As you know, the Philippine Azkals hadn't built its grandeur yet in the international footballscene, except from its qualification in the semis of AFF Suzuki Cup last 2010 and beat thepowerhouse Vietnam, which pretty much considered as the greatest shock in Asian football thatyear. The Malaysian, on the other hand, have surely took the hold of the spotlight ever since. Onthe same Cup, AFF Suzuki, they were the ones who grabbed the throne, and needless to say,have won several premiere football games in and out of the Pacific. This friendly game, for myown opinion, was like setting up a blaze into what was impossible: beating the country which had once beat you.
Me and my mother (yes, my mom was with me) started our girl bonding with a heavy lunch in McDonalds, which seemed to be the headquarters of all the Azkals fans. I had seen loads of people changing their shirts with Azkals apparels, preparing their cheering paraphernalia and giving their fearless forecast of how the game would end.
Outside the fast food chain, the Kaholeros, were also steering up the noise while they werepracticing their prepared chants to uplift the energy of the game.
I have recognized some faces from the Kaholeros, all because they were my Ultras Kaya family.Raffy Villanueva, I think he was leading the cheers too:
Our baby, striker Shane Clemente:
My mom gave me another treat, a new headdress for me! It is now my 11th :D To those who are interested in buying a cap like this, don't try going to legitimate Azkals apparel sellers, as far as I had seen, the couple who sell me this... well, are just informal sellers.
The Kaholeros gearing up before the kick-off.
Another set of Ultras for the Azkals. I myself was quite pissed with the fact that they refused conniving with the Kaholeros. As far as I knew, they got the same goal to, which was to show their support for our national players... I think.
The National Team Philippine Azkals warming up too. It was Neil Etheridge (the great?) who took the place of the goalie that night, which I guess, added an approximately 100 fangirls scattered on the crowd that night.
Kick-off with the FIFA emissaries and the crowd.
The first half.
Dennis Wolf scored the first goal through Jason Sabio's throw in. The crowd truly went wild including me, my sister and my mom. My phone even ventured its way down three rows while tumbling because I lost track of all the things I was holding.
The businessmen, of course.
The bouncers. For me, they have the hardest job ever, even harder than a slave wiping the buttocks of his master every after taking his poo (sorry for the metaphor). There they were, standing in front of the crowd and can't even have a glimpse of what was happening during the game. It was like a death sentence.
The second half was a bit of a woeful scenario for me. The Malaysian Tigers scored a goal during the stoppage time when there were only a couple of minutes left. So, as you may say, it ended up with a draw.
The mad Etheridge
The final score.
After the game.
The Ilo-ilo fans giving honor to the late Paulino Alcantara, a player of Barcelona in Liga BBva, who had made a history with his 357 goals in 357 matches.
The National team doing their courtesy walk.
Our National Team had undeniably showed a good performance. there were of course, a bit flaws, which was expected since they were but humans. But all in all, this is by far one of their best games I have watched after the Suzuki Cup.
MEN OF THE MATCH: Neil Etheridge and Ray Johnsson
It can be a bit surprising, but yes, I didn't include Dennis Wolf who scored the goal. For me, his goal was not that surreal, it was more of the Malaysian goalkeeper's fault. Neil had of course, guarded up the walls that lead to only a single damage and Ray Johnsson had surely manifested a great rook defending their side.