Football

Super sub Angel Guirado accepts role with Azkals but wants more minutes to contribute

Reuters file photo/Tariq Al-Ali

BANGKOK, Thailand – In the Philippine national men’s football team’s 1-0 victory over Vietnam last Tuesday night, Filipino-Spanish Angel Guirado saw himself in an unfamiliar role – he was not part of the starting lineup and only came in seven minutes into the second half of the match.

Despite coming off the bench, Guirado showed his prowess, dishing an assist to Chieffy Caligdong in the 86th minute to propel the Azkals to the crucial triumph.

But Guirado, who often starts in the match as one of the Azkals’ strikers, believes that he could contribute to the team more if he had been given more playing time.

“For me, 90 minutes is better for me,” Guirado said while in the team’s hotel lobby here. “It’s better for me (if I have) more playing (time).”

Guirado, however, assured that he accepted wholeheartedly his role as a substitute in their match against Vietnam, knowing that he could help the team in whatever ways he could, be it off the bench or as a starter.

“It’s the decision of the coach. I respect (it),” he said. “When we go play, my concentration is to score and to win the game. Also help the team.”

After their match against Myanmar on Friday, Guirado, who plays professional football in India, said that he is not sure whether he could still suit up for the Azkals should they advance to the next round. But if given the chance, he wants to have another tour of duty with the national team.

“For me, it’s very important if we qualify for the semifinal or final. It’s important for me to play,” Guirado said. “The problem is, I don’t know (if) my team will help me.”

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