Bullet Point Mondays: Football

  • The 28th SEA Games are being held here in Singapore. Confession: For the longest time I thought "sea" meant water. It did not help that the only athletes I knew were Akiko Thomson and Eric Buhain, who were both swimmers. HeKaSi has never been my strong suit, sea see.
  • Football games are being held at Jalan Besar Stadium, which is a stone's throw away from our house. So it made perfect sense to watch our national team play at least once.

    • We picked the game vs Myanmar because a) it was on a Sunday, and b) we won't be severely outnumbered (as opposed to a game vs Singapore). Or at least that's what we thought.
    • When we arrived at the venue (two minutes after leaving the house), we were greeted by a kilometric queue of spectators, all in Myanmar colors. In contrast, the gate for the Philippine team supporters was nearly empty, save for even more Myanmar fans asking us to buy tickets for them. 
    • I wish I had a photo that showed how greatly outnumbered the Filipino fans were, but to give you an idea: I counted a total of twenty-three boxes in the stadium, and only two of those are not cheering for Myanmar. And out of those two boxes, one was half-empty, with a smattering of people who were there just to enjoy the game and not to cheer for any team in particular. A comparable scenario would be if Ateneo went against UP in a cheerleading competition.
    • I knew we were going against a very strong team, with an undeniable homecourt advantage (they had drums and bells and whistles and choreography, for crying out loud), so I did not have particularly high hopes; all I wanted was to experience at least one goal.

    • And at the 17th minute, wish granted. Sulit na ang bayad. And it put us on the lead, too, so the jubilation was real.
    • We did get our asses kicked shortly after (the final score was 5-1) but, eh, our goal was beautiful.

      Before anything else, we-fie muna!

      • So I'm not a football expert by any stretch of the imagination, but our boys did appear a bit lost in the field from time to time. I don't know if it's stress, or fatigue, or disorientation from getting hit by the ball on the head, but I see very little tactical merit in passing the ball to... an empty space. 
      • Also, the goalkeeper tried to pull a Manuel Neuer but couldn't, and this resulted in what could most probably be the most embarassing slip-up of this series. Sweeper keeper, he is not. To be fair, he never left his box again after that. 

        • After an action-packed first-half (I would argue that we may have been outnumbered, but not out-cheered), there was barely any activity from the Filipino audience during the final forty-five minutes. I think we exceeded our capacity to cheer - after all, we have shouted our hearts out for what is the equivalent of an entire basketball game, and that's what we're used to, yes?

          • Three Myanmar goals later, and people started trickling out of the stadium. 
          • As horrible as the score is, the boys weren't half-bad. In fact I would argue that it's better than the 1-0 defeat against Singapore, where we only made one, yes one, attempt at a goal, and not a very good one too.
          • Did I mention our goal was beautiful? 

          P.S. It is better for the soul if you stop watching after 0:27 :p

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