Azkals team manager Dan Palami was reduced to a fan when he watched the Philippine Azkals trounce Bahrain, 2-1 on Thursday.
Absent from the bench, Palami was serving the final match of his suspension after the fracas in the AFC Challenge Cup against Palestine last year. But regardless of where he was inside the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan, the godfather of Philippine football was all smiles after the match.
“For once, I was a fan and I’m a happy fan,” he said.
The 2-1 victory gave the country three points in Group H of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers, and Palami believes that the Azkals are still bound for more surprises.
“It’s a great start for the team. I was saying that somehow, we’re going to pull off surprises in this particular round. I’m happy that we pulled off one,” he said.
Palami also praised the crew for a decent showing against the favored Bahraini team. And despite the limited time to build chemistry, the team manager is positive that this is just the start of something big for the Azkals.
“I think the boys really played well. We have a deeper squad and hopefully, it will get us through to the next round. It’s too early to tell, but we’ll never know,” he said. “We’re happy with the players that we have, that we got depth to the squad. And as the qualifiers progress, I think we’ll see more cohesion to the team and this will translate to even better results.”
The Azkals are now in Qatar for their match against Yemen, and Palami is just bursting with confidence with his team’s chances in Doha.
“It’s always good to travel when you’re winning and we should win and get that six points coming back,” he said. “Now, I’m back on the bench and I’m ready to cheer the squad.” CFC