I just heard and saw the news where Neil Etheridge and Phil Younghusband were saying that the Azkals are set to play next in a World Cup qualifying tournament. With the Azkals barely qualifying for the final 8 of the AFC Challenge Cup, I am stunned to hear the two set goals that are way too high for the team.
In the first place, the Azkals will have an extremely hard time to even qualify for the Asian Cup. The only way that the Azkals will qualify for the Asian Cup is for it to top the AFC Challenge Cup, which in itself is hard for the team to achieve. In the Asian Cup, world-class football teams like Japan, Australia and South Korea remain the undisputed top contenders. In the last Asian Cup held in Qatar last month, Japan emerged champion. Australia and South Korea placed second and third respectively. By virtue of the great performances of these countries in the Asian Cup as well as the 2010 World Cup, Japan, South Korea and Australia occupy the top spots in the Asian qualifiers. The Azkals are dead last at no. 43.
While I sincerely hope for the best for the Azkals, I choose to pin my hopes on reality. Sadly, the Azkals are in no way at par with Japan, South Korea and Australia. It is foolish to entertain thoughts for the Philippines to qualify for the World Cup with a team like the Azkals. The truth must be acknowledged no matter how painful it may be to enable the team to work harder and yield better results.