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.

Azkals won with 4-0 score against Sri Lanka

Azkals against Sri Lanka team at Rizal Memorial Stadium

Azkals against Sri Lanka team at Rizal Memorial Stadium

Truly, the Philippines Football team, Azkals, did not fail the expectation of Filipinos as they won the 4-0 match against Sri Lanka last Sunday, July 3, 2011 at Rizal Memorial Park.

Azkals wrote a new historic event by becoming the first Philippine Football team to make it on the second round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Million of their Filipino fans are hoping that they can continue to make it on FIFA World Cup.

Azkals’ supporters will not consider the weather for not to watch their team to play. Even the game had started start 3:30 pm; people were starting to fill the Rizal Stadium in Manila by 11:00 am. According to Azakals’ media officer, Rick Olivares, 12,870 tickets were sold.

It was a similar sight when the team played in Panaad Stadium in Bacolod last February and also won on that game against Mongolians.

Thunder or rain has not become interruption for the people to watch the game. Nobody moves even the strong rains poured from the kick-off until 20 minutes of the game.

The team was overwhelmed with the support of the Filipinos. Coach Weiss called it “special kind of love that is sometime moving.”

Azkals salvaged 1-1 draw against Sri Lanka

Philippine National Football Team

Philippine National Football Team

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.