Patrick Reichelt: Azkals wingman who leads the line

Through the years, Patrick Reichelt has been one of the Philippine Azkals who have consistently exemplified a very good balance of industry and ability.

Time and time again, he he has proven that he is capable of serving one quality performance after another reminding everyone of his immensity for the Philippine squad.

Source: Patrick Reichelt Facebook page

Probably the only thing that hampered him from contributing more for the Azkals, whether through goals or assists was his lengthy bout with an ACL injury he suffered back in 2016 that deprived him a sustained series of call-ups to the squad.

But for Ceres-Negros, a club where he was able to earn his longest tenure – even in the midst of his lengthy recuperation from the mentioned injury – he was able to be one of the club’s main heroes along with the likes of Manuel Ott, Stephan Schrock and Bienvenido Maranon.

Once he recovered back to fitness in 2017, he was able to earn back his place in the busmen’s lineup. His ability to regain his full array of talents eventually made him ease his way for a return to the Azkals come 2018 as a winger with the license to probe further forward as a support striker.

An attacking type of player, Patrick Reichelt can operate as a forward or a winger from either flank, with the right part of the pitch being his usual assigned area as of late.

His pace, dribbling, and the ability to pull off a perfectly weighted cross or through ball towards his strike partners to pounce upon are his staple offerings that make him an indispensable part of the Azkals’ offensive line.

But one of the more underrated aspects of his game is his ability to finish from up close with his composure and the presence of mind and coolness to opt for “passing” towards the net rather than pulling off a “blaster” if presented a situation when the goal is at his mercy.

His latest great moments did arrive in the recently concluded AFF Suzuki Cup where he was able to come up with two goals in the campaign [against Singapore and Vietnam] that made him the only Azkal to pull off the feat and be the team’s tournament top scorer in effect.

During the losing effort in the semifinal first leg against eventual Suzuki Cup winners Vietnam, Patrick Reichelt showed his disappointment – despite scoring a goal – as the Azkals were not able to capitalise at home which showed how much the tournament meant for him.

True enough, the Azkals were duly eliminated in the away leg in Hanoi with the odds already heavily stacked against them against a quality side with a partisan crowd in favour of their rivals.

But as the Philippines are about to embark on their biggest tournament yet, with a complete lineup available for the whole tournament, the true capabilities of the squad is about to be tested fair and square.

Underdogs the Azkals maybe heading into the Asian Cup 2019, but one player in their ranks who could definitely rise up to the occasion as one of the leaders up front is their mercurial hitman lurking in the right flank, Patrick Reichelt.

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