THE Philippines kicks off its campaign in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup 2020 Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, as it takes on host Singapore at the Singapore National Stadium in Singapore.
The Philippines is in Group A with Thailand, Singapore, Myanmar and Timor-Leste.
The Azkals failed to reach the finals in the last Suzuki Cup in 2018 after losing to eventual champion Vietnam, 4-2, on aggregate. The Philippines will field a mix of veterans and youngsters from the Azkals Development Team in this year’s Suzuki Cup.
The squad will be led by veteran skipper Stephan Schrock, who’ll be making his 48th cap for the national team. Returning Azkal mainstays are Patrick Reichelt, Angel Guirado, Iain Ramsay, Daisuke Sato, Martin Steuble, Amani Aguinaldo, Kevin Ingreso, Mike Ott and Kenshiro Daniels.
Naturalized striker Bienvenido Marañon makes his much-anticipated Azkals debut along with fellow newcomers Quincy Kammeraad, Sandro Reyes, Matthew Custodio, Jespher Nylholm, Dennis Chung, Harry Foll and Oskari Kekkonen.
Also in the roster are Kevin Rey Mendoza, Bernd Schipmann, Justin Baas, Mar Diano, Yrick Gallantes, Christian Rontini, Jefferson Tabinas, Oliver Bias and Amin Nazari.
The Azkals will be up against a Singapore team with players mostly playing in the Singapore Premier League. Ikhsan Fandi has the best credentials in the squad. The 22-year-old forward plays for Jerv in the Norwegian First Division league. The Lions will also field veterans like skipper Harris Harun, defender Safuwan Baharudin and goalkeeper Hassan Sunny.
The Philippines was also grouped with Singapore in the previous Suzuki Cup. The Philippines beat Singapore, 1-0, with a 78th minute goal by Reichelt.
Myanmar is playing against Timor-Leste in the other Group A match of the day.