July 4, 2011

We Believe

July 3 was a historic day for Philippine sports - football in particular. 

The Philippine national team, endearingly called Azkals (the common name for mongrel dogs, which is a reference to the fact that most of the team members are half-Filipino, half-Caucasians), advanced to the second round of the 2014 World Cup qualifier by beating Sri Lanka, 4-0 (5-1 on aggregate). I was in the 77-year old Rizal Memorial Stadium to witness the event. 

Kick-off started at about 3:30 in the afternoon, and the match continued despite a heavy downpour that made the field slippery. Goals were contriuted by strikers Phil Younghusband, Chieffy Caligdong and Angel Guirado. 

Football is not a very popular sport in the Philippines, despite the country having one of the oldest team in Asia, but the sport had a revival of sort after it upset Vietnam in AFF Suzuki Cup in December. 

pics, from top: victory lap after thrashing Sri Lank (the one in yellow shorts is goalkeeper Neil Etheridge); outside the Rizal Memorial stadium; vuvuzelas make a noisy appearance; the Azkals in action.  

No comments: