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Azkals lose to Indonesia in captain’s final game

by Ron Poblete

TRAILING  2-0 in the 77th minute, Sandro Reyes took a powerful shot that the Indonesian keeper had to save at close range. It was one moment that sums up the final game of the Azkals at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in the Mitsubishi Electric cup group game Monday night which they would eventually lose 2-1. 

The potential is electrifying but they need more time to produce results.

Reyes came in as a substitute in the second half as the home team were looking to its young bench to inject some creativity into proceedings. The Azkals at this point were energetic with the crowd behind them but couldn’t string passes to be fluid in attack.

Indonesian dominance

The Indonesians controlled the ball all throughout the game after scoring first in the 21st minute from a Rifai pass to Sulistyawan. The Azkals were playing well in the first 20 minutes as they saw our Asean neighbors pinned in their half from the start. That all changed when the Indonesians found their bearings and scored first.

The Indonesians doubled their lead in the 43rd minute with a Ramnadi goal. The Azkals managed to score a goal in the 83rd minute after a spirited comeback. But it was too little too late.

The Indonesians now advance to the semi-finals of the Mitsubishi cup while the Philippines exit the tournament and will be consoled by the fact the thousands of fans turned out for them at home.


This was without controversy though as the ULTRAS, the die-hard fans of the Azkals had some choice words for the management and team. A huge banner, using profanity can be seen in the stands imploring the national team to have some fight.

Nevertheless, the future is bright and the decision by the Philippine Football Federation to start the development of the youth players now bodes well for the country’s football program according to Stephan Shrock, Azkals captain and one of the veteran foreign born Filipinos in the squad. 

He played his last game for the Azkals as he retired from the national team after 11 years.

“Thanks for always supporting us,” the Azkals captain said at the end of the game. 



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