Team Philippines off to a bad start in 2012 Homeless World CupBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines — Two crushing defeats opened up the Team Philippines’ campaign in the 2012 Homeless World Cup held in Zocalo, Mexico City Monday (Manila Time).
The boys from the Philippines took a 1-10 beating from Austria followed by a 2-12 defeat in the hands of Portugal in day two of the annual tournament, which uses the global sport football as a tool for change and awareness.
But managing to avoid getting blanked by the opponents has been an upside for the Philippines side as Jhay-ar Estuaria and John Paul Cordero were the first players to step up for the country.
Estuaria, a construction worker who hails from Leveriza in Manila, and Cordero, who is from the Leyte-Samar Center for Change Foundation, accounted for the three goals scored in the last two games.
“There’s always tomorrow. There was a big improvement in their second game,” said HWC director Rudy del Rosario in his Facebook account. “(Let’s just) keep on improving.”
The Philippines, which was transferred to Group G after arriving a day late in Mexico, will face Romania and Sweden next in the continuation of group stages Tuesday.
Mark Maravilla, who was also part of the 2010 delegation, will serve as the head mentor for the squad composed of underprivileged boys from all over the country whose passion for football is undeniable.
Raymond Intendez of Manila Boystown, Jerwin Papiona also from the Leyte-Samar Center for Change, fisherman Jacko Wapson from Pangasinan, farmer Nicho Jardin from Tayabas, Quezon, Eddie Alivio and Kalvin Panares from Don Bosco Boys’ Home and Training Center in Cebu complete the squad.
In last year’s edition of the street football competition held in Paris, France, Philippines finished a notch better from the 2010 competition following a hot start.