Still Believing

Still Believing

Losing 0-2 against hosts Bahrain was far from what we expected.  But that’s football.

Looking back to the World Cup Qualifiers draw, it was easy to dismiss the Azkals and say that we won’t even have a chance in this group. But we’re still in a position to surprise the world.

Drawing North Korea in Pyongyang was an unimaginable feat in Philippine football history.  But we held our own and got a favorable result in the end.

Though we got collateral damage with the Bahrain setback, our destiny is still in our hands.

With one more game this year — against Yemen in November — and two tough games against the group leaders next year, we still have a chance to make this work.

A favorable result against Yemen would be a good start. Doing our homework against DPR Korea and Uzbekistan with four months headstart is ideal.

This is football, and anything can happen.

No one said it was going to be easy. Everything will be difficult.

As a young footballing nation, this is a great learning experience for us. The unique World Cup qualifying format may just open the doors for a new generation of Azkals to thrive and prosper.

This is a long term project. Champions are not built overnight but through generations of pain and heartache.

I’m proud of how the boys played in a gruelling schedule. You can only ask for so much given that first game was physically and emotionally draining.

Nobody gave up up to the last minute, showing the true character of this team.

We can still do this. We can still make the third round.

If there’s two things the Filipino is good at, it is making the most out of the worst situations and smiling through adversity.

History is yet to be made and it starts now.

I believe. We Believe.

Let’s do this.

— CAL

Ivan Gayares is the brain behind The Perfect Pass. This Bacolodnon is a full-time IT Business Analyst and football fanatic, a part-time writer, and sometimes (free of charge) scout. He has a favorite team in the UFL.

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