THE Philippines will certainly get tested before it makes its maiden appearance in the AFC Asian Cup after getting a tough draw in the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup on Wednesday in Jakarta.
The Azkals were drawn into Group B with defending champion Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and the winner of the Brunei and Timor Leste qualifying match. With the exception of Brunei/Timor Leste, it’s basically the same group in the 2016 edition where the Philippines failed to qualify after finishing third in the group stage.
Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos make up Group A.
“Difficult group with Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore but many say that it’s doable to be in the semifinals,” said PFF Secretary-General Ed Gastanes.
“Hard preparations necessary plus a bit of luck,” he added.
With the tournament using a home-away format, the Philippines will be hosting two games while playing away twice.
The Azkals opening their campaign at home on November 13 against Singapore, before facing either Brunei or Timor Leste on November 17. The Philippines then hosts Thailand on November 21 before heading to Indonesia to wrap up their run in the group stages.