Tag Archives: Angel Guirado

FT Philippines 4-3 Palestine. And the Underdog Wins Bronze!

20 Mar

As much as I want to write about the controversial issue on racism and what makes one a real Filipino, to have a deeper look on the issue and as continuation of my last post, I will have to skip that now because I want to focus on the positive:

We bagged the 3rd place in the AFC Challenge Cup in Nepal today! Hooray!!!

Coming from the heartbreaking defeat last Friday against the Turkmenistan, who as of this writing is playing Korea DPR in the Finals, we, the fans and the team were so disappointed not to have reached the final round, but as the Philippines first choice goalie Neil Etheridge said, “we will move on.” 

And we have moved on from that defeat because we won the 3rd place in this tourney over Palestine! 🙂 It is actually a historic win for the Philippine Football since this is the first time ever we won in this cup, let alone first time qualify to play for this tourney. We were actually the only team in this competition to have gone through the pre-qualifier games and reached the semis. How’s that for an achievement? And now, a 3rd place for the underdogs? I am just so proud of our boys!

It was a pretty exciting game. My heart was pounding so fast, especially during the last 10 minutes where we were only leading by 1 goal with 4-3. I wanted the game to end soon so I could breathe! 🙂

Thanks for Phil Younghusband’s two goals and so the Guirado brothersAngel and Juan and of course all the Azkals for their hard work and dedication to win for the country.

The Palestines gave us a wonderful game also. They had the possession most of the time and did a good defending as well. And their fans, in fairness, (at least those I have interacted via internet) are really nice as well.

And to Nepal, who welcomed our team and cheered with us in almost every game we have, Thank you so much too!

I’m so happy.

Like I said before, during the world cup games, I would cheer for Brazil, Spain, S. Korea and other countries, but it’s different when you have your own team playing for the flag. It gives you a different sense of pride and happiness. 🙂 Go Philippine Azkals!

To God be all the glory! Thank you Lord Jesus! 🙂

**Update:

Korea DPR, the 2010 AFC Challenge Cup champion wins again!  Turkmenistan is 2nd obviously.

– Philippines’ Phil Younghusband received the golden boot award for the most number of goals in this cup.  6 Goals. Woohoo!!!

Below are some of their pictures taken from their twitter accounts:

Golden Boot Boy - Phil Younghusband (image c/o twitter.com)

Neil Etheridge and Angel Guirado receiving their bronze medal (image c/o twitter.com)

The Ilonggo boys! 🙂 Good job! (image c/o twitter.com)

Rob Gier with his bronze medal (image c/o twitter.com)

Philippine Azkals with Manager Dan Palami and Coach Weiss (image c/o twitter.com)

Philippine Azkals first XI in Phil vs. Palestine match (image c/o goalnepal.com)

Phil Younghusband (image c/o goalnepal.com)

Juani's first international goal for the Philippines! :)(image c/o goalnepal.com)

Coach Weiss and the boys are just happy! (image c/o goalnepal.com)

Philippine Azkals won 3rd place in the AFC Challenge Cup (image c/o goalnepal.com)

The Filipino crowd cheering for the Philippine team, with some Nepalis (I think) with them. (image c/o goalnepal.com)

Santi Araneta and Craig Burrows in the Manila Peninsula Hotel fountain - they promised to swim there if the boys win 3rd. And they did it! 🙂 (image c/o twitter.com)

Here’s the video:

Santi Araneta and Craig Burrows in Manila Peninsula fountain

FT Philippines 2:1 Tajikistan AFC Challenge Cup – The Rise of the Underdog

13 Mar

Okay, just a few hours ago, the do or die match between the Philippines and Tajikistan ended. And obviously, my national team won! Wooohoooo!!!! Yes! On to the semi finals! 🙂 Awesome. I am just very happy.  I wasn’t able to watch the match because I was at work but thank God for Twitter, I got to know the updates from the on going game while I was on my way home.  I almost screamed inside the van after Dyan Castellejo’s tweet on our 2nd goal.

Our striker Phil Younghusband equalized the first goal that the Tajik’s made on the 50th minute, then Angel Guirado‘s header during the last 10 minutes made us a semi-finalist, placing us in 2nd under Group B after North Korea. We now advance to the semi final round to  face Turkmenistan on Friday, while  N.Korea will play Palestine. I am expecting the current AFC Challenge Cup champion N.Korea will be in the finals, but I am also hoping and praying that it’s going to be us who will face them. 🙂

Well, it was game well-played by our team. We started as the underdog of this cup, grouped together with the AFC Challenge Cup champions- N. Korea being the current champ, India – 2008 champ, and Tajikistan – 2006 champ. And the Philippines? This is the first time we qualified in this cup and now, we’re on the semis! Wooohooo!!!

I know, the match on Friday is going to be a tougher one. Turkmenistan looks like a one organized team as well. We have to prepare. I remember, Philippine Azkals manager Dan Palami said in one of his interviews before the tournament that the team’s realistic goal for this cup is to make it to the semi final round, and here we are.

We definitely need to prepare for the match on Friday. It’s not going to be a walk in the park, especially that two of our key players – James Younghusband and Angel Guirado will miss the Friday’s game for the 2nd yellows they got today.

But I just have to say, I’m so proud of my boys! Way to go Azkals!

Here are some pictures from today’s match:

The starting XI (image c/o goalnepal.com)

Phil scored the equalizer goal for the Philippines. (image c/o goalnepal.com)

Angel Guirado who made us a semi-finalist! (image c/o goalnepal.com)

The Philippine Azkals celebrating with the Pinoy crowd in Nepal. (image c/o goalnepal.com)

The boys celebrating after the match!

Philippine Azkals and the Issue on Sexual Harasment

10 Mar

Recently the Philippine National Football Team or the Philippine Azkals was hounded by a sexual harassment controversy. As a fan of football and supporter of my national team, I was surprised when the news broke out. I was a happy fan after their friendly game with Malaysia last February 29. Though I’ve been a football fan long time ago, I only watch matches on TV or via internet, so the Feb 29 match was my first time to watch a football match live from the stadium and my first time to see the Azkals play live from the pitch too. So I was ecstatic and hyper, cheering for my NT, especially when Denis Wolf scored his first international goal.

But 2 days later, after the boys left for Nepal for the AFC Challenge Cup, a sexual harassment was filed by the match commissioner Cristy Ramos (daughter of the former Philippine president Fidel Ramos) against two of NT’s athletes – Lexton Moy and Angel Guirado.  ALLEGEDLY (please journalist/sports writer, use this word or you’ll be sued, be a responsible journalist for God’s sake!), Moy made a comment over ‘her’ bra size, saying ‘Must be cup B’ while he was standing next to her. And being the only female in the room, Ramos immediately thought the remark was about her. Angel on the other hand, as claimed by Ramos was only in his underwear when the commissioner checked on him and didn’t even bother to cover himself, while the rest of the Azkals were laughing.

Immediately after the news broke out, Azkals manager Dan Palami apologized to Ramos on behalf of the team and promised not to tolerate this behavior if proven and that the team will cooperate with the investigation. But just like Palami said, it is sad that they were informed about the issue through media and not through Ramos herself.  He even mentioned that after the match, he and Ramos even exchanged pleasantries but the latter never mentioned anything about the locker room incident.

Ramos has been entertaining a lot of interviews from different TV networks and publications here and there while the team, including the two accused, is already in Nepal and have limited contact to the country to air their side of the story.

On the recent interview with Palami by Philippine Daily Inquirer,  he talked to the team about what really happened in the locker room and he was told that the boys were having a conversation prior to Ramos’ arrival. Apparently, Denis Wolf (my love) was teasing another player Carli de Murga about the flatness of his chest, when Moy who was standing near Ramos replied something like ‘Just because you are Cup B, you say that to Carli’. (Denis really have a nice looking chest, I swear! :D) But Ramos thought that Moy were referring to her bra size.

As for Angel Guirado, as he claimed via his twitter account, he was wearing shorts the time Ramos checked on him. He even said that even if he was on his underwear, it shouldn’t be an issue after all it’s  men’s locker room, it should be expected.

Though, being a woman I will not tolerate this as well, even if I am a huge football fan, if they really did something wrong, I would support the suspensions or whatever sanction the governing organization will give.  But what saddens me is how some people, mostly Filipinos, already have made judgment on the issue, calling the entire Azklas team rude and disrespectful to women, even if the issue is still being investigated by the AFC and PFF. Ramos even wants the entire team to be sanctioned. And to make things worst, local politicians are using the issue to their advantage since 2013 election is fast approaching.

The Azkals have come a long way and are doing really well when it comes to football. They reintroduced the sport to this basketball-craze country. They revived the beautiful game despite the lack of government funds and support from the private sector when they were starting a few years ago. And now that they are popular and are hailed as the new sports heroes, others would do everything to put them down. Sadly, crab mentality exists in this country. Come on, why can’t we all be happy and support all athletes especially the ones playing for the national team? After all, they’re doing it for the country.  And don’t give me the ‘half-Filipino and half foreign’ crap as an excuse that these guys don’t deserve the support. They are Filipinos too, even if their dad or mom is from another country.  At least, these lads, whether they’re foreign-based players or not, are doing something for the country. Unlike those who claimed themselves to be full-blooded Filipinos but only giving disgrace to our homeland.

 

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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