While he was not able to witness the Azkals’ victory against Mongolia in last night’s AFC Challenge Cup qualifier, President Benigno Aquino released P3 million from his Social Fund for the organizational needs of the match, Philippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta Jr. said.
Expressing their appreciation for the funds, the PFF chief it has certainly inspired the players to play their best in front of their countrymen.
The victory of the Azkals, he said, was a belated present for the President who celebrated his 51st birthday Tuesday.
The Filipino booters, who are ranked 152 in the latest FIFA rankings, were able to tame their opponents, 2-0, on goals from Chieffy Caligdong and Phil Younghusband.
Among those who showed up to give morale support to the Azkals were former national standout Elmer Bedia, who flew all the way from Brisbane, Australia to witness his compatriots play.
Bedia, one of the feared strikers of the national team during his prime, gave the team a short pep talk during their early morning training yesterday. He reminded the players not to waste the opportunity they have now.
His fearless forecast of a 2-0 outcome proved to be accurate.
Also witnessing the match were POC president Peping Cojuangco and PSC chairman Richie Garcia, whose sports agency helped install the additional light at Panaad so that the match could be televised.*PNA
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