Azkals were said to be the strongest Philippine football team. However, it is dismay when the team did not showed it last night as they play against Sri Lanka in the Fifa World Cup Asian Qualifiers in Colombo.
The azkals feel behind due to unfamiliarity of Sugathadasa Stadium’s pitch.
“Overall, we’re happy with the 1-1 result. At least we’re playing on Sunday without a deficit,” -Mariano Araneta, President of Philippine Football Federation
Positively, it is more favorably to have 1-1 scoreline than 0-1 when azkals play again at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Sunday. A scoreless draw will be enough to bring in the Azkals a berth in the second round against seeded Kuwait by virtue of winning on the away goal.
“With this, Sri Lanka will no longer play defensive (in the Manila game), they will surely go for goals and this will open up the game and I’m sure the Azkals will benefit from this, having the superior skills overall,” Araneta said.
“We’ll go for a win to avoid complications,” the PFF head said.
The Azkals, having hard time adjusting to the hard field, that made them to play slowly in the first half, aiming for a goal on the 43rd when Chathura Guranarathna wretched a 30-yard shot past the Philippines wall off a free kick.
“The team was quite sluggish in the first half, I would say they only showed 60 percent of their power. But they picked up in the second half and played 80 percent of their potential,
“They haven’t adjusted fully to the field, which you can see is really bad. They couldn’t really play well on that pitch. This was evident when Chieffy was going on a one and one and couldn’t control the ball because of the different bounce presented by the field,” Araneta added.