Nearing 50 international goals, Phil Younghusband more focused on getting the W against Tajikistan
Santino Honasan on Mar 27, 2018 09:56 AM
“Obviously a goal of mine is to get to 50, but the most important thing is the team wins,"
During the first half the Philippine Azkals’ International Friendly Match against Fiji, Misagh Bahadoran was fouled inside the box, setting team captain Phil Younghusband up for a penalty attempt that ultimately gave him is 49th international goal.
Already the nation’s leading goal scorer, the Fil-Brit striker is closing in on another career milestone: 50 international goals, and the historic could very well come against Tajikistan in arguably the Philippines’ biggest football game in history as the Azkals try to break into the AFC Asian Cup tournament for the first time ever.
“I’m very thankful to my teammates for getting me the penalty. The first goal is always important because it breaks the deadlock and it means that the opposition has to come out and score a goal.” Younghusband said about the 29th minute penalty against Fiji, Thursday night.
While Younghusband isn’t hiding the fact that he’s out for number fifty, the Azkals skipper isn’t taking his eyes off the bigger prize on the table, and that’s a ticket to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
“Obviously a goal of mine is to get to 50, but the most important thing is the team wins, and if that happens in the next game or in ten games’ time, then as long as we’re in the Asian Cup, then I’ll be happy.”
Currently at the top of Group F in the Group Stage of the qualifiers with nine points off two wins and three draws, the Azkals are in a good position to seal the deal, and a draw on Tuesday night would do the trick.
Of course, the Azkals aren’t leaving anything to chance, and getting the maximum three points against Tajikistan is the top priority.
The best case scenario: Phil hits 50 and the Azkals get the win.
“Yeah, I hope I score in the next game. As I said, whether it comes in the next game or in ten games’ time, as long as we’re in the Asian Cup, for me that’s the big goal, for the team and for Philippine football.”
Getting to 50 international conversions puts Younghusband up there with the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, and more.
He’ll also be the first Filipino to do so.
“Whatever happens, as long as we’re in the Asian Cup, whether our goal keeper scores the goal or whether I score the goal, it doesn’t matter as long as we’re in the Asian Cup.”
Catch the Azkals as they take on Tajikistan in their final 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers match on Tuesday, March 27th, LIVE on LIGA channel 86 and LIGA HD channel 183. Kickoff is at 7:30 PM.