Azkals rise 5 spots in FIFA ranking ahead of friendlies
MANILA, Philippines – The Azkals get an improved FIFA world ranking in the latest list by the football governing body for the month of October.
The Philippine national football team inched their way five paces forward to take the ranking from 134th in the world to 129th.
The improved record of the team came after they dominated the visiting Papua New Guinea side, 5-0, in a friendly at their home turf in Manila.
The national booters are gearing up for two games overseas against Nepal on October 31 at Doha, Qatar and Thailand on November 11 at Nakhon Ratchasima to prepare for the upcoming Suzuki Cup on November.
Twenty-one players have been called to join the Azkals’ training camp right before their forthcoming friendlies.
19 out of the 21 players chosen to represent the country play in the country’s domestic United Football League (UFL) while the remaining two play overseas.
Global FC’s Amani Aguinaldo, Patrick Deyto, Misagh Bahadoran, Curt Dizon, Mark Hartmann and Daisuke Sato, Kaya FC’s Kenshiro Daniels and Chris Greatwich, Ceres La Salle FC’s Jeffrey Christiaens, Juani Guirado, Manny Ott, Patrick Reichelt, and Paul Mulders, Loyola Meralco Sparks FC’s Simon Greatwich, Phil Younghusband, James Younghusband and Anton Del Rosario, Stallion FC’s Simone Rota and Team Socceroo FC’s Tomas Trigo round up the local based players that will suit up for the Azkals.
Foreign-based nationals Jerry Lucena who plays for Danish Superliga side Esbjerg fB and Major League Soccer’s Sporting KC player Martin Steuble are also called to boost the squad.
Two familiar names are not on the team’s line-up for the coming international friendlies.
Team captain Rob Gier will skip the games due to a family commitment while Jason De Jong, one of the mainstays of the Azkals midfield, announced his retirement from international play.
The Azkals are expected to leave the country for Doha on October 28. – Rappler.com