Men's National Team

History Makers of ’18: Where are they now (Part 2)

We brought you the updates on the orchestrators, the long-standing servants of the Philippine Azkals and we hope you’re still ready as we have a few more in store for you.

On our last article, we knew more about how the heroes of 2018 are currently doing and where their career took them. Now it’s time to check on the rest of the squad.

1) Daisuke Sato

A player who always leave everything on the pitch, Daisuke Sato made himself visible in both matches against Tajikistan.

In their first game in Dushanbe, Sato found the back of the net to give the Azkals a two-goal advantage before Manuchekhr Dzhalilov pulled one back late into the match.

He made sure to get the job done in their second meeting as he kept his opponents at bay. The Tajiks threw everything against the Azkals but Sato was always up for it.

With sheer dedication, Sato and the rest of the team saw the game through and sent the entire nation to pandemonium. After that night, Sato’s football career blossomed into life.

Nearing the end of his two-season stint with Sepsi OSK, he’s been loved and adored by the Romanians due to his consistency and passion for the sport as well as the team he plays for.

Photo By: Daisuke Sato

However, in 2019, Sato came closer to home after signing for Muangthong United. It might be too early to say but as of the moment, Sato’s been in the wrong side of things as he hasn’t shown his full potential yet.

And with an injury to further hinder his chances of showcasing his talents, this will be another test for Sato but sure enough, he’ll rise again just like how he did in multiple occasions for his country.

2) Manny Ott

The small but terrible midfielder who kept on making the opponents second-guess themselves that night of the 27th of March 2018 blossomed to a real midfield general after that night.

We can all remember that whenever he got the ball, the Tajiks would have to delegate at least to players to mark him and not let him pass it to his teammates.

Through his sheer dedication that night, he opened up a lot of chances for the others to stand out. He would then feature in all three matches of the Azkals in the Asian Cup which impressed a few scouts leading to his move away from home.

In 2019, Manny Ott signed for Ratchaburi Mitr Phol in the Thai League 1, however, an injury in February would sideline him until October. He debuted against Sukhothai FC as a substitute to Amin Nazari and helped his side to a 2-2 draw.

Knowing that because of a long time away from the pitch in Thailand, it would be difficult for Ott to showcase his talent in a league where a lot of budding talents were present especially in his position.

Good thing for him, his former employers Ceres-Negros FC came knocking as they needed his services for their intercontinental stint. He didn’t hesitate and flew back to the country to heed the call of his former club.

Upon his arrival, he’s already showed what the busmen were missing as he immediately made an impact in their match against Svay Rieng FC in their AFC Cup encounter.

He’s been commanding the plays in the middle of the field, providing options to either Bienvenido Marañon, Robert Lopez-Mendy or anyone else in attack.

Now that he’s settled in his former club, Ott just awaits the resumption of the matches after this COVID-19 pandemic to show what he’s truly made of and what he can bring to the table.

3) Mike Ott

Photo By: Winston Baltazar

The other half of the Ott brothers, Mike has been as instrumental as his brother in that match against Tajikistan. Playing as one of the other midfielders for coach Thomas Dooley’s side, Mike pestered the Tajik’s backline as well through some accurate passing, long balls and even dribbles past the defenders.

Despite being an unused sub for the Philippines in their AFC Asian Cup debut, Mike still saw a lot more achievements for himself in his stint with Ceres-Negros FC.

He’s already had two PFL titles under his belt, a league cup, and have already amassed 21 goals in a total of 49 appearances for the busmen.

With club football being paused as of the moment, Mike will surely be raring to go with his brother Manny once the games resume to help their side to glory.

4) Patrick Reichelt

Coming in as a substitute on the 59th minute, Patrick Reichelt made the most out of his given minutes especially when the team needed him the most.

Breaking through the right-wing of the Tajik’s defence, Reichelt made it into the box and waited for the ball to bounce his path. In doing so, he was taken down inside the box resulting in a penalty in favour of the Azkals.

It was the moment that the Philippines got the chance to seal the victory which was done by Phil Younghusband to send the country to its first AFC Asian Cup appearance in a historic manner.

Since that night, Reichelt saw a continuous rise in his career playing a part to Ceres-Negros FC’s victory in the PFL in 2018 and their second successive appearance in the AFC Cup zonal finals.

After a successful 2018, Reichelt brought his talents to Melaka United where he made the most of his one-year stay in the Malaysian Super League scoring a total of 12 goals in 28 matches.

His scoring feat in 2019 saw him become Melaka United’s top scorer and he also made it into‘s best starting XI of the Malaysian Super League 2019 season.

At the beginning of 2020, Reichelt brings his trade to Thailand with Suphanburi FC where he joins his compatriot Patrick Deyto in their quest for glory away from home.

Playing a bigger role with the Azkals, Reichelt also made a huge step forward for the national team. In the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018, he’s scored one against Singapore in the group stages and one against Vietnam during the semifinals.

With the improvement of his game, Reichelt is bound to be the next man up for the Azkals in their upcoming matches.

5) Carli de Murga

A brick wall in defence, Carli made a huge statement on this match against Tajikistan as he prevented any chances from the opposition to get another goal which would’ve halted our debut in the continent’s grandest tournament.

With his help, the Azkals were able to turn the tie around and hold on to the lead as well. Keep in mind after Phil’s go-ahead goal from the spot, there were still six minutes of added time which was an ample amount of time to mount a late equalizer.

In the Asian Cup, he only played once in their match against China. Back home, he won two more league titles and the Copa Paulino Alcantara before moving over to Thailand with Chonburi United.

Three games into his move to Chonburi, he already got into the scoresheet against Nakhonratchasima Mazda FC. With the Thai League still ongoing, we hope for a continuous success on de Murga’s new journey.

6) Paul Mulders

Serving the country since 2011, Mulders had a brief time away from the pitch when Dan Palami confirmed Mulders’ retirement from international football. However, when called upon by his country, he never hesitated the call.

In their Asian Cup qualifiers, he played three pivotal matches to the country’s quest for history. More importantly, Mulders provided the assist to Manny Ott’s late equalizer to keep the Azkals in contention for a spot in Dubai.

After that success at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, Mulders played a couple more games with Global FC in the AFC Cup before moving over to the garage of Ceres-Negros FC where he’d play against Home United before taking another step back from the field.

It seems like father-time has finally caught up with him but regardless of what will happen next in his career, Mulders’ legacy has been stamped in the books already after helping the Azkals achieve history.

7) Dennis Villanueva

Sporting a never-say-die attitude every time he walks out on the pitch, Dennis Villanueva left it all on the pitch as well together with his mates to secure qualification to the Asian Cup.

A mistake might’ve gotten the better of him when he slid in late inside the box and conceded the penalty that put the travelling side ahead in the 64th minute, he got back up and got the job done.

Villanueva’s career blossomed in front of him after that night as he found home in Davao Aguilas. Though the club would cease to exist later in 2019, he was then picked up by Ceres-Negros FC in an effort to save his career and give him a better one.

At the beginning of 2020, Villanueva got his gears running in their quest for continental greatness. He already played in all of the six games of the busmen this year included three stints in the AFC Champions League qualifiers.

Though the season is currently put into a hold, Villanueva’s journey still has a long way to go and he still has a lot of time to prove his worth with the three-time PFL champions.

8) Simone Rota

The journeyman himself has had some rough times during his career due to some injuries but Simone Rota is not one for backing down. He was always there whenever the Tajiks attacked our defence and made sure to fend off their efforts.

After that momentous night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, Rota has had quite a lay-off from football because of injury. However, 2019 saw him move from Davao to the cradle of Kaya FC-Iloilo where he’s slowly finding himself back again.

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