I CANNOT imagine the Philippine Azkals without the two good looking Younghusband brothers Phil and James.
The dynamic siblings have been playing for the Philippine National team since they debuted in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Bacolod City in 2005.
That was 12 years ago and until now they remain as the faces of the Azkals. Phil has even been promoted as captain of the squad.
The brothers who have a Filipina mother and an Englishman dad, once again led the Azkals to salvage a 2-2 draw over the impressive Yemen side in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 Group F elimination tournament Tuesday night in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.
Phil scored a Beckham like free kick outside the penalty box that curved off the Yemeni wall into the back of the net in the 30th minute to tie the match at 1-1, two minutes after Mudir Abdurabu put Yemen ahead in the 28th.
In the second half, if was the time for James to rescue the Azkals in the 71st minute with a header off a free kick from Manny Ott.
Abdulwasea Al Matari earlier put Yemen ahead once again in the 56th but that was the last time Yemen came up charging as the Azkals, with James and Phil leading them managed to salvage one point to remain on top of Group F with seven points. Yemen trails with five points while Tajikistan is third with three points and Nepal at the bottom with one point.
The Younghusband brothers will have three days of rest before they debut for the Davao Aguilas FC in the Philippines Football League in Tagum, Davao del Norte against Cebu’s Global FC on Saturday.
The Aguilas are second from the bottom right now but with the recent signing of Phil and James, they are hopeful that they can make it to the top and earn a playoff slot.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 08, 2017.