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13 November 2012

Suzuki's love for football drives Philippine Azkals to the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup

Showing their support for the Philippine Azkals, Suzuki Philippines Inc. (SPI) recently held a special send-off party for the upcoming 2012 ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup. The Azkals are hoping to best their semifinal finish from two years ago, starting with the first Group A match against Thailand scheduled on November 24 at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok.
As an avid football fan, Suzuki Philippines President Satoshi Uchida is a big follower of the Azkals and commented: “I hope they reach the semifinals again so they will have a home game. I am looking forward to that.”
Sharing their love for football, Suzuki will also be giving away Suzuki Apparel, a Nike Football, and an Apple iPad 3 64GB for the best players of the Suzuki Penalty Strike game on Facebook.
The Philippine Azkals is comprised of outstanding homegrown talent and mix-blooded Filipino players from the US and Europe, hence the name. The national team has submitted a 35-man roster for the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup, which will be trimmed down to 22 before their first match against Thailand. Included in the list are fleet-footed and dangerous winger Chieffy Caligdong, the Younghusbands siblings, striker Phil and midfielder James, regular Fil-British goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, and Fil-German midfield maestro Stephan Schrock.
“There is much excitement as we send off the Azkals for this edition of the Suzuki Cup. Much hard work has been poured for the improvement at this semifinal appearance in 2012. Our country today proudly participates in the competition,” said Philippine Football Federation President Mariano Araneta Jr.
2012 AFF Suzuki Cup Schedule:
November 24 @ 9:20 PM      Philippines vs Thailand 
November 27 @ 6:30 PM Philippines vs Vietnam 
November 30 @ 9:20 PM  Philippines vs Myanmar 
The single-round series will see the top two teams in Group A advance into the crossover semifinals against the two top teams in Group B, which includes Suzuki Cup defending champions Malaysia, runner-up Indonesia, Laos, and Singapore. 
The semis will then be a home-and-away series starting on December 8 which will put the Group A winner up against the Group B runner-up, while the Group B winner will battle with the Group A runner-up on December 9. The second matches will then be played on December 12 and 13 respectively.
Finally, the winners of the crossover semis will face off for the Suzuki Cup title on December 19 and 22.
The Philippine Azkals are now ranked an all-time high of 147th in the FIFA world rankings, 21th out of 46 members in the Asian Football Confederation, and 3rd behind Thailand and Vietnam in Southeast Asia.