23 November 2014

Azkals out to prove doubters wrong after being dismissed by analysts as 'non-contenders'

From: Karlo Sacamos

HANOI — After a good start, a better performance is necessary for the best finish.
That’s what Philippine men’s football team manager Dan Palami is hoping for as the Azkals try to finally conquer the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup.
The Azkals kicked off their campaign on a bright note after overwhelming Laos, 4-1, on Saturday in a rare opening victory that proved elusive in the past two stagings of Southeast Asia’s showpiece event.
“This is the best start that we’ve had so far in the three editions we’re in the group stages,” Palami said a day after the win as the Filipino booters fared poorer in starting the last two editions, settling for a 1-1 draw against Singapore in 2010, then suffering a 2-1 loss to Thailand two years later. “I hope we sustain the momentum.” But the Azkals have a long way to go despite being on the cusp of another semifinal berth with a victory against Indonesia on Tuesday. Only the top two teams in Group A advance to the next round. “If we win against Indonesia, that eases a lot of pressure on the team and maybe we’ll be able to rest some people in the last game,” the national team boss said. “But of course we want to get nine points and establish ourselves as true contenders in this tournament,” he was quick to add after hearing foreign TV analysts call them 'non-contenders.' “They didn’t give us a chance to even qualify for the semis,” he said. “So I hope we prove them wrong and especially with the support of the Filipinos, we will be successful.” One thing the Azkals can do, according to Palami, is to convert chances they failed to make against the Laotians. “If we are to be successful, we have to be more clinical in our finishing,” he observed.

Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/azkals/news/philippine-azkals-aff-suzuki-cup-football-dan-palami-asean-football

Azkals super-sub Patrick Reichelt glad to show boss he deserves to start

From: Karlo Sacamos

HANOI – Showing he deserved to be a starter, Patrick Reichelt led from the front as a sub in the Philippine men’s football team’s 4-1 win over Laos in their Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup opener on Saturday at the My Dinh National Stadium. The 26-year-old winger, a regular starter, came off the bench and played less than 30 minutes, but played well enough to lead the Azkals in scoring with a brace. Although “a bit disappointed” at being left by coach Thomas Dooley out of the starting XI, Reichelt stressed that the victory, which moved the Filipino booters on the verge of a third straight semifinal berth, was all that matters. “Every player wants to start, obviously. Every player is a bit disappointed if he’s not starting,” he said back at the team hotel. “But I was cheering with my full heart. Then I said to myself, 'If I was going to come in, I was going to give my one-hundred percent.' That’s all I can do, try to convince the coach and try to use my time. “And I thought I did a good job,” the Filipino-German standout added. “But at the end of the day, it’s all about the win.” Reichelt came on in the 65th minute for Mark Hartmann, whose recent hot streak came to an end. “He’s a great finisher, but he was a bit unlucky,” Dooley said of Hartmann. “So we went to Patrick and he was right there.” “Everybody who comes in needs to be better than the one who’s coming out or maybe at least as good as him, otherwise, why should I take him out?” “And it (decision to field Reichelt) was worth it,” the German-American mentor was quick to add.

Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/azkals/news/super-sub-patrick-reichelt-

22 November 2014

YouTube : Philippines vs Laos: AFF Suzuki Cup 2014 Highlights

AFF SUZUKI CUP: Full points for Philippines

HANOI (22 Nov 2014) – Philippines picked up their first full points in Group A of the AFF Suzuki Cup here at the My Dinh National Stadium when they staged a fabulous fight back to beat Laos 4-1.
But it was Laos who grabbed the lead in the first half before the Philippines scored two goals in each half for the win.
“We created a lot of chances even though we struggled in the first 25 minutes of the game,” said Philippines coach Thomas Dooley. “We made some easy mistakes at the start which allowed Laos to score.
“But we recovered to win the game in the end.”
It was the Philippines who pushed hard at the start through Martin Steuble and Mark Hartmann attacking from either flank which gave a lot of problem to the Laotian defence.
And while Jerry Lucena’s attempt was cleared on the line in the first quarter, it was Laos who went in front when Khampeng Sayavuthi fired in a free kick in the 21st minute that had ?? well beaten.
But the Philippines did not lose their focus and they maintained the rhythm to press Laos into their own half and in the 39th minute a cross from the right was headed into goal by Simone Rota.
And with just seconds left of the first half, captain Philip Younghusband slammed in the second goal for the Philippines to be 2-1 in front at the half.
With the crosses coming in hard at the start of the second half, the substitution for Patrick Reichelt would be pivotal when he snuck in the third goal of the game in the 76th minute before ensuring Philippines’ win with the fourth two minutes to the end.
“We knew that the crosses would be dangerous,” said Laos coach David Booth. “We tried to counter it but it was just too difficult against the taller Philippines players.”


AFF Suzuki Cup : Philippines 4-1 Laos FT

AFF Suzuki Cup Saturday

Philippines vs Laos , 5 pm (Philippines)

Tv : Fox Sports (Live)  , start 4.30 pm
ABS CNN Sports and Action , delayed 9 pm

Livescore : www.futbol24.com

Livestream link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHbD1DLyYMs  (this livestream may not work in ASEAN)

Alternative livestream link  : http://eversport.tv/football/aff-suzuki-cup-2014/2014/11/22/philippines-vs-laos

Photo: Philippines 22-man squad for the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup

They begin their campaign today against Laos at 4:00pm local time (5:00pm Manila) at My Dinh Stadium, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Come on you Azkals!

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0-1 Laos
1-1 Rota
2-1 Phil Younghusband
2-1 HT

3-1 Reichelt
4-1 Reichelt
4-1 FT

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21 November 2014

Philippines' pursuit of football glory continues as Azkals open Suzuki Cup campaign vs Laos

THE Philippines continues its pursuit of football glory as it kicks off its Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup campaign against Laos on Saturday at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Falling short in their last two competitions — finals losses in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup and the Philippine Peace Cup, the Azkals remain motivated as they seek to the end the year with a bang.

“This is a big deal,” skipper Rob Gier said. “The guys need to get excited by it and they need to get on board and they need to realize what this competition can bring. And we’re on course.”

After all, this is the tournament that started it all. Coming off two straight semifinal appearances in Southeast Asia’s showpiece event, the Filipino booters aim for no less than a championship this time.

“Now we just need that extra little (push)—it might be two percent or five percent—whatever we need to get us over that line,” said Gier, one of only two overseas-based standouts in the lineup.

With overseas-based goalkeepers unavailable, Patrick Deyto takes spotlight as Azkals' last line of defense

The first obstacle the locally loaded Azkals need to hurdle is Laos, which is seeking to make the most of the opportunity after catching the last bus to the group stage by finishing as the second-best team in the qualifiers.

The teams last met in the Challenge Cup group stage in May when the Azkals emerged a 2-0 winner.

Now, they face off once again in a Group A match at 5 p.m. at the 40,000-seat venue with the 129th-ranked Filipino booters entering as favorites against a team ranked 25 spots lower than them.

But rankings hardly matter based on the Azkals’ penultimate friendly, a 3-0 loss to 165th-ranked Thailand in a match that served as a wake-up call to the Filipinos.

The Azkals prevailed in their last tune-up, a 3-0 win over Nepal, but still showed signs of weakness especially on the defensive end.

“No matter what preparation you do, obviously you’ve got to make sure you get the right amount of games and the right amount of training and you’re fit enough,” star striker Phil Younghusband said.

“But the results that happened before, it doesn’t really matter. It’s important you perform in the actual competition.”

Phil Younghusband, skipper Rob Gier lead first batch of Azkals to leave for Suzuki Cup

“Historically, we are a good team when it comes to tournaments, when it really matters,” Gier said. “And I’m sure that’s going to be the case this time.”

Only the top two teams in group play advance to the knockout stage.

“We can be champions. That will always be our target,” team manager Dan Palami said. “It’s difficult to ascertain especially I haven’t seen much of Vietnam and Indonesia. But if we get through the semis, I think we’ll even have a better chance of getting the championship.”

“Certainly we have become a better team,” he added. “And with it comes higher expectations from everybody. We’ll take that up as a challenge and hopefully we’ll be up to it.”


19 November 2014

Azkals in Vietnam

Phil Younghusband, skipper Rob Gier lead first batch of Azkals to leave for Suzuki Cup

From: Karlo Sacamos

THE Azkals’ lineup for the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup is nearly complete ahead of the Philippines’ campaign in Vietnam this weekend. The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has pruned down the registered 35-man pool, booking 21 players for flights that left for Hanoi on Wednesday morning. Skipper Rob Gier and leading scorer Phil Younghusband once again banner the squad. Filipino-Spanish defender Alvaro Silva was not booked as he is still waiting for his passport, but can still make the roster. Neil Etheridge and Roland Muller were also excluded due to club commitments, although the latter can be available starting in the second leg of the semifinals after the end of his Swiss club Servette FC’s season. Jeffrey Christiaens, Anton del Rosario, Jason Sabio, Paolo Bugas, Carli de Murga, Satoshi Otomo, Mike Ott, Nate Burkey, and OJ Porteria were the other players left out, while Chieffy Caligdong and Jason de Jong recently retired from national duty. The PFF is expected to name final roster on the eve of the Azkals’ first assignment on Saturday against Laos. Only 18 can sit on the bench. The full list of players who were booked is listed below. Goalkeepers: Patrick Deyto, Tomas Trigo Defenders: Amani Aguinaldo, Rob Gier, Juani Guirado, Simone Rota, Daisuke Sato, Dennis Villanueva Midfielders: Misagh Bahadoran, Kenshiro Daniels, Curt Dizon, Chris Greatwich, Simon Greatwich, Jerry Lucena, Paul Mulders, Manny Ott, Martin Steuble, James Younghusband Forwards: Mark Hartmann, Patrick Reichelt, Phil Younghusband

Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/news/azkals-lineup-nearly-complete-as-pff-books-21-players-to-hanoi-flights