Blue: Stephan Schrock
By Cedelf P. Tupas
KUWAIT CITY—Filipino-German standout Stephan Schrock will return to Manila to give the Philippine Azkals more midfield bite in their second round World Cup Qualifying clash against powerhouse Kuwait.
Azkals manager Dan Palami confirmed that Schrock, who was suspended for the first leg, will be arriving tomorrow, two days before the return match against the Kuwaitis at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
“He will be a big boost to the team,” Palami said of Schrock, who was a key figure in the first-round win over Sri Lanka.
Schrock’s presence is vital for the Azkals, who may continue to miss the services of midfielders Paul Mulders (injury) and Jerry Lucena (club commitments).
Aly Borromeo is also expected to return after serving his suspension. He was seen taking notes during the first game against Kuwait from the grandstand.
Palami agreed with coach Michael Weiss that the 0-3 deficit may be too big to overcome on aggregate. But the two Azkals officials remain hopeful of an upset.
“We have a tough job in Manila because of that 0-3 deficit,” said Palami. “If only we could have a complete lineup for Manila.”
“Anything is still possible if we get an early goal and with the crowd behind us,” said Weiss.