AFC Asian Cup 2019: Team Preview Philippines
The duo of James and Phil carry the hopes of Philippines who will make their debut at the highest level in Asia. With promising performances in the lead up to the tournament, and armed with the experience of Sven-Göran Eriksson as their manager, they can spring a surprise or two as the underdogs.
The Philippines National team make their debut at the Asian Cup in Emirates after a successful stint in the qualifiers. They finished third in the second round qualifiers in the group stages after suffering defeats to Uzbekistan, Bahrain, and Yemen. In the final qualification round, they won three and drew their other three games to head the group and secure a spot at the 2019 Asia Cup.
The 2019 AFC Asia Cup in Emirates would mark the tournament debut for team Philippines. Phil Younghusband scored five goals for his side during their qualification campaign.
Eriksson had a bagful of matches for the Philippines team as they played 14 matches last year recording six victories, four draws, and four defeats. Their inability to get past a fiery Vietnam team thrice in the latter part of 2018 raises substantial doubts regarding their performance when they take on their more fancied opponents, Korea, and China.
Raised from Chelsea’s youth academy, Phil Younghusband secured the berth for his country by slamming his 50th goal against Tajikistan in March last year. With 52 goals from 105 appearances, he remains the top-scorer for the Philippines National team.
James Younghusband‘s elder brother Phil has scored 12 goals from 100 appearances for his National team. Brought up in the Chelsea Youth Academy, he has played in the lower division leagues in England for five years before shifting his base to the Philippines.
Monday, 07 January 2019: Philippines (116) vs South Korea (53) - Al-Maktoum Stadium, Dubai at 19:00 IST.
Friday, 12 January 2019: Philippines (116) vs China (76) - Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi at 19:00 IST.
Wednesday, 16 January 2019: Philippines (116) vs Kyrgyzstan (91) - Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium, Dubai at 19:00 IST.
Tournament debutants Philippines take on the mighty Koreans in their first encounter at the Asian Cup. It is highly unlikely they could match the Koreans and would have similar results in their second game against China. Their final league game against Kyrgyzstan stands their sole chance of keeping their qualifying hopes as they have recorded victories in their two previous meetings in 2016.
If they qualify for the last sixteen, they face defending champions Australia resulting in a possible end to their debut campaign.
Average Age: 28 years
International Caps: 609
International Goals: 111
Head Coach: Sven-Göran Eriksson (Sweden)
Goalkeepers: Nathanael Villanueva (Kaya FC-Iloilo), Michael Falkesgaard (Bangkok United), Kevin Ray Hansen (Horsens)
Defenders: Álvaro Silva (Kedah), Carli de Murga (Ceres–Negros), Luke Woodland (Suphanburi), Daisuke Sato (Sepsi OSK), Stephan Palla (Buriram United), Adam Tull (Unattached), Curt Dizon (Ceres–Negros), Paul Mulders (Ceres–Negros)
Midfielders: John-Patrick Strauß (Erzgebirge Aue), Mike Ott (Ceres–Negros), Manuel Ott (Ceres–Negros), Kevin Ingreso (Ceres–Negros), Stephan Schröck (Ceres–Negros), Miguel Tanton (Ceres–Negros)
Strikers: Iain Ramsay (Sukhothai), Jovin Bedic (Kaya FC-Iloilo), Phil Younghusband (captain) (Davao Aguilas), Patrick Reichelt (Ceres–Negros), Javier Patiño (Buriram United), James Younghusband (Davao Aguilas)