Azkals set sights on 2014 Challenge Cup title
Weiss wants Asia Cup qualification
MANILA, Philippines – It’s still two years away, but Philippine Azkals coach Hans Michael Weiss is already mapping out plans for his team’s campaign in the 2014 Challenge Cup.
Weiss steered the Azkals to an unprecedented third-place finish in this year’s Cup.
He wants to push the envelope further by shooting for the Challenge Cup title in 2014.
“Our big target is winning the AFC Challenge Cup in 2014, because then we'd qualify for the AFC Asia Cup in Australia the following year,” Weiss said in FIFA.com.
The German coach believes it can be achieved as they still have two years to prepare.
“That's realistic, and it would mean we'd be exactly where we want to be," said Weiss.
The Azkals started out as underdogs during this year’s edition of the Cup.
After losing to the mighty North Koreans, the Azkals scored a pair of shocking wins over former Cup titlists India and Tajikistan.
They yielded to Turkmenistan in the semis round but still clinched third place by beating Palestine.
It was the Philippines' best-ever finish in the tournament.
“Winning bronze was the greatest success in the history of the association," Weiss said. “Before the tournament, no one really took us that seriously, but now we sense plenty of respect.”