By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Stronger and off a dominating win against Guam, the Philippine national football team are looking to upset the Chinese team that beat them last June. The Azkals are leaning on home court advantage to give them that needed spark to victory.
The Azkals and the Chinese team will clash today in the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup Joint Qualifiers Round 2 and will look to put the football community of Bacolod in a frenzy again.
Expect the wild and ever-supportive crowd of the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City to scream their lungs out just like what they did against Syria last month.
But it’s not only the home crowd that the Azkals are counting on, the team will also get a much-needed boost from their returning players.
Azkal pioneer star goalkeeper Neil Etheridge is coming back from an injury and is expected to be the leader of the team with tons of experience from playing in the English Premier League as a standout keeper in Cardiff City FC.
Also returning is veteran forward Jovin Bedic from Iloilo, who is currently leading the Kaya FC-Iloilo in the Philippines Football League as team captain.
Other veterans will also join the team in the hopes of equalizing China’s firepower.