Angel Guirado and Mark Hartmann officially make their Philippine Azkals return. The two are inclusions in the final lineup of the team that will compete in the joint 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifying matches in Sharjah, UAE.
Guirado, 36, and Hartmann, 29, last played for the Azkals back in the World Cup Qualification games in 2019.
Scoring goals will fall upon the shoulders of the two vets.
The Azkals will also see nine debuting players in Jarvey Gayoso, Kevin Rey Mendoza, Bernd Schipmann, Quincy Kammeraad, Mar Diano, Jefferson Tabinas, Michael Kempter, Oliver Bias, and Mark Winhoffer.
Mendoza, Kammeraad, and Schimpmann are the team’s goalkeepers.
Also part of the backline are Justin Baas, Carlie de Murga, Alvaro Silva, Luke Woodland, and Martin Steuble.
Skipper Stephan Schrock will lead the charge in the midfield alongside Kenshiro Daniels, Mike Ott, Manny Ott, and Patrick Reichelt.
“Right now the team is upbeat, we’re very motivated,” said Azkals manager Dan Palami.
“We’re aiming for nine points here. Of course, there have been some major health concerns that we have raised to AFC and FIFA. But we’re trying to cope with it and trying to focus on the game on Monday. We’re quite optimistic, and the players are motivated to perform.”
The Philippines takes on China in the early hours of Tuesday morning at 1:00 AM; then will go up against Guam on June 11 at 10:00 PM, and the Maldives on June 15 at 10:00 PM.
The Philippines currently sits in third place in Group A of the joint Qualifiers with seven points on the table.
Syria is in pole position with 15 points, then China with seven. Maldives is in fourth place, while Guam remains pointless.
The top two teams in the pool will advance to the third round of the World Cup Qualifiers and the Asian Cup proper. The third and fourth placed squads will head to the Asian Cup qualifying third round.
Meanwhile, the last placed team will place in the Asian Cup qualifying play-off round.