The Philippine Azkals will take on Uzbekistan tomorrow in the 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifier without the services of Stephan Schrock and Phil Younghusband.
The Azkals left for Tashkent Saturday without the two key players. Younghusband is still struggling to overcome a knee problem, while Schrock has not fully recovered from a leg injury sustained while playing for Ceres La Salle in the AFC Cup earlier this month.
Their absence has added to the problems of coach Thomas Dooley, who is already without suspended winger Misagh Bahadoran and midfielder Manny Ott, and who has seen veterans Rob Gier, Paul Mulders and Jerry Lucena retire from international football recently.
It has, however, presented Dooley with a chance to field younger players, including OJ Porteria, Kenshiro Daniels and Dominic del Rosario.
The Azkals also still have plenty of experience to call upon, including foreign-based players such as Henan Jianye striker Javier Patino, Tractorsazi Tabriz midfielder Iain Ramsay and Walsall goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.
After their visit to the Bunyodkor Stadium, the Azkals will host DPR Korea on March 29, where they will be hoping to hold off Bahrain and finish third in order to advance into the AFC Asian Cup qualifying third round.*afc.com
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