Kuwait Vs. Azkals– Game Review

So the 2nd round of the qualifying match for the FIFA 2014 in Brazil for the Philippines and Kuwait was done last night– the first leg. And so, here’s my thought over this one. This maybe more on the Azkals.

The Azkals without their team Captain, Aly Borromeo and another defending midfielder, Stephan Schrock has to face Kuwait with some missing defenders. The two are among the most prominent team members who shook the field with their skills and momentum. Even before the suspension of these two guys, the Azkalas has some issues regarding their defense due to the fact that they have a lot of players who are attackers. And so, the play that they had against Sri Lanka was good enough due to the fact that they had put a lot of players on the defense but also with great effort on the midfield for penetration for the attack.

With the loss of two mid-defenders, the coach needs to fill in some gaps in the play. And so, the formation was 4-5-1, with only Phil Younghusband on the top and a lot of players on defense. The defense was good, but one can see that the penalty box is a bit crowded, with almost 8 Azkals in front of Ethridge and a mere 5 rivals, making it a good defense but somewhat messy. The counter attacks are also not strong, there are only a few moments on the first half that Phil Younghusband with Angel Guirado or James Younghusband can make it through the penalty box of the opponent– seems impossible for them to beyond the second defender. The clear was good, Phil can get the ball but a lack of support and 2-3 opponents defending for the ball seems impossible for him to make it a goal.

The two prominent attempt for a goal for the Azkals were Phil’s and Angel’s. Phil’s attempt was one of the of the few that seems lucky, outrunning the last man and facing the goalkeeper now but was too early to release the ball, and so was deflected by the keeper. And Angel’s head-shot that went for the bar, it could have been their confidence-booster.

I’ve read some comments after the game saying that Azkal’s a weak team, and for that I would never agree! They had a good game, they played intelligently, if they had lessen the number of defenders, the goal difference could have been wider. On the other side, yes, the Azkal could have scored if they had more attacking midfielders or attackers. But, we cannot deny the fact that when it comes to ball¬†possession Kuwait’s team has an advantage. They had too much space, the Azkals were anticipating for an attack without making one for them.

This is their first time to face the Kuwait’s team, a strong team whose highest ranking on FIFA was 24th, and as of now are 50 slots higher than them, we’re not citing excuses here, what my point is the fact that Azkal is still young and they need a lot of things to learn as a team. And I hope on the 2nd leg, with the home-field advantage they can give us a better game. Last night’s was good, but we need to evolve faster; this is the highest round we had in FIFA.

As for the Kuwait’s team, they had ball possesion, maximization of the field and field switching is faster than the Azkals can anticipate, but they have to agree that it was a bit difficult to penetrate the Azkal’s defense.


August 2020