MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Azkals dedicated their stirring win in the Peace Cup Football Invitationals to the victims of the destructive earthquake, which struck the Visayas and other parts of the country on Tuesday.
The Azkals defended their Peace Cup crown with a 3-1 victory over Pakistan on Tuesday night at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
It came after a 7.2-magnitude quake shook Visayas, especially the provinces of Cebu and Bohol, with the death toll reaching over 100.
“We dedicate this win to our kababayans that are affected by the earthquake. We hope this victory can lift their spirits,” said team manager Dan Palami.
Filipino-German Stephan Schrock, a Bundesliga veteran who was inspired by the hometown crowd, delivered the victory-clinching goal for the Filipinos in the 88th minute.
“Salamat po sa lahat ng suporta. Mahal namin kayong lahat. Pinagdadaga namin lahat ng earthquake victim. Sana maging matatag kayo,” Schrock tweeted (@s17Stephan).
Misagh Bahadoran and Juani Guirado also offered their support on Twitter.
“We offer this victory to those affected by the earthquake and hoping we bring a little smile on the faces of our fellowmen” said @misagh_9.
The Azkals, who have been in the capital province of Negros Occidental since last week for the three-nation tournament, also felt the effects of the earthquake.
“Earthquake to wake us up,” tweeted National team mainstay James Younghusband.
It wasn’t a new experience for most of the Azkals, though.
In 2011, the team was in the middle of its AFC Challenge Cup buildup in Gotemba when a massive magnitude-8.9 quake rocked most of Japan.
They were also in Myanmar for the Challenge Cup group stages when an earthquake, measuring 6.8 in the Richter scale, hit.