Friday, February 11, 2011

Azkals vs Mongolia Leg 1

*photo by Kieron Tan via Azkals United.

First off, pardon this incoherent post. I watched the game in the comfort of the hospital room, where my wife gave birth Feb 10. 

This will be more like a bullet list of my observations of the Azkals game against Mongolia. 

-- Careless Passing of the Azkals, which nearly resulted in several catastrophic one on ones with Neil. Were they overconfident and complacent, or downright jittery? The Azkals had so many passes straight to the Mongolian players, and these passes were under very little pressure.

-- Is it just me, or is the Panaad pitch so bad that the ball took many wicked and unexpected bounces, and caught some players by surprise?

-- Due to boredom, Neil decided to venture upfield, almost to the halfway line. What are you doing there?? Very risky venture from the Fulham man.

-- Man Marking by Mongolia. 
   THIS, we have got to get used to, most especially Phil. He must not lose his cool.

-- The Ray Jonsson Experiment.
    He looked lost in Midfield, didn't he?  Had to be brought back to Left Back at the start of the second half. He didn't have those penetrating runs to meet crosses from the wings.  

-- Chieffy was electric. 
    Before he scored, he was the sole offensive threat of the Azkals that worked. Oftentimes, the ball was dumped to the left wing, where he sent several brilliant crosses in. Which NO ONE got to the end of. Finally got tired of sending crosses and decided to tuck one in himself. Commentators said that Chieffy's crosses were too strong. Come on, mate! He was aiming for the far corner! Which again, brings us to...

-- Commentators.
    I respect the credentials of both commentators. But please, this is NOT the NBA. Would it be too much for them to first listen to Martin Tyler do his stuff? Now he is a pro.

    It is absolutely unacceptable that they do not know the names of the Mongolia players. Do your homework! Come on.

    It is again, perfectly unacceptable that they do not know who was substituted for Simon Greatwich. As a matter of fact, I don't think they knew Simon was substituted until he got the ball in midfield and they happend to notice his presence.

    Lastly, "there is no space to make bwelo??" So, how would you rate Jason Sabio's bato of the ball?

-- Ad boards got in the way of Anton's monster throw ins in the first half. 
      Surely, you do not disrupt one of your team's weapons at the expense of corporate sponsors. Or would you?

-- Play acting by the Mongolians.
   But the Younghusbands should NOT be spared from criticism. Acting petulantly and always imploringly looking at the refs. Come on, boys! Play on. 

-- Imperative to note that both goals came very late at the end of each half. Tiring defense to blame? The second goal came from very very sloppy Mongolian defending. They thought play was stopped, and hence did not tackle the ball from Jason Sabio.

Also, we scored both goals, with great difficulty against 10 men. Not a good omen to take to Ulan Bator.

-- Jason Sabio is strong! 
Using his size, he can be a match for any attack. Is it me, or is Rob Gier slow to chase balls down? With Aly joining the attack, he is usually the last one defending, and his lack of pace was exposed.

-- De Jong! 
WTF were you thinking with those wayward passes??? And getting dispossessed at very dangerous areas. Nigel won't be too impressed.

-- Philippines given a dose of its own medicine.
   This game was where we took on the role of Indonesia and Mongolia took on the role of the Philippines. 

-- Positive notes :
   Growing and steady interest in football. No prawn sandwich brigades here, please. 
   Jason Sabio. Strong in defense, quick, and a monster throw. One for the future, if not the present.
   Strong attacking intent. The crossbar denies Ian again. Their goalkeeper worked overtime. But the intent was there, definitely. Good signs.   

MAN of the MATCH : Chieffy Caligdong. 
The goal that relieved the pressure. BUT more than that, he was a constant menace in the left flank, sending in cross after cross. 

GOAT of the MATCH : Jason de Jong.
Tough as nails tackling, yes. But this was right after he gave the ball away. Of course he had to tackle tough, otherwise the ball he gave away could have lead to a one on one with Neil.

Side Comments : Ian Araneta's "I am gonna punch you right now!" face in the second half, when the Mongolian keeper went down on Chieffy's 'challenge'. Some trash talking down there. (how they understand each other is beyond me) Cool lang, Smiling Assassin! 

Side Comments 2 : Would've been nice to see Jason Sabio on for de Jong, with Aly shifting to CM (his position at club level). Would  be interesting to see him partnering with Simon, pulling the strings in midfield. Simon seems the more cerebral midfielder, as opposed to brother Chris who would push forward a lot more. Sabio would cover with Gier at the back.

Lastly, I leave you with this gem. Can't get enough of it! Bravo Chieffy!
Lest you guys forget, he shows the world what his last name is.
Go Azkals!

1 comment:

  1. nice post, sir! your thoughts aren't that incoherent, in fairness. =D

    have to agree w/careless passing. there were a lot of crosses that were put to waste.

    was pleasantly surprised w/jason sabio! and contrary to what the commentators said, he will still play in the 2nd leg in mongolia.

    congrats again to your new baby! =D