LOOK: Former Azkals unite in celebrating historic win, Asian Cup qualification
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 28, 2018 02:27 PM
Aside from the crowd, the players, several heroes were also celebrating the Azkal's historic win.
Phil Younghusband called it a ‘perfect’ night of football. The Azkals scored arguably their most important win, and were through to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup for the first time.
FULLTIME:@TheAzkalsPH 🇵🇭 ARE IN THE #AFCQ2019! The Azkals make history tonight with the win, getting the much-needed points for us to qualify to the AFC Asian Cup for the first time ever! pic.twitter.com/9n4MbLiFwE— ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) March 27, 2018
But before that header by Kevin Ingreso, before the late penalty by Phil, Filipino supporters, both new and old, were in fear of having history slip away when Tajikistan drew first blood in the 64th minute.
Years of frustration have slowly caught up to the Azkals, who seemingly come up short during big games. The Filipinos, this time needing a draw, found themselves down in home soil nearing the 70th minute.
But we all know what happened. The Azkals, in front of 4,600 spectators praying for this one breakthrough, delivered.
Ingreso pulled a goal back after letting a header fly over the keeper to kiss the back of the net. Younghusband then stepped up to the spot, putting away a penalty kick, the 50th international goal of his career.
The crowd, and the players themselves, were in hysterics, and for good reason. They were all part, and witnesses to history being made.
But aside from the players, several heroes were also celebrating. Former players who endured through the dark ages of Filipino football, keeping the flame alive for today’s heroes.
Tears of joy to be shed... One of the goals for the Azkals since 2010 was to reach the AFC Cup and today the team has done it! Massive shoutout to the boys and making dreams come true! Looks like I may have to book a trip to UAE! WHO’s COMING WITH ME?! ⚽️ 🇵🇭 @alybor11— Anton del Rosario (@anton_delro) March 27, 2018
Get in there!!! Well done boys, you showed amazing heart to see that game out!! Football in the Philippines is alive and kicking @afcasiancup here we come!! 🇵🇭💪🏼— Rob Gier (@RobDazoGier2) March 27, 2018
Still on a high from last night. I’m so happy and proud of our squad, all the hard work has got us https://t.co/CBOhzEw1dt we have the privilege of representing the country on the biggest stage in Asia #azkals #AsianCup2019 #uae 🇵🇭 @TheAzkalsPH pic.twitter.com/ikqWiNUKDM— Iain Ramsay (@IainRamsay_17) March 28, 2018
And they too, did not hold back in soaking in the moment. After years of futility, why wouldn’t they?