Wednesday, June 06, 2012

We just drew Indonesia, and it's disappointing

SO, that was quite a game, wasn’t it!  The buzz was at an all-time high when the starting lineup was released and Neil Etheridge tweeted his disappointment.

But I think I know where Coach Michael Weiss was coming from. Neil is still the no. 1 and has started in a home match—both friendly and in a qualifier—while Roland hasn’t.

And Roland getting the starting job was a just reward for his showing in Malaysia and I think his save in the late stages of the Malaysia game prodded coach Weiss to start him.

Now as to Phil and James Younghusband getting benched? Well, that, I think, was Coach Weiss’ reward for their “prior commitments,” when they chose a clinic over the Malaysia game.

Though I was really disappointed with all that issue, you have to give credit to the two, though, of how professional they were in dealing with being benched, no tantrums, no tweets and no dramas.

And despite airing his disappointment over twitter, Neil, too played his part as the sub-keeper—at least, that’s what I got when I saw footages of him helping Roland during the warm-ups as what all second keepers do.

Now as to the game.

It was a bit disappointing and we should have won.

And by god we just held Indonesia to a 2-2 draw in a match that we could have won and there’s a tinge of disappointment?

Philippine football really has made some major strides.

The Indonesians were delaying the game and the keeper, it seems, would get down injured if an Azkal was a meter near him. Did you not see him flailing after a save? I gave him an A for effort and audacity.

For tactics, well, you have to go over to the experts to take their read on the game. But I think it was obvious to those who saw it who controlled the game. We did but we just couldn’t get our acts together when we got to the Indonesian’s box.

And that’s going to be a concern Coach Weiss has to address when we get to the Suzuki Cup. As we proved against Vietnam in 2010, all those possession means squat if you can’t score and Indonesia made most of theirs, scoring twice in four shots at goal.

Now as to those Indonesian fans chanting “Di kayo Filipino” now that, for me, shows what kind of fans they were. It seems they are so used to the SEA culture where insults—and laser beams—are the norm that for them, being nice to “away fans” is a strange notion. 

It also shows they don’t respect us and that the idea of a Philippine team putting their national team on the defensive is so absurd that they think we bought our players.

We could probably explain the whole OFW and diaspora thing to them but why bother? Let them wallow in their ignorance and besides, two years ago, in the Suzuki Cup semifinals, our association was in the midst of a turmoil, and now, Indonesia’s FA is facing a turmoil that is 10 times greater.

How do you say karma in bahasa? I hope the fans enjoyed the Filipino hospitality (cue background music…can’t read my, can’t read my, no he can’t read my poker face.)

One of the goals of the friendlies against Malaysia and Indonesia was to gauge our preparedness for the Suzuki Cup and I think the team achieved that.  They now know where we stand against the two teams that made the 2010 Suzuki Cup finals.

Next up is lowly Guam on June 12 and though I was hoping we’d field a team full of locals, I’m afraid the two draws will prod the management to still field our strong team, to fatten the scoreline.

For fans in Panaad, I hope, too, they will see the Guam match as a chance to show how much they support the team and filling up the stadium, an hour before the match, would be a first for some of the Azkals who haven’t been to Bacolod.


ceburoo said...

Unfortunately the absence of Schrock made a difference to the midfield. But this is still not our strongest team so with the possibility of maybe another three quality players (incl schrock) coming into the team the squad will have never been so strong as it has the potential to be by Suzuki Cup time. The downside of that is will all the players be AVAILABLE for the Suzuki Cup? It is not FIFA dated so clubs are not obliged to release their players. Get out the rope and let the tug o war begin

ceburoo said...

Geez i wish i was a robot these prove you are not a robot riddles are getting more ridiculous every day Mike hahaha

MD said...

Talked about getting a dose of our own medicine - getting caught on a counter attack! Ugh! Still a great result for me!

I think the Indonesian fans are just frustrated with their current situation, their football future looks bleak with FIFA suspension hanging over them while this Philippine team that they use to beat black and blue has the audacity to experiment player combinations on them! Still, frustration is not a justification of bigotry and vitriolic tounge.

Advice to Indonesian fans, instead of whining about their FA situation and turning themselves into thugs - just rally behind their team! Take a page out of the Azkal's playbook - defeating divisiveness by just playing kickass football. If they can replicate that "Azkal Suzuki moment," people will start to realize that football is greater than any politics and by then talks about unity usually follow. Cheers for Azkals!