SEA Games 2019: Stephan Schrock all praise for U-22 Azkals after bounce-back win against Malaysia

Santino Honasan on Dec 03, 2019 03:41 PM
SEA Games 2019: Schrock all praise for U-22 Azkals
"They better respond good! They do respond good, I have to praise them, really. They do follow the orders, they try their best, they go, in four days, five days, took major steps in their game." - Stephan Schrock (Photo: Arvin Lim)

It was a fantastic corner kick from team captain Stephan Schrock that led the Philippine Under-22 Men's Football National Team to a breakthrough win against Malaysia in the group stage of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games Football Tournament, last November 29th at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila. 

Late in the second half with both sides still scoreless, Schrock uncorked a corner from the right side of the pitch and it had just the right amount of english to sail right into the hands of the Malaysian keeper before bouncing off the back of another Malaysian player and into the net. 

It was a crucial moment for the Azkals, who were in dire need of a three-point result to keep their SEA Games podium finish hopes alive. 

"We are very, very happy, we put ourselves in a situation where we can advance, and that was the goal," Schroecky said after the win. "We are very proud of the result."

It also didn't hurt that a raucous Pinoy crowd accounted for a good portion of the 6500 strong that flocked to Rizal Memorial that Friday night. 

"It was amazing, it was probably the best crowd I've seen since 2012? 2010? It was a good crowd and we're very grateful for everyone showing up on a Friday, and we're very, very happy and I hope they enjoyed it." 

What could have potentially hurt the Pinoy side's chances however, was the fact that Schrock came close to sitting the crucial matchup out. 

As the Fil-German midfielder detailed, he wasn't in the best of shape earlier that day. "You know what, I was throwing up all morning, I don't know if it was something wrong. Around lunch time, I thought maybe I cannot play because it was that bad." 

Fortunately for the Pinoy side, Schrock was able to pull some determination and inspiration.

"But then I though of my wife. She's working all year, she's taking so many sacrifices for me and she never pulls out, she cannot because she has two kids, and these are all my kids in the Under-22, so I'm very happy that I could help them today." 

Following the U-22 Azkals' heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Myanmar just two days prior, Schrock told the team that they could either 'sit and cry' or focus on getting 6 points in their final two matches in the group stage. 

The young Azkals responded by a stronger outing against Malaysia and they were able to get three crucial points. Of course, Schrock was pleased with how his 'kids' responded. 

"They better respond good! They do respond good, I have to praise them, really. They do follow the orders, they try their best, they go, in four days, five days, took major steps in their game." 

It was a good sign of things to come for the U-22 program, according to the senior Azkals skipper. 

"We can be very, very happy with the Under-22," Schrock concluded. 

Schrock and the U-22 Azkals figure in a must-win match against Timor Leste on Wednesday, December 4th at the Binan Stadium in Binan, Laguna. 

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