Connect with us
[adinserter block="13"] [adinserter block="3"]

Philippines, Uzbekistan ready for titanic clash



The men’s national football teams of Uzbekistan and the Philippines expressed their preparedness for their upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and 2019 AFC Asian Cup UAE joint qualification match tomorrow, September 8 at the Philippine Sports Stadium, in a pre-match press conference held at the Marco Polo Hotel, Ortigas, earlier today.

Newly-installed Uzbekistan Head Coach Samvel Babayan and Team Captain Server Djeparov, through an interpreter, shared their excitement to play in the Philippines despite coming to the country just two days before their match against the Azkals. Babayan stated that as of this time, “We [the Uzbek national football team] are in a condition to think that each match in our group is very important, because now we are [sic] in third place in the group.” He furthered that they have prepared well for the match knowing that the Philippine squad is a well organized team on the pitch, which is the reason why the latter got their first two wins in the group stage. The two-time Asian Football Player of the Year Djeparov shared that his team would try to win and could prevail the pivotal game.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Philippines, Uzbekistan ready for titanic clash

The Uzbek tactician considers Philippines’ captain Phil Younghusband as the key player for the Azkals. He remarked, “If we can neutralize him [Younghusband], then we could build our game.” When asked if there was anything they plan to change from their previous matches, Babayan ended that they map out each game on a day-to-day basis to get the result they want.

Meanwhile, national team mentor Thomas Dooley and skipper Phil Younghusband emphasized the fact that they are the underdogs going into this match. The Uzbeks are ranked 76th in the latest FIFA World Rankings, while the Azkals are at 125th. Dooley expressed that, “We will be playing a team who is very experienced, and very good; they are 50 rankings above us for a reason.” Despite the disparity, the Azkals coach shared that the team is looking forward to the game and that they are positive on what they would show the fans tomorrow.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Philippines, Uzbekistan ready for titanic clash

Younghusband relayed that the team knows that it will be a tough game. Nonetheless, they also believe that with the current crop of players, they could produce a result that they want. The long-time Philippine international added, “If we do ourselves right and we play well, then we can pull an upset.” He considers that coach Dooley had prepared them well for their current situation now wherein they compete against tough football teams from the Central Asia and the Middle East.

Dooley shared that there is not much pressure for them to win against Uzbekistan, knowing their opponents are favored and are much more experienced in top-level club football. However, he believes that his wards have the capability and skills to pull off an upset against the Uzbeks.

Tickets for this match between the Philippines and Uzbekistan are still available at the Ticketworld outlets and online at PHP 125.40 (Category 3), PHP 331.40 (Category 2), and PHP 531.80 (Category 1).


Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

Click to comment