Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Monday, October 25, 2010

RP rallies to draw with Laos

RP rallies to draw with Laos
by Cedelf Tupas/Bong Pedralvez

The Philippines regrouped in the nick of time to rally and salvage a scrambling 2-all draw against host Laos to remain on top of the Suzuki Cup qualifying tournament at the National Stadium in the Laotian capital of Vientiane last Sunday.

Down 0-2 at the half, James and Phil Younghusband came to the rescue of the embattled Pinoy booters, who were gunning outright for a spot in the main draw, in the last 45 minutes with a goal each for the resulting draw following their 5-0 rout of Timor Leste last Friday.

James, the eldest of the Younghusband brothers, headed home the equalizer four minutes into injury time from a free kick by goalie Neil Etheridge just inside the Laotian half through a phalanx of Laotian defenders.

On the other hand, Phil slotted home a penalty kick in the 76th minute, after striker Ian Araneta, who struck a hat-trick against Timor Leste, was brought down inside the box.

"It was all about heart," said RP team manager Dan Palami. "We were down two goals and we never gave up. That speaks a lot about the mentality of our team. We were resilient. The team just showed tremendous spirit."

The Filipinos still lead their group with four points and a plus-5 goal difference because of their 5-0 demolition of Timor Leste.

But the nationals, who lost both by 1-2 to Laos in two previous encounters, can earn an outright berth to the main draw in December should they only draw Cambodia in their 5 p.m. match.

The charges of English coach Sean McMenemy will miss the service of seasoned Fil-Dutch midfielder Jason de Jong for picking up his second yellow card, while co-skipper Chieffy Caligdong is doubtful for the match with a thigh injury he sustained when he was hit by a nasty tackle in the first half.

"We're not taking any chances," said Palami. "As much as possible we want to top our group."

The Filipinos fell, 0-2, after the first 45 minutes as Laos exposed gaps on the defense, especially on the right flank with rightback Anton del Rosario opting to push forward rather than stay on his line.

Soukhaphone scored on a deflected effort that wrong-footed Etheridge in the 28th minute while RP winger Chieffy Caligdong was getting treatment for a nasty tackle.

A superb volley from 20 meters out by Kanlaya doubled the lead for the Laotians, who opted to protect their lead in the second half.

The Filipinos came out with more purpose in the second half and nearly scored in the 65th minute when Aly Borromeo's header off a corner was saved on the line.

The match eventually turned after Younghusband's penalty conversion as the Filipinos became increasingly menacing on the attack.

Phil rocked the crossbar with a long-range effort, Rey Jonnson forced a difficult save with his right-footed shot and Araneta also went close with his diving header in the 86th minute.

Etheridge set the stage for James' heroics, moving out of his area to the half-line to deliver the pass that led to the equalizer that stunned everyone, including top officials of the Laotian government.

1 comment:

  1. Great news! Is there coverage of the game with Cambodia somewhere?