The Guam national men’s football team arrived in Bacolod City Sunday night, feeling elated after the warm treatment given by fans before their international friendly against the Azkals.
After their first training session, dozens of spectators lined up to take photos and ask for autographs from the members of Matao, the team’s nickname which refers to the highest class of people in Guam’s Chamorro society.
The team even gave an autographed ball to one fan there.
“We feel very welcomed here in Bacolod and for me personally, it makes me more anxious to play against the Azkals,” said midfielder and defender Anthony Paulino. “I expect the match to be very competitive and I’m looking forward to it.”
Interestingly, some members of the Guam squad have Filipino blood, such as midfielders Ian Adamos and Ian Mariano, and forwards Randy Espinosa and Christian Schweizer.
Also, former team captain and assistant coach Dominic Gadia is a full Filipino.
The Matao, ranked 194th in the world, will be playing in what could be their biggest international match so far as they face the Azkals on Tuesday at the Panaad Stadium.
Guam will also battle Global FC on June 14 and Stallions FC on June 16 as part of its weeklong training camp in the country.