PHILIPPINE men’s football team coach Michael Weiss assured that fatigue won’t be an issue when the Azkals go for the Philippine Football Peace Cup title against Chinese Taipei Saturday night at the Rizal Memorial football field.
Despite playing their third match in five days, the Azkals are confident they have enough gas left in the tank as they go for a win against the visiting Taiwanese and secure their first international championship in almost a century.
The national booters last achieved the feat in 1913 during the Far Eastern Games (precursor to the Asian Games) held here in Manila.
“We still have something left in the tank,” said Weiss, whose squad only needs a draw to bag the championship.
Denis Wolf starred for the Azkals on Thursday night, scoring a hat-trick to cap their 5-0 thumping of Macau that gave them the lead in the four-nation tournament with a total of six points.
Patrick Reichelt, who struck in the Azkals’ 1-0 win over Guam on Tuesday, scored anew against the Macanese, along with Carli de Murga.
Against Macau, Weiss fielded a starting XI composed of skipper Emelio Caligdong, Marwin Angeles, Demit Omphroy, and Reichelt in the midfield, Wolf and Ian Araneta as strikers, De Murga, Jason de Jong, Matthew Uy, and Jeff Christianes in the backline, and Ed Sacapaño as the keeper.
And the German mentor intends to use the same group against Taipei.
“I’m getting more convinced with my team with every game they play.”
But the Azkals should not take the Taiwanese lightly. Ranked 176th, Chinese-Taipei blanked Guam, 2-0, in the first game last Thursday to increase its point total to four for second place.
The Azkals are definitely going to pull all the necessary stops to prevent a Chinese-Taipei upset as Weiss urged football fans to watch the game live and witness history.
“It’s going to be a very interesting and exciting game,” Weiss said. “Hopefully the stadium will be full. The (fans) who have been here, always created a very good ambience, but it should be triple (the crowd attendance).”