Philippines coach warns Vietnam before World Cup qualifiers clash

By Hieu Luong   November 11, 2023 | 04:00 pm PT
Philippines coach warns Vietnam before World Cup qualifiers clash
Michael Weiss during a game of Philippines. Photo by Philippine Football Federation
Coach Michael Weiss said his squad from the Philippines could use their home-field advantage to surprise Vietnam and Indonesia in the second round of World Cup qualifiers.

The Philippines have a convenient fixture that will allow them to play the two regional opponents on their home ground at Rizal Memorial.

"We will create difficulties for Vietnam," Weiss told CNN Philippines. "It will be tough for them to leave Rizal Memorial with a good result."

The Philippine Football Federation has launched a campaign to attract at least 10,000 fans to Rizal Memorial and so far 6,000 tickets have been sold.

Wiess said he hoped that the support of home fans would help the Philippines begin the qualifiers on the right foot.

The German coach said Vietnam were in transition as their new coach Philippe Troussier is not using all the same players that became familiar under previous coach Park Hang-seo’s tenure.

Weiss said he was excited to face the new players.

When asked about the chance of Philippines in their next two matches against both Vietnam and Indonesia, Weiss replied: "It would be nice!"

Weiss coached the Philippines from 2011-2014, then spent time working in Romania, Mongolia and Laos. After exiting early from the 2022 AFF Cup, the Philippines decided to recruit Weiss again. After eight friendlies with him at the helm, the Philippines have won three, drawn one and lost four.

Philippine football has been transformed over the last decade or so, ever since the national team advanced to the AFF Cup semifinals for the first time in 2010, which was a stepping stone for the establishment of the country’s major professional football league in 2017.

Weiss said the Philippines Football League is not yet on the same level as other leagues in Southeast Asia, but the positive thing is that many Philippine players are playing in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. There are many players of Philippine origin all over the world, he added.

On the Philippines roster, there are only six players from domestic clubs – the rest are playing abroad.

They will play Vietnam on Nov. 16 and Indonesia on Nov. 21.

In 12 encounters with Vietnam, the Philippines have won two, draws one and lost nine.

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