MOVE over, Neil Etheridge.
If he continues to be given the opportunities, Eduard Sacapano feels he has the skills and the confidence to be the Philippine Azkals' main man between the goal posts in future tournaments overseas.
The third-choice 'keeper has seized his opportunity last year to shine in the AFF Suzuki Cup and other tournaments while conflict between club and country kept the celebrated Etheridge and second-choice Roland Muller from suiting up for the Azkals.
And given ample time, the Bago City native feels he has what it takes to be the first-choice 'keeper for the national team for the lon term.
“Kung ako lang talaga mag-decide, sana gusto ko ako na eh (ang starting goalkeeper). Kasi parang yung confidence ko at yung level ng laro ko andun na eh,” said Sacapaño, who has been part of the national team for almost a decade.
“So sana sa susunod na tournament, sana ako pa rin ang lalaro,” he added.
If there is one thing that is keeping him from vaulting to the top of the Philippine Azkals’ rotation, the 32-year-old Philippine Army booter feels it is communication problems.
Sacapano feels the language barrier affects the play among the Azkals, who are mostly made up of Fil-foreigners with a dash of homegrown players.
“Hirap talaga yung mag-organize ka sa team na halos lahat Fil-foreigner at kailangan mo mag-English. May isa talaga ako nun na gustong gawin na sinisigaw ko para hindi makapag fast play yung kalaban, kaso sa ingay at hindi pagkaka-intindihan, nalusutan kami,” bared Sacapano.
Sacapaño also blamed communication problems for the three goals that went by him during the Suzuki Cup, including the fateful 19th minute free-kick by Singapore’s Shahdan Sulaiman in the semifinals.
“Hindi ako nagta-tagalog or nagbi-bisaya, tina-try ko talaga na mag-English sa kanila para maintindihan nila ako,” he said.