The U23 Azkals’ stint in the South East Asian Games (SEAG) has been a complete and utter disaster. I will not mince any other word to describe it. We got a huge break by ending up in the “Group of Hope”, so-called by Weiss because most of the teams there are NOT the South East Asian (SEA) superpowers, hence the expectation for us to perhaps get into the medal tally. INSTEAD, we ended up DEAD LAST in an “easy” division. If that is not a disaster, I don’t know what is. If we got beaten this badly against the “Group of Hope”, imagine what would’ve happened to us if we were in the “Group of Death”.
We played five games, lost four times and won only once. And that lone win was due to a miracle, out of sheer luck more than anything else. We scored ONLY SIX GOALS in five matches for a paltry average of only 1.2 goals per game. In contrast, we CONCEDED FOURTEEN GOAL in five matches, giving up an average of 2.8 or almost three goals per game. Only three U23 Azkals scored goals in this stint: Manny Ott with two goals, OJ Porteria with one, and Joshua Beloya with three.
I don’t buy the crap that the team was “unprepared” and only had a month’s worth of practice. As far as I know, this team played a couple of games against local UFL teams, even winning one over Phoenix Air Force FC. They even went to Japan for some training, and didn’t do too badly there: They didn’t get blown off by large margins, and even drawing and winning some. The team just really sucked, in terms of the coaching, training and philosophy.