Ah shoot. I meant to have this post up in preview of the event, but work, life, and my forgetfulness all got in the way. Anywho, Neil Etheridge is currently in Nepal with the with the Philippines competing in the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup. And doing a pretty fine job too.
In a group with North Korea, Tajikstan, and India, the Philippines had a fairly straightforward group. Although, according to an AFC press release about the draw, they had a “proverbial mountain to climb…with the only ASEAN nation in the finals pooled in Group B with inaugural champions Tajikistan, 2008 winners India and DPR Korea, who emerged victorious from the 2010 competition.”
Neil Etheridge and his fellow Azkals would ultimately finish second in the group; losing the opening match to North Korea 2-0, defeating India 2-0, and then coming from behind to beat Tajikstan 2-1 on an 80th minute goal by Ángel Guirado just a few hours ago. Will post video when I can find it.
The Philippines face Group A winners Turkmenistan on Friday. My math may be off, but they kick off at 4:30am EST. Ouch.