Azkals Vows to Bounce Back After Losing to Uzbekistan


Learning experience.

This was how Azkals coach Thomas Dooley assessed the defeat of the Philippine national football team against Uzbekistan Tuesday night in a 2018 World Cup qualifying game at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan.

“We had a bad day, they (Uzbeks) had a good day,” Dooley said.

He said the defeat in the hands of the 76th ranked Uzbekistan is not a reason for the Azkals to feel down and give up.

“We need to go on and play. We don’t have to give up. We should be fine,” he added.

Dooley said they will analyze the game where they allowed the Uzbeks to score five goals, determine what went wrong “and then move forward.”

“There is something we have to learn and develop (after this defeat) and next we have to step up. We need to learn from this and take the lessons to the next game,” he pointed out.

The Azkals, now with two wins and one loss, will face North Korea in Pyongyang on Oct. 8. and Bahrain in Manama on Oct. 13.

Despite the strong rains in Metro Manila and Bulacan which started late in the afternoon and flooded certain portions of the metropolis and brought traffic to a standstill, more than 7,500 fans showed up to cheer on the Azkals.

The turnout was 25 percent higher than the attendance recorded during the Azkals’ game against Bahrain in the stadium last June.

Observers said had the weather cooperated, turnout could hit 8,000 considering the high-profile and extensive hype weeks before the match, including tweets and messages of support from well-known sports, movie and political personalities.

The hashtag Azkals also trended on Twitter a few days before the much-anticipated game.

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