Several key Azkals to miss out on Uzbekistan World Cup Qualifier match
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 21, 2016 02:53 PM
The Azkals may be in for a tough out against Uzbekistan
“Shorthanded” would be an understatement to describe the Philippine Azkals as they head to Tashkent, Uzbekistan for the remainder of their World Cup Qualifiers campaign with a handful of key members set to miss out on the match against the second-seeded Uzbeks on March 24 due to a variety of reasons.
Skipper Phil Younghusband will be sitting out with an injury, and the same goes for difference-maker Stephan Schrock, Stephan Palla, and Kevin Ingreso.
Serving suspensions due to card accumulation will be Misagh Bahadoran and Manny Ott, both have been key rotation players for the national team during the World Cup Qualifying tournament.
Bahadoran and Ott will be back in the lineup for the Azkals when they host North Korea back at home, while the injured booters are still a question mark.
Long-time national team representatives Rob Gier, Paul Mulders, and Jerry Lucena will also be missing out on the rest of the tournament, but for very different reasons, as Mulders and Lucena have hung up their spikes for international football, while Gier has called it a career altogether.
Suiting up for the Azkals will be the likes of starting keeper Neil Etheridge, Javier Patino, Iain Ramsay, and regular call-ups Patrick Reichelt, Amani Aguinaldo, Daisuke Sato, Martin Steuble and Juani Guirado, among others.
The Azkals currently sit at third in Group H with two wins, one draw and three losses for seven points. While they have already been eliminated from World Cup qualification, they’re still very much in the running for a third place finish, which grants them entry into the third round of the Asian Cup qualifiers.
Uzbekistan will be the final road game for the Azkals in the Group Stage. They head back to Manila for their final home game against group leaders North Korea on the 29th at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Support Pinoy football! Catch the Philippine Azkals as they take on Uzbekistan LIVE on Thursday, March 24 at 8:30 PM on ABS-CBN Sports+Action 23 and live streaming on sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/azkals.