 Suzuki Cup.
Bahadoran said the Azkals are aiming for a better performance in the upcoming third round of the 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers.
“I think we will have a break for a while before we prepare for the Asian Cup qualifiers next year,” the 29-year-old striker said.
“We will study our games and we will see what were our mistakes, and then we can come back stronger,” he added.
The Azkals earned their berth to the final round of eliminations of the continental championship after finishing third in Group H of the joint World Cup and Asian Cup tournament.
They will compete with 24 other teams from all over Asia for the final 12 slots for the Asian championship that will start on March 2017.
Meanwhile, the Filipino-Iranian standout mentioned that he is now keen on going back to training with Global FC, who is also gearing up for their international campaign.
“We will now have to focus on our clubs. We will have a break for a few days before we start preparing for our international tournament next year,” Bahadoran concluded.