For the first time in 17 years, the Philippine Azkals, ranked 114 in the world, will face 85th ranked Oman on October 13, 2018 in Doha, Qatar.
The friendly will be the culmination of the national team’s preparation for the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup which is set to begin on the second week of November.
It is to note that Oman serves as a challenging litmus test to assess the progress or the improvements needed by the squad due to the fact that the squad that goes by their monicker “The Reds” are ranked much higher. Also, the last time the two nations met, during the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, turned out to be a dominant result in favour of the middle easterners with an aggregate of 0-9 on both legs.
Given the task at hand in this opportunity of facing of a quality opponent, The Azkals management had called up players that would form the best possible squad on paper.
With the composition made up of Azkals playing overseas bannered by Premier League side Cardiff City FC’s Neil Etheridge, and local based players where a sizeable contingent coming from Philippines Football League back-to-back champions Ceres-Negros F.C., the national team outfit is showing its intent to compete in the best possible way in this much anticipated meeting.
Below is the 24-man list of called up and invited players by the Philippine Azkals for the October 2018 friendly as released by the Philippine Football Federation.