The Philippines is bracing for a tough re-match against Yemen when they meet in Qatar on Tuesday in a third-round match as part of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers.
But making the away tie more complicated for the Philippines is the absence of Fil-German midfielder Manny Ott, who suffered an injury to his medial collateral ligament (MCL).
Ott announced on Twitter that he will have to rest his MCL for the next six weeks.
Ott’s presence has been key for the Azkals in the past few games, and his absence means that coach Thomas Dooley will rely on the likes of Kevin Ingreso and Paul Mulders.
The Philippines and Yemen will play at Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Stadium on Tuesday, a month after the Azkals squeezed out a 2-2 draw at Panaad Sta-dium in Bacolod.
The Azkals are cur-rently on top of Group F with seven points on two wins and a draw, followed by Yemen with five points on a win and two draws.
The top two teams from each group will ad-vance to the tournament proper.
The Azkals, now ranked 123rd in the world, will be led by Fil-English siblings Phil and James Younghusband.
Other members of the 23-man lineup are: Dylan De Bruycker, Carlos De Murga, Dominic Del Ro-sario, Patrick Deyto, Curt Dizon, Harry Foll, Kevin Ingreso, Sean Patrick Kane, Jesus Joaquin Mel-liza, Hikaru Minegishi, Paul Mulders, Jim Junior Muñoz, Nicholas O’Donnell, Mike Rigoberto Ott, Stephan Palla, Iain Ramsay, Simone Rota, Daisuke Sato, Dennis Villanueva and Neil Etheridge.
Last month, the Younghusbands, who are now seeing action for the Davao Aguilas in the PHL National Football League scored the crucial goals to force a draw with Yemen.