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SEA Games: PH U-23 football team braces for strong field

The national U-23 football team

The national U-23 team will look to sneak out a semifinals berth against a strong field in Group A of the Vietnam Southeast Asian Games men’s football competitions which starts Friday, May 6.

Odds are stacked against coach Norman Fegidero’s side after being drawn alongside 2019 winner Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and Timor-Leste, the latter being the Philippines’ first opponent on the same day that Games begin.

Fegidero, best remembered for his winning goal that beat Malaysia in the 1991 SEAG in Manila, is taking a step-by-step approach as the Filipinos hope to make some surprises in the group stage.

“Our approach is to take it one game at a time and our objective is to be in the semifinal,” Fegidero said in a recent virtual press conference arranged by the Philippine Football Federation.

Reinforcing the U-23s is Philippine Azkals team captain Stephan Schrock, who will suit up as one of the team’s overage players for the second straight time in the biennial meet.

“Schrocky is a big help to the team,” said Fegidero. “He can lead the boys to reach our objective in the SEA Games.”

After facing Timor-Leste on May 6, the Philippines will have its hands full against host Vietnam on May 8.

Next is Myanmar on May 10 before taking on Indonesia on May 13 to conclude the group stage campaign.

A semifinal berth eluded the Philippines in front of its home supporters in 2019 after placing third in Group A behind Myanmar and Cambodia.

Vietnam went on to capture the gold, beating Indonesia in the final.

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Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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