|Photo Courtesy of Inquirer.net
The team went to Japan to train for the reverse fixture in Mongolia and then played against Japanese team, Kanto, where they lost 4-0 and 8-1 respectively. The Azkals fielded a team without some of their key players and the result was a disaster. Even though it was just a friendly game, still this should be a concern not just for the team, but the whole governing body of Philippine football.
Football in Japan is way ahead. The Japanese team that the Azkals faced are not even the national side or the second choice national team. This only shows how the Philippines are far behind in terms of football development.
The team is hampered by defensive problems. We may need to accept the fact that the team is a young team (in terms of experience and playing together) and without experienced players such as Etheridge and Giero at the back, the defense which is the foundation of any team is not the same.Our formidable defensive record that we brought home from the Suzuki cup might all change and we need to look into this area of the team to improve. We need players that can take over the back and still make a solid wall.
The team does not have depth at the moment.
I describe our team (the Azkals) as a young team and right now they are achieving the greatest heights even with limited second stringers- but we know time will come that the need for even more quality from the bench will be very important specially in big games such as the semi-final with Indonesia. The team didn’t lack the motivation and character that time- they lacked options. (by Charles Hizon
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