The Philippine Under 15 dropped its first game in the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM)-Frenz U-15 ASEAN Champions Trophy 2013 against Frenz Malaysia B, 0-3, yesterday at the Cebu City Sports Center.
The national team had a sluggish start with team captain Darius Joseph “Jed” Diamante saying that they had difficulty in adjusting to the game, especially since the Malaysian team played a bit physical.
Diamante sustained a bruise to the side of his left eye after he was hit by the shoe stud of one of the Mayasian players .
While the Philippine U-15 was manned mostly by members of the Little Azkals, the Frenz Malaysia B had no national team members in its lineup.
If it had not been called offside, the Philippine U-15 would have scored the first goal of the match after Dipolog’s Sebastian Patangan found the back of the net in the 3rd minute of the match.
Head coach Andres “Anto” Gonzales said the boys have been together for a long time but the short preparation and the adjustments they had to make affected the boys’ game.
Gonzales said they found out that they were joining this tournament only last Tuesday. The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) sent a letter to all members of the Little Azkals, who were mostly playing in the ongoing UFL Youth League, to join the practice on Wednesday and Thursday, which later turned out to be the tryout for the tournament.
Because some members of the Little Azkals opted not to show up, Gonzales said they had to make adjustments in the positions.
“They tended to rush things and they didn’t maximize the flanks. But they played a lot better in the second half. They had more possession of the ball,” Gonzales said.
Frenz Malaysia B scored all of its goals in the first half. Masir Lausing pressed an attack inside the penalty box, catching Harel Rainer dela Costa Dayan offguard when all of his defense players were nowhere near in the 12th minute. Another defensive lapse allowed Muhamad Pareez to score in the 35th minute. Frenz Malaysia B’s third goal was scored Pareez in the 41st minute.
“For the first 10 minutes, the team did not settle down,” said Frenz Malaysia B team manager Ahmad Fairuz Yunus. “It is hard for us to be playing far from home. So we will improve our mistakes and make better whatever we did right.”
Meanwhile, all Cebuano booters with potential are invited to today’s tryout from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., at the CCSC.
The tryout will be made to fill up the 20 vacant slots for this tournament as well as identify talents for the Philippine U-16 team.