Azkals aim for good finish vs Maldives in Asian Cup qualifiers

Published June 14, 2021, 2:42 PM

by Jonas Terrado

The Philippine Azkals

The Philippine Azkals are raring to put up a better performance despite having nothing at stake when they play Maldives Tuesday, June 15 in the conclusion of their second round campaign in the World Cup/Asian Cup Qualifiers in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

Despite having clinched a spot in the third round of the Asian Cup Qualifiers, the Azkals will look to finish off their stint in the UAE city on a high note in the 7 p.m. local time (11 p.m. Manila time) match.

Images of Azkals captain Stephan Schrock chiding his teammates were seen moments after Friday’s 3-0 win over Guam in a performance coach Scott Cooper said left plenty to be desired despite the result.

Cooper is hoping that the team can set the bar high this time and once again gain the maximum three points.

“Our standards going forward have to be higher than that,” Cooper said. “Our ambition is to play better football than that. We can do much better than that.”

The two matches in Sharjah have seen impressive performances from new defenders Jefferson Tabinas and Michael Kempter, who showed his skills against Guam after coming off early in their match with China due to a broken nose.

Accounting for two of the three goals the Azkals scored in the last game were Angel Guirado and Mark Hartmann.

Maldives, which has lost its last three matches to the Philippines, goes into the contest smarting from a 5-0 defeat to China.