AAARRGGHH!! The campaign of our U23 Men’s National Football Team at the 2011 SEA Games is almost over. The loss against Myanmar has left us no route to the semis and we only have a final group stage match against Brunei on Tuesday, 15 November 2011.
We lost 0-5 to Myanmar, and that was painful to watch and experience. Flood of emotions right now. True, Myanmar was the other tough challenge in the group along with group favorites Vietnam, so our team really needed to dig deep within themselves to come out with something from this match. Well, no rabbits out of the hat this time around and we got a painful and emphatic reminder that we still have lots of work to do and a long way to go. I’m not in the mood to dwell on this match, I just want to move on and look ahead. As it is said, there’s no point in crying over spilled milk.
So up next, there’s still a match against Brunei. A win is very much possible here and I hope the boys’ spirits aren’t too crushed. Hopefully, they’ll use the occasion to vent out their frustrations (productively, of course) and show us some more of those glimpses of promise and quality they have exhibited in the last 4 matches. Also, a win would be very helpful indeed as it usually takes a while for my husband to get out of his funk when his teams lose. Got 2 days of crankiness to bear until the Brunei match. Come on Philippines! Lakas Pinas!
For the bigger picture, today’s loss against Myanmar got me thinking about roadmaps. While Myanmar’s roadmap to democracy (Come on, I’m still bitter about the loss, just give me this little opportunity to take a dig at them, hehe) leaves much to be desired, their roadmap for football development is definitely right on track. Their U23 team has 6 players who are also on their senior squad and they’ve have managed to become a serious challenger in the region. While we were underdogs against Vietnam, we usually are considered as being on level terms with Myanmar. From the result of today’s match it looks like Myanmar is pulling ahead of us and we got catching up to do.
The same can be said for Timor Leste, the revelation in the group. Their match against Myanmar is going to be critical as they still have a chance of making it to the semis round. We were expected to win the match against Timor Leste, as we have been historically better than they have been in football. Well, Timor Leste has been hard at work and their roadmap for football development has been effective for them. They (their U23 team at least) are starting to become a force to be reckoned with in the region.
As for the Philippines, we were expecting to make the semis round. So gauging from this expectation and objective, we could say it was a disappointing campaign in general. Now, I will leave it to the experts and the more technically inclined to discuss and debate the issues and lessons learned from this campaign in relation to our own roadmap for football development. I’m sure those in charge know what needs to be done next. They have done so much for Philippine football in the past year, so I trust that they know what they are doing and that they have the Philippine football community’s best interests at heart.