Phil Younghusband looking to end club duck by qualifying for an AFC tournament

Highlights – Shanghai SIPG vs Sydney FC

Phil Younghusband is, without doubt, one of most recognisable names when it comes to football in the Philippines. His goalscoring exploits for the Philippine Azkals helped the national team reach unprecedented heights when it comes to results. His goals also propelled him to be the nation’s all-time top-scorer.

But did you know, Phil Younghusband is yet to participate in an AFC club competition? That unfortunate streak that is already running for three years (ever since Filipino clubs have been eligible to play in an AFC club competition), could finally come to an end on Saturday if he along with his club Davao Aguilas Bellmare FC win the Copa Paulino Alcantara.

“I’ve been disappointed actually that I haven’t been able to play in the (AFC Cup) competition (and be able) to represent the Philippines at club level. So if we do win the (Copa Alcantara) final that would be an incredible team achievement and individual achievement.”

Phil Younghusband had been a long-serving striker for the Loyola Meralco Sparks (eventually known as Meralco Manila in the Philippines Football League) but agonisingly came short of taking his club to the AFC Cup competition in the two UFL seasons.

In the 2017 inaugural PFL season, Phil, along with his brother James, moved in the middle of the campaign to newly formed club Davao Aguilas which were in a development phase and were far from contention for an AFC qualification.

This 2018 season, with the advent of the Copa Paulino Alcantara (in honour of the Filipino and FC Barcelona goalscoring legend), a now formidable Davao Aguilas have been able to reach the final to finally contend for an AFC Cup spot against an equally imposing Kaya FC Iloilo.

Phil Younghusband has never been this close to finally set foot on a continental club tourney. Now there’s only one match left to determine if the duck in his club football career will finally be broken.