Dear All, You are invited to the Luenthai Football Cup on October 3 & 4, 2015 at the Clark Dev't Corporation Parade Grounds. Early bird registration is 1,500Php from August 24-29, 2015. Categories: Boys born 2007-2008, born 2005-2006, born 2003-2004, born 2001-2002, born 1998-2000. HS Girls born 1998-2001. MEN's and WOMEN's Open. Please make checks payable to L&T Int'l Group Phils., Inc. For inquiries, contact Coach Mark Francisco (0915-200-9857), Coach Mike Bernadrdo (0916-739-3495) or Coach Joel Villarino (0917-827-4996). For other details please see attached letter.
Mark Anthony C. Francisco Football Head Coach Luenthai International Group Philippines Inc. 7506 A. Bonifacio Ave. cor. J. Tinsay St. Clark Freeport Zone, Clark Field, Pampanga, Philippines Mobile: (+63) 9152009857
The Philippines faces its toughest challenge yet in Uzbekistan as the Azkals resume their World Cup Qualifying campaign on Sept. 8 at Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Ranked No. 74 by Fifa, the Uzbeks will also be looking for their first victory in the qualifying tournament against the Azkals, who are running second to North Korea on goal difference in Group H after wins over Bahrain (2-1) and Yemen (2-0).
Having spent long hours the past two months studying Uzbekistan play, Dooley feels the Central Asians are the strongest team in Group H despite their 2-4 defeat to North Korea last June.
“Overall, it’s a very strong team, the best team in the group,” said Dooley Sunday before the Azkals started training for the first time since their 2-0 win over Yemen in Qatar last June 17.
“They make fewer mistakes and they don’t need a lot of chances to score.”
Two of Uzbekistan’s players see action in the Russian top flight —defender Vitaliy Denisov, who plays for Lokomotiv Moscow, and midfielder Odil Ahmedov, who plays for Krasnodar.
Still, Dooley remains upbeat of the Azkals’ chances.
“We’ll have our chances but each player should play 100 percent from the first minute to the last,” he said.
The Azkals will play the Maldives on Sept. 3 at Rizal Memorial Stadium in preparation for the duel against the Uzbeks.
Among the overseas-based players who joined training at PSS yesterday was winger Iain Ramsay. Jerry Lucena was expected to arrive last night, while Neil Etheridge, Roland Muller and Kevin Ingreso are arriving today.
Stephan Schrock planes in on Tuesday, with Javier Patino and Stephan Palla arriving the next day.
Luke Woodland will plane in on Sept. 6 as he is on trial with US Major League Soccer side New York Red Bulls.
The Filipino-foreign players of the Philippine Azkals are just happy to represent the Philippines in the international stage even as they attempt to help the country gain a qualification in the 2018 World Cup.
Some of the players who guested at DZMM's ''Fastbreak'' explained how they found their way to the Philippines shores despite being born abroad.
''I went to Davao two years ago, my cousin told me about the Azkals and I was thinking about it. I told my dad and mom, I want to play... I want to go to the Philippines, they said if you want to play you can go,” said Japanese-Filipino midfielder Daisuke Sato.
Kenshiro Daniels, an English-Filipino, said he knows that suiting up for the national team would make his mother proud.
Daniels said he was among those who tried out for the team when Azkals manager Dan Palami and former team captain Aly Borromeo held trial in the US.
''My cousin and tita told me about the Azkals. I went into the trials in San Francisco then played in the UFL. Then the next thing you know, I got a call up,'' he said. ''I'm really happy that I've been able to represent the Philippines. I know that my mom would be proud.''
Australian-Filipino Iain Ramsay, for his part, he actually started out as a rugby player since it was popular in his hometown of Australia.
Later on, he made a transition to football, a sport he loved immensely. ''I decided to play for the Azkals just recently. I'm very blessed and fortunate to do what I love to do,'' he said.
''Obviously, my mother being Filipino and I have a lot of Filipino family back in Sydney… I know it means a lot to them.''
Italian-Filipino Dennis Villanueva said football is a big thing back in Italy. He started playing the sport at a young age by joining a football school at the age of 7, then progressing to the youth team and joining a semi-pro squad.
Since he has Filipino lineage, he decided to play for his father's home country. ''May dugo akong Filipino so why not try football here in the Philippines?'' he said.
For Spanish-Filipino Juani Guirado, playing for the Philippines is a life-changing decision.
The elder brother of Angel Guirado said he has decided to make the Philippines his home so he could play professionally and at the same time stay closer to the national team.
''Life is more fun in the Philippines. I come here to work for my family, for Philippines for being more close to national team and my career, here,'' he said.
The Philippine Azkals will be trying to make it through the third round of the World Cup qualifiers by taking on Uzbekistan after two straight victories in the preliminaries.
The game will take place at the Philippine Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan on September 8.
The top team in their group will advance to the next round while the four best second-placed teams from among the eight groups in qualifying will also move on, while claiming a spot in the AFC Asian Cup in 2019.
But before facing the Uzbeks, the Azkals will sharpen their spurs by tackling Maldives in a friendly game on September 3 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
KAYA FC outlasted fancied Ceres-La Salle, 4-2, in a pulsating United Football League Cup finale that reached a penalty shootout to capture a first-ever UFL silverware on Friday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The perennial title contenders finally got over the hump as it refused to lose after squandering a two-goal lead and going a man down in regulation.
Goalkeeper Nick O’Donnell shone brightest in the shootout, denying two attempts, before teammates Christian Ayew and Louis Clark converted their shots to seal the deal.
Kaya, a founding UFL member owned by LBC boss Santi Araneta, thus ended a seven-year title drought, while denying Ceres a title double after the Bacolod-based side ruled the league last month.
“It’s quite awesome,” Kaya manager Paul Tolentino said. “I can’t stop thinking about all these boys who worked so hard to get here. They deserve this.”
“And to all those amazing Ultras fans, the way they supported us, to be able to give this back to them, that was the one thing I kept thinking about.”
Kaya also booked the second Asian Football Confederation Cup berth, joining Ceres in the second-tier club competition in the continent next year.
It was the second straight match that reached a penalty shootout for Kaya, which survived Stallion FC, 5-4, in the semifinals.
Manila, PHILIPPINES – Substitute player Ahmed Imaz leveled the game for the Maldives and changed the score to 2-2 in the 75th minute in the first friendly match in Manila, Philippines against Stallion FC during their training camp.
Maldives caretaker coach Ismail Mahfooz started the game with a complete new starting line up and they dominated the game against the first division club in Philippines.
Maldives striker Mohamed Umair escaped from the offside trap and made a good shot on target but keeper blocked it.
Umair broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute from a wonderful flying header inside the box from a free kick from Akram.
In the 53rd minute Stallion FC leveled the game from a penalty when referee awarded them a penalty for a handball from Arif inside the box.
Six minutes later, Stallion took the lead from a good header inside the box.
In the 75th minute, Ahmed Imaz changed the score to 2-2 from a descent header inside the box from a good cross from Umair.
MY LATE paternal grandma Genoveva, a devout Catholic, used to say that priests in the pulpit have almost the same pull on the multitude as movie stars.
Well, seeking the succor of men of the cloth probably crossed the minds of Philippine Football Federation officials. They have done everything they could to attract fans to fill the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan, to the rafters on Sept. 8.
That’s when the Azkals face their national team counterparts from Uzbekistan—a country 49 places above ours in the world rankings—in the ongoing qualifying matches for the Fifa World Cup in Russia in 2018.
Against the Uzbeks, the toughest team in Group H of the qualifiers, the Azkals are gunning for their third straight victory, after gritty wins over Bahrain, 2-1, and Yemen, 2-0.
The Azkals expect to draw strength from fans on home turf, a modern football and track stadium at Ciudad de Victoria, in their desire to become a force in Asian football and highlight their ultimate goal of someday making it to the World Cup.
But unless a marketing miracle happens, it looks like the Nationals will play the Uzbeks before a sparse home crowd again.
When the Azkals edged Bahrain on June 11, 7,000-plus fans showed up at the 25,000-capacity stadium.
With less than two weeks to go before the Azkals’ match with the Uzbeks, PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta, reported that gate receipts amounted to only P900,000 and change paid by 4,326 fans.
Azkals ticket prices of P500, P300 and P100 plus tax and applicable charges are about the same amounts you shell out for games in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
The pro basketball league is currently in between tournaments and yet it still corners the attention of fans and thus, dominates the local sports news cycle.
That’s because of the conflict, the drama, the surprises and the corporate circus behind the selection of the Philippine national team to the Fiba Asia Men’s Championship in Hunan, China, next month.
That the faithful follow the testy formation of the Gilas team like a soap opera is a textbook example of the widespread influence basketball has on local sports.
Essentially, the situation is a lousy one that has diverted fan interest from the other sports, notably football and the Azkals’ important match on Sept. 8.
With Gilas around, the brass band stops playing for the Azkals.
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In any case, there are a few precious days left before game time.
For the sake of sports diversity, please follow the lead of celebrity supporters, including two senators of the realm, who are rallying fans to show up in full force for the Azkals.
Let’s put the steam back in the national team’s World Cup quest and help make that marketing miracle happen.
Tickets to the Azkals game are available at a TicketWorld outlet nearest you.