WITH the same objective as the Azkals, Turkmenistan expressed its readiness to face the Filipino booters under any conditions on Tuesday when the Group E Qualifiers come to a close at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Turkmenistan booter Shamuradov Berdy said they are prepared to battle with the Azkals even if the conditions turn out to be the same in the Filipinos’ match against Cambodia on Sunday when play was suspended for an hour due to an unplayable pitch battered by heavy rains.
“We have one target: to qualify to the next round. So it doesn’t matter whether it’s snowing or raining or it’s very hot. It’s no problem because we have one target,” said the Turkmen striker, who scored one of the team’s seven goals in their win against Cambodia on opening day on Friday.
The Turkmen are currently behind the front-running Azkals in the standings with the same six points, but with a point below on goal difference.
But the Central Asian side beat the Azkals in their last two meetings since 2009, including a 2-1 win in the 2012 Challenge Cup semifinals that denied the Filipinos a historic Finals appearance in the tournament for emerging Asian nations.
But Turkmenistan coach Hojageldiyev Yazguly said the last two wins are a thing of the past considering the Azkals are parading their best lineup since 2010.
“About the last two games against the Philippines, we must forget those,” the Turkmen coach said through an interpreter.