Philippines head coach Thomas Dooley has confirmed Neil Etheridge will not play against Yemen in the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup joint qualifiers on Thursday night due to injury.
The 25-year-old goalkeeper suffered a hamstring injury in the team’s preparation to the clash and Dooley insisted that he will not take any risks to play the Walsall custodian.
“Etheridge is not 100 percent and it’s still unknown if it holds for the game or not. So for me, it’s a reason that he’s not going to play,” said Dooley.
With the English-born shot-stopper has now been ruled out for the Yemen game so Roland Muller could be given a chance to be the Azkals first-choice.
“Roland had an excellent training session yesterday. He did an excellent job. He looked sharp, quick. The that I saw him in the Challenge Cup, he was outstanding over there,” Dooley added.
Philippines are already missing team skipper Phil Younghusband who is suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards.