Until the next Azkals' game, Supporters analyze and video scout the next opponent for the Philippines. a Former Asian Cup Champion in 1980, 10 Time Gulf Cup of Nations Champion, and having qualified to a World Cup in 1982, "Al Ashraq" or "The Blue" are a certain force in the Middle Easter part of Earth. While many sees a 1980-1982 Golden Age of the Kuwaitis in the football scene, they are certain and out to prove they can reach this era again. Proving themselves 10x on the Gulf Cup as they raise the trophy once again last year in the expense of another Gulf Champ, Saudi Arabia. The Score was 1-0.
Led by Bader Al-Mutwa who made 38 Goals in 55 Caps , and their Veteran Mid-Fielder Capt. Jarah Al-Ateeqi the kuwaitis has a lot to show on the field when it comes to discipline, endurance and competitiveness
As I watch them play here in Qatar in the last Asian Cup 2011, People talked of Kuwait as a nation to beat and beating them was not a walk in the park, high expectations for the 2010 Gulf Champions, the Kuwaitis were blanked in the recent 2011 AFC Asian Cup.
Knocked off on round 1 Beaten by China 2- 0, Uzbekistan 2-1 and Qatar 3- 0 but these doesn't mean they are no threat. Ranked 102 in the World. Kuwait has a lot to prove. Their coach has been giving the Team Stability since handling it 2 years ago, cohesion is eminent, they like playing long balls, and are extremely physical. Runs on a full tank and hungers for a comeback in the World Cup.
Hugely underrated and under-regarded, Kuwait have a solid record in regional football, but key weakness is that their league is Semi-Pro, none to few Kuwaitis had venture out to play outside the region for Professional Football Experience.
The Philippines sitting 159 at the FIFA World Ranking has indeed proven doubters of their deceiving looks, moreover turn tables of attention towards the country as an emerging football force in SEA. Their recent win Vs Sri lanka 4-0 has one of the best football ever seen from the Azkals. The closest the Philippines had experienced that is near Kuwaiit's prowess is Palestine in Physique, 70% Indonesian in Agility and Vietnam in Confidence, add shot precision and there you have your opponent.
The Climate here in the Middle East, ranges from 45-50C when the sun is up, whille temperature mellows down at 32-37C at night. The Azkals can well adapt to this instantly when they meet Bahrain for friendly games in Mid July. Certainly, it will never be like the Mongolian match wherein, the Coldness froze out muscles while the team played.
While playmaker Stephan Schrock will miss the 1st leg, Fil-Danish Jerry Lucena will come in for the team, along with Schrock, Aly Borromeo will be missing in action serving his suspension on 2 yellow cards from the Sri Lanka matches, Ray Jonsson was looming to come in from Ice Land but recent reports say that he may not be available due to his club's injury list of players and will badly need him, amidst the bad news, comes in a great one in Fil-Danish Dennis Cagara, who was reportedly available to suit up for the Philippine Squad.
The Azkals must play smart, defensive and convert counter attacks to successful self-less scoring plays. They have shown effective on short ball passes and can really compliment controlling the tempo of the game Vs Kuwait, Keeping the back line solid and intact while the forwards press on from MF to Finish, we can pull this off. I really believe we can defeat Kuwait, its just that how the Azkals can stick to battle plan thats going make or break it. If we can draw the game in Kuwait, We can certainly try to qualify big in Manila.
Our chances are 50% to win against a however 50 World Rankings Higher Kuwait. Weiss said " No Opponent is tough as long as we train hard. " he also reiterated that if the players gave more self-less plays Vs Sri Lanka in the 2nd Leg, goals would have come much higher.
The game with Kuwait will certainly result to an instant map of the Philippines in the World of football. A Certified Middle Easter Champion Vs a Nation of Football Converts. The Azkals will try to bring on the rain to this arid part of the region.