Almost 10 years after the “Miracle in Hanoi” that catapulted Philippine football to new heights, the curtain has fallen on the era of the Younghusband brothers.
Azkals star James Younghusband announced his retirement on Thursday, marking the end of one of the most successful international football careers in the country’s history.
With 101 appearances and 12 goals for the country, Younghusband, 33, is only second to younger brother, Phil, in the number of caps for the Philippines.
Phil retired late last year with 108 appearances and 52 goals.“I feel lucky to have experienced wonderful memories and thankful for every moment of my time with my clubs and country,” Younghusband said.
“More than his performances on the pitch for the Azkals, I think James’ great attitude and professionalism truly make him one of the legends of the national team,” Azkals team manager Dan Palami said. “He is a really great ambassador of the game in the country.”
Younghusband was still part of Philippines Football League champion Ceres-Negros when he announced his retirement.
Much like his brother, James was part of almost every milestone of Philippine football in the last decade, including qualification to the AFC Asian Cup for the first time last year in the United Arab Emirates.
But the brothers also helped lay the foundation to that historic moment in December 2010 in Hanoi when they stunned Vietnam, 2-0, in the Suzuki Cup.
James scored perhaps the most underrated goal in Azkals history in September 2010, when he headed home the equalizer in stoppage time for a 2-2 draw with Laos—a result that helped the Filipinos qualify for the group stage in Hanoi.
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