THE Philippine Azkals can avenge a heartbreaking loss to Turkmenistan on Tuesday night.
This was the forecast of former national coach and now Azkals scout Aris Caslib ahead of the crunch clash that can automatically send the Philippine eleven to the AFC Challenge Cup final set next year in Maldives.
According to the PFF technical director, the current composition of the Michael Weiss-mentored squad can be considered as the strongest and most complete ever in Philippine football history.
The availability of Stephan Schrock and the arrival of Spain-based Javier Patino have bolstered a team that roughed up Cambodia, 8-0, in a show of force on Sunday night.
“This is the best Philipine team assembled over the years," said Caslib. "You have two very strong attackers in the person of (Stephan) Schrock and Javier Patiño, plus the fact that we have the strong homefield advantage.”
The longtime football man said they are looking at a 2-0 Azkals win against the Turkmen.
“We’re getting to see good possession football … We have good side players - Patiño and Schrock on the left side. We also have two very strong players up front with Schrock and Phil Younghusband,” he added.
But Caslib was quick to warn against complacency ahead of the match against Turkmenistan, which beat the Azkals in the AFC Challenge Cup last year, 2-1, behind two goals in the final 10 minutes.
“We can’t be complacent. The Turks have great counter attack and they are good especially in the second half of the match,” Caslib said.
"Pag tumatagal ang laban lalong gumagaling ang Turkmenistan. We should display good strong football in the first half and then hold the game in the second half,” he reiterated.
Caslib also warned that the Turkmen are dangerous with their diagonal crosses at the far post, not to mention the long shots and rebounding prowess of their taller players.