Qatar - Azkals United
The road to the World Cup 2014 in Brazil had just ended for the Philippine Azkals, losing 3-0 in the away leg and 1-2 at home vs a former World Cup finalist, an Asian Cup Champion and 10-Time Gulf Champions, Kuwait. Few months ago, The Philippines was hardly a contender to any international football match, has been tagged the name "Minnows", a small freshwater fish, mainly used as a bait. Majority of Filipinos did not support the team and the sport as it struggled to get out of the shadows to the limelight.
In the match that erupted 13,000+ Live Filipino fans and over a million watching at home, The Azkals had shown the world that they can, and they will not back down to any challenge even if it means fighting 59 countries above them in world rankings vs Kuwait. What has been known as the strongest team that the AZKALS has ever fought, The Philippines who lacked international experience, funding, and support then has truly elevated from the slump that Philippine football was in, to a fast rising football team in South East Asia.
“You have great talents and good system in place. You have to continue playing to gain more experience. We may have more experience and better ranking but I think in a short period of time, the Philippines will become one of the top 10 national teams in Asia,” said Kuwait's staff headed by coach Tufegdzic. I can only, agree to this strongly, as Kuwait was faced with dangerous scoring chances by AZKALS attack.
“In terms of technique, tactics and conditioning – Kuwait was always a a step higher. The team can only learn from this experience. One year ago, who would have thought that we’ll reach this far but we have to continue. I hope that the support will not stop,” Weiss said, and coach, no body even thought we can score against a team on this caliber.
Let it be known that the AZKALS is still a developing football team in the process of trying to get their acts together in all aspects, we have to give credit to the squad that has sacrificed so much for the betterment of the team. Physically & mentally bombarded with pressure carrying the flag on their sleeves and millions of Filipino football dreams, people we are just starting.
The World Cup Qualifying event yesterday officially welcomed the Philippines to the football world, We might have suffered losing 2-1, but the culprit for erupting Filipino fans was Stephan Schrock's scorching goal that he blasted just outside the box ending in the top right corner of the net, the marvelous goal lead the Philippines 1-0 on half time.
Pilipinas, we have earned respect. There is no reason to be sad, many of our players has not even reached their prime football age, and the future looks brighter than ever, Nothing is impossible.
The Azkals are set to compete on the Long Teng Cup with Taiwan in September against Hong Kong, Macau. The (PFF) Philippine Football Federation in October will host a 4 Nation's Challenge participated by Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand or Vietnam.
Azkals coach Michael Weiss will lead the Under-23 football team in its bid to win a first ever medal in the men’s football competition of the 26th Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia slated from Nov. 11-22, 2011 in the capital of Jakarta and Palembang.
To the fans, Welcome to the world's most popular sport! I ask your sincere support, No loss is going to break our spirit, we have such a long road to take in order for us to compete better, in time we will only be stronger, and through it we will be wiser, our AZKALS has so much potential and who knows, we will someday step on a World Cup finals and our anthem played as the earth listens to its Filipino lyrics of valor and gallantry.
To the Azkals, Maraming Salamat (Thank you) You may have failed to qualify for the WORLD CUP in Brasil 2014, but you have surely qualified to the heart of Filipinos world wide! through your works, you have shown that Filipinos never back down to challenges, through your actions, you have exposed that we never say die & that we never lose without a fight, we are never scared to face anyone on and off the pitch and that WE DO NOT GIVE UP and this is no secret.
NO WORDS CAN EVER EXPLAIN HOW YOU MADE EVERY FILIPINO STAND PROUD.
We are all behind your back. Mabuhay kayong lahat!
Help the AZKALS U23 Squad by purchasing your AU Football Kit . 50% of each Sale will be donated to the U23 Team. More Details here: