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Azkals face North Korea in friendly

Game Today
(Rizal Memorial Stadium)
8 p.m. – Philippines vs North Korea

The Philippine Azkals try to regain their bearing after losing to Bahrain when they face North Korea tonight in an international friendly at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Three days removed from a 3-1 loss to Bahrain, the Azkals want nothing more than a much-improved showing against the fancied North Koreans in their 8 p.m. showdown.

It will be the meeting between both nations since March when the Azkals stunned North Korea, 3-2, at the same pitch in the World Cup/Asian Cup qualifiers.

But expect the Azkals to play a much-difficult encounter this time, especially with their defending being suspect in the loss to the Bahrainis.

The Azkals conceded the game’s first two goals before giving up a third in the second half injury time.

That has worried some fans, with over a month before the AFF Suzuki Cup reels off at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan.

The only bright spot for the Azkals was the debuting Mike Ott, who scored in his first international cap in the 49th.

Coach Thomas Dooley also took the Bahraini match to use seldom-used players like UAAP Most Valuable Player Daniel Gadia of University of the Philippines and Fitch Arboleda.

Misagh Bahadoran, Phil Younghusband and Manny Ott are expected to lead the Azkals against the North Koreans.