Despite their early Suzuki Cup success, the Azkals might miss the services of two key players due to injuries.
In the midst of an amazing campaign in the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup, the Philippine National Football team was dealt a huge blow yesterday as two key members have reportedly suffered injuries.
Starting defender Juani Guirado has been ruled out of the Azkals’ upcoming game against Vietnam with a hamstring injury. Guirado sustained the injury early in their previous game against Indonesia and had to be replaced by Rob Gier.
According to reports, Guirado may be out for two to three weeks with the injury, meaning that it could potentially keep him out for the rest of the tournament.
Winger Patrick Reichelt could also be out for the Vietnam game after he was listed as day-to-day following a knee injury suffered in the 4-0 victory over Indonesia.
The Filipino-German has been huge for the Azkals recently, as he starred in the Azkals’ AFF Suzuki Cup opener last Saturday. Reichelt came off the bench and scored the last two of the Philippines’ four goals against Laos en route to a 4-1 win. His performance earned him a starting role in their following game against Indonesia.
With Guirado and Reichelt likley out, the Azkals will look to their deep bench lined with talents such as Mark Hartmann, James Younghusband, and the Greatwich brothers who are all ready and willing to step up for the team.
The Philippines will close out its assignments in Group A with a game against Vietnam on Friday, November 28 before moving on to the semifinals in December.
The Azkals already qualified for the last four with back-to-back victories over Laos and Indonesia for a maximum six points. Vietnam is in second place with four points while Indonesia remains alive with a single points. Laos is already eliminated with two losses and zero points.
The match against Vietnam will air on Friday live starting at 7:30 pm on ABS-CBN Sports+Action channel 23.