12 May 2011

Azkals to play exhibition game in Iloilo May 24

The Philippine "Azkals" football team is heading to Iloilo to play an exhibition game later this month.

Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano Araneta Jr. said the team will be in Iloilo from May 23 to 24.

On May 23, the Azkals will hold a half-day practice in the town of Sta. Barbara, Iloilo.

On May 24, the team will play against the CPU International Football Team in Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo.

“It is more of a practice match," Araneta said, according to a report on Iloilo-based The Daily Guardian.

While most of the Azkals are Ilonggos, this will be the first time the team will play in Iloilo after the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup.

The Iloilo-based players in the team include co-captain Emilio “Chieffy" Caligdong, striker Ian Araneta, Mark Ferrer, Joebel Bermejo, Nestorio Margase, Roel Gener, Yanti Barsales, and Richard Becite III.

According to Araneta, Iloilo Rep. Ferj Biron had asked if the Azkals could play in Barotac Nuevo, considered as the Philippine football capital.

“We should rally behind them and be proud that majority of them are Ilonggos," the Daily Guardian quoted Araneta as saying.

The "Azkals" team is now undergoing training for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers scheduled in June and July.

The team will face Sri Lanka in a two-leg qualifying match. The games will be held in Sri Lanka on June 29 and at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on July 3. - VVP, GMA News

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