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Sports

Greatwich takes leave from Azkals

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Chris Greatwich, one of the major players in the Philippine Azkals’ star-making campaign in the 2010 Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, announced he was taking time off national team duties.

“Last week, I met with Coach (Thomas) Dooley and told him I would be taking a break from international football for a while,” Greatwich posted on his Instagram account Tuesday night.

“It has been the greatest privilege to play for Philippines for the past 10 years but for now I like to spend more time with my family, especially my baby Nico,” the Fil-British explained.

Greatwich is best remembered for scoring an injury time equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Singapore and for making a goal and an assist in a monumental 2-0 upset of Vietnam that paved the way for the Pinoy booters’ historic semis appearance in the Suzuki Cup and start of Azkal-mania five years ago.

The 31-year-old midfielder continued his heroics in last year’s Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup, delivering a 104th minute goal that pushed the Philippines past home side Maldives, 3-2, and into a historic first finals appearance.

Greatwich also suited up for the Azkals in the 2014 Suzuki Cup.

“Some say ‘the Savior of Filipino football.’ It’s been a pleasure, mate,” Azkals skipper Rob Gier said in salute of Greatwich.

Gier and the rest of the Azkals are currently in Bahrain for a weeklong training camp as initial salvo in their preparations for the Fifa World Cup Asian Qualifiers slated June. The Azkals will play host nation Bahrain in an international friendly on March 30.           

ASEAN FOOTBALL FEDERATION ASIAN FOOTBALL CONFEDERATION AZKALS BAHRAIN CHALLENGE CUP CHRIS GREATWICH FIFA WORLD CUP ASIAN QUALIFIERS GREATWICH PHILIPPINE AZKALS SUZUKI CUP
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