My 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup Diary Part One

Quarterfinals Day One: Saturday, November 24, 2012
* Vietnam Draws with Myanmar, 1-1
– Vietnam leads at the half, 1-0, scoring in the 32nd minute off Cross from a Throw In that was headed in.
– Not impressed with Vietnam, they definitely are not as quick and accurate with their passing as, say, Bahrain, or Kuwait. They are dangerous as they have good mid-range shots, accurate with their Crosses, and are good in the air. But I think our chances against them are AT LEAST EVEN, maybe a little bit more …
– Myanmar equalizes in the 54th minute, 1-all. Myanmar relying mostly on long balls, and got lucky when one went thru forcing Vietnam to foul their Striker in the Penalty Box, resulting in a goal off a Penalty Kick.
– Despite their lack of finesse, Myanmar is and will be dangerous. Bayan na kasi ang pinaglalabanan dito …
– Shocking result, as Vietnam was heavily favored to win over Myanmar.
– Unimpressive game by Vietnam in the 2nd half, with Myanmar getting the more dangerous chances: A dangerous Free Kick at the top of the box, and a dangerous one-on-one with the Goalkeeper. Vietnam just got lucky.
– If they play like this against the Azkals on Tuesday, we WILL beat them, NO DOUBT about it. But I don’t think they will, because I am sure their country will be on their asses to play better. But I still hope they will play shitty like this, so we can hand their asses all the way back to Ho Chi Minh City.
– With this result, it makes the games of both countries against us even more critical, so prepare for more intense games ahead for the Azkals ….

Quarterfinals Day Two: Sunday, November 25, 2012
* Indonesia Draws with Laos, 1-1
– Surprise scoreline at 1-all at Half Time, as Laos pulled ahead after a stupid challenge by the Indonesian Goalkeeper on a breaking Laos player, resulting in a Penalty Kick and a goal.
– The Indo Goalkeeper was sent off on a Red Card, reducing the Merah Puhti to 10 men. However, a couple of minutes later, a Laotian player was also sent off with a Red Card after a nasty challenge, making both teams even. Indonesia later scored off a header from a Corner Kick.
– Sloppy and inconsistent play by Indonesia in the 2nd half, allowing Laos more dangerous attempts which eventually resulted in a goal. Indonesia then sort of woke up, stepped up their attack and scored off a rebound when the Laotian Goalkeeper spilled the ball.
– It is bothersome to watch Indonesia, who seems to be sleeping most of the game, allowing Laos to take the lead in goals both times, and then waking up just enough to even the score, but not doing enough to take the lead and win the game. The team has serious, serious issues, they have the talent to win but just did not use it. Its as if they played very lazily in this game.

* Singapore Beats Malaysia, 2-0
– Surprising result at half time, with Singapore leading 2-0. Malaysia actually looked the sharper side with their numerous forays into the Singapore Box. However, a lucky long ball from the left flank to the Center, then a good first touch by Sharul Ishak followed by a good shot put Singapore up front.
– The next goal came from a Free Kick from the Left Flank, which the Malay Goalkeeper tried to punch out but scuffed, causing the ball to go towards the Goal instead. Headed down by a Malaysian player, but a Sharul Ishak was there for the rebound and headed in a goal.
– Things are looking gloomy for Malaysia, as they have started shouting at each other, and with Aleksandr Duric likely coming in the 2nd half for Singapore …
– Well, Duric came in the 2nd half, and true to form, came out and extended Singapore’s lead to 3 off a header. Just poor defending on the part of Malaysia, leaving 2 or 3 Singapore players unmarked inside the box.
– Malaysia actually looked the better team technically, with nice, short passing in and around the box. But the finishing was just not there. Disaster for Malaysia, remember they are playing at home.

* Day Two Parting Shot
– Bad result for both of the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup Finalists Indonesia and Malaysia. Now, imagine if Singapore tops Group B. This is a team we beat not only once, but TWICE, on an aggregate score of 3-0. Not only did we beat them, but we BLANKED them on both games, too. Of course, the Azkals still need to beat Vietnam and Myanmar, but if we do, and the above scenario occurs, things could turn out very well for the Azkals.
– Remember though that Malaysia also had a disastrous first game in the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup, losing to Indonesia 5-1 before going out to win the tournament. So they could still come back, but perhaps highly unlikely this time around.

Quarterfinals Day Three: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
* Thailand Routs Myanmar, 4-0
– Thailand scored only one goal at the half, while scoring three goals in the second half.
– Clearasil Dangda scored a Hat Trick, showing that he is, indeed, the Best Striker in South East Asia right now, much better than even our Phil Younghusband.
– Just exquisite passing by Thailand. What makes their passing so impressive, is that not only are they accurate, they are also airborne.
– With Airborne passes, the ball travels much faster, and is harder to block as you can’t use your hands. They are also much harder to do accurately, and yet Thailand does them accurately and consistently.
– I think Myanmar is very dangerous for the Philippines, because they play good defense. Thailand had to wait for them to get tired in the second half before the rest of the goals came in. On offense, Myanmar has a very good, lightning fast top quality Striker in Kyi Lin, and he is very dangerous, especially early in the game when he is not tired yet, and his speed is still at full throttle.
– He has good build, and a great passer, too, so he is the complete package. A bit short at only 5’5″, but still with a lot of quality.
– If our aging Backline loses concentration for even just a few seconds, he will score because of his speed and strength. Maybe its time to bring in Jeffrey Christiaens in the Backline for the Myanmar game, just to have somebody to match Kyi Lin’s quickness.

Quarterfinals Day Four: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
* Indonesia Beats Singapore, 1-0
– Nil-nil Draw at the Half. Still unimpressive play by Indonesia. Your usual Mid-Range Shot / Long Ball-Outrun-Beat the Offside Trap plays which have been uneffective. Singapore at least tries to put the ball on the ground.
– Singapore can afford to have a Draw in this match, but Indonesia badly needs a win. Let’s see if they will go all out in the Second Half.
– Late goal by Indonesia came from Free Kick on the left side that went in. Some would say that it was a “chamba” shot, but the Indonesians do have range, often threatening the Singaporean Goalkeeper with their Mid-Range shots.
– Singapore played with 10 men due to one player being sent off after getting his 2nd Yellow Card in the same game, but despite that Indonesia still had trouble scoring, while Singapore continued to threaten on offense, with Duric hitting the Cross Bar off a Header on one play.
– Still an unconvincing win by Indonesia. I think Indonesian Football is going down, thanks to the politicking in that sport in their country, but they do have a multi-million Dollar Football league, and all that money drives a lot of motivation to try to preserve their prestige.

* Malaysia Routs Laos, 4-1
– Some anxiety in Malaysia when Laos managed to tie the game in the first half. However, like the Thailand-Myanmar match, Malaysia had to wait until the Laos got tired before the goals started coming in.
– Malaysia is a very technical team, but not as precise or consistent with their finishing and passing like Thailand. You could say that they are the “poorer” or “shittier” version of Thailand in Football.
– Laos just gave Malaysia too many Shots on Target, and Malaysia a bit inefficient in their finishing as they could’ve scored even more goals. As it is, Malaysia is the only other country aside from Thailand to score 4 goals in one game in this tournament so far.
– Very important Malaysia vs. Indonesia game on Friday, and my fearless forecast: Malaysia will beat Indonesia to top Group B, and therefore face the Azkals.


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