Kyrgyzstan test for Azkals in June

The Philippines have secured a friendly against the Central Asian nation as part of preparations for next year’s AFC Challenge Cup
Philippines coach Michael Weiss’s wish for his side to get more game time during the upcoming international break in June has been boosted by news of a second friendly against Kyrgyzstan.

The Azkals will travel to Bishkek, capital of the Central Asian nation, to face off against world-ranked 143rd opponents on June 8. This comes four days after a friendly against Hong Kong in Mongkok on June 4, with Philippine Football Federation (PFF) general secretary Ed Gastanes confirming the news to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Gastanes also revealed that another match against Tajikistan was being lined up for June 11, a convenient opponent as the country lies just south of Kyrgyzstan.

The likes of Europe-based Stephan Schrock, Neil Etheridge, Paul Mulders, Jerry Lucena and Dennis Cagara should be available to feature during the break, with Spain-born Buriram United hotshot striker Javier Patino likely to join up as well.

Azkals team manager Dan Palami believes the experience from playing such games will boost their AFC Challenge Cup preparations, while Weiss said Kyrgyzstan would be a good test.

“They are a big, physical and strong team with a lot of experience at a good level of football in Asia and we saw it in the President’s Cup,” the German stated.

“Our team really needs matches like these to develop.”