CHRIS Greatwich, scorer of two important goals in the Azkals’ historic run to the semifinals of the Asean Football Federation Cup two years ago, is back for another shot at Southeast Asia’s top football competition.
But whether the Filipino-American gets the same number of chances at goal may be in question, having rarely suited up for the Philippine team since that tournament in 2010 as the Azkals underwent several changes, both with the coaching staff and personnel.
Greatwich scored two goals in the group stage in 2010 — the late strike against Singapore that forced a 1-1 draw, and the first goal in the 2-0 blanking of home team Vietnam at the My Dinh Stadium witnessed by almost 40,000 hostile fans.
Greatwich remembered both goals as if these happened just yesterday.
“I was talking to Phil (Younghusband) and it seems like it was yesterday. I can still see it very clear in my mind. It’s very fresh in my memory,” the Filipino-British midfielder said.
Greatwich has been busy with his American fourth-tier team Morris County Colonials in New Jersey for the last two years and was only able to suit up for the Azkals when they had their US training camp last August.
During the Azkals’ sendoff on Wednesday night for this year’s edition of Southeast Asia’s top football competition, the team’s highlights in the 2010 Suzuki Cup were shown on a large screen through a projector.
And asked by a sports scribe what the audio-visual presentation reminded him, the 29-year-old Greatwich was very nostalgic.
“Every time I see it, it evokes very strong emotions. It was one of the best times of my life.”
Greatwich is hoping to duplicate his remarkable performance two years ago.
“I take pride in what my teammates and I could accomplish. Hopefully in this tournament, we can go further.”