30 March 2013

Busy sked ahead for PH Azkals

By Cedelf P. Tupas

Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE AFC Challenge Cup in the Maldives may be a year away, but the Philippine Football Federation is already mapping out a plan to make sure the country will have the best chance of nailing that lone slot to the Asian Cup at stake in the tournament.

Azkals manager Dan Palami plans to have the team play as many matches together to improve cohesion, the lack of which was exposed during the Group E Qualifiers against Cambodia and Turkmenistan.

PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta, for his part, will work on the appeal to have next year’s tournament moved to international Fifa dates so that the Azkals will have all their Europe-based standouts.

The likes of Stephan Schrock, Javier Patiño, Dennis Cagara, Jerry Lucena, Neil Etheridge, Roland Muller and Paul Mulders were able to see action in the qualifiers since it was scheduled in international dates when clubs are inclined to release players for national team duty.

“It will be a very busy next few months for us,” said Palami. “The challenge now is to keep this team and make sure they play in as many matches as possible. The quality got us through but it will be how the team plays that will see us through.”

Palami said a friendly away at Hong Kong is already lined up on June 4. The Azkals then return to Cebu for a friendly possible against Vietnam on June 8, before another friendly on Independence Day against “a strong team” in Asia at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Araneta vowed to move “heaven and earth” for the Maldives tournament to be played on international dates


29 March 2013

FIFA World Ranking for April : Philippines number 143

Football ranking website "Football Rankings" reports that Philippines will be number 143 (up 2)  with 31 extra ranking points in FIFA World Ranking for April.

Philippines return to their best FIFA World rankings that was in November 2012


PFF launches appeal to move Challenge Cup date to Fifa match days

By Karlo Sacamos

THE entry of the Philippine men’s football team to the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup next year would only go for naught if the Azkals won’t be having their top players back.
In its bid to ensure that the same set of Filipino booters will be available for the Challenge Cup set in Maldives from March 3 to 16, the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has relayed the request that the dates of the tournament be moved to Fifa match days.
Led by Phil Younghusband, Stephan Schrock, and Javier Patiño, the Azkals advanced to the main tournament by topping the Group E qualifiers that came to a close on Tuesday.
But the Azkals face not having overseas-based standouts Dennis Cagara, Jerry Lucena, Juani and Angel Guirado, Paul Mulders, Rob Gier, Schrock, and Patiño in the Challenge Cup as the dates of the tournament set for emerging Asian nations currently do not fall on Fifa match days.
Professional clubs worldwide are only required to release their players for national team duty on Fifa match days.
PFF president Mariano ‘Nonong’ Araneta has already talked with AFC executive committee members regarding the appeal, explaining  the Maldives competition is a direct qualification tournament to the Fifa-sanctioned 2015 Asian Cup, where the region’s benchmark squads Japan, South Korea, and Australia are competing.

“I think we have made our point. It makes sense,” Araneta said. “We should not discriminate the Maldives qualification as against the other qualifications for the Asian Cup.”
“Hopefully we’ll elevate this to Fifa to consider the qualification as Fifa match days.”
Araneta is hoping the AFC can already consider the appeal in May when the governing body holds its next ex-co meeting.
“The PFF will play a big role in this particular objective,” said Araneta “It will take a lot of effort, creativity, and financial resources to ensure that all these things will happen.”
If the request won’t be granted, Araneta said they would have to think of other ways to cope with.
“We just have to make adjustments on the availability of the players, but we will move heaven and earth for them to have that rule.”


28 March 2013

Loyola Fc 1-4 Turkmenistan

Loyola Meralco Sparks Fc vs Turkmenistan , 8 pm

Starting XI of Turkmenistan - #17 Amanov, #7 Shamoradov, #10 Abylov, #22 Saparklychev, #21 Bayramov, #2 Orasaliev, #25 Italmazov, #5 Jumanazarov, #6 Batyrov, #1 Gorbunov, #13 Annasahetov

Starting XI for Loyola : cuaresma, greatwich, fadrigalan, nembot, jw jang, dorlas, park, jeong, gould, ma Hartmann, mj hartmann

Subs: Ozaeta, morallo, elnar, del Rosario, cutamora, cortina

1-0 Jeong
1-1 Shamuradov
1-1 HT
1-4 Abylov FT

Laos qualified for AFC Challenge Cup !!!

Kuala Lumpur: The seven qualifiers who will joins hosts Maldives in the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup have been confirmed, with Laos and Turkmenistan receiving a ticket to next year’s finals as the two best runners-up.
The non-participation of Brunei in Group E meant that the results of the matches in the four other groups between the runner-up and the bottom-placed team were declared null and void based on Article 16.1 and Appendix 2 of the tournament regulations.

The affected matches were as follows:
Group A: India 2-1 Chinese Taipei
Group B: Macau 0-3 Tajikistan
Group C: Laos 1-1 Mongolia
Group D Bangladesh 4-0 Northern Mariana Islands

With these results no longer being factored into the outcome, Laos emerged as the best of the second-placed team with four points.
Turkmenistan, AFC Challenge Cup runners-up in 2012 and 2010, took the second ticket to the Maldives, with their superior goal difference separating them from 2008 champions India, Bangladesh and inaugural winners Tajikistan, who all finished with three points.

afc.com website

no 3-0 default win for Philippines against Brunei...

Weiss' contract extension kicks in after success in Challenge Cup qualifiers

By Karlo Sacamos

MICHAEL Weiss gained a new lease on life as Philippine men’s football team coach after the Azkals emerged on top of the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup Group E qualifiers.
The Azkals’ 1-0 victory against Turkmenistan at the close of the meet at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Tuesday night not only booked for the national team a ticket to the Challenge Cup main tournament in Maldives next year, but also ensured the German mentor will remain on the job at least until next year.
Weiss last month signed a six-month contract that contains an extension clause hinging on the Azkals’ qualification to the Challenge Cup main round next year.
“In his contract, it actually states that if he gets us through the qualifiers, then he will have the privilege to coach the team in the final round,” Azkals manager Dan Palami said.
“So barring any unforeseen events, then he will be there in 2014.”
Topping the qualifiers was another achievement for the Azkals under Weiss.
The German mentor previously steered the Filipino booters to a third-place finish in the 2012 edition of the Challenge Cup in March, a championship in the Philippine Peace Cup in September, and a second straight semifinal appearance in the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup last December.
Still, Philippine Football Federation president Mariano ‘Nonong’ Araneta pointed out that the Azkals' qualification was "expected" considering the talent at Weiss' disposal.
Although Araneta made it clear that he is not taking anything away from Weiss, the PFF chief credited the Azkals’ star-studded lineup as the main reason for the success in the qualifiers.
“If you look at the team we have, it was expected,” he said.
Araneta also thought the German mentor could have used more players from the bench, considering that no substitutions were made against Cambodia last Sunday, and only James Younghusband and OJ Porteria came in as replacements against the Turkmen.

Cebu confirmed as host of Global FC debut in AFC President`s Cup

Karl Decena, InterAKTV · T

Cebu City will be hosting the country’s debut in the 2013 Asian Football Confederation President’s Cup this May which will feature United Football League champion Global FC.
The President’s Cup is an annual tournament among champion clubs from the emerging football nations in Asia. Global will be the Philippines’ first representative in the competition.
“Barring unforeseen extraordinary event, therefore, Cebu City Sports (Center) will be the venue of the qualifiers,” Philippine Football Federation general secretary Ed Gastanes told InterAKTV.
The Cebu City Sports Center last hosted a major event when the Azkals played Singapore in a friendly draw before a jampacked crowd last year.
Global was drawn alongside two-time champion Dordoi Bishkek of Kyrgyzstan, Khan Research Laboratories or KRL FC of Pakistan and Yeedzin FC of Bhutan in Group B of the tournament, which is slated from May 8 to May 12.
The top two teams from the group will earn a slot to the President’s Cup proper in September.


Chieffy Caligdong , Azkals earn nominations for inaugural for AFF awards

Karl Decena, InterAKTV ·

Some members of the Philippine national men’s football team have received nominations for the inaugural ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Awards, an award-giving body which recognizes the best in the Southeast Asian football scene.
Team captain Chieffy Caligdong was named as one of the AFF Player of the Year nominees alongside Teerasil Dangda of Thailand, Shahril Ishak of Singapore and Kyi Lin of Myanmar.
Azkals coach Hans Michael Weiss also got nomination for the AFF Coach of the Year award together with Radojko Avramovic of Singapore, Winfried Schaefer of Thailand and Datuk K. Rajagopal of Malaysia.
The Azkals also made it as one of the nominees for the AFF National Team of the Year, which also features fellow 2012 Suzuki Cup semifinalists Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
The Philippine Football Federation, along with the rest of the region’s football associations, is also included in the list of nominees for the AFF Association of the Year award.
“In recent years, ASEAN football has cultivated some serious talent, and the region is growing as a football powerhouse,” AFF President Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah said in a statement.
“We are gaining traction at a global level, and the time is right to honour the men and women who have dedicated their lives to the evolution and honour of the world’s most popular sport.”
Winners will be chosen based on their performances during the Suzuki Cup last year as well as other sanctioned matches and competitions.
The inaugural AFF Awards is slated on April 3 in Pahang, Malaysia.

27 March 2013

Joshua Beloya signs for Global FC

Joshua Beloya , Ceres Fc forward and ex Azkals has signed for Global FC

Loyola playing against Turkmenistan National team

Loyola Meralco Sparks Fc will play a international friendly against Turkmenistan NationalTeam .

They will play this Thursday at Emperador Stadium at 8pm

Friendlies eyed for Maldives drive

By Olmin Leyba

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Azkals were confident enough of advancing to the next stage that even before they took the Rizal Memorial field for their Group E qualifying match against Turkmenistan, they were already charting their course for the AFC Challenge Cup Maldives 2014 Final Round.
“I was already talking with a couple of players, especially those based in Europe, about our plans for the Fifa match days (for the rest of the year preparatory to the Challenge Cup),” said Azkals coach Michael Weiss after the Pinoy booters’ 1-0 triumph over Turkmenistan in the final day of the qualifiers Tuesday night.
Weiss said three international friendlies are being eyed in June – a road match against Hong Kong and home matches in Cebu and Luzon, with Asean rivals Thailand and Vietnam and Middle East sides UAE and Syria as possible opponents.
The German mentor wants a training camp in the US by August and more friendlies in September and October as part of their buildup for the eight-nation Challenge Cup, the next step in their ambitious bid to break into the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
“We’ll have tough times ahead so I hope our preparations will be better this time,” said Weiss, looking at rivals Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Palestine, host Maldives, Turkmenistan, and Bangladesh and anticipating the challenge in store for them.
He recalled how they went about preparations for the just-concluded qualifiers with limited time together and zero international friendly.
But nevertheless, the full-strength Azkals still clicked and topped Group E with nine points, highlighting their feat with a 8-0 whitewash of Cambodia and a vengeful 1-0 verdict over Turkmenistan.
To make sure they can assemble this so-called “Dream Team” once more for the Challenge Cup, the Philippine Football Federation will request that the Maldives tourney be calendared on Fifa international match days in March 2014.
“The final round in Maldives is a direct qualifier to the Asian Cup so it should be considered Fifa match days or be scheduled during Fifa match days,” PFF president Nonong Araneta said.
Fifa match days offer a break in worldwide club action, making it easier for national federations to secure the release of their respective national mainstays.
The PFF has also cleared the question as to who will handle the team’s Challenge Cup campaign as it extended Weiss’ tenure following the Azkals’ qualification to the final round.
“He’s been extended and will be calling the shots in Maldives,” Araneta said of the German, who was originally contractually bound for six months.
The Azkals seek no less than the Challenge Cup crown and its corresponding slot to the Asian Cup 2015.
“We always try to keep our expectations low but certainly we will still be the underdog,” said team manager Dan Palami. “But have that good chance of making that giant leap to the Asian Cup. This (Qualifier) was the first step; the second step is the main draw and we hope we continue the momentum.”

PH Azkals on verge of Asian Cup appearance


There were a couple of milestones chalked up by the Philippines on the heels of its hard-fought 1-0 victory over Turkmenistan Tuesday night in the AFC Challenge Cup Group E Qualifying at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
But none of those would compare to the fact that the Azkals moved closer to their most cherished dream of reaching the AFC Asian Cup two years from now in Australia.
“We know it’s a long way to go, but this is a huge step,” said Azkals manager Dan Palami, after the team savored its maiden triumph over Turkmenistan, marking the first time the Philippines also topped its qualifying group in any tournament that it has joined in.
“The team played its hearts out and I hope next year we qualify for the Asian Cup,” said Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong”Araneta.
A draw would have been enough for the Azkals to reach the Challenge Cup tournament, but they refused to settle, relentlessly pushing for a game-winner that came through Phil Younghusband in the 67th minute that had the stadium in bedlam.
Meanwhile, Azkals skipper Chieffy Caligdong and coach Michael Weiss have been nominated for major awards in the inaugural 2013 Asean Football Federation Awards. Caligdong is in the running for AFF Player of the Year, which he will dispute with Singapore skipper Shahril Ishak, Thailand striker Teerasil Dangda and Myanmar’s Kyi Lin.
Weiss was nominated as Coach of the Year together with Singapore’s Raddy Avramovic, Thailand’s Winfried Schafer and K. Rajagobal of Malaysia.

Etheridge not sore despite snub

by Cedelf Tupas

NATIONAL goalkeeper Neil Etheridge found himself in a situation unlike any other in his five-year stint with the Philippine team. With Filipino-German keeper Roland Muller also available, Etheridge—long the country’s top player between the posts—was relegated to the bottom of the pecking order in the AFC Challenge Cup Group E Qualifying. Even Ed Sacapano was picked ahead of Etheridge in the match against Turkmenistan last night. But the 23-year-old has taken his demotion professionally, stressing that he understood the decision of coach Michael Weiss. “It would have been nice to have played but coach has made the decision and I have to respect that,” Etheridge, whose stellar play has been instrumental to the Azkals’ rise in 2010 and to key Philippine matches in the last two years, told the Inquirer. “It’s a team sport and I’m here for the team and always ready to battle in the next game.” His recent match was in a 1-0 win over Myanmar (Burma) in Yangon, where Etheridge was named Man of the Match along with goal scorer OJ Porteria.
One-game suspension
Etheridge carried a one-game suspension to the tournament for his conduct in the third-place match against Palestine in the Challenge Cup in Nepal last year. But he was not listed as part of the team in the Cambodia clash, which Muller started, and even in the key battle against Turkmenistan, after Weiss hinted that he was not keen on changing the lineup.
39 appearances for PH “It’s upsetting,” said Etheridge, who arrived from London early last week in the hope of adding to his 39 appearances for the national team. “It’s obviously a hard decision to make. I know my ability and I’m more than capable of playing for this team. I still obviously consider myself as the No. 1.” Etheridge said he’s ready to win back his spot for the next competition. For now, he’s trying to make himself a model for teammates also caught in the same situation and struggling to get playing time. The Azkals have plenty of depth in the side, but some of the key players in past campaigns failed to get playing time in the match against Cambodia where Weiss did not use any substitute.
Standouts on the bench Regular starters Chieffy Caligdong and James Younghusband and the likes of Patrick Reichelt, Misagh Bahadoran and Marwin Angeles are also on the bench as proof of the squad’s quality. “This doesn’t set me back or put me into the shell,” said the Fulham keeper. “I’ll come out fighting and I’ll come out stronger. Hopefully, I’ve composed myself around the field and outside the field to help out other players who are in a similar situation.
“We have to think that we are a vital part of the squad, not just the starting eleven.”

Philippines sends bid to host 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup

The Philippine Football Federation has sent a bid to host the region’s top football competition, the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup, hoping that the construction of the world’s largest arena in Bulacan could boost the country’s chances to stage the tournament in 2016.
PFF secretary general Ed Gastanes told InterAKTV that the country has already made formal its intention to host the tournament.
“PFF submitted a bid to host the Final Round of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2016,” Gastanes said.
The construction of the Philippine Arena in Bulacan could help the country secure the hosting rights, according to Gastanes. The $213-million venue, owned by Iglesia ni Cristo, is poised to become the world’s largest arena with a 50,000-seating capacity.
“We hope to see completion in late 2014 of the football and track stadium being built by the Iglesia ni Cristo in Bulacan and hope that in 2016 PFF will be allowed to make use of the stadium for international competition,” Gastanes said.
Aside from the Philippine Arena, the PFF is also looking at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila, the Panaad Football Stadium in Bacolod City and the Cebu City Sports Complex in Cebu as possible venues of the tournament.
In 2010, the Azkals made a memorable run in the Suzuki Cup, advancing to the semifinals for the first time in a performance which forever changed the football landscape in the country.
But during that stint, the country lacked a suitable venue to host the Azkals’ home leg in their semifinals match against Indonesia, which ended their Cinderella run in the tournament.
The Filipinos finally played their first home match in the tournament at the Rizal Stadium last year, settling for a nil-nil draw against eventual champion Singapore in the semifinals.

Second-choice GK Roland Müller shines for Azkals

Karl Decena, InterAKTV

With Philippine national men’s football team top goalkeeper Neil Etheridge suspended in the Azkals’ first match in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup qualifiers campaign, the team turned to Roland Mueller, who was the squad’s second-choice keeper.
Mueller manned the sticks through a heavy downpour in the Azkals’ 8-0 triumph over Cambodia and got the start when the team faced a dangerous Turkmenistan squad last Tuesday as well.
And Mueller didn’t disappoint, making crucial saves to keep a clean sheet in the Azkals’ 1-nil triumph over Turkmenistan which formalized their entry to the Challenge Cup next year.
“I think I made a good job and helped the team,” Mueller said. “It makes me feel proud and happy.”
Mueller, who plays in the second division of Germany’s Bundesliga, might be building a case for himself as the top choice, especially after his Challenge Cup performance, but he was quick to deflect praise from his showing, saying he holds Etheridge, as well as local keeper Eduard Sacapaño, in very high regard.
“We have good goalkeepers, local and foreigner. Neil has very good qualifications. Sacapaño too,” Mueller said. “For the trainers, it’s a hard decision.”
“I’m sure when Neil has played, he will have a good play too.”
Club commitments have forced Mueller to miss some of the Azkals’ matches. But if given the choice, he wants to man the sticks once again when the team flies to Maldives next year to compete in the Challenge Cup’s main draw.
“I hope when I can come, I will come,” Mueller said. “It’s a superb experience for me to play in Manila and play for the Azkals. I hope in the future, there is more.”

AFC Challenge Cup finals in Maldives

AFC Challenge  Cup finals in Maldives from 8.to 23. March 2014

Qualified teams :

Maldives (host)

Winner qualify for 2015 Asian Cup

The matches are not on FIFA match days,which could make it difficult for some of the foreign based Azkals players to participate.....

‘Teamwork’ brings Azkals to second AFC appearance

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
MORE than the athleticism and skills shown by the Philippine men’s football team in the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers, Azkals captain Rob Gier said it was teamwork that helped them reach the main stage of the tournament set in Maldives.
“I keep saying every time people say to me what's special about this team, it is team spirit. In a nutshell, you can see when you really have to run the extra half yard and you really have to tackle and you really have to clear the ball or put your body on the line. And if you're not friends, you don't do it but we done it today (Tuesday),” he said.
Europe-based players like Roland Müller and Stephan Schrock had to travel thousands of miles just to touch base with their fellow Azkals.
But even with only few days to assemble the squad for practices, Gier still observed some cohesiveness when they trampled Cambodia last Sunday and survived 2012 Challenge Cup runner-up Turkmenistan on Tuesday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium for a sweep of the Group E matches.
He said newcomer Javier Patiño, who debuted with a brace in the game against Cambodia, played “like he has been with the team for years.”
Still, Azkals manager Dan Palami said the challenge is for the team to play more games together.
“[W]e could see that despite the talent that we have here, you need to have more games together so the players could actually get to know each other better in the pitch. That's what I saw lacking today. It will be how we'll play as a team that will win us the Challenge Cup,” he told reporters.
Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano Araneta agreed, saying “if given the time to play together, I hope they can qualify for the (2015) Asian Cup.” (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

Sun Star Manila

Dynamic, Ceres & SD score 5-nil against rivals in NFL

By Jerome Galunan Jr.
Coincidentally, league leader Dynamic Builders Football Club, Ceres FC and Silver Dragon FC scored an identical 5-nil victory over their respective opponents last Sunday, in the ongoing second round elimination of the 1st Conference of the North Football League 2013 played at the Ayala North pitch in Talisay City, Negros Occidental.
Mark Arandilla and Nonito Alcano started with dazzling first half performance against Trimaxi-Agro FC after they scored back-to-back goals in the 18th and 19th minutes, to give the Builders a 2-nil lead at the break.
In the resumption of the second half, Dynamic continued to sizzle as Ryan Lirio nailed his team’s third goal in the 42nd minute as Ian Treyes added one more goal, seven minutes later.
Another Treyes, Ronald, scored the sealing goal in the 71st minute to post Dynamic Builders’ fifth win against a loss and a draw card while dropping Trimaxi to 3 victories, 3 defeats and a draw.
In the other match, fresh legs boosted powerhouse Ceres FC to give Las Benas FC its seventh setback in the tournament.
Carlo Tacusalme sent Ceres’ first goal in the early 4th minute as Joshua Fegidero made it doubled in the 8th minute before Archie Pamilar and Nikki Segaya nailed two more in the 23rd and 33rd minutes, respectively, to close the first half at 4-nil.
With the momentum on Ceres’ side, Janrick Soriano connected another in the 44th minute and eventually sealed their team’s fourth victory with three draws.
Meanwhile, Silver Dragon FC fortified their campaign to keep at the Top 4 as they blanked Real Negrense FC, 5-nil.
Ricardo Cañedo scored three consecutive goals after R. Guevarra and Decatoria scored two early shots in the 4th and 10th minutes, respectively.
Cañedo defied Real’s defensive wall as he sent his first in the 14th minute to close the half with a comfortable 3-nil lead while connected his last two goals in the 50th and 71st minutes for Silaver Dragons’ third victory with 2 losses and 2 draws.
On the other hand, players who were slapped with two red cards and cannot play in the next match on April 7 are Ceres FC’s Carlo Tacusalme and Aian Aspila, Silver Dragons’ D. Apacible, and Real’s William Clauor and Michael Pacite./


26 March 2013

Azkals coach get contract extension

Karl Decena, InterAKTV

Philippine national men’s football team coach Hans Michael Weiss will get another contract extension after steering the Azkals to the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup next year.
Weiss, who got a six-month renewal last February, said that an extension of until June 2014 will be in place, which will allow him to coach the Azkals again for the tournament next year.
“If we succeed in this stage, a contract extension will be in place,” Weiss said. “That is the case now.”
Under Weiss, the Azkals enjoyed success, bringing them to a number of podium finishes in several tournaments, including a second straight semifinal finish in the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup and a title run in the Philippine Football Peace Cup last year, the country’s first crown in almost a century.
The Azkals were also able to boost their lineup after luring a couple of foreign-based players, as well as played in various international friendlies here and abroad with Weiss at the helm.
With him leading the Azkals in Maldives next year, Weiss said that surpassing their third-place finish in the Challenge Cup last year will be yet another tough test for them towards their ambitious goal. The winner of the Challenge Cup next year will qualify to the prestigious Asian Cup in 2015.
“We have a tough time ahead,” Weiss said.


Azkals march on to Challenge Cup main tourney

YouTube :Philippines vs Turkmenistan

June friendlies for Azkals

Coach Weiss been talking at the press conference about three friendlies in June.

One friendly  in Hong Kong .

Cebu and Luzon could host one friendly each.

Azkals edge Turkmenistan to advance to AFC Challenge Cup proper

Karl Decena, InterAKTV ·

The Philippine national men’s football team came through a tough challenge from Turkmenistan to notch a 1-0 victory and win Group E of the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup qualifiers Tuesday night at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Star striker Phil Younghusband delivered once again for the Azkals, scoring the winning goal at the 67th minute to lift the Azkals to a slot in the Challenge Cup proper in Maldives next year.

The Azkals came out roaring right after the first whistle, as Stephan Schrock intercepted Turkmenistan play which led to a clear shot by Younghusband, whose attempt hit the post at the first minute.

The Filipinos continued to dominate the possession until Turkmenistan got its rhythm and threatened in the attack. The visitors had two straight quality shots but only went to the hands of Azkals goalkeeper Roland Mueller.

The Azkals almost gave up an easy goal at the 45th minute, as a Turkmenistan player got past defender Rob Gier and Mueller right inside the box.

Luckily, defender Carli de Murga was there to flip the ball outside to prevent the neat attack by the visitors and end the halftime with a nil-nil score.

Turkmenistan then became aggressive at the start of the second half, finding at least three shots at the goal which were saved once again by Mueller.

But the Azkals quickly recovered moments after. Defender Dennis Cagara led an attack and dished a pass to striker Javier Patiño, who was guarded well by a Turkmenistan defender.

The trailing Younghusband then found the ball inside the box and fired a shot to give the Azkals a 1-nil lead at the 67th minute.

The Azkals continued to create chances on the offense, but shots by Younghusband and midfielder Chris Greatwich missed the mark.

Younghusband then committed a miscue late in the match as he acquired his second yellow card after grabbing a Turkmenistan player in a play at the 85th minute. Because of that, the striker will be suspended in the Azkals’ first match in the Challenge Cup proper next year.

Despite being down to 10 men, the Azkals maintained their poise on the defensive side against Turkmenistan, which missed two chances to score the equalizer late in the match.

The victory gave the Azkals a measure of revenge against Turkmenistan, which beat them in the semifinals last year of the Challenge Cup.

Advancing to the Challenge Cup proper for the second straight time, the Azkals will aim to surpass their third-place finish in the same tournament last year.


25 March 2013

AFC Challenge Cup : Philippines 1-0 Turkmenistan

AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers in Manila

Philippines vs Turkmenistan

7.30 pm at Rizal Memorial Stadium

Tv : Studio 23
Livescore : www.futbol24.com
Livestream : http://pinoymostlike.blogspot.no/2013/03/philippine-azkals-vs-turkmenistan-2014.html


Philippines XI : Muller, Cagara, J. Guirado, Gier, De Murga, Lucena, Greatwich, Schrock, A. Guirado, P. Younghusband, Patino

PHI Subs: Porteria, J. Younghusband, Bahadoraan, Caligdong, De Jong, MW Angeles, Reichelt, Uy, Saacapano

Not playing : Etheridge and Christiaens

Turkmenistan XI : Alyhanov, Soyunov, Jumanazarov, Hojaahmedov, Muhadov, Abylov, Annaorazov, Amanov, Atayev, Chonkayev, Sarkisov (c)

20 mins 0-0
21 min Chris Greatwich yellow card
29 min Turkmenistan yellow card
45 mins Phil Younghusband yellow card
0-0 HT
65 min James Younghusband in , Angel Guirado out
67 min 1-0 Phil Younghusband !
76 mins Rob Gier yellow card
86 mins Phil Younghusband second yellow card , Red card
90 + 4min OJ Porteria in , Stephan Schrock out
1-0 FT !

PHILIPPINES and Turkmenistan qualified for AFC Challenge Cup in March 2014 in Maldives

Loyola to play in Singapore Cup !

Loyola Fc will  play in Singapore Cup  in May tweeted Mark Hartmann today

Loyola will also play  a friendly against Turkmenistan NT this coming Thursday. Tweet from Chad Gould

To be updated...

The Azkals and the State of Philippine Football: Hopeless or Hopeful?

By: Sherwin Redondo

Football is the game of the masses and should be played by the masses. That is a known truth globally. But in a basketball-crazy archipelago (thanks to Uncle Sam), that flushes 300 plus years of Spanish influence down a filthy LTO toilet including playing "the beautiful game" - fútbol el juego bonito. Pinoys have the biological make up to be great footballers: not too tall, can burst with speed, and are born athletic.

Funny how those idiotic know-it-all PBA commentators and analysts have given us false hopes that a Johnny A or a Japeth Aguilar would be breaking ground in the NBA. Pathetic. Football is the avenue where we can get the much coveted glory and the silverware. Or can we?

Honestly, I realized my cynical interest in bashing the football scene locally when I first heard my nieces talk and giggle about how gorgeous the Younghusbands, Guirados, Greatwichs of the Azkals are. Imagine that, having these Fil-Foreign players come in brotherly pairs; why not throw in their fathers as well and maybe he can play manager or coach?

I slowly made a DIY immersion of who the Azkals were and how they were performing. Slowly I realized the many cracks in their glamorous poster boy facades. Do they really think that sourcing out the offspring of our OFW heroes and immigrants abroad who play decent football can actually put 'Las Islas Filipinas' in the global football map? The Philippine Football Federation's bucket list is to mix up local homegrown players and Fil-Foreign players in an all-out effort to boost success of the national team.. Let's see -- they've got Fil-European players: Spain (Guirados, De Murga, Patino), Germany (Shrock, Ott, Cagara, Muller), Iceland (Jonnson), and England (Younghusbands, Gier). Pinoys are by nature into that foreigner-with-Pinoy-blood "hugot" system. Especially in sports. Remember the Fil Shams in the PBA? Since we're at it, why not look for the Fil-Brazilians, Argentinians, Mexicans, and Africans, right?

First, though, a little trivia about where the Philippines ranks in football worldwide as per its supreme governing body FIFA. The worst ever Pinoy FIFA ranking was during the World Cup in Germany 2006, where the Philippines ranked at a hilarious 195th. With the resurgence of the sport supported by the media hype and the frequent so-so performance in friendlies and tourneys, we improve to a rank of 145th. Big deal. It reminds me so much of Bruce Willis' music career – it just would not take off! The last time we had a big win internationally was against Japan, with a score line of 15-2, but that was way back when the US declared war against Germany in WW1. This is why I feel the Azkals recent win over Cambodia, a team ranked 185th, is no reason for a big celebration. Cambodia would have trouble finding success in our own local league, the United Football League.

No, don't get me wrong. I'm not a hater. I just cannot completely accept a National Team that is prematurely hyped and celebrated already as champions and media darlings, with only a few home grown true blooded Pinoys in its lineup. But to be fair to football fans, and to give credit where credit is due, let's dissect the anatomy of these sporting "heroes."

More : juice

Hot Azkals eye payback

By Cedelf P. Tupas

Philippine Daily Inquirer Rob Gier has bad memories playing against Turkmenistan. The top Philippine defender is hoping things would change tonight.

Virtually assured of a spot in the AFC Challenge Cup, the Azkals hope to get back at an old tormentor in the Turkmen in the final match of Group E Qualifying at 7:30 p.m. at Rizal Memorial Stadium.

“I’ve lost to Turkmenistan twice, so it’s personal for me,” said Gier, the Azkals’ stand-in captain.

Gier’s last game against the Turkmen came last year in Nepal where the Azkals surrendered a 1-0 lead and lost, 1-2, in the Challenge Cup semifinals.

But the Azkals, with more talented players now in the fold, only need a draw to advance to the main tournament in the Maldives as the top team in the group, after scoring an emphatic 8-0 win over Cambodia.

The Turkmen also blasted the Cambodians, 7-0, last Friday.

Given that the two best second-placed teams in each group will also qualify for the Challenge Cup, even a narrow defeat for either team would still see both advance.

“Obviously, we want to win every match but we have to go there with a smart head,” said Azkals coach Michael Weiss. “We can’t go in just like today and run into an open knife and then lose on a counterattack. We have to be smart and 100 percent in control. We must qualify for the Maldives under all circumstances.”

The Azkals will miss midfielder Paul Mulders, who was sent off in the 81st minute for kicking the ball at Cambodian striker Kim Bhorey. Chris Greatwich, Marwin Angeles, James Younghusband and Chieffy Caligdong are all candidates to take Mulders’ place.

The Azkals drew superb games from Phil Younghusband and debuting Javier Patiño and Stephan Schrock, who dazzled on the left wing despite poor pitch conditions.

Goalkeeper Roland Muller is expected to retain his place in the starting lineup after keeping a clean sheet against Cambodia. Weiss is reportedly leaving out Neil Etheridge from the lineup for the second straight match.

“I have no reason to change the team because the boys went through situations and displayed fantastic football,” Weiss said.


Turkmen ready to face PH Azkals 'whether it's snowing, raining or hot'

By Karlo Sacamos

WITH the same objective as the Azkals, Turkmenistan expressed its readiness to face the Filipino booters under any conditions on Tuesday when the Group E Qualifiers come to a close at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Turkmenistan booter Shamuradov Berdy said they are prepared to battle with the Azkals even if the conditions turn out to be the same in the Filipinos’ match against Cambodia on Sunday when play was suspended for an hour due to an unplayable pitch battered by heavy rains.

“We have one target: to qualify to the next round. So it doesn’t matter whether it’s snowing or raining or it’s very hot. It’s no problem because we have one target,” said the Turkmen striker, who scored one of the team’s seven goals in their win against Cambodia on opening day on Friday.

The Turkmen are currently behind the front-running Azkals in the standings with the same six points, but with a point below on goal difference.

But the Central Asian side beat the Azkals in their last two meetings since 2009, including a 2-1 win in the 2012 Challenge Cup semifinals that denied the Filipinos a historic Finals appearance in the tournament for emerging Asian nations.

But Turkmenistan coach Hojageldiyev Yazguly said the last two wins are a thing of the past considering the Azkals are parading their best lineup since 2010.

“About the last two games against the Philippines, we must forget those,” the Turkmen coach said through an interpreter.


Azkals risk losing Fil-foreign stars due to 'embarrassing' Rizal pitch, says boss

By Karlo Sacamos and Reuben Terrado

AZKALS coach Michael Weiss has warned that the country is in danger of losing its Filipino-foreign standouts if the condition of the Rizal Memorial Stadium's football pitch does not improve.

The German mentor rued the pitch conditions at Rizal during the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup Qualifiers match between the Azkals and Cambodia on Sunday night when play was halted for an hour due to an unplayable pitch caused by the heavy rains.

“It’s an absolute embarrassment to play in these conditions,” Weiss said. “If you had seen the pitch three weeks ago, it wasn’t like this.”

“So the people who are handling these matters should really think deep because eventually these (overseas-based Filipino) players they lose interest,” he added.

Stephan Schrock, one of the prolific Azkals based in Germany, expressed disappointment over the pitch, which saw numerous puddles forming on the pitch when play was resumed.

“It was different than when I was here last time. So I was a little bit disappointed that the pitch was not that as good as I had known,” the shifty left winger said. “But we’ll see on Tuesday how the pitch is prepared.”

Curiously, the Rizal pitch had been upgraded only last December in time for the AFF Suzuki Cup semifinal match between the Azkals and Singapore. The work was done by the same contractors that maintain the immaculate, all-weather fairways of top golf course Sta. Elena.

The Philippine Sports Commission had been in talks with the Football Federation about converting the pitch from natural to artificial, but negotiations hit a snag when the PSC refused to give Fifa, which was supposed to shoulder the transformation, control of the pitch.

According to PSC commissioner Jolly Gomez, the conversion of the field into an artificial playing surface will push through and will be funded by the government sports body. But it will only be done after the stadium hosts a rugby tournament in May.

“After the Asian 5-Nations Rugby Tournament in May, we will convert Rizal into an artificial playing surface,” said Gomez during a press briefing.

Responding to criticism about the condition of the field, Gomez admitted that work really needs to be done on the field. But he said maintaining an all-weather natural grass field is not practical because the field is prone to overuse.

“We already acknowledge the fact that we cannot have an all-weather natural grass field considering the amount of use that the field has,” said Gomez.

The PSC commissioner also said that they are also allotting a P5 million budget for the installation of a drainage system to avoid flooding on the field, in case of heavy rains.


Young Cambodia hopes to learn from Challenge Cup qualifiers campaign

7-0 loss to Turkmenistan. 8-0 defeat to the Philippines.

The Cambodia national men’s football team failed to put up a good fight in the 2014 Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup qualifiers, yielding two huge losses to end its hopes of qualifying to the next round.

But Cambodia coach Prak Sovannara isn’t bothered by those blowouts.

“15 goals. It’s okay for us,” Sovannara said.

Cambodia almost did not join the tournament after backing out months before the qualifiers. But Sovannara realized that his young team, composed mostly of the country’s Under-23 squad players, could gain its much-needed experience in the competition as it prepares for the Southeast Asian Games later this year.

“We already withdrew but we tried to attend again,” Sovannara said.

Sovannara added that he was glad to play against the teams in the competition, especially versus the “European” Azkals side.

“The most important thing is we played against a European team,” Sovannara said. “I hope that the Philippines can go to the finals.”

Despite a forgettable tournament, Sovannara hopes that the experience could help them become a better team in the future.

“I think from this year, we will have very good players,” Sovannara said.


24 March 2013

USJ-R, not U23 champ USPF, to represent Cebu in Suzuki

Sunday, March 24, 2013
IT WILL still be the University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R) that will represent Cebu in the Under-23 Suzuki Cup.
The two-year tournament, which is part of the selection process for the Under 23 team that will play in the Southeast Asian Games, had its eliminations last year and will have the regional and national finals this year.
USJ-R earned the right to represent Cebu after winning the under-23 division of the Aboitiz Cup last 2012.
Even if it was University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) that won the under-23 this year, it was not considered an elimination round for the Cebu representative but as just one of the age groups in the tournament.
Last year, Cebu made it to the top three in the Visayas elimination along with Negros Occidental Football Association and Negros Oriental Football Association. Other teams that played were Leyte Football Association and Iloilo Football Association.
The top three teams will face each other this April in San Carlos City for the Visayas finals. The tournament will use a double round-robin format and the top two will advance to the national finals in May in Dumaguete.
USJ-R recently represented Region 7 in the Private Schools Athletic Association National finals in Pangasinan.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 25, 2013.

YouTube - Azkals vs Cambodia (GOALS!) - 03/24/2013

"Absolute emberassment " Azkals unhappy with Rizel Memorial pitch conditions

Philippine national men’s football coach Hans Michael Weiss hopes the country can have more high-quality football pitches after the Azkals endured the wet pitch of the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in their 8-0 demolition of Cambodia Sunday night.
The match was suspended for almost an hour after referees decided to stop the match temporarily at the 65th minute due to heavy rains.
As the action resumed, Weiss said that he had to change his strategy due to the playing conditions.
“We have to change tactics. We have to make more passing and possession-style of play,” he said.
Weiss added that he was not happy about the delay of the match, adding he hopes that the incident could pave the way for the country to have a better stadium in the future.
“The Philippines have to think this clearly. It’s an absolute embarrassment,” Weiss said. “These players (coming from Europe) would eventually think, ‘Why (play here)?’”
Azkals star midfielder Stephan Schrock was also disappointed about the condition of the pitch.
“It was different than the last time I played,” Schrock said. “I was a bit disappointed to the pitch. It was not what I expected.”
Against Turkmenistan on Tuesday, Schrock hopes that the conditions will be better.
“Let’s see how this pitch is prepared on Tuesday,” Schrock said.

Azkals gain edge with 8-0 rout


Phil Younghusband struck four times as the Philippines recorded its most lopsided victory in history, crushing Cambodia, 8-0, last night to take the lead in Group E of the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifying at the rain-soaked Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Younghusband grabbed his hat trick after 36 minutes before scoring the vital seventh goal late in the match that was suspended for an hour due to thunderstorm and poor field conditions.
Javier Patino debuted in style, getting two goals, while Stephan Schrock and Carli de Murga contributed a goal each.
It was De Murga’s goal in the 90th minute that gave the Azkals the edge over Turkmenistan in goal difference. Turkmenistan beat Cambodia, 7-0, last Friday.
The Azkals face the Turkmen on Tuesday needing just a draw to top the group and advance to the main tournament in the Maldives next year. Except for a needless red card by Paul Mulders for hitting a Cambodian player late in the match, it was a classy performance for the Azkals, billed as the country’s strongest team ever.
It was the biggest victory by a Philippine side since it beat Timor Leste, 7-0, in the Asean Football Championship Qualifiers in Bacolod in 2006.
The Azkals were already cruising, 6-0, when their match against the Cambodians was stopped in the 65th minute by Sri Lankan referee Gavini Nebon. The match was also stopped right before halftime after the floodlights on the grandstand went out for about 10 minutes due to a power outage.
When play resumed after an hour-long stoppage, the Azkals desperately searched for the two goals they needed to take pole position in the group. The first came after a Schrock cross found its way to Younghusband at the far post.
De Murga followed up Rob Gier’s saved header off a Schrock corner for the final goal.
There was no doubting the quality of play of the Azkals. Cambodia hardly didn’t get time on the ball as goalkeeper Roland Muller and the backline of Rob Gier and Juani Guirado hardly broke a sweat.
Under pressure to match Turkmenistan’s 7-0 thumping of the Cambodians last Friday, the Azkals probed early and often, particularly on the left flank where Schrock was a constant threat.
Younghusband’s opening goal came from a cross from Angel Guirado on the right with the Loyola Meralco striker pouncing on some indecision by the Cambodian defense inside the box in the 25th minutes.
Six minutes later, he doubled his tally with a classy curling strike just inside the box, before completing his hat trick after heading home a cross from Paul Mulders on the right.
Patino got on the scoresheet with an instinctive finish just before the break. Schrock had a stinging strike deflected for the Azkals’ fifth in the 46th minute, before Patino grabbed his second in the 58th minute after a composed finish from inside the area.


AFC Challenge Cup : Philippines 8-0 Cambodia

AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers in Manila

Philippines vs Cambodia , 7.30 pm Rizal Memorial , Manila

TV:  Studio 23

Livescore : www.futbol24.com

 livestream  :



Post news , predictions , line-ups, and good livestream links in comments


Philippines starting XI : Müller, Murga, Gier, Juani G, Cagara , Schrock, Lucena, Mulders, Angel G, Patino and Phil Y

PHI substitutes: Porteria, J. Younghusband, Bahadoran, Caligdong, Greatwich, De Jong, Sacapano

Not Playing: Etheridge, MW Angeles, Christiaens, Reichelt, Uy.

Cambodia starting XI: Seiha, Raksmey, Rithy, Piseth, Pencharong, Mony Udon, Chanrasmey, Chhoeunn Narith, Khemrin, Sokumpheak

Cambodia Substitutes: Borey, Vathanak, Suhana, Tiny, Vathanaka, Yaty, Panha, Veasna, Phallin, Thavrak

Update :

25 mins 1-0 Phil Younghusband
31 mins 2-0 Phil Younghusband
35 mins 3-0 Phil Younghusband
45 min 4-0 Javier Patino
4-0 HT
47 min 5-0 Schrock
58 min 6-0 Javier Patino
84 min Paul Mulders red card
86 min Phil Younghusband
88 min Carli de Murga
8-0 FT

No subs !

Official attendance was 6500


23 March 2013

Azkals to debut fresh new kits

The Philippine national men’s football team returns to action in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup qualifiers, and the tournament will also see the debut of the Azkals’ new kits.
As in the past, the Azkals’ kits will have blue and white versions, with the image of the Philippine flag placed on the left sleeve.
The Azkals will wear the white kit against Cambodia on Sunday and the blue kit versus Turkmenistan on Tuesday.


"The new Azkals kit booth is in the Rizal Grandstand entrance in front of SM Department store entrance in Adriatico St."

"They also have machine so you can have number printed. Php1300 + 300 for number printing."

Weiss Azkals of complacency versus Cambodia

THE Azkals could face a minnow in Cambodia on Sunday night in their first outing in the Group E qualifiers for the 2014 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup on Sunday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
But the Azkals’ German coach, Michael Weiss, does not want complacency eating up his wards’ minds when they take the pitch at 7:30 p.m.
Turkmenistan shut out Cambodia, 7-0, on Friday night, a result Weiss feared could make the Azkals overconfident.
“I don’t want that [Turkmenistan rout of Cambodia] playing at the back of our heads. That is not the standard that we’re looking at. We’ll still go full power and strength against Cambodia,” said Weiss.
But playing a team that labored against the runners-up in the 2012 finals could work in their favor.
“Our opponents [Cambodians] will be tired since they will only have 48 hours to recover, while we’re fully fresh and that puts them on a high pressure. Hopefully, we could get good scoring opportunities at the start of the match, and I see that as our preparation against Turkmenistan,” added Weiss.
Turkmenistan, indeed, could be a bad headache for Weiss and the Azkals.
The Turkmenistan side did not go full throttle against Cambodia in that shutout on Friday night.
“It could have easily been 10-nil or 12-nil for Turkmenistan,” said Weiss of Turkmenistan, which finished second to North Korea in the 2012 finals.
“Turkmenistan is strong, and we know that. But I was surprised that they did not exploit all of their scoring chances,” said Weiss, who cautioned that not all of the Turkmenistan players are members of their national team.
“They’re represented here by a club team,” he said.
Veteran striker Wladimir Karajaýewiç Baýramow scored in the 23rd and 36th minutes to lead Turkmenistan on top of Group E with six points.
The AFC has awarded an automatic three points each to Cambodia, the Philippines and Turkmenistan because of the last-minute pullout of Brunei from the qualifiers.
Most of Turkmenistan’s players, Weiss said, play for club team Halkara Turkmen Turkish University Footbal Club Ashgabat in the Ýokary Liga. They are coached by Ýazguly Hojageldyýew.
But despite their status as a club team, Weiss is wary. “Hojageldyýew [has his players always together]. They are well organized and you can see how they execute good-quality plays. But I see some weaknesses that we can exploit,” said Weiss.
Jonathan Perez

Business Mirror