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Deyto promises to give his best for the Azkals

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The Philippines National Men’s Football Team (Azkals) aim to put previous setbacks behind them in their 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualification campaign. Their next game is against Yemen on November 12, 2015 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

For Azkals goalkeeper Patrick Deyto, the words of Coach Thomas Dooley spring into mind when asked about the Yemen game. “Like what coach emphasizes always, if we lose this game it’s almost impossible anymore to qualify for the World Cup as well as the Asian Cup so all of us are really focused to win the next game.”

Deyto has come a long way from his days at DLSU. He explained that the differences between international football and UAAP are incomparable. “In International football, the quality is really high. The game is a lot faster and there are a lot of good players from our team and the opponents.” He later added, “So it’s a privilege and an honor for me to be part of the squad. I’ll do my best. I guess the best way to cope with it is to do my best, try to raise my level as well play the best to my abilities.”

With the UFL on hiatus, the locally-based Azkals have had to find ways to maintain their fitness. However, Global FC players are still in top shape due to their participation in an overseas cup. Deyto explained, “For our club, we still have Singapore Cup. We have two more games in the Singapore Cup on the last week of November so we still train.” Additionally, Deyto believed that top athletes should keep themselves fit even in their off-season.

Since some Azkals are set to arrive from their league careers in Europe, Deyto was optimistic about his team’s fitness. “They’re still playing their domestic football over there so I don’t think this is a problem in the next few days. Hopefully we can build up our fitness in the next two days.”

In the Azkals’ previous matches, they earned a credible 0-0 result against North Korea, after which they folded to Bahrain 0-2.

Only a few people can say that they have traveled to North Korea as tourist. Amidst all the news and impressions about the country, members of the Azkals contingent only had good things to say about North Korea. Deyto shared, “It’s amazing. I mean the stadium was full. There were a lot of people in there. They were cheering the whole match. I think it was really a good experience for all of us. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to play. It was a good experience. The country wasn’t as bad as people say it is. It’s ok. It’s a good experience.”

Two straight away games inevitably took their toll on the Azkals. They travelled approximately thirty hours for the North Korea and Bahrain games. Deyto admitted that fatigue played a factor in their loss against Bahrain. “Most probably it did. We were all tired. I mean not only physically but also mentally. Having to go through I don’t even remember how many flights we took and when we got to Bahrain, we only had two days if I remembered correctly to prepare. It wasn’t ideal but it’s part of the challenge in international football, traveling short time.”

Regardless of the Azkals’ past results, Deyto found no reason why their heads should drop against Yemen. “Yeah, having beaten them the first game. We’re really confident in our ability. We have a lot of great players over here. I think we’re gonna win the game.”

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Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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