My ‘series of unfortunate events’ before Azkals-Bahrain

An almost traffic violation, a broken car window, a dead battery, and carmageddon almost cost us the chance to watch the first Azkals game for World Cup Qualifying but lady luck seemed to be on our side that night.


Leaving promptly at 5 pm, I hitched a ride with my work buddy Mark and his wife Kat who lived in Bulacan and were interested to watch their first Azkals match.

I was supposed to take a leave on that day but learned from weeks back that we had work training on that day and getting out of it was not possible.

I got a call from my brother at 530 pm, instructing to avoid edsa at all costs. I confirmed to him that we were not there and he remarked that he left Edsa-Magallanes at 330pm only to still be in Megamall after two hours.

Confident that we were early, we took the Manila route and conveniently found our way towards the Nagtahan area.  It was all good until Mark tried to beat the red light.

A motorcycle-riding guy with a Manila City Hall shirt gestured us to move to the side.  From there he lectured Mark on what he did and Mark simply said sorry about what happened.

I was waiting for the guy to ask for the license but it never happened, all he did was gestured us to go.  I felt relieved that we didn’t have to endure that process but something else was wrong.  The driver’s car window wouldn’t close.

I was laughing on the thought that we did get out of a violation but was faced with an open car window for the duration of the trip. Tough luck. Said to myself that things couldn’t get any worse.

Leyte Football Association making it all the way from Leyte for the match

After getting near the entrance of NLEX after two hours of going through Manila’s side streets, Mark decided to fix the window in the nearest gas station.  Inhaling Manila’s toxic fumes is not a fun exercise and the break was a welcome development.

Once we got back to the car, things just made the turn for the worst. The car wouldn’t start.

Just. My. Luck.

It was already half-an-hour before kickoff and we I was faced with the thought of missing the game in its entirety.  The car was an automatic and automatics couldn’t be jump started.

The nearest battery store was closed, the gas station didn’t have any equipment, and the battery delivery was miles away.

It was only after thirty minutes that two good samaritans helped us with the car.  One had the cables, the other has the battery.

After doing a parallel connection of the batteries, the car came back to life.  With it, the window was also closed.  There is a god (or just helpful Pinoys in the right place at the right time).

As we made our way towards NLEX, I thought to myself that I already exorcised all the bad luck that I had in my system and there is no more space for bad news. It was then that my luck started to turn.

The big digital signboard said 0-0 with the first half almost coming to an end. I told the couple that if this stands, adjustments will be made and we have a good chance of winning this game.

We parked the car, got our tickets and made our way to our seats for the second half.  It was then when history happened. Misagh’s poke. Javier’s rebound.

2-nil after seventy minutes. Unreal. Unbelievable. Felt like it was Christmas morning and getting the gift you wanted the most.

The UP Pep squad cheering for their National Squad

We did however concede in the end. From perfect to almost perfect.  I was a bit angry at first but after looking back what we gone through to get to that moment, I’d take it. I couldn’t ask for more.

An almost traffic violation, a broken car window, a dead battery, and carmageddon may have happened but I didn’t care.  I was a lucky SOB and with it came an Azkals win.

By Ivan Gayares (@ivangeoffrey)

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