Global Cebu FC feels confident of its Philippines Football League (PFL) semifinal match against league-leader FC Meralco Manila Sparks tentatively scheduled this Saturday at a yet-to-be announced venue.
Global Cebu FC capped off its elimination round with a 2-0 win over rival Ceres Negros FC last Tuesday evening to go into the semis on a winning note.
“We have played them four times,” said Global Cebu FC head coach Akhbar Nawas, referring to their head-to-head matchup with FC Meralco Manila Sparks in the eliminations. “We lost one match against them. We are really looking forward to play against them. Our main goal is to play for the finals.”
Nawas said the game against Ceres Negros, although non-bearing, helped them get ready for the semis round.
“It’s good we were able to field in players who were not able to play in the Singapore Cup and we were able to rest key players for the semifinals. It was a good tune-up. We are happy to see John Roy Melgo finally play in front of Cebuanos. It was nice to see him in action. The result was not the foremost thing on my mind,” he said. “The most important thing is that we came here and we ended the match without any injuries or suspension.”
Melgo, a Cebuano, saw action for the first time in the league and played the entire second half. Melgo is known for playing with the ERCO Bro FC and the University of San Carlos (USC).
For his part, Rufo Sanchez, Global Cebu’s ace Spanish striker, said that he will do his best as the team’s striker to become the inaugural champions of the PFL so they can represent the country in the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
“You never know what’s going to happen in the last two games of the semifinals, but we will fight our way all the way to the finals because we want to join the AFC,” said Sanchez, who scored one of the two goals last Tuesday evening versus Ceres Negros. The other goal was scored by team captain Misagh Bahadoran.
Ceres Negros FC head coach Risto Vidakovic thinks Global Cebu FC has an advantage over FC Meralco Manila in the semis.
“In a normal condition, I think Global is the better team, but you know Meralco rested very well going to the semifinals while Global played in Singapore. They played against us so I think they don’t have time to prepare. They are just like us so we have to try our very best,” said Vidakovic.
MANILA--The Philippines' preparations for next year's Women's Asian Cup have stepped up a notch, as the Philippine Football Federation has formally tapped up the services of Richard Boon as its head coach last Thursday.
With the signing of Boon, the American influence in the country's game is now set in stone for the senior national sides, as Thomas Dooley handles the Azkals for the past three years.
Already been hired last month to oversee the US-based footballers, Boon has now put the pen to the paper on the contracts alongside newly appointed assistant Clint McDaniel, with PFF President Mariano Araneta and MVP Sports Foundation president Vince Santos alongside them as the team was in its training and identification camp in California during the week.
Boon, who had vast experience in the youth and the women's game, is replacing FEU tactician Let Dimzon who steered the Malditas during August's SEA Games.
The cast for the Philippines Football League Finals Series has been determined following the conclusion of the PFL Regular Season yesterday, Tuesday 28 November 2017.
The four clubs that have qualified for the Finals Series are: FC Meralco Manila, Ceres Negros FC, Kaya FC Makati, and Global Cebu FC. The four teams will battle it out in the Finals Series to determine the inaugural PFL champions.
The PFL Regular Season started last May 2017 which saw the 8 participating clubs play a total of 112 matches, with each club playing 14 home and 14 away matches.
The PFL Finals Series will pit the four teams matched up in terms of their standings in the two-legged semifinals. The first leg is scheduled on 2 and 3 December and the second leg will be held on 9 and 10 December.
The winning teams of the semifinals will dispute the championship while the losing teams will battle for third place. The PFL Final will be held on 16 December 2017 with the venue still to be determined.
Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano V. Araneta Jr. congratulated the four clubs which have qualified to the PFL Finals Series.
“I would like to congratulate the four teams that have qualified to the Philippines Football League Finals Series and at the same time wish them good luck,” said Araneta. “What started out as a collective dream then has become a reality; we are near the day where the first professional club of the Philippines Football League will be crowned champions.”
Ceres-Negros FC suffered a 2-0 defeat against Global Cebu last November 28 at the Cebu City Sports Complex in the heart of Cebu City. The Cebuano’s scored two goals in the first half to seal the deal and the pairing for the Finals Series.
The Cebu squad rang the bells early in the match with a half chance from Darryl Roberts. The striker redirected a Hikaru Minegishi in the 3rd minute but the shot was just over the crossbar.
Global eventually score minutes later when Roberts found Rufo Sanchez free on top of the box with the Spaniard unleashing a well placed left-footed shot which was out of Mike Casas’ reach.
The home team eventually found the back of the net the second time after a Hail Mary shot from Misagh Bahadoran slipped past the hands of Casas to the delight of the home crowd.
The half ended with Global leading with a comfortable 2-0 advantage.
Minegishi had a good chance in ten minutes after the restart when he danced his way to an open shot at the edge of the box. Casas was however there for the routine save.
Ceres had theit best chance minutes later from OJ Porteria who started the play by releasing Dods Pasinabo on the wings. Pasinabo beat two defenders before passing it back to Porteria who’s left footed shot was handled well by Patrick Deyto.
Both teams held their punches the rest of the way and Global Cebu completed their mastery of Ceres-Negros at home with the two-goal win.
With the loss, Ceres completes the regular season as the second seed and is set to face third place Kaya FC-Makati at the UMak Stadium on December 3.
The Philippine Men’s National Team will participate in the four-nation Chinese Taipei Football Association (CTFA) International Tournament scheduled on 1-5 December 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan.
The Philippines will play against host Chinese Taipei, Laos, and Timor Leste. All the tier 1, “A” matches will be held at the Municipal Stadium in Taipei.
The tournament schedule is outside the FIFA international match window and there is no mandatory release by clubs of players for national team duty.
Team management is headed by Jefferson Cheng as Team Manager while the coaching staff is led by Marlon Maro as Head Coach, assisted by Randolfo Clarino, Marlon Piñero, Ronoel Garfin, and Ramonito Carreon.
Available players who were called up include those from Philippines Football League clubs and several standouts from the U22 team. They will be joined by James and Phil Younghusband, Simone Rota, Angel Guirado, Ruben Doctora Jr., and Mike Ott.
The tournament is seen as a good opportunity for the young players to experience being part of the Men’s Team and show their potential in the higher level.
Nathanael ALQUIROS – Stallion Laguna FC
Fitch ARBOLEDA – Stallion Laguna FC
Junell BAUTISTA – Davao Aguilas FC
Jaime CHENG – Davao Aguilas FC
Justin CHENG – Davao Aguilas FC
Julian CLARINO – University of the Philippines
Reymart CUBON – Davao Aguilas FC
Dylan DE BRUYCKER – Davao Aguilas FC
Ruben DOCTORA Jr. – Stallion Laguna FC
Javier GAYOSO – Ateneo de Manila University
Angel GUIRADO – Davao Aguilas FC
James HALL – Davao Aguilas FC
Ray JOYEL – Far Eastern University
Christian LAPAS – University of the Philippines
Kintaro MIYAGI – Univeristy of the Philippines
Nick O’DONNELL – Davao Aguilas FC
Mike OTT – Angthong FC
Simone ROTA – Davao Aguilas FC
Yannick TUASON – Stallion Laguna FC
Adam TULL – Kaya FC Makati
Reynald VILLAREAL – Stallion Laguna FC
James YOUNGHUSBAND – Davao Aguilas FC
Phil YOUNGHUSBAND – Davao Aguilas FC
1 December 2017 – 4:00 PM Laos vs Philippines
3 December 2017 – 7:00 PM Chinese Taipei vs Philippines
5 December 2017 – 4:00 PM Timor-Leste vs Philippines
Ceres-Negros FC finishes its regular season campaign in the PFL when it meets Global Cebu on November 28 at the Cebu City Sports Complex in Cebu City.
The Visayan rivals have played three entertaining matches so far with a solitary goal deciding each match. The first encounter saw Ceres winning 1-0 at home with Global returning the favor in Cebu City.
Their latest encounter saw the Busmen edging their rivals in Bacolod with a Stephan Schröck wonder-strike last September 24.
With both teams already qualified for the Finals Series, there will be little to play for in the Queen City if the south this Tuesday. The semis are just four days away from the midweek encounter and the two rivals are keen to have a complete lineup in the important games.
Global Cebu is coming off a tough loss in the final of the Singapore Cup after they fell to Albirex Niigata after forcing the match to a shootout last November 26. Ceres-Negros played uneventful match versus league leaders FC Meralco Manila in Carmona Cavite which ended in a goalless draw.
The Bacolod squad will be fielding a thin squad this Tuesday with suspensions and injuries hounding the team as of late. Bienvenido Marañon, Super Herrera, and Jeffrey Christaens are suspended for the match after picking up cards versus Meralco.
Global is expected to field a complete lineup barring injuries and fatigue after playing for 120 minutes.
The match will also determine the classification for both Ceres and Meralco. A draw by Ceres will push them to number one spot for the Finals Series. Kickoff is scheduled at 7pm in Abellana and a livestream will be provided in the PFL, Global, and Ceres social media accounts.
As the first ever Filipino club to reach the Singapore Cup final, Global knew it had a chance to write history. But standing in the Cebu club’s way was current S.League champions Albirex Niigata.
In the end, though, it was the Albirex players which had their hands on the cup as Akbar Nawas’ men folded 1-3 in penalties after the game finished 2-2 after extra time at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
Albirex’s Japanese forward Tsubasa Sano drew first blood for the Singaporean champions at the 32nd minute when he eluded the Global defense and shot past Deyto to break the deadlock.
Global entered the break a goal down, yet emerged from the dugout in the best way possible. After just two minutes from the restart, Wesley Dos Santos leveled the contest for the Filipino side thanks to a header which went last Albirex goalie Yosuke Nozawa.
Both clubs failed to find a winner within 90 minutes which brought extra time in the cup final. Similar to the first half, it was Albirex that got the lead in overtime thanks to Kento Nagasaki’s strike at the 96th minute.
Already down 1-2 at the end of the first half of extra time, Global knew it had to retaliate quickly in order to spring a comeback. At the 109th minute, prayers from the Global fans, players and coaches were answered thanks to another header this time by former National University striker Paolo Salenga.
Extra time wasn’t enough to separate the two clubs and the contest went to penalties. Albirex took its penalties first and Nagasaki converted the first spot-kick while Dos Santos missed his afterwards for Global.
Sano then skied his penalty, but Global failed to capitalize as Darryl Roberts’ attempt hit the crossbar. Shoichiro Sakamoto doubled Albirex’s advantage in the next round, although Pika Minegishi finally pulled one back for Global.
Down 1-2 in the shootout, Global’s situation worsened when defender Naofumi Tanaka converted his penalty to make it a 3-1 lead for Albirex. It was up to Salenga to salvage the situation, yet he saw his attempt saved by Nozawa.
Global succumbed 1-3 in penalties against Albirex in what was a valiant fight for the former. The victory gave Niigata a clean sweep of all four domestic trophies in Singaporean football for the second year running.
While the result is a painful experience for Global, the club still has the 2017 Philippines Football League as a possible trophy for all their endeavors this year.
With 2 more matches to go in the Philippines Football League (PFL) Regular Season, the four clubs qualifying for the PFL Finals Series is certain.
FC Meralco Manila, Ceres Negros FC, Kaya FC Makati, and Global Cebu FC have all made it to the Final Series. I take this opportunity to congratulate each club for their qualification. They will now compete to become the inaugural champion of the PFL Season 2017.
For today’s column, I will discuss the match dates and the applicable provisions under the PFL Tournament Regulations (“Regulations”) for the PFL Finals Series.
Format and Dates:
1st leg Semi-Finals (Fixture 1 A) on 02 December 2017 will be between Team 1 vs. Team 4 and 2nd leg Semi-Finals (Fixture 1 B) will be on 09 December 2017 with Team 4 playing at home.
1st Leg Semi-Finals (Fixture 2 A) on 03 December 2017 will be between Team 2 vs. Team 3 and 2nd leg Semi-Finals (Fixture 2 B) will be on 10 December 2017 with Team 3 playing at home.
Teams finishing 1 to 4 in the final league standing in the Regular Season are ranked Team 1 to 4 accordingly.
3rd/4th Place match will be played between Loser of Semi-final (Fixture 1) vs Loser of Semi-final (Fixture 2) on 16 December 2017 Final’s will be played between Winner of Semi-final (Fixture 1) vs Winner of Semi-final (Fixture 2) on 16 December 2017
The Team finishing first position at the conclusion of the Regular Season will have the option to play the 1st leg Semi-final (Fixture 1) either at home or away.
The Loser of Fixture 1 will be entitled to host the 3rd/4th Place match and the winner of Fixture 1 will have the option to host the Final. The selection however will be made by the PFL based on variety of factors including, but not limited to, venue availability, commercial and marketing considerations.
Procedure to Determine the Winner – Semi Final Stage, Finals & 3rd/4th
As per Article 2.14 of the Regulations, the winner of the semifinals will be determined by the highest number of goals over the two legs or the highest number of away goals scored (away goal rule) over the two legs.
If the winning team cannot be decided by the above criteria, Article 2.15 A. of the Regulations provides for an extra time (two equal periods of fifteen minutes played) immediately after the end of the 2nd leg match. Article 2.16 of the Regulations also states that at the conclusion of the extra-time, and no goals are scored, penalty kicks will be taken to determine the winner, else if both teams score the same number of goals, the away team will advance under the away goal rule.
For the Final and the 3rd/4th Place match, Articles 2.17 and 2.18 of the Regulations provide for an extra-time of two periods if the scores are tied after the conclusion of the match. If scores are tied after extra-time, penalty kicks will be taken to determine the winner.
The final match between Global Cebu FC vs. Ceres Negros FC on 28 November 2017 will decide the final positioning of the four clubs in the League Standing for the Regular Season. You could catch this match via livestreaming.
On behalf of the PFL, I would like to wish the top four teams good luck as we look forward in crowning the first Philippines Football League champions.
League leaders FC Meralco Manila and Ceres-Negros FC settled with a 0-0 draw last November 24 at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona Cavite. The draw was a first for both squads who are currently on top of the PFL table.
There were very few chances in the match for both teams who were cautious in preparing for the semis. The first attempt on goal came on the 2nd minute when Jinggoy Valmayor intercepted a bad pass from thirty yards before unleashed a shot the was way over the bar.
Meralco owned most of the chances as the home’s squad capitalized on Ceres’ slow build up to threaten the backline. Ashley Flores was the main recipient of the counterattacks but centerbacks in Super Herrera and Josh Grommen were there to control the play.
The hosts created opportunities near the halftime whistle but Valmayor and company could not find the target. The half ended with an uneventful 0-0 scoreline.
The Sparks continued to threaten by the hour mark after a foul by Bienvenido Marañon on Franco de la Torre in a dangerous position. Taj Minniecon however foiled the resulting free kick after it was over the crossbar.
Alvin Sarmiento would have a try on goal after he slid into the box in the 67th. The wingbacks attempt was however tamed by the Ceres keeper. Valmayor earned a chance minutes later when a clearance from a corner fell to him at the edge of the box. His attempt however was just a foot wide.
The best chance for Manila came in the 80th minute after a long drive from Sarmiento reached an unmarked Valmayor in front of goal. The striker however mishit the ball which looped over the bar.
Roland Muller produced three fines saves three minutes from time to earn his eight clean sheet of the season. The Ceres keeper punched out a brilliant free kick from Curt Dizon before stopping two successive shots off a corner.
A straight red was given to Diego Fornea in injury time after an altercation with Jeffrey Christaens who also earned a yellow. The match ended with both squads earning a point from the goalless affair.
“It was a very interesting game,” said Ceres Coach Risto Vidakovic. “We came from two games in Ilocos, it was very important that we keep the players safe without injuries. I think nobody get injured today so it’s a very successful day for us,” he added.
The Ceres mentor already has one eye on the final regular season match versus Global and is much aware of the constraints leading to Cebu.
“Some players, they will be suspended for the next game so we will see who will play there because it is not easy to for anybody. We will go there with what we have left and try to compete there,” Vidakovic added.
The final regular season match is set on November 28 with Ceres-Negros traveling to Cebu. A draw will ensure first place while a loss would mean second in the classification.
We're down to the final three games of the season! The League weekend starts at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite as FC Meralco Manila try to defend their #1 spot from Ceres Negros FC. On Saturday, Davao Aguilas and JPV Marikina will play their final games of the season. The visiting team will be able to finish their season on a good note as victory will see them overtake Stallion Laguna FC on the table. On the other hand, will Davao be able to reward their faithful fans this season with a win? The last game of the season will see the Busmen make their final stop before the Finals Series in Cebu.
UPDATE: The RHB Singapore Cup final will go on after Global Cebu settled a pay dispute with their players.
Speaking after a players’ meeting with the club’s management, Global captain Misagh Bahadoran revealed that issues have been ironed out.
“This was a misunderstanding between the club and us players, and I’m glad to say the problem has been fixed, and we will be flying to Singapore tomorrow,” he said, declining to reveal details of the solution.
Bahadoran believes that despite the club's difficulties, Global have enough to beat S.League champions Albirex on Saturday.
“We are coming to win the Cup Final, there’s nothing else on our mind."
But this Saturday's final between Albirex Niigata and Global Cebu may not even take place.
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) is planning an extravaganza to close what has been an uncertain 2017, but the Philippine side may not even show up in Singapore.
Sources revealed that Global players are still owed wages, some of them for up to six months, and players are refusing to get on the plane if they are not paid at least a month of what is owed to them.
Speaking to The New Paper, Global captain Misagh Bahadoran confirmed that a cloud is indeed hanging over the club, but is something that can be surmounted.
"This year we are going through a difficult time. There are just two players owed six months' salary, most of us are owed between four and five months' (wages)," said the Philippines international.
"But I don't think the management will let that (boycott of the Singapore Cup final) happen.
"I've been with Global for about seven years now, and sometimes salaries will be late, but you never see players not get what is owed to them."
Bahadoran revealed earlier this afternoon that he was en route to a meeting with the club's management to address this specific issue, with other sources confirming that the management was due to meet its backroom staff later in the day.
TNP understands that Global are in the process of a management change.
Bahadoran believes that despite difficulties, Global have enough to beat Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League champions Albirex if they do find their way to Singapore.
"We have good players, and a strong team. Once we step onto the field, we will get the job done. When we last came to Singapore, we brought only 13 players, but we still won the game," he said.
Global faced Hougang United in a two-legged semi-final in September with only 13 players on its roster - due to registration issues - but beat the Cheetahs 4-3 on aggregate.
"We are having a hard time now, but we were having a similarly hard time last year," said Bahadoran on the issue of late wages.
"But we still won the (Philippine) championship and the cup."
The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has issued license for the eight participating clubs in the Philippines Football League (PFL) ahead of the 2018 season in accordance with the PFF Club Licensing Regulations.
All eight clubs were invited to apply for the PFF license which grants admission to play in the PFF Club competition 2018 season and AFC Cup competition 2018 season; and AFC License which grants admission to play in the AFC Champions League 2018 season.
All eight clubs submitted their application and were granted license to participate in the upcoming Philippines Football League season 2018 by the PFF First Instance Body (FIB). The FIB is an independent decision making body that grants license.
The top four teams currently in the League standing, namely: Ceres Negros FC, Global Cebu FC, Kaya FC Makati, and FC Meralco Manila were also granted the AFC License. The four remaining clubs: Davao Aguilas FC, Ilocos United FC, JPV Marikina FC, and Stallion Laguna FC only applied for the PFF license, which also has provisions for participation in the AFC Cup. Clubs will be nominated for the AFC club competitions 2018 season based on criteria set by the AFC and PFF, which includes, inter alia, sporting merit and number of slots allocated.
This was the first time that the PFL clubs used the AFC Club Licensing System (AFC CLAS). The Club Licensing Managers from the respective clubs attended seminars conducted by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the PFF last July, and with FIFA, underlining the importance of club licensing, last August.
Philippines Football League Chief Executive Officer Lazarus Jansen Xavier congratulated the eight PFL clubs that were granted the license.
“All eight clubs had worked very hard to ensure compliance and meet the Club Licensing criteria which includes: sporting; infrastructure; personnel and administrative; legal and financial criteria. The Club Licensing system is a tool to professionalize Club football and serves to benefit all football stakeholders,” he said.
The quest to clinch a spot in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 will have to wait for another day.
The Philippines settled for a 0-0 draw against Nepal in Match Day 5 of the Asian Cup Qualifiers last Tuesday 14 November 2017 at the ANFA Complex in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Playing to win and clinch a berth to the Asian Cup, the Azkals were held by the Nepal. With the draw, the Philippines remained on top of Group F with 9 points.
The Philippines dominated in the first half, but were unable to convert their chances into goals. Curt Dizon and Mike Ott went close in the 35th minute. Dizon’s shot after a run from the right flank was denied by the goalkeeper, Ott was there to fire the rebound but was unable to put enough power to the shot.
Phil Younghusband had a chance to slot home another rebound in the 61st minute. Simone Rota saw his first time strike from outside saved before the Azkals skipper fired it wide.
Carlie De Murga almost won it for the Philippines late on. The defender jumped for the header but could only send his effort to the post and out.
The Philippines will have a last chance to qualify for the Asian Cup when they play Tajikistan in home soil on 27 March 2018. That game now looks to be the biggest in recent history as a loss will probably result in a failure to qualify in the Asian Cup in 2019.”