By Karl Decena
Philippine national men’s football team midfielder Jerry Lucena will miss the Azkals’ last match in the 2012 ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup here against Myanmar after leaving Wednesday morning to return to his club in Denmark.
Lucena, who plays for Danish Superliga side Esbjerg FB, played in their 2-1 loss to Thailand last Saturday and 1-0 victory to Vietnam last Tuesday.
The Filipino-Danish midfielder could still make return for the Azkals should they advance to the semifinals, as his club’s season will finish just in time for the Suzuki Cup semifinals slated from December 8 to December 13.
Azkals coach Hans Michael Weiss considers Lucena the ‘most important player’ on the team.
“With all the respect to other players who play in his position, Lucena is our most important player,” Weiss said. “But this position is always our Achilles problem.
“If Lucena is not there, we will manage. But if he’s there already, that’s the luck that we need.”
A win against Myanmar on Friday will assure the Azkals of a return ticket to the semifinals of the tournament.