Gayoso Jarvey Gayoso celebrates after scoring the second-half goal that gave the Philippines a 1-0 victory over Nepal. PFF photo

Azkals, Taiwanese face off

June 19, 2023 Theodore P. Jurado 400 views

THE Philippines is looking forward to an exciting faceoff against Chinese Taipei in an international friendly tonight at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Facing the Taiwanese for the first time since 2017, the Azkals hope to score their second straight victory under returning coach Hans Michael Weiss.

Kick-off is at 7 p.m.

“My expectation is that this would be an even tougher match than the first match because Chinese Taipei showcased in a very good manner in their recent game against Thailand. They already played Thailand last year in December in an unofficial friendly match in Thailand, I was there and I saw the match, and they could even beat Thailand on home soil,” said Weiss.

The Taiwanese battled with the War Elephants recently which in ended in a stalemate.

“They held them to a 2-2 which is a very respectable result. Also, the way they played is as Taiwan usually is. They are very compact, they are good in transition, and they are physically strong.

They are maybe not yet on the technical level that you expect but it’s about getting results. It’s about being compact, aggressive, and this is what they are. This is what they’ll show in Manila,” the German coach added.

Weiss, on the other hand, had a winning return after the Philippines beat Nepal, 1-0, on a Jarvey Gayoso goal last Thursday.

Even with the win, Weiss pleaded for patience and emphasized how his squad needs more time to come together ahead of the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers in November.

“Please understand that I was just here for a very short while even if I know and met many familiar places, so it’s still too early to get into [specific tactics]. For me, this tournament is all about observation and seeing all the players, training with them, and seeing who can help us with the way how we want to play,” said Weiss.

The Azkals bowed to the Taiwanese, 0-3, in their most recent meeting (Four Nations Tournament) on Dec. 3, 2017. The Philippines last prevailed over Chinese Taipei, 5-1, in the PFF Peace Cup on Sept. 3, 2014, during Weiss’ first tour of duty.

“Generally, we want to push a little bit more forward, we want to create more chances, and we want to be more on an attacking sprint, particularly on the artificial pitch in Rizal Memorial, that’s what it will be all about for tomorrow,” said Weiss.

“It’s about getting to know each other in this particular camp. We’ve only been together for a week. Obviously, it’s not a long time, but I think it gives everyone a good impression of how everyone can play, and how the coach wants to work. It’s getting to know each other, we have to adapt to every character in the team. So I think it’s very exciting for what’s to come in the future,” said Kevin Ingreso.

Weiss is confident that the Azkals on the right track.

“What I can promise is that we will have a good, confident, and joyous team which will try to get to the forefront and show something to the people. Even if things weren’t perfect in the last game, I think we can already see some glimpses of going forward and being more of an attacking team and trying to put opponents on the pressure,” said Weiss.