Second day of the Peace Cup….after being surprised and stressed out because of the new traffic scheming at RMS. I made sure that I was ready for an alternate route going to Adriatico so that I would be able to park near the entrance of the RMS grandstand. Armed with the directions I got from Google Map (thank God for Google Map) Khen and I were able to park infront of Mcdo in Harrison Plaza. Since we were early again (for the PHL vs. MAC game anyway hehehe) we decided to have dinner first at Harrison. It was very encouraging to see that a lot of Azkals fans were also in Harrison Plaza to have dinner how did we know they were Azkals fans? They were wearing Azkals shirts or jerseys that is always a dead giveaway.
When we entered RMS both teams were warming up. I noticed that the players of Macau looks very young. I even teased Khen that the players from Macau are usually her type.
The starting line up for this game were:
Starting XI: Goalkeeper – Ed Sacapano; Defenders – Jeffrey Christaens, Carli De Murga, Jason De Jong, Matthew Uy; Midfielders – Demetrius Omphroy, Marwin Angeles, Patrick Reichelt, Chieffy Caligdong; Forwards – Denis Wolf, Ian Araneta
I must say I was quite surprised to see Matthew Uy in the starting line up for I was not impressed with his performance against Guam but I’m not part of the coaching staff so I guess they saw something that I didn’t. Still happy to see that Ian Araneta and Chieffy were also included. Though I was disappointed that Anto was not able to play for this game.
PS. I was very impressed with the Macau team, after the game they bowed to the Filipino audience showing their sportsmanship and I applaud them for that 🙂
When the game started you can really see that the Macau players are very young. As Khen said “mukha silang high school student Ate Katy” and I agree. Their youth was also evident with the way that they played. Very aggressive but not well planned. I was quite worried entering the stadium that day for Macau had a draw against Chinese Taipei each scoring 2 goals but I guess I was worried for nothing.
Denis Wolf was on fire that night scoring 3 goals for the Philippines. I was so happy when he scored for I had a feeling he was getting frustrated with all his tries to score a goal starting from game against Malaysia up to the friendlies against Singapore. Carli De Murga and Patrick Reichelt sealed the deal with a goal each.
Kudos also for our defenders. Ed Sacapano gave a stellar performance keeping a clean sheet for the Philippines. He was supported by Jason De Jong and Jeffrey Christaens. Jeffrey really made me proud (I know I’m not his sister or his mom but I was proud hehe) I meet him once at Azkals Sports Bar and he was a very sweet kid and I think that what endeared him to me. I know from stories that he was very frustrated with the U22 performance during the Asian Cup Qualifiers in Myanmar. For me redeemed himself during the Peace Cup. Showing his amazing footwork, impressive stamina and superb one touches Jeffrey had proven that he is the one that people should be watching for in the future.
A quick side note, to those people who was watching the game on TV were you able to catch the spectacular header save (is there such a word) that Carli did? It was beautiful and I can imagine it being better if they were able to show a close up shot of that.
I truly feel bad for Ian Araneta during this game. I can just imagine how frustrating it was not being able to put in goals when you are a known striker. Misfortune after misfortune haunted Ian from losing his footing and just simply missing the ball all together.
A lot of people are saying that the Azkals won this game because the Macau players were not effective players. Maybe this is true to some level but I can really say that our players have improved. The cohesiveness is there and they are playing smarter. I truly believe that the numerous training camps and friendlies they have played together helped to make them a better team.