Search Here

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Against dangerous Palestinians: Wary Azkals chase crucial win


The Azkals will be hard-pressed for a victory against Palestine today, and coach Michael Weiss knows it’s not going to be easy.

Palestine will be very difficult to beat,” he said just outside the main lobby of Yangon Hotel Monday evening, following a bitter draw to Myanmar.

The German coach said it was a pity that the match, against a country which the Philippines had never beaten before in soccer, ended in a 1-1 draw.

The Azkals had it all wrapped up until Myanmar countered with a last-minute goal on a free kick.

Weiss, only in his first two months as Azkals head coach, said there’s no reason to sulk, and was happy to get the draw, when it could have been a loss.

We just got lucky in the first half,” he said.

Lucky in the sense that Myanmar, despite half a dozen cracks at the goal, failed to nail one after the first 45 minutes of play.

It could have been 2-0 or 3-0 right in the first half for Myanmar. So we will take it (draw) as it is. Life goes on,” he said.

The Palestinians are ranked No. 178 in the world, and the Philippines is up at 151.

But the rankings won’t mean a thing once the players get it on in the pitch. Besides, Palestine is coming of a win, a 2-nil decision against Bangladesh (No. 174) the other night.

The Philippines, following the draw against Myanmar, must beat Palestine to boost its bid to advance to next year’s final eight of the AFC Challenge Cup.

With the draw, the Azkals have a point to show, and a win, which is worth three points, should keep their hopes alive. A loss would leave the Azkals’ fate hanging in the air.

A win and a draw in our last two games should put us through,” said goalkeeper Neil Etheridge who did mind computations of the possible scenario after Friday’s closing matches.

The Azkals played so well in the second half against Myanmar, and team manager Dan Palami said that if only they could keep it that way, then there shouldn’t be a problem.

If we play that way they we will get through this group stage,” said Palami, hoping the arrival of Jerry Lucena, a midfielder from Europe, will make it easier.

Palami admitted that the match against Myanmar the other day was a won match for the Azkals.

We could have won it but that’s how football is. So we have to be contented with the draw,” he said.

Close to midnight Monday, the Azkals, most of them, were still up, watching the tape of the match.

Dan Palami had secured a tape of the match from the Myanmar Football Association, and called on the Azkals to his hotel room.

They viewed the tape, from start to finish.

I still can’t believe it,” said Etheridge.

Skipper Aly Borromeo was there, too, as well as James Younghusband, Anton del Rosario, Simon Greatwich, Ray Jonsson, Yannick Tuason, Santi Barsales and Roel Gener.

Etheridge shared the sentiments of his coach regarding the first half.

If we had gone down 2-zero in the first half that match could have been over. At least we didn’t concede in the first half,” he said.


No comments:

Post a Comment




The Photos and Videos in this Blog belongs to their respective owners, Videos and Photos are only posted just for blogging purposes. We don't host any of the videos that are available on this website. We only provide links to them or post the video embed codes here.