AZKALS’ Filipino-British goalkeeper Neil Etheridge vowed to play with the team in Myanmar should the Philippines qualify for the group stage of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup. Etheridge will not play in the Mongolia leg of the AFC Challenge Cup due to his commitment with the football club Fulham in an English premier league.
“I expect us to win the game over there in Mongolia. If the team qualifies, I will be attending and meeting them in Myamar for the group stages. I’m very confident the team will make it,” the 6’3 Etheridge told the Manila Times via email.
Reserve goalkeeper Eduard Sacapano will take the place of Etheridge when the Azkals battle the Mongolians in Ulan Bator on March 15.
“There are few players out and the team will be changed and slightly weakened but I guess the players stepping into the positions are more than capable of doing the job,” Etheridge said.
When asked to comment how the cold weather in Mongolia could affect the team, Etheridge said, “Of course we need to consider the weather conditions but if the team really wants it this should not affect their performance.”
He also explained that the Azkals should not be pressured too much by their second match against Mongolia, “This game is away from home, which is not easy because of different climates, we only need not lose. A draw is a perfectly good result for us too. I hope the team and the country understand that we don’t need to win this game,” said Etheridge.
JOSEF T. RAMOS
Champions in waiting
1 hour ago