Etheridge stars as Azkals draw China in World Cup Qualifiers
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 15, 2019 10:20 PM
Neil Etheridge was spectacular in his Azkals return, helping the team hold China PR to a 0-0 draw in Bacolod
First-string goalkeeper returned with a bang for the Philippine Men’s National Football Team as he anchored the defense to help hold China PR to a 0-0 draw in the 2nd Round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint Qualifiers, Tuesday evening at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod.
The Azkals managed to hold their own against the highest-ranked squad in the group and at times were able to push the action on the offensive side.
It was on the defensive end that the home team excelled however, especially the returning Etheridge, who missed the Azkals’ first two games due to injury. The Cardiff City keeper and reigning club Player of the Year came up with big save after big save, especially in the dying moments of the match and in injury time.
The Azkals had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock with two minutes left in injury time, but skipper Stephan Schrock’s attempt went high and wide.
China had one final attempt to leave Bacolod with a win, but their last-second corner went straight into the hands of Etheridge to seal the draw and secure the point.
The Azkals now sit at 1W-1D-1L for 4pts, good for third in the group.
China meanwhile remains at the top with 2W-1D-0L for 7 points.
Up next for the Philippines will be Maldives on November 14th in Male.