(Rizal Memorial Stadium)
6 p.m. — Philippines vs Brunei
THE PHILIPPINE Azkals set out for a bounceback victory against unheralded Brunei today at the familiar grounds of Rizal Memorial Stadium to revive their bid in the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup.
After sustaining a stunning 3-2 loss to old prey Cambodia over in Phnom Penh Tuesday, the new-look Azkals try to make the most of the opportunity against their lightweight opponent to grab maximum points in the 6 p.m. home outing.
It’s a battle of Match Day 1 losers as qualifier Brunei sustained a heavy 5-0 setback to defending champion Thailand in their opening duel in Kuala Lumpur.
If successful against the Bruneians, the in-transition Pinoy booters will continue the uphill battle for a semifinal ticket in Group A versus the War Elephants in a tough Dec. 26 road assignment and 2020 runner-up Indonesia in a challenging Jan. 2 hosting.
“Now it’s a question of working on the last three matches to turn things around,” said Azkals midfielder Mark Hartmann, one of the few veterans in the squad of Spanish coach Josep Ferre.
A four-time semifinalist since the historic run of 2010, the Philippines is determined to make it back to the Final Four after missing out in the previous edition. — Olmin Leyba