Without retired goalie Roland Muller, the members of the newly revamped Philippines national men’s football team are adjusting to his absence.
Team skipper Phil Younghusband said this as the Azkals brace for the coming third qualifying round of the 2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup football tournament.
“We’re playing together after a long break. We played Nepal in the past. Malaysia has always been the stronger team,” said Younghusband.
He talked about the team after the Azkals played Malaysia to another scoreless draw in their friendly match on Wednesday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Azkals are bracketed in Group F with Nepal, whom they will play against on Tuesday next week.
Also in the same bracket are Tajikistan and Yemen.
The top two teams in their series of home and away games will make it to the tournament proper. Peter Atencio
Muller retired last week, and after having been around since 2011.
Patrick Deyto will now be an alternate goalie to Neil Etheridge.
Coach Thomas Dooley said the teams need to score goals against tougher teams to win games, and they hope to do so against Nepal.
The Nepali squad is made up of 20 players.
After regular skipper Anil Gurung was axed from the squad three weeks ago, veteran player Biraj Maharjan will now lead the team.