THE Cebu Football Association (CFA) is all set to host another Azkals friendly in Cebu City.
“With time winding down, preparations for Face Off 2: Azkals vs Malaysia have switched into high gear,” CFA vice-president Rico Navarro said in an e-mail to Sun.Star Cebu.
“Over at the CCSC (Cebu City Sports Center)…. grass is getting greener. Pitch is game ready. The CFA has worked with the CCSC to ensure that the pitch is ready for game day. Our prayers were also answered with the rains that surprisingly ‘came’ as if on cue. The lights? These are confirmed to be brighter than Face Off 1: Azkals vs Singapore.”
The Philippines Azkals will face Southeast Asian rival Malaysia this Sunday at 7 p.m. at the CCSC, their second friendly this year after playing to a scoreless draw in Malaysia last March 1.
According to Navarro, ticket sales have skyrocketed since last Sunday but there are still tickets left for Sunday’s friendly, which is supported by Cebu Landmasters Inc., Smart, AboitizLand, Gelatissimo, Cebu Parklane International Hotel, City of Cebu, AS Enterprises of Leyte and ACP Granite Trade Contractor of Leyte.
The players expected to suit up are veterans James Younghusband, Anton del Rosario, Simon Greatwich, Chris Greatwich, Eduard Sacapaño, Patrick Reichelt, Carlie de Murga, OJ Porteria, Jason de Jong, Nate Burkey, and Jerry Lucena.
Some of the new faces who have been picked by coach Thomas Dooley are Patrick Deyto, Simone Rota, Ruben Doctora, Kenshiro Daniels, Daisuke Sato, Curt Dizon, Jovin Bedic, Amani Aguinaldo, Charles Pettys, Martin Steuble and Roxy Dorlas.
The Azkals and the Malaysia squads are scheduled to hit Cebu today.
Under Dooley, the Philippines is 1-1-1 in Fifa friendly matches.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 25, 2014.
A shorthanded Loyola Meralco shrugged off an early scare from Socceroo before scoring a 3-1 victory to resume its title bid in the United Football League on Thursday night at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig.
Without stars Phil and James Younghusband and Freddy Gonzalez, the Sparks fell behind three minutes into the game before turning it around in the middle of the first half to hack out the victory.
“We’ll take the three points, but apart from that, it’s just those few moments in the match that we had something going that are worth keeping,” Sparks coach Vince Santos said.
Sam Bonney, Matthew Hartmann, and Joaco Cañas emerged the goalscorers for the Sparks, who jacked up their point total to 39 points to regain solo second spot ahead of Kaya FC, although the latter still has a game on hand, while leaving their victims stuck in eighth spot with 10 points.
Diego Barrera was in the right place and at the right time in the third minute when the Colombian striker struck low to put Socceroo ahead and leave the Loyola crowd stunned.
But after committing a handful of defensive lapses, the Division 1 rookies allowed the Sparks to claw back, starting in the 25th minute when Bonney, a center-back, headed home a feed from Hartmann, who put the Sparks on top three minutes before first-half stoppage time.
Cañas, Bonney’s partner at the back, padded Loyola’s lead five minutes after intermission when the Spanish defender found the back of the net to become the third scorer of the team missing Phil Younghusband (abductor pull injury), James Younghusband (suspension), and Gonzalez (abroad).
Socceroo, now only four points ahead of relegation-threatened squad Pasargad, had a few more chances from Lee Jeong Woo, who was just slightly off the mark.
“It would’ve been a different game had lee made those shots,” Soccerro coach Kleng Cacacho said.
By Jerome Galunan Jr. With less than two weeks before this year’s Asean Football Confederation (AFC) President’s Cup kicks off on May 6-10 at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City, the Ceres-La Salle FC is in tough preparation as it faces the best squads in the tournament. The Ceres-La Salle FC, representing the Philippines, is in Group B along with some of the strongest teams in the tournament, namely: FC HTTU of Turkmenistan, Tatung Company of Chinese Taipei and the Rimyongsu Club of the People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). In a press conference held yesterday in Bacolod, Ceres FC head coach Ali Bernard Go said they are working hard in their training sessions as well as in scrimmages to condition the players for this tournament. “We have to be well-prepared for the tournament. We are in a tough group with World Cup caliber North Korean side and the defending champion Turkmenistan,” he said. Meanwhile, when asked how they find the North Korean squad, Ceres FC Korean technical director Cha Soung Yooung said the team plays similar as those clubs playing in the South Korean Super League. “We don’t have any problem going up against the North. The boys are ready and excited,” Yooung added. Go also presented the Ceres FC pool consisting of 30 players which include:Koreans Yong Chan Son, Jinho Kim, Kyumson Cho, Hyeon Gwon, Geun Hyeong Park, and Sangmin Kim; Kevin Capolei, Younesse Yaogo, Samson Olaniyi, Casas, Michael, Camelo Tacusalme, Jayson Panhay, Jason Cordova, Arnie Pasinabo Jr., J Baguioro, Hanesin Prince Antony, Lemuel Unabia, Tom Booth, Olapido Okunaiya, Jalsor Soriano, William Gueridonn, Joshua Beloya, Angelo Marasigan, Carlito de Murga, Patrick Reichelt, Angeles twins Marwin and Marvin, newcomer Jason Sabio, and loaned players defender Juani Guirado and keeper Eduard Sacapaño. Sabio, a new member of the club, said that one has to work hard for the spot. “But with my experience playing against Turkmenistan and Chinese Taipei, I think I can be a big help to the team. Our goal here is to win,” said the Fil-Am central defender. On the part of Bago City native and Azkals’ veteran keeper Sacapaño, he’s happy to play again for Negros. “It’s my pride to play for my hometown. And with my experience, I can help the team. This is a team effort. Whatever we can contribute is vital for the team. All we have to do here is to share our knowledge and experience to achieve our goal,” he said. Watchmen Daily Journal
Philippine Azkal Jason Abbott Sabio made his first appearance as a member of the Ceres - La Salle Football Club in the team’s press conference in Bacolod City yesterday.
Sabio, a resident of Huntsville, Alabama who studied law at the University of Alabama and is a Bar passer after earning his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, cum laude, is looking forward to playing with Ceres – La Salle after joining the team on April 9.
The 27-year-old player who was born in Manila and grew up in the United States, said at the press conference that he hopes to bring his international experience to the team as he had previously played against players from North Korea, Turkmenistan and Chinese Taipei.
He played for the Philippine Azkals in 2011 but later took a leave in favor of his studies.
While he admitted being new to the team, he is getting to know his co-players also off the field.
Befriending teammates increases camaraderie as we learn from each other and is good for the team, Jason said, adding that while he recognizes the difficulty in playing against North Korea, Turkmenistan and Chinese Taipei, they stand a good chance if they play with the mindset of a team.
Ceres-La Salle FC, which will represent the Philippines in the AFC President’s Cup Group B qualifier, will face champion club teams from the three countries at Panaad Park and Stadium May 6-10.
“Being a part of Ceres-La Salle is like being part of one big family as we look out for each other, we motivate each other, we improve together, we lost together and we win together,” he further said.
Jason said it is easy to feel at home in Bacolod. “It is truly the City of Smiles, everyone is warm and inviting.”*AVDC
Ceres – La Salle Football Club that is up against the toughest teams in the Group Stage, presented yesterday the 30-man pool of players from which the final lineup for the May 6 to 10 AFC President’s Cup Group B Qualifiers will be drawn.
In the list are Azkals’ Carlito De Murga, Patrick Reichelt, Jason Sabio, twins Marwin and Marvin Angeles, Angelo Marasigan, Juani Guirado, William Gueridonn, Eduard Sacapano, and Joshua Beloya.
Also listed were South Korean players Geun Hyeong Park, Sangmin Kim, Yong Chan Son, Jinho Kim, Kyumson Cho, and Hyeon Gwon, foreign footballers Kevin Capolei, Younesse Yaogo, Orman Okunaiya, Samson Olaniyi, and Thomas Booth.
But with the AFC rules of having only two foreign players in the lineup, Ceres FC head coach Ali Bernardo Go said they will be relying on the locals to carry the banner of the country in the qualifiers.
Up to the task are homegrown talents J Baguioro, Hanesin Prince Antony, Lemuel Unabia, Arnie Pasinabo, Jayson Panhay, Jason Cordova, Jalsor Soriano, Michael Casas, and Camelo Tacusalme.
More than the once in a lifetime experience of playing in the AFC President’s Cup qualifiers and representing the country, coach Go said Ceres FC will be out earn the respect of the international football clubs.
The mission will not be easy as the team needs to get past North Korea on May 6, a team that had an impressive showing at the FIFA World Cup and for the President’s Cup qualifiers will be bringing at least six players with World Cup experience.
Their second assignment will be against Chinese Taipei on May 8, an equally formidable squad that placed third in the 2010 edition of the President’s Cup. Ceres FC will wrap up their campaign on May 10 against defending champion Turkmenistan.
Despite the daunting task, Go said they are optimistic and his players are ready to give their best as in every football game, they have the 50-50 chance of winning.
“As long as we have the mindset of winning, we have a good fighting chance. Even the best team in football can lose,” Go said.
Meanwhile, Ceres FC administrator and President’s Cup local organizing committee chairman Nicolas Golez called on the Negrense community to come out and support the home team on May 6 to 10.
Golez said renovations are being done at the 16-year-old Panaad Stadium and they have installed at least 200 VIP seats as part of the AFC requirements for hosting the international match.
He said the provincial government of Negros Occidental and the city governor of Bacolod are extending their full support to the organizing committee to make the tournament a success.*NAB
By Karlo Sacamos PASARGAD frustrated Stallion FC with its “slow-down” strategy to force the defending champion to a goalless draw and keep its hopes of staying in Division 1 alive in the United Football League on Tuesday night at the Emperador Stadium. The relegation-threatened squad saw the Stallions dominate possession, but performed good enough to register only its sixth point overall in 17 games and move just four behind eighth-ranked Socceroo. “I’m satisfied considering how the Stallions played against us. I’m happy on how my team responded to the pressure and the demand of the game,” said new Pasargad coach Mike Agbayani, who replaced Ayi Aryee a few games back. But the match was met with criticism from Stallions coach Ernie Nierras, who felt their opponents, particularly goalkeeper William Nsangou, resorted to delaying tactics down the stretch to preserve the result. “It’s obvious,” a fuming Nierras blurted out. “This is the part I hate. When you do this, it’s not football. I don’t care what your strategy is. If they wanted to play defense all the time, I can’t question that.” “But don’t delay the game by faking injuries and having your goalkeeper do all that dramatization.” “If we have people watching the game, they’re gonna get bored. Sometimes, it’s not about winning anymore. We have to maintain the quality of the game,” added the outspoken mentor, whose team still improved to 28 points, eight behind third-running Loyola. The top-tier match was shown live on Aksyon TV. Agbayani, who coached in his third game, termed it as a ploy against a fast-paced Stallions side. “I respect coach Ernie. That’s his point on how he looks upon the game,” Agbayani said. “But for me, it was definitely part of the strategy, part of how we will try to contain our opponent. We slowed down the game because the mode of game of Stallions is really quick paced.” But the new mentor eventually admitted near the end of the post-game interview of the “delaying tactic” that took the Stallions out of their rhythm. “Partially, maybe it’s a delaying tactic, maybe my players are matured enough to do that … but it was worth it, getting the point.” spin.ph