MANILA, Philippines - Azkals midfielder Stephan Schroeck has vowed revenge in the home leg of the Philippines-Kuwait World Cup qualifying tie.
The Filipino-German, who missed the first leg of the tie because of suspension, is expected to pull the strings anew for the Azkals in midfield when they attempt to overhaul Kuwait's 3-goal lead at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Thursday.
"Make sure Manila is burning," said Schroeck, who plays professionally for 2nd Bundesliga club SpVgg Greuther Fuerth.
"Azkals will do it big vs Kuwait. We believe!" he said in his Facebook fan page.
Schroeck is scheduled to arrive in Manila Tuesday.
"He will be a big boost to the team," Azkals team manager Dan Palami told the website of the Asean Football Federation.
Another key member of the Azkals, skipper Aly Borromeo, will also strengthen the Philippines' defense after he served his one-game suspension for incurring 2 yellow cards like Schroeck.
"We have a tough job in Manila because of that 0-3 deficit," Palami said. "If only we could have a complete line-up for Manila. Anything is still possible if we get an early goal and with the crowd behind us."
Azkals gaffer Michael Weiss said Schroeck and Borromeo will be a big boost to the Philippine XI.
"On this level, you need players who have initiative, who are active and Schroeck is one of those and Aly," he told ABS-CBN News correspondent Dyan Castillejo.
Meanwhile, Azkals goalkeeper Neil Etheridge said he was bothered by laser lights pointed at him by unidentified Kuwaiti fans during their first-leg match.
"I told the referee, but that time he didn’t do anything about it; but that’s football," he said.
"You can not do anything about it when those things happen in the crowd, and you can't stop the game for it," Etheridge added.