Aces back as Azkals face Oman in friendly
MANILA, Philippines — After their semifinal stint in Bangladesh, the Philippine Azkals bring in the big guns for their international friendly against world No. 85 Oman in Doha, Qatar on Saturday.
Cardiff City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge banners the Phl crew that welcomes back overseas-based Javier Patino and Stephan Palla of Buriram United, Michael Falksegaard (Bangkok United), and Iain Ramsay (Felda United) and reactivated from sick bay Ceres’ Kevin Ingreso, and Davao Aguilas duo Dennis Villanueva and James Younghusband after missing their 1-1 draw with Bahrain last month.
Ceres captain Martin Steuble returns to the fold after an 18-month absence from national team duties to hook up with regulars like Phil Younghusband of Davao, Daisuke Sato of ACS Sepsi OSK, Luke Woodland of Suphanburi fellow Busmen Manny and Mike Ott, Patrick Reichelt, Amani Aguinaldo and Paul Mulders.
Rounding out the team are Jovin Bedic (Kaya) and Adam Tull (Davao).
The Azkals are currently in Qatar to continue their buildup for next month’s Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup. A separate pool, mostly comebacking players and youngsters donned the country’s colors in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup over in Bangladesh, where the Filipinos bombed out after a 0-2 loss to Tajikistan in the semis last Tuesday.
This will be the first faceoff in 17 years for the Azkals and Oman. The two met back in 2001 in the Qualifiers for the 2002 Fifa World Cup with the Omanis prevailing twice, 2-0, and 7-0.