Friday, 18 March 2011

New faces beef up Azkals in Myanmar

Posted by chardyboy on Friday, March 18, 2011 0 comments


FIVE members of the national team that played in the qualifying matches against Mongolia were dropped from the Azkals roster that will compete in the Asian Challenge Cup group stage in Myanmar on Monday, according to Philippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta Jr.

Stricken from the roster were fullbacks Jerry Barbaso, Rey Palmes, Joebel Bermejo, Kristopher Relucio and halfback Peter Jaugan, Araneta said during a press conference where the PFF formally signed its 10-year, P80-million sponsorship deal with Smart.

Tapped to take their slots were with Fil-Germans William Espinosa and John Patrick Hendriksen and Fil-Spanish midfielder Angel Guirado.

Coach Hans Michael Weiss had earlier said regular goalie Fil-Briton Neil Etheridge and top defender Rob Gier and midfielder Jason de Jong will also be back in harness for the Azkals, who open their campaign against host Myanmar on Monday.

Doubtful for Myanmar is striker Phil Younghusband who pulled his right hamstring in the Azkals’ 1-2 loss to the Mongolians in Ulan Bator last Tuesday.

The 24-year-old Fil-Briton was examined yesterday by a specialist at the St. Luke’s hospital and "the injury didn’t look good," according to a team insider.

A check with the PFF office showed Younghusband was not booked with the squad leaving for Myanmar tomorrow. His elder brother, midfielder James, will be on the flight.

Espinosa, whose mother is from Laguna, and Guirado, whose mom is from Isabela, will leave with the team while Hendriksen is expected to hook up with the nationals during their stopover in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Filipinos battle Palestine on Wednesday before winding up their assignment against Bangladesh on Friday.

The top two teams from the group qualify for the eight-nation Asian Challenge Cup in 2012.


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