AFC Asian Cup 2019: My friendship with Marcello Lippi will take a backseat – Philippines coach Sven-Goran Eriksson

To extend their campaign in their maiden AFC Asian Cup, Philippines is now set to take on China PR. Ahead of their much-anticipated clash, Philippines head coach Sven-Goran Eriksson addressed his friendship with his Chinese counterpart Marcello Lippi which dates back to decades followed by a discussion his team’s approach towards the game. 

Philippines suffered from a 0-1 defeat against Korea Republic in their last fixture. Understandably, they would require to hold onto all of the points in their game against China PR. Ahead of their match, it is interesting to note that both Eriksson and Lippi have been friends for almost 40 years now. The former acknowledged the friendship they behold but did not shy away from recognizing the next match in its most challenging form.

“I respect him and he is a good friend but tomorrow at 5.30 PM, our friendship will have to take a backseat for a while. I wish him well but not for tomorrow.”

The last time China PR and Philippines met on field, the former won by 8-1. Hence, it is almost certain that Philippines have a huge challenge laying ahead of them .

“I hope we don’t lose 8-1 this time as that would be a disaster. We won’t lose 8-1 because I am sure that we will give China PR a very good fight. The players are very excited about the match, especially after our performance against Korea Republic. This is a chance for them to prove themselves again.”

A confident Eriksson feels that his team is motivated to have a successful run in the AFC Asian Cup 2019. Entrusting his trust in the current generation of players, he stressed on the fact that these young Azkals will change the fortune of football in Philippines.

“This generation of players have so much promise and I am sure that in 10 years, football will enjoy more importance in the Philippines.”