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Sports

Aldeguer on Azkals U20 learnings in Oman

Rick Olivares - Philstar.com
Aldeguer on Azkals U20 learnings in Oman
Andres Aldeguer in action vs Oman.

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines men’s Under-20 team played better as the qualifiers for the AFC U20 Asian Cup went on. Unfortunately, the slow start cost them as they crashed out of the group stage with a 1-0-2 win-draw-loss record. 

The Philippines lost their group stage opener to Oman, 3-0, then was stunned late in the game by Thailand for a 3-2 loss. The youth squad ended their campaign on a good note with a 1-nil win over Afghanistan.

The Azkals U20 finished third in the group behind Oman — which advanced to AFC U20 World Cup in Uzbekistan in 2023 — and second place Thailand. Afghanistan finished fourth in spite of their stunning 1-nil upset of Oman.

We reached out to several members of the Philippine team, including the coaching staff.

It was only forward Andres Aldeguer who offered his thoughts on the team’s campaign.

“The first learning experience would be the need to switch on as soon as the whistle blows,” he offered. “It was a problem in our last AFF stint and the same against Oman in our group stage opener. That is why teams score on us in the first 15 minutes.”

Oman scored in the first eight minutes then tacked on a second in the next five. 

The team somewhat corrected that flaw in their game in the next match against Thailand, which enabled them to score early against the Philippines’ regional nemesis.

“Our game plans are good,” added Aldeguer. “I believe this is more of a mental fight. When Thailand went a man down due to a red card, I think we relaxed because we had the advantage. Thailand doubled their work rate which eventually led to their third and winning goal.”

“Despite the loss, I am still proud of how we performed because we fought hard in the match and had our chances to win.”

AZKALS

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