Sven-Goran Eriksson was chosen to lead the Philippines National football team and has sealed the deal with his first win as head coach. The Philippine Azkals have defeated Singapore 1-0 in their Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup tournament opener.
Eriksson is a former football manager and player who has won numerous trophies for his successes in Sweden, Portugal, and Italy. Now Filipinos are hoping he can continue that success with the Azkals. In the past, Eriksson has coached for Mexico, Ivory Coast, Roma, Lanzo, Benifecta, and Manchester City.
Based on his previous successes, Eriksson was appointed to the position last month and is now expected to lead the team through the Asean Championship before the team’s first appearance in the finals of the Asean Cup in January.
When interviewed about his new position with the Philippine national team he stated: “I suppose one of your questions will be why I am here?”. Which he stated, “to do something a little different”.
While the teams first win under the new coach is a step in the right direction, Eriksson says there is still a lot of work to do if the team wishes to be competitive in the continental championships early next year.
During the Singapour game, the Azkals dominated time of possession, but the Philippine team did not have much success scoring points. The Azkals only goal came from the foot of Patrick Reichelt with just 12 minutes left of play.
The win will count for 3 points in the tournament and evenly match the Philippine National Team with Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore in group B of the regional tournament.
While a first-round win is always a good thing the coach and the team are focusing on their next opponent; Timor- Leste who has already accumulated 2 losses in the championship tournament. The next round will continue Saturday, November 17th, 2018.
To date, the Philippine national football team has never reached the FIFA World Cup and is far behind regional teams Japan and South Korea in terms of dominance. Is coach Eriksson the breath of fresh air the team has been looking for, only time will tell, but if anyone can turn the Philippine National football team around it is the coach.