Goodbye with a goal? Schrock hints at Azkals retirement

Philippines midfielder Stephan Schrock makes it a memorable night for the Azkals. —AFP

DUBAI—If it was his final match wearing the Philippines kit, then Stephan Schrock made sure it was a memorable one—even though it ended in defeat in the AFC Asian Cup here.

The 32-year-old Schrock made history by scoring the country’s first ever goal in the competition in the second half of a 3-1 defeat to Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday night at Rashid Stadium here.
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But the dynamic midfielder later hinted at retirement from the national team after the Azkals bowed out in the most prestigious competition in the continent.

“I feel like that was my final game for the Azkals,” Schrock told the Inquirer on Thursday.FEATURED STORIES
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“I had it in my mind to retire from (the national team) after this tournament because I’m 32 and I feel the body gets more aged with every major tournament. We have another long season ahead with Ceres-Negros. We will hardly get a break. I have a family as well and I wanted to see them more often than in the past three months.”

When Schrock floated in a free kick inside the area late in the second half, he was hoping that a teammate will redirect it on target.

Instead, Kyrgyzstan goalkeeper Kuzman Kadyrbekov, worried that Azkals striker Javier Patino might be able to make contact on the delivery, misjudged the flight of the ball, allowing Schrock’s free kick to bounce inside the six-yard box and into the roof of the net.

There was hardly any celebration from the Azkals, who were already trailing, 3-nil, before Schrock’s strike, although the goal was greeted by a loud roar from the Filipino gallery.

“Today, I realized more how historic that goal was actually because yesterday I was only thinking about getting two more (goals),” said Schrock, who came out of international retirement a few months ago.

“If I could change it, I would rather win and have someone else score for the Philippines.”

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