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Neil Etheridge to boost Azkals’ chances against China


By Jonas Terrado

Game Tuesday
(Panaad Stadium)

8 p.m. – Philippines vs China

Neil Etheridge

Neil Etheridge

BACOLOD CITY – Neil Etheridge’s return could give the Philippine Azkals a fighting chance against China in their FIFA World Cup/AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers match at the Panaad Stadium here.

Etheridge is expected to man both sticks in the 8 p.m. match as the Azkals look to get a favorable result in their only match of the October international window.

The Cardiff City keeper was included in the 23-man squad list after missing the first two matches of the qualifiers due to a hamstring injury.

But the Azkals enter the match having gone winless in their last three matches against the Chinese booters.

The Azkals fell 8-1 in a 2017 friendly, suffered a 3-0 defeat in the Asian Cup a 2-0 loss in another exhibition earlier this year.

China is coming off a 7-0 romp of Guam last week for its third win in as many matches.

Coached by former Italy boss Marcelo Lippi, China has produced 12 goals while conceding none.

But the Azkals coach Scott Cooper said there’s no reason for his team to give the visitors an inch.

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