The Malayan Tigers will be paying the Philippine Azkals a visit in a friendly encounter at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on WednesdayOn February 29, 2012, at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, SEA Games gold medalists Malaysia go up against the Long Teng Cup runners-up Philippine Azkals, as the two teams prepare for the Suzuki Cup in November. Ranked 150th in the world, the Malaysian Tigers are all set to defend their Suzuki Cup title this year.
Despite losing heavily to Japan in an Olympic qualifiers last week, Malaysia hopes to salvage its pride with a victory in the friendly match against the Philippines. With the Super League, FA Cup and Malaysia Cup to keep its players in top form all year-round, Malaysia enjoys a big advantage over the Philippines team.
The Philippines, on the other hand, have not had much success lately. The Philippine Azkals U-23 played poorly in last year's SEA Games, placing dead last in their group. Ranked 156th in the world, the Azkals have taken on strong teams like Uzbekistan, Australia and LA Galaxy to improve their game following the poor performance at the SEA Games.
They will take on Malaysia to gauge their strength for the Suzuki Cup. Interestingly, it is in the Suzuki Cup that the Philippines first gained notice from the football community with their surprise fourth-place finish in the tournament.
With both teams hoping to keep their respective fans happy, the FIFA-sanctioned friendly match between Malaysia and the Philippines will indeed be an interesting and exciting watch. It will be very interesting to see whether Malaysia will live up to its billing as the better team or if the Philippines can pull off a big upset in front of its thousands of fans.