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Bahadoran raring to go against Yemen



Misagh Bahadoran has played for the Philippine national men’s football team [Azkals] these past few years, but he still hasn’t lost that feeling of excitement before games. The Azkals’ next of game is at home versus Yemen, at Rizal Memorial Stadium on November 12, 2015. Bahadoran is looking forward to that encounter. “Especially because we are playing in the Philippines in front of the Filipino crowd. We are so excited. We are really ready 100% to get the three points against them. Of course we have beaten Yemen once and we will do it again hopefully since we are playing at home.”

Bahadoran said that mixed results from the last two games of the Azkals haven’t lowered the morale. He added, “Every single game that we go to, we have confidence that we’re gonna play 100%. But we have a very difficult chance to qualify for the World Cup because our group is very difficult especially North Korea and Bahrain are very strong.”

The Azkals’ last two games were away fixtures to North Korea and Bahrain. Only a few people can say they’ve traveled to North Korea. Bahadoran shared that while getting there was tough, it wasn’t as problematic one expected it to be. “Well of course the North Korea game, we had difficulty traveling. Too many countries, stopovers in a lot of countries but honestly North Korea treated us well. We had no problems there. I loved the country. It was very nice. Their stadium was very good. The atmosphere was good. Their team was very tough. We played good there. We just got one point which was good for us.”

A 0-2 loss in Bahrain gave the Azkals their second defeat of the 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying campaign. It was a painful one, as the Azkals were clearly exhausted from the numerous flights and lack of settling time in Bahrain. Bahadoran said, “But in Bahrain, we traveled to so many stopovers in China and that made the team a little bit tired. When we arrived in Bahrain, we didn’t have much time to recover from our traveling. That’s one of the reasons why I think we couldn’t beat Bahrain. And we were lacking a striker which was Javier Patino.”

Azkals captain Phil Younghusband will be out of the Yemen game due to accumulated yellow cards. Bahadoran admitted that Younghusband was a big loss but called on others to step up. “This is football. We have so many players who are ready to play. Patino is back from injury. I think there’s a lot of players that can do what Phil does.”

A home game against North Korea and an away fixture at Uzbekistan beckon the Azkals after Yemen. Bahadoran noted the tough tasks ahead for the Azkals. “I think those would be very difficult games because North Korea is strong and Uzbekistan is a very, very strong team. We play North Korea at home and we played Uzbekistan at home and North Korea is still wounded with the 0-0 game against us. They’ll come 100% against us and they want to qualify for the World Cup. “


Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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