The Philippine men’s national football team guns for a third straight win when it tackles Yemen in the third round of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup 2019 qualifying stage today at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City.
Eager to secure a slot to the main tournament, the Philippine Azkals battle the Yemeni squad at 7:30 p.m.
The Philippines currently leads Group F with six points on a pristine 2-0-0 win-draw-loss record.
In their previous match, the Azkals pulled off a thrilling 4-3 victory over Tajikistan on Daisuke Sato’s match-winner almost three months ago at the Central Republican Stadium in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe.
Sato, however, is suspended due to accumulated yellow cards while two other key players namely striker Javier Patiño and defender Amani Aguinaldo are both injured.
The Filipino booters, fortunately, get a timely boost as an in-form goalkeeper Neil Etheridge is set to suit up for coach Thomas Dooley after begging off the last time out for the reason of securing his career in Cardiff City FC.
Yemen, on the other hand, is hot on the Azkals’ heels as it runs second in the group with four points on a 1-1-0 sheet.
The Abraham Mebratu-mentored national team settled for a goalless draw with home side Nepal in its last outing on June 13 at the Halchowk Stadium.