Azkals vs. Macau, October 4, 2011

Below are my notes for the Azkals-Macau game in the 2011 Long Teng Cup as aired on Studio 23 on Tuesday, October 4, 2011, starting at 3:30 pm.

‘Pre-Game’
My expectations of this game is simple: A 5-0 win. Anything less, would be a disappointment. A draw or loss would be absolutely catasthropic.

It looks like all is forgiven (?) with Mark Hartmann, as he is starting in today’s game. He will be coming in for Angel Guirado in the starting line up, who is automatically suspended after picking up successive Yellow Cards in the previous two games.

Chieffy Caligdong is rightfully not playing in this game, after a injury he had suffered in the last game. His play-alike and substitute in the last two games, Jeffrey Christiaens will take his place in the left wing.

Azkals’ Starting Eleven: (Goalkeeper) Ronald Muller; (Backline) Aly Borromeo, Oliver Poetschke, Carli De Murgia, Nickson Leonora; (Midfield) Jason De Jong, James Younghusband, Jeffrey Christiaens, Mark Hartmann; (Forwards) Ian Araneta, Phil Younghusband

‘First Half’
The Azkals playing in Black.

Nice pass in the middle for Mark Hartmann to Ian in the middle. Ian stumbled, though, and lost the goal opportunity. This early Mark is making an impact on the game, I hope it continues all throughout this game.

Azkals already has a couple of good crosses ten minutes into the game, but again, just not spot on into a good scoring position.

Good cross by Phil into Ian in the box, but Ian’s header goes wide in the 11th minute.

Jeffrey Christiaens with a breakaway in the left side in the 12th minute, but his shot just goes wide. Jeff really is pretty good with his dribbling, he really looks like a slightly taller Chieffy Caligdong out there.

Aly’s header off a Free Kick by PYH from the right side in the 15th minute just goes wide.

Another cross by PYH from the right is headed wide by Mark in the 16th minute. Lots of lost opportunities by the Azkals already which they just could not finish into a goal.

The Wingbacks Nickson and Carli moving high up in the pitch to help out in the offense.

Bad fall by a Macau player on the right side, hitting his face on the pitch. It looks quite painful in the slowmo.
Good breakaway by Jeff on the left, good pass to Ian in the box, who’s shot again goes wide. Another lost opportunity by Ian, the second so far in this game.

Another good cross by Jeff to Ian in the box in the 32nd minute, which again goes wide.

Half an hour in the game, but still no goal from the Azkals. The pressure is on the Azkals not only to win, but to score five goals.

Fuck, a Macau shot from just outside the box hits the crossbar off a breakaway. Had that gone in, we would’ve been in deep shit.

Mark Hartmann with a long shot from outside the box in the center just goes wide off the left post by a couple of inches.

Another shot by PYH from outside the box in the center on the 45th goes high.

‘First Half Summary’
Early this year against Mongolia, my impression of the Azkals was that they need quite a lot of good attempts before they can score a goal. Nine months later, its still the same problem I see. Still quite shitty offense from this team.

Ideally, in order to have a good run at scoring five goals in this game, we should’ve scored at least two goals already. However, we have not even scored a single goal this half, so its a pretty disappointing result. Its not impossible for the Azkals to score five goals in the next 45 minutes, but highly unlikely, given our inability to score goals despite good opportunities.

I hope the Azkals prove me wrong, but I am seeing no more than three goals for the Azkals in the second half, which will again be a disappointing result for them.

‘Second Half’
Chieffy comes in the second half. God knows we need his leadership and energy here.

Good shot by Chieffy just hits the post in the 46th minute, dribbling from the right and moving to the Center before taking the shot.

Yellow card on De Jong on the 55th minute due to tackle just outside the box.

Opening goal by the Azkals on the 58th minute courtesy of Chieffy Caligdong off a second effort on a Free Kick by Mark Hartmann. Four more to go.

Good header by Macau off a cross from the left that goes direct to Muller in the 64th minute.

Mark on a breakaway from a good pass by PYH in the 67th minute, but shot by Mark goes wide.

Misagh comes in the 72nd minute. Its some sort of a miracle for Weiss in this game as he ends up substituting four players in a game. That has got to be some sort of a record for him, and something you will not likely see again if he continues to be bull-headed.

Chieffy again with a goal on the 86th minute off a good cross by Mark from the left side. Funny that the guy who wasn’t supposed to be playing today has ended up scoring two goals in less than 20 minutes. Three more goals to go, highly unlikely.

Good cross by PYH from the right side inside the box to Chieffy, whose shot just goes over the bar in stoppage time. Near hat-trick by Caligdong there.

Getting tired of watching the game, drifting on and off as it becomes clearer the Azkals will again fail to deliver to expectations.

Lexton Moy has shown some good dispossessions of opposing players in the limited time he has been in.

James Younghusband made at least two great plays at Right Back in this game, stopping two very dangerous Macau breakaways against some speedy Macau players.

‘Game Summary’
Well, my conservative estimate was three goals for the Azkals, and yet they fail to meet even that one. So definitely a disappointing result for me. We were expected to not only win, but win big, and we didn’t because two goals is not a big win.

We scored five goals against this same squad under Simon McMenemy. A year later, with better resources and support, we only score two, so clearly that is a disappointment on our part.

Put it another way: We only score two goals against a team that Hong Kong and Taiwan was scoring 3-5 goals against. And take note that if Chieffy had not come into the game to score those two goals, who knows how the scoreline would’ve been.

Mark and Misagh got to play in this game, but were not able to deliver, at least as per my expectations. Mark had some good passes, while Misagh had some good one on one plays. However, no goals from either guy, against a weak team.

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