Azkals finish the job

A scoreless draw in Jakarta pushes the Philippines to the Suzuki Cup semi-final. This is what I think I look forward and backward.

Published at 16:32, November 26, 2018

Updated at 16:32, November 26, 2018

BACK TO IT. After 4 years the Philippine Azkals return to the semi-finals of the Suzuki Cup. Photo of the ASEAN Football Federation

BACK TO IT. After 4 years the Philippine Azkals return to the semi-finals of the Suzuki Cup. Photo of the ASEAN Football Federation

MANILA, Philippines – Football is not always beautiful, and Pinoy fans must appreciate that.

On Sunday, November 25, goalkeeper Michael Falkesgaard tweeted that we would not expect a technical football because of the poor quality of the field at Gelora Bung Karno in Jakarta, Indonesia.

It was true that the game was filthy and sometimes desolate. As always, the action increased in the second half, with some good opportunities.

Two things here.

Filipinos need to go beyond mere goals and start enjoying a game as a whole. This was a tense and exciting 0-0 draw. There was a lot to talk about and discuss everything during the match. The movement, the tactics, the defensive actions. That is how the world looks at football, and Filipinos need to learn it slowly.

Difficult when our sports fans are weaned in high-scoring games such as basketball and volleyball, but slowly but surely we will get there.

Secondly, I suspect that we will see more of this in the future. This team has a fantastic centerback link in Carlie De Murga and Alvaro Silva. They literally and figuratively speak the same language.

Although Daisuke Sato will return to Romania and miss the semi-finals, Martin Steuble is able to replace him in the back left.

At this moment our strength is our defense. This is a team that, without the presence of Javi Patiño, does not have an attack team with a high octane rating. We were the only team in our group that could not score 4 or more goals against Timor Leste. We only scored two in the other 3 games.

We can win with gravel-it-out, patient, attritional football – choose our places and stay organized. We will have to face a razor-sharp Vietnam team. I see in this team a part of the Singapore team that baffled Thailand to lift the cup in 2012.

This team can go all the way, do not expect that it will always be beautiful.

Phil & # 39; s departure from the game prepares us for the future

Phil Younghusband left in the first half with a head injury from an accidental clash of heads with an opponent.

Phil is 31 years old and we have trusted him for a very long time. Perhaps it is only fitting that we can test ourselves without him. Curt Dizon came in as a sub, and neither he nor Jovin Bedic could create much. Bedic produced a decent early pass in the second half. That is his trademark, and we will need more of that with the pace that is likely to be very high in the semi-finals.

Let's nurture and enjoy Phil while we still can, but without him looking to the future. Maybe we have one or maybe two Suzuki cups with them. Fortunately coach Sven Goran Eriksson said in the press conference that the knock is not serious and that he should be good to go on Sunday.

Vietnam is a difficult task

We are now in the semi-finals for Group B winner Vietnam. Earlier this year Vietnam reached the final of the AFC U23 championship, lost in time to Uzbekistan.

Nguyen Quang Hai finished 2nd in the Golden Boot race with 5 strokes in that competition. The attacking middle already has two in this Suzuki Cup.

He is only 21 years old.

Attackers Nguyen Van Quyet and Nguyen Van Durc were in that team as exaggerated players. They are now in the team as the older statesmen of the team. Van Quyet is the skipper.

Two of the Vietnamese back 3 – Tran Dinh Trong and Do Duy Manh – are veterans of the U23 team. They are both only 21.

Phan Van Durc, the striker, also has a U23 silver medal.

This is a young core with a few tried and tested veterans. They have already tasted success at the larger Asian level. This team is no joke. Le Cong Vinh may no longer be in the team but the quality will continue for the Indochinese nation. They are clearly doing something right.

View the 3 goals they have laid beyond Cambodia.

According to the AFF Suzuki Cup competition center, Vietnam plays a 3-5-2 formation. That will flood the midfield with staff and make life hard on our ball carriers. Wingbacks Nguyen Trong Hoang and Nguyen Phong Hong Duy should give our wide players many passes.

But there is some hope for the Philippines.

Vietnam is saddled with luggage from previous Suzuki Cups. The home base, the stadium of My Dinh, can just as well celebrate Halloween every day of the year. That is the number of spirits that are in that location of former Suzukis. Will they eventually be banned in 2018?

The Azkals beat them famous there in 2010. Four years later, Dollah Salleh & # 39; s Malaysia defeated a 1-2 first-leg deficit and won 4-2 in the second part in My Dinh, which eliminated the home team.

Two years later, there was even more pain, as Indonesia won 2-2 in Hanoi in the second leg, resulting in a 4-3 victory in the final. It was a bizarre match where the goalkeeper from Vietnam was broadcast and the substitute, a fielder, the rest of the team played as a centerfielder, while Indonesia defended.

Should Vietnam undergo a new My Dinh Meltdown this time, or should it just burn the joint instead of playing another game there?

But aside from history, Vietnam must feel that this is his moment. The young attackers with tempo will provide a huge test for a central defense with an average age of 32 years. Fortunately we get the first free home field in Panaad on Sunday.

It is now time for the fans to stand up and spread the news. The Azkals have a colossal game on Sunday evening and all eyes must be focused on them.

Philippines versus Vietnam

AFF Suzuki head Half final leg 1

Panaad Stadium, Bacolod

Sunday, December 2

Kickoff TBA

Telecast details TBA

Follow Bob on Twitter @PassionateFanPH. –

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