MANILA (7 Dec 2012) – Third-choice goalkeeper Eduard Sacapano will still be entrusted to man the post when the Philippines’ take on Singapore in the semi-final of the AFF Suzuki Cup tomorrow night.
Following the failure to get a release for either first choice keeper Neil Etheridge or No. 2 Roland Muller, the responsibility will still lie on Sacapano to shoulder the responsibility as he had done in the group stage.
“Ed’s performance has been really outstanding the past three games (in Group A in Bangkok) and we look forward to him playing the same way as he did this Saturday,” said Dan Palami, the team manager of the Philippines national team. “Hopefully, he’ll solidify his stature as a go-to goalkeeper when our foreign-based goalkeepers are not available.”
The 32-year-old Sacapano settled in well in Bangkok where after conceding two goals against hosts Thailand in their first game in the group, he went on to deny Vietnam and then Myanmar in the team’s next two matches.
“It’s brought confidence to Eduard and the team as a whole, knowing that even if our No. 1 and 2 goalkeepers are not there, they can count on Eduard already to man to post and make sure opponents can’t easily score against us,” added Palami.
In the meantime, Palami has warned his charges against paying too much attention to the double win the team scored in two friendlies this year. The Philippines beat Singapore 2-0 in September before scoring a narrow 1-0 victory in the second game last month.
“History will not count a lot in this particular game on Saturday because they’ve really prepared for this tournament as well. They are three-time champions and I believe they’ll come in fighting and trying to take a point here. But we’ll be ready to face them,” added Palami.
Pix by Thananuwat Srirasant (World Sport Group)