11 p.m. – Yemen vs Philippines
The Philippine Azkals try to close in on a historic berth in the 2019 Asian Cup despite the absence of midfielder Manny Ott when they face the Yemenis tonight in the resumption of the third round qualifiers at the Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
Ott sustained a knee injury during training last week and his absence will be a big blow for Azkals who are out to solidify their hold of the top spot in Group F against the Yemeni booters in the match set at 11 p.m. Manila time.
Both sides settled for a 2-2 draw last month at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City, and coach Thomas Dooley knows that a much-better result would put them within earshot of securing the country’s first appearance in Asia’s biggest football competition.
“It is a very important game obviously for all of us. If they gonna win that makes it huge for our goal to qualify for the Asian Cup. If we settle for a draw, we are still in a good position to qualify. We have two chances to score the necessary points to qualify,” Dooley said, as quoted by the Philippine Football Federation’s official website.
Phil and James Younghusband, whose second half goal salvage the tie with Yemen in the previous match, lead the Azkals’ quest alongside goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, Iain Ramsay, Mike Ott and returning defender Daisuke Sato.
Sato, who served a one-match ban the last time for accumulated cards, will look to help the Azkals improve their defending after allowing Yemen plenty of good scoring chances through counterattacks.