THE Azkals had four late call-ups for the upcoming joint FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup qualifiers after nine of the original call-ups backed out or aren’t eligible to make the squad.
The Azkals called up Philippines Football League (PFL) champion United City Football Club (UCFC) players Mike Ott and Justin Baas, Kaya FC-Iloilo’s Kenshiro Daniels and Azkals Development Team’s Quincy Kammeraad.
The four players are now with the Azkals for training camp in Doha, Qatar.
The most striking loss from the team is Azkals captain Neil Etheridge, who backed out due to surgery. The other players from the original list that are out are Carlie de Murga (visa), Iain Ramsay (travel restrictions), Patrick Strauss (injury), Niko de Vera (family emergency), Raphalel Obermair (begged off the team), Gerrit Holtmann (Philippine passport), Lloyd Fagerlie (Philippine passport) and Jesper Nyholm (Philippine passport).
The other remaining players in the Azkals roster are vice captain Stephan Schrock, Patrick Reichelt, Oliver Bias, Jarvey Gayoso, Matthew Baldisimo, Mark Winhoffer, Bernd Schipmann, Kevin Ray Mendoza, Alvaro Silva, Luke Woodland, Martin Steuble, Jefferson Tabinas, Mar Vince Diano, Michael Kempter, Mark Hartmann and Angel Guirado.
The Philippine team will leave for China on Sunday, May 31, 2021. The Azkals will be playing its remaining matches in Group A at the Suzhou Olympic Center. The Philippines is set to play Guam on June 3, home team China on June 9 and Maldives on June 15.
The Azkals is currently in third place of Group A with seven points and is just behind second place China on goal difference. (EKA)