Proud of Philippine Azkals

My eyes are glued, and my feet are cringing few seconds before Gonzales (from Indonesia) made a successful goal during the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup held yesterday, December 19. Gahd! That was close for the Philippines.

Being a Filipino, everything shattered into pieces when Gonzales made a goal a few minutes before the first half expired. At that moment, I felt like I was a soccer fan for a very long time, and thinking that the goal did not happen (Nooo!). Then I relaxed a bit, and thought that even I am for Philippine Azkals, I must admit that Gonzales is a very, very good player – maybe the best I’ve seen in this ASEAN tournament. It’s just so bad for the Filipino fans, that he’s there on the field fighting against the Philippine team. Dang!

On the other hand, I am very proud of the Philippines Azkals. They were so tough and patient in playing the entire game, specially given the fact that they played on an arena dominated by their opponent’s fans – and we are talking about around 8,000 fans making all sorts of annoying noises.

Maybe, the Philippine Team really need more experience and learn better strategy for them to get the tournament crown. After all, Philippines is known to be a basketball-oriented country and football is not a widely-played sport here. Of course, I am not expert on this, and this is just an opinion. Whatever it is, I am very happy that our team reached the semis.

Speaking of opinions, some people (Filipino or not; or sports commentators or not) say that a referee in-charged during the game committed a lot of bad calls, and favoring Indonesia. Well, again, I am no expert on this game but maybe they are true. I am saying that it might be true because I have watched the past games of this tournament and some calls are “called differently” for the same kind of situation. Of course, two or three “improper calls” might not be a game clincher, but let’s face the fact that somehow, it destroys the morale and momentum of the affected party.

Anyway, whatever the reason of last night’s game result, it’s bound to be that way. And I am very proud with how the Philippine Azkals played the entire tournament.

From the bottom of my heart (nhaks!), thank you for playing the game with your whole heart.



  1. I totally agree with your post! And though the referee made okay calls, I really felt that he “didn’t see” or was too lenient with some of the things that the indonesian team did! I admire how the team took it with patience and persevered – they tried to win by the rules. But of course all those bad calls or lack of calls from the ref would take it’s toll and frustrate the players. Seeing them live was especially frustrating for us supporters in the audience. I wonder did the refs turn a blind eye because they were paid or were they just scared or pressured by the 85,000 indonesians in the stadium?

    1. OMG! You were there during the match? That’s something. I wonder how will I react if I am also watching that match with the 85,000 Indonesians? Oh, that seems to be so frustrating. And yes, that could also be one reason for the improper calls.

      Actually, other sports commentators raised also the issue of the uneven crowd. Since the stadium is dominated by Indonesians, the refs’ attention would be quickly caught by the crowd’s “reaction” whenever there’s a contact initiated by Azkals — compared if the contact is initiated by the Indonesians. Then, resulting to more calls for Azkals than for Indonesians.

      1. Yes we were there. For both games! I have yet to write about our experience during the 2nd game, but if you are interested here is our experience in the first game: Also there is a reason that there were so few pinoys watching. We could barely get tickets! Read about the frustrating situation with the tickets here:

        We were the lucky ones for sure.

      2. Thanks for sharing! It was indeed a very nice experience (except the tickets thing). Next year, if God permits me to be wherever the Azkals will play, I will go there definitely. 🙂

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