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PHILIPPINE AZKALS beat SRI-LANKA 4-0 : the 2014 FIFA world cup Brazil qualifiers

The afternoon downpour in Manila didn't dampen the spirits of team Azkals nor did it lower the energy of 13,000 people who filled Rizal Memorial stadium yesterday. It was round 1, second Leg of the Preliminary Competition Asian Zone  match between Philippines and Sri-Lanka for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil where team Azkals trashed Sri Lanka 4-0.

FIFA was very strict with the time. The game starded at exactly 3:30pm. Teresa and I came all the way from Rizal and were late for a few minutes. While lining up the gates of Rizal Memorial Stadium, people were already screaming inside the arena which intensified my excitement to finally get into the experience. This was my first ever live football experience!!!I am sure same is also the case with many of the Filipinos inside the stadium yesterday.
 AZKALS _kid
a young football fan proudly wears a face paint or the Philippine flag
I actually shouted in facebook and twitter that I was not feeling well. The damn cough and flu has elevated my body temperature a little higher than normal. But  that didn't stop us from going to Manila to watch the match. I have made a resolve to support  soccer in the Philippines because it saddens me every World Cup when the whole world go crazy over the most famous game on earth and Filipinos are not even aware of it. Sad,sad, sad. So when I heard of the Azkas I said this is it!!!! I want to exert every effort I have to support the Philippine Azkals and Philippine football in general.

One avid soccer follower said, football is a religion to the spiritual.The Philippines-Sri Lanka game yesterday was my official passage to being a soccer fanatic. 

Azkals vs. Sri Lanka
AZKALS huddle
team Philippine Azkals huddle
Azkals for 2014 world cup
And it was a passage of water. It rained heavily for more than 30 minutes during the initial stages of the game. At first I was like, OMG, I am not ready for this. I know I will be getting completely sick the next day. After a few seconds of resisiting, me, my wife and other members of YOPHO said, "what the heck, let's do this!!" We let our covers and hats down and cheered like there will be no tomorrow. We were completely immersed into the rain and the team spirit of all the people in the stadium cheering for our national team---Philippine Azkals!!!
Filipinos for the Azkals!!!
The crowd roared when the first goal was made, courtesy of Chieffy Caligdong. I think that was after around 17minutes of the game. The whole time, Philippine Azkals dominated the match. It was pretty obvious from the ball possession since the very beginning. There were a lot of chances for goals at first and they were missed. Phil Younghusband made a few attempts but to no avail. But he finally nailed one before the end of the fist half which made the score 2-0 in favor of the Philippines.
Azkal journalists
The 2nd half was equally  exciting. I notoced that Sri Lanka tried to step up their game and were neck to neck with the Azkals in terms of ball possession but it only intensified the Philippine teams resolve to deliver more goals. The 3rd goal of the match came from Angel Guirado. Phil Younghusband hit another one during a penalty kick in the dying hours of the match. That sealed the faith of Sri Lanks 4-0 .

The Philippine team will play against Kuwait next. Let's keep our fingers crossed on this one.
I am no football player but I enjoy watching it. I also believe that this is the sport where we Filipinos can excell in. We are decades away in terms of tactics and gameplay if you are to compare our players with the best of the world but I think we can really be good at the sport.

After the game, the members of Azkals took the time to go around the stadium and greet the crowd. The stadium went roaring again with cheers and praises from the happy Filipino football fans including us.

Chieffy Caligdong--no doubt one of the key players in this match
On all sides you look, you see and feel the optimism of the crowd. Many came in costumes and face paints. Many wear Pilipinas and Azkals tee shirts. I noticed that there are many versions of the shirt. So confusing. Since I'm thinking of collecting any Azkals merchandise I can get my hands into, I guess I will be shelling out a lot.hahaha. Started with a 400-peso white shirt and a scarf with PHILIPPINES in it.

I love football na talaga!!!lols
meet the die hard fans!!!!
YOPHO for Philippine football. Go Azkals go!!!!
we believe team azkals
we believe TEAM AZKALS!!!!
YOPHO for Azkals
While football could be a bit boring when watched on tv especially during small matches, it's a completely different experience when seen live. I know the distinction now. Sharing the passion for Philippine football with all those fans yesterday was a very good experience. It was my first time to watch it live and I am sure I will be going back for more even if it means braving the rain again. We were here because we believe!!!!It is my wish that more and more Filipinos throw their support on this sport. It's about time!!!!

Thanks Jun Avila of YOPHO for securing 8 tickets for our group. Hope next time mas marami na tayo.:)

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  1. Great photos! Lagot ka at inamin mo may DSLR ka. Huhuntingin ka na ng FIFA :P

    Hope to watch the game with you again in Rizal on the 28th! The Philippine team is going to need every ounce of support the country can give.

  2. hahaha, pumuslit ka lang ng mga kuha pero ayos at may souvenir pics from the 4-0 game.

  3. Wow, nice shots there Nong Anton. I only watched the said via Studio 23. Glad they made it and proved to all Filipinos they were not just good looking but also dedicated to their sport. I knew, its far better to watch the said game LIVE as in LIVE talaga, but I know pretty soon I will.Kudos Azkals, Philippines Team. God Bless sa susunod nyong laban against Kuwait :)

  4. Nice one Anton! Sa susunod na laban ulit! Dapat ready narin tayo - ihanda na ang cheering gears! (the flag, the paint, azkals merchandise, pompoms, the horns, ang malakas na mga boses at ofcourse pocket rain coat!) sa mga Yopho members! Will try to secure more tickets?! atleast 20 kong kakayanin ko. hahaha. By the way next game would be on July 28 - Thursday / Rizal Stadium (Round 2 - Game 2). Sana may mga tickets na!

  5. amazing shots anton saludo ako sayo!

  6. Yay!! Epic game! Ang galing ni Manong Chieffy and ni Papa Phil. hehe.. And of course, si Niel. ♥ #AZKALS #WeBelieve

    Bawal ba? Stolen shots to.. pero ganda pa rin ng mga kuha mo, Anton. Ikaw na! lol

    Welcome to the Azkal club. :D

  7. pasado ka sa akin, anton bilang paparazzi. ang husay ng shots kahit candid and stolen lang!
    thanks for this post, i am being updated.

  8. oo nga bawal nga ang dslr dun maliban sa media. nagtaka ko paano ka nakakuha ng photos. kaw na ang PAPARATSI heheheh

  9. it was a great game! we watched it on TV :) my two sons and husband were azkals fanatic. at first i am not that enthusiastic to watch, but when i saw ang galing ng Phil. Azkals team, naging mas maingay ako mag-cheer kesa sa mag aama ko nyahaha

    Mabuhay! Azkals!

  10. hahaha-wag nyo akong isumbong sa FIFA guys. baka di na ko makaulit.hahaha

  11. i love the photos, feels like im on the venue too. Congratulation Team Azkals

  12. oh yeah,you're a big fan of football nga pala. I rmmbr date nung World Cup d pa tau nag meet nun, sobrang sad ka tlga kase d kasali ang pinas kase d tau mahilig sa soccer. thanks to AZKALS! =)

  13. Sabi, bawal daw ang camera pero pagdating sa loob ang daming camerang naglabasan. Kainis lang di ko dala camera. Hehehe!

    Di mo napicturan yong flag na naglalakad sa palibot stadium? :D

  14. Ganda ng mga kuha mo.Tsaka ang galing mo din mag-puslit ng camera.haha

  15. go azkals! you deserve to be a champion!

  16. whahaha ang lupit ng mga shoot mo dapat may shoot ka din sa mga goal nila papeng...
    anung gamit mo na lense?
    ganda ng exposure eh :D

    go azkals :D

  17. yehey!!!
    grabe! nanood din ako kahapon sa tv!
    ang galing nila! go azkals! hehehe!

    hope manalo ulit sila sa next game vs. kuwait!

  18. ang saya nga e, kahit mga basang sisiw lahat ng susunod uli sisigaw na PILIPINAS!!!


  19. Patty of AzkalsUnited on TumblrJuly 4, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    Hi! May we post the link to this site on I am one of the admins of that page. We'd like more Azkals fans to be able to view your post and all the nice photos you took. Hope you give us permission. Thank you! :)

  20. hi Patty--sure you can. I am one of you on spreading the love for football in the Philippines and Azkals in particular. let's go. let's get more support!!!

  21. if you need the photos---you can Dl them from my flickr page. ---

  22. at kelan ka pa naging sport fanatic? hehe

    wait lang, it bothers me.. tama ba yung "2010 FIFA world cup Brazil qualifiers"?

  23. OMG---good thing you called my attention to it. Ni diko talaga napansin.should be 2014. me sakit ata ako sa mata.hahaha

    thanks Chyng

  24. nice shots! ikaw na may set ng sports photography hahahaha AZKALS pa!

    May ilang tips sa sports photography:

    1. Telephoto lens.
    2. Freezing the actions.
    3. Capturing emotions.

    Pero wala akong nabasang tip sa pag "pupuslit" ng DSLR hahaha... Ikaw na! ^^ your shots are precious! Congrats to Azkals! Dig deep pa for 2014 FIFA World Cup!

  25. thanks! such a lovely blog.. God bless you!

  26. thanks! such a lovely blog.. God bless you!

  27. ang galing ng face paint gagayahin ko yan.

  28. Sir, amazing photos! Would like to ask permission if i could use one of your photo in our football forum website? THanks

  29. Roy--sure--go ahead--just dont remove the watermark nalang ha.:D---link mo sakin website mo so I can also read it ha.:D


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