Azkals, Back to the Semis“Oh, wait, wait, what a beautiful run. GOAL!”

That was just one of the lines that I’ve been shouting since the start of the match. So, yes, I’m not a fan of… those who are not fans of Philippine football. Come on people, believe!

The start for the Azkals on this AFF Suzuki Cup was not that great. Let’s take a time travel. Back on that Thailand – Philippines match, Day One of the cup, the Azkals played with connection for the first 20 minutes. But, unfortunately, unmarked guys made their goals. That’s drastic, considering how the Philippine Azkals have been playing since the Friendly matches. We ended Day one by losing to the physical plays of the Thais, 2 – 1. That one goal by the way, was from a ground cross/pass to Mulders. That goal was made on the second half. At least, after that goal, we knew that we had something within the team. And so, we looked forward to the second game.

Second game, Day Two, against the scary team of Vietnam. I was so happy back then on how we passed the ball / how the midfielders controlled the ball that created that much chances, unfortunately, the finishing was not there for us during the first half. So the subs came in, Guirado, Caligdong and Angeles. Fresh legs ran the floor and made Weiss smile from the stands. Weiss, if you guys can still remember, was ejected because of that act – which was not that proper at all. Forget that, Guirado was so active during that match. One, two dribbles and a wonderful pass to the running Chieffy Caligdong. The Captain with the first touch and a dribble and boom, a fantastic goal! Oh how picture perfect that goal is! So we won that game, 1 – 0. Thanks to that save by THE ED SAcapano (and his friend, crossbar)!

That was the motivation that the Azkals needed. Now all that we need is a win on Day Three – the final day of the group stages.

Against Myanmar, we noticed the fast-paced match that the Burmese wanted. The first half was entertaining but not that exciting. No goals to tell. No goals to seal the deal for the Filipinos. Second Half, the Azkals made runs and crosses. Before even the match started, I predicted a goal from Phil Younghusband. Phil is too good of a striker to have no goals at all. Come on, once and for all, he’s Phil! So his shots during the First half were on target. Wow, powerful and accurate shots! From there, I was so sure that Phil would make a goal or two – and so he did. A first touch from the right side and a kick right through the left corner of the goal – a perfect goal that two goalkeepers won’t even save! That removed the pressure out of my mind, honestly. Thanks to the active plays of Guirado, De Jong, De Murga and others. Guirado, he’d been playing fantastic football since Day Two – the same physical and speedy player. Then the officials announced the 5 minute injury time – sorry Myanmar, Guirado just made that look easy. One on one with the Goalkeeper, an accurate kick was all that needed. There you go! A shout from me and a call for full time. Great job!

With these wins, we’re now going to the Semi-Finals. Welcome, Philippine Azkals! Welcome to Manila, AFF Suzuki Cup! Let’s get the trophy once and for all. BELIEVE!


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