it was just a few months ago when the country knew almost nothing about this group called Philippines Azkals. when the country woke up to the power of the Azkals, it did not look back and stayed awake since then and its fans growing in number by the multitudes.
that continued on yesterday when the Azkals beat Sri-Lanka in a most convincing and impressive fashion at 4-0. we almost fell asleep, worried even, last week when they could only muster a 1-1 tie in Sri-Lanka. yesterday’s game showed us a different team when the Azkals showed class, fineness and the tenacity of mad dogs going after it’s prey almost at the start of the bell.
the Azkals were relentless in their offense from the very start of the game. i would say the ball was on the half of the pitch on the Sri-Lankan side for a good 85% of the time. and during those moments the ball was on their opponent’s half, the Azkals attempted to kick a score almost every time they were there.
the Azkals that played yesterday looked like they were a completely different team from the one that played in Sri-Lanka last week.
- the offense the Azkals executed last week was nowhere to be found. it just didn’t work.
- yesterday at the Rizal, the Azkals were nothing but an offensive team
- they passed the ball very well; they created openings for others; they communicated with each other very well and they had set patterns to execute that almost always worked flawlessly
- they also showed a lot of confidence in the plays. it did not look like this was a team who has not played together a lot. this time around, they seemed to know what the other was going to do and made opportunities for scoring and attack
- the defense was also excellent with the ball going to the Azkals side not as often and offensive dangers occurring even fewer times
- etheridge, the goal keeper worked less this time, showing just how great the defense was
- but of those times etheridge worked, he performed his job flawlessly as always. etheridge we think is clearly a great asset to the team
- the fact that those who scored yesterday are the same people who used to score before tells you the offensive machine is working very well and the team’s scorers are gaining much confidence on their skills and trust on their teammates