Thursday, December 16, 2010

Philippines 0:1 Indonesia

On my way home, I've noticed that people did not appear hurried, quiet, unexcited, oblivious that the Azkals will compete against Indonesia in half an hour. We still have a long way to go for football to become popular in the country. After a long ride by train, I stole a look at a bar that showed the Indo vs. Phil game. The food was quite expensive. And I was mulling whether to grab a bite to eat but I was alone and the people looked too classy to befriend. I approached a waitress and asked her if the people inside were having a private function. She said "yes". Dang.  I had to watch outside.

Azkals despite showing good defense, were often outpaced and the ball often intercepted by the Indo players (Timnas). We're too slow. Deep inside, I thought that we would be outscored soon enough. The game reminded me of a Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspurs match that aired in Star Sports a few weeks ago. The Spurs had relied on headers and fast legs to dominate the match 2:1. I was crushed at my beloved team's loss. But it was a match I have none to blame for. The Spurs were getting better even in the Champion's League. Yet they couldn't get past Manchester United, but I digress. Indo sort of played like the Spurs minus the headers. Azkals should need a lot of training in passing, and they relied on long shots and prayers that the ball wouldn't land at the opposing player. The lucky goal was scored by an Uruguayan named Christian Gonzales. Etheridge probably did not trust his defender to block the kick or he knew the ball's possible trajectory on his left wing is dangerous so he did the right thing except he missed.

Sad, but Etheridge was careful ever since. But we had lots of opportunities. I was shocked one time that Younghusband was tripped within the penalty box yet the referee did not call for a penalty kick. And Indos kept on faking injuries to the point of being carried by stretcher to waste time. Dirty tricks indeed considering they have more professional players than ours (pro and semi-pro from the Air Force). And sports analysts said that the Azkals played too clean.

After the game, I expected a huge disappearance in fansites. But I was mistaken!  Fans remained optimistic as ever. They expressed support for the team and were expecting a victory on the second leg!  I hope so!


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