Surprise contestant Philippine Azkals were downed by Indonesia last December 20, 2010 in the AFF Suzuki Cup Semi Finals. Indonesia advances to the finals against Malaysia. Philippines lost 2-0 on aggregate.
It was to no surprise to me that the Philippines were going out of the AFF Suzuki Cup against Indonesia, a team which has been way more creative, offensive, fluent on and off the ball. I’m a Filipino, no doubt, but the game the Azkals displayed last 20th of December makes me question how they’ve reached the semi finals. Let’s say they’ve deserved to make it until there, but until there only. There was no life to the Philippine lineup, but that probably for very good reason.
Philippines denied a Penalty
A well placed cross was placed by a Philippine winger midway the first half, it was accompanied by a well paced run, too. The only obstacle in the way to see Philippines level the Indonesian has been the goal keeper who just smashed into the striker without even having proper hold on the ball. Questionable decision making by the officials, and this is not the lone case in this ball game.
It should have been a penalty, a penalty to have them level by half time. It could have had a very great impact on the game, on the psychologically on players of both squads.
Philippines played twice away
Something that the Philippine government might want to fund would be the construction of a Soccer Stadium here in the Philippines. The team has technically played away twice and lost on both ends. It may have spelled the difference when Philippines would have hosted the first leg of the two legged semi finals. Without a doubt, it has been a huge advantage for the Indonesian team.
It can only get better
Don’t get me wrong, the Philippines have played exceptionally well throughout the competition and is a team to be proud of. It can only get better! We can only hope that Soccer will become a more prominent sport after the Azkals feat in the AFF Suzuki Cup. I’m still waiting for the day when one of my craziest dreams will turn into reality. The Philippines, joining one of the upcoming FIFA World Cup tournaments.