MANILA (29 Oct 2012) – Dan Palami, the team manager of the Philippines national team, feels that his team is now the ‘dark horse’ and is no longer the ‘underdogs’ of the biennial AFF Suzuki Cup which kicks off next month.
Since winning a place in the semi-finals of the meet two years ago, the Philippines have been steadily climbing up the FIFA World rankings where they are now 147th – well ahead of defending champions Malaysia and three-time winners Singapore a 162nd.
“Our opponents no longer consider us underdogs but the darkhorse in the tournament. Everybody’s expecting a hard fight from us and we have to live up to expectations as well, not only from fans here but also from the competition,” said Palami.
After winning the recent Peace Cup, the Philippines are in their final phase of preparation where they will play against Singapore on 15 November in Cebu.
“We caught them by surprise in 2010, but I doubt they will get surprised by us again,” added Palami. “We have to prove we deserve the ranking as well as the reputation we’re getting from the football community.”
Philippines are in Group A of the championship against hosts Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar.