Azkals Squad for Turkmenistan Friendly Announced

Azkals Squad for Turkmenistan Friendly Announced

The Philippine Football Federation unveiled today, August 22, the 22-man squad for the upcoming friendly match against Turkmenistan on September 2, at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan.

The friendly match against Turkmenistan will be the Azkals’ first match in their preparations for the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup, which the country will be hosting on November 19. Turkmenistan are ranked 119th in the world.

This will be the fifth meeting between the two sides. Turkmenistan came away with a 5-0 hammering in their first meeting in the 2010 AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers. The second match saw Turkmenistan score twice in the dying minutes to win it, 2-1 in the 2012 Challenge Cup semifinals. The third match saw the Philippines claim a tight 1-0 win in the 2014 Challenge Cup Qualifiers. Their last meeting saw the Philippines knockout the Central Asian side in the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup Group stage. Phil Younghusband and Patrick Reichelt found the back of the net for the Azkals in that game.

Overseas-based Azkals such as Neil Etheridge, Javier Patiño, Iain Ramsay, Daisuke Sato, and Luke Woodland have been called up for the friendly. However, it remains unclear whether Etheridge, Ramsay, Sato, and Woodland will be available for the Suzuki Cup since the tournament does not fall within the FIFA international match window. Patiño, on the other hand, might be available for the tournament as the Chinese Super League is scheduled to end on November 5.

Kaya FC’s Junior Muñoz is the newest inclusion to the squad. The defender has been a regular fixture for his club and has apparently impressed Azkals coach Thomas Dooley.

Holdovers on the squad are Amani Aguinaldo, Misagh Bahadoran, Kenshiro Daniels, Patrick Deyto, Daniel Gadia, Kevin Ingreso, Roland Muller, Manny Ott, Patrick Reichelt, Simone Rota, Stephan Schrock, Martin Steuble, Miguel Tanton, Dennis Villanueva, James Younghusband, and Phil Younghusband.

Stephen Palla was also originally called up but has informed management that he is injured.

After the match against Turkmenistan the Azkals will face Kyrgyzstan on September 6 in Bishkek for another friendly. — CAL

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