Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fair Play: A 3-1 treat from Azkals on V-day

(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu on feb. 15)

FANS who stayed up late had their fill the other night when the Philippines beat Al Ahlil,3-1, in a friendly in Qatar.  Phil Younghusband, the subject of many-a-girl’s imaginary date, scored twice, missed a couple of chances, and almost lost his shorts to a defender who got rather frisky. 

Dennis Wolf, the Pinoy from Germany, also scored, cleaning up James Younghusband’s rebound, while Angel Guirado missed another penalty.

Despite the miss, I’d give Angel an A- for his performance as this seemingly lackadaisical striker showed us his quickness and ballhandling skills we don’t see in his UFL matches, at least the one aired on TV.

Juan Guirado, who’s just in his second match with the team, also acquitted himself well and so did Jayson Sabio and Ray Jonsson.  Roland Muller was also excellent at goal and even assisted on Phil’s second goal, while Marwin Angeles also showed excellent vision.

For me, the game showed what a well-oiled Philippine team can do but sadly I wasn’t all that happy with the win because of a recurring problem—Coach Michael Weiss and his substitutions, rather, the lack of it.

It is really not my style to criticize coaches’ substitutions as I think they are better at this than me, but come on, the other team changed everybody except the ball boys and we only had three subs? One during injury time?

Because it was a friendly, there were unlimited subs (not the usual three) and after reading Coach Weiss harp about homegrown talents and the need to expose them to big matches, I was expecting, well, to see homegrown talents exposed in big matches.

But the coach whose lack of substitution was blamed for the last two goals in the 3-0 loss to Kuwait last year again showed that he’ll do it his way, putting in Misagh Bahadoran, Ian Araneta in the final 10 minutes and poor Lexton Moy in the final 90 seconds. That last move—putting a guy in injury time in a friendly--was a puzzler. I just hope this problem won’t bite him in the ass when the AFC Challenge Cup comes.

Other than that, the game was great—the fans in Qatar, greater--and kudos to Coach Weiss, the players and rest of the staff.  Australia U23, you’re up next!

IRONY. The only thing I’m going to say about this latest “can-we-please-bar-the-Kenyans-so-we-can-win” move is that if it’s true the Run for Integrity barred foreigners from the 12K division, then the Integrity Run had no integrity.
Aaah, the irony of it.


Anonymous said...

Bringing the whole group in FRIENDLY matches only to have 2 or 3 substitions? EPIC FAIL. Yea right, some of the players gained experience, experience of watching their teammates play in overseas. This is not the first time this had happened, it also was the thing back in Indonesia SEA games 2011, a lot of skillful local talents were not used, the likes of Jake Morallo, Jerry Barbaso et al. Is this the coach we want? think again.

Anonymous said...

substitution during injury time is a strategy to waste time but on a friendly game its really puzzling. At some point if you would think that coach is done with the experimental stage and now at the familiarization among players, his decisions are right to the punch. Though with enough experience individually they are still young as team.

Oversight said...

Mike Limpag said...

Clicked something and Oversight's comment go deleted. This is what he wrote:

"Jake Morallo and Jerry Barbaso? Who are these guys. They are not in the level yet of the AZKALS even in SEA Games U23. Just stop criticizing all of you because withou the fil-fors, local players are nothing."

Mike Limpag said...

Don't know who Jake Morallo is but I feel Jerry Barbaso is one of those guys who deserve to get a chance with the national team.

And if not for the local players, our Pinoys based abroad won't have a national team to return home to.