|Angel Aldeguer | Photo by Mikhail de Guzman of Soccer Central Philippines|
By Charles Hizon
The long awaited appearance of the Fil-Spanish forward finally came in the Challenge Cup and he did it in style against Bangladesh scoring two second half goals to seal Philippine’s spot in the last 8. The 6’2 forward has got pace, physical strength and has an eye for goal- he will prove to be an asset for Azkals’ ambitions in the future.
Angel loves the Philippines very much. He loves the weather, specially the wonderful beaches that we have here. We talked to his aunt and she says: “Angel really really wants to come home to the Philippines its just that he’s got little break from his club commitments back in Spain. When he came home he bought a Philippine flag and he displays it in his room- the only thing is that we have to educate him about which color should be on top.”
Fresh from qualifying to the knock out stages, we took the chance to ask him some of our own:
How were you scouted for the national team?
Actually my cousin told me about it- that I should try out for the Philippine National Team. I sent my resume and a video together with it, and from there I was invited to train with the team.
In the Asian Cup you had your debut for the national team, what role did Weiss ask you to take?
In the challenge cup Weiss chose to come out with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Ian Araneta up there on his own, and I was given the role of an attacking midfielder. So I play behind the striker.
What were the specific instructions to you by Weiss?
Basically I was there to put pressure up in opposition defense if we have the ball and if not, I was asked to help out in midfield to help Jerry Lucena defend, as he’s alone there sitting in front of the back four.
Myanmar‘s late equalizer- how did the team react to that? What was the atmosphere in the dressing room when you conceded that last gasp equalizer?
All of us were devastated. It was the last minute of stoppage time, last kick of the game, and we managed to concede. The coach told us that we played well and we should move on from this and look towards the next game.
Talking about the 3-0 win over Bangladesh, Going to the dressing room at half time up by 1 courtesy of Ian Araneta’s goal, What were the instructions from Weiss for next 45?
The coach told us that if we could attack and if given an opportunity, we should try to score. We were looking for that second goal that will make us more comfortable.
Playing against Bangladesh were you guys aware of what’s going on with the other match, Myanmar – Palestine?
We really didn’t care that much- We chose to focus on our own game. We know that if we win, we go through.
You had a hamstring and an ankle injury before the Bangladesh game.
Yeah I had those injures but I realized the importance of the game, and I said to myself that I need to score in this game to help my team. Coach Weiss told me that if I feel that I can’t continue, I should not force myself- but that game will decide if the Philippines will go through so I played through.
You scored not just one but two goals in your first three matches. What does it feel like scoring for the Philippines?
Oh just imagine scoring for the Philippines. I can’t describe it, it is unbelievable.
So are you going to support the Philippines now instead of Spain?