History was made in Philippine football last night as the national men’s team, the Azkals, prevailed over the visiting Tajikistan, 2-1, at the Rizal Memorial Stadium to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next year.
It was also a proud moment for Ceres-Negros FC with eight players wearing the national colors suiting up for the Bacolod City-based team. One of them is Kevin Ingreso, whose header in the 74 th minute off an Iain Ramsay’s cross,tied the score at 1-1 following a Tajikistan penalty conversion 12 minutes earlier.
“The Club is very proud. Congratulations to the Azkals,” Ceres-Negros club administrator said.
Joining Ingreso in the Azkals’ lineup were Ceres team captain Carlos de Murga, brothers Manny and Mike Ott, Jeffrey Christaens, Sean Kane, Junior Muñoz and Patrick Reichelt.
“UAE We are coming! One Team, one Family. Thank you to my teammates, coaches, staff and especially to all the fans for always having our back,” Reichelt posted on his Instagram account with a picture of the team celebrating their victory against Tajikistan.
Phil Younghusband, sealed the win for the Philippines as he converted from spot in the 90 th minute. It was the 50 th international goal for the Fil-Briton player, who along with brother James, played for the national team in the 2005 Southeast Asian Games held in the Philippines.
The historic feat of the Azkals earned praises from Philippine senators PiaCayetano and Sonny Angara who posted messages to the team on their social media account.
“Asian Cup! Here we come! Congrats @PHI_Azkals ! And my good friends @PhilYHusband and @JYH7 !,” Cayetano tweeted.
“Meanwhile our Phl Women’s Football team will be going to the AFC Women’s Asian Cup this April! Let’s support!,” the lady senator also posted in reference to the Philippine women’s football team, the Malditas, who will start their campaign in the Asian Cup against China on April 9.
Former national team member, Anton del Rosario, also tweeted an emotional message for the team in his social media account.
“Tears of joy to be shed... One of the goals for the Azkals since 2010 was to reach the AFC Cup and today the team has done it! Massive shoutout to the boys and making dreams come true!,” del Rosario tweeted.*NAB
back to top