MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Men’s National Football Team will be without striker Phil Younghusband, midfielder James Younghusband and first-choice goalkeeper Neil Etheridge when they take on Malaysia in a rematch on June 1 in Kuala Lumpur.
Etheridge will be working as the guest match analyst during the match coverage for ABS-CBN Sports. The goal-keeper is serving a one-match suspension meted out by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) due to “unsportsmanlike conduct” during the AFC Challenge Cup last month.
On Twitter, Etheridge said he would “prefer to be on the pitch, but I will enjoy.”
The Younghusband brothers, meanwhile, will be unable to play as they have prior commitments.
“We had a commitment we couldn’t get out of,” Phil said.
“We won’t be able to play against Malaysia, but we’ll be watching the team and supporting,” James added.
Last February 29 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, the Azkals nearly pulled off an upset against Malaysia in their friendly when Filipino-German striker Denis Wolf scored on a diving header in the first half, giving the Philippines a 1-nil lead.
But the Malaysians pulled off a comeback when Ahmad Shakir Mohd Ali equalized a minute into injury time.
The Younghusband brothers will suit up for the Azkals when the play Indonesia on June 5 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium and Guam on June 12 at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod.