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Azkals bow to Spanish booters, 1-3

MANILA, Philippines (Jan 8, 2012) - More cohesive and showing better game shape, visiting team Spanish Tercera division club CF Internacional de Madrid outclassed Philippine Azkals-Alyansa, 3-1, in a charity match at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium yesterday.

The Spaniards buried the Pinoys with two goals in the first 45 minutes then added a third a minute aftere the break to dispose of the Filipinos before an estimated 8,000 spectators who watched live in support of the fund-raiser for victims of typhoon “Sendong” in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.

“I feel the game is very fun, very open,” CFIM coach Javier Garcia Marquez said in Spanish after the match. “Most important of all, I think, is everybody enjoyed the game; we enjoyed it, hope you enjoyed it. And I believe, whatever was the objective, we did enough to raise funds.”

CFIM, through club chairman Stephen Newman, handed over a check amounting to 10,000 Euros to Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross as their contribution to relief efforts for “Sendong” victims.

Newman also brought in three collectible items on behalf of Real Madrid - a Real Madrid No. 7 white jersey signed by Cristiano Ronaldo, a Los Blancos jersey signed by all the players and a Spanish national team jersey signed by Iker Casillas - organizers will auction off.

Before kickoff, Paolo Pascual and Angel Guirado delivered a spiel in Cebuano and Spanish, respectively, illustrating the united front of the football community in such a worthy cause. A one-minute silence was later made for the typhoon victims followed by the singing of “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

On game time, it was virtually a CFIM show.

Striker Rufino “Rufo” Familiar Sanchez beat Phl goalkeeper Eduard Sacapano on the penalty kick at the 15th minute as CFIM drew first blood, a goal that even local fans cheered on.

The Spaniards found the back of the net for a second time 17 minutes later, courtesy of Daniel Fernandez who extricated from defender Carli de Murga to send the ball past Sacapano.

CFIM made it 3-0 a minute into the second half after a defensive effort by Fernandez led to a goal by sub Ignacio Buenache Feijoo.

Azkals Alyansa averted a shutout via a header by James Younghusband, who made good on Chieffy Caligdong’s cross from the left flank, putting the hosts on the scoreboard.

“I’m glad to get the goal but I’m more happy to be part of this endeavor; we all got together and helped raised money for the victims,” said Younghusband, one of 12 national team mainstays in the Azkals-Alyansa side.

‘’Fitness level is very low, we need to work on that for the AFC Challenge Cup,” he added.

The local team may have lost but in the end, the beneficiaries of the charity match ended up the winners. (From Philstar.com)