I felt one objective for playing in this tournament, was to have the chance to beat stronger teams and improve on our FIFA rankings. That did not happen, as we ended up drawing both Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Another objective was perhaps for the Azkals to finally win an international tournament, which they obviously has not done so far. Again, that did not happen, as we came up empty-handed in this tournament.
We did end up as runner-up, but only because of events that was out of our hands. It was more due to luck than anything else, when Hong Kong routed Taiwan instead of the draw or close game that we were expecting. We couldn’t even blowout a lowly team like Macau, only scoring two goals against them when the other teams were beating by larger margins.
One positive thing I CAN say about this stint, was that it enabled us to have “softer” introduction of the U23 players to tough international stints. Whether that will be enough to help them in the coming South East Asian games against very tough U23 teams from other SEA countries is another matter.
At least we got to see new and U23 players in action, and gauge their performance. Most of them had creditable performances, despite the disappointing results of the team.