Prior to the match, many expected that the Philippine national men’s football team would just steamroll over the inexperienced Guam side in their friendly Tuesday night at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
Fans got what they wanted – at least at the start of the match. After building a 3-0 lead in the first half, the Azkals misfired all of their chances to score throughout the second half, leaving some observers disappointed in the outcome of the game.
But Azkals coach Hans Michael Weiss downplayed those criticisms.
“I told the players ahead of the game I heard that winning less than 3-0 is disappointing. I find that disrespectful,” Weiss said. “But we should be satisfied. We dominated the match very clearly and we had many, many goal scoring opportunities.”
Weiss even lauded the team for their ‘fantastic and tremendous improvement’ since the first time they played at the Panaad Stadium for the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup qualifiers in 2011, where they scored a 2-0 victory against Mongolia.
“I’m very proud of the team. I think this team has even much more potential,” said Weiss, who took over as the national team head coach after their surprising semifinal run at the 2010 Suzuki Cup.
Expectations for the Azkals should also be toned down, according to Weiss.
“We shouldn’t think that the trees are growing into the heavens – we should go step by step,” Weiss said. “We still have a lot to work on in order to be a more competitive team.”
The Azkals are now preparing for the 2012 Suzuki Cup in Malaysia and Thailand in November.