There are only a few days left before the Philippines takes on China in the first match in their joint 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers in Sharjah, UAE. And two veterans have managed to become available for selection.
Defender Carli de Murga and midfielder Manny Ott will join up with the rest of the Azkals. The team is currently searching for a way to advance to the next qualification phase of both international competitions.
“Since the venue has been moved to Dubai I’m able again to join the National Team,” tweeted De Murga yesterday.
The 32-year-old defensive player was originally part in the 25-man pool for the qualifiers. He initially pulled out after not receiving a Chinese visa on time.
However, the change of venue for the bubble from Suzhou, China, to the city of Sharjah made things easier for the former Ceres-Negros Football Club stalwart. He is expected to become a vital cog in Cooper’s backline for the upcoming matches.
On the other hand, Manny Ott joins the likes of his brother Mike, defender Justin Baas, forward Kenshiro Daniels, and goalkeeper Quincy Kammeraad as inclusions in the lineup not originally listed on the 25-man pool.
His team Melaka United Football Club announced his availability for selection.
“Melaka United FC midfielder Manuel Ott has been called up to join Philippines National Squad in Sharjah, UAE to face the remaining matches of the second round of Group A of the 2022 World Cup Qualifier/2023 Asian Cup.
“Melaka United FC midfielder Manuel Ott has been called up to join Philippines National Squad in Sharjah, UAE to play in the remaining matches of Group A in the second round of the 2022 World Cup Qualifier/2023 Asian Cup qualification,” read the translation of the brief statement.
“Congratulations and good luck from all of us at Melaka United to bolster the Azkals squad.”
De Murga and Ott hope to make a difference as the Philippines faces China on June 8 (1:00 AM); Guam on June 11 (10:00 PM); and Maldives on June 15 (10:00 PM).