Azkals take on Uzbeks' Olympic crew

- Olmin Leyba () - February 11, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - After three training sessions in their Middle East camp, the Philippine Azkals plunge into action against Uzbekistan’s Olympic team tonight at the Al Nasr Sports Club’s Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.

The Azkals, who are cramming to get into top condition and achieve cohesion for next month’s AFC Challenge Cup in Nepal, will have their hands full against the Uzbeks in their 8 p.m. (12 midnight in Manila) friendly.

The Uzbeks just came off a 2-0 win over an Australian side to lead Group B of the AFC Asian Qualifiers for the London Games with 8 points.

This match will kick off the Azkals’ three-game stint in the Gulf. Phl XI is scheduled to travel to Doha for a duel with Qatari first division club Al Ahli on Monday before returning to the Emirates to meet Australia’s Olyroos on Thursday.

“We are preparing for the AFC Challenge Cup, and are hoping to reach the final and even win the Cup. It is our goal. We are facing strong opponents and I want to take the opportunity to test the team,” said Azkals coach Michael Weiss as quoted by sport360.com.

“We have a month before the Challenge Cup and we need to use the time wisely,” he added.

Expected to lead the Azkals are Phil and James Younghusband, Rob Gier, Ian Araneta, Angel Guirado, Roel Gener, and Misagh Bahadoran, Jason Sabio, and Lexton Moy. Also to be unleashed are new recruits Luis Guirado, Denis Wolf, and Ruben Doctora with youngsters Joshua Beloya, Carli de Murga, Paolo Pascual, and Marwin Angeles.

Co-skipper Chieffy Caligdong, who’s nursing a knee injury, will only be joining light practices and won’t see action in the tuneups.

“It’s sad. It’s my first time to go abroad and not be playing with the Azkals,” Caligdong said in a report on gulfnews.com.                                  

AL AHLI AL MAKTOUM STADIUM AL NASR SPORTS CLUB ANGEL GUIRADO ASIAN QUALIFIERS AZKALS CHALLENGE CUP CHIEFFY CALIGDONG DENIS WOLF
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