Star-studded Azkals-Galaxy game a success

Despite having a score of 6-1 in favor of The Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup champions- Los Angeles Galaxy, their friendly game with the Philippine National Football Teams-Azkals at the Rizal Memorial Stadium last Saturday was a success.

“It was a good match this evening. I thought the Philippine team played quite well in the first half, certainly it was a close match,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said in the post-match press conference.

The Azkals had a close fight with the LA Galaxy during the first half of the game with Angel Guirado, Chieffy Caligdong and Phil Younghusband penetrating the defense of the LA Galaxy numerous times. But it was the team’s superstar David Beckham who scored the first goal for the LA Galaxy in the 20th minute followed by Mike Magee’s goal in the 38th minute.

The Azklas managed to bounce back from the 2 point lead by the Galaxy through a goal by Phil Younghusband. But Phil’s goal was short lived when Robbie Keane and other members of the LA Galaxy team scored 4 more goals in the second half.

Nonetheless, Coach Arena said that the Philippine team had talented players and was impressive. “I thought number 12 (Guirado), 13 (Caligdong) and 10 (P. Younghusband) played well. I don’t know their names and I apologize for that, but I thought they played well,” he said.

Meanwhile, LA Galaxy members Arena and Donovan mentioned that their team’s good play is a bit better from the condition of the Philippine team. “In the second half, I think we just wore them down. Our fitness level is perhaps a little bit better,” Arena said. “We got our fitness in over a little bit in the last three or four days,” Donovan said.

David Beckham and Landon Donovan also thanked all the Filipinos for their hospitality during their short stay in the Philippines. Beckham added that he was thrilled when he saw Manny Pacquiao in the audience and admitted that he is a huge fan of the Filipino boxer.

Aside from the Manny Pacquiao, also present in the audience during the game were Phil Younghusband’s girlfriend-Angel Locsin, Mylene Dizon, Dawn Zulueta and Maxene Magalona nd politicians Rep. Amado Bagatsing and Mayor Alfredo Lim.

PHL Azkals to play vs LA Galaxy on December 3

When Azkals team manager Dan Palami said that the team has an early Christmas gift for Filipino fans, he wasn’t kidding. As an early Christmas gift to the supporters of the Azklas and Filipino football fans, the Azkals team manager announced that the major league soccer team, LA Galazy, will be visiting Manila and will be also be playing a friendly game against the Philippine Azklas on December 3 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

LA Galaxy President Thomas Payne also confirmed that the entire Galaxy Team, together with the football superstar David Beckham and Galaxy stars Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan, will be indeed visiting the Philippines on December 3, 2011.

“We’re looking forward to playing in front of a crowd that’s in front of the action. It’s gonna be a really memorable night for this community and for the sport of soccer,” Payne said.

Aside from the friendly match, the Galaxy team will also hold an open practice on December 2 from 9 am to 11 am and a football clinic for children from 2pm to 4pm which will also be held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Payne believes that the activity will contribute to the popularity of football. “Coming into a market like this, which is going football-crazy as I understand… putting on a game, bringing this kind of PR and media can only be good for the sport in this country,” he said.

Palami also mentioned that the event will mark the end of a great year for the Philippine Azkals.