Manila, Dec 28 (IANS) The Philippines Football Federation (PFF) announced the 23 members of the men’s national football team for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup 2019 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next month.
Most players play for clubs in southeast Asian countries like the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia. Only three of them play for European clubs, reports Xinhua news agency.
Former England and Mexico manager Sven Goran Eriksson was appointed the head coach in October and he guided the team into the semi-final of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup in December.
Most of the squad competed at the Suzuki Cup and Javier Patino is back from an injury after missing the tournament. The 30-year-old striker played for Chinese Henan Jianye for three seasons and scored 21 goals in 60 matches.
Kevin Hansen, goalkeeper for Danish club AC Horsens, is the newest addition to the team. Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge will miss the tournament.
The team will soon fly to Doha, Qatar for a training camp and will play a friendly against Suzuki Cup champions Vietnam on December 31.
The Philippines will proceed to Dubai on January 3 before the first match against South Korea on January 7.
Facing South Korea, China and Kyrgyzstan in Group C, the Philippines find themselves “in a challenging group with an opportunity to be one of the 16 teams to advance to the knockout stages,” said PFF.