Little Azkals blank Brunei in openerBy Mars G. Alison
Cebu Daily News
The summer-long training has paid off for the Philippine Little Azkals as the national under-14 football team blanked Brunei Darussalam, 3-0, in their first match yesterday of the Japan-East Asean Football Exchange Programme U-14 Youth Football Festival held at the J-Green Sakai, in Osaka Japan.
The win put the Philippines at the top of the rankings after host Japan ended its match against Indonesia in a 1-all draw and Singapore had a scoreless draw against Malaysia.
“We were able to prove in our first game that we are capable of playing in this kind of level,” Little Azkals team captain Darius Joseph “Jed” Ramos Diamante said of the team’s victory over Brunei.
The Little Azkals’ first 11 lineup against Brunei had Harrel Rainier Dayan as goalie; Casambre, Josh Albert Miller, Christian Floren Lapas, and Lawrence “Soysoy” Colina in the back four; Ray Vincent Sanciangco, Majordean Ebarle, Mason Trent Vergara and Dimitri Lionel “Troy” Limbo in the midfield and Javier Romero-Salas and Jeremiah “JB” Borlongan as strikers.
However, head coach Oliver Colina made sure that all 18 boys were able to see action in the match.
Casambre of Claret School had found the back of the net after heading a ball coming from a corner kick by Limbo.
The 13-year-old Casambre had to head it twice before scoring because the first try hit the crossbar. Luckily, the ball rebounded his way and he headed it again.
“I feel great to have scored the first goal for the Philippines,” Casambre said. “I was thinking of my family when I scored.”
The Philippines’ second goal in the 36th minute of the second half was a classic Romero-Salas move. He scored on a long shot from the left flank after picking up a through pass from Diamante.
The third goal was scored by Vergara in the 45th minute, which was a follow up on his own cross.
The Little Azkals would have faced Indonesia yesterday afternoon but the match was rescheduled to today due to the bad weather.
The Philippine Team is hard pressed to win against Indonesia after it bowed to the team in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-14 Festival of Football 2012 held in Kota Kinabalu two weeks ago. The Little Azkals will also go up against Malaysia in the afternoon.