Azkals’ Neil Etheridge hits milestone with first Premier League victory

October 22, 2018 - 3:50 PM
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Philippine Azkals and Cardiff City Neil Etheridge (Photo from Premier League official website)

Azkals goalkeeper Neil Etheridge hit another milestone in his career in the English Premier League as he helped his club Cardiff City rout Fulham F.C. 4-2 on Sunday.

Cardiff took its first win in the league this season after two late goals from Callum Paterson and Victor Camarasa saved the day for the Welsh club, who moved out of the bottom three regulation zone for the meantime.

The 28-year-old Philippine goalkeeper came up big in the crucial minutes of the match when he stopped a header from Fulham’s Alfie Mawson that could have forced another deadlock and alter the course of the game.

Etheridge, formerly a keeper for Fulham, is now the first football player of Southeast Asian descent with a victory in what is considered the world’s most competitive domestic football league.

He celebrated his first taste of victory in a tweet.

His new milestone has also got a shoutout from the league itself.

Cardiff City, which was just promoted back to the top English division, is currently 17th in the Premier League table with one win, two draws, and six losses.

Etheridge early in the season was named one of the league’s most promising newcomers after blocking penalty shots in two consecutive matches.

The son of a Filipino mother based in London, Etheridge first struggled as substitute for various clubs early in his career until a breakout performance with Cardiff in the 2017-2018.

He helped the Welsh Club register 19 clean sheets in 37 matches to secure promotion to the Premier League, the English football system’s top division.

While Etheridge continues to receive praise for his commendable performance, he is not the first Filipino to star for a major club.

Ilonggo striker Paulino Alcantara made waves as early as the 1920s when he played for Spanish club F.C Barcelona, a franchise that would go on to be one of the most dominant in the history of football.

His 369 goals for Barcelona are a club record that has only been broken by the team’s current star, five-time Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) winner Lionel Messi.