The Philippines will attempt to maintain a 100 percent record in their own hosted Peace Cup on Saturday, taking on 2014 debutants Myanmar in the tournament's final.
The Azkals return to Manila's Rizai Memorial Stadium in the hopes that they can win the competition for a third year in a row, having beaten Chinese Taipei in the previous two finals.
A maiden appearance for Myanmar has gone to plan thus far, the world's 160th-ranked side overcoming Palestine 4-1 on Wednesday, but a home advantage would see Saturday's hosts gifted a significant edge.
Date: Saturday, Aug. 6
Time: 12 p.m. BST/7 a.m. ET
Live Stream: TFC.tv (Login required)
Torrid Conditions Make For Open Encounter
Despite a total of 11 goals being scored across the two semi-finals, all four of this year's participants were largely prevented from producing inspired spells of football in the Peace Cup's previous stage.
The Philippines' 5-1 win over Chinese Taipei saw the majority of its goals come in the second half on what was a particularly fruitful outing for substitute Mark Hartmann.
With legs tiring and squad depth playing its hand, Hartmann came on to grab two goals in the last 16 minutes, and it's likely that Saturday's final will also be heavily influenced by conditioning.
According to Accuweather.com, the capital is expecting eight millimetres of rain on Saturday, with showers and thunderstorms set to feature and again have their hand in any result.
Should the heavens open once more this weekend, Myanmar will feel more confident of loosening the host nation's grip on the Peace Cup, as spotlight falls on defences to avoid likely errors at the back.
According to the official FIFA website, these two sides have met on 13 occasions in the past, with Myanmar winning eight of those matchups and the Philippines only triumphing twice.
Speaking to the Manila Times' Josef T. Ramos in the wake of Wednesday's victory, Azkals coach Thomas Dooley was quoted giving a positive reaction to his side's performance, along with a glimpse at what must happen on Saturday:
We have to move quickly, pass the ball in order to create a lot of chances. Myanmar is a tough team so we have to play wisely and aggressively. Overall very satisfied with the performance of the team. We did on the field what we talked about in meetings and it worked out.
Myanmar have a substantial upper hand in the history between these two countries, and will feel upbeat about their chances of coming away from Manila with the crown.
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