THE Philippine men’s football team-Azkals might still be recovering from a tremendous shock on that 8-1 defeat in the hands of the mightier Chinese side on Wednesday in a friendly game at the Guangzhou Tianhe Sports Centre Stadium in Guangzhou.
That friendly was part of the national team’s preparation for Dushanbe where they will face Tajikistan on June 13, 2017 for the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers.
However, the home team blasted two goals in the first 25 minutes before Misagh Bahadoran able to nail the Philippines’ lone goal in the 33rd minute. But, the Chinese squad got another to close the half, 3-1.
The Philippine side turned helpless in the second half after the host connected a 0-5 blow.
For Azkals Head Coach Thomas Dooley, we have to face the reality. “We are still far away from that level. There are many reasons why things like last Wednesday happened. Our players did their best, but in the second half it was like a race Formula 1 against KIA. Timing and preparation against a team like China is by far, not enough,” he said.
The German-American mentor also stressed of the huge financial investment of China in football – which evidence is their rank in FIFA at No.82 while the Philippines is ranked No. 126.
But, looking ahead in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers against Tajikistan next week, Dooley is uncertain if how does the Wednesday result affect his team and the upcoming match.
“I don’t know if it affects the game. I hope not. The players are down but, I’m sure we will get them back up again,” he said.
“They need to understand and maybe they do now that to play that kind of a level needs more training and more experience, more knowledge and more fitness. We cannot measure our level with them. Not yet, maybe in 5-10 years. For now we need to measure our level and learn from those games. Learn that we have to do – much more for us to get there,” he added.*