I intentionally watched the replay a while back and I was mesmerized by Joshua Beloya's second goal. I never did notice it last night, probably because I was distracted by his first goal, and I was beyond crazy after his second goal that I failed to analyze how fantastic that goal was. It took great skills on the part of Beloya to maneuver that goal, with one Laos player pressuring him, with other players, they would have been dispossessed but Beloya showed us how good of a player he is.
But, I think that equalizer goal from him lifted the Philippines' spirits up. In case you hadn't noticed, after that goal, we worked triple hard on obtaining the ball. Why is it that we always work our asses off towards the closing minutes? It happened in the game versus Timor Leste too. I'm not complaining but if only we play with that intensity, things would have changed.
Bagging a medal is too far a dream, but it would not hurt for us to hope :) Correct me if I am wrong, but our U23 national team has never qualified for a semi-finals berth right? Perhaps we can see some light come 2013, but hey I am still hoping that somehow a miracle would happen :D
Which leads me to this article. I read it right after watching the game against Timor Leste (and before the game against Laos) and quite frankly, I agree to what the author wrote.
I don't know if it was my pained heart agreeing but seeing how the team played against Timor Leste convinced me that the team lacked chemistry. What was the author's term? Rag-tag? I couldn't agree more. We all have this players with foreign sounding names but somehow with all the glory attached to their names, they can't deliver. Their skills can't be questioned, but why is it not affecting the quality of our game? To answer that, our team still needs to get used to playing with each other. They were given what, two months? It isn't enough. This players have different mentalities and of course putting them on a field will not necessarily give good results (at first). Try to imagine this, you have all this high class ingredients but without following the instructions, no matter how much you spent on procuring them, it will not taste great.
So my verdict: In 2013, we should see a big improvement on our side. The team is young, most of them will be eligible to play for the next SEA games so by then we can expect more chemistry. And try to think of it this way, our U23 is an experimental team and just like what the commentators said about the team, it is still in a developmental phase. Clearly, Coach Weiss has more or less an idea on how to handle the team - well I hope so.
This leads me to another concern. Don't hate me but why is Weiss the U23 coach? I have issues with him being the Azkals coach, but aren't there many coaches who can handle the U23? Why not give them the chance? I think they can handle the team better than Weiss (like for real). Let him (Weiss) handle the Azkals (senior team), he has enough in his hands.
Let me quote:
AHHH. Forgive me in saying that all these pa-pogi, pasikat, etc. stuff have somehow made my love for the Azkals (our seniors team) wane. I still support them yes, but outside the field, I lost my interest on the players. IDK. Yes, I am a fangirl, but at some point parading these hotties isn't as glamorous as before. What I want is some quality football :) What I'm saying is that I do hope that our U23 team would not let all the popularity go inside their head. Don't be too showbiz-minded, please.
And why was the training of the U-23 team ignored? Because the PFF and the management team were too busy with the Azkals and preparing for
pa-pogifriendly games against Nepal and Victoria Beckham’s husband that they forgot we had a U-23 team? (cebufootball @blogspot)
Sorry for the rant. But I'm ending this post with some thoughts about our U23 players. When I told you that as individual players they do have the skills, I meant it. Some standout players for me are:
- OJ Porteria - this boy has mad skills. Can you see his way of handling the ball? Superb! I like how he can safely make his way across defenders. And he is only 17! AND he hails from the same town as me! I remember a month ago (i think) he went to our town's municipal hall :P
- Neckson Leonora - one of our home grown talents. I think he's great as a defender and he did standout for me. We do have a problem in our defense but in a way Neckson did his best defending.
Well good luck on our game against Myanmar. Whatever the result, I will still support you guys.
p.s. what I wrote above is solely my opinion.