Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fair Play: Azkals--Just once, with or without you

I KNEW we were going to beat Guam the other night and it was just a question of by how many goals. And winning by one is just as good as winning by three.

And after all the brouhaha over Phil and James Younghusband missing the team, it was nice to watch a game again, while meeting the economic demands, of course, of the bar tender.  It was nice too, to make fun of the team, after taking ourselves seriously the past few days, and Ian Araneta,  Chieffy Caligdong, Misagh Bahadoran and Denis Wolf played their part by coming up with bricks in the first half.

"Sipyat na sad si Wolf....tumba na sad si Ian...Oy, nipasa si Misagh...Si Phil pa to, lupad pati keeper.  Kung si James ang referee, lupad.”

Against Guam, they could get away with it and the defense wasn't tested much. Jeffrey Christaensens, I think, spent more time feeding crosses than stopping them, while Jason de Jong wasn't tested that much. Ed Sacapano, too, played an exceptional 90 minutes and only had one error, when he failed to collect a soft shot but he quickly recovered.

The team controlled the match, too, slowly developing the play so our strikers can miss more shots--or fall before even getting one. Carli de Murga, a defender, had a couple of great chances, while Lexon Moy, who was inserted in the second half, had the shot of the night, a wicked 25-yarder that was met by the save of the night.  

It was great, too, how Wolf refused to force the issue in the second half, and instead attracted the defenders in an attempt to get someone free.  OJ Porteria, identified as a Guam player in the first half, was a revelation too, getting inside the box almost effortlessly and showing us that a spot in the first 11 could be next for him.

The same holds true, too, for Patrick Reichelt, whose header found the back of the net when the Guam keeper got off his line.  This boy from Argao has a long way to go.  

For most fans, the Peace Cup is the chance to end a 99-year trophy drought, but for me, it’s just a televised training camp and it’s great the guys who would normally have the best seats in the house are getting their playing time.

And after the win against Guam, we spent the rest of the night singing ourselves silly with songs like, “Just Once (score sad oy!)” and “With or without you (daug gyapun mi).”  

This Saturday, I hope we all sing ourselves crazy, “WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS.”

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