28 February 2011

Simon Greatwich back for Azkals-Mongolia match

Cedelf P. Tupas

Midfielder Simon Greatwich is expected to be back for the second leg of the Philippines’ AFC Challenge Cup qualifying series against Mongolia on March 15 in Ulan Bator.

The 22-year-old Filipino-British standout, who came in as a halftime substitute in the 2-nil first leg victory at the Panaad in Bacolod last Feb. 9, said yesterday that he may be available as early as a week before the showdown with the Mongolians.

Greatwich said he wants to join the team for training camp in the Japan Football Association facility, located just outside Tokyo.

“I’m still hoping I could join the camp,” said Greatwich, a varsity player of Hartwick College in New York, who made an impact on attack in the second half against Mongolia, nearly scoring on an overhead kick.

Greatwich’s availability comes as a boost for the Azkals, considering that his older brother, Chris, and defender Rob Gier will miss the match.

Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge had earlier ruled himself out of the Mongolia game and may join the team if it progresses to the group qualifying tournament in Myanmar. Expected to start in his place is Eduard Sacapano.


Cebu Football - USJ-R beats USPF in Men’s Cup

THE University of San Jose-Recoletos Alumni didn’t settle for second place again, as they beat University of Southern Philippines-Foundation (USPF) in lopsided fashion in the 13th Aboitiz Football Cup Men’s Cup finals last Sunday at the Aboitiz Sports field.

After losing to the 53rd Army, 2-1, in last year’s finals, USJ-R Alumni grabbed the title with a 7-0 rout of USPF Alumni.

Meanwhile, San Roque Royal United clinched the second runner-up honors with a 5-3 victory over Xantos FC.

In other results, Crazy Horse continued its winning romp with a 7-1 win over Don Bosco Magone in the Men’s League, while Don Bosco United FC logged a 3-0 victory over Cebu Schools Athletic Federation Inc. champions University of Cebu.

In the Boys 17 category, Don Bosco Technology Center defeated Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, 4-1, while Paref-Springdale cruised to an easy, 3-0, default win over Blessed John XXIII Seminary.

Sun Star Cebu

Azkals stars hold Taguig clinic

With the Azkals stars brothers James and Phil Younghusband watching, a physical education teacher/coach goes through the routine as taught by the Younghusbands during a football clinic in Taguig over the weekend. (Photo by LJ PASION)

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino-British James and Phil Younghusband, members of the popular Philippine Azkals, conducted a football clinic over the weekend in Taguig City and enjoyed their stint so much they promised to be back in the summer for more interaction with the city’s youth.

Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano said the brothers assured her of their return after the two-day football clinic at the BNS Parade Ground Naval Station, Fort Bonifacio where some 240 Physical Education (PE) instructors and teachers participated.

“The Azkals have granted our wish. Come this summer, they have agreed to teach the young people of Taguig how to play football European style,” Cayetano said.

Cayetano likewise said that she felt proud the Younghusband brothers, behind the Younghusband Football Academy, first chose the P.E. instructors of Taguig as their “students” to whom they imparted their knowledge and insights on the game of football.

Twenty-four-year-old James himself seemed to be satisfied with the performance of the teachers, who will be tasked to share their knowledge to their own students in hopes of spreading local interest for football.

“This is a ‘train the trainers program.’ It’s like a coaching seminar for public school PE teachers where we teach them little fun drills for little kids just to keep them interested in the sport. Through this we are able to reach more people,” James said. “It’s been pretty good so far.”

Phil, 23, for his part, said that one of the goals of the Younghusband Football Academy is to show that Filipinos can excel in football.

Manila Bulletin

USJ-R to face USPF in men’s final of Aboitiz Football Cup tourney

Cebu Daily News

THE University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R) Alumni and the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Alumni will dispute the men's cup title of the 13th Aboitiz Football Cup today at the Aboitiz Sportsfield in Subangdaku, Mandaue City.

The men's cup is the only division which followed a cup-type format, with the top four teams advancing to the crossover semifinals.

USJ-R Alumni topped the division with a clean slate of six wins in as many matches while USPF Alumni stands at second after winning five of its six matches. Its only loss came at the hands of USJ-R.

USJ-R Alumni clinched a finals ticket after blanking San Roque Royale United (SRRU), 6-0, while USPF Alumni routed Xantos FC, 5-1, to arrange a titular match against each other.

SRRU and Xantos FC will fight for third place in the other pitch.

The men's league and the boys 17 will also continue their matches today.

In the men's league, defending champions Crazy Horse hopes to solidify its hold of the top spot as it faces DB Magone while the other match will have DBUFC versus University of Cebu (UC).

The boys 17 will see Springdale going up against Blessed John and Don Bosco Technology Center (DBTC) facing Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC).

In yesterday's matches, the Magis Eagles and the Springdale both went home with a win in the boys 14.

SHS-AdC edged Abellana National School (ANS) Pomeroy, 4-3, while Springdale routed DBTC 2, 8-0.

In the boys 12, Springdale also enjoyed an easy 2-0 win against a younger DBTC 2 opponent, which opted to forfeit the match.


Azkals still strong even without ace goal keeper

By FRANCIS SANTIAGOFebruary 28, 2011, 1:07pmMANILA, Philippines — Team manager Dan Palami never doubts the Philippine Azkals’ capability to overcome Mongolia for the second time in their AFC Challenge Cup qualifier even without goal keeper Neil Etheridge.

“We have a 2-0 cushion and they (Mongolians) are not too much of a threat to our keeper. So he (Etheridge) being there might be an overkill in so far defense is concerned,” Palami told the Bulletin in
a recent interview when Etheridge’s stint was still up in the air.

Palami, the national football team’s godfather, explained that the 6-foot-3 goalie would be perfect to hold the forth for the Azkals. Too good was Etheridge at the goalmouth that he was busier in the outfield rather than making saves in their 2-0 blanking of the Blue Wolves in Bacolod City three weeks ago.

“It will be different without him,” Palami said of Etheridge, who opted out of the March 15 rematch in Ulan Bator due to his commitment with his English Premiere League club, Fulham. “But we have adequate replacement for him.”

That guy is Bago City native Eduardo Sacapaño, 30, a member of the Philippine Army.

“I think with the level of Mongolia, he’s (Sacapaño) adequate to cover for him (Etheridge),” Palami said. “Of course, the disparity between Neil and his substitutes are way beyond... but for Mongolia, he’s (Sacapaño) adequate.”

Palami said there’s no need to push the panic button although they may also miss three other foreignbred Filipino players in Chris and Simon Greatwich and Robert Gier because of other pressing matter.

Manila Bulletin

27 February 2011

UFL - Sunday`s Results

Air Force 1-1 Navy

Air Force : Winnie Subere
Navy : Rocklint Viliran

Air Force and Navy one red card each

Kaya 0-3 Global

Global ; Izzeldin elhabbib 2 goals , Misagh Bahadoran

Kaya and Global one red card each

Loyola 0-0 Army

From UFL Facebook

Other results :

Union Internacional Manila 4 - 1 Lions FC AScom Football Field, Fort Bonifacio
Sunken Garden United FC 0 - 0 Dolphins FC Ascom Football Field, Fort Bonifacio
Stallions FC 6 - 0 Japan FC Nomads Sports Club, Merville
Nomads FC 5 - 2 Pasargad FC Nomads Sports Club, Merville

Maroons nip Tigers for UAAP football crown

Cedelf P. Tupas

MANILA—University of the Philippines banked on timely counterattacks to subdue University of Santo Tomas, 2-1, and regain the UAAP men’s football title before a huge crowd yesterday at Ateneo’s Erenchun Field.

Rookie Gerardo Valmayor struck what turned out to be the game-winner eight minutes into the second half, after assisting on Ayi Aryee’s opener in the 31st minute as UP finished the season unbeaten.

“We were not the most talented team, but we were simply the most hardworking and we got rewarded with this victory,” said Anto Gonzales, a former national player who coaches the Maroons with Frank Muescam.

“It was just a total team effort. Our defense was solid.”

Earlier, FEU grabbed a 1-0 lead in the women’s best-of-three finals, after downing UST, 2-0, on penalties.

With Stephen Permanes pulling the strings at midfield, the Maroons proved dangerous on the counter and a flowing move led to the first goal from just outside the box.

Permanes evaded one challenge then directed the ball to Valmayor who laid it off for Ayi, whose thunderous effort went straight into the bottom corner.

Permanes was later named Most Valuable Player.

inquirer sports

Azkals train on artificial turf for Mongolia game

By Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - After their high-altitude training camp in Baguio City, the Philippine Azkals will start practicing on artificial turf, the playing surface that will be used in the second leg of their AFC Challenge Cup qualifying match with Mongolia on March 15.

The Azkals are set to train at the International School in Taguig this week before heading to Japan on March 6 for their final stretch of preparations at the J-Village in Fukushima, the training facility of the Japanese national team. Both facilities offer artificial surfaces.

“We want them to train on artificial turf because the game in Mongolia will be played on artificial turf,” said Philippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta.

The IS training and the subsequent Japan camp are expected to familiarize the Azkals with the artificial surface, which is said to offer a different bounce and spin than natural grass, especially when wet.

The Azkals will practice at IS until Friday. They will be encamped in Japan until March 12 and will fly straight to Ulan Bator for their match.

“The Japan training will also serve to acclimatize the team. Although it is colder in Mongolia, Japan will have 6 degrees so pwede na rin (it will do for acclimatization),” said Araneta.

Baguio, the coldest point in the country, was more for high-altitude training than acclimatization.

“We had them train in Baguio primarily to develop their stamina,” Araneta said.


UFL - Kaya 0-3 Global

Kaya vs Global in United Football League : 0-3 ,

0-1 Own goal/Bahadoran
0-2 Misagh Bahadoran
0-3 Izo El-Habbib


Kaya playing with Azkals Aly Borromeo and Yannick Tuason.

Global FC : Izo El-Habbib, Badrelin El-Habbib , Misagh Bahadoran , Jerry Barbaso and Kim Relucio

Great win for promoted Global FC !

26 February 2011

Maroons gun for football crown

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Powerhouse University of the Philippines tries to regain the title it won two years ago when it battles University of Santo Tomas in the finals of 73rd University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s football today at the Ateneo field.

Armed with a twice-to-beat bonus, the Fighting Maroons, who tallied nine wins and a draw for a leading 28 points, go for an outright championship in their 2 p.m. tussle with the UST Tiger booters.

“We can’t afford to give them a chance to force a deciding game,” said UP mentor Frank Muescam, who will rely on striker Jinggoy Valmayor, Ayi Nii Aryee and Stephen Permanes, among others.

But UST, which earned the second final berth after a 6-2-2 win-loss-draw record for 20 points, is expected to do its best to force a sudden-death game with striker Mario Clarino and David Basa expected to lead the Tigers’ bid.

Tiger booters coach Marjo Allado said they must play with aggression to upset UP.

In the women’s finals, Far Eastern University and UST clash in a best-of-three finals series after they finished tied in the double elimination round with 16 points on 5-2-1 records. Game One is set at 9 a.m.

Far Eastern University, meanwhile, captured the junior’s title after sweeping its six-game assignment last week.

Davao Football - A festive Sakya Football Cup

By Marianne L. Saberon-Abalayan

FOOTBALL in Davao City was in boom even before the Philippine Azkals' popularity grew following its semi-finals finish in the Suzuki Cup that was highlighted by a stunning upset over defending champion Vietnam during the elimination round.

Thanks to ever-supportive football clubs and schools that never tire to promote the sport by holding tournaments and joining them too.
The recent event was the 2nd Sakya Filipino-Chinese Football Football Cup held on February 19 at the Tionko football grounds where the Azkals held their 10-day training before competing in the Suzuki Cup qualifier in Laos.

Organizer Michelle Jamiana Uy yesterday said that they organized the bootfest that marked its second year to give Davao kids something to look forward to.

"We also want to help liven up the football community here with a real football festival," she said.

More : Sun Star Davao

Zubiri proposes a permanent home for the Azkals in Baguio

WHILE the Azkals are set to sail for Japan after a fruitful work-out in the Summer Capital, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri is batting for the creation of a football stadium in the city with an international standard.

Zubiri, who recently visited the city, promised to look for an ideal site in Baguio and this will also serve as the official home of the Philippine Football team when they have their high altitude training.

"Actually maganda dito magtayo ng training camp because of the weather," Zubiri told media. "Meron tayong plano para magtayo ng stadium pero malaki ang budget na kailangan which will cost at least P600 to P700 million."

Azkals head coach Michael Hans Weiss also liked the proposal because this means a big boost for the country's football squad.

Zubiri said they are eyeing corporate sponsors to back them up in this possible venture which according to the senator would be according to FIFA standard.

"We are looking for two stadia here in the country, one in Visayas and another here in Luzon which would probably be here in Baguio because of the cold weather and at the same time conducive for high altitude training," added Zubiri.

With the Rizal Stadium in Metro Manila and the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod being primed-up for the upcoming Suzuki Cup this year, Zubiri said he will push for Baguio to become the third stadium with international standards.

"Aside from the stadium, gusto rin natin sanang gawin ang Baguio as the center of all training camps gaya nung Gintong Alay but we cannot do this because Pagcor has been remiss in remitting the 5% to the country's sports program," said Zubiri.

Zubiri said the five percent should be directly remitted to the country sports program but since the time of former President Ramos up to now, the five percent is being used by the country's top official for his social fund.

"We're hoping na sana maibalik na sa sports program ng bansa yung five percent dahil malaiking bagay ito para sa ating mga atleta," the senator added.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 27, 2011.

PFF National C’ship set next month

Cebu Daily News

WASTING no time in the development of football in the country, the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has announced the holding of the Men's U23 and U19 National Championships as early as next month.

According to a memorandum, these events are aimed at reviving the national local competitions as well as help in the talent identification for the men's U23 and U19 national teams, which will be seeing action in international competitions later this year.

The men's U23 national finals will be held from May 6 to 15 while the men's U19 national finals will be held from May 20 to 29.

Before the U23 national finals, group stage eliminations, otherwise known as cluster qualifying rounds, will be held from March 21 to 31 with the winners advancing to the regional qualifying round to be held from April 11 to 23. The top two teams will then advance to the national finals.

The U19 will also hold its cluster qualifying rounds from March 21 to 31, also with the winners advancing to the regional qualifying round to be held from April 25 to 19 with the top two teams advancing to the national finals.

The tournament is open to all regular member association (MA) of the PFF.

Luzon football associations (FAs) in the group stage eliminations will be clustered under North, Central and South Luzon; Southeast Luzon, North Mindanao, South Mindanao, Central Mindanao and West Mindanao.

This is done because a PFF MA will only be allowed to field one team.

The National Capital Region (NCR) and the Visayas both automatically qualify for the regional finals.

Cebu Football Association (CFA) president Richard Montayre, who also heads the PFF grassroots and youth development committee, said this is so because the NCR is considered as one region while the Visayas only has five FAs—Negros Oriental Football Association (NORFA), Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA), CFA, Leyte Football Association (LFA) and the Iloilo Football Association (IFA).

They will be joined by all Luzon winners and all Mindanao winners in the regional finals.

It will be up to NCR and Visayas FAs on how they will select their teams.

As for the CFA, Montayre said its U23 team will be manned by a selection from the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (CESAFI). For its U19 team, coaches will still meet and decide whether to hold tryouts or elimination matches.

Meanwhile, the CFA through PFF also sent out invitations to the other FAs to participate in the 1st DRB Football Jamboree to be held from April 2 to 3 at the Aboitiz Sportsfield in Cebu City.

Aside from the U23 and U19 national championships, PFF also announced the holding of the “PFF Smart National Club Championships,” which is aimed at reviving the national local club competitions in the Philippines. This will also serve as talent identification for national football teams. /CORRESPONDENT MARS G. ALISON

Villaflor: Frozen Azkals, anyone?

THERE’S this vision in my head that’s been playing over and over the past few days to the point of overkill: it’s one of Ian Araneta, clad in an ordinary away kit, suddenly freezing in mid-air while diving for a header, as his frost-bitten nose falls to the ground, distracting a horrified Mongolian goalkeeper, and so allowing the ball to graze the frozen Azkal’s head straight to the back of the net for an away goal.

Such a “vision” must have come from a dream—a good one for the Azkals and the fans, but a chilling nightmare for Araneta, who is suffering from a serious goal scoring drought.

More : Sun Star Cebu

It is deja vu for Baguio boy who scored against Azkals

by Ramon Dacawi

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Feb.26 (PIA) – The crowd roared proudly when a local striker sporting No. 22 eluded Azkals skipper and defender Alexander Borromeo to score Baguio Pinikpikan’s only but highly redeeming goal in that 1-9 mauling by the national squad here last Wednesday.

At game’s end, however, hardly anyone bothered to know who the lanky forward was.

The instant fans of football rushed to Phil Younghusband and the rest of the overnight celebrity team for photos and autographs before dusk fell on the Benguet State University grounds.

That single goal for Baguio came from Mark Signabon.

Mark who?

More : PIA

UFL - News

Global beat Loyola 6-0 on Thursday.

February 27, 2011

Time Teams Venue
13:00 Union Internacional Manila vs Lions FC AScom Football Field, Fort Bonifacio
14:00 Navy FC vs Air Force Rider University of Makati, Football Field
15:00 Sunken Garden United FC vs Dolphins FC Ascom Football Field, Fort Bonifacio
16:00 Global Smartmatic vs Kaya FC University of Makati Football Field
18:00 Loyola Agila Futbol Club vs Army Fritz and Macziol IBM University of Makati Football Field
18:30 Stallions FC vs Japan FC Nomads Sports Club, Merville
20:30 Nomads FC vs Pasargad FC Nomads Sports Club, Merville

Azkals win 10-1

Azkals won 10-1 today against a Benguet Selection team.

Chieffy (Emelio Caligdong) scored 4 goals. Yanti Barsales 2 (?), Yannick Tuason scored

Younghusbands , Ian Araneta and Aly did not play.

Camcam goalkeeper.

25 February 2011

Azkals wrap up Baguio training

Philippines - The Philippine Azkals have completeds their weeklong camp in Baguio City and officials are satisfied with what the team achieved in the high-altitude training in the build-up for their AFC Challenge Cup away game against Mongolia next month.

“I’m very contented; we gained a lot from this camp,” said Azkals coach Hans Michael Weiss, who set the sessions at the Summer Capital to improve the stamina of the team.

“High altitude can lift aerobic endurance, which is what we need in the last 15 to 20 minutes of a match,” added the German mentor.

Yesterday at the Brent pitch, Weiss subjected the team to attack-oriented drills, staging a six-a-side play with bigger goals but a smaller field. He said this is intended to develop the players’ instinct to shoot during actual matches.

“The field is tight, the spaces are tight so with a few touches they can already shoot,” he explained.

The Azkals, who earlier swarmed the Baguio Pinikpikan team in a tuneup, 9-1, will play one more friendly this morning, against the Benguet Selection, before going back to Manila in the afternoon.

Philippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta said the Azkals will participate in the EDSA Fun Run on Sunday then resume training at either University of Makati or International School.

They are set to be in Fukushima, Japan for the final stretch of preparations March 6-12, hoping to acclimatize to the chilly conditions expected when they play Mongolia in Ulan Bator on March 15.

The Azkals thumped Mongolia in the first leg of the tie, 2-0, in Bacolod City, but Weiss cautioned fans against writing off the Blue Wolves altogether in the second leg. The Mongolians need to beat Phl by three goals to steal the tie and advance to the group stages.

“People think the game is already over which is not the case,” Weiss said.

The Azkals are gearing up for Mongolia with top goalie Neil Etheridge, defender Rob Gier and midfielders Chris and Simon Greatwich doubtful participants due to previous commitments. Likewise, midfielder Jason de Jong will be joining the team late as his new club, Persiba Balikpapan, has a scheduled game in the Indonesian Super League two days before the match.


Japan tune-up games for Azkals


MANILA, Philippines — German coach Hans Michael Weiss said the Philippine Azkals will play two Japanese university teams as part of their training camp in Japan starting March 7.

Weis said the matches will raise the team’s confidence as they prepare to meet Mongolia in their AFC Challenge Cup rematch next month.

The Philippine national football team wraps up its high-altitude training in Baguio City today as the 43-year-old Weiss looks forward for more challenging opponents in a bid to whip his boys into fighting form for the March 15 showdown in Ulan Bator, which ABS-CBN’s Studio 23 will continue to air live starting 12 noon.

“We’re hoping to arrange the matches on March 8 and 11,” Weiss said Thursday.

The matches are being arranged by the Japanese Football Association which agreed to host the Azkals’ training camp until March 12 in the J-League football facility in Fukushima, Japan.

The winter weather in Japan suits well for their preparation for the cold weather in Mongolia, which reportedly drops between -2 and -15 degrees Celsius.

“We still have to work on our rhythm,” said Weiss, who may miss four of his Fil-foreign players – goalie Neil Etheridge, Rob Gier and Simon and Chris Greatwich – because of various commitments.

“We still have to work on passing quality and the cohesion between midfield defense and backline.”

The Azkals close out their Baguio training today with another tune up match against a Benguet selection team. On Wednesday, the Azkals, powered by Phil Younghusbands’ four goals, crushed the Baguio-Benguet team in a friendly match, 9-1, before some 3,000 fans in La Trinidad, Benguet.

Manila Bulletin

4 key Azkals may not play

BAGUIO CITY—The prospect of playing the second leg of its AFC Challenge Cup qualifying match against Mongolia minus several key players isn’t putting a dent on the Philippine football team’s confidence.

Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, defender Rob Gier and midfielders Simon and Chris Greatwich may not be available for the Azkals in the second leg in Ulan Bator, but skipper Aly Borromeo expressed optimism that the squad will still be up to the challenge.

Filipino-Dutch midfielder Jason de Jong will arrive late for the crucial March 15 match since his new club, Persiba Balikpapan, will be playing an Indonesian Super League game two days before the match.

“The ones who are not available I cannot count on them as much as I might regret it,” said the Azkals’ German coach Hans Michael Weiss. “The ones who are here will do the job. We just need to make a few adjustments, especially with the goalkeeper.”

If Etheridge cannot make it, 30-year-old Army keeper Eduard Sacapano would make a rare start for the Azkals.

“It’s quite hard because we still don’t know the composition of the team that’s actually going to Mongolia,” Borromeo told the Inquirer shortly after the team’s training at Brent School grounds here.

“We don’t know if the other guys can make it. We’re just working on what we have, and I think the local guys can handle Mongolia.”

If the Azkals hurdle Mongolia, they will advance to the group stage qualifying in Myanmar against the host country,
Palestine and Bangladesh from March 20 to 31.

Borromeo stressed the importance of identifying a regular starting group for the Mongolia match as soon as possible.

The Azkals overpowered a Baguio selection, 9-1, Wednesday in their first tuneup match since beating Mongolia, 2-0, in the first leg in Bacolod City two weeks ago.


24 February 2011

Azkals will do the job sans Fil-fors

By Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star)

The Philippine Azkals turn up the heat in their preparations for their March 15 AFC Challenge Cup qualifying match with Mongolia, bracing up for the possibility of playing minus some key players in the second leg.

Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, who is currently in London, is doubtful for the away game due to his commitment with Fulham FC, the same with fellow Fil-foreigners Rob Gier and Simon and Chris Greatwich.

But the Phl squad, which beat Mongolia in the first leg, 2-0, remains upbeat it can make do with what’s available and complete the job against the Blue Wolves.

Azkals coach Hans Michael Weiss said he will utilize the available arsenal at his disposal. “The ones who are here will do the job. We just need to make a few adjustments especially with the goalkeeper,” he said.

With Etheridge participation still in question, Weiss is preparing substitutes Edward Sacapano, Christopher Camca and Paolo Pascual to possibly fill-in the Fil-Briton’s big shoes.

With three weeks left before their second leg with Mongolia on hostile ground, Azkals skipper Aly Borromeo admitted they still don’t have a clear idea who among the foreign-based Azkals will be able to join the team.

Hans Michael Weiss “We’re just working on what we have right now and I think the local guys can handle Mongolia. Then hopefully we can have all the guys back if we make it (past Mongolia and qualify) to (the group stages set later in) Myanmar,” Borromeo said after yesterday’s practice at Brent in Baguio,

The Azkals played one tune-up, scoring a 9-1 win over Baguio Pinikpikan the other day. They are set to play the Benguet Football Club tomorrow before returning to Manila.


Azkals crush Baguio selection

Azkals won 9-1 against Baguio selection : Video from ABS CBS news

YouTube - Azkals training in Baguio 6 (02/22/11)

Azkals in La Trinidad, Benguet

Phil predicts 5-0 win vs Mongolia

Philippine Azkals striker Phil Younghusband beats out his defender as he tries to put the ball on play during their tune-up match against the Baguio-Benguet selection Wednesday at the Benguet State University in Baguio City. (TONY PIONILLA)

BAGUIO CITY — If Mongolia plans to go on full tactical attack against the Philippine football team in their AFC Challenge Cup qualifying rematch on March 15, expect the Azkals to win in a breeze.

“If they (Mongolia) play more attacking because they need to score goals, then I think we can score 4-0 or 5-0 win,” said star striker Phil Younghusband, 23, told the Bulletin during a lull in the Azkals’ light training and football clinic with underprivileged children yesterday here at the Brent International School. “Their defense will open up, giving us more opportunities to score.”

The Blue Wolves lost to the Azkals, 2-0, in their first meeting in Bacolod City last month, and will need to be more aggressive in their home game in Ulan Bator to have the chance of turning the tide in their favor and advance to the group stage.

But it won’t be easy as they need to win by a margin of three goals.

In the event the Blue Wolves decide to be in defensive mode again, Younghusband is optimistic of mirroring their feat last time.

“Maybe 1, 2 or 3 to nil if we get lucky,” added Younghusband despite the fact that they will be missing the services of keeper Neil Etheridge, defender Robert Gier and Chris Greatwich.

Etheridge has a commitment to his club, Fulham in London.

It’s also uncertain if Jason de Jong, who was recently acquired by Persiba Balikpapan, a club in Indonesian Super League, can join the Azkals as he is currently training with the Indon team.

But team officials say De Jong will go to Ulan Bator for the match.

Despite missing some of his satyrs, Azkals coach Hans Michael Weis believes the remaining players can get the job done.

“The ones who are not available, I can’t count on them. As much as we regret it or find it pitiful, the ones who are here will do the job,” the German coach said. “It’s always like that in life. Sometimes we must make adjustments and sacrifices.”

Team manager Dan Palami, who arrived here Thursday, earlier said Eduardo Sacapano will be a suitable replacement for Etheridge in case the 6-foot-3 keeper will have to skip the game.

Manila Bulletin

Mongolia match live on Studio 23

Studio 23 Azkals vs. Mongolia match on March 15th LIVE at 12noon MLA time

Prime time replay of Azkals vs Mongolia on Mar. 15 will be at 7 p.m. on Studio 23. Other replays on St. 23 and BALLS will be announced soon.

23 February 2011

PFF sets regional U14, U15 tourneys

By Edri K. Aznar

THE Philippine Football Federation has finalized the schedule of the Girls Under-14 and Boys Under-13 Visayas regional tournament in San Carlos City.

Cebu FA president Richard Montayre, who met with PFF president Mariano Araneta and the other heads of the different commissions, said the tournament will be on March 25 to 27.

The elite teams of Cebu, Dumaguete, Bacolod, Leyte and Iloilo will be competing in the tournament, which will be the basis of the roster of the two national squads that will be competing in the Asian Football Confederation Festival of Football in June.

The Cebu Elite squad has started its preparation for the Visayas qualifiers and has already logged three practice sessions.

“Their training is okay. They just started and the line-up hasn’t been finalized. They are still in the initial stage but they still have a month to prepare,” Montayre told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday.

Montayre said that the schedule of practices for the elite squads will be on Mondays and Wednesdays at the San Roque football pitch and at the Cebu City Sports Complex football field on Saturdays.

Montayre also said that, in the meeting last Friday, they have finalized the policies, schedules of competitions and the referees and grassroots and youth development programs.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 24, 2011.

Azkals training in Baguio

Global Smartmatic makes 1st division debut vs Loyola Agila

Global Smartmatic makes its much-awaited debut in the first division in the United Football League when it battles Loyola Agila FC on Thursday at the University of Makati pitch.

Kickoff is set at 8 p.m. with Global looking to make an impact in its first game in the top-flight.

Rising to prominence with solid performances in the second division and the Cup competition, Global mixes it up with the big guns this time, confident that it can continue its success.

Global underwent a massive roster buildup during the off-season with last season’s second division Most Valuable Player Jerry Barbaso now getting plenty of help following the inclusion of several highly-touted players.

Brothers Izo and Badrelin El-Habbib and Misagh Bahadoran have bolstered the Global side, which gave up the rights to Aly Borromeo to returning squad Kaya FC before the league season started.

Borromeo played a key role in Global’s successful run to the Cup, where they dethroned Air Force with a scintillating 3-2 victory in the finals. Izo El-Habbib scored two goals, while Bahadoran booted in the other that beat Air Force.

Loyola lies fourth on the table after splitting its first two games. Loyola beat Navy, 3-1, in its first assignment, but bowed to Kaya, 0-1, two weeks ago.

They will have their hands full against a strong Global side, which boasts of a strong attack and a solid defense.

Global actually faces a tough four-day stretch as it is also scheduled to face league leader Kaya FCon Sunday also at UMak.

UFL website

Today : Azkals 9-1 Baguio-Benguet Select team

Today : 16.00 at BSU

Azkals won 9-1 against a Baguio/Benguet Selection team today.

Phil Younghusband scored 4 goals, Yanti Barsales, Ian Araneta, Joebel, Emelio Caligdong scored also.

22 February 2011

Jason Sabio - Grissom grad is shining star in native Philippines

HUNTSVILLE, AL -- Former Grissom High School soccer standout Jason Sabio recently assisted with a goal to give the Philippine men's national soccer team a 2-0 victory over the Mongolian national team Feb. 9 in Bacolod.

Sabio, who was accompanied to the game by his father, Huntsville internist Dr. Norman Sabio, assisted on the second goal, scored by Phil Younghusband to give the Azkals an insurance goal in the win.

A native of Manila, Philippines, who moved to Huntsville when in the fifth grade, Sabio will rejoin his teammates in Mongolia for a rematch in mid-March. He will then travel to Bangladesh in late March for a series of three pre-qualifying matches for the Asian Football Cup, a precursor to the 2014 World Cup.

The former Alabama state high school soccer Most Valuable Player, played on a four-year soccer scholarship at Birmingham-Southern where he led his team to back-to-back Southeastern Conference titles. He earned a bachelor's degree in biological chemistry, graduating cum laude.

Sabio was invited to play on a professional soccer team in northwest Germany, but because of personal obligations at home, he declined the invitation. After returning to Huntsville, he helped the Rocket City United professional soccer team win the Southeastern Championship in 2009.

Sabio has served as head coach for the John Carroll High School boys' soccer junior varsity team and as an assistant head coach for state champion boys' team at the Birmingham School. He has also served as head coach for the Huntsville High School girls soccer team and as a coach for Huntsville United Soccer Club.

He is currently enrolled in his second year of law school at the University of Alabama where he is a player/coach of the club soccer team.

The Huntsville Times (USA)

Weiss is Azkals' 'wise' guy


MANILA, Philippines — German Hans Michael Weiss could just be the right guy for the Philippine Azkals.

Barely a month since being named as the team’s head coach, Weiss helped polish the offensive skills of the Azkals as proven by their 2-0 win over Mongolia in the first leg of their AFC Challenge Cup qualifying series in Bacolod City.

In that game, the Azkals had 32 attempts – some of them just hit the bar while most were caught by the Mongolian goalkeeper.

“I think he (Weiss) saw the team’s problems (in offense),” Azkals team manager Dan Palami said recently. “And he found solutions to it.”

Palami credited Weiss, who succeeded British Simon McMenemy, for improving the Azkals’ offensive pattern.

Comparing their performance to the time when they reached the AFF Suzuki Cup semifinals against Indonesia last year, Palami said there’s a big difference.

“We now have more options in offense and the players are responding well to him (Weiss) in practice,” Palami said of Weiss, who began on Monday to whip his boys into fighting form in Baguio City for their rematch with Mongolia in Ulan Bator.

“Phil (Younghusband) is no longer the only option. Ian (Araneta) was there. Chieffy (Caligdong) was there. And Simon (Greatwich) was there. More players are now involved in offense.”

“If you look at our game in Indonesia (Suzuki Cup semis), our offense revolves on Phil. Ibigay lang yung bola sa kanya bahala na siya to do his thing in the middle. So pag-naclamp down siya ng defense, nasisira na diskarte ng team (Just give him the ball, it's up to him to do his thing in the middle. So when [the other team's] defense clamps down on him, the team's strategies are foiled.),” Palami said.

Manila Bulletin

Azkals training moved to Brent School


BAGUIO CITY. – Problems with the pitch at the Benguet State University has forced German coach Hans Michael Weiss to transfer the training of the Philippine Azkals to the Brent School International here.

"We had difficult conditions (at the BSU field.) The pitch was a little bit bumpy but we did control the ball and the boys made the best out of it," said Weiss, who is overseeing the Azkals’ training in preparation for the return match of their Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup series against Mongolia on March 16 in Ulan Bator.

The Azkals trounced the Mongolians 2-0 in Bacolod City last Feb. 9 and are here for high altitude training. The weather here is also intended to prepare the players for snowy conditions in Mongolia for the return match.

The BSU field was readied for Tuesday’s practice but Weiss instead brought the team to the Brent School grounds, saying it is nearer their hotel. Weiss said the travel time from their hotel to the BSU, nearly 45 minutes, is too long.

"Slowly but surely we are adopting to the cold weather," said Weiss, whose charges were hounded by autograph-seekers before their training session.

Baguio’s Pinikpikan squad, composed of varsity players from colleges and universities in the city, will practice with the Azkals Wednesday at the BSU grounds. On Saturday, the Azkals battle Benguet Etag’s, their last match before heading off to Japan to resume their training.

Coach Frael Aquino, the adviser of the BSU Soccer Club, said watching the Azkals train has given him new insights on how to train his local teams.

"Mas refined sila sa drills nila. All this is something new for us," said Aquino.

"Physically we had a good session in our first practice," Weiss said.


YouTube - The Philippine Azkals in the Azkals Bus

Fil-foreigners drop Mongolia trip ?

It seems that most of the fil-foreigners (foreign based ) players that played in first leg of the match against Mongolia is not going to Mongolia for second leg on
15. March.

Not going :
Neil Etheridge
Robert Gier

Doubtful :
Simon Greatwich
Jason de Jong

Possible :
Ray Jonnson

Confirmed playing in Mongolia :
Jason Sabio

Some of the expected reinforcements like Stephan Schröck, Chris Greatwich ,Dennis Cagara , Jerry Lucena and Patrick Hinrichsen will not be going to Mongolia.

Azkals team against Mongolia will be based on local homebased players and possible some few inexperienced fil-foreigners ?

If you got any news and opinion about the team for Mongolia, please post it in "comments" !

UST XI returns to finals

MANILA, Philippines - University of Santo Tomas, as expected, made it to the men’s finals of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines football event in 73rd season by blanking Ateneo de Manila University, 5-0, yesterday at the Erenchun field inside the Ateneo campus.

UST freshman Fidel Kue hit a goal in the 25th minute off an assist by Ojay Clariño to start the onslaught and the Tigers were never been stopped from thereon on the way to a 6-2-2 win-loss draw for 20 points – enough to hold the second place.

Other players who made a goal for UST were Ronald Bautista (40th), OJ Clariño (55th), David Basa (76th), and John Caballero (83rd).

Rookie Jinggoy Valmayor scored two goals as University of the Philippines posted a 2-0 victory against De La Salle University. UP collected 28 points on a 9-1-0 slate.

The UP-UST championship will be played on Sunday, where the Fighting Maroons are armed with a twice-to-beat advantage. They need to win only once to regain the crown it last won in 2009.

The Green Archers finished third with a 4-4-2 mark for 16 points.

UST gained the twice-to-beat bonus in the women’s finals by beating Far Eastern University, 2-1.


De Jong picks Persiba Balikpapan from many offers

Azkal Jason De Jong finally signed with Persatuan Sepak Bola Indonesia Balikpapan Football Club in the Indonesian Super League, after numerous offers in Indonesia.

"During the Suzuki Cup, a lot of people actually approached me wanting to be my manager and agent. To be honest though, I listened to everyone. I kept everything open. Actually I said yes to five different people, but then again I just picked the right one, the one that I like," he said.

"It's a big club in Indonesia. I think this is right for me. I hope I can develop there," said De Jong, who trained with the team on Tuesday.

News circulated that De Jong signed with Sriwijaya FC, another Indonesian football club. However, he clarified on his Facebook page that he did not sign with Sriwijaya due to disagreements on the terms of the contract.

The main concern though is will his stint with the Azkals be affected.

"I had a meeting with coach Weiss and Dan Palami and they said, 'Jason, we're gonna look for something that will work with the Azkals because we need you a lot here. Maybe not always for the first 11, but just to have you here for the team spirit,'" De Jong said.

Still available for national duties

Even if he has already signed with Persiba Balikpapan, De Jong assures that he will still be available to play for the Philippine national team.

Aside from their plan to beat Mongolia in Ulan Bator, De Jong is also excited for the Southeast Asian Games in November.

"Coach Weiss wants to build a youth team, and a lot of new guys are coming. If you think about it, they will be the Azkals in five years. They'll be the ones carrying the Philippine flag then. It's double the honor for me since I'm playing both in the Azkals and in the U-23 squad," he ended. - Mav C. Gonzales, JVP, GMA News

GMA News

21 February 2011

Azkals start training in Baguio

Cedelf P. Tupas

MANILA---The National men’s football team opened training camp for the second leg of its AFC Challenge Cup duel with Mongolia in Baguio City yesterday with the coaching staff led by German mentor Hans Michael Weiss putting emphasis on sharpening the squad’s finishing in front of goal which was left wanting in previous matches.

Azkals team manager Dan Palami said, aside from getting the players used to the cold weather, the training patterns in preparation for the Mongolia game on March 15 will also focused on improving the squad’s attack.

Weiss had rued the missed chances of scoring more in the 2-0 first leg victory in Bacolod two weeks ago with the
Azkals, for all their possession, failing to add to their advantage as Ian Araneta hit the post twice and several others missed a host of opportunities in front of the goal.

Palami said the Azkals won’t be just protecting their lead in the second leg which will be played in abject wintry conditions despite being set at 1 p.m., the hottest time of the day in Ulan Bator.

“If we can score more, then we will do it,” said Palami. “Definitely, we will not just defend against them.”

The Azkals will play a tune-up match on Wednesday against a select group of players based in Baguio. Another tune-up match is scheduled Saturday.

The Azkals aren’t complete yet in Baguio with several foreign-based players, including goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, Rob Gier, Ray Jonsson, Filipino-Danish standouts Jerry Lucena and Dennis Cagara, still with their clubs in Europe.

Brothers Phil and James Younghusband are already with the squad in Baguio, along with skipper Aly Borromeo and regular starters Anton del Rosario, Chieffy Caligdong and Araneta. Caligdong and Phil Younghusband scored the goals against Mongolia.

Jason de Jong, the Netherlands-born midfielder, is still in Indonesia trying out for teams in the Indonesian Super League.

Contrary to earlier reports, the 20-year-old De Jong, a defensive midfielder, has not signed up with Sriwijaya FC, after failing to impress Bulgarian coach Ivan Kolev.

The Inquirer tried but failed to contact De Jong, who will also undergo a trial with another ISL club, Persiba Balikpapan, according to Indonesian football website, bolaindo.com.

The Azkals are also scheduled to undergo a one-week camp at the Japan Football Association training facility in Fukushima, before they go to Mongolia for the second leg of the qualifying series.

Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta said he will request the JFA to also schedule a tune-up match for the Azkals, who rose to prominence with their semifinal finish in the AFF Suzuki Cup last year.


Michael Ortelli , a new Azkal ?

Michael Ortelli , a 21. y.o fil-French who plays for AS Lyon Duchère , fourth tier in France will get his Filipino passport on Friday.



Azkals gear up in Benguet


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet. – With an appreciative crowd watching, the Philippine Azkals kicked off their training stint here on Monday, part of their preparations for their Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup return match against Mongolia on March 16 in Ulan Bator.

The team’s German coach, Hans Michael Weiss, said the weather here, which dipped to as low as 12.4 degrees Celsius Monday, is perfect for his team’s preparations for the expected cold weather in Mongolia.

"We are really looking for cooler temperature. This is good weather," said Weis, whose charges trounced the Mongolians 2-0 in the first leg of the series last Feb. 9.

The coldest temperature here, recorded last Feb. 12, was 12 degrees Celsius.

The Azkals will spend the next seven days at the Benguet State University for their rigid training regimen and acclimatization, choosing the state-owned field over the Philippine Military Academy Grounds and Brent School International playing grounds.

Weiss said the BSU grounds will be perfect training area for the the Azkals, who will train twice a day–from 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. daily. On Wednesday they will have a practice match against the Baguio-Benguet Football Association team.

Frael Aquino, the adviser of the BSU Soccer Club, welcomed the Azkals’ training stint here, saying: "We are deeply elated for the opportunity; bihira lang ang ganito."

Aquino said the Azkals presence at the BSU grounds is expected to create a wider awareness for the sport in Cordillera. "We hope this will create a ripple effect," he said.

Weiss said the team will take advantage of the weather as well as fresh vegetables coming from the highlands that will be part of the team’s diet.

pic and article Malaya.com

Jason de Jong trial at Persiba Balikpapan

Pic : Jason de Jong in trial at Persiba Balikpapan on Wednesday.

Balikpapan Post

UFL - Sunday`s Results

February 20, 2011

Lions FC 0 - 3 Stallions FC ASCOM Football Field, Fort Bonifacio
Pasargad FC 6 - 3 Sunken Garden United FC ASCOM Football Field, Fort Bonifacio
Dolphins FC 0 - 2 Nomads FC Nomads Sports Club, Merville

20 February 2011

No contract for Jason de Jong !

Jason de Jong who has been practising with Indonesian club Sriwijaya FC did not get a contract with them .

Source : Sriwijaya Post

My Indonesian source tell me he is going to Persiba Balikpapan for trial. They are also playing in Indonesia Super League.

Latest : Bolaindo confirm that Jason de Jong may get a trial with Persiba Balikpapan

19 February 2011

JFA plays host to Azkals’ AFC Challenge Cup training

Cedelf P. Tupas

MANILA---The Japan Football Association has agreed to host a week-long training camp for the Philippine national team, which is preparing for the second leg of the AFC Challenge Cup qualifier against Mongolia next month.

Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta said yesterday in an overseas call to the
Inquirer from Jakarta that the Azkals will be allowed to train at the JFA facility in Fukushima from March 6 to 12.

The Azkals will play the Mongolians on March 15 in expected sub-zero temperatures in Ulan Bator. The team is actually starting its buildup for the second leg today in Baguio City, where it will be undergoing a week-long camp.

For the second leg, the Azkals only need to protect their two-goal cushion they earned during the first match at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod last week.

Mongolia can bundle out the Azkals with at least a 3-nil victory.

Azkals team manager Dan Palami welcomed the JFA’s response, saying the camp will help the team adjust to the conditions in Mongolia.

But Palami also expressed concern that if the Filipinos make it to the group stage—which has been moved from Bangladesh to Myanmar from March 20 to 31—the weather might also take its toll on the players.

“This will be very difficult since the players might play in extreme weather conditions in a week, that’s why we really need to prepare,” said Palami, who was the recipient of the Presidential Award during the Sportswriters Association of Cebu annual awards gala yesterday.

But more than the extreme weather, Palami said “complacency will be their biggest enemy in Mongolia.”

“That’s why I have coach (Hans Michael) Weiss to ensure that we train as if we’re 2-nil down rather than 2-nil up,” Palami said.

The PFF actually requested its Mongolia counterpart to hold a training camp in Ulan Bator, but Araneta said their request was turned down, leaving the federation with no recourse but to look for another venue.

Meanwhile, the Azkals have been seeded straight to the group stage of the AFF Suzuki Cup in 2012 for the first time, owing to their semifinal finish in last year’s tournament, Araneta said.

The Philippines and Myanmar were actually tied with 12 points each based on the records the past two stagings of the region’s most prestigious football tournament.

But the Azkals earned their ticket because of their semifinal appearance, which sparked renewed interest in the sport in the country.

Araneta said Thailand and Malaysia will host the tournament next year.

He said the Philippines will bid to host the tournament in 2014 and he has asked the tournament’s marketing arm, World Sport Group, to provide the logistical needs to host the biennial event.

inquirer sports

Azkals to train at BSU grounds

By Roderick Osis

WITH the unavailability of the Philippine Military Academy Borromeo Field, the Azkals will formally train at the Benguet State University in La Trinidad, Benguet.

BSU, in a statement confirmed the national football squad has chosen the school over Brent which has also been busy preparing their grounds for the Azkals.

According to BSU Soccer Club adviser, Frael Aquino, this will promote and develop football in the community, establish local followers, boost tourism and transfer training drills to local football enthusiasts.

Aquino emphasized the Azkals are allowed to mingle with fans only before and after training sessions.

The Azkals training schedules will be on February 21 to 22 at 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. On February 23 at 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., there will be a practice game between the Azkals and a team being formed by the Baguio – Benguet Football Association.

Training for the Azkals will resume on February 24 at 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., February 25 at 9 to 11 a.m. and at 4 to 6 p.m. and on February 26 at 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The Azkals are supposed to have their training in Cebu for ten days but opted to come up to Baguio instead because temperature in Mongolia these days reportedly reaches as low as -17 degree Celsius.

The visit of the Azkals is expected to trigger the region’s emerging football popularity despite the lack of proper playing venues.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 20, 2011.


VIENTIANE (19 Feb 2011) – Laos and Indonesia will each host two tournaments of the AFF this year – following the decisions of the AFF Council this afternoon in Kuala Lumpur.

The AFF U16 Championship 2011, in preparation for the AFC qualifiers, will be held on 7-17 July 2011 with the following groupings.

GROUP A: Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Timor Leste, Indonesia

GROUP B: Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore, Cambodia, Philippines

Indonesia, who were co-hosts of the AFF Suzuki Cup final round, will organise the AFF Futsal Championship and also the AFF Under-23 Championship.

The AFF Futsal Championship which will be a one-round league format, will be held in Jakarta in the second week of April 2011.

The teams taking part are Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand.

In the meantime, the AFF U23 meet which will most likely be held in Palembang will be held on 18-24 July 2011.

The tournament which is being used in preparation for the SEA Games this year see five teams taking part and they are Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Myanmar and Timor Leste.

The only remaining tournament this year is the AFF Under-19 Championship which will be hosted by Myanmar on 1-10 September 2011.

The groupings for the tournament are as follows:

GROUP A: Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia

GROUP B: Myanmar, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam


Laos to host 2011 AFF Women`s Championship

Vientiane in Laos will host 2011 AFF Women`s Championship in second week of October.

The participating teams for this meet are Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Laos and Vietnam.


No quarters given as Mongolia says no to Azkals' bid


MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Azkals will push through with their training in Japan next month after the Mongolian Football Federation turned down the team’s request to train there one week before their AFC Challenge Cup qualifying rematch against the Blue Wolves.

Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta, who was in Kuala Lumpur attending an ASEAN Football Federation meeting, said Saturday the team will leave for Japan on March 7.

Team coordinator Patrick Ace Bright said the Azkals will stay in Japan until March 13 before flying to Ulan Bator for the March 15 tiff where cold weather – between -2 and -15 degrees Celsius – is expected.

To get acclimatized, Araneta earlier requested the MFF to allow the Filipinos to practice in an artificial pitch there at least one week before the match.

But it was rejected, forcing them to consider going to Japan, which is also a good venue to get acclimatized since it is also experiencing winter weather.

By rejecting the Azkals, Mongolia has indicated that it will do everything to gain every advantage to get even with the Philippines which won their first game in Bacolod City, 2-0. To deny the Philippine side to advance, Mongolia must score three more goals than the Azkals.

If the Philippines topple Mongolia in their play-off match, it will join Myanmar, Bangladesh and Palestine in the group stage matches, which will be played in Yangon, Myanmar – and not Bangladesh, according to an AFC report in its website. These nations will comprise the Group A.

AFC also announced that Group B will be played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the participating teams are 2008 champions India, Pakistan, Chinese Taipei and Turkmenistan. Group C will be hosted by Maldives in Male. The teams are Maldives, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Cambodia.

Group D will be played in Kathmandu, Nepal with the teams being defending champion Korea, Sri Lanka, and the winners of the play-offs match between Bhutan and Afghanistan.

The group competitions are set March 20-31 with the top two finishers in each group moving in the next level for the finals.

The Azkals start their high-altitude training in Baguio City tomorrow under German coach Hans Michael Weiss, who just came back from a one-week respite in Japan.

Azkals seeded
Araneta said the for the first time in history, the Azkals will be among the six seeded teams when the AFF Suzuki Cup, the most prestigious tournament in the Asean region, fires off next year.

“Owing to our semifinals finish last year, we gained enough points to be among the seeded teams,” said Araneta, adding that Thailand and Malaysia will host the group stage matches.

“We’re actually tied with Myanmar for the sixth spot, but organizers chose us to be the seeded team.”

The other five seeded teams are Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and defending champion Malaysia.

The Azkals reached the Suzuki semifinals for the first time last year, but failed to advance to the finals after losing to Indonesia on aggregate 2-0 score.

The Azkals also pulled the rug from under Vietnam, 2-0, in the ealy rounds that set the stage for the Azkals’ brush with fame.

Manila Bulletin


KUALA LUMPUR (19 Feb 2011) – Malaysia and Thailand have been announced as the two hosts of the preliminay round of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012.

This follows the 18th meeting of the AFF Council for session 2007/2011 this morning in Kuala Lumpur.

The last AFF Suzuki Cup which was held just last December was a resounding success for the federation when Indonesia and Vietnam played hosts to the group stage.

More than 200,000 fans were at the two stadia which played hosts to the two-legged final at the National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur as well as the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.

The last time Malaysia played hosts was back in 2004 alongside Vietnam while Thailand were hosts in 2006 with Indonesia.


Villaflor: Belo and the First 11: A cougar tames the Azkals

By Noel S. Villaflor

EVERYBODY loves the Azkals.

Casual fans, hardcore fans, converts, the foreign press, and, of course, the corporate sponsors, who are now gushing with newfound belief in the sport, as they line up to ink a deal with the Philippine Men’s National Team.

And that includes Dr. Vicki Belo, Cosmetic Surgeon to the Stars, who has pulled a coup by getting the Azkals as “celebrity endorsers.” In exchange, the Pinoy footballers will receive “regular skin treatment since they spend most of their time under the sun,” and probably some financial aid.

That’s supposed to be welcome news, right?

Not to the Azkals fans, especially the women, who are going nuts over the issue. Shortly before a link of an ABS-CBN online report was posted, fans of an open group forum on Facebook were already fuming over how certain media personalities in the capital have turned the Azkals phenomenon into one big showbiz circus, asking the footballers about their love life, eating habits, the alignment of the planets, and just about anything that has nothing to do with football.

Enter Belo and her endorsement deal.

More Sun Star Cebu

18 February 2011

Jason de Jong join Indonesian club Sriwijaya

Jason de Jong has joined Indonesian club Sriwijaya FC in Indonesian Super League.

Sriwijaya FC is number 6 in Indonesian Super League at the moment and is playing playoff for AFC Champions League this Saturday.

Jason de Jong is already practising with the team.

Sriwijaya Post

CFA to hold tryout for Girls U-14 team today

THE CEBU FOOTBALL Association (CFA) is calling all girls football player aged 14 and born 1997 to take part in the Cebu Girls U14 tryout today at the Aboitiz Sportsfield in Subangdaku Mandaue City.

The tryout, which will start at 6 p.m. and last until 8 p.m., will be conducted by coach Eleazar Toledo, Apple Barinan and Claudette Zapanta.

CFA will be looking for 22 girls to form the team which will be seeing action in the regional finals to be held in San Carlos City from Feb. 25 to 27. The Cebu U14 girls will face teams from Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Iloilo and Leyte.

The regional winners will be made as the basis in comprising the RP U14 girls team that will compete in Vietnam fort the AFC Festival of Football this June.

The Cebu U14 girls will be sponsored by DRBSPORTS. The CFA and DRBSPORTS will be organizing various football events. First of which is the DRB Football Jamboree, an 11-a-side football festival, on April 2 and 3 at the Aboitiz Sportsfield.

The football jamboree is just the first of five mini-series tournaments that DRBSPORTS plans to organize as part of their advocacy to help in the grassroots development here in Cebu. /CORRESPONDENT MARS G. ALISON

Cebu Daily News

Manager fears frostbite for Azkals more than Mongolians


MANILA, Philippines — Ulan Bator, Mongolia’s capital city, is considered the coldest national capital city in the world, with temperature dropping to as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius in January.

When the Philippine Azkals fly in there next month for their second AFC Challenge Cup qualifying match against the Blue Wolves, the capital will be more hospitable with temperature a little warmer ranging from - 2 and -15 degrees.

Still, Azkals team manager Dan Palami is worried for his players’ welfare there and even fears of them getting frostbite, a medical condition where the skin is damaged due to extreme cold.

“I fear a lot. Hindi ko alam kung ano pang pwedeng mangyari dun... and frost bite is a possibility. So we really have to be prepared for that,” said Palami on Thursday when the Azkals visited one of their sponsors, Inasal at Iba pa restaurant, at SM City Sta. Mesa in Manila.

“I’ve been to - 4, but not to play football but as a tourist. When I went to Germany (the coldest place he’s been into), it’s already -2, and in London, -4.”

“But I’m not looking forward to being in a colder place. But here we are, we have to go to Mongolia... The fear is always there, siyempre. Hindi ko alam baka mag-freeze nalang yung mga players natin,” Palami, who has been the team’s godfather since last year, said.

Team captain Aly Borromeo agreed.

“Cold weather is a factor. Mahirap dun... not anything close to that pero we’ll be prepared,” said Borromeo, adding that the coldest match he’s been into was eight degrees in the United States.

To quash any of his fears from happening, Palami said they are looking at two options to help the players get acclimatized with the freezing weather: First is to train in an artificial pitch in Mongolia a week before the March 15 match if the Mongolia Federation permits it, or if rejected, make a side trip to winter weather in Fukushima, Japan for a week.

Team doctor Randy Molo said the minimum acclimatization requirement is three days. In his forwarded e-mail to Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta on Thursday, Molo recommended the players to wear base layer or compression garments – sleeved/sleeveless pro-compression t-shirts, gloves and warm up gear (bonnet and ear covers) on game day.

“We’ll have to wear appropriate clothing. That’s why the key is to acclimatize,” Palami said.

Dr. Molo, though, said the wearing of sleeves will have to be lobbied by Palami during a manager’s meeting days before the match.

Molo said the cold weather is more of a concern than the high altitude adjustment since Ulan Bator lies at an elevation of about 1,310 metres (4,300 ft) in a valley on the Tuul River.

Starting Sunday, when German coach Michael Weiss gets back from a Japan vacation, the Azkals will train in Baguio City, which sits at 1,500 meters (5,100ft).

Manila Bulletin

Fans mob Azkals in mall appearance

By TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines -- For the first time since their successful win against Mongolia in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup qualifying match in Bacolod, the Philippine Azkals made a public appearance to meet their Metro Manila based fans.

Hosted by a Bacolod Inasal restaurant in SM Sta. Mesa, the Manila-based Azkals were in full force on Thursday to meet their fans, some of whom even skipped class and work to see their new sports idols in the flesh.

Minus Filipino-foreigners like Neil Etheridge, Jason de Jong, Rob Gier, Ray Johnson, among others, the Azkals still drew their loyal fans.

Although Phil and James Younghusband arrived late coming from a previous commitment, the crowd patiently waited and screamed in delight when they saw the Fil-Brits come down the escalators.

Young and old, the Azkals fans lined up to get their autographs and pictures with their idols. A group of students were even shy to show their face on camera because they cut class to be there, and a grand mother even said she can die now that she had seen Phil.

The Azkals also spoke to the press about their plans to prepare for the second leg against Mongolia and how they feel their popularity is now competing with basketball.

abs cbn news

More talent in Azkals’ player pool

Cedelf P. Tupas

MANILA---The Philippine football team has widened its player pool for the AFC Challenge Cup group stage qualifying with the inclusion of foreign-based players and those taken from the tryouts that German coach Hans Michael Weiss conducted last month.

Among the additions in the 48-player list that will be submitted by the Philippine Football Federation to the AFC are Filipino-Danish goalkeeper Michael Falkesgaard, Filipino-Germans Patrick Reichelt and Manuel Ott and Filipino-Scottish James Hall.

Falkesgaard, 19, is a goalkeeper currently playing for Brondby in the Danish second division.

He has represented Denmark in the Under-19 and Under-20 levels, but Azkals team manager Dan Palami is still inviting the 6-foot-3 Falkesgaard to join the national team since the International Football Federation (Fifa) allows players to switch countries at any level.

Palami learned about Falkesgaard from Filipino-Danish players Dennis Cagara and Jerry Lucena, who are also expected to see action for the Azkals if they make it to the group stage qualifying in Bangladesh.

Reichelt, who stands 5-foot-10 and can play striker or winger, is attached with Energie Cottbus II in the German fourth division, while Hall signed a one-year deal with the English Premiere League club in 2007.

Hall, 21, has long been in the Azkals’ wish list but injuries and his commitment with Everton before prevented him from suiting up for the Azkals. He, along with younger brother Ryan, was in Bacolod to watch the Azkals beat Mongolia, 2-0.

The 18-year-old Ott, who plays for FC Ingolstad, started in the three games for the Azkals in the AFF Suzuki Cup qualifying event in Vientiane, Laos last year.

Palami is still hoping that Filipino-German rightback Stephan Schrock, who plays for Greuther Furth, will be able to beef up the squad if it makes it to Bangladesh.


Pic : Michael Falkesgaard

AFC Challenge Cup - Philippines to Myanmar

Kuala Lumpur: The hosts for the four qualifying groups of the AFC Challenge Cup 2012 have been confirmed by AFC.

Group A will be hosted by Myanmar in Yangon. The teams in this group are: Myanmar, Bangladesh, Palestine, and the winners of the pre-qualification match between Mongolia and the Philippines (second leg) on 15 March (The Philippines won the first leg 2-0). The match days are 21, 23 and 25 March.

Group B will be played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the participating teams are 2008 champions India, Pakistan, Chinese Taipei and Turkmenistan. The match days are 21, 23 and 25 March.

Group C will be hosted by Maldives in Male. The teams are: Maldives, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Cambodia. The match days are 21, 23 and 25 March.

Group D will be played in Kathmandu, Nepal. The teams are: Nepal, 2010 champions DPR Korea, Sri Lanka, and the winners of the pre-qualification match between Bhutan and Afghanistan (23 and 25 March). The match days are 7, 9 and 11 April.


17 February 2011

Winter is Azkals' worst enemy

By Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines – National football team skipper Aly Borromeo said the other day he’s more worried about the freezing conditions than the Blue Wolves when the Azkals play the closer of their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup qualifying home-and-away series in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, on March 15.

Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano Araneta Jr. is worried, too, and that’s why he’s arranging for the Azkals to train for a week in winter weather at the J-Village, a training camp in Fukushima, north of Tokyo, before proceeding to Ulan Bator.

Araneta said Mizuno will outfit the Azkals with thermal uniforms, anticipating the temperature to drop to -2 degrees Celsius even as the match is scheduled at 1 p.m. when the climate is least chilling. He said the weather forecast is a temperature range of -2 to -11 for most of March.

“We’ll be prepared,” said Araneta. “We’ll bring gloves, thermal wear, scarves and even bonnets. We’ve never played under these conditions before. We’re eager to find out how the weather will affect our speed and agility.”

The Azkals open training camp with German coach Michael Weiss in Baguio on Monday. Araneta said if Mongolia won’t provide a practice facility a week before the match, the team will leave for Japan on March 6 then travel to Ulan Bator on March 12.

Team manager Dan Palami is circulating an information kit on Mongolia to forewarn the Azkals of what to expect, specifically weather conditions. Mongolia and the Philippines fall within the same time zone but their climates are like night and day. Palami said the match will be played in a stadium with a capacity of about 2,500, a far cry from the 80,000 fans who jeered the Azkals in two Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup semifinal matches in Jakarta last December. He added that ABS-CBN intends to air the Mongolia contest live on Philippine TV.

Borromeo, 27, said the Azkals won’t play Mongolia defensively like the Blue Wolves in the opener at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City last Feb. 9.

“We won’t park the bus like they did against us,” said Borromeo. “We can’t let them set the pace. We’ll try to get off fast and look to score. If we score once, they’ll need to get four goals to beat us on aggregate. We’ll put the pressure on them.”

Borromeo referred to Mongolia’s defensive strategy when the Azkals won, 2-0, in the first match. The Blue Wolves concentrated on clogging the penalty box in a “sacrifice” ploy to avoid a deluge of Filipino goals. Mongolia’s offense was virtually carried by only striker Ganbaatar Tugsbayar. As a result of Mongolia’s “parking” strategy, the Azkals booted in only two goals of 32 attempts. Palami estimated that the Philippines controlled 80 percent of total possessions. In Mongolia, the Blue Wolves are expected to play aggressively on offense.

“Aly and our defenders should be able to handle their offense in Mongolia,” said Palami. “They’ll have to open up their defense and be more offense-minded because they’ll need to beat us by three goals to win on aggregate. That means we’ll have more scoring opportunities.”

Borromeo said he expects Weiss to employ more offensive tactics now that the German has become more acquainted with the Filipinos’ tendencies. Weiss was credited for making “wise” decisions in the first Mongolia match, including the reinstatement of Chieffy Caligdong as starter, shifting players around the field to keep the Mongolian defense guessing and subbing little-known Jason Sabio for Anton del Rosario late in the second half.

“Coach knows the game,” said Borromeo. “And he’s gotten to know us. He’s spoken with us one-on-one and in groups. He knows what we’re capable of doing and not doing. He listens to suggestions but in the end, it’s his call and we follow what he tells us. When he brought in Jason, some of us wondered why he was subbing a defender for another defender. But it was a great move. Mongolia didn’t know anything about Jason. It was Jason who slipped out of the defense to penetrate the box and assist Phil (Younghusband) for the second goal.”

Borromeo said fullback Roel Gener, a Barotac Nuevo defender from the Philippine Army, was moved around in at least four different positions by Weiss to confuse the Blue Wolves.

Gener, 36, said the Azkals were prepared to play even 180 minutes if necessary to put on a convincing performance before over 20,000 hometown fans.

Borromeo, Gener, reserve midfielder Nestorio Margarse and pool-of-30 tryout survivor Ricardo Becite were accompanied by Araneta, Palami and AFF vice president Johnny Romualdez on a visit to The Philippine STAR office in Port Area the other day.

Margarse, who was listed as one of seven reserves but didn’t play at Panaad, described Mongolia as a physical team but said the Filipinos can play physical, too. Becite was named to the Azkals’ pool-of-30 after tryouts but didn’t make the cut for the 23-man lineup. He said he’ll keep working hard at practice to prove he’s got what it takes to crack the final roster.


Etheridge or Greatwich Phl XI skipper

By Joey Villar (The Philippine Star)
MANILA, Philippines – Fil-Britons Neil Etheridge and midfield Simon Greatwich appear to be front runners for the position of team skipper of Philippine Azkals team to the 26th Southeast Asian Games slated Nov. 11-25 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Current team skipper Aly Borromeo and manager Dan Palami felt either Etheridge or Greatwich, members of the RP squad that beat the Blue Wolves of Mongolia, 2-0, in their AFC Challenge Cup duel last Feb. 9, would fit the bill for the Jakarta-bound Azkals.

“They’re (Etheridge and Greatwich) both capable but we’ll see what happens when we already have the team,” said Palami during his visit to The STAR with some members of the Azkals and Philippine Football Federation officials Wednesday.

“I think Neil Etheridge would do but he’s not here often though,” said Borromeo.

“Simon Greatwich could too,” he added.

Palami, however, said the two players could be named co-captains of the Under-23 SEAG squad.

“That’s possible but we will wait for the team to be completed before we decide on it,” said Palami.

Among the current members of Azkals, only six are eligible to play since the SEA Games allows only players 23-years old and younger to see action in the biennial meet.

Aside from the 21-year-old Etheridge, who plays for Fulham in the English Premier League, and Greatwich, also 21, who is with the Hartwick Hawks in college, 20-year-old midfielder Jason de Jong, 21-year-old David Basa and Fil-Germans 19-year-old Mark Drinkuth and 18-year-old Manuel Ott are shoo-ins for the team.

The rest of the slots will be filled after the PFF stages a regional Under-23 tournament where the best players from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao are expected to vie for berths.


Cold or not, Azkals ready vs Mongolians

MANILA, Philippines — Living in a tropical country like the Philippines, the closest Emilio “Chieffy” Caligdong could get or feel a snow is when he opens a refrigerator.

But for his Fil-foreign teammates who grew up in Europe, winter season is part of life.

With players living half a globe apart, it’s no big surprise that the Philippine Azkals have contrasting opinions about playing under a freezing condition.

The Azkals will battle Mongolia on March 15 at Ulan Bator for their rematch in the AFC Challenge Cup qualifier, and whether or not the cold temperature there – which drops to negative 20 degrees – will work in the Filipinos’ favor remains to be seen.

Azkals team manager Dan Palami said the match is set at 1 p.m., reportedly the warmest time of the day at minus 10 degrees.

Caligdong, who scored the first goal in the Azkals’ 2-0 triumph over Mongolia in the first leg of their home-and-away series in Bacolod City, admitted the weather condition may affect their performance in Mongolia.

“Of course, it will be a little difficult for us to play under that condition because we’re not accustomed to it,” the 28-year-old product of Barotac Nuevo, said in Filipino yesterday. “But hopefully, through our training in Baguio City and maybe in Japan, we can get used to it.”

In his six-year international campaign with the national team, the ace striker from the Philippine Airforce said he has never played in a country as cold as Mongolia. He ranks his stint in the Suzuki Cup in Hanoi, Vietnam last year, where temperature is similar to Baguio City (about six and 8 degrees) as the coldest condition he’s ever been with.

While playing in Mongolia seemed a disadvantage for Caligdong, Fil-British Phil Younghusband, a former Chelsea reserve in England who has vast experience playing in cold condition, sees it otherwise.

“We have played many matches in Europe, in the cold. And I think it’s a lot easier playing under that condition. In the heat you sweat a lot… I’d rather play in the cold,” Younghusband, 23, said in a recent interview.

“With the Fil-Foreigners that we have in the team, the weather might be on our side after all,” Younghusband, who scored the other goal in the Azkals’ latest win, said.

Manila Bulletin

2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers - Format changed ?

The original format of the World Cup qualifiers was released by AFC on their website in July 2009. Philippines unseeded and could meet any of the seeded countries in Asia except top 5 who get direct entry to Third Round. That could mean that Philippines would meet countries like Iran , Iraq and Uzbekistan in the First round.

AFC website

Latest report from Chinese Sports website SINA is that the format been changed. Philippines still unseeded and will play on 29. June and 3. July , but against one of these seeded teams : India, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Nepal, Vietnam, Sri Lanka


The new format has not been confirmed by AFC yet.

16 February 2011

Palami confident of Azkals chances

Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - National football team manager Dan Palami said yesterday he doubts if Mongolia will score against the Azkals in the rematch of their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup qualifying home-and-away series in Ulan Bator on March 15.

“Our defense will take care of their offense,” said Palami during their visit to The STAR. “Our defense is intact and I expect their defense to open up because they’ll be attacking to try to score goals. I think our midfield will be able to control their offense.”

Palami said he’s confident that goalkeeper Neil Etheridge will be allowed by his English club Fulham to play in Mongolia. Etheridge, 21, was born in Enfield, a London borough, and traces his Filipino roots to the Dula clan of Tarlac. He joined the Chelsea football academy in 2003 with the Younghusband brothers, James and Phil, also Fil-British players. In 2006, Etheridge was enlisted by Fulham. Two years later, he made his debut with the Philippine team in the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers.

Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano Araneta Jr. said if Etheridge is permitted by Fulham to play only either in Mongolia or the Challenge Cup group stage in Bangladesh, he would suggest skipping the rematch in Ulan Bator.

The group stage competitions are set on March 20-31. If the Philippines overcomes Mongolia, it will advance to play Myanmar, Palestine and Bangladesh in Group A of the Challenge Cup. The top two finishers will move on to join six others, the top two placers in three other groups, in the eight-team Challenge Cup finals. Myanmar is the only country ranged against the Philippines from the qualifying stage that has a higher FIFA ranking. Myanmar is No. 149, the Philippines No. 152, Bangladesh No. 157 and Palestine No. 178.

If Etheridge is unable to play in Ulan Bator, his place will likely be taken over by reserve goalie Eduard Sacapano, a 30-year-old veteran from the Philippine Army.

Palami said only 18 players will travel to Mongolia. A spot in the roster is being held for Danish-born Jerry Lucena, a midfielder with the Danish Division I club AGF Aarhus.

If Lucena is issued his Philippine passport, he will join the Azkals in Ulan Bator, said Palami. Lucena, 30, was born in Esbjerg, Denmark, to a Filipino father and a Danish mother. He played for the Danish under-21 selection in 2001.

Palami said the full complement of 23 players will fly to Bangladesh if the Azkals make it to the group stage. A possible addition to the lineup for Bangladesh is Filipino-born William Espinosa of Laguna. The striker was raised and learned football in Germany where his surname was legally changed to Gueridon although his passport still carries Espinosa. He was one of four Azkals who scored in a recent practice match against a Korean team, reinforced by two Filipinos, from the Central Philippine University of Iloilo.

Azkals coach Michael Weiss confirmed in an e-mail to The Star that “we will stick with the team but will have vacant positions for tryouts.” Weiss said the Azkals start training in Baguio on Monday and are tentatively scheduled to fly to Mongolia on March 8.

Araneta said if Mongolia won’t provide a facility for practice, the Azkals might take a side trip to Japan to get used to winter conditions. “If we can’t train in Mongolia one week before the competition, then we’ll request Japan to assist us for the team to train and acclimatize to the cold weather,” he said.

Weiss said the immediate goal is for the Azkals to play in the Challenge Cup finals. “We’ll go as far as we can in the Challenge Cup,” he said. “I think we should be able to beat Mongolia and perhaps, finish in the best eight.”

The Philippine team will be reconfigured for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Palembang, Indonesia, in November because the age limit is 23. But while the Younghusbands, Aly Borromeo, Ian Araneta and Chieffy Caligdong won’t qualify, there are more than enough eligible players, including Etheridge, Jason de Jong, 20, Simon Greatwich, 21, Mark Drinkuth, 19, Mark Ferrer, 21, David Basa, 21, Manuel Ott, 18, Jerry Barbaso, 22, Gino Pavone, 22 and Christopher Camcam, 16.

Palami said unfortunately, Lucena and Espinosa are over the age limit for the SEA Games.


UFL - Kaya keeps top spot; Air Force, Army post first wins

Aly Borromeo scored on a sweetly-struck volley in the first half and Kaya FC survived a hard-fighting Green Archers Orient Freight side for a narrow 1-0 victory Sunday in the first division of the United Football League at the Alabang Country Club.

Borromeo, fresh off his stint with the national team in the AFC Challenge Cup in Bacolod, delivered the marginal goal in the 16th minute as Kaya kept their perfect record two matches intothe season.

Reigning champion Air Force Rider also opened its campaign on a stylish note with a 4-nil drubbing of Loyola Agila, even as Army Fritz and Macziol subdued Navy, 2-1, in another first division clash at the University of Makati pitch.

National players Ian Araneta, Chieffy Caligdong and Yanti Barsales were all on target for the Airmen, who are gearing up for a keenly-awaited clash with Kaya on Sunday. Air Force edged Kaya for the league title last year.

Ricardo Becite, benefitting from the training with the Azkals in Bacolod, and another national team player, Nestorio Margarse, struck for Army, which moved up to second on four points from two matches.

Navy, which equalized earlier through Loreto Kalalang before they were pegged back by Margarse’s strike, stayed winless in three matches.

Green Archers remained with a lone draw to show, a point they earned against Army on opening day three weeks ago.

Nomads and Stallions sustained their devastating forms in the second division, cruising to one-sided wins to remain on top.

Nomads blanked Lions, 5-0, while Stallions, not to be outdone, whitewashed Dolphins, 7-0. Japan FC notched its second win in three matches by downing Sunken Garden, 5-2, while Pasargad, returning to the pitch after losing via forfeiture last weekend, scored a convincing 5-nil rout of Union Internacional Manila.Getting a pass from Azkals teammate Anton del Rosario, Borromeo deftly controlled the ball with a chest trap before firing into the back of the net in a goal closely similar to the one he scored in the 1-0 win over Timor Lester in the AFF Suzuki Cup three years ago.

Borromeo combined well with Yannick Tuason in the 27th minute, but Tuazon was unable to double the lead as his shot went wide. Borromeo was denied a second goal in the 63rd minute when his shot hit the bar and Kaya nearly paid for its complacency when Archers earned a late penalty.

If only for their two missed penalty kicks, the Archers were undeserving of getting points from the match.

Patrick Bocobo also wasted a chance to equalize three minutes before halftime when his weak effort went straight to Kaya goalkeeper Saba Sabeghi.

Just when everyone thought that Kaya was to cruise in injury time, they were nearly punished. But Chris Camcam gathered the first penalty in the 92nd minute. Another penalty miss in the 94th minute ensured Kaya’s victory and doomed Green Archers.


The First Division matches scheduled on February 20, 2011 at the University of Makati are postponed due to unavailability of the pitch. The ff: matches are as follows:

•Green Archers Orient Freight vs Loyola ATR KimEng
•Global Smartmatic vs Army Fritz and Macziol
•Kaya FC vs Air Force Rider
We request the fans to standby for further notice.

UFL website

15 February 2011

Women’s football in SEA Games scrapped

THE Philippine Football Federation may have to send the national women’s team to other international meets this year.

This is because organizers of the 26th Southeast Asian Games have decided to scrap women’s football from the roster of sports for the biennial meet.

Informed of this development, PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta said he will meet with women’s committee chairman Rafael Vilela of Davao to review the status of the women’s team once he gets back from a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Football Federation in Kuala Lumpur this weekend.

“Malalaman natin ang lahat sa meeting ng AFF ngayong weekend sa Kuala Lumpur,” said Araneta.

According to online articles, the Indonesian SEA Games Organizing Committee has scrapped women’s football because organizers are finding it difficult to find a standard-sized football ground.

The INASOC said they need at least two Asian Football Confederation-standard grounds, and training facilities as well.

INASOC’s decision will mostly affect Vietnam, the reigning women’s football champion in the SEAG, which is lobbying for the inclusion of the event.

Meanwhile, the PFF will present its plans and programs to the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation, which is thinking of giving financial assistance to the federation.

Araneta has already met with Pagcor Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, who said Pagcor is ready to give the PFF a “substantial” amount once they have reviewed the federation’s plans and programs.

“We will take it up with the board. This will be separate from what we give to the PSC,” said Naguiat, who added that the financial package will have to be coursed through a non-government organization. Peter Atencio

Manila Standard Today

Two Indonesian clubs woo Azkals’ skipper

Cedelf P. Tupas

Two Indonesian football clubs have expressed interest in tapping the services of Philippine team skipper Aly Borromeo.

The 27-year-old Borromeo, who plays central defense for the Azkals, told the Inquirer that Semarang United and the Medan Chiefs have contacted him for a possible deal to play in the Indonesian Premiere League.

“I’m still negotiating right now and if the league is a go and the offer is something I can’t refuse then I’ll do it for a few years,” said Borromeo, who currently plays for Kaya FC in the United Football League.

Borromeo has also been invited to try out with a few teams in League 1, the third-tier league in English football. Among the teams are Plymouth and Brighton, he said.

But Borromeo is intrigued by the offer to play in Indonesia since the “money is better.”

Phil and James Younghusband, who are Borromeo’s teammates in the national team, have also been offered a contract to play with Jakarta FC in the IPL, considered by the Indonesian Football Federation as a “rebel league.”

But the deal has been stalled because of concerns that the brothers could be sanctioned for playing in a league not sanctioned by the International Football Federation (Fifa).

Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta yesterday said he will ensure that the national players will be protected when they play in Indonesia.

“We want to look after the interests of our players,” said Araneta. “We know there is a problem in Indonesia but it’s an internal problem. We want to make sure that our players can still play for the national team.”

Borromeo said that the league set to be put up by PFF sponsor Smart Communications is “promising.”

“However, I also have to concentrate on my own career and clubs abroad are interested,” Borromeo said.

“The support towards football abroad is still far from our local league. Hopefully in the near future we can make a comfortable living playing locally.”