It's the human and fun side of our sports heroes

Palami on Azkals’ March games: We want the ’12th man’ to be there


By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno

With a place in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup within reach, the Azkals would want their fans to witness history as it unfolds right in front of them.

That is why national team manager, Dan Palami, asked fans to flock to the Rizal Memorial Stadium not just for the Azkals’ crucial qualifier match against Tajikistan on March 27, but also for their friendly match against Fiji five nights prior.

“We want the ‘12th man’ to be there in both the tune-up game and the Asian Cup qualifier match,” Palami said in a statement. “This sport deserves all the support it can get, as we have already gone far, since 2010, when I took over as Team Manager of Azkals.”

The Azkals’ friendly game against Fiji on Thursday night will serve as a tune-up for their all-important clash with Tajikistan a week from Tuesday.

The Azkals can dictate their fate because even a draw against Tajikistan will already pave their entry to the biggest football tournament in Asia.

“This is an important match for the country, and the cards are not exactly stacked against us. We are currently on top of the table of Group F with 9 points. We win or we draw, we will move forward and the country will be part of the AFC Asian Cup for the first time,” Palami added. (PNA)