By: Randolph B. Leongson
Roland Muller will get the start at goalkeeper when the Philippine Azkals battle Yemen on Thursday at Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
Azkals coach Thomas Dooley said on Wednesday that Muller will start in lieu of Neil Etheridge, who was hampered by a leg injury during the training camp.
“I don’t want to take any risk,” Dooley said on Wednesday at the prematch press conference at Manila Hotel. “Roland had an excellent training session yesterday. He did an excellent job. He looked sharp, very quick. The way that I saw him in the Challenge Cup, he was outstanding over there.”
Etheridge had his first practice with the team on Tuesday, but was limited in his time on the pitch.
Dooley said, “He’s not 100-percent, and it’s still unknown if it holds for the game or not. So for me, it’s a reason that he’s not going to play.”
This would be the first time in the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifiers that Etheridge won’t be the last line of defense for the Azkals.
In the Philippines’ last three matches, Etheridge surrendered seven goals, five of which coming in Uzbekistan’s 5-1 rout here at home.
“This game is way too important to play a little bit left or right. The one who’s 100-percent fit who can help the team will start,” said Dooley, as the Azkals make one last push in the World Cup qualifying.
Read more: http://sports.inquirer.net/198598/muller-to-start-at-goalkeeper-for-azkals-vs-yemen#ixzz3rBi2KgbW