Archive | July, 2011

Philippine Azkals vs. Kuwait. And their dream to make it to the FIFA WORLD CUP 2014

29 Jul

Today, the 2nd leg of the match between our very own Philippine Azkals and Kuwait ended. With a 5-1 score, Kuwaitis advances to the 3rd round of the FIFA World Cup 2014 Asian Qualifiers. Yup, unfortunately we didn’t make it to the next round.

   VS.  

First Leg – The Away Game:

During the 1 st leg which was held in Kuwait, Azkals lost to 3 goals made by the opponents. Although like what I said that time, in fairness Kuwait did a good performance especially in their offence. Though, the first two goals I think was merely due to luck but the 3rd goal was just beautiful.  There was even a talk about contesting the 2nd goal they made as it wasn’t clear how it got passed Neil  – Philippines’ goalie and the two other players guarding the goal, when the Kuwaiti player was right there on the ground. They were thinking it was a handball. As for the Azkals, their defense was good however  it is still lacking in the midfield area, giving way for the opponent to penetrate deeper. When it comes to their offence, there were a lot of chances but wasn’t able to convert it to goals. Most of the time it was Phil who was trying to score but it’s either he is denied by the players or the goalie or he lacked in support from the other Azkals.

The Azkals also were moving quite slow in the pitch. Must be the weather. I heard it was very hot that time they played – around 40 something I think. They were already very tired during the 2nd half. What I just didn’t quite understand was why the substitution was made only in the additional 4 minutes of the 2 nd half? What was their strategy? Angel Guirado was also injured a lot of times due to the physical attack of the Kuwaitis. He was obviously tired but no substitution was made.  I understand that they were reserving some players for the 2nd leg but still I didn’t quite get it.

Phil Younghusband (c/oPhilStar)

Second Leg – The Home Game:

It started fast and moving. There were a lot of energies from both teams. There was a rush. I could feel it. The game was very intense I could hardly breathe! Hahaha… The Azkals stepped up in this match. They were in high spirits, very very aggressive in their offence. I think during the first 30 minutes, the ball’s possession was mostly with them but Kuwaitis were making it hard for us to score. Then just when the first half was about to end, Stefan Schrock scored a goal for the Philippines causing a loud roar not only in Rizal Stadium but also at home! Hahaha… Yes, that’s from me and my dad. And it was a beautiful goal by Stefan!  During the 2nd half however, the Kuwaitis had their revenge when they scored twice, burying us in a deep hole with that 2 away goals. Ouch! But despite of that, the Azkals fought until the end and tried their best to defend and attack. Like in the first leg, Phil also created chances, a lot of them as well as Guirado and Gier.

Stefan Schrock after his goal

I must say, the Kuwaitis are skilled and very very organized team. I am impressed with what they shown in the match – how they tackled and attacked, it was awesome. They were so energized, playing as if the game has just started. Where are they getting that energy from? I’m impressed with their stamina.

Well compared to Philippines, they are very experienced in Football. Their world ranking is in 102 I think while we are in what, 159 or something? They played in the WORLD CUP already, I think around 1980s and they’ve been playing the beautiful game way way back. Although, tracing the history of AFC, Philippines was one of the founding members of it. And mind you, it was founded in Manila. Look at the irony of that! But that’s another topic.

Overall I think the Azkals did a good performance especially in the Home Game and I’m just proud of them.  They played it so beautiful, very intense, full of action that I can hardly breathe! Well, but the Kuwaitis just played with class despite them losing one player due to a 2nd yellow card. The skills are impressive, especially that guy in #7 shirt, he was attacking! They earned my respect in Football. Plus, I think they were one of the nicest team the Azkals have played so far. It is a physical game, so it’s natural that you bump into each other resulting to unwanted injuries and cramps, (though sometimes others deliberately do that! How bad!) and of course, yellow and red cards. They were moments when their patience were tested and they just burst into anger but that’s part of it. But the camera also captured moments of their players helping out our players who were hurt, that is both in first and second legs. They are professionals indeed.

Well, congratulations to Kuwait for advancing to the 3rd round of the qualifiers. Hopefully you’ll make it to the World Cup in Brazil!

Kuwait National Football Team

For the Azkals, it is alright. The game was well-fought. You did well. I’m sure we’ve learned a lot from this match and we’ll use it to improve our performance. We can try again next time, who knows maybe in 2018 in Qatar (if I remember it right). 🙂

Well, despite that we lost, I can still proudly say, Go Azkals! We believe!

Team Azkals - The Philippine National Football Team

Of Football, Work, Reading, Writing and M

27 Jul

Right, I know I wrote in my last post dated June 23 that I will be writing that week and it didn’t happen. Reason? Hmmm… I don’t remember. hahaha… Well it’s busyness with a lot of things – work mostly and other things.

So, what have I been doing? Let me list as I remember:

1. Football – I’ve been watching a lot of football lately- both the international and local football, particularly the Azkals. Nope, I’m not into football just because of the hype the Philippine Azkals are getting. I’ve been into football for already a few years (thanks to my foreign students and my British best friend Idy for their influence). (See: 10 Significant Things of My 2010)

Well last month, Azkals played Ski Lanka during the first round of the qualifiers for WORLD CUP 2014. We finished with a beautiful 5-1 aggregate score (4-0 in the home game, oh sweet!) and it was our ticket to move to the next round and face Kuwait. Unfortunately though, we lost with 3-0 score during the away game last Sunday to Kuwait, but tomorrow we’ll make up for it.  Go Azkals!

2. Work – Been busy with work as usual. Sometimes I get too tired I wish it’s already 2013. Haha! 2013 because that is when my ‘bond’ with the company will expire and I can resign without paying them anything. Well so far so good, however sometimes they have too much activities that eats a lot of my time, leaving me no time for other things – such as this one, time to blog. Lately, it’s like I’ll just go home, have dinner, watch a little tv and sleep. Too tired to even think and write.

3. M – Yes we did talk last month. And I’m missing him again.  More on it later.

4. Content Writing – I also did a friend a favor when I wrote a content for his site. Last time I checked his site it’s still the old content he has, but he informed me that he’lll soon change it. Well, he actually asked me to write for him and said he’s going to pay, but I’m thinking of not charging him anything, after all he is a friend. I remember I wrote about their love story (he and his wife) that was read on their wedding day. And I remember he asked me the morning of the wedding itself! I crammed writing it but I am glad I was able to come up with a good story. Well after all, I witnessed how their love blossomed with him being my coworker and the wife as a trainee in our company back in 2004.  🙂

5. Reading – Yey! I’m about to finish the book Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris. Hooray! I’m in the last 3 chapters and I can’t wait to finish it. I am writing about it very soon. I am learning so much from the book about my faith and my God. More about it soon. Also, I can’t wait to read my other books.

Okay, I think that’s it for now. I can’t think of others right now but will write as soon as I remember them. 🙂

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