Porteria replaces Rota in Azkals pool for September

Czeasar Dancel/UFL (file photo)
By Kevin Estrada

MANILA--Kaya winger OJ Porteria will replace Simone Rota in the national team due to face Maldives in a friendly and Uzbekistan in the World Cup Qualifier in September.

This development came after the Stallion right-back had broken two ribs after their collision with Nick O’Donnell in Tuesday’s UFL Cup semifinal. The injury will take two to three months to heal.

Rota, a regular since last year, already scored two goals for the Azkals, both against Laos. Porteria will be returning to national duty after playing against Bahrain in a friendly last March.

The Azkals are running out of defenders, with centerback and erstwhile skipper Rob Gier also out with a knee injury earlier in the month.