On this Day: Azkals U-22 stuns Malaysia U-22

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3 years ago
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After a disappointing result against the Burmese, the Azkals U-22 needs to step up their game against Malaysia so they can enter the qualifying rounds. I went to watch the match live before my shift starts on the 27th of November. I even think a hundred times about this. I decided to be late for the 1st 2 hours of my shift so I can watch the whole game, then report to work after.

Image Source: http://bleachersbrew.blogspot.com/2012/02/1991-philippine-mens-football-national.html?m=1

29 years ago, before the half-bloods entered and played for our national team, the Philippines only consists of pure homegrown talents. During the 1991 South East Asian Games on the 28th of November (I wasn't even born at that time) the story was we beat Malaysia with 1 - nil on the 84th Minute. A cross coming from Elmer Bedia to the right, looking for Norman Fegidero Jr. then finds the opening straight to the back of the net. As the final whistle blows, the crowd went nuts with their new heroes. It was total pandemonium, and the sound operator even played Enter Sandman by Metallica.

Now, back to November 29, 2019. I witnessed everything. A scoreless first half as both teams try to make a goal with a few attempts, foul after foul, card after card, chance after chance, save after save, until, on the 77th Minute we scored a goal. It was a corner kick by Stephan Schröck coming from the right as it curled and connected by Amani Aguinaldo. The Tigers were in shock, and the whole crowd went nuts. Only 13 minutes left, the Azkals need to hold their line and tighten their defense. The Malayans tried to equalize, but they didn't, even the Azkals tried to make another goal.

As the final whistle blows, we won! We even shouted "1991!" History repeats itself, and it's just like we traveled back in time 29 years ago. Same results, same venue, the only difference is Fegidero Jr. scored in the 84th minute while Aguinaldo scored in the 77th minute.

It was a great victory, but Baas got into the controversy of his attitude of how he gives his high fives to the defeated Malayans. In his defense, he stated that it was only just a normal high five. For the Malaysians, it became an insult. I am not picking a side here nor defending Baas, and this is just only my own opinion. I'm pretty sure that Baas learned his lesson after his unsportsmanlike attitude.

Justin Baas (center fence) celebrating with the Ultras Filipinas

The players and staff went to our side to celebrate, then we continued our celebration outside the stadium to greet our heroes once they aboard the bus. It was a great night and headed off to my workplace at around 11:45 pm. What a night to remember.

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