Jovin Bedic has a knack for good timing.
In the last 30 days, the Kaya-Iloilo Football Club forward struck the winning goal for his team against Davao Aguilas in the 2018 Copa Paulino Alcantara Cup final and he delivered the equalizer for the Philippine Men’s National Football Team in its 1-1 draw against Thailand, Wednesday night in their 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup Group B clash.
“Siguro lahat naman nagtrabaho pero yung pag 1-nil, parang mahirap talaga pero sabi ni coach na mag-prepare ako, baka pumasok ako, ginrab ko nalang yung opportunity na itong game na ito, kailangan ko mag-step-up,” said the Barotac Nuevo native.
The result was the least the Azkals deserved for all their efforts in the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City. A loss to regional heavyweights Thailand would have been a bitter pill to swallow and could be disastrous in terms of booking a semi-finals ticket. With 7 points after three games, qualification to the next stage is still in the Azkals’ hands.
“Talagang yung desire and ayoko talaga mag-give up na matalo kami so si Patrick Strauss, ‘yung combination nandoon, so nakita ko pagturn ko noon, nandiyan na ‘yung goal so as a striker siguro kailangan ko lang tirahin iyon para maka-score,” said the West Negros University alumnus.
Bedic’s 81st minute goal had a slice of luck to it. When he struck the ball, it hit the right post and slowly crossed the line much to the relief of the team and the fans inside the stadium. “Na-deflect pero di ko nakita. Para sa akin nag-celebrate ako para sa Pilipinas na nakagoal tayo, nakabawi.”
Every football player dreams of leaving a mark in the biggest matches, especially for one’s country. For the Philippines, the Suzuki Cup is one of the holy grails and for Bedic to open his account in the competition is simply a magical feeling for him.
“As a football player naman, ito naman pangarap mo para sa Pilipinas. Proud lang ako sa team ko at sa sarili ko na nakatulong para makuha rin ‘yung goal namin ngayon,” said the striker.
“Siguro nagpapasalamat ako sa family ko na laging nandiyan and yung team namin, yung suporta and siguro ‘yung desire ko talaga na magstep-up pa sa football career ko so siguro tsaka ‘yung good timing ngayong taon.”
And to do live up to his heritage, one which includes a certain Chieffy Caligdong, is one thing he is also proud of.
“Salamat kasi na-recognize tayo as part of legend sa Barotac at sa Iloilo at ngayon siguro magstart na at magpatuloy pa rin ako sa ginagawa ko para sa Pilipinas.”
Despite the euphoric feeling of salvaging a draw against Thailand, the Philippines is still out of the woods in terms of a semi-finals ticket. The team needs a positive result away to Indonesia on November 25 to seal entry into the final four.
“Yes ‘yung mindset ganoon pa rin. ‘Yung three points pa rin ‘yung gusto nating makuha so mag-travel kami bukas early para sa Indonesia game.”
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