The Philippine men’s national football team is set for another FIFA international friendly match to prepare for its joint FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup third round qualifiers happening in November.
This time, the Azkals are seeking their first win against Afghanistan on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m. at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Not only are the Azkals coming off a stalemate from their 1-1 draw against Chinese Taipei a couple of days ago, but the Nationals haven’t won over Afghanistan in full time.
In their two previous encounters, the Filipinos and the Afghans have settled for a draw twice in 2006 and 2014 at the AFC Challenge Cup and AFC Asian Cup, respectively.
Looking to turn things around, Azkals head coach German Michael Weiss is set to lead the team in front of the expectant home crowd.
Among the 24 players called for duty were English club Birmingham City keeper Neil Etheridge and Turkish club Antalyaspor striker Gerrit Holtmann.
Other players in the roster include defenders Santiago Rublico of Atletico de Madrid and Michael Kempter of the Grasshopper Club Zurich along with midfielder Manny Ott, who was out in the previous window due to an unfortunate injury.
The Azkals have been in the process of rebuilding for the past years and have seen better days.
The Philippines is breacketed in Group F of the World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers against Iraq, Vietnam and the emerging winner of the second round qualifying match between Indonesia and Brunei.
The Nationals are kicking off the campaign in the home-and-away series against the Vietnamese on Nov. 16.