Dream is still alive

Sun.Star Cebu - - PRIME SPORTS - MIKE T. LIMPAG mike­[email protected]

The dream is still alive. Fret not, fel­low fans, de­spite those two losses we still hold our fate. We just have to win our fi­nal game.

The re­al­is­tic tar­get when we saw our group in the Asian Cup was to fin­ish third and hope we will be one of the four best third-place teams to make it to the knock­out stage.

So far, de­spite that 3-0 rout to China, that tar­get is still achiev­able. We are at last in Group C at 0 points and a -4 goal dif­fer­ence, trail­ing Kyr­gyzs­tan, which also has 0 points but a -3 goal dif­fer­ence.

So far, Group D’s Viet­nam and Ye­men also have 0 points in two matches, while Syria and Pales­tine both have a point in two matches. The other groups have yet to play their sec­ond games. I am high­light­ing this since I am hop­ing at least two other groups will have tailen­ders that have 0 points in two matches so we can still ad­vance if we win our fi­nal game against Kyr­gyzs­tan.

A win would get us to three points and if those two other “0-point­ers” will earn a draw or would lose their fi­nal matches, we will make it as one of the wild cards.

So far, we haven’t had a lot of chances against South Ko­rea and China. Javier Patiño had the best chance but on hind­sight, Stephan Schrock should have gone to the open Patrick Re­ichelt, who was by his lone­some at right flank in­stead of Patino. But what’s done is done.

It’s been in­ter­est­ing also to see Phil Younghus­band start at the bench. Our top scorer in in­ter­na­tional matches has seen many chances lately, com­ing on as a late sub against South Ko­rea and as a sec­ond half sub against China.

Will he crack the start­ing lineup in the fi­nal game? I hope so. He de­serves to start con­sid­er­ing it was his goal that sealed our Asian Cup spot last year. How­ever, I don’t think Sven Go­ran Eriks­son is one that cares about sen­ti­men­tal­ity.

That game against China was quite dis­ap­point­ing. After a solid show­ing against South Ko­rea, China made us pay for our lapses and loose mark­ings. Though Stephen Schrock again had some lovely balls from the mid­field, there was no one to latch on them up front and that’s some­thing we need to im­prove on dras­ti­cally in our fi­nal game.

The dream is still alive. Fret not, fel­low fans, de­spite those two losses we still hold our fate. We just have to win our fi­nal game.

We’ve reached this far, might as well gun for the im­pos­si­ble and dream of ad­vanc­ing all the way to the knock­out stage.

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