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World Cup Qualifiers: PH Azkals resume campaign vs Maldives

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By Jonas Terrado

Game Thursday
(National Stadium, Male)
7 p.m. — Maldives vs Philippines

The Philippine Azkals hope to ride on their morale-boosting draw against China last month when they face host Maldives in the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup second round qualifiers at the National Stadium in Male.

The Philippine Azkals hope to carry the momentum of last month's scoreless draw against China. (Photo from Philippine Football Federation)

The Philippine Azkals hope to carry the momentum of last month’s scoreless draw against China. (Photo from Philippine Football Federation)

Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge is expected to once again play a major role for the Azkals in the 4 p.m. local time (7 p.m. Philippine time) match after emerging as the hero of the scoreless tie against the fancied Chinese side in Bacolod City.

This time, the Azkals are eyeing to get the full three points as they return to the Maldivian capital for the first time since a 1-0 loss to Palestine in the Final of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup.

The Philippines sits in third place in Group A with four points, one clear of Maldives.

Stephan Schrock, Carli de Murga, Amani Aguinaldo, Alvaro Silva, OJ Porteria, Patrick Strauss, Patrick Reichelt, Mark Hartmann, Daisuke Sato and Angel Guirado are also looking carry their solid showing against China over the away match.

Other members of the 23-man squad for the international window are Patrick Deyto, Michael Falkesgaard, Marco Casambre, Justin Baas, Sean Kane, Martin Steuble, Edison Suerti, Luke Woodland, Yrick Gallantes, Mike Ott, Iain Ramsay and Curt Dizon.

The Azkals are also scheduled to play Group A leader on Nov. 19 in Dubai.

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