31 May 2011

Football: Iloilo Captures PFF Men’s National U-19 title

By PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian

The Iloilo Football Association beat National Capital Region Football Club-B (NCRFA-B) thus capturing the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Men’s National Under-19, 2-1 held at San Carlos City, Negros Occidental here recently.

The Negros Oriental Football Association (NORFA) also defeated NCRFA-A, 3-0 to claim third place.

Eight teams bracketed into two participated in the tournament which started May 20 to 29, 2011.

The other teams are Bukidnon Football Association, Football Association of Rizal along with NCRFA-A and NORFA in Group 1.While Iloilo Football Association,
NOCOFFA, NCRFA-B and Naga-Camarines Sur Football Club in Group 2.

Individual awards were also given to outstanding players. Julius Sumagaysay of Iloilo Football Association romped off with Best Goalkeeper award; his teammate Jenery Gabuan won the Best Defender award; Paolo Salenga of National Capital Region Football Association-B (NCR) as Best Striker; and native of San Carlos City and regular member of Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) loaned to Iloilo, John Marcellana was voted Most Valuable Player.

Iloilo Football Association also won the “Fair Play Award”.

US News Las vegas

Azkals matches in Germany

Azkals schedule for matches in Germany :

15. Juni Association Düren 19:00 Uhr
17. Juni Bonner SC (5. Division)
20. Juni Ingoldstadt (2. Division)
24. Juni Darmstadt 09 (3.Division)

UFL All Stars team against Azkals

Source : UFL Facebook

Match on 5. June , 6 pm at UMAK (University of Makati)

30 May 2011

Azkals to face UFL All-Stars in a friendly match Sunday

By Cedelf P. Tupas

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine national football team gets to gauge its progress in its preparation for the 2014 Fifa World Cup Qualifying when it takes on the United Football League All-Stars on Sunday in a friendly at the University of Makati pitch.

It will be the last test match for the Azkals before they leave for Duren, Germany, on June 12 for a two-week training camp as part of their buildup for their first-round qualifying match against Sri Lanka on June 29.

Some of the Azkals based abroad are expected to play in the friendly, including starting goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, midfielder Simon Greatwich and defender Jason Sabio, who will join regulars like Aly Borromeo, Anton del Rosario and Chieffy Caligdong.

The Azkals return to Manila on Tuesday to resume training at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, after a five-day camp in Cebu.

Meanwhile, the UFL title match between Air Force Rider and Global Smartmatic was reset to Wednesday night after rains rendered the UMak pitch unplayable Sunday night.

Army Fritz and Macziol IBM and Kaya Cignal battled to a 2-2 stalemate in an ill-tempered match that saw four players ejected, while Loyola Meralco Sparks overwhelmed Green Archers Orient Freight, 5-2.

Army locked up third place after increasing its output to 20 points, while Kaya dropped to fifth with 14 points, although it still has a remaining game.

The Sparks, who drew four second-half goals from Mark Hartmann to rally from a two-goal deficit, finished the season with 15 points to secure at least a fifth-place finish.


Baguio Football - Visiting Nomads rule Victory Cup

VISITING squad Nomad Sports Club snatched four age group championships to run away as the top winner in the recently concluded Victory Cup 2011 at the Brent International School football field.

Thirty-one teams from different schools and clubs in Luzon duked it out for the coveted Victory Cup award, a yearly competition organized by one of the country’s largest and most trusted bus liners, Victory Liner Inc.

Victory Cup 2011 marks the eighth consecutive year Victory Liner has sponsored the football match.

For two days, football fanatics trooped to the grounds of Brent International School to cheer on their favorite teams.

Nomads Sports Club went on to win the top prize in four categories – 10 under, 12 under, 14 under and the Open Ladies Division.

Other winners include Tarlac Football School – 8 under division and Brent Baguio – 18 under division.

Football fever has risen this year and with the appetite continuing to surge, we can all expect Victory Liner to continue fuelling the passion and excitement for the game. (Roderick Osis)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 30, 2011.

29 May 2011

Davao kids in PH team

TWO young footballers from Davao City have been named to the Philippines U13 boys football team, which will compete in the Asean Football Confederation (AFC) Festival of Football from June 1 to 7 in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

Darius Joseph Ramos Diamante and Javier Romero-Salas, both of the Ateneo de Davao University, were the only players from the Davao Region taken in by the national team. The PH boy booters will be playing nine other countries in the week-long tournament.

Both 13 years old, Diamante and Romero-Salaws didn't just earned slots to the national squad, they were also picked captains of the young booters bound for international competition. Diamante was picked skipper of the first team and Romero-Salas was named captain of the second team.

Joy Ramos Diamante, Jed's mother, said Philippine Football Federation (PFF) officials made the announcement of the two Davao players' inclusion to the PH team last Saturday in Cebu where the players participated in a clinic conducted by some members of the Philippines Azkals at the Aboitiz Field.

Diamante and Romero-Salas had undergone training with other U13 players from others parts of the country since April 25 before they officially secured slots to the national team. Both players have been teammates since the time they played in the U6 tournaments.

Jed, as Diamante is called, has two brothers who were also named to the PH U14 team--Gio and Gelo. Diamante, who started playing soccer whe he was still five years old under coach Christian Eya, graduated from Grade 6 as salutatorian.

Both Diamante and Romero-Salas qualified to the PH U13 team when they were selected by coach Bing Colina during the PFF Mindanao finals held at the Deca Homes in Davao City. Both players have been teammates in Palarong Pambansa tournaments as well in a series of as competitions in Europe.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 30, 2011.

Cebu Football - Hiroshi ends drought

ALTHOUGH they were down early in the Men’s Open championship match of the 11th Cebu Amateur Football Club National Interclub Football Cup yesterday at the University of San Carlos-Technology Center pitch, Hiroshi FC showed the will of a champion to score a come-from-behind win over, 5-4, over Waterfresh-Queen City United (QCU) in penalty shootout.

Waterfresh-QCU had the first half advantage with a goal in the 40th minute from Rocky Garciano, one of former Hiroshi players who have transferred to other clubs.

The arrival of the Azkals must have been a lucky sign for Hiroshi FC because just as their bus stopped right behind the QCU goal, Hiroshi FC team captain Voltaire Montebon scored an amazing 25-yard free kick from the left flank, getting through the wall and through the Waterfresh-QCU goalkeeper in the 62nd minute.

There was a brief five-minute pause in the match, as the crowd flocked near the sidelines when the Azkals, led by goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, disembarked from the team bus and walked up the stage to watch the ongoing Men’s Open championship match. The Azkals were also in attendance to award the winners of the tournament.

As soon as the Azkal-mania subsided, both teams continued to play physical football but neither squad could hit the target at the end of regulation, with the match tied at 1-1.

Hiroshi had a chance to dispose of its rival squad in the first half of extra time with two shots on target but the Waterfresh-QCU’s custodian was able to deflect both shots. A volley by Harold Buot just from outside the box forced a save, while Junard Aguilar also had his shot deflected.

Waterfresh-QCU started to find its rhythm in the second half of extra time but they also failed to hit the back of the net.

In penalty shootout, Hiroshi FC once again found themselves trailing, 2-1, after Waterfresh-QCU stopped second kicker Rommel Cortes. Both teams next kickers hit the back of the net to make it 3-2.

Then misfortune struck Queen City. Rene Menchavez hit his shot wide, opening the way for Jan Michael Flores’s equalizer.

Queen City’s last kicker and former PHL 23-Under teammember Arnie Pasinabo also missed his strike, hitting the right post, while Buot calmly hit the back of the net to spark a wild celebration of the club.


“We didn’t lose hope. We were really aiming for a championship,” Montebon, who was named the MVP, told Sun.Star Cebu.

Montebon and Frederick Alazas worked hand in hand for the revival of the club, which used to dominate local football.

“We started from scratch but we believed in ourselves. It was a matter of composure,” said Alazas, who added the team wasn’t able to practice much owing to their busy schedule.

Alazas said it has been a long time since they won an 11-a-side title that he can no longer when their last title run was.

Earlier that day, Abellana National School-Pomeroy remained unbeaten and overwhelmed home team USC-TC, 6-2, to win the Boys 17 crown.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 30, 2011.

Philippine team to hold mall tour today

SUPPORTERS of the Philippine National Football Team will have the chance for a meet-and-greet with their idols as the team heads to Ayala Center Cebu today for their mall tour at The Terraces, at 3 p.m.

Among the crowd favorites who will be present in the event are Phil and James Younghusband, goal keeper Neil Etheridge and Simon Greatwich.

Joining them are Cebuanos Paolo Pascual and Nathan Burkey, Roel Gener, Yanti Bersales, William Espinosa, Yannick Tuazon, Ricardo Becite, Eduard Sacapaño, Christopher Camcam, Nestorio Margarse, James Rochmitz and Misagh Bahadoran.

Team Captain Aly Borromeo, Ian Araneta, Chieffy Caligdong and Anton Del Rosario flew back to Manila last Saturday for their game in the United Football League. Borromeo will be back for the event while Araneta and Caligdong are still unsure of returning.

Aside from the players, coaches and staff of the team will be around, headed by team manager Dan Palami and head coach Michael Weiss.

Only those who have a meet-and-greet pass can access the VIP area during the event. The pass is good for two persons only.

Meet and greet passes can be availed of by shoppers who will purchase the “I Heart Azkals” shirt worth P300 at the Privilege Desk. Holders of the meet and greet pass will also have a picture taken with the team.

Ayala, in partnership with the Cebu Football Association, also held a weekend football clinic for kids 5 to 12 years old. The participants had their culmination exercises yesterday with the national 13-Under team, also known as the Little Azkals.

The proceeds of the clinic will be given to the CFA for the benefit of the Little Azkals, who will be competing in an international tournament this June.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 30, 2011.

UFL - Sunday`s results / Global vs Air Force cancelled

Green Archers 2 (Pasilan 11" 27") - Loyola 5 (Cutamora 22", M. Hartmann 70" 82" 87" 93") FT

Kaya 2-2 Army . Goals Kaya : Aly Borromeo, Anton Del Rosario
Army : Meliton Pelayo and Romano Vestal

Global vs Air Force at 6 pm was cancelled because of unplayable field. Match will be played on 1. June

Cebu - Azkals at Ayala

Wear your love for AZKALS for only P300 and get a meet and greet pass good for two (2) on May 30, 3PM @The Terraces! Available in the Privileges Desk starting Friday, May 27. Limited edition only! Good until supplies last! (Proceeds go to Cebu Football Association)

PFF U19 - Iloilo Champions !!

PFF U19 Finals Sunday in San Carlos City

Iloilo 2-1 NCR B

Iloilo PFF U19 Champions !!

Third place match

NCR A 0-3 NORFA (Dumaguete)

NORFA (Dumaguete) win third place match

Sri Lanka easy prey for Azkals?

by Peter Atencio

LITTLE is known about the Sri Lankan national team—the Brave Reds—the Philippine Azkals’ first opponent in their first home-and-away match for the World Cup qualifying encounters.

Most of the Brave Reds came from the Sri Lankan Premier League and have yet to come up with an impressive showing in the international scene.

In the group stage competitions of the 2012 Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup two months ago, the Brave Reds finished Group D with a draw and a loss.

Azkals team manager Dan Palami said members of the squad feel upbeat of their chances in coming up with convincing wins after viewing the game tapes of the Brave Reds recently.

“We watched the tapes of their game. If we continue what we’re doing and with new players coming in, I think we have a good chance of getting past them,” said Palami.

The Brave Reds have four experienced players, whom they are counting on playing in club tournaments in India, namely goalkeeper Sugath Dammika Thilakaratne, Channa Ediri Bandanage, along with midfielders Mohamed Izzadeen and forward Kasun Jayasuriya.

On the other hand, the Philippines will be fielding its best lineup in recent years and could give the Brave Reds a run for their money.

The presence of Fil-British goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, Rob Gier, Aly Borromeo, the Younghusband brothers Phil and James, Ray Jonsson, Angel Guirrado, William Guerridon, Chris Greatwich, Lucena, and Anton del Rosario will enable to the Philippine Azkals to hurdle their assignments against the Brave Reds.

At the moment the Azkals are in Cebu for a weeklong training camp, and are staying at Plantation Bay in Mactan.

Manila Standard Today

28 May 2011

Cebu Football - Aroroy upsets USC-TC, 1-0

Aroroy FC scored a 1-0 upset over division leader University of San Carlos-Technology Center (USC-TC) to bring home the crown in the Girls 17 category of the 11th Cebu Amateur Football Club yesterday at the San Roque pitch.

USC-TC was unbeaten in the elimination round and defeated Masbate’s Aroroy FC twice in the tournament. But somehow the visiting squad found a way to beat USC-TC, courtesy of an early goal from Tessa Marie Jazul, who was awarded with the Golden Boot, in the second minute.

USC-TC had countless scoring opportunities the whole match, including two free kick attempts outside the box in the waning minutes of the game, but somehow the ball just wouldn’t hit its target.

MTI successfully defended its crown in the Boys 14 division after a razor-thin 1-0 victory over Abellana National School-Pomeroy.

Mark Joseph Felicilda, who won MVP honors, scored the lone goal of the championship match in the first minute.

Meanwhile, San Carlos City’s Los Amigos edged out home team Paref-Springdale and grabbed the Boys 12 crown with a 1-0 win yesterday at the Paref-Springdale football field.

Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, on the other hand, defeated San Roque Royal United, 2-0, to clinch the Players 10 title also at the Paref-Springdale pitch.

The championship games of the Men’s Open and Boys 17 divisions will played today at the USC-TC pitch followed by the formal awarding, which will be graced by the PHL National Men’s team, the Azkals.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 30, 2011.

Azkals share expertise with kids

The Philippine National Football team shared their expertise with selected kids in a football clinic yesterday at the Aboitiz Field.

The Azkals trained the members of the Under-13 national team who dubbed themselves the Little Azkals. The young players are set to leave for Malaysia this Monday to face nine countries in the Asean Football Confederation Festival of Football.

“It’s an inspiration for the kids who are looking forward to be one with the Azkals someday,” said Richard Montayre of the Cebu Football Association.

Five Cebuanos made it to the lineup of the Little Azkals, who will be sent on the first international Under-13 competition of the AFC. The country was able to send a national team for the Under-14 tournament last year.

“This is a stronger team this year,” said Montayre.

Coach Elying Toledo revealed that the kids were excited to meet their idols but he constantly reminds his players to stay focused as they are down to the final days of training. “Masaya kasi dito rin kami nagsimula. Magandang way ito para mapromote yung football grassroots,” said striker Ian Araneta.

Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, who is visiting Cebu for second time, said he hopes for more kids to be involved in football clinics.

“Helping children learn football is a great experience for me,” Etheridge said.


Meanwhile, Azkal forward William Espinosa dislocated his elbow in a non-football related accident when he fell off-balance from a jetski while frolicking with the team.

He was brought directly to Mactan Doctors’ Hospital but no fracture was reflected in the X-ray results. Espinosa is in half cast right now.

“He will be ready in one to two weeks. There is no problem on fitness,” said conditioning coach Josef Malinay.

On the other hand, Anton Del Rosario caught a viral infection that was very similar with what derailed Chad Gould.

He was hospitalized but is expected to recover in the next few days.

“I feel fine. I had instructions not to sweat too much. Just give me a few days and I’ll get right back into it,” Del Rosario said. (CDG)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 29, 2011.

'Judgement Day' Sunday as Air Force Rider, Global Smartmatic clash

The race for the United Football League title boils down to one final game as defending champion Air Force Rider meets Global Smartmatic Sunday at the Uniiversity of Makati pitch.

Kick off is at 6 p.m. with the UFL league crown at stake. The two squads also played for the UFL LBC Cup with Global winning an enthralling final, 3-2, last January.

Air Force, with a league-leading 26 points and plus-23 goal difference, is looking to complete a sensational ride to a second straight title.

Global, on the other hand, will be seeking to punctuate its remarkable turnaround from second division titlist to top-flight champions and add to its Cup triumph earlier in the year.

Global set the stage for the final-day drama as it dismantled Navy FC, 8-0,Wednesday night at the UMak pitch, behind a hat-trick from Izo El-Habbib.

The result meant that Global moved up to 23 points in 11 matches with a plus-22 goal difference.

The Airmen only need a draw on Sunday, but a 1-0 win for Global will also be enough for them to wrest the title.

Two equally interesting matches are also scheduled Sunday with Kaya Cignal facing Army Fritz and Macziol IBM at 4 p.m. after Green Achers Orient Freight plays Loyola Meralco Sparks at 2 p.m.

Attendance in Sunday matches has steadily risen this year and another huge crowd is expected when the league's top two teams collide.

Despite its unbeaten record, Global seemed to have faded out of the title race after a run of five draws.

During that same stretch, Air Force started picking up its game, allowing them to nearly pull away from the UFL pack.

But Global gave themselves a lifeline with a 1-0 win over Kaya Cignal Sunday where Aaron Altiche scored the goal that saved its title aspirations.

Air Force could have sealed the title earlier, but they lost to Kaya, 0-1. The Airmen came to life anew with a 6-0 drubbing of Army Fritz and Macziol IBM last Sunday.

With both squads in a rich vein of form, the final should be too close to call. Air Force and Global also played to a 1-1 draw in the first round.

Army is coming off a 3-nil win over Loyola Wednesday.

UFL Website

Where to catch the Azkals

What I am most excited about this weekend is the fact that the national football team is in town.

The Philippine Azkals are so popular that it is difficult to take them around without attracting hordes of fans.

This 4 p.m., the team will be holding a practice session at the Aboitiz Sports Field in Subangdaku, Mandaue City. I was told that there is an entry fee of P100 for those who want to watch. There is ample parking in the Aboitiz Sports Field so you don’t have to worry much about your vehicle.

The Azkals will be back there tomorrow from 7 to 10 a.m. and in the afternoon they will be at the University of San Carlos-Talamban field for the awards ceremony of the 11th National Interclub Football Cup.

This football event is organized by the Cebu Amateur Football Club, the mother association of the Queen City United teams.

The Azkals are again scheduled to be back at the Aboitiz Field on Monday morning still from 7 to 10 and then in the afternoon, they will be at Ayala Center Cebu.

Having followed football for a long time as a sportswriter and at many instances also a player in the school and club tournaments, I am very happy to see the sport get that much attention.

There is, however, a price for fame and I’m sure that the Azkals would also appreciate it if the fans would allow them to do their practices without being bothered by autograph seekers and those wanting to snap pictures that they would post on their Facebook pages.

Maybe after the practices, this can be done, so please bear with the team officials if you are told not to go near yet and wait for the proper time.


27 May 2011

Cebu Football - Springdale boots out SHS-Ateneo to advance

DESPITE the muddy football pitch which made it difficult for the players to pass the ball, Paref-Springdale booked a finals seat today against the Los Amigos in the 11th Cebu Amateur Football Club Interclub (CAFC) National Football Cup at the Springdale football field.

Springdale defeated Sacred Heart School- Ateneo De Cebu 2-1 in yesterday’s Boys 12-Under semifinals.

Jomigo Rafols scired first for Springdale in 4:31 minutes, before Ateneo’s Kurt Cuizon tied the match with a goal in the 12th minute.

With eight minutes left and Ateneo making two failed attempts to score, Springdale’s Ryan James Haosen shocked the crowd as he took the ball from the halfway line and made an incredible score to lead, 2-1.

“It was really a difficult game for my players on the muddy pitch but I am glad that they were able to pull it off. I just hope we will have a good weather for tomorrow’s finals,” Springdale’s head coach Mario Ceniza said.

Springdale will have a tall order when they face tough players from Los Amigos of
San Carlos City, who scored an 8-0 win in their semifinal match against Danao.

Los Amigos’ Shanden Vergara contributed four goals for Los Amigos, while Tristan Perez had three. Derick Clivert Domicello contributed one for the team.

Last year, Springdale bowed to Don Bosco Technological Center in the 12-Under boys finals.

In the Boys’ 10, San Roque Royal United (SRRU) booted out Danao in a penalty shootout, 4-3, for today’s finals. SRRU will face Ateneo, which defeated Queen City United, 5-2.

Mandaue Technological Institute won against Ateneo, 2-1, to face Abellana National School in the Boys 14-Under finals. ANS booked a finals seat after blanking Ormoc FC, 4-0.

In the Boys 17-Under, Blessed John Seminary bowed to Manila Soccer Academy, 6-2, while Ormoc FC pummeled University of San Carlos North Campus, 8-0.

USTC faces Aroroy FC of Masbate in today’s Girls 17-Under finals.

In the last day of the men’s open elimination round, D-League bowed to USTC, 7-0, and SRU won against Hijos Del Pueblo, 5-2.

In today’s men’s open semi-finals, Hiroshi will face SRRU, while Waterfresh Queen City United will play against USTC.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 28, 2011.

Baguio Football - Karika Cup ready to kick off weekend

EVEN WITH the strong rains expected to lash the region with Typhoon Chedeng, the monthly staging of the Karika Cup is set to push through this weekend.

Scheduled on May 28, the Karika Cup, according to organizers will push trough as scheduled, however, if strong rains hit the summer capital by Saturday, officials said they are willing to postpone the games on Sunday, May 29 also at the Melvin Jones Football grounds.

Typhoon Chedeng (international codename: Songda) was not expected to make landfall but will skirt along shores with winds stronger than 150 kilometers per hour and rainfall of 30 millimeters, the government weather bureau said.

Several teams are expected to list up for the three age groups of the competition in the 12 and under (boys and girls), 10 and under (boys and girls) and 8 and under (mixed) categories.

Entry fees for the tournament will be at P200 per team.

Karika Cup was initially organized as a birthday tournament last February but due to the good turn-out and request from parents and coaches, the tournament saw its second staging March 27.

Since then, the tournament has been transformed into Baguio’s grassroots football tournament catering to the 3 grassroots categories of 8-under, 10-under and 12-under with the vision of keeping Karika Cup rolling on a monthly basis so kids can play and enjoy football in a football festival setting and improve their skills.

The tournament is also a self-funded competition with volunteer referees from the Baguio United Football Club, Inc. and the continued support of the Baguio football coaches, parents and football aficionados. (Roderick Osis)

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

Azkals’ match in Rizal Memorial stadium to be a full-blown fan experience

Didn’t fully enjoy the Azkals’ game in Pana-ad? Didn’t get to go to Bacolod at all? Just watched the match on television or Youtube?

Fret no more because the upcoming World Cup qualifiers match at the Rizal Memorial Stadium is bound to be a great experience for the fans.

The Philippine Football Federation wants to "create an atmosphere where the people will enjoy being there" at the home leg of the Azkals versus Sri Lanka series.

According to Bonnie Ladrido, chairman of the local organizing committee for the World Cup Qualifiers, the PFF will try to make fan shirts available so expect a sea of either blue or white across the newly-renovated stadium.

But more than the shirts and the comfier seats, what the fans should really watch for is the “booster squad" which will lead the crowd in cheering the Azkals on.

Memories and lessons of Panaad

“I was at the game in Panaad last February. The fans felt a little lost when it came to cheering for the team. Fan support for the Azkals is pretty much young, so the cheers could really be worked on," said football fan Joes Santos.

“But I really hope they don't use the theme song from Pinoy Big Brother again. It was as cheesy as it was annoying," Santos remarked.

The Fan Management Committee led by Richard “Ebong" Joson – the guy with the face paint and blue wig during the Panaad game – will put together the booster squad. It will be made up of about 50 people who will create organized cheers for the Azkals.

More : GMA News

PFF U19 - Iloilo win semifinal

The semifinals in PFF U19 have been played today

Iloilo won 2-0 against NORFA (Dumaguete)

NCR A and NCR B played in other the semifinal.

26 May 2011

Cebu Football - Aroroy in semis; ANS stays perfect

VISITING squad Aroroy FC earned a trip to the finals following a decisive 3-0 win over Queen City United (QCU) in the Girls 17 division of the 11th Cebu Amateur Football Club Interclub National Football Cup yesterday at the San Roque football pitch.

Aroroy of Masbate finished with six points from two wins and two losses, while QCU finished the week-long tournament winless.

Aroroy will face division-leader University of San Carlos-Technology Center (USC-TC) in the championship match tomorrow at the San Roque football field.

Abellana National School (ANS)-Pomeroy also earned a semifinal spot after going unbeaten in the elimination round with a 2-1 victory over Manila Soccer Academy (MSA) in Group A of the Boys 17 category at the USC-TC football grounds. Blessed John XXII
Seminary, on the other hand, settled for a draw with Paref-Springdale.

ANS-Pomeroy finished with the No.1 spot in Group B with 12 points, while BJS and MSA are contending for the second semi-final berth with four points each.

In Group A of the Boys 17 class, Ormoc bagged a much-needed win against Sacred Heart-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) for a possible slot in the semi-finals.

USC-TC automatically clinched a semi-final berth because of its unbeaten record even though the host still has a game left. SHS-AdC finished the elimination round with six points, while Ormoc also has six points and a win today could catapult the team to the semifinal round.

In the Men’s Open division, Waterfresh-QCU remained atop of Group B with a 4-2 routing over Hijos del Pueblo, while B-Meg captured its first win of the competition after crushing Count FC, 3-0.

In the Boys 14 division, ANS-Pomeroy routed BJS, 6-1, while Ormoc FC overwhelmed MMIS, 4-1, in the Boys 14division.

ANS-Pomeroy also topped its group and is set to face Ormoc FC in the semifinal round today at the San Roque pitch. MTI is up against SHS-AdC in the other semifinal match.

SHS-AdC beat Aroroy FC, 3-0, in the Boys 12 class, while Count FC thrashed SJSM/3 Bros., 4-0, and QCU defeated Canduman, 4-1, in the Players 10 division.

In the semifinals of the Players 10 division, San Roque Royal United will take on Danao FC, while SHS-AdC will face QCU today.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 27, 2011.

Tagum, Igacos to field teams in beach football

City and the Island Garden City of Samal will field teams to the Kicksand Beach Football Mindanao Leg slated June 10 and 11 at the Bluejaz Resort and Waterpark in Igacos.

Organizer Neilwin Joseph Bravo of the F1 Event Solutions said Thursday that they have extended slots to 16 teams per category from the original 12 teams each for the men's and women's divisions.

"We put a limit on the number of entries but more teams signified their intention to play so we have to open more slots. Teams from Montevista and the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) have also signed up in the 5-A-Side tournament," Bravo told members of the Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) during their weekly forum at the Tower Inn.

The free-registration event allows participants to avail of free boat trip to Blue Jaz and free entrance. They can also pitch their own tents for their convenience so they don't have to travel daily during the two-day competition.

Bravo also said the construction on the beach football field at Blue Jaz may be completed on Sunday or Monday, so participants could practice days before the tournament, which serves as selection process for the national team that will see action in the 2013 Asian Beach Games.

More beach football events will be organized at the resort to utilize their new playing field.

The Visayas leg is set on Saturday and Sunday in Boracay following the inaugural leg held in Subic recently.

The Kicksand is organized by the Beach Football Association of the Philippines and endorsed by the Philippine Sports Commission. (MLSA)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 27, 2011.

Football out of SEA Games?

DESPITE problems confronting the Football Association of Indonesia, which may affect Indonesia’s hosting of the 26th Southeast Asian Games, Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta said the national under-23 football team will still continue their preparation for the biennial meet.

Araneta’s statement came in the wake of reports that the International Football Federation may suspend the membership of the Football Association of Indonesia for its failure to elect a new set of leaders during its congress last Friday in Jakarta.

“There is a problem in the hosting of the SEA Games. Baka sila ma-suspend at hindi matuloy ang SEA Games football sa Indonesia,” said Araneta after he was told by PSSI secretary general Joko Driyono that Indonesia has a “2000 percent chance of getting suspended by the FIFA.”

The fate of the men’s football competitions in the SEA Games will now depend on the outcome of an executive council meeting, which the FIFA will hold this Friday in Zurich.

If FIFA decides to suspend Indonesia, the ASEAN Football Federation will decide in its meeting on July 16 whether to hold the SEA Games football competition as a separate event.

Araneta added that some complications may also arise from the suspension.

He explained that if SEAG organizers decide to hold football as a separate event, the SEA Games Federation Council may also have to decide whether to include the sport in the medal count.

“We’ll just have to wait for the FIFA decision. If Indonesia is suspended, maraming complications ang mangyayari,” added Araneta.

Football officials in Malaysia, meanwhile, have sent feelers that they are willing to host the football competitions.

According to reports published by the Jakarta Globe, FIFA’s ban on Indonesia from international football could include the World Cup qualifiers and the SEA Games.

Last Friday, the scheduled PSSI’s elections ended in a deadlock as supporters of a breakaway group demanded that a ban on the nomination of two “reformist” candidates be lifted.

Army chief of staff George Toisutta and oil tycoon Arifin Panigoro were among the candidates banned from contesting the vote for chairman, along with outgoing football official Nurdin Halid following allegations of corruption.

Manila Standard Today

Azkals - Final 23-man list for World Cup qualifier ?

"During a brief press conference, Coach Weiss said that he will soon come up with the 23-man list whom he will bring to Germany for training in preparation for their World Cup Qualifier against Sri Lanka in Manila on June 29."

Azkals team in Cebu :

Aly Borromeo
Paolo Pascual
Chieffy Caligdong
Ian Araneta
Roel Gener
Yanti Barsales
William Espinosa (Fil-German)
Yannick Tuason
Ricardo Becite
Edward Sacapano
Christopher Camcam
Nestorio Margarse
James Rocklitz (Fil-Am)
Nathan Burkey (Fil-Am)
Anton Del Rosario
Neil Etheridge (Fil-English)
Jason Sabio (Fil-Am)
Simon Greatwich (Fil-English)
Phil Younghusband (Fil-English)
James Younghusband (Fil-English)
Leigh Gunn (Fil-Australian)
Misagh Bahadoran

Possible players joining team in Germany

Rob Gier (Fil-English)
Jerry Lucena (Fil-Danish)
Stephan Schröck (Fil-German)
Angel Guirado (Fil-Spanish)
Dennis Cagara (Fil-Danish)
Ray Jonsson (Fil-Icelandic)
Patrick Reichelt (Fil-German)
Kevin Ingreso (Fil-German)
Olivier Pötsche (Fil-German)
Manuell Ott (Fil-German)
Jason de Jong (Fil-Netherlands) ?

My list got 33 men. I am not sure if they will add any new local players now ? Could be 1 or 2 new fil-foreigners joining in Germany ?

Will they be going with 23 men from Philippines and add fil-foreigners based in Europe or will the final 23 men list for Sri Lanka be released now ?

Who do you want added to this list , who do you want to be dropped ?

Discuss !

15 members of Philippine Azkals arrive; set to meet fans on Monday

THEY have been hounded by star-struck fans wherever they go.

But yesterday morning, some 15 members of the Philippine Azkals, the country’s newest sports heartthrobs, managed to avoid the usual pandemonium upon their arrival in Mactan Cebu International Airport, thanks to a standby bus, a separate exit and police escorts.

Arriving with head coach Michael Hans Weiss were Azkals team captain Aly Borromeo, Cebuano Paolo Pascual, Chieffy Caligdong, Ian Araneta, Roel Gener, Yanti Bersales, William Espinosa, Yanick Tuazon, Ricardo Becite, Edward Sacapano, Christopher Camcam, Nestorio Margarse, James Rochmitz and new member Nathan Burkey.

Anton del Rosario and Neil Etheridge will arrive today while Jason Sabio, Simon Greatwich and James and xPhil Younghusband will arrive this weekend.
Azkals team manager Dan Palami will arrive tomorrow.

Azkals media coordinator Jojie Ronda said the team is here for team building but that they also have other activities including a meet and greet with local fans.

During a brief press conference, Coach Weiss said that he will soon come up with the 23-man list whom he will bring to Germany for training in preparation for their World Cup Qualifier against Sri Lanka in Manila on June 29.


As for Cebuano-British Chad Gould whose bid to re-join the team was sidelined by an infected mosquito bite, coach Weiss said that they would have to see how fast he recovers but that his chances are very slim after he was advised by his doctor not to play football for two weeks.

Meanwhile, Ronda said having police escorts was not their idea but they were thankful because they were able to avoid heavy traffic on their way to the Grand Convention to attend a lunch hosted by the Cebu Amateur Football Club (CAFC).

“Our bus is big and the roads here are narrow unlike in Manila. If not for those police escorts we would have arrived for lunch at 2 p.m. because of the heavy traffic,” Ronda said.

Jojo Rodriguez, the team’s administration officer, also denied that there is a ban for local media, an issue that came up when the team used a different exit at the airport, unwittingly eluding sports writers.

Writers who followed the Azkals bus were also banned from entering Plantation Bay and were told that only the Sports Unlimited crew will be admitted for an exclusive coverage.

Rodriguez said they had no such arrangement with the hotel.

Ronda explained that the Azkals will be available for interviews anytime except when they are having their team building activities and training. /CORRESPONDENT MARS G. ALISON

Cebu Daily News

25 May 2011

Suzuki Cup aftermath angers sponsor


MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Football Federation should be more decisive in implementing tournament rules to avoid future controversies, an official of Suzuki Philippines, the title sponsor for the recently held PFF Under-23 tournament, said today.

Suzuki spent P3.2 million for the first ever national age group football competition to help discover talents for the Southeast Asian Games later this year.

But the three-month tourney descended into chaos after protests and counter-protests by the opposing teams in the home-and-away finals almost scrapped the second game.

Negros threatened to walkout of the second game finals when officials restored the 1-1 tie on regulation during the first game in Iloilo which it won 3-1 on extra time. The team only agreed to play the second game when football officials bowed to pressure and gave Negros the victory.

Negros then routed Iloilo, 9-0, for an emphatic 12-1 victory on aggregate.

But the aftermath left the sponsors disheartened if not disgusted. It had spent millions to give the sport a boost but lack of decisiveness on the part of the PFF almost ruined what could have been a very successful tournament, leaving the sponsor to wonder if it would support this event again next year.

“I just hope that next time, the PFF will prepare a more stringent regulations to abide by and implement it to all until the end to avoid the protests that we’ve encountered,” said Eilleen Esteban, PR manager of Suzuki, whose company also sponsors football tournaments around the world.

“Despite the controversies, I can still say it was a good start to help develop the culture of football,” Esteban said. “(It’s) relatively a successful project for our brand if you will look at the bigger picture.”

But whether Suzuki will continue to sponsor the tournament next year, Esteban said: “It is currently under study. I am still preparing my evaluation report.”

Observers said it was wrong to send the first leg into extra time as this is not allowed under international rules. Only during the second game when that game is tied is extra time allowed.

The match commissioner made a mistake when it asked officials of Negros and Iloilo if they wanted to go to extra time and both said yes. The right thing to do was to declare the match a draw, football experts said.

Manila Bulletin

So: The Azkals in Cebu

By Michelle P. So
Caught in the net

ARE the Azkals a national treasure that they need to have security all throughout their stay in Cebu such that guests who enter the resort where they are staying are screened?

From the way the team’s administrative manager is said to have instructed the resort staff, yes, they are. And the team is using human resources whose services the public is paying for to secure the players.

I’m talking about the local police who, in all likelihood, can’t even match the names of the Azkals to their faces. I can’t either. I recognize only the German coach, Hans Weiss (heart sign here).

For the Azkals to ask for privacy during their downtime is understandable, but for legitimate journalists to be barred from entering the resort on say-so of the Azkals’ administrative manager is inappropriate.

The Azkals, who arrived in Cebu yesterday without the crushes ng bayan Phil and James Younghusband and Anton del Rosario, are here for five days for various commitments.

They will hold football clinics for kids, shoot a commercial, do training stuff and have a mall tour.

The Sun.Star Cebu team and a local ABS-CBN crew, which were following the Azkal bus from the airport to the Mactan resort where the Azkals are staying, were stopped by the resort’s guard who wedged himself between the Sun.Star vehicle and the bus.

When asked why, the guard said he was under instruction not to allow the local media in. He was apologetic and said there was only one media unit that was allowed access to the Azkals in the resort. Only the Manila-based crew of the TV show “Sports Unlimited,” hosted by Dyan Castillejo and Marc Nelson, had the pass.

A member of the resort’s management told the Sun.Star team that they have received instruction from the team’s “admin manager” that the Azkal players were to have police security at all times and that no one, especially local journalists, was to go near or approach the players.

When the team arrived at the airport, the Azkals were surreptitiously ushered out to their bus. If not for their huge bus, no one would have known that the Azkals were around.

This was necessary to avoid the players being swarmed by adulating fans like what has been happening wherever they went, it was said.

We Cebuanos are not easily star-struck. We don’t go gaga over artista; we are not the screaming type. Even if we women desire to embrace, say, Piolo Pascual, we keep our distance, hold our breath and just keel over. I’m lying, of course. Truth is, we women need to be restrained from jumping at Piolo and choking him with our embraces.

Anyway, back to the Azkals. They have become public figures and are idolized by kids who play soccer and adored by young girls. They have been flying from one city to another in the Philippines on requests of their fans that they be seen up close and personal. A picture or a handshake with a celebrity or an “idol” like the Azkals makes a whole lot of difference between patronage and disinterest.

The Cebuanos have long asked for theAzkals’ visit to Cebu. And now they’re here but what has happened? We can’t go near them because if we do, we risk ourselves of being shooed by their police escorts.

The Azkals have asked for the public’s support for the team, that we watch them play and root for them, that we bombard the heavens with prayers for wins.

But someone in the team is alienating the Azkals from the public whose support they need. If this continues, the Azkals will truly become a national treasure that is best placed in a vault and be made inaccessible.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 26, 2011.

Philippine football team arrives in Cebu

THE Philippine National Football Team arrived yesterday morning for their Cebu visit where they are set to have a series of team- building activities, and trainings.

Head Coach Hans Michael Weiss led the team together with the coaching staff and players, who just came from Iloilo after they played a practice game and drew with a Korean-led Central Philippines University squad, 1-0.

Among the players who arrived yesterday were team captain Aly Borromeo, Ian Araneta, Chieffy Caligdong, Ed Sacapaño and Cebuano Paolo Pascual. Some of the new recruits also came with the team.

Goal Keeper Neil Etheridge and Anton Del Rosario will arrive today to join the team in a commercial shoot, while Philipp and James Younghusband and Simon Greatwich and Jason Sabio will arrive later this week.

The Azkals will hold clinics for kids this Saturday and will also grace the awarding ceremony of the 11th Interclub Football Cup on Sunday.

Coach Weiss said the lineup for the Philippine team that will face Sri Lanka in the first round match of the World Cup Qualifiers will be released either by the end of the week or in the first week of June.

Weiss is expected to cut the training pool to 23 and those who make it will be flying to Germany for a two-week camp.

Among those hoping to join the squad is the comebacking Chad Gould, who’s suffering from an infected wound. However, Weiss said he will have to check once Gould has fully recovered if the striker is fit to play.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 26, 2011.

Villaflor: Are the Little Azkals ready?

FOR six weeks, some two dozen boys under 13 years old have been training in a secluded campus some 25 kilometers from Cebu City.

At the Don Bosco Boys Home, they would sleep as a team, take their meals as a team, and have nothing on their minds but football. They would train on the football field twice a day: from 6 to 8 in the morning, and from 4 to six in the evening.

Next Tuesday, 22 of the 24 trainees will fly to Sabah, Malaysia for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-13 Festival of Football from June 1 to 6.

Dubbed the Little Azkals, the team, a selection of the country’s finest young players, will go up against Malaysia, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Timor Leste and Myanmar.

Cebuano Oliver “Bingbing” Colina, an AFC “B”-licensed coach, is responsible for molding the team into a competitive unit in such a short period. He has two assistants from Manila: Noel Marcaida, the goalkeeping coach with a “B” license, and Eliezar Fabroada, who carries a “C” license.

More Sun Star Cebu

UFL - Global win 8-0 !

Global won 8-0 in UFL today !

Standings :

Air Force 26 points +23
Global 23 points +22

Last match in UFL on 29. May :

Air Force vs Global at UMAK , 6 pm

24 May 2011

Negros players endorsed to PFF


MANILA, Philippines — Negros Occidental coach Norman Fegidero Jr. has recommended five players from his side, including highly-touted Joshua Beloya to be included in the pool for the national football team to the Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia later this year.

Strikers Beloya and Aldrin Dolino, Lemuel Unabia, defender Camelo Tacusalme and Joven Bedic helped Negros capture the 1st Philippine Football Federation-Suzuki National Cup at the expense of fierce rival Iloilo on Sunday.

Fegidero, a former national head coach, believes their inclusion to the national squad would be a big boost to the country’s bid of winning a first ever medal in the SEAG since joining the biennial meet in 1977.

“There are a lot more talented players in the province and I hope football officials will reach out to them,” said Fegidero moments after Negros blanked Iloilo, 9-0, in the second leg of their Suzuki title duel at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City. Negros also won the first leg, 3-1.

Azkals’ German coach Hans Michael Weiss and team manager Dan Palami will handle the national squad for the SEAG, which is an Under-23 event.

Beloya, a Filipino-American who was born in Olongapo but grew up in the United States and Sweden, made a lot heads turn when he was named the PFF-Suzuki National Cup’s best striker with 14 goals on Sunday, while Dolino, was awarded as the tournament’s MVP and Tacusalme, the best defender.

“He (Beloya) has a great feel for the game and very dangerous inside the box. He’s greatest asset is his mental toughness,” Fegidero said.

Fegidero, though, said he hopes the Philippine Football Federation has a solid program for players who would leave the province to join the national squad in Manila.

Malaysia is the defending SEA Games champion, with Vietnam and Singapore as the second and third place finishers.

The national team will be backstopped by six Azkals, according to Palami. They are goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, 21, Christopher Camcam, 16, defender David Basa, 21, striker Yannick Tuason, 21 and Fil-German Patrick Hinrichsen, 20, and Fil-Dutch Jason de Jong, 21.

MAnila Bulletin

Football reigns in Barotac Nuevo

OLE, OLE, OLE! Azkals striker Ian Araneta (23) and co-captain Emilio “Chieffy” Caligdong (13) lead the national football team play against Central Philippine University mostly composed of South Koreans in an exhibition match at Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo Tuesday. The practice game for the World Cup qualifiers ended in a 1-1 draw. (Photo by Tara Yap)

By Tara Yap

BAROTAC NUEVO, Iloilo – The exhibition game of the Azkals Tuesday proved that football reigns in this town.

“Bisan wala kami inugsulod sa kaldero, basta maka lantaw lang kami football, ok na (We don’t mind our hunger for as long as we can watch football),” the stage announcer said halfway through the friendly game of the famed national football team against Central Philippine University (CPU).

The crowd, mainly natives of Barotac Nuevo, cheered on their very own townmates in the Philippine Azkals.

They proudly boast that star striker Ian Araneta, co-captain Emilio “Chieffy” Caligdong, Mark Ferrer, Roel Gener, Nestorio Margase, Joebel Bermejo, Yanti Barsales, and Ricardo Becite III are all natives of the town considered as the football capital of the country.

The open field in front of the San Antonio De Padua Church became a mute witness to jampacked crowd of 7,000 fans that came to support the practice game of the Azkals, who are preparing for the country’s first World Cup qualifying match since 1993.

Not even the 19th minute goal of Jovanni Sempron of CPU team can dampen their spirits.

They kept cheering for the Azkals and were rewarded when Becite scored an equalizer in the second half. The game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Caligdong has earlier said that as Ilonggo players, they are always putting their best foot forward as they are representing the essence of what it means to be products of the country’s football capital.

Caligdong and the rest of the Ilonggo Azkals played on the very same field as young kids prior to having the opportunity to represent the national team in several international games, most notably at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup last year.

Now, they are hoping to bring more pride to their hometown as the Azklas will face Sri Lanka on a two-leg qualifying match for the World Cup, considered to be the world's biggest sporting event, on June 29 and July 3.

The Tuesday exhibition match was made possible by two of the town’s natives—Iloilo 4th District Rep. Ferj Biron and Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta Jr.

Daily Guardian

PHL Azkals arrive in Cebu today

THE Azkals fans who have long waited for the chance to see members of the Philippine National Football team in person might need to deal with the team’s special request on their stay in Cebu.

According to an official of the hotel that they will be staying at, the national squad requested for privacy during their short visit to the city, saying they wanted to keep a low profile.

“They want everything kept undercover. They do not want people to know where they are staying so there won’t be any welcome streamers for our special guests and we will not confirm any inquiries about their stay,” said the official.

With the team’s previous experience of fans swarming around them, they wanted their stay in Cebu to be peaceful as they wanted to spend most of their time relaxing after their previous trips, games and practices.

The Azkals have dealt with wild fans who chase them all over the country and stalk them like going into their hotel rooms or suddenly showing up at the airport.

“This is something the Azkals are trying to avoid,” said the source.

As an added security, the Azkals will be escorted by members of the Philippine National Police and no random person, fan or even the media can come up to the players. The hotel will also be swarming with police officers.

The hotel official said they had instructions to ban the local media from entering the resort’s premises but a representative from the team, Ace Bright, denied this.

The fans, however, do not need to stalk as they will still get a chance to see the Azkals in person as the team set aside one day from their five-day visit for a mall tour at Ayala Center Cebu on May 30 at 4 to 6 p.m.

The players and coaching staff are expected to arrive this morning from Iloilo after their practice game with the Koreans and will go straight to the hotel.

They are given the entire day to relax.

Crowd favorites Phil and James Younghusband and Anton Del Rosario will arrive later in the week after attending to commitments in Manila.

The three will, however, catch up with the team’s activities in the last three days.

For their Cebu visit, the Azkals will be doing a commercial shoot for a brand of painkillers but they will be present at the Aboitiz Football Field in Mandaue for a series of clinics and one and a half day’s training.

On the 28th, they will be expected to hold football clinics for kids below 13 years old from chosen football clubs of the Cebu Football Association, who had their summer clinics.

CFA president Richard Montayre said the Azkals are also invited to grace the last day of the Cebu Amateur Football Cup National Interclub Football competitions. They, however, aren’t sure if the Azkals could attend.

“CAFC invited them but we are not sure if they can make it because of their very busy schedule,” said Montayre.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 25, 2011.

Azkals struggle vs Iloilo college team

MANILA, Philippines – Despite missing their key members, the Philippine Azkals were able to salvage a 1-1 draw against the collegiate line-up of the Central Philippines University (CPU) in their friendly game in Iloilo City.

The Azkals struggled against the impressive ball-handling of the CPU team, which was mainly composed of Korean college students.

The Koreans scored the first goal past Azkals goalie Christopher Camcam.

CPU appeared headed for an upset against the fancied National team, but Azkals midfielder Ricardo “Yoc” Becite struck a goal near the end of the game.

That goal allowed the Azkals to get a 1-1 draw.

Becite, of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo said he was happy he scored the goal.

“Kasi ‘pag natalo kami sa hometown namin, big deal sa amin. [Hindi maganda] kasi Team Azkal, tapos talo,” he said.

The Azkals missed the services of the Younghusband siblings, Phil and James, who had to attend a previous commitment.

Azkals defender Anton del Rosario also didn’t play because he was down with an infection.

German coach Hans Weiss said the game tested the mettle of the team in the absence of its star players.

“It wasn't our best game but I got to see what the other players could,” he said.

The exhibition game is part of their preparations for the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Sri Lanka.

It was witnessed by thousands of local fans who came from different points of Iloilo, which is known as the hotbed of Philippine football.

Meanwhile, Filipino-British goalkeeper Neil Etheridge has arrived in Manila to join the team. -- With a report from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News

PFF U19 - Day 5

ORFA gains semifinal date after beating Bukidnon pineapple growers 5-0.
NORFA returned to form and stepped on the Bukidnon FA pineapple province. In quick passing fashion NORFA’s Eugene Elmido opened the tally marking in the 22nd min. This was followed by Cebuano Prince Antony in the 30th min and again by Eugene Elmido on the 44th minute. San Carlos striker Diomar Caruskay rounded out the first half score to 4-0.

After the reset, Bukidnon found their game over the suddenly overconfident eastern Visayan boys as they had a couple of attempts on NORFA goalie Val Palmes.

The final score was settled when right winger Lyndon Banaag tapped the ball to the waiting boots of Cebu import Dan Villarica who converted. Final score was 5-0 earning the NORFA a semifinal date on Thursday against the Iloilo FA team.

NCR A scores in final minute to beat Rizal FA
Rizal FA composed of players from San Beda put up a struggle against the bigger and older UAAP combine of DLSU and UE alongside players from Philippine Science. UE's Nonie Arboleda, Phil Science’s Gabby Borja and youth national Geo Diamante carried the cudgels for NCR A until the game’s dying minute following a pass from DLSU's Al Bustamante that the former blasted to Rizal's FA net. NCR A is second to NORFA in their division having the same points although edged out in goal differences.

U-19 reports from Tito Dodo Bustamante. Thanks!

Source : Bleachers Brew'

SONA:Azkals nasa Iloilo para ipagpatuloy ang training

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

Today : Azkals 1-1 CPU FT

Today at 3.30 pm

Azkals vs CPU (Central Philippine University) in Barotac Nuevo

Azkals played CPU on 4. February and won 4-1. CPU have mostly students from Korea in their team

CPU leading 1-0 at HT , 1-1 FT

Ricardo Becite scored for Azkals

23 May 2011

Azkals in Iloilo

AZKALS IN ILOILO. The famed Philippine Azkals poses with Iloilo 4th District Rep. Ferj Biron, Barotac Nuevo Mayor Hernan Biron Sr., Iloilo Board Member Hernan “Jun” Biron Jr. and Anilao Mayor Ma. Teresa Debuque. Story on front page. (Photo by Tara Yap)

Daily Guardian

Match against CPU at 3.30 pm Tuesday

Negros XI wins amid controversy

Focused on winning the crown despite controversies hounding the tournament, the Ceres-Negros Under-23 football team blew away Iloilo, 9-0, (12-goal aggregate) in the final game of the Philippine Football Federation Suzuki Men’s National Under-23 Championship at the Panaad Park and Stadium pitch yesterday.

Before an estimated 3,000 crowd at the stadium that included Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., Philippine Sports Commission chairman Ricardo “Richie” Garcia, Philippine Olympic Committee chairman Monico Puentevella, former PFF president Rene Adad, Vallacar Transit Inc. top executive Ricardo Yanson, and Suzuki president Satoshi Uchida, the Negros XI dominated and humbled their archrival Iloilo.

“The circumstances leading to the finals motivated our players to play well before the homecrowd. I know they will make more goals but not as many as 9,” Negros head coach Norman Fegidero Jr. said.

He was referring to the initial decision of the PFF Competitions Committee to nullify the decision that allowed two 15-minute extensions during the May 19 first game of the home-and-away finals at the Central Philippine University field in Iloilo. Regulation ended 1-1.

Negros won the game, 3-1, after scoring two more goals during the extensions, while two Iloilo players were issued red cards or an automatic suspension from playing in the final game at the Panaad pitch.

The initial nullification of the extension periods took away Negros’ cushion of two-goals and allowed the suspended Iloilo players back into the game.

In a statement released to the media yesterday, the PFF said that after careful consideration with Negros and Iloilo team officials, it was agreed that the final score 3-1 during the May 19 game with all the corresponding cautions and suspensions will stand.

“The decision has affected our players. They played with a very low morale tonight,” Iloilo team manager JR Robles told reporters after the game.

He said the organizers should be blamed for not taking control of the decision and everybody should learn their lesson.

“We hope to bounce from this setback and do our best in the other tournaments such as the ongoing Under-19 men’s championship,” Robles added.

More Visayan Daily Star

Azkals in Santa Barbara today

Team Azkals training in Iloilo ,Santa Barbara town plaza. Thousands been waiting.


Azkals fans go crazy in Iloilo : Link

UFL All Stars vs Azkals

UFL All-Stars vs Azkals on 5. June at UMAK

PFF U19 Finals ?

This is the fourth day of PFF U19 finals and still no results ? Do PFF care about their own tournament ? Where is the PFF U19 media officer ? What is going on in San Carlos City ?

I have posted the match schedule before :

"In Bracket A, National Capital Region Football Association Team A (NCRFA-A) will face Bukidnon Football Association at 2 p.m., while FA of Rizal battle Naga-Camarines Sur FA at 4 p.m. at the SJRI Field.

On tomorrow, Bracket B action will takes place with NCRFA-B facing NOCOFFA at 2 p.m., while Iloilo FA and Negros Oriental Football Association (NORFA) will square off at 4 p.m..

On Sunday, NCRFA-A vs. FA Rizal at 2 p.m., followed by Bukidnon FA vs. Naga-Camarines sur FA at 4 p.m.

The matches resume on Monday, May 23 with NOCOFFA against NORFA at 2PM followed by Iloilo FA vs. NCRFA-B at 4PM. "

Source : Negros Daily Bulletin

If anybody know results please post them !

AFC Challenge Cup - Maldives, Nepal and Palestine bidding to host Finals

Kuala Lumpur: AFC has requested the football associations of Maldives, Nepal, and Palestine to sign the Organising Association Agreement (OAA) and the List of Requirements (LOR) after the three expressed an interest to bid to host AFC Challenge Cup 2012 Finals.

The AFC Challenge Cup is AFC’s second-tier national team completion for the confederation’s developing Member Associations and is played on a bi-annual basis. Previous champions include Tajikistan (2006), India (2008) and DPR Korea (2010).

Palestine, The Philippines, India, Turkmenistan, Maldives, Tajikistan, DPR Korea and Nepal have qualified for the tournament proper.

The three bidders Maldives, Nepal and Palestine have never hosted the tournament before with Bangladesh (2006), India (2008) and Sri Lanka (2010) organising the competition’s three previous editions.

The host for the 2012 edition is likely to be decided by the AFC Organising Committee for President’s Cup and Challenge Cup during its meeting on June 14, 2011.

Source : afc.com

Baguio football club reaches national finals

THE rising Goshen Land Baguio United Football club here recently qualified for the Smart National Football Championship, which will be held in Barotac Nuevo this August, following its superb performance in the recently-concluded all-Luzon championship in Laguna.

With no decent pitch and consistent 11-a-side tournaments, this arguably is a major milestone for Baguio football history.

Previously, Goshenland Baguio United FC went to Laguna for the Northern Luzon Qualifying Rounds of the Smart Men's Open Championship.

The group faced the teams from the following football associations: Laguna, Quezon, Tarlac and Rizal.

Baguio won 3-1 versus Laguna, breezed through Quezon with a 9-0 thrashing, had a come from behind win of 3 1 vs Tarlac, then lost to Rizal. With the 3-1 record, the team qualified to the All Luzon Qualifying Rounds.

Even before reaching the Northern Luzon leg, the team had to eke out a tough win of 1-0 versus the Benguet State University FC to earn the right to represent the Baguio City Football Association (BCFA) in this current tournament.

Headed by playing team manager, lawyer Homer S. Alinsug and playing coach Ariston Bocalan, the following are the team members: JC Kraker - Goalkeeper, Arvin Ogbinar - Right Defender, Zau Ring Jat Augustine Ma-Le - Central Defender, Goodwin Pugong Jr. - Central Defender, Arnel Carbonnel - Left Defender, Aly Ymana - Right Midfielder, Marked Lusung - Center Midfield, Rykart Neri Jr. - Center Defensive Midfield, Nestor Udan - Left Midfield, Mohanad Farah - Attacker, Leopoldo Telcagan - Attacker, Raymond Ramirez - Reserve Defender, Marlon Pineda - Reserve GK/Defender/Midfielder, Ariston Bocalan - Midfielder15, Gatan Dalang - Midfielder, Ramon Bocalan Jr. - Defender, Hmun Thawng Ling - Left Midfielder, Homer S. Alinsug - Reserve Attacker.

The successful performance of the local football team in the stiff competition has served as inspiration to the youngsters to join football clinics and become part of the historic accomplishments of the team which will be joining various local competitions in order to hone their skills. (Dexter A. See)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 23, 2011.

22 May 2011

Negros Occidental sweeps Iloilo, bags PFF Suzuki U-23 title

Negros Occidental completed its dominance in the PFF Suzki Under-23 event by sweeping Iloilo, 9-0, and capturing the national crown on Sunday at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.

Regaining their 3-1 lead entering the second game of their home-and-away series was a big investment for Negros Occidental. But instead of playing loose, the host team was all fired up behind the efforts of Fil-American Joshua Beloya and Aldrin Dolino

Beloya, adjudged as the tournament's Best Striker, fired two goals in the 6th and 75th minutes while Gino Palomo completed a hat trick with scores in the 38th, 45th and 50th minutes.

Dolino, named as the Most Valuable Player, scored a volley in the 21st minute then set up Beloya's second goal during a free kick to the delight of an animated Bacolod crowd.

Negros won 12-1 on aggregate, but not after a controversy that started in the tournament's first leg at the Central Philippines University in Iloilo City.

In the first leg, both teams were tied at 1-1 after regulation time, but to the surprise of many, tournament officials called for two extra periods.

Negros managed to score two goals in the extension to hack out a 3-1 victory, but Iloilo filed a protest insisting that the extra periods be nullified. The PFF upheld the protest on Saturday, thus making the aggregate score at 1-1.

However, the PFF, through president Nonong Araneta, reversed the ruling hours later citing that "in the spirit of fair play, it was ultimately and decided by both parties (Negros and Iloilo) that the final score of 3-1 will stand."

"The late ruling somehow energized our players. We really wanted to win," said coach Norman Fegidero, a former member of the national team as a player and coach.

While Negros dominated the match, Iloilo, which played sans goalkeeper Wilson Muñoz for committing a red card in Thursday's first leg, appeared to have surrendered earlier than expected.

After Beloya's first goal, Negros added three more goals in the first half, including one from Palomo.

Beloya's second goal pushed the score to 6-0 for Negros, then Iloilo easily allowed Ralph Lamuyas to score two goals in the 79th and 80th minutes for a commanding 8-0 lead.

Iloilo team manager Atty. Eduardo Robles, Jr. rued the organizers' quick reversal, but vowed his squad will bounce back strong in future tournaments. - RCJ, GMA News

GMA News

Younghusbands to miss Azkals match in Iloilo


ACOLOD CITY. – James and Phil Younghusband will not be around when the Azkals play in an exhibition match Tuesday in Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, hometown of football chief Mariano Araneta Jr., and the start of the nationals’ team bonding in Cebu the succeeding day.

But the absence of the two Filipino-British siblings, both team mainstays, has the approval of national team manager Dan Palami and coach Michael Weiss, according to Cathy Rivilla, the executive director of The Younghuband Football Academy.

The Younghusbands were invited by the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission to conduct a football clinic last Saturday at the West Negros University football grounds as a side event of the POC-PSC Philippine National Games 2011.

"We had a long meeting last night with Dan and coach Weiss last week to discuss the commitment of the Younghusbands to the national team and their outside commitments," Rivilla, who also acts as an adviser to the brothers, said. "The meeting went well and they understood the boys’ situation."

Rivilla said she and the two siblings, who no longer have a father, were able to explain to Palami and Weiss why the brothers were involved with other activities such as commercial endorsements and the academy.

"As elder brothers to a younger sister, they are looking after her and their future. Phil and James are also now building a house," Rivilla said.

She said the Younghusbands failed to join the opening day of the national team’s training last week because they both saws action in the Luzon eliminations of the Smart Club Championships the previous week.

The Younghusbans will miss the exhibition match in Barotac Nuevo because of activities involving them that were scheduled far ahead of the game, Rivilla said, adding this would also affect their stint in in Cebu.

She, however, said both Younghusbands have not overlooked their national team responsibilities.

"Phil and James know their key roles on the national team and remain committed to fulfilling their obligations to the squad," Rivilla said.

"Contrary to the perception of some, they are heavily bonded to the Azkals. You can go ask (co-captain) Aly Borromeo how bonded they are."

She said the Younghusbands will eventually go to Cebu for the team bonding "because that’s when the heavy training resumes."

When the Azkals return to Manila to resume their build-up and preparations "you can expect the Younghusbands to devote more of their time to the national team," she stressed.

The Filipino booters, who are expected to be trimmed down to the regular 23-man roster, are scheduled to leave on June 12 for Duren, Germany for the final stage of their tune-up for their Asian World Cup qualifying opening leg against Sri Lanka on June 29 in Colombo.


Tiger booter chosen to join under-23 team

UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas’ David Basa became the first homegrown talent to be chosen to join the national under-23 football squad seeing action in the 26th Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia this November.

National coach Hans Michael Weiss told Basa that he’s going to join the Jakarta-bound squad after practice last Thursday at the newly renovated pitch of the Rizal Memorial Track Football Stadium.

Basa will join Fil-Dutch midfielder Jason de Jong, who wanted to rejoin the Philippine Azkals after he was fired by Indonesian pro football club Persiba Balikpapan for a contract violation with the Superleague club in Jakarta, but was instead inserted into the 23-under national team.

The 22-year-old Basa, a defensive whiz, saw action for the Philippine Azkals national football team during the group stage of the 2013 Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup qualifiers in Myanmar.

Weiss has yet to decide on the final composition of the Azkals, who will play Sri Lanka in their first home-and-away match for the World Cup qualifiers.

Weiss is in the midst of forming two teams, with the younger squad making up the national under-23 team to the SEA Games.

The German coach said he’s having a difficult time choosing the players, who will suit up for the SEA Games in November. Weiss has set a modest goal of winning a bronze in the SEAG. Peter Atencio

Manila Standard Today

PFF U23 Suzuki Cup awardees

Here are the Suzuki Cup awardees:

Best keeper John Robert Mendoza (NOFA)
Best defender Carmelo Tacusalme (NOFA)
Best midfielder Francis Gustilo (Iloilo)
Best striker Joshua Beloya (NOFA)

MVP : Aldrin Dolino (NOFA)

UFL Sunday`s results

UFL Results Division 1 :

Full Time results :

Loyola 4-1 Navy FC
Global 1-0 Kaya (Aaron Altiche )

Air Force 6-0 Army (Palmes, Caligdong 2 goals Barsales,Bela-Ong and Amatoryo)

21 May 2011

PFF U23 Suzuki Cup - NOFA 9-0 Iloilo FT NOFA (Bacolod) Champions

PFF U23 Suzuki Cup final, second leg

Sunday 6. pm at Panaad Stadium , Bacolod

NOFA win 9-0 against Iloilo

NOFA (Bacolod) vs Iloilo
1-0 Joshua Beloya
2-0 Aldrin Dolino
3-0 Gino Palomo
4-0 Gino Palomo
5-0 Gino Palomo
6-0 Joshua Beloya
7-0 Ralph Layumas
8-0 Ralph Layumas
9-0 Jake Morallo

NOFA won first leg 3-1 after extra time , (1-1 FT.)

Twitter : Cedelf Tupas

Pic : cedelf Tupas

Gould’s heartbreak

THE bid Filipino British player and Cebu’s very own Chad Gould to reunite with the Philippine Azkals has hit a major snag.

Gould suffered an infected wound caused by a mosquito bite on his left leg last Monday and had to undergo surgery to remove the infection.

“It’s kind of annoying. It’s quite big and pretty bad,” Gould said.

He took antibiotics immediately when he noticed the mosquito bite slowly getting infected. The medication didn’t work and the condition got worse.

As advised by the doctors, Gould underwent surgery at St. Luke’s Hospital last Thursday to remove the infection on his left leg.

Gould’s recovery period will last from two to three weeks and requires him to be in full rest from strenuous activities. Because of that, he had to leave the three-week training camp of the Azkals and return to Cebu.

The coaching staff of the team also told the former Azkal to focus on recovering first as it will be dangerous if he’ll continue.

However, there is no final say yet from the team whether he would be missing the home-and-away match for the World Cup qualifiers against Sri Lanka but the Fil-Britton said he would love to rejoin the squad.

“It’s my dream to play for the World Cup. I want this more than anything but it’s quite a dangerous injury,” Gould said.

Gould had given up the chance to play with the England National Beach Soccer team to be reunited with the Azkals.

He arrived in the Philippines last May 8 to try out for the national team along with five other hopefuls from Australia and America.

Chad is staying in Boljoon, Cebu and spending time with his parents. He will reschedule his flight back to London Thursday next week, cutting what was supposed to be a three-month stay here in the Philippines.

He will be meeting the team next week when the Azkals are in Cebu for a series of activities.

Gould was a member of the Philippine team, along with Chris Greatwich, that played in the 2004 Tiger Cup, when the Philippines earned its first win in international football, 2-1, against Timor Leste. Gould, who has six goals in 11 caps, also played in the 2005 Southeast Asian Games, where the Philippines also had its first SEAG win since 1991.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 22, 2011.

Cebu Football - Cimafranca hits 5 goals for ANS in Interclub

AFTER falling short in its campaign last year, Abellana National School (ANS)-Pomeroy showed its intent to do better this year with a lopsided win in the opening day of the Cebu Amateur Football Club National Interclub Football Cup over Blessed John XXIII Seminary (BJS) at the University of San Carlos-Technology Center (USC-TC) yesterday.

ANS-Pomeroy, which bowed to Sta. Rita, 1-0, in last year’s Boys 17 championship, put up a scoring clinic with an 11-3 win to bag three points.

ANS-Pomeroy put the match out of reach in the first half as they took a 7-2 lead.

Matsui Cimafranca of ANS-Pomeroy had an impressive performance and scored a hat trick in just the first 23 minutes of the match.

Rogelio Castillon and reinforcement Miguel Caindec, who is from Don Bosco Technology Center, scored two goals each, while Alger Montayre and Joeford Dolino added a goal apiece.

Rudy Miller Jr., Shaun Revalde and Christopher Cabugas scored a goal each for Blessed John.

Meanwhile, USC-TC routed MTI, 4-1, at the USC-TC football grounds, while Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu demolished USC-North Campus, 6-0, at the San Roque field in the other matches of the Boys 17 division yesterday.

Hiroshi FC also defeated home team USC-TC, 2-0, in the only Men’s Open game in opening day.
Voltaire Montebon broke the silence in the first half as he hit the net in the 43rd minute., while striker Junard Aguilar sealed the game with a 70th-minute goal.

In other matches, MTI won a one-sided, 19-0, game over SJSM/3Bros in the Boys 14 class; Paref-Springdale edged out Canduman, 2-1, in the Boys’ 12 division; and San Roque Royal United trounced Canduman, 6-0.

CAFC matches will resume today at USC-TC, Paref Springdale and San Roque fields.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 22, 2011.

Pinoy football XI fails in promotion bid in UK

The United Kingdom's first Pinoy amateur football team, the Philippine Football Club (PFC), crashed to a 5-3 defeat, effectively ending this season's promotion bid to the Premier Division of the West Hertfordshire League.

With one game remaining in Division One of the West Herts League, PFC was sitting in 3rd place with 35 points, one point behind Hemel Hempstead Rovers Reserves. To guarantee promotion to the Premier League next season, PFC had to claim the 2nd spot by winning and taking all 3 points from their final game of the season against rival Aldenham, who was in 4th place with 34 points.

More ABS CBN News

LBC-UFL 'Super Sunday' at UMak up

The United Football League title race intensifies Sunday with the top four teams all in action at the University of Makati pitch.

It will be the league's version of "Super Sunday" as leader Air Force Rider tries to move closer to the title as it battles Army Fritz and Macziol IBM in the 6 p.m. game.

Global Smartmatic, still nursing hopes of foiling Air Force's march to a second straight crown, collides with Kaya Cignal at 4 p.m.

Loyola Meralco guns for only its third victory against Navy FC in the 2 p.m clash between teams already out of the running in the title race.

The Airmen absorbed their first loss of the season last week after suffering a 0-1 defeat to Kaya Cignal, which was boosted by a late goal from Aly Borromeo.

But they still kept top spot with 23 points with two games remaining. And it wont get any easier against Army, which is coming off a 1-1 draw against Global Smartmatic last Sunday.

Army, however, looked vulnerable against Loyola Meralco Wednesday night, falling behind 0-2 early before the game was stopped because of the rain that rendered the field unplayable.

The Airmen won the first round duel via a convincing 4-0 scoreline, but with striker Ian Araneta doubtful for the match because of an injury, Air Force could be missing an important piece of its attack.

Left to lead the attack are Chieffy Caligdong and Yanti Barsales, who is tied with two other players on top of the league's scoring charts.

Army picked up its game late in the first round and early in the second round, after drawing a series of fine performances from Philip Caballero, who was moved from defense to midfield, and Roel Gener, who struck the opening goal against Global.

Global missed the chance on gaining significant ground on Air Force after that draw with Army last week.

They have 17 points from nine matches and a win on Sunday will set up a potential title decider against Air Force the following week.

Izo El-Habbib and Misagh Bahadoran will be back to lead Global's attack. The two are among the scoring leaders in the league with seven goals apiece so far.

Borromeo's form will be crucial for Kaya, having scored the last two goals for the club that lifted them to victories over Navy and Air Force.

Loyola Meralco is hoping to end its campaign on a high note against a Navy side still looking for its first win of the season.

The Sparks are in sixth behind Green Archers Orient Freight, but can still press their bid for a top four finish with three games remaining in their schedule.

UFL Website

Standings and schedule

PFF decision : PFF U23 Iloilo vs NOFA (Bacolod) 1-1 !! and then back to 1-3....

Twitter from Cedelf Tupas : Suzuki Cup finals update: Negros, Iloilo tied at 1-1 heading into second leg tomorrow at Panaad. PFF nullifies extra time played.

PFF secgen Chito Manuel admits match commissioner in first leg made mistake in sending game to extra time.

No red cards for Iloilo !

Twitter Cedelf Tupas

Suzuki Cup update: Negros holds presscon. team officials say they will meet with players before they decide whether to play 2nd leg tom

Last (?) update :
Its official: Negros' 3-1 first leg win over Iloilo stands. Iloilo has withdrawn its protest

20 May 2011

8 Teams Vie for PFF Men’s U-19 Title in San Carlos

Eight teams bracketed into two are seeing action starting today (FRIDAY)until May 29, 2011 for the title in the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) National Under-19 Championship football tournament in San Carlos City.

In Bracket A, National Capital Region Football Association Team A (NCRFA-A) will face Bukidnon Football Association at 2 p.m., while FA of Rizal battle Naga-Camarines Sur FA at 4 p.m. at the SJRI Field.

On tomorrow, Bracket B action will takes place with NCRFA-B facing NOCOFFA at 2 p.m., while Iloilo FA and Negros Oriental Football Association (NORFA) will square off at 4 p.m..

On Sunday, NCRFA-A vs. FA Rizal at 2 p.m., followed by Bukidnon FA vs. Naga-Camarines sur FA at 4 p.m.

The matches resume on Monday, May 23 with NOCOFFA against NORFA at 2PM followed by Iloilo FA vs. NCRFA-B at 4PM.

On Tuesday, May 24, Bukidnon FA faces FA Rizal, while NCRFA-A against Naga-Camarines Sur FA.

NCRFA-B will play against NORFA followed by NOCOFFA vs. Iloilo FA on Wednesday before all teams rest on Thursday in preparation for the crossover semifinals on Friday.

They take another rest on Saturday before the championship on Sunday.* (CMG)

Negros Daily Bulletin

Villaflor: Making sense of the first leg experiment

SOMETHING odd happened during the first leg of the PFF Suzuki Under-23 National Cup Finals between fierce rivals Bacolod and Iloilo, the home team.

It wasn’t the home team losing that made it odd but the game going into extra time in the first leg. Now this was unusual, if not unheard of, and got me scratching my head the whole day.

According to a report published on national broadsheet Manila Bulletin yesterday, “Negros and Iloilo battled to a 1-all tie after the regulation ended, but to the players and coaches’ surprise tournament officials ruled that a 30-minute extra time was needed.”

“Usually, an extra time is only allowed in the second leg of a home-and-away series, but Red Avelino, the overall tournament coordinator, said it was part of the technical rules,” the report said.

Sports Editor Mike Limpag and I tried to recall any tournament that employed a first-leg extra time, to no avail. And was it even allowed?

There was only one way to find out, so I checked Fifa’s Laws of the Game and found this section: “Procedures to determine the winner of a match of home-and-away.”

The section states that extra time is one of the three methods “approved for
determining the winning team where competition rules require there to be a winning team after a match has been drawn.” The other two methods are the away goals and penalty kicks.

“Competition rules may provide for two further equal periods, not exceeding 15 minutes each, to be played,” the section says of extra time.

Take note of the phrase “may provide,” which suggest using extra time is optional. The rules also didn’t explicitly state that extra time can’t be used in the first leg of a two-leg series. So to the first question, yes the alteration did not violate anything.

Since I haven’t secured a copy of the technical rules of the competition, I figured that organizers probably didn’t find the need to employ the away goals rule in the U-23 finals, as they have opted for extra time in the first leg, although nothing could have stopped them from throwing in away goals just to complicate things.

But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered why the organizers decided to depart from a format that football fans are more familiar with: a home-and-away match decided on away goals, and in case of an aggregate tie after the second leg, going to extra time, then penalty kicks.

There was one logical explanation, however, why the organizers might have conjured the first leg extra time: it was to take away the inherent advantage of the home team in the second leg. How so?

Since extra time is conventionally used in the second leg, the home team gets an undue advantage of 30 more minutes of having the crowd on their side plus many other intangibles that come with playing in home soil. The away team, on the other hand didn’t such an advantage in the first leg. (There is even a London study published in 2007 providing evidence of the second leg home advantage phenomenon.)

Anyway, to even things out, the U-23 finals organizers probably believed they have arrived at a “Solomonic” decision. But I’m just speculating, of course.

The finals, which stand at 1-3 in favor of Bacolod, will culminate with the second leg at the Panaad Stadium tomorrow, with IloIlo, which squandered its home advantage last Friday, now facing a nearly insurmountable task in hostile territory.

To be fair, the tournament matches did not disappoint, starting from the build up from the early stages leading to the “dream” finals between the country’s traditional football powerhouses.

And may I stress that discussions on extraneous aspects of the tournament, no matter how bothersome, shouldn’t distract us from a match up that has already lived up to expectations.

I figured we’ll have extra time after extra time to nitpick after the game.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 21, 2011.

Azkals to have mall tour, courtesy call, football clinic and just two-day training in Cebu visit

CEBU fans will get the chance to see the Azkals personally and witness their training as members of the Philippine National Football team will be in Cebu next week for a five-day visit.

The Azkals will have a two-day training camp on May 29 and 30 at the Aboitiz Sports Field in as part of their preparation for the world cup qualifiers. Ayala Center Cebu will also stage a mall tour to give chance to the public to meet and greet members of the national team.

The team will also have a clinic on May 28 for kids 12 years old and below and on May 29, the team will train from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. They will
just have a half-day training the next day to give way to their other appointments.

On May 30, team is set to meet Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia for a courtesy call before heading out to Ayala Center Cebu for the 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. mall tour.

Ayala Center Cebu will arrange a meet-and-greet with the Azkals, which will also serve as a fund- raising activity for the Little Azkals, the Philippine team that will see action in the Asian Football Confederation Festival of Football in Malaysia next month.


Ayala has yet to finalize details of the event but passes for the meet-and-greet event will be made available to interested audience on May 25.

Cebu Football Association Richard Montayre will also join the mall tour and will talk about the plans of the association while fans will also be given the chance to ask questions from their favorite Azkals.

The team will arrive in Cebu on the May 25 after stops in Tacloban and Iloilo, where they will play a tuneup match with locals. However, brothers Philip and James Younghusband are set to join the team in the final three days of their visit.

After their Cebu stop, the team will leave for Germany for an in-depth training camp in Dresden and is also set to play a few matches with German clubs. Some of the Europe-based Azkals will join the team in Germany.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 21, 2011.