Azkals vs. Thailand: Does History Matter? Football Games since 1971

After much anticipation, the 2012 Suzuki Cup Football match between powerhouse Thailand and the rising Azkals finished with 2-1 win by the favorites. No, not the Philippines, but Thailand. The fans of the wounded Azkals (literally with blood flowing from at least two Filipino players) might gain some comfort in looking at the historical results between the football encounter between the two teams since 1971.

Goal Comparison Between Azkals and Thailand. Recomputed by curator based on FIFA data

Based on FIFA  data from 1971 to Nov 24, 2012, out of sixteen (16) encounters, Thailand won 14 games with a total of 57 goals scored vs. nine (9) goals for the Philippines. The last time the Philippines defeated Thailand was in 1972, almost forty years ago. The Azkals averaged 0.56 (half a goal is of course, impossible) while Thailand averaged 3.6 goals. In historical terms, the Thai team could defeat  the Philippines with a scoreline of 4-1 or even 4-0 in the 2012 Suzuki Cup edition (or any day for that matter). But not on the 24th of November. And that 2-1 final scoreline speaks a lot about the progress of the Philippines in footballing terms.

During the 1980’s, the Thais outscored the Philippines by an average of 4 goals, in the 1990’s by 5 goals. However, in the 2000’s, the Thais only outscored the Filipinos by 3 goals. Clearly, losing even by just one (1) goal is a loss (not sure though which is more painful, losing by one or by nine). But losing by less than three goals is still progress from a historical perspective.  Talking about progress, the Azkals need to improve on one glaring statistic – goals. Out of the 16 games played between the two teams, the Philippines failed to score in ten (10) games.

The gods of statistics still favor the Thais. Let’s wait till the next encounter for the Azkals to tilt the averages to their favor. We don’t know when, but the law of averages never fails. If an elephant has a long memory, then the dogs need to create new memories. Go Azkals!!!

Additional Readings:

Azkals yield bloody opener to Thailand in Suzuki Cup (http://www.philstar.com/sports/2012/11/25/873319/azkals-yield-bloody-opener-thailand-suzuki-cup)

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~ by Martin Gaerlan on November 25, 2012.

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