27 May 2016

Ceres-La Salle FC debuts in RHB Singapore Cup

Bacolod squad Ceres-La Salle FC will make its 2016 RHB Singapore Cup against Garena Young Lions on May 29 at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
After to bowing to South China in the AFC Cup, the Busmen now have the United Football League and the Singapore Cup as their remaining tournaments. They will face the Young Lions who this year have returned to the S.League after a long stint in the Malaysia Super League as Lions XII.
“Were looking forward to the match. I think Young Lions is a strong team also. I’ve been looking at their games and they’re a very quick team. They’re a young team mostly composed of the under-23  players of the Singapore National team and a few senior players. We have to be playing our a game to win this game,” said Ceres Coach Ali Go.
The Garena backed squad are composed of Singapore’s developmental team and some veteran players. Captained by Singapore’s talismanic striker Khairul Amri, the Young Lions are currently on the bottom of the S.League after the departure of key players at the start of the season.
“I think we have the advantage but we have to be very careful on the counterattacks of a very young and a very fast opponent. We have to score our chances now. We dearly paid for it the last game we had versus South China. I think the finishing now would be better and our defense should the same, strong defense and strong pressing, but hopefully we get the needed win with our experience,” the Ceres mentor added.
The RHB Singapore Cup is an invitational tournament featuring the best of Singapore versus select southeast-asian clubs. The Philippines is represented by UFL League winners Ceres and UFL Cup winners in Global. The match will be played on Sunday with kickoff starting at 730pm.


NagaWorld to face Global in Singapore Cup

A squad of 18 NagaWorld players departed from Phnom Penh airport to Singapore yesterday ahead of their 2016 RHB Singapore Cup first round clash with the Philippines’ Global FC tomorrow at Jalan Besar Stadium at 6:30pm.
The two-time Metfone Cambodian League Championship coach Meas Channa has selected three foreign players in his squad for the upcoming tournament: Japan’s Mashiro Fukasawa, South Korea’s Park Yong-jun and Cameroon’s Befolo Privat.
Influential attacking midfielder Sos Suhana and defender Ngoy Srin have been included in the national squad for Sunday’s pre-Asia Cup qualifier friendly against Timor Leste. Cambodia play Chinese Taipei on Wednesday.
Ahead of their trip to Singapore, NagaWorld head coach Meas Channa told the Post yesterday: “After seeing a video clip of Global highlights, I can say they are a very strong team.
“They are unbeaten in the Philippines’ United Football League and are top of their league.” “Global are good at attacking with speed. Their back four is also very strong,” Channa said.
Global are in form, having won all their first four matches in the Philippines’ United Football League, while NagaWorld sit third in the 2016 Metfone Cambodian League table with four wins, two draws and two defeats.
The current UFL leaders were also invited to take part in the tournament in 2015, when they were beaten in the semi-finals 3-1 by then Singapore champions Albirex Niigata.
NagaWorld, by contrast, finished their only previous tournament appearance in 2014 in the first round, losing 5-0 to Singapore side Home United.
Naga’s MCL rivals Phnom Penh Crown, who have made five appearances in the Singapore Cup, have lost in the preliminary round four times, only making the last eight once, in 2009.
Svay Rieng, who have played in the tournament twice, and Boeung Ket, with one appearance, were both knocked out in the preliminary round.
The winner of this match will go on to face Singapore League runners-up Tampines Rovers, a side that includes former Arsenal and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant.
Additional reporting by Chhorn Norn


Singapore Cup

26 May 2016


Johor Baru: Juan Lucero’s hat-trick helped defending champions Johor Darul Ta’zim cruise into the AFC Cup quarter-finals after a comprehensive 7-2 defeat of tournament debutants Kaya FC of the Philippines on Wednesday.
The Argentine striker opened the scoring on the quarter-hour mark before a penalty from compatriot Jorge Pereyra Diaz (pictured) and a quick-fire double from Azammuddin Akil put the hosts 4-0 up at the interval.
OJ Porteria did reduce the deficit to three goals eight minutes into the second half but Lucero restored the four-goal cushion in the next attack before Mahali Jasuli made it 6-1 to Johor.
Lucero completed his hat-trick on the 70th minute before Antonio Ugarte scored a second for Kaya in the final minute as the score ended 7-2 with Johor sending out a stark message to their AFC Cup quarter-final opponents.
"Qualifying for the quarter-finals is important, and I am happy and proud to see our team play well, especially in the first half,” said JDT head coach Mario Gomez.
"We showed we can play without Safiq Rahim, who is injured. Amirulhadi came in his place and did well, and he is also becoming an important player in the team.
"It was difficult playing on a wet pitch, but we handled the conditions well apart from one or two mistakes we made. It has been three months of heavy work where we played a match every three days, so we are looking forward to the mid-season break."
The recently-crowned Malaysia FA Cup winners were on top from the outset and started the rout on 15 minutes after Kaya captain Aly Borromeo fouled Diaz outside the box. Lucero stepped up to send the resulting direct free kick into the net and put the hosts ahead.
Things went from bad to worse for the United Football League outfit when Borromeo was judged to have fouled Diaz inside the box eight minutes later. Diaz stepped up to drill the spot kick into the bottom of the net and double the lead before a swift counter attack in the 33rd minute led to a third goal for the defending champions. 
Izham Tarmizi started the move with a long clearance that led to Diaz racing down the left and crossed for Azammuddin to slide home inside the box.
Azammuddin scored his second seven minutes later when he produced a delightful shot from the edge of the penalty area that sailed into the top far corner of the goal as Johor went into the break four goals ahead.
Kaya pulled one goal back eight minutes into the second half as an Aidil clearance hit the crossbar and reached the path of Porteria who slid the ball below Izham into the goal from a tight angle on the left.
Johor replied instantly to make it 5-1 after Diaz’s set-up Lucero who fired past Kaya goalkeeper Matthew Acton from inside the box.
Another piece of individual skill from Diaz in the 69th minute saw Mahali well-positioned to control the ball near the penalty spot before finishing with aplomb for their sixth goal.
And Lucero completed his hat-trick two minutes later when he beat the offside trap and slotted past Acton inside the box in a one-on-one.
There was still time for another goal, this time from Kaya as Ugarte converted a cross from Porteria inside the box two minutes from time to reduce the deficit but it barely made a dent in Johor’s lead as the Malaysians roared their way into the AFC Cup quarter-finals.
"The first goal we conceded really surprised us because we were not ready when it happened,” said Kaya coach Joel Villarino. “I did not know what happened to our goalkeeper because we were not able to adjust right away to the free kick.
"It was a very good experience against the defending champions. Some of us were new in facing big crowds away, especially when we were up against the quality of the champions. We tried our best, but our best was not good enough in the game of tactics.”

25 May 2016

AFC Cup : Johor Darul Ta'zim 7-2 Kaya Fc


Johor Baru: Johor Darul Ta’zim coach Mario Gomez is sweating on the fitness of captain Safiq Rahim ahead of Wednesday’s last 16 clash with visitors Kaya FC of the Philippines in the AFC Cup, with a place in the quarter-finals at stake at Stadium Tan Sri Dato' Haji Yunos.
Malaysia midfielder Rahim (pictured) was named MVP of last year’s tournament as Johor became the first team from East Asia to win the continental competition with a 1-0 win over Tajikistan’s FC Istiklol.
And Rahim has also been on fine form in the year’s edition with seven goals in the group stage putting him in third place in the top scorers list and helping Johor top Group H with a 100% record.
“We must see the fitness of Safiq Rahim today because we don't know whether he will be involved as a starter, substitute or not at all,” said Gomez, who guided Johor to the 2015 AFC Cup title after moving to Johor Baru from Hong Kong’s South China a year ago.
“It is only one game and we play at home. Our ambition is to retain the AFC Cup, so we have to win the game tomorrow before the long mid-season break.
“Kaya have good players because they qualified into the next round. Their striker [OJ Porteria] and defender [Aly Borromeo] are notable key players. They also have young and fast players, so it is not going to be easy for us."
AFC Cup debutants Kaya, meanwhile, will have to do without Louis Clark after the forward received his second yellow of the group stage in the Matchday Six goalless draw away to New Radiant of the Maldives earlier this month.
The Filipino side did, though, enjoy a comfortable 10-2 defeat of Forza FC last Wednesday in their most recent outing in the United Football League.
“We are really excited because being a first-timer in the AFC Cup, we have gone this far,” said Kaya coach Joel Villarino.
“Johor are one of the strongest teams in the tournament. We are glad to have the honour of playing against the defending champions in front of a strong crowd.
"We have to showcase our abilities. We have done our homework on Johor. We have to concentrate throughout and show our teamwork.”

South China ends Ceres AFC Cup run

A goal in the second half of the extension period from Brazilian Luis Carlos of South China AA ended Ceres-La Salle's historic campaign in the AFC Cup at the Pana-ad Stadium in Bacolod City last night.
With both teams playing a high level game, a goalless regulation forced the extra 30-minute extra time where Ceres remained dominant while South China was looking for that single opportunity to score.
“We did not come here to settle for a draw. We had been looking forward for that situation when we can score the goal,” said South China head coach Ricardo Rambo, who took over the job two months ago.
The Brazilian coach said playing against Ceres was difficult as it is a strong team but their persistence was rewarded with a wonderful goal in the end.
That single mistake in their defense cost them the match, Ceres' head coach Franklin Muescan admitted.
While they managed to dominate ball possession in both halves of the regulation, Muescan said they failed to capitalize and they missed several opportunities to score.
“A single mistake…we can not avoid it. It is part of the game. We are almost there and we were so unlucky. But that is football,” Muescan said.
With both teams failing to score in the regulation, he said they were not expecting a shootout. Muescan said they were expecting Ceres to score as they had been controlling the tempo.
Player of the match Bienvenido Marañon said everyone played well and while they lost the match, their focus now shifts to the UFL League where a top finish will allow them to compete again in the AFC Cup next year.
The team is also scheduled to leave for Singapore this week to join the Singapore Cup.*NAB