By Khalis Rifhan
|By Kenneth Tan
Since making his Philippines debut against Myanmar in the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup qualification tournament, Angel Guirado has become a regular for the Azkals.
With 22 international appearances and eight goals to date, the former Malaga youth player has played a pivotal role in his country's progression to the semi-finals of the ongoing 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup.
Guirado found the back of the net once, against Myanmar in the group stages, and has been instrumental at the heart of his team's midfield and attack.
Speaking exclusively to Goal.com Singapore, Guirado claimed that he was satisfied with his performance, after not having had the best of preparations.
"I was not able to join the team in their practices and I had to get used to playing with them all over again," he explained.
“The first game against Thailand was frustrating but we had our chances. It felt good to be able to help out and contribute against Vietnam.
“The game against Myanmar was fantastic because it helped the Philippines win for the first time [against Myanmar]. And [as for] the goal, my coach [Hans Michael Weiss] said it was an insurance goal."
Having equalled their best-ever performance in the tournament, Guirado is hopeful that the Azkals will be able to achieve a new milestone.
“We are confident [of our chances] but these are the best remaining teams in Southeast Asia. Anyone can win this. We have to play [to] our game plan and be strong in our defense,” he pointed out.
“It won’t be very easy, but we are confident.”
Philippines will take on Singapore at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Saturday, before travelling to Singapore for the return leg on December 12 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.