Short-handed Philippine Azkals look to bounce back against Yemen
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 12, 2015 11:03 AM
With Phil Younghusband out, Stephan Schrock will serve as the Azkals' captain against Yemen
Following a three-game stretch that saw them come away with a draw and a couple of losses, the Philippine Azkals are looking to bounce back as they take on Yemen for the second time in the Group Stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
After being the first and only team to hold group leaders North Korea to a scoreless draw in early October, the Azkals headed into the second leg of the Group Stages with momentum, but unfortunately could not translate it into a win as they fell to Bahrain, 2-0, less than a week later.
In their first leg meeting, the Azkals handily defeated the Yemeni squad in Doha, courtesy of a couple of goals from the Azkals’ leading scorer this tournament, Misagh Bahadoran, and Iain Ramsay.
This time around, the Azkals will have the home field advantage but will be missing the services of a couple of key players in skipper Phil Younghusband, who will be serving a suspension, as well as Luke Woodland.
Starting keeper Neil Etheridge will also be out of action for the Azkals after sustaining a hamstring injury in training. Roland Muller will be starting in place of Etheridge.
This will be the final World Cup Qualifiers match for the Azkals this year, and will need to come away with a big win if they want to go into the break on a high note. The next time that the Azkals take the pitch for the World Cup Qualifiers will be on March 24, 2016, in an away match against Uzbekistan before they close out the Group Stages five days later back at home against North Korea.
Currently sitting at third place in Group H with seven points in five matches played, the Azkals will need to make all of their remaining three matches count.
The Azkals are just two points down from Uzbekistan, while North Korea remains at the top of the group with 13 points. Bahrain is at fourth with six points in five matches, while Yemen, who has yet to score any points, remains at the bottom of the group.
Catch the Philippine Azkals as they take on Yemen on Thursday, November 12 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila. Watch the action LIVE, 7:45pm on ABS-CBN Sports+Action 23, BALLS HD 195, and live streaming on sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/philippinesvsyemen