23 October 2016

Simon McMenemy , new National Coach for Gambia ?

Former Loyola and Azkals coach Simon McMenemy could be the next National coach for Gambia.

Simon McMenemy has resigned as coach for UFL club Loyola Meralco Sparks.

"Reportedly, an agreement with the Scot Simon McMenemy was concluded and will be formalized in early December."



Ceres-La Salle FC succumbed to a 0-1 defeat against an inspired JP Voltes squad but still claimed second spot in the final day of the United Football League. Allen Angeles made the difference in the first half to secure the win for team who finished a surprising fourth in the league.
With Stallion FC holding Loyola to a draw the night before, the second spot was secured for Ceres regardless of the result of the final game. The Busmen were assured of a second spot because of a superior goal difference. JP Voltes came out with more urgency in the match getting the better chances in the first half.
Things went south for Ceres after a high challenge by Stephan Schrock on Camelo Tacusalme forced referee Steve Suprecencia to hand out a red card to the Azkals player in the 29th minute. The Japanese-flavored side pounced on the advantage and scored five minutes from the half with Takumi Uesato’s brilliant shot that forced goalkeeper Michael Casas into a good save. The rebound however taken by an unmarked Angeles who made no mistake in front of goal.
Ceres came out strong early in the second half, dominating possession and even and forcing JP Voltes keeper Nelson Gasic to quality saves. The rest of the match was an end-to-end affair with both squads getting their own chances, but Voltes held on for their first win against the 2015 UFL champions.
The Bacolod squad received their second place trophy in the awarding ceremonies after the match to complete a long and grueling season in Philippine soil. Ceres will complete their final assignment on October  29 in Singapore where they will face Balestier Khalsa in the third-place match in the Singapore Cup.

UFL Sunday : Ceres fc 0-1 JP Voltes Fc

Stallion switch off Loyola's AFC Cup hopes with a stalemate

By Kevin Estrada

MANILA-- Even though they are way behind of champions Global, Stallion showed why they are still one of the UFL's elite clubs, forcing a more favored Loyola side to a four-goal stalemate to cap off the penultimate matchday of the league Saturday evening at the Rizal Memorial Stadium

Ernest Nierras' men played like a true workhorse and were duly rewarded by their all-out play, with goals by Fitch Arboleda and skipper Ruben Doctora, coupled by superb goalkeeping by Ref Cuaresma, power the 2013 double winners into a spoiler's role with a shocking 2-2 draw over their more fancied opponents to end the season on 31 points.

Simon Mcmenemy's final match for the Sparks ended in whimper when they were forced to peg back on level terms twice, but they could not find a winner as the mad rush to second and the spot to next season's AFC Cup practically ended here tonight, with Loyola finished their domestic season on 41 points, tied with Ceres but had an inferior goal difference over the Busmen who will even play fourth-placed JP Voltes tomorrow afternoon.

Stallion proved a tough nut to crack early on, with Arboleda scored the match's first just seconds after the opening whistle, beating Loyola netminder Ace Villanueva to the bottom left corner of the net.

Since then, both sides played at equal pace with each other, with possessions equally split between them that negated their gap in the league table.

Loyola then equalized deep into added time, when David Basa inadvertedly handled Simon Greatwich's shot into his own net that left Nierras bemused at the break.

But Doctora made amends for the animated manager in the 53rd minute, giving the lead back for the Stallions by beating Anto Gonzales on the counter and slots the ball low for 2-1 but that was cancelled out by Greatwich twelve minutes later with a cracking shot from outside.

However, it was the former Loyola number one who made the day for Stallion, capping off with a double save off Daniel Gadia and Joaco with just three minutes left in the clock.


22 October 2016

Desperately looking for the Azkals

National football team coach Thomas Dooley stood restless at the touchline, shouting instructions amid the heavy downpour.
While the Philippines was only playing a friendly match against North Korea, what was happening on the Rizal Memorial Stadium pitch worried him so much he exposed himself to the elements rather than find shelter on the bench like his Korean counterpart.
The match was difficult to watch. The Azkals chased shadows and looked like they were ready to concede a goal each time the enemy pushed the ball forward. Offensively, the Azkals couldn’t conjure a clear-cut chance.

In the end, the Filipinos looked spent and lacked ideas in the 1-3 defeat—their second in as many matches after the 1-2 loss to Bahrain five days before. Pundits agreed the team showed little fight and urgency.
With only a few weeks before the Azkals embark on their toughest challenge yet, Dooley is in a quandary about how he could field his best squad for the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, which the country will be hosting for the first time from Nov. 19 to 26 at Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan.
A stroke of misfortune has marred the Azkals’ preparations. The retirement of some of the squad’s most experienced defenders early this year and injuries to a couple of regulars have forced the German-American coach to dig deep into his side. The transition has been difficult, to say the least, and the Azkals’ inability to play for three months after their stunning win over North Korea in World Cup Qualifying stunted their progress.
“If the Suzuki Cup starts tomorrow, that would be a concern for me,” says Dooley. “But we have time to change that, time to think of different ways. If you want to make everyone happy, play against a team we can beat and everybody will think that the preparations is perfect. But we want to play against better teams.”
“We don’t have to panic,” says Dooley. “We made those games (friendlies against Bahrain and North Korea) to see what we are doing wrong. You don’t find out those when you win 3-0. It’s a reality check.”
Dooley may sound defiant, but the concern is undeniable. The pressure is mounting on him and the Azkals to finally deliver a major trophy for the country. Interest in the team is dwindling as proven by attendance in recent matches. The Azkals are no longer the hottest ticket in town.
But three straight AFF Suzuki Cup semifinal appearances, starting from that miraculous run in 2010 in Vietnam, and home-field advantage for the first time in the group stages also put the Azkals as a favorite to advance from Group A, which also includes defending champion Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia. There’s also the small matter of being the top-ranked team in Southeast Asia, which the Azkals feel they can reinforce with a Cup title.
Help is on the way, though.
Javier Patino, who is finding his form late in the season in the Chinese Super League, will play in the Suzuki Cup for the first time since joining the Azkals in 2014.
But while there’s a wealth of attacking talent in the team, it’s in defense where the Azkals were exposed to be lacking in their last two games. Slow to react, disorganized and caught out of position, the current backline, anchored by the 21-year-old Amani Aguinaldo, has been a far cry from the solid defensive units of years past.
Simone Rota, Aguinaldo’s partner in central defense, recently underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL, while leftback Daisuke Sato remains unlikely to suit up since he now plays in Romania.
Neil Etheridge, who is having the season of his career at Walsall in the English third tier, is also out for the Suzuki Cup, opting to focus on his club career.
Dooley has been left with midfielders Kenshiro Daniels, Martin Steuble and Dennis Villanueva as options for the back line. The Azkals’ success will hinge on how quickly they adjust to their roles.
The midfield combinations are also dodgy, especially since Phil Younghusband is now playing a more defensive role. Younghusband isn’t only the country’s top international scorer with 42 goals, but he is also one of the most experienced players in the squad, much like older brother, James, whose national team career has been reinvigorated following a string of strong performances.
Phil, who will be coming off a gruelling UFL season with the Loyola Meralco Sparks apart from his work with  The Younghusband Football Academy, is a proven scorer at the Suzuki Cup level. James, who made his debut in 2006 against Malaysia in Bangkok, provides the size and aerial threat.
“It’s important that we think what’s the best team we can put out and what do we have to do to win the games,” says Younghusband. “We’re going into the games trying to win. We’re not going to go to the semifinals and think that it’s okay if we lose, or if we get to the finals, we think we’ve done well and this is fine. I think it’s important to prepare and know what you are going into.”
Striker Misagh Bahadoran admits that it has been tough for the team this year.
“I believe we have a team that is good enough to challenge for the Suzuki Cup title, though,” he says. “We have players who are committed to work hard and fight for the country.”
Time is not on Dooley’s side, however. The Azkals still have one more friendly, against Kyrgyzstan, on Nov. 9 that will give the coach the opportunity to finalize his squad. Between now and Nov. 19, when the Azkals open their campaign against Singapore, the team will be under scrutiny, the margin for error getting smaller with each passing day. The time for experimentation is over.
But the Azkals have been through worst. And for a team that thrives on adversity, it will be difficult to count them out.
“We cannot discount the team’s ability to adjust and be resilient, especially when the stakes are high,” says Azkals manager Dan Palami. “Time and again, our team has shown that they can rise above adversity.”

Read more: http://sports.inquirer.net/226925/desperately-looking-for-the-azkals#ixzz4NqtnEvqi

UFL Saturday - Results and updated standings

UFL Saturday's Results :

Updated standings :

21 October 2016

International Friendly Match Philippines vs. Kyrgyzstan

Philippines vs Kyrygzstan

We wish to advise all football enthusiasts that the International Friendly Match between the Philippines and Kyrygzstan will be held on Wednesday, 09 November 2016, at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, Manila. Kick-off is at 8:00pm.

Tickets are sold via TicketWorld thru its online booking and major ticket outlets starting  12:00 noon today, 21 November 2016.
Tickets prices are:

Category 1 – Php 500.00
Category 2 – Php 300.00
Category 3 – Php  100.00

We invite all to support our National Team and watch the match live at the stadium!

UFL Weekend