Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Azkals Next Stop: Kuwait

The victory celebrations are not yet over but the grim reality of the tougher road ahead for our new found heroes, the Azkals (You may join the conversation about Azkals here.) , looms prominently just a few weeks from now. I would say Mongolia and Sri Lanka were lightweights and our twin victories were sort of a given. Mongolia's main sports I think is weightlifting and some amateur boxing while Sri Lanka, cricket, the national game of the Commonwealth countries. But Kuwait is far far different. Like all Middle East Arab countries, soccer is their passion and they play and can now even sort of match with European teams. If memory  serves me right, Kuwait has once qualified for the main draw of the FIFA World Cup. And this is indeed something.

The Azkals should be more in their tip-top shape for this "home and away" game. But the suspension of skipper Aly Borromeo  and Fil-German Stephan Schrock owing to the two yellow cards they earned each in the two games will definitely be a big blow to our cause. I felt then that they should have restrained with those fouls last Sunday since the game was already in our hands. Borromeo is a stalwart in our backcourt defense while Schrock is a gem of a midfielder who orchestrated the Azkals offense in their 2 game match against Sri Lanka. In soccer, the midfielder is basketball's point guard and that's how important he is to the team. We just hope the reported replacement, Fil-Danish Jerry Lucena and Fil-Icelandic Ray Johnson will more than be able to fill in his shoes. But these two have not played yet with the team and we haveto see their prowess and most of all, their coordination with their teammates.

Come what may, the Azkals have already made history. Come July 28, we will again be trooping to Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, rain or shine and cheer to our hearts out for our team. For love of country and for love of football.  


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