After four months of inactivity following their painful AFF Suzuki Cup exit, the Philippine Men’s National Team mark their return to the pitch with a friendly against South East Asian rivals Malaysia on March 22 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The friendly will be the Azkals’ first foray into action before they begin their AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers against Nepal on March 28, also at the same venue.
The Philippine Football Federation announced the friendly last February 25, and have recently released the ticket details for the match. Tickets are priced at P500, P300, and P100.
In the latest FIFA rankings unveiled yesterday, the Philippines went down two places to 124, but are still the number one ranked side in the region. Malaysia, on the other hand, are at 161st place.
Malaysia, like the Philippines, endured a forgettable Suzuki Cup campaign, finishing in third place in Group B behind Vietnam and Myanmar. Since 2012, matches between the Philippines and Malaysia have ended in draws. Their last meeting was played at the Cebu City Sports Center in 2014.
The Azkals squad for the friendly and the qualifiers have not been announced yet. However, team manager Dan Palami hinted last month that management is working to secure at least a few overseas based players as squad reinforcements in the lineup.
“We have gotten in touch with some players and hopefully they respond so we can work on their papers,” said Palami. “Their names are all over social media.”
Tickets for the friendly are available at SM Tickets. — CAL