By Mike T. Limpag
YANTI Barsales’s tour of duty with the national team ended the way it started—in a disappointing loss.
The Philippine Azkals surrendered an injury time goal and lost to the Universal Football League (UFL) All-Stars, 4-3, in their friendly game at the University of
Makati Field yesterday.
The match was the first competitive game for the Azkals, who are training for their World Cup qualifiers against Sri Lanka later this month.
Prior to the game, the achievements of Barsales, who started with the national team, was read and the Air Force rider and former UFL MVP received a resounding ovation.
Barsales, 38, also wore the captain’s armband before he was replaced by Nate Burkey in the 15th minute with the Azkals ahead, 1-0, on an Emilio Caligdong goal.
However, the All-Stars, which also had a handful of former national team members and African players, equalized late in the first half before taking the lead in the second on Mark Hartmann’s goal.
Simon Greatwich equalized early in the second half but the Azkal defense surrendered another goal in the 75th. Striker Ian Araneta looked to have salvaged a draw with a header in the 85th before Izzeldin El-Habbib blasted a powerful shot past Neil Etherideg for the game-winning goal.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 06, 2011.