KUALA LUMPUR (16 Nov 2018) – While Timor Leste are struggling with defensive issues, the Philippines will be looking for the right approach when the two sides clash in the AFF Suzuki Cup tomorrow night at the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium.
Timor Leste will be ‘home’ to the Philippines in their third game of Group B of the AFF Suzuki Cup – having been walloped 7-0 by defending champions Thailand in their opener and then a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Indonesia in Jakarta a few days eaerier.
The Philippines on the other hand opened their campaign in the group with a slim 1-0 victory over Singapore in Bacolod City.
But injury to battling rightback Feliciano Goncalves and then a suspension on Gumario Da Silva Moreira meant that Timor Leste will have to juggle their defensive duties somewhat.
“We are struggling with one injured player and another suspended. We will have two good defenders missing for the game,” said Timor Leste head coach Norio Tsukitate.
“But I think that we have enough good players in the team to make up for the game against the Philippines.”
Asked if having to play both their ‘home’ on the road was a stress for the team, Norio replied: “I don’t really bother where I play. At home or away is the same. My focus is on our ability and how we can improve. My focus is always on the players. So there is no issue.”
In the meantime, Sven Goran Eriksson could not have asked for a better start to his tenure as the Philippines boss than scoring a win over four-time ASEAN champions Singapore.
Against Timor Leste, all that the Swede will be asking is for the team to take the right mental approach.
“I hope that we can play a good game, good football. Attack well and defend well. And of course win the game,” added Eriksson.
“You cannot take anything for granted. If you don’t perform, you don’t fight and if you have the wrong mentality going into the game, you will not win, it is very easy.
“We have all the players available from the last game. We may change the line up a little but we will not tell you.
“There are some concerns about recovery. The best 11 you never know exactly who that is. It changes from one match to another. One training later tonight and we will see the legs. The better legs if they work or not will decide who will start tomorrow.”