Philippine Men’s National Team players Stephan Schröck, Patrick Reichelt, and Manny Ott cherished the opportunity to represent the country in their maiden AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 match against Korea Republic last Monday 7 January 2019 at the Al-Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The 1-0 loss to the Koreans seemingly looked like an afterthought for the Azkals, who have stamped their mark in the continent following with an inspired performance against the two-time Asian Cup winners.
“After a game like that, I had one teary eye and one which was okay with the result and the performance,” said Schröck, who wore the captain’s armband for the match. “Stepping on the pitch as captain representing 120 million Filipinos was just amazing. For the first time in a long time, I had goosebumps when I stepped on the pitch and that’s always a good sign.”
The Philippines currently sit in the bottom of Group C, but with two games, left, the team looks forward to keep on improving.
“We went out to show them how good we are. There’s a lot of potential in the Philippines,” added midfielder Manny Ott. There’s a lot of good players in the team and we have nothing to lose. We definitely want to get a good result.”
“We never went here to the Asian Cup to just collect jerseys,” explained Reichelt. “We know what we came for and we will still fight for the next two games against China PR and Kyrgyz Republic. Our goal is to get results against these two teams. We know what we can do and we will see. All we can do is to work so hard and not have any regrets.”
The Philippines face China PR on 11 January and Kyrgyz Republic on 16 January in their next two matches of the tournament.