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Tiebreaker Times
Manny Ott (Melaka United) and Carli De Murga (Terengganu)


Manny Ott, Carli De Murga miss Suzuki Cup due to injuries suffered in Malaysia

When the Philippine Azkals step on the pitch against Singapore on December 8 against host nation Singapore at its National Stadium, to kick off their 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup campaign, they will do so without key players.

The likes of Jarvey Gayoso, Manny Ott, Carli De Murga, Michael and Matthew Baldissmo, Sebastian Rasmussen, and Adrian Ugelvik all find themselves unable to play for coach Scott Cooper in the biggest tournament in the ASEAN region due to injuries.

“It’s extremely difficult hence we have to temper our expectations,” said Cooper. “We have a nice squad and we have a new addition in Jesper Nyholm, whose season is finally finished, so we can bring him in. And there’s a couple of new faces coming in.

“We have a good squad. We must be positive and go on and show what we can do.”

Just this week, De Murga and Ott suffered difficult setbacks while playing for their clubs Terengganu and Melaka United, respectively, in the semi-finals of the 2021 Malaysia Cup.

De Murga was stretchered off the pitch near the 80th minute of the first leg of Terengganu’s clash against Johor Darul Ta’zim Football Club last Monday. This followed a clash with the latter’s Brazilian forward Bergson Da Silva.

Reports stated that De Murga was immediately sent to the Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital after some “breathing issues” but is said to be recovering as of the moment. The unfortunate situation was notable as it was JDT’s medical team that rushed to the pitch quickly to tend to De Murga.

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JDT eventually won the tie 4-1 on aggregate.

On a similar note, Ott represented Melaka United last night in its second-leg rubber match versus Kuala Lumpur City.

The 29-year-old suffered a hamstring injury in his endeavor to help Melaka enter the final. Then his side folded, 3-5, on penalties with an aggregate score of 2-2.

Another victim of the hamstring injury, Gayoso, is currently recovering from it after being on the receiving end during the Azkals Development Team’s semifinal clash versus Stallion Laguna in the 2021 Copa Paulino Alcantara.

Amidst all the setbacks, the team is looking forward to the challenge ahead. The dream of making it to the finals of the Suzuki Cup remains. Still, it is up to the current pool of players to summon that fabled Filipino sporting attitude.

“We have to deal with the situation,” said long-time team manager Dan Palami.

“I think now more than ever, the team will have to summon the never-say-die spirit that Filipinos are known for.”

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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