Mariano “Nonong” Araneta was re-elected president of the Philippine Football Federation on Friday.
Araneta prevailed over Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) president Ricky Yanson, 23-12, during the election coinciding with 16th PFF Congress at Century Park Hotel in Manila.
Araneta, who immediately extended a conciliatory hand to Yanson, received strong support from the Mindanao bloc, led by his running mate M’lang, Cotabato town mayor Joselito Piñol, who was also re-elected vice president.
Also boosting Araneta’s candidacy was the entry of three Philippines Football League clubs: Ceres Negros FC, Kaya Iloilo and Stallion Laguna, which secured voting rights after their membership to the PFF, the sport's national governing body, was approved earlier.
“The toughest part of the campaign was the vicious attack on my character,” said Araneta. “But most of the members here believe in my ability. They trusted me and for another four-year term."
Meanwhile, Yanson, who was critical of the PFF's lack of age-group tournaments, accepted defeat.
MANILA, Philippines–Football, the sport that has been a source of heartbreak and disappointment for the Philippines in the Southeast Asian Games, delivered a magical night that will live long in the memory on Friday.
In a result reminiscent of the Philippines’ biggest victory in the competition 28 years ago, the Young Azkals overcame the favored Malaysia, 1-0, to keep their semifinal hopes alive at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Over at Biñan Football Stadium, the Philippine women’s team leaned on a Sarina Bolden hattrick to dump Malaysia, 5-0, and secure its place in the next round.
The two matches took place simultaneously with both attracting huge crowds. And the Filipino athletes did not disappoint, delivering twin wins that propped up their bid for a medal in what is easily considered as the most popular event of the SEA Games.
The Young Azkals took the game to the 2017 silver medalists right from the opening whistle and their pressure was duly rewarded with captain Stephan Schrock’s 71st minute goal.
Schrock floated in a corner that swerved at the final minute and creeped into the back of the net. Amani Aguinaldo looked to have forced in the ball as it arrived in the area, but it was the indefatigable Schrock who was credited for the goal.
The result kept the Young Azkals in the mix for a semifinal berth with four points from three matches. They still have to play Timor Leste on Tuesday, but claiming the scalp of one of the powerhouses in the competition will go down as a remarkable achievement for coach Goran Milojevic’s team.
Interestingly, the stadium, scoreline and the opponent were all the same when the Philippine men’s team pulled off its biggest win in the competition in 1991. Back then, the Malaysians arrived at Rizal Memorial as defending champions, but they fell in an upset made possible by Norman Fegidero’s goal. All but one of the players in the current squad weren’t even born yet when the Philippines hammered out that win.
But this was a team that is teeming with young talents spearheaded by an irrepressible leader in Schrock. And with an energetic crowd of 6500 backing them up, the Young Azkals sent a strong message with a performance to remember.
Bolden bagged her hattrick right before halftime, while De La Salle’s Shai Del Campo was also on the scoresheet in an emphatic win for coach Let Dimzon’s side.
By: Cedelf P. Tupas The Philippine men’s and women’s football teams set out to stay in medal contention on Friday when the Young Azkals and the Malditas take on their Malaysian counterparts in group play of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
With only a point to show from their first two matches, the Young Azkals are hard pressed to win their remaining two games starting with their 8 p.m. clash with the heavily favored Malaysian side at 8 p.m. at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Over at Biñan Football Stadium in Laguna, the Malditas, just two days removed from their goalless stalemate with Myanmar, are aiming for a semifinal spot as they battle Malaysia also at 8 p.m.
But while the Young Azkals are the heavy underdogs, the same could not be said of the Malditas, who encountered little trouble in beating Malaysia, 3-0, in their previous encounter during the AFF Women’s Championship in Thailand early this year.
Women’s team coach Let Dimzon warned her team of complacency even as she stressed the importance of securing a victory for the country.
“We want to deliver some positive news for the country, that’s why the team is more motivated against Malaysia,” said Dimzon, who noted the Malditas’ improved defense in the draw with Myanmar.
The Young Azkals were left undone by a quick Myanmar counterattack on Wednesday that resulted in a 2-1 loss.
Nineteen-year-old defender Justin Baas, who scored on a sweetly struck volley to make it 1-1 at halftime, feels the Young Azkals are improving with every game.
But performances would need to be backed up by winning results in the next couple of matches, including against Timor Leste on Dec. 3.
Malaysia, the silver medalist two years ago in Kuala Lumpur, enters the match with a four-day rest after drawing against Myanmar, 1-1, on Monday. It will be a question of fitness for the Young Azkals, who will be playing their third match in five days. Captain Stephan Schrock and Baas are also playing in their fifth match in 14 days, including two games with the senior team in the World Cup Qualifiers early this month.
Saying his performance and track record speak for themselves, Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Nonong Araneta seeks a fresh mandate when the PFF holds its annual Congress on Friday at Century Park Hotel in Manila. The elections will be held against the backdrop of the Southeast Asian Games, where the national team is currently fighting for life in a bid to make it to the podium.
Araneta, the country’s top football official the last nine years, will be up against Negros Occidental Football Association president Ricky Yanson, who had criticized the current PFF regime for its lack of grassroots programs.
Thirty-two regional football association presidents will be voting for the person who will lead the sport in the country in the next four years. Three Philippines Football League clubs–Ceres-Negros, Kaya-Iloilo and Stallion Laguna–are also expected to be accepted as members of the federation that will allow representatives of the clubs to also choose the next PFF chief.
With Qatar Airways announcing its three-year partnership with the Philippines Football League (PFL) starting next year, Araneta hopes to retain his post to also preserve unity among key stakeholders of the sport in the country.
Yanson, the PFF grassroots committee chair, has provided a glimpse of what’s to come if elected as he held the Mindanao and Luzon Cups in the last two months.
But he has also come under criticism from Araneta, who said that Yanson has not held a meeting for the PFF grassroots committee in four years and also has missed half of the last 20 PFF Board of Governors’ meetings.Araneta said he decided to seek a fresh term to prevent football from being “collateral damage” in the Yanson family feud.
Ceres-Negros FC owner Leo Rey Yanson and Ricky Yanson are on opposite sides of a bitter corporate dispute, which Araneta said could see the country’s top club pull out of the PFL should Ricky Yanson take the PFF top post.
“But I also think it’s about performance and track record,” said Araneta, under whose team the national men’s and women’s teams flourished with maiden AFC Asian Cup appearances in the last two years.
“I have served football for a long time and I will continue to do it in the next four years because I want to see through projects that I have already started.”
Araneta, a member of the executive committee of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association and chair of the Asian Football Confederation finance committee, wants to see through projects like the National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite. He is also set to implement the national under-17 tournament next year after the Qatar Airways deal will help augment expenses for the PFL.
The Philippines may have seen the best and worst scenario when a young team represents the country in a prestigious football tournament like the Southeast Asian Games at home.
Reinforced by senior players Stephan Schrock and Amani Aguinaldo, the Under-22 Azkals got off to a nervy start against Cambodia before putting up a spirited second-half display in a 1-1 stalemate that forged a four-team tie with Malaysia and Myanmar in Group A.
“The buildup to the match was good and we were well-prepared, but we were a bit shaky at the start,” said 17-year-old attacking midfielder Yrik Gallantes, who assisted on the 18-year-old Dennis Chung’s goal in the 93rd minute.
“For young players and new teams, it usually happens. Some of the players were really nervous because everyone wanted to win, especially for the fans,” added Gallantes, whose Scotland-based parents hail from Cavite and Parañaque.
The Young Azkals have their work cut out for them as they seek their first win against Myanmar at 4 p.m. on Wednesday at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Schrock, who captained the side against Cambodia in front of close to 3,000 fans, said the result and the way it was fashioned out by the team will only forge a stronger bond among the players that will come in handy as they tackle tougher challenges in the tournament.
The Young Azkals are aiming to make the semifinals for the first time in the history of the tournament now reserved for Under-22 players with two over-aged reinforcements.
“This is the type of result that brings teams together,” said Schrock. “We will definitely work out a plan. It’s about me and Amani (Aguinaldo) adjusting with the team. We’ve been a full team only for a few days so expect us to get better.”
Gallantes promised an improved showing as the team continues to play together.
Meanwhile, Indonesia stunned defending champion Thailand, 2-0, thanks to goals from Egy Vikri and Osvaldo Haay in Group B at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
SANTA ROSA, Laguna — The Under-22 Azkals were able to walk away with a point against Cambodia after a 1-1 draw to open their campaign in the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Monday.
A late equalizer from substitute Dennis Chung in the 93rd minute put the Philippines back in the game after falling behind in the first half.
Keo Sokpheng scored for the Cambodia side in the 40th minute.
Both men's matches today in Rizal Memorial Stadium ended in draws, with Malaysia and Myanmar also figuring in a 1-1 stalemate earlier.
While Vietnam mauled Brunei, 6-0 in the men's match in Binan, Laguna.
MANILA, Philippines — Azkals assistant coach Ernie Nierras couldn't help but express his disappointment following a string of mishaps concerning ASEAN football teams in their arrival here in Manila for the Southeast Asian Games.
Nierras, who is also part of the coaching staff of the U22 Azkals set to compete in the biennial meet, lamented the wasted chance of having 'home field advantage' due to the issues.
"Yun nga masama sa loob ko eh, Dapat home field advantage to eh... honestly, mas maganda pa kung dun tayo naglaro sa ibang bansa eh," Nierras said in an interview.
"Mas ma-handle nang mabuti yung ibang bansa yung paano tayo alagaan eh," he added.
Lack of coordination
Nierras said that a majority of the mishaps would have been avoided had the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) communicated more with the Philippine Football Federation (PFF).
"Ang daming pagkukulang pero andun naman yung opportunity to do something better kung sana they worked closer with the Philippine Football Federation," Nierras said.
"Sino ba may experience? Kung alam mo na paano mo gawin, bakit magiimbento ka pa ng sarili mong sistema? Diba? Kausapin mo na yung Philippine Football Federation," he said of PHISGOC.
Nierras reiterated the audience of football in the region, saying that it was what drew most audiences to the SEA Games.
"Outside of the Philippines, the biggest draw of the Southeast Asian Games in any edition, in any country, is football," he said.
"So we've been telling them (PHISGOC)... please make sure these 17 countries who are coming from the men's and women's competition," he added.
But what's done is done, Nierras said and the Philippines must simply make do with the hand it has been dealt.
"Andito na tayo sa sitwasyon na to," Nierras said.
"Magaling naman tayo sa Pilipinas diyan eh, magaling tayo sa last minute, magaling sa tawid gutom. So ngayon, itatawid gutom nalang natin ito para ma-host natin mabuti and magtulungan tayo," he added.
Foreign football coaches have also let bygones be bygones after the mishaps and shifted their focus to the games ahead.
With the SEA Games about to start on Monday, the 20-man squad that will carry the flag on the football pitch has already been finalized. Bannering the squad alongside young standouts Chima Uzoka, Anthony Pinthus and Yrik Gallantes are Ceres center-half Amani Aguinaldo, fresh off his season-long loan spell at Malaysian Super League club PKNP and Azkals captain Stephan Schrock, citing U-22 assistant manager Ernest Nierras.
Goalkeepers: Anthony Pinthus, Michael Asong, AJ Arcilla(reserve)
Defenders: Amani Aguinaldo(over-23), Justin Baas, Edison Suerti, Mar Diano, Jordan Jarvis, Marco Casambre
Midfielders: Stephan Schrock(over-23), Christian Rontini, Yrik Gallantes, Pocholo Bugas, Jerome Marzan, Dylan de Bruycker, Dennis Chung, Griffin McDaniel, Troy Limbo
Forwards: Chima Uzoka, Jarvey Gayoso, Mariano Suba Jr.
The Philippine SEA Games football campaign starts on Monday the 25th against Cambodia at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, with an 8pm kickoff. Other games on the day see Malaysia and Myanmar play the early kickoff at 4pm and Vietnam playing Brunei at 8pm in Biñan.
Provincial Legal Officer Rayfrando Diaz yesterday said the Ceres-Negros FC has started to remove their equipment from the Panaad Stadium football field, a move that can be “construed as their official and overt withdrawal from Panaad as their official home pitch”.
Diaz said the club did not communicate with the Office of the Governor about their move to remove their equipment such as players’ benches, scoreboard, and goal posts, and they were surprised about this development.
“I don’t know if it has anything to do with our action against the illegal settlers there who have no contract with the province and it was voluntary work for Ceres-Negros FC,” Diaz said.
The management of Ceres-Negros FC, however, clarified that the equipment belong to the club and they are doing a year-end inventory.
The club said that the benches, scoreboard and goalposts will deteriorate if they will leave them at the field until next year’s football season.
While there was no contract between the provincial government and the club for Panaad Stadium as the home pitch of Ceres-Negros FC, the management stressed that the previous administration has fully supported the team.
Ceres-Negros FC won the AFC ASEAN Zone Championship and its first Philippines Football League title in 2017 at the Panaad Stadium in front of the Negrense crowd.
While the Kaya – Iloilo FC managed to host two PFL home games at the Iloilo Sports Complex this year, not a single match of Ceres-Negros FC this season was played at the Panaad Stadium.
As PFL champions, the club has once again qualified for the AFC Cup and the AFC Champions League and are expected to play their home games against other qualifiers from different countries at the Panaad Stadium next year.*
DUBAI — An improved second-half performance by the Philippines was not enough as the Azkals bowed to Group A leader Syria, 0-1, Tuesday night in their joint Fifa World Cup and AFC Asian Cup qualifying match at Maktoum bin Rashid Stadium here.
Ward Alsamh struck in the 23rd minute as the Syrians survived a late Azkals barrage for their fifth win as many matches in the group.
The win gave the Syrians an eight-point gap over China and the Philippines.
The Azkals missed golden opportunities in the second half with Angel Guirado sending a first-time shot off target in the 54th minute off a fine ball from Curt Dizon.
Substitute Mark Hartmann also sent an effort straight Ibrahim Alma in the 73rd minute after some nice interplay between Mike Ott and Iain Ramsay on the left.
The Azkals will be left ruing a missed chance to trim the lead of the Syrians in the group.
Syria overwhelmed the Philippines, 5-2, in Bacolod last September but the Azkals showed more defensive solidity this time, keeping their shape when the hosts were in possession.
But a momentary lapse in concentration led to the only goal of the match as a quickly taken free kick found Osama Omari’s run on the right. Osama’s low cross rolled past Alvaro Silva and Justin Baas before finding Alsamh who struck an unstoppable effort to the roof of the net.
The Azkals have a long break with their next match against Guam scheduled March 26 at home.
DUBAI—Surprisingly level with China at the end of the first round of matches in Fifa World Cup and AFC Asian Cup Qualifying, the Philippines seeks payback against another powerhouse in Group A as the Azkals take on Syria anew on Tuesday at Al Maktoum Bin Rashid Stadium here.
The Azkals arrived in this bustling economic hub in high spirits after their 2-1 away win over the Maldives in Male last Thursday.
But they’ll be battling a Syrian side that has won all of its matches so far, including a tough 2-1 victory over China last Thursday that kept China at seven points just like the Azkals after four matches.
Syria came from behind to drub the Azkals, 5-2, in their first round duel at Panaad Stadium last September in Bacolod City – a result that left a bitter taste for captain Stephan Schrock.
“That was a hard result to swallow that night so we’re looking for redemption,” said Schrock. “We’re looking to learn from our mistakes. The next game will prove that we learn from our mistakes. We took in even more tactical stuff for this match and we’re looking to connect better on the pitch.”
Azkals coach Scott Cooper said his team “got too brave and adventurous” against the Syrians in their initial meeting. “We saw in Bacolod how strong and talented they are, but we rocked them in the first 20 minutes so that gives us confidence,” said Cooper.
The race for the top spot in the group remains open with Syria holding a five-point edge over China and the Philippines.
A win for the Azkals will trim that gap to just two points with the Philippines still to play Maldives and Guam at home next year. The other Azkals assignment in June 2019 will be against China on enemy ground.
Only the top team in the group will advance to the third round of qualifying together with the four best second-placed teams from the eight qualifying brackets.
DUBAI—Team Philippines captain Stephan Schrock didn’t need to hear the conversation among his younger teammates to understand how important his role will be when he reinforces the Under-22 team in the Southeast Asian Games football tournament next week.
A few meters where Schrock was having breakfast, Yrick Gallantes was speaking to Under-22 teammates Justin Baas and Edison Suerti on the team’s need for a leader as the Young Azkals set out to land the country’s first medal in the biennial event that starts on Monday at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
“I’m very confident I can lead them,” said the 34-year-old Schrock, one of the two overaged players picked by the coaching staff to power the Young Azkals in their biggest challenge yet. “I will try to guide the younger players as much as I can.”
Gallantes said Schrock’s inclusion would be a game-changer for the Young Azkals, who take on Cambodia in their first match in Group A on Monday.
Two days later, the team will face Myanmar, before tangling with Malaysia, before taking on Timor Leste as its final assignment in the group stage on Dec. 4 at Biñan Football Stadium.
“We have some experience as a team in the PFL Cup, but Schrock has the personality and quality that will really help us in tough matches,” said Gallantes. “We need his voice on the pitch.”
Five players in the SEA Games lineup are part of the current senior team that will play Syria on Tuesday night at Al Maktoum Bin Rashid Stadium here in the Fifa World Cup and AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers.
Defender Marco Casambre, 20, is also part of the senior side and Under-22 team that will be coached by Serbian Goran Milojevic.
The SEAG-bound pool had close to 50 players, before the lineup was slowly trimmed to close to 25 members in the Copa Paulino Alcantara Cup, where the Young Azkals won one match over Green Archers, drew against Mendiola and lost to eventual champion Ceres-Negros.
We are a team of young players with talent,” said Suerti. “Thanks to our coaches, we are also able to put some structure into the way we play, game management and on the tactical side.”
Philip James Younghusband, arguably the most celebrated Filipino footballer in recent times had announced his retirement from football today, at age 32.
The forward, who announced his intention to retire, made his debut with the Philippine Under-23 National Team during the 23rd Southeast Asian Games in Bacolod alongside brother James.
The following year in the same city, he made his senior debut for the Philippines in the AFF Championship Qualifiers where he lead all scorers with six goals in four matches.
He was part of the team in 2010 that made history in the AFF Suzuki Cup when he scored the second goal that capped off a 2-0 upset over then-defending champions Vietnam, in the the “Miracle in Hanoi.”
Eight years later, he sealed the country’s maiden participation in the AFC Asian Cup with the winning goal from the penalty spot against Tajikistan. The goal was his 50th goal for the country.
Younghusband made a total 108 appearances and scored 52 goals for the Philippines, both of which are the country’s all-time records. His last appearance for the team was in the AFC Asian Cup last January.
“We thank Phil Younghusband for his storied career with the Philippine Men’s National Team,” said PFF president Mariano Araneta, Jr. “His tremendous contribution for Philippine football will never be forgotten. May his legacy continue to inspire the next crop of football players.”