By JONAS TERRADO
Philippine Azkals goalkeeper Neil Etheridge pulled off another major accomplishment after helping Cardiff City secure promotion to next season’s English Premier League despite a scoreless draw against Reading in the final matchday of the Championship season.
The tie coupled with the 3-1 defeat of Etheridge’s former club Fulham to Birmingham enabled the Cardiff to secure second place in the table and join Championship winner Wolves in clinching berths to the Premiership, the top competition of the English football system.
Cardiff finished the season with 90 points, nine behind Wolves and two clear of Fulham, which was relegated to a four-team playoff to dispute the third Premier League spot.
Etheridge will get a chance to make his Premier League debut next season, something that eluded him during his spell with Fulham from 2008 to 2014, having to play behind first-choice goalie Mark Schwarzer and David Stockdale.
His only appearance for Fulham came in a UEFA Europa League match against Danish side Odense Boldklub in Dec. 2011.
Cardiff’s Premier League promotion came more than a month after playing a major role in the Azkals’ qualification to the Asian Cup for the first time with a 2-1 victory over Tajikistan at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.