The Philippine Azkals lost to the UFL's LBC All-Star Team in a game wherein most of those who watched will consider as a learning process for the Azkals. The Azkals offense was awesome but their defense was weak. I feel for Neil Etheridge because he had to work extra hard in defending the enemy's goal because their on-field defenders were not doing their job. Neil should not be blamed in this loss because it was not his fault. His teammates should look at the replay of this game and there they will see their own mistakes. The Azkals' defenders committed several mistakes just like when there was a header from the LBC team, they failed to clear it and also when the last goal coming from the African import of LBC, Elhabbib, the Azkals defenders failed to execute a safety play that's why the kick went pass the striker. The bottom line is, they should all blame themselves for this loss.
This loss should not lessen the confidence of the Azkals because they fought really hard in this game. Also, they went up against an All-Star team that has African imports. How can you stop a team like that. I really admire the gallant stand that the Azkals showed in this game. They have their main players but still they don't have that same team chemistry because they still can't get their rhythm back after several days of lay off. Their role players are not on board that could also be the reason why they lost in this match.
Azkals' Jason Sabio had many errors. He gave a free lane that gave their opponents a chance to make a goal. He and the other Azkals should be wary about the other great football stars of LBC All-Stars such as Mark Hartman. Hartman is trying to catch the attention of coach Michael Weiss. Based on what I saw from Hartman especially when he scored a goal for LBC, he can really be a good addition to the Azkals. The Azkals should get this player if they want to have a better chance against Sri Lanka. I just hope that all the other players who showed what they can do on the football can get a chance to play for the Azkals. There's also another player, I think his name is Barbosa, the former Azkal, should also be given a chance to play once more for the Azkal. He showed that he got game in this game.
The Azkals will fly to Germany wherein they will attend a training camp in preparation for their first leg match against Sri Lanka on June 29, 2011. I hope Michael Weiss can get all the players that they need in order to beat Sri Lanka. He should carefully choose the players that he will include in the Azkals' roster. They need great defenders in order to beat Sri Lanka. If they'll play like this, with no defense at all, they will lose their chance to be in the FIFA World Cup.
Here are the stats of this game. The players who made the goals for LBC are, Dagroh, Hartmann, and El-Habbib. Dagroh had two goals while Hartmann and El-Habbib had one goal each. On the other side, for the Azkals, Caligdong, Greatwich and Araneta each had one goal.
For those who were not able to watch this match, you can still catch its replay on June 15, 2011. The time and channel will be announced later.