Azkals excited about do-or-die game

Natashya Gutierrez

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The players of the men's Philippine football team turned to Twitter to express their excitement about their match against Tajikistan

TURNING TO TWITTER. Azkals use Twitter to express their excitement for their do-or-die game against Tajikistan. March 13, 2012.

MANILA, Philippines – The Azkals are just as excited about their do-or-die game as their fans at home.

From Nepal, the men’s Philippine football team tweeted in good spirits, and shared their excitement for the match.

The team will face Tajikistan on Tuesday, March 13 at 5:15 pm Manila time – for their third and last game in the first round of the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup.

If the Azkals win the game, they will move on to the semi-finals, but if they lose, they will be sent home from the tournament.

Both teams enter Tuesday’s game dead even with 3 points each, after both defeated India 2-0, and conceded the same number of goals to North Korea which is already through to the next round.

If the game ends in a draw, the winner will be decided by penalty shootout.

Excited tweets

Striker Phil Younghusband, who scored 2 goals against India on Sunday, March 11, tweeted his enthusiasm on the day of the Tajikistan game.

“Magandang tanghali sa inyong lahat. Excited kami sa laban mamaya. Salamat sa suporta. (Good afternoon to all of you. We’re all excited for the fight this afternoon. Thanks for your support). Lets do this! Go PHILIPPINES!,” he wrote.

Persian-Filipino player Misagh Bahadoran meanwhile, asked the fans for their prayers. “Big game today, we need all ur prayers,” he said on Twitter.

Standout goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, who has consistently saved the team from numerous goals, also acknowledged how significant their game against Tajikistan is.

“Massive game day today! Need all the support we can get!,” he said.

Midfielfer Lexton Moy, who is facing a sexual harrasment complaint along with teammate Angel Guirado, showed he was focused on the game despite the controversy.

“Game Time… Leggo!,” he tweeted.

Even team captain Aly Borromeo, who is sidelined by an ACL injury and is watching his teammates from Manila, sent his words of encouragement.

“Judgement day! Time to rewrite the books boys!,” he said, like a true captain.

Tajikistan won the AFC Challenge Cup in 2006, and is ranked 145th in the world, 11 spots higher than the Philippines which sits at 156th.

The winner will face Turkmenistan in the semis on Friday, March 16. This is the first time the Philippines has played in the prestigious tournament. –

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Natashya Gutierrez

Natashya is President of Rappler. Among the pioneers of Rappler, she is an award-winning multimedia journalist and was also former editor-in-chief of Vice News Asia-Pacific. Gutierrez was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders for 2023.