By Jonas Terrado
Neil Etheridge was named to the 23-man squad list of the Philippine Azkals for next week’s 2022 FIFA World Cup/2023 AFC Asian Cup second round qualifiers match against China at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
Etheridge is expected to make his debut in the qualifiers after missing the first two matches against Syria and Guam last month due to a hamstring injury.
The injury also forced the 29-year-old goalkeeper to miss Cardiff’s last five matches in the English Football League Championship.
Michael Falkesgaard, who started in Etheridge’s absence last month, and Kevin Mendoza are also part of the list as the Azkals face a tall order against a Chinese side coached by former World Cup winner Marcelo Lippi.
Stephan Schrock is among the key players on the list along with Daisuke Sato, Alvaro Silva, Mike Ott, Iain Ramsay, Martin Steuble, Luke Woodland, Patrick Strauss, Jovin Bedic, Mark Hartmann, OJ Porteria and Patrick Reichelt.
Mikel Justin Baas, Niko de Vera and Elias Edison Suerti round out the list.
The Azkals are leveled with China, Syria and Maldives with three points apiece going into the international window.