MANILA, Philippines – Azkals skipper Chieffy Caligdong said their repeat victory over Vietnam on Tuesday’s Suzuki Cup would not have been possible without the team’s improved ball handling.
Caligdong, who scored the winning goal for the Azkals late in the game, said the Azkals displayed better ball movement, especially during transition plays.
“Ang ganda, quality passes from Angel [Guirado], ganda talaga ng passing from defense to offense, galing kay [Dennis] Cagara to Denis [Wolf], Denis to Jerry [Lucena], Jerry to Angel," he told ABS-CBN’s TJ Manotoc.
In the 85th minute, Lucena brought down the ball to Guirado, who kicked a floater to Caligdong.
The Philippine Air Force standout first evaded a defender before kicking the ball past the Vietnamese keeper.
As a result, the Azkals pulled off a 1-0 victory against the Vietnam Red Warriors.
Caligdong was overjoyed by the goal that he immediately ran near the stands to greet a handful of Filipinos at the Rajamangala Stadium.
“S’yempre tuwang tuwa ako kasi ang daming Filipino supporters doon sa stadium. Credit natin ‘yun sa lahat ng naandon,” he said.
The Azkals first gained prominence when they beat Vietnam, 2-0, in the 2010 edition of the Cup.
The Vietnamese was actually seeking to avenge their defeat but was foiled by the Filipinos’ tight defense.
The victory boosted the Philippines’ chances of making it into the semifinal round of the 2012 Suzuki Cup.