Etheridge Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge is a part of the Philippines’ 28-man squad for the final window of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Photo courtesy of Frenzy Claire Sadanguel

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May 28, 2024 Theodore P. Jurado 107 views

VETERAN goalkeeper Neil Etheridge headlines the 28 players who received call ups to the Philippines’ final two FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Vietnam and Indonesia next month.

The Filipinos will face the Golden Star Warriors on June 6 and the Garuda on June 11 to wrap up their second round campaign.

As the Philippines seek to rebound from a disappointing performance in the previous window, both against Iraq, coach Tom Saintfiet’s side is hoping for a better effort this time around.

The Garuda sit in second with seven points, four clear of the Golden Star Warriors, who have three in second place. The Filipinos, meanwhile, remained at the bottom of the Group F table with a point to show.

The countries that finish in the top two of the group will not only progress into the next round of the World Cup qualifiers, but also book an outright spot in the 2027 Asian Cup.

Among those who received call ups are Patrick Reichelt, who scored the Philippines’ lone goal in the second round of the qualifiers in a 1-1 draw against Indonesia at home last November, Jarvey Gayoso, Kevin Ingreso, Christian Rontini, Santiago Rubico, brothers Michael and Matthew Baldisimo and Philippines’ Football League goalscorer Finn McDaniel.

Jesse Curan, Paul Tabinas, Amani Aguinaldo and Oskari Kenkkonen, who also started in the Filipinos’ previous match against the Iraqis, were also tapped.

The team management released the announcement yesterday afternoon.

The Philippines was earlier drawn to Group B and will face Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and Laos in the AFF Mistubishi Electric Cup group stage later this year.