A mix of US NCAA standouts and homegrown stalwarts make up the composition of the Philippine women’s football team bound for the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.
The official lineup for the biennial competition was released Saturday and a quick look at it would reveal the team is reinforced by players who took part in the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup Qualifiers in May and the Asean Football Federation Championship last September.
Majority of the players are from the side that barely missed a spot in the AFC Asian Cup after a bridesmaid finish in the group stage in Bangladesh.
Despite a few key players out due to either injuries or personal matters, Malditas coach Ernie Nierras remains confident of the team’s chances to bag a medal in the SEA Games’ showpiece event, where they are bracketed in Group B with the host team, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
“This is still the best team (assembled),” Malditas coach Ernie Nierras said in a phone conversation on Saturday.
With skipper Marielle Benitez (ACL), Heather Cooke (achilles), and Camille Wilson unavailable, Nierras expects the rest of the players to step up for them to reach the crossover semifinals, at least.
Joana Houplin (Western Washington) and Jesse Shugg (Miami) are counted on to score the goals, while defenders Catherine Barnekow (North Carolina), Sarah Cook (UC Bakersfield), and new-girl Alexa Diaz (Seattle Pacific) will anchor the backline, along with first-choice goalkeeper Maria dela Cruz (Idaho State).
Natasha Alquiros (La Salle), Marisa Park (Wake Forest), and Sam Nierras (La Salle) are expected to facilitate the offense in the midfield.
Defenders Morgan Brown (Santa Clara), Katherine Lim (Boston), and Patrice Impelido (Western Michigan); midfielders Monika Lee (Loyola), Rachel Nichols (Cornell), Raylene Larot (Sacramento State), Megan Jurado (San Diego State), Chalise Baysa (Oregon), Aisa Mondero (University of Santo Tomas); forward Christina Delos Reyes (University of the Philippines); and ‘keeper Patricia Dull (Temple City) complete the 20-woman roster.
The Philippines Under-23 will face Singapore Under-23 on Sunday, December 1 at Hougang Stadium in what is considered as a charity game for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda that damaged most of Central Philippines earlier this month.
"It's certainly for a good cause, all the proceeds will go to the Typhoon victims," said Coach Brian Reid. "That is first and foremost, the most important."
This will be the second time that the Philippines will face Singapore in an Under-23 match with the first meeting, a 1-0 win for the Lions last June.
With only the second international friendly for the Under-23 side, Reid still wants his players to represent their country.
"As a football game, you want to represent your country properly. It's the most important thing."
Despite unable to compete in the 2013 South East Asian Games in Myanmar, Reid notes that this will be a good springboard for the team ahead for future competitions.
"When you represent your country, you want to perform at a good level in preparation for the next competitions," said Reid.
WHEN Dan Palami first took over the reign of the Philippine men’s football team in early 2010, he envisioned a minimum of five years before the group considered as minnow internationally can reach the top spot in the Southeast Asian rankings.
Only three years after and the Filipino booters are now the benchmark of Asean football.
The Azkals manager could not be any more proud.
“That was the goal (five years) I had set for myself,” Palami told Spin.ph on Friday over the phone from Cebu where he catered to his family who recently evacuated from native Tacloban after the province was ravaged by super-typhoon Yolanda.
“And to have achieved that before the five-year period gives me some pleasure and somehow allows me to think that we’ve been running the national team properly,” added the 43-year-old businessman, the CEO of APT Global Inc, a railway engineering company that handles the maintenance of LRT 1 and 2 in Manila.
The Azkals continued their rise to international relevance on Thursday when they jumped four spots to their best-ever Fifa (International Football Federation) ranking in history at 133rd in the world.
The Filipinos maintained their lead over fellow Southeast Asian teams Myanmar (140th), Thailand (142nd), Singapore (154th), Malaysia and Vietnam (158th), Indonesia (162nd), Laos (163rd), Cambodia (188th), Brunei (189th), and Timor Leste (189th).
On a larger scale, Palami, said the latest ranking, which takes into consideration the tournament results of the last few months and the last three years, is an affirmation of the hard work the team has put in.
“I think this rank serves as a confirmation of what we have been saying that the Philippines could really be one of the powerhouses in Southeast Asia and even Asia.
“But we cannot rest on being number one,” the Azkals boss was quick to add. “At the end of the day, being number one is not enough. We have to prove ourselves on the pitch. We have to play according to how we are ranked. And that’s what we’ll continue to do.”
To sustain their rise, Palami said he and the Philippine Football Federation are looking at a tournament in Saudi Arabia against “strong club teams and an MLS (Major League Soccer) side” for the Azkals in January.
The celebrated team has also confirmed its attendance in a four-nation invitational tournament in Pakistan in February.
Palami has been in and out of the Queen City of the South since Yolanda struck and left thousands of people dead and missing to coordinate evacuation and relief efforts.
He is back in Cebu also to celebrate his parents’ wedding anniversary and his father’s successful heart operation.
MANILA, Philippines - Singapore will provide the Philippine Under-23 football team a venue to strut its stuff in place of its missed stint in the 27th Southeast Asian Games as the Lions organize an international friendly to be held for the benefit of victims of super typhoon Yolanda.
The SEAG-bound Singapore U-23 Young Lions will host the “dormant” U23 Azkals on Sunday, 5 p.m., at Hougang Stadium in Singapore.
According to the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), proceeds of ticket sales (SG $20 for admission seats and SG $100 for VIP seats) will be turned over to the Singapore Red Cross to aid its relief efforts following the monster storm that hit the Philippines.. Donation boxes will also be placed in the Stadium as part of the fund-raiser.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragedy that has struck the Philippines, and the FAS would like to help with the relief efforts in whichever way we can,” FAS president Zainudin Nordin said.
“Sports is a strong unifying force and we hope that all our fans would come together as One Singapore not only to show our support for the Under-23 Team, but more importantly to show our solidarity with our neighbors in times of distress. Your generous donations will go a long way in helping the victims re-build their lives,” he added.
Singapore U23 is in the final stages of its preparations for the SEAG. On the other hand, the U23 Azkals are stuck in limbo after failing to get the clearance from the Philippine Olympic Committee to compete in Myanmar. The Pinoy booters had only played one previous international match, a June friendly against the Young Lions in Singapore, which ended in a 1-0 win for the Singaporeans.
A HOT-STARTING Pachanga-Diliman avoided a collapse as it repulsed Stallion, 5-3, to complete the semifinal cast and put an end to its opponent's reign as champion in the United Football League Cup on Thursday night at the Emperador Stadium in Mckinley Hill.
The former Division 2 champions built an early two-goal lead before staving off the Stallions' rally to arrange a Final Four duel with Cinderella team Air Force.
Loyola Meralco and Green Archers United are the two other semifinalists in the other side of the bracket.
"This was a battle of pride, respect, and protection of the team. And I'm happy the guys responded," said Pachanga coach Noel Marcaida, whose team is assured of another impressive finish after it wound up in the top half of the League table in its maiden top-flight campaign earlier this year.
Center-back Andrew Santiago ended up as the unlikely scoring leader as he took advantage of numerous scoring opportinities to finish with a brace, including the first goal off a rebound right in the first minute of the game.
After Ousseynou Diop quickly doubled the lead five minutes later with a strike off a David Cortina assist, the Stallions began their comeback in what turned out to be an unexpected high-scoring playoff affair.
OJ Clariño, a former Pachanga booter, closoed the gap for his new team with an 18th-minute strike, before Junior Muñoz equalized for the Stallions in the 32nd minute.
Pachanga regained the lead six minutes into the second half when Reza Amirkhizan scored, before Santiago completed his two-goal effort in the 64th.
After Balot Doctora pulled a goal back for Stallion three minutes later, Ariel Zerrudo joined the scoring parade with a left-footed finish off an Anto Gonzales pass.
"I'm disappointed because we gave up goals we shouldn't have. Hats off to Pachanga," said Stallions coach Ernie Nierras, whose team has reeled from the departute of standouts Lee Joo Young and Joaco Cañas as well as disputed player Rufo Sanchez.
PHILIPPINE Air Force continued its magical run in the United Football League Cup, hacking out a 1-0 victory over Union Internacionale Manila to advance to the semifinals of the tournament on Thursday night.
One of the underdogs in the knockout stage, the 13th-seeded Airmen put together a valiant effort anew to stay in the running of the title.
Once again, it was Jimmy Vergara who scored the lone goal in a reprisal of his heroics in the Round of 16, where he scored the late winner that eliminated favored Kaya.
After keeping the Iranian-laden UIM scoreless in regualtion, the Airmen were finally rewarded three minutes before the game could go down to a penalty shootout, when the pint-sized Vergara scored off the loose ball that sent the Air Force gallery into delirium.
"Sinabi ko sa players ko na panalo na kayo bago pa lang mag extra time. Sino mag-give up at mawalan ng composure yun ang matatalo," Airmen coach Edzel Bracamonye said. "Buti hindi nawala disiplina namin."
The Airmen now face the winner of the Stallion-Pachanga Diliman tiff being played at posting time.
In the other side of the draw, Loyola Meralco and Green Archers United clinched the first two Final Four spost Tuesday when they eliminated Global and Ceres, respectively.
By Jerome Galunan Jr.
Powerhouse clubs of defending champion Dynamic Builders and tournament leader Ceres Transport blanked their respective rivals last Sunday to arrange another championship showdown in the 3rd Conference of the North Football League at the North Point pitch in Talisay City, Negros Occidental.
This is the third time that both clubs made it to the finals this year with the Builders winning back-to-back titles over the Transport in the 2nd Conference, 2-1.
Thanks to remarkable performance of “most valuable player” Jason Panhay – who stamped his class despite the loss of his mother days before the finals.
En route the finals, Dynamic FC blanked Jakalz, 2-nil.
After a scoreless halftime, Ian Treyes found the back of the net in the 69th minute before Jaime Poderoso sealed the win in the 71st minute.
Meanwhile, Ceres parades a clean sheet in the finals with a 2-nil victory over Trimaxi-Agro on Joshua Fegidero’s goal in the 19th minute as Bes de la Noche scoring double in the 26thminute./ WDJ
STALLION tries to keep its title-retention bid alive as it takes on dangerous Pachanga-Diliman on Thursday in the second day of the United League Cup quarterfinals at the Emperador Stadium in Mckinley Hill.
Both teams, which were supposed to meet top seeds Loyola Meralco and Global, instead face each other for a semifinal spot in their 8 p.m. encounter following the league’s decision to revert to its original, admittedly-flawed bracketing system.
The winner faces the survivor of the Union Internacionale Manila-Philippine Air Force clash in the round-of-eight set at 5 p.m.
Stallions coach Ernie Nierras admitted his team, Pachanga, and UIM were the three teams that asked the UFL to change the setup.
“What we were after is not to change the rules and regulations midstream. You can’t do that. That was the principle of the whole thing,” Nierras told Spin.ph on Wednesday. “But unfortunately, some people made it look like we were complaining.”
“They are saying the teams (that asked for change) complained because they don’t want to face other teams. That’s not true. We just wanted rules to be followed,” he added.
Nierras also said they requested the change before the start of the Round of 16 so as not to disrupt the tournament - only for the decision to be made when the first round of the knockout stage was almost through.
“In theory, it doesn’t matter who you play. The best team will always win the championship,” Nierras said. “Gusto kasi nung iba, they wanted Loyola and Global to face each other in the championship. But that’s kind of disrespectful to the other teams.”
The Sparks blanked Global, 2-0, on Tuesday night to arrange a Final Four duel with Green Archers United, which eased past Ceres-La Sale, 2-1 in their own matchup.
Although his team is facing a relatively weaker foe than Global, Nierras is not underestimating Pachanga, the former Division 2 titlist which finished in the top half of the table in its maiden top-flight campaign.
“We are not taking for granted Pachanga,” said Nierras, whose team swept Pachanga in their two-game head-to-head matchup in League play earlier this year.
UIM, bannered by Iranian standouts, should also be wary of all-Filipino Air Force, seeded 13thand this year’s Cinderella team which stunned Kaya, 1-0, in the Round of 16.
“We’re always the underdogs, but we will give them a good fight,” Airmen coach Edzel “Brax” Bracamonte said.
The Loyola Meralco Sparks marched on to the semifinals after edging out Global FC, 2-0, in a battle of two powerhouse clubs in the United Football Cup on Tuesday night at the Emperador Stadium.
Coming off the bench, star striker Phil Younghusband delivered for the Sparks, setting the tone by scoring the match’s first goal before assisting on Loyola’s second shot which pulled them away with the victory.
Loyola and Global engaged in a nip-and-tuck affair in the first half, with both teams failing to strike a goal.
As he entered the match as a substitute at the 34th minute, Younghusband immediately made his presence felt for Loyola after almost breaking the scoreless deadlock right before the halftime whistle.
The Sparks went on to find multiple offensive chances at the start of the second half after finally getting out of Global’s aggressive defense in the first half.
Chad Gould found himself on a breakaway at the 58th minute. He then passed the ball to the trailing Younghusband, who quickly slotted the goal from the top of the box to give Loyola a 1-nil lead.
As Global failed to succeed in an offensive play at the 76th minute, the Sparks quickly switched gears for a counterattack. Younghusband, who was at the center of the pitch, threw a long-range pass to the streaking Matt Hartmann, who buried a shot from the left flank to pad Loyola’s lead to 2-nil.
Global still tried to come back late in the match with an attack at the 89th minute. But Sparks goalkeeper Baba Sampana held his ground between the sticks, deflecting two furious shots by Global to keep a clean sheet and hand Loyola the victory.
Loyola advanced to the semifinals to face Green Archers United Globe. The Sparks also continued their unblemished run this season, scoring 63 goals and conceding none so far in the tournament.
With a star-studded lineup filled with national team members and heralded imports, Global had an abrupt end to its campaign after being regarded as a favorite to win the Cup.
USUALLY delivering when it mattered for the national team, Chieffy Caligdong rose to the occasion for his club this time.
Green Archers United leaned on the endgame heroics of the Azkals' skipper to escape Ceres-La Salle, 2-1, and book a return trip to the semifinals of the United Football League Cup on Tuesday night at the Emperador Stadium in Mckinley Hill.
Caligdong, one of the finest homegrown Filipino booters today, finished with a brace, including the go-ahead goal in the thrilling, evenly-matched affair.
“I expected the game to be even. I respect Ceres. I told my players na kung sino matibay, yung ang mananalo,” Archers coach Rodolfo Alicante said.
The Archers now await the winner of the Loyola Meralco-Global quarterfinal tiff being played at posting time.
Alicante said he would rather face the Sparks because he feels his team matches up better against them.
The Archers saw Jayson Panhay of Ceres score the opening goal 28 minutes into the game, before Caligdong equalized five minutes later.
As the game threatened to go into extra time, Caligdong caught a long pass from the back, controlled the ball, before scoring the marginal conversion two minutes into stoppage time in a strike reminiscent of his most memorable goals for the national side.
“It was a team goal,” Caligdong said. “Kung hindi sa mga teammates ko, hindi ko rin makukuha yun.”
ALREADY expected to have a full complement of players, the Philippine men’s football team could also have the home crowd by its side when it competes in the in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup in May.
Slated in the Maldives during the Fifa (International Football Federation) international break in the third week of May, the tournament for emerging Asian footballing nations could be moved to the Philippines if the original host country fails to “start required renovation work” next month.
The AFC Competitions Committee proposed the change in a recent meeting, giving Maldives until December 15 to start renovation of the stadiums, according to a story posted on the AFC website late Monday.
Aside from the Philippines and Maldives, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Palestine, Laos, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan are the other countries that advanced to the final stage of the Challenge Cup.
The Philippine Football Federation, which successfully lobbied for the rescheduling of the tournament to Fifa-sanctioned dates, expressed delight over the development, saying it could be a boon for the Azkals, who will have the likes of Stephan Schrock, Neil Etheridge, Dennis Cagara, Jerry Lucena, and Roland Muller available for selection.
“If it happens, it will be very good for the team as they will have hometown crowd and for Philippine football as seven teams will fly in for the event,” PFF general secretary Edwin Gastanes told Spin.ph from Kuala Lumpur where he and PFF president Nonong Araneta are to attend the AFC Awards Night.
AFC president Sheikh Salman Ebrahim Hamad Al Khalifa announced in his visit to the country two weeks ago that the prestigious annual event will be held in Manila next year.
It’s a quarterfinal with an atmosphere of a finale.
Two United Football League giants clash for a semifinal berth in the UFL Cup on Tuesday night at the Emperador Stadium in Mckinley Hill.
Expected to meet in the finals, Loyola Meralco and Global FC instead tangle in a Round-of-8 matchup at 8 p.m. following the league’s last-minute decision to revert to its original knockout-stage pairings.
The top seeds are coming off resounding shutout victories in the Round of 16, with the Sparks cruising past Cimarron, 10-0, last Tuesday and Global dismantling Philippine Navy, 8-0, last Thursday.
The showdown marks Global midfielder Mark Hartmann’s first game against his former teammates, including older brother Matthew.
“We’ve got a massive game Tuesday,” said the younger Hartmann, 21, who recorded his first hat-trick for Global in the rout against the Sailors.
The matchup also features two of the league’s top strikers, with Phil Younghusband who has notched a league-leading 17 goals, spearheading the Sparks’ attack opposite Global’s Izzo El-Habib, who has seven goals to his name.
Loyola turned back Global, 2-0, in their last meeting in the League in a defining second-round game that was a major factor in Global’s relinquishing of the title to Stallion.
Another thing going against Global, featuring national team players, is that it will miss one Azkal in left winger Jeffrey Christiaens, who is out with a hamstring injury.
“We’re very short of players, but we’ll cope,” said Global coach Brian Reid, who will also be missing the services of four more key players, names the Scottish mentor decided to keep to himself.
The winner between the powerhouses faces the victor in the quarterfinal matchup between Ceres-La Salle and Green Archers United, who square off at 5 p.m.
Ceres, the reigning National Club champion representing La Salle-Bacolod, tries to solidify its reputation as the best club team outside Manila as it takes on the Archers, led by Chieffy Caligdong and Tating Pasilan.
GLOBAL FC will have two crucial games, and I hope it’s going to be a split for the Dan Palami-owned club. First off is the quarterfinal round on Nov. 26 in the UFL Cup against the Loyola Meralco Sparks, a controversial match-up that had fans shaking their heads.
Why are Global and Loyola--the top two seeds--facing off this early? It was a mistake that was corrected but was corrected again because the UFL is afraid to set a precedent by correcting a mistake mid-way to the tournament.
It’s a crappy explanation I say. The precedent set here is that if you notice something wrong with a decision of the UFL technical committee, you don’t point it out to them because, what’s the use?
To be fair, I think the UFL has become a victim of its growth. When it started, a mistake like that would have been corrected easily by a few phone calls and teams would shake on that. Now that the stakes are getting bigger, something that could have been easily corrected now needs a couple of meetings and a formal vote.
Anyway that’s done and it’s the quarterfinals--or the Cue-Finals as I call it--for Global and Loyola. How would the Global defense fair against a Loyola team that scored 61 goals and conceded none in the Group Stage? Both teams are also off convincing wins in the round of 16, with Loyola blanking Cimarron FC, 10-0 and Global shipping off the Philippine Navy, 8-0.
It’s going to be a great televised match so watch for it over Aksyon TV at 8:30.
And then, of course, there’s Global vs. Cebu Queen City, this time it’s the long-delayed PFF Smart Cup Visayas eliminations that was supposed to happen a lifetime ago. It’s finally happening in Cebu, on Dec. 4.
There are plans to have it at the Cebu City Sports Center but I think the kick-off time isn’t final yet. And for Cebu to have a snowball’s chance in hell against Global, I hope it would be held at noon. Global has all the advantages so the Cebuano club must create its own advantage, and holding it at high noon may give the club a slight edge against the team that is used to playing late afternoon or early evening at the pristine Emperador Stadium.
The winner here will advance to the national finals and the champion will represent the country in next year’s AFC President’s Cup, so I’m pretty sure those who are already in the national finals are really interested on the result.
The Philippine Under-23 men’s football team is set to gain valuable international exposure for a good cause. Unable to get to green light to represent the country in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games, the U-23 team will instead play their Singaporean counterparts in a charity friendly on December 1 in the opponents’ turf for the benefit of the victims of super-typhoon Yolanda. Philippine Football Federation communications head Ebong Joson confirmed the news, although he has yet to say where exactly the proceeds will go. Global coach Brian Reid will call the shots for the national team, which is expected to have standouts Amani Aguinaldo, Marwin Angeles, Jeff Christiaens, Jason de Jong, Patrick Deyto, Mark Hartmann, and OJ Porteria, among others, in the fold. The U-23 Azkals last met the U-23 Lions last June when they surrendered a fighting 0-1 decision at the Hougang Stadium. spin.ph
FAR Eastern University flaunts its World Cup-size artificial turf football field when the UAAP football competitions open on Saturday at its high school grounds in Diliman, Quezon City.
Most of the UAAP football matches this season will be held at FEU, which took over the hosting of the sport from Ateneo.
“This is the biggest artificial turf in the country. 100x64, which is the official size of World Cup tournaments,” said FEU athletic director Mark Molina.
A tripleheader opens the UAAP men’s football tournament on Saturday with De La Salle facing University of Santo Tomas at 10 a.m. and last season’s runner-up University of the Philippines taking on University of the East at 1 p.m.
FEU battles National University at 3 p.m. in a match that will be broadcast live over Studio 23.
The FEU athletic director admitted that the football field is not designed for huge live audiences like Emperador Stadium in McKinley Hill, Taguig City and may not be as accessible as the Ateneo field, but said the quality of the playing field gives it an edge.
“”Yung venue, maliit lang. Wala masyadong provision for spectators kaya we want to move to Rizal also,” said Molina.
“Nasa Commonwealth Avenue ’yung field, pero hindi kasing accessible ng Ateneo kasi may LRT,” said Molina.
But Molina said they plan to address that later in the season as they plan to host the Final Four and championship matches at the Rizal Memorial football pitch, which is now in its finishing touches in completing the installation of an artificial surface.
“At least in the first round, FEU will be the venue but in the succeeding matches and pagdating ng Final Four and championship, gusto namin sa neutral venue. We already talked to (Philippine Sports Commission) chairman Richie Garcia kung baka puwede sa Rizal. Matatapos na daw by January,” said Molina.
GLOBAL owner Dan Palami is undaunted by the new challenge his team is facing but lashed United Football League officials, saying they need to do “do better” regarding technical matters.
The UFL in a surprising move on Thursday announced the league is returning to the initial pairings as decided by the technical committee, setting up a sudden quarterfinal matchup between top seeds and favorites Global and Loyola Meralco on Tuesday.
Palami is confident of his team's chances, but aired his dismay over the development after his team overwhelmed Philippine Navy, 8-0.
“If we really want to be professionals, then, it’s something that should have been addressed a long time ago. Several decisions by the UFL sometimes take too long to be formulated.”
“And sometimes some decisions are not even decisions, but decisions to not make a decision. We’ve been at the wrong end of such kinds of decisions,” added the businessman and football patron, whose team is still in a contract dispute with Stallion for the services of banned Spanish striker Rufo Sanchez, a three-month-old case which has yet to be resolved by the league.
“So I think everybody has to step up. The league is already on its ninth, tenth year (including three televised seasons). I hope in the future they’ll do better.”
The technical committee earlier revised the bracket—with the permission from the National Capital Region Football Association (NCRFA)—before the start of the knockout stage to guarantee that the top seeds would only meet deep in the playoffs—which is traditionally followed by leagues in all other sports.
The technical committee is composed of one representative from each club, two representatives from the governing Football Alliance, one representative from the NCRFA or Philippine Football Federation, and the tournament director.
But the move, sources said, was inexplicably met with protest by three teams in the middle of the Round of 16.
UFL media officer Jing Jamlang said the NCRFA then decided to retract its permission given to the UFL to revise the format as the vote had to be unanimous and not just majority, forcing the league to return to its original format.
The development thus pits heavyweights Global and Loyola in the quarterfinals, with the winner now facing that of the Green Archers United-Ceres-La Salle tie, while Union Internacionale Manila faces Air Force, and Stallion taking on Pachanga-Diliman for a semifinal spot.
“Although the Tech Comm admits the initial format is flawed, as the top seeds immediately face each other in the quarterfinals, it was agreed that changing the format midway through the competition would be an unhealthy precedent to set for future competitions,” Jamlang said.
“The committee accepts that it was an oversight in their part not to have altered the format before the start of the competition, and has vowed to be more diligent in ensuring similar problems will no longer arise in the future,” he added.
Palami remains undaunted of the challenge ahead for his club, a former Cup and League champion and perennial contender.
“If you want to be champions, you have to be ready to play against anybody and everybody. So I guess, it will really be a big task for us and we’ll just have to play the game.”
In a bizarre move, the United Football League decided to change the Cup competition format just as the tournament nears the quarterfinals stage.
The UFL said in a statement on Thursday that the format of the competition had originally featured revisions that the league decided to implement right before the knockout stages.
The league, however, realized that making sudden changes in the format “would be an unhealthy precedent to set for future competitions,” making it decide to revert back to the original but “flawed” format.
“Although the Technical Committee admits the initial format is flawed, as the top seeds immediately face each other in the quarterfinals, it was agreed that changing the format midway through the competition would be an unhealthy precedent to set for future competitions,” the league wrote in a statement.
“The committee accepts that it was an oversight in their part not to have altered the format before the start of the competition, and has vowed to be more diligent in ensuring similar problems will no longer arise in the future.”
Sixteen teams that made it to the knockout stages were ranked accordingly to determine the pairings for the round-of-16. The top three teams from each of the five groups and the best fourth-placed squad earned a slot in the next round.
As a result, Philippine Air Force will face Union Internacional Manila, while defending champion Stallion FC will battle Pachanga Diliman FC.
Ceres-La Salle FC will face the winner of Green Archers United Globe versus Manila Jeepney FC, while the Loyola Meralco Sparks will battle the winner of Global FC versus Philippine Navy.
The quarterfinals will start on November 26, while the semifinals will be played on December 3 and finals on December 5 at the Emperador Stadium. All games will be shown live on AksyonTV, the sports and news-related channel of TV5.
MAKING sure it didn’t underestimate its lower-seeded foe, Green Archers United thumped Manila Jeepney, 6-2, to clinch a berth in the quarterfinals of the United Football League Cup on Thursday night at the Emperador Stadium in Mckinley Hill.
Only two days after 13th seed Philippine Air Force pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament so far with a 1-0 squeaker over fourth seek Kaya in extra time, the fifth-seeded Archers scored a runaway victory over the 12th-seeded Jeepney to arrange a Round-of-8 meeting with Ceres-La Salle on Tuesday.
“Hindi kami nag-rerelax kasi ayaw naming matulad sa nangyari sa Air Force tsaka Kaya,” said Archers skipper Tating Pasilan, who was adjudged Man of the Match. “Kailangan talaga naming i-respeto yung opponent.”
Pasilan was one of six booters who found the back of the net in a balanced scoring attack for the Archers, who also gained offense from Agbayomi Olowoyeye, Arnie Pasinabo, Chieffy Caligdong, Jessie Martindale, and Mikel Garcia.
The Archers were supposed to face Air Force, but the UFL decided to revert to its original knockout-stage format at the last minute that drew the ire of most players and coaches.
“Medyo unfair para sa akin,” Pasilan said. “After natalo yung Kaya, nag-iba yung sistema. Nagulat kami, pero okay lang.”
Olowoyeye opened the scoring for the Archers six minutes into the game, before Pasinabo added a goal six minutes later and Caligdong tripled the lead in the 40th minute.
After Mamadou Sangare pulled a goal back for Jeepney three minutes into the second half, Pasilan retailed six minutes later.
Jeepney, the UFL’s newest team, scored anew courtesy of Christopher Arceo in the 68th minute, but the ejection of Sean Iliff for a straight red card four minutes later didn’t help the team’s cause.
The Archers thus pounced on the undermanned opposition as Martindale (77’) and Garcia (88’) joined the scoring fray.
UFL Cup Round of 16 : Thursday at Emperador Stadium Live on Aksyon tv 5.15 pm Green Archers United 6-2 Manila Jeepney Fc FT-GAUFC 6-2 MJFC
GAUFC-Olowoyeye 6' ,Pasinabo 12', Caligdong 40', Pasilan 54', Martindale 77', M.Garcia 87'
MJFC-Sangare 48',Arceo 68' 7.30 pm Global Fc 8-0 Navy Fc Global FC
Starting XI: Aguinaldo, Barbaso, Christiaens, De Jong, Elhabib, Guirado, Hartmann, Kama, Sadia, Starosta, Yao Phil.Navy FC
Starting XI: Aspa, Bautista, Cabural, Calumpang, Caminos, Diallo, Leyble, Okoro, Solatorio, Viliran, Yapi FT- Global FC 8-0 Phil.Navy FC
Hartmann 12' 16' 53'
De Jong 61'
Newly-relegated Philippine Air Force toppled Division One squad Kaya FC, 1-0, in extra time to advance to the quarterfinals of the United Football Cup on Tuesday night at the Emperador Stadium.
Air Force, which finished at the bottom of the first division last season, faced a huge disadvantage against Kaya after missing four of its players due to red cards following a walkout against defending champion Stallion FC last November 5.
But the military squad showed its toughness for the rest of the match as it held Kaya scoreless in regulation, which ended nil-nil. Air Force found a golden chance at the end of the first extra time as Jimmy Vergara slotted a goal off a Joebel Bermejo free kick at the 104th minute.
Kaya suffered another blow as the squad was trimmed to 10 men due to a red card by Jovin Bedic.
Air Force was also down by one player as Bermejo got a red card after a hard tackle which gave some glimmer of hope for Kaya.
Kaya had plenty of chances to score the equalizer, but Air Force goalkeeper Kenneth Delloso held his ground between the sticks as he deflected shots from Mitchell Davidson and Anton Ugarte to help the military squad come away with the upset.
Air Force, which won the Cup title in 2011, will face in the quarterfinals the winner of the Round of 16 tiff between Green Archers United Globe and guest team Manila Jeepney FC.
With its lineup beefed up by several foreign players during the off-season, Kaya, one of the winningest clubs in the UFL, capped off yet another disappointing campaign after finishing fourth place in the League competition last season.