30 November 2014

Thai coach braces for tough Azkals stand in first leg of Suzuki Cup semifinal in Manila

From: Karlo Sacamos

SINGAPORE — Thailand coach Kiatisuk Senamuang is bracing for a tough Philippine stand in the Azkals’ turf at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila when the teams collide in the semifinals of the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup on December 6. Thailand blanked Myanmar, 2-0, on Saturday at the Jalan Besar Stadium to clinch the top spot in Group B and set up a knockout stage date with the Filipino footballers, who wound up second in Group A after losing to eventual top seed Vietnam, 3-1, on Friday. Senamuang admitted it won’t be a walk in the park for his wards in the first leg of the series. The second leg is in Bangkok on December 10. “When we go to Manila, it’s not going to be easy for us,” the Thai mentor said. The two teams last met in November 8 when Thais outclassed the Filipinos, 3-0, in a friendly in Nakhon Ratchasima, their 14th straight victory and 15th overall in 17 outings against their Southeast Asian neighbors. But Senamuang remains wary of the Azkals. “We know the Philippines. They have very good skill and technique. But we know how to play against them,” he said. The Thais showed their quality against Myanmar in a match where they only needed a draw to seal top spot. “We wanted to do our best and keep a clean sheet,” Senamuang said. “Now, we look forward to the semifinals.”

Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/news/thailand-philippines-suzuki-cup-semifinals-azkals-thais-football

Azkals GK Tomas Trigo has joined Loyola

Azkals Goalkeeper Fil-Spanish Tomas Trigo has joined Loyola Meralco Sparks from Team Socceroo.

Trigo been on the bench in all three group matches in AFF Suzuki Cup.

28 November 2014

Azkals to play at Rizal Memorial Stadium

The Azkals will be playing the first 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup Semifinals game at home on December 6th at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Azkals manager Dan Palami hints Thomas Dooley's contract likely to be extended

From: Karlo Sacamos

HANOI – The efforts of Thomas Dooley in turning the Philippine men’s football team into a well-oiled machine is set to be rewarded. Although Dooley is still a long way away from leading the Azkals to the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup title, national team manager Dan Palami has expressed satisfaction with the German-American coach’s performance. The Azkals boss has in fact hinted that he is inclined to extend the mentor’s tenure. “I have to give credit to the coaches for really bringing the team to this level,” Palami said of the staff, which also includes German assistant Sebastian Stache and goalkeeping coach Jorge Kuriyama of Mexico. “It did not come by accident.” It was a fast transformation for the Azkals, who were sluggish in the friendlies leading into the tournament before displaying a performance Palami described as the “best I’ve seen them play” in a 4-0 romp over Indonesia on Tuesday. “I think the drills and how they prepared the team have been very instrumental in allowing us to show it on the pitch,” the Azkals boss said. “The coaches were readily responsive to the challenge and they were able to tweak our midfield and defense such that is has come to this result.” “And this team has had a lot of firsts under coach Thomas,” Palami added as Dooley steered the Azkals to numerous breakthroughs this year since the former US national team skipper signed a one-year contract last February. It was in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup where the Azkals broke new ground as they defeated Laos, Maldives, and Turkmenistan, and reached a Final of a tournament for the first time. “So I’m recommending that PFF (Philippine Football Federation) extends his contract,” Palami said. How long would the extension be? “Depends on (how long) I can still afford him,” he said in jest. Dooley assured the best hast yet to come for the Azkals. “You always can play better. It’s like when you talk to Tiger Woods in his best times and ask if he’s playing perfect and he would say: ‘I’m far away from perfect.’” “We are far away from perfect too,” he added. “You still could see that our positioning when we play the ball around the box is sometimes not good. You can always improve.”

Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/azkals/news/azkals-manager-dan-palami-hints-at-extending-thomas-dooley-contract

Azkals suffer first loss in Suzuki Cup after 3-1 beating at hands of host Vietnam

From: Karlo Sacamos

HANOI - The honeymoon phase is over for the Philippine men's football team. Showing they still have a lot to improve on, the Azkals suffered a 3-1 beating at the hands of Vietnam at the end of the group stage of the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup on Friday night at the My Dinh National Stadium. Facing a familiar foe that had the home crowd of more than 30,000 people behind them, the Azkals trailed early on and then fell into a deeper hole in the second half to suffer the disappointing defeat. Ngo Hoang Tinh, Vu Minh Tuan, and Pham Thang  Luong were on target for Vietnam, which scored twice just eight minutes apart early in the second half to take control. Paul Mulders, who came in as a halftime sub, provided a glimmer of hope with a goal in the 59th minute. But there were no miracles this time for the Filipinos.

Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/azkals/news/azkals-lose-to-vietnam

AFF Suzuki Cup : Vietnam 3-1 Philippines

AFF Suzuki Cup

Vietnam vs Philippines , 8 pm (Philippines)

Tv :  ABS CBN Sports & Action and Fox Sports

Livescore :www.futbol24.com

Livestream : http://eversport.tv/football/aff-suzuki-cup-2014/2014/11/28/vietnam-vs-philippines

27 November 2014

FIFA World Ranking November

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DEPARTURE: Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge Joins Charlton Athletic

Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge has joined Championship side Charlton Athletic on an emergency loan until December 30.

The 24-year-old played his only game for the club on Tuesday which ended in penalty heartbreak as he missed the decisive kick as Latics bowed out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

The goalkeeper signed for the club at the end of October but will now make the step up to the Addicks.

Read more at http://www.oldhamathletic.co.uk/news/article/departure-goalkeeper-joins-charlton-athletic-2108664.aspx#BkxT7rZvEI5phfkL.99

Semifinal-bound Azkals keen to draw confidence from match against host Vietnam

From: Karlo Sacamos

HANOI - A Philippine men’s football team that faces little pressure aims to keep building confidence heading into the knockout stage of the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup opposite familiar foe Vietnam in the final day of the group stage on Friday. Already through to the semifinals after two straight wins that saw them deliver an amazing performance, the Azkals remain eager to perform well against a side they have mastered in their last two meetings. The Filipino booters shocked the Vietnamese, 2-0, in the 2010 edition of the meet in a match that sparked the renaissance of the sport in the country. They replicated the feat two years ago when they nipped the Southeast Asian powerhouse, 1-0, thanks to a late winner by homegrown hero Chieffy Caligdong. Now, the two teams face off anew at 8 p.m. (PH time) with the hosts still considered the favorites as they play in front of home fans at the 40,000-seat My Dinh National Stadium. “They’re one of the favorites in the competition,” said skipper Rob Gier, one of the four remnants, along with Chris Greatwich and James and Phil Younghusband, of the 2010 team that made history and put the Philippines back on the Asean football map. “With a crowd cheering for them, it’s going to be a difficult game.” “But we’re underdogs who don’t have to win,” he added. “It’s just nice knowing that we can go into the game a little bit free knowing that we’ve qualified.” “But make no mistake about it; we want to top the group,” the Filipino-British defender continued. “We won’t be taking our foot off the pedal. We’re going for that win again for sure.” The Azkals only need a draw to achieve their objective, while a draw for second-ranked Vietnam will also be enough for the host team to advance. Vietnam coach Toshiya Miura remained wary of the Filipinos, but are hoping to snap the skid. “The Philippines is very strong and recently has been stronger than Vietnam,” the Japanese mentor said. Azkals coach Thomas Dooley stressed the team’s last two wins against the Vietnamese hardly matter as he wants to continue to see improved play from his boys. “The past games don’t mean anything,” the German-American mentor said. “Collective team effort, the strategy on how we want to play - these are the main focus. Everything else doesn’t matter.”

Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/azkals/news/semifinals-bound-azkals-remain-eager-to-perform-against-host-vietnam

Patrick Reichelt out for Azkals match against Vietnam with knee injury

From: Karlo Sacamos

HANOI — The Philippine national football team’s Asean Football Federation Cup bid suffered another blow with Patrick Reichelt out due to a knee injury. Reichelt is set to miss the Azkals’ match against host Vietnam on Friday but Azkals coach Thomas Dooley is hopeful the Filipino-German striker would be fit to play for the Suzuki Cup knockout stage. The Philippine Azkals have secured a spot in the semifinals with the full six points from two matches, but the Vietnam game will affect the ranking.

Reichelt started against Indonesia after an impressive showing off the bench against Laos, but twisted his knee in the match against Indonesia. Starting center-back Juani Guirado suffered a hamstring injury early in the match against Indonesia and could be out for the remainder of the tournament.

“Patrick is out,” the German-American mentor confirmed. The semifinals will be played on the first week of December with first leg of the finals set on Dec. 17. Dooley said he will activate Paul Mulders from the reserve list, but remains undecided on who to insert in the starting lineup, with Mark Hartmann one of the possible choices. “We are thinking of a couple of possibilities,” Dooley said. “Do we go with speed or technique? It depends on the situation.”

Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/azkals/news/patrick-reichelt-knee-injury-philippine-azkals-aff-suzuki-cup-football

26 November 2014

FOOTBALL AZKALS Injured Juani Guirado confident Azkals backline will hold strong as they go deep in AFF Suzuki Cup

From: Karlo Sacamos

HANOI — Juani Guirado is confident the backline of the Philippine men’s football team will remain as sturdy as ever even in his absence potentially for the rest of the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup. The Filipino-Spanish center-back, who is expected to be out for at least two weeks after hurting his right hamstring in the Azkals’ 4-0 win over Indonesia, noted that the team's defense has conceded only one goal in two matches.

“We have the best defenders,” he said, referring to Amani Aguinaldo and Rob Gier, who came in for Guirado 14 minutes into the match. “We have Amani, we have Rob, so we have a lot of good players. But I’ll try to come back and fight for the team.” Guirado was left frustrated after coming off the match despite not nursing any injury for a while. “I don’t know what happened. I felt good and took care of myself. But I tried to sprint and I just felt pain in my hamstring and I couldn’t run.”

Alvaro Silva, another Filipino-Spaniard who were registered for the tournament, could also be a replacement once he gets his Philippine passport. “I don’t if Alvaro is ready, but Rob is ready always, works hard, and he showed he can also score, so I’m happy for him,” Guirado said. Azkals coach Thomas Dooley said starting right-back Simone Rota can also move to central defense then decide who to fill his place. Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos

Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/azkals/news/juani-guirado-injured-philippine-azkals-aff-suzuki-cup-footbal

Azkals boss eyes 25,000-seat Philippine Stadium as venue for Suzuki Cup semis home match

From: Karlo Sacamos
HANOI – A big venue after a big achievement. Philippine men’s football team manager Dan Palami has raised the possibility of holding the home leg of the semifinals of the Asean Football Federation Suzuki at the newly built Philippine Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan. Following the Azkals’ 4-0 shutout of Indonesia on Tuesday that secured their place in the knockout stage, Palami mentioned the 25,000-seat stadium beside the Philippine Arena as a possible venue for the next round aside from the Rizal Memorial Stadium. “It all depends, but of course, I think playing in the new Philippine Stadium would be a great experience especially if the fans will go there,” the Azkals boss said. “It’s been a while since we’ve seen (that many) Filipino fans together, cheering for us.”

Palami recalled the biggest crowd the Azkals have ever played before was in the Gulf region where 16,000 Pinoys watched them in a friendly. “If we could fill up the Philippine Stadium, that would be a nice atmosphere,” said Palami, who started an online poll, asking fans where between the Philippine Stadium and the Rizal Memorial would they want to watch the semifinal home match. “In so far as allowing more fans to watch the game is concerned, then we’ll go for the Philippine Stadium,” he said as Rizal has a seating capacity of less than 13,000. Palami said World Sports Group, the Suzuki Cup organizer, has already made an inspection on the new stadium. “Although it’s not as accessible as Rizal, but if a bus is provided from Balintawak — it’s just a fifteen- to twenty-minute ride — a lot of fans can go without the hassle.” The stadium sits next to the Philippine Arena - believed to be the biggest domed stadium in the world - inside the vast complex owned by the regilious group Iglesia ni Cristo in Bulacan. The PBA recently held its opening day at the 57,000-capacity arena, attracting more than 52,000 fans by providing shuttle bus services for fans, courtesy of expansion team KIA Motors.

Palami also cited the grass pitch of the Philippine Stadium as a factor as the Azkals have acclimated themselves playing on grass at the My Dinh National Stadium. Rizal’s field has recently been turned into an artificial turf. “We’ve been able to adjust quite well to the grass pitch,” he said. “If you look at the two games we’ve had so far, I think we had very good games on grass, so I feel it (PH stadium) may be the best pitch for us.”

Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/azkals/news/azkals-boss-names-25000-seat-philippine-stadium-as-possible-venue-of-azkals-suzuki-cup-semis-home

25 November 2014

Big blow to Azkals as Juani Guirado injury could sideline him for remainder of AFF Suzuki Cup

From: Karlo Sacamos

HANOI — The Philippine men’s football team may have won against Indonesia to clinch a semifinal berth in the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup, but the Azkals is expected to miss a defensive stalwart the rest of the tournament due to an injury. Starting center-back Juani Guirado suffered a pulled a hamstring on his right knee early in the 4-0 shutout that could sideline him for rest of the competition.

Azkals coach Thomas Dooley expects the Filipino-Spanish defender to be absent for “two to three weeks” but fears worse. “It could even be four weeks,” the German-American mentor said of Guirado, who skipper Rob Gier replaced just 14 minutes into the match. The first leg of the semifinals kicks off in the first week of December and the first match of the finals set on December 17. Dooley said super-sub turned starter Patrick Reichelt also twisted his knee, “so we have to find out how bad that is.” “Definitely we will change some players,” Dooley added. “Players are going to get a chance to play. But I have faith in everyone we have here. Everyone will get a chance to play, but it doesn’t mean we don’t want to win.”

Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/azkals/news/azkals-zuzuki-cup-juani-guirado-hamstring-injury-philippines-aff-football

Azkals book ticket to Suzuki Cup semis with stunning shutout of Indonesia

From: Karlo Sacamos

HANOI – The Philippine men’s football team put on a dominant display, outclassing Indonesia, 4-0, on Tuesday at the My Dinh National Stadium to book an early ticket to the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup semifinals. Eager to advance outright to the knockout stage of Southeast Asia’s showpiece event, the Azkals ripped the lethargic Indonesians apart with their clinical passing and staunch defending to score stunning shutout. That enabled Philippines to increase its point total to six points to keep a firm grip of the lead in Group A, while leaving Indonesia with only a point. “It was an excellent performance,” Azkals coach Thomas Dooley said. “You can’t play better…but I never thought we would win four-nothing.” Phil Younghusband scored for the second straight game, while Manny Ott, Martin Steuble, and Rob Gier found the back of the net as well for the Filipino booters, who finally slayed the ghost that had long haunted them for eight decades, defeating the Indonesians for the first time since 1934. “There’s always a first time for everything,” Dooley said. “But if we broke some records or we beat some team for the first time, it doesn’t matter. What’s most important is we play good.” In an ominous sign of things to come, Misagh Bahadoran drew a foul inside the box 15 minutes into the match to get rewarded with a penalty, which Younghusband converted to open the floodgates. Ott, the Filipino-German midfielder who along with Jerry Lucena has been a fantastic facilitator, emerged on the firing end this time, firing a missile six minutes into the second half to double the lead. The Azkals kept pounding as Steuble pounced on a napping Indonesian defense in the 67th minute to score from a close-range free kick. Gier put the exclamation point by scoring off his own miss 11 minutes before stoppage time.

Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/azkals/news/azkals-reach-suzuki-cup-semis-philippines-shuts-out-indonesia-aff-football

Philippines vs Indonesia: AFF Suzuki Cup 2014 Highlights

AFF Suzuki Cup : Philippines 4-0 Indonesia

AFF Suzuki Cup in Vietnam

Tuesday : Philippines vs Indonesia , 5 pm (Philippines)

TV : ABS CBN Sports and Action , Fox Sports

Livescore : www.futbol24.com

Livestream links : http://eversport.tv/football/aff-suzuki-cup-2014/2014/11/25/philippines-vs-indonesia

1-0 Phil Younghusband
1-0 HT
2-0 Ott
3-0 Steuble
4-0 Gier

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24 November 2014

Azkals out to punch early ticket to Suzuki Cup semis in match against Indonesia

HANOI – The Philippine men’s football team tries to make an early entry to the semifinals of the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup for a change, continuing its campaign against Indonesia on Tuesday at the My Dinh National Stadium.
After starting slow and waiting until the last whistle of their last group stage match in the last two editions of Southeast Asia’s championship to determine their fate, the Azkals gained a golden opportunity to catch the first bus to the knockout stage after opening their stint with a 4-1 victory over Laos last Saturday.
“We’re in a good situation,” Azkals coach Thomas Dooley said on Monday during the pre-match press conference. “But we have to win first, because it’s going to be more difficult next game as Vietnam is the strongest team in our group.”
The Filipino booters, who are on top of Group A with three points, face the host team in the last day of the group stage on Friday.
But the Azkals hope to avoid complications in their bid to capture a breakthrough title as they take on the Merah Putih in a match that kicks off at 5 p.m. (Manila time).
“If we want to be the best, we have to beat the best. And Indonesia is one of the best teams in Southeast Asia,” striker Phil Youghusband said of the world’s 157th-ranked squad.
The Azkals are also ranged against an Indonesian side that’s left in a must-win situation after gaining only one point following a 2-2 draw against Vietnam also last Saturday.
“I think they will be more aggressive and attack a little bit more,” Dooley said of the Indonesians, who salvaged the stalemate with a late goal against Vietnam. “So we have to do everything right, make less mistakes.”
One mistake Dooley hopes the Filipino booters avoid is to commit unnecessary fouls, like one that occurred in the opener when they surrendered a close-range free kick that led to the Laotians’ only goal.
“Sometimes we’re making easy fouls when we shouldn’t,” the German-American mentor said. “We should just stay behind the player and let him make a mistake. We are sometimes a bit too aggressive and especially in front of our goal.”
“We need to stop giving free kicks away in dangerous areas, because we know the quality and technique of Asian players is so good that they can score (from a free kick)” Younghusband added.
“But it’s difficult. We have a lot of players from Europe where the refereeing is different. Sometimes, a foul in Europe is not a foul here in Asia.”


23 November 2014

Azkals out to prove doubters wrong after being dismissed by analysts as 'non-contenders'

From: Karlo Sacamos

HANOI — After a good start, a better performance is necessary for the best finish.
That’s what Philippine men’s football team manager Dan Palami is hoping for as the Azkals try to finally conquer the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup.
The Azkals kicked off their campaign on a bright note after overwhelming Laos, 4-1, on Saturday in a rare opening victory that proved elusive in the past two stagings of Southeast Asia’s showpiece event.
“This is the best start that we’ve had so far in the three editions we’re in the group stages,” Palami said a day after the win as the Filipino booters fared poorer in starting the last two editions, settling for a 1-1 draw against Singapore in 2010, then suffering a 2-1 loss to Thailand two years later. “I hope we sustain the momentum.” But the Azkals have a long way to go despite being on the cusp of another semifinal berth with a victory against Indonesia on Tuesday. Only the top two teams in Group A advance to the next round. “If we win against Indonesia, that eases a lot of pressure on the team and maybe we’ll be able to rest some people in the last game,” the national team boss said. “But of course we want to get nine points and establish ourselves as true contenders in this tournament,” he was quick to add after hearing foreign TV analysts call them 'non-contenders.' “They didn’t give us a chance to even qualify for the semis,” he said. “So I hope we prove them wrong and especially with the support of the Filipinos, we will be successful.” One thing the Azkals can do, according to Palami, is to convert chances they failed to make against the Laotians. “If we are to be successful, we have to be more clinical in our finishing,” he observed.

Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/azkals/news/philippine-azkals-aff-suzuki-cup-football-dan-palami-asean-football

Azkals super-sub Patrick Reichelt glad to show boss he deserves to start

From: Karlo Sacamos

HANOI – Showing he deserved to be a starter, Patrick Reichelt led from the front as a sub in the Philippine men’s football team’s 4-1 win over Laos in their Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup opener on Saturday at the My Dinh National Stadium. The 26-year-old winger, a regular starter, came off the bench and played less than 30 minutes, but played well enough to lead the Azkals in scoring with a brace. Although “a bit disappointed” at being left by coach Thomas Dooley out of the starting XI, Reichelt stressed that the victory, which moved the Filipino booters on the verge of a third straight semifinal berth, was all that matters. “Every player wants to start, obviously. Every player is a bit disappointed if he’s not starting,” he said back at the team hotel. “But I was cheering with my full heart. Then I said to myself, 'If I was going to come in, I was going to give my one-hundred percent.' That’s all I can do, try to convince the coach and try to use my time. “And I thought I did a good job,” the Filipino-German standout added. “But at the end of the day, it’s all about the win.” Reichelt came on in the 65th minute for Mark Hartmann, whose recent hot streak came to an end. “He’s a great finisher, but he was a bit unlucky,” Dooley said of Hartmann. “So we went to Patrick and he was right there.” “Everybody who comes in needs to be better than the one who’s coming out or maybe at least as good as him, otherwise, why should I take him out?” “And it (decision to field Reichelt) was worth it,” the German-American mentor was quick to add.

Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/azkals/news/super-sub-patrick-reichelt-

22 November 2014

YouTube : Philippines vs Laos: AFF Suzuki Cup 2014 Highlights

AFF SUZUKI CUP: Full points for Philippines

HANOI (22 Nov 2014) – Philippines picked up their first full points in Group A of the AFF Suzuki Cup here at the My Dinh National Stadium when they staged a fabulous fight back to beat Laos 4-1.
But it was Laos who grabbed the lead in the first half before the Philippines scored two goals in each half for the win.
“We created a lot of chances even though we struggled in the first 25 minutes of the game,” said Philippines coach Thomas Dooley. “We made some easy mistakes at the start which allowed Laos to score.
“But we recovered to win the game in the end.”
It was the Philippines who pushed hard at the start through Martin Steuble and Mark Hartmann attacking from either flank which gave a lot of problem to the Laotian defence.
And while Jerry Lucena’s attempt was cleared on the line in the first quarter, it was Laos who went in front when Khampeng Sayavuthi fired in a free kick in the 21st minute that had ?? well beaten.
But the Philippines did not lose their focus and they maintained the rhythm to press Laos into their own half and in the 39th minute a cross from the right was headed into goal by Simone Rota.
And with just seconds left of the first half, captain Philip Younghusband slammed in the second goal for the Philippines to be 2-1 in front at the half.
With the crosses coming in hard at the start of the second half, the substitution for Patrick Reichelt would be pivotal when he snuck in the third goal of the game in the 76th minute before ensuring Philippines’ win with the fourth two minutes to the end.
“We knew that the crosses would be dangerous,” said Laos coach David Booth. “We tried to counter it but it was just too difficult against the taller Philippines players.”


AFF Suzuki Cup : Philippines 4-1 Laos FT

AFF Suzuki Cup Saturday

Philippines vs Laos , 5 pm (Philippines)

Tv : Fox Sports (Live)  , start 4.30 pm
ABS CNN Sports and Action , delayed 9 pm

Livescore : www.futbol24.com

Livestream link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHbD1DLyYMs  (this livestream may not work in ASEAN)

Alternative livestream link  : http://eversport.tv/football/aff-suzuki-cup-2014/2014/11/22/philippines-vs-laos

Photo: Philippines 22-man squad for the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup

They begin their campaign today against Laos at 4:00pm local time (5:00pm Manila) at My Dinh Stadium, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Come on you Azkals!

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0-1 Laos
1-1 Rota
2-1 Phil Younghusband
2-1 HT

3-1 Reichelt
4-1 Reichelt
4-1 FT

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21 November 2014

Philippines' pursuit of football glory continues as Azkals open Suzuki Cup campaign vs Laos

THE Philippines continues its pursuit of football glory as it kicks off its Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup campaign against Laos on Saturday at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Falling short in their last two competitions — finals losses in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup and the Philippine Peace Cup, the Azkals remain motivated as they seek to the end the year with a bang.

“This is a big deal,” skipper Rob Gier said. “The guys need to get excited by it and they need to get on board and they need to realize what this competition can bring. And we’re on course.”

After all, this is the tournament that started it all. Coming off two straight semifinal appearances in Southeast Asia’s showpiece event, the Filipino booters aim for no less than a championship this time.

“Now we just need that extra little (push)—it might be two percent or five percent—whatever we need to get us over that line,” said Gier, one of only two overseas-based standouts in the lineup.

With overseas-based goalkeepers unavailable, Patrick Deyto takes spotlight as Azkals' last line of defense

The first obstacle the locally loaded Azkals need to hurdle is Laos, which is seeking to make the most of the opportunity after catching the last bus to the group stage by finishing as the second-best team in the qualifiers.

The teams last met in the Challenge Cup group stage in May when the Azkals emerged a 2-0 winner.

Now, they face off once again in a Group A match at 5 p.m. at the 40,000-seat venue with the 129th-ranked Filipino booters entering as favorites against a team ranked 25 spots lower than them.

But rankings hardly matter based on the Azkals’ penultimate friendly, a 3-0 loss to 165th-ranked Thailand in a match that served as a wake-up call to the Filipinos.

The Azkals prevailed in their last tune-up, a 3-0 win over Nepal, but still showed signs of weakness especially on the defensive end.

“No matter what preparation you do, obviously you’ve got to make sure you get the right amount of games and the right amount of training and you’re fit enough,” star striker Phil Younghusband said.

“But the results that happened before, it doesn’t really matter. It’s important you perform in the actual competition.”

Phil Younghusband, skipper Rob Gier lead first batch of Azkals to leave for Suzuki Cup

“Historically, we are a good team when it comes to tournaments, when it really matters,” Gier said. “And I’m sure that’s going to be the case this time.”

Only the top two teams in group play advance to the knockout stage.

“We can be champions. That will always be our target,” team manager Dan Palami said. “It’s difficult to ascertain especially I haven’t seen much of Vietnam and Indonesia. But if we get through the semis, I think we’ll even have a better chance of getting the championship.”

“Certainly we have become a better team,” he added. “And with it comes higher expectations from everybody. We’ll take that up as a challenge and hopefully we’ll be up to it.”


19 November 2014

Azkals in Vietnam

Phil Younghusband, skipper Rob Gier lead first batch of Azkals to leave for Suzuki Cup

From: Karlo Sacamos

THE Azkals’ lineup for the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup is nearly complete ahead of the Philippines’ campaign in Vietnam this weekend. The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has pruned down the registered 35-man pool, booking 21 players for flights that left for Hanoi on Wednesday morning. Skipper Rob Gier and leading scorer Phil Younghusband once again banner the squad. Filipino-Spanish defender Alvaro Silva was not booked as he is still waiting for his passport, but can still make the roster. Neil Etheridge and Roland Muller were also excluded due to club commitments, although the latter can be available starting in the second leg of the semifinals after the end of his Swiss club Servette FC’s season. Jeffrey Christiaens, Anton del Rosario, Jason Sabio, Paolo Bugas, Carli de Murga, Satoshi Otomo, Mike Ott, Nate Burkey, and OJ Porteria were the other players left out, while Chieffy Caligdong and Jason de Jong recently retired from national duty. The PFF is expected to name final roster on the eve of the Azkals’ first assignment on Saturday against Laos. Only 18 can sit on the bench. The full list of players who were booked is listed below. Goalkeepers: Patrick Deyto, Tomas Trigo Defenders: Amani Aguinaldo, Rob Gier, Juani Guirado, Simone Rota, Daisuke Sato, Dennis Villanueva Midfielders: Misagh Bahadoran, Kenshiro Daniels, Curt Dizon, Chris Greatwich, Simon Greatwich, Jerry Lucena, Paul Mulders, Manny Ott, Martin Steuble, James Younghusband Forwards: Mark Hartmann, Patrick Reichelt, Phil Younghusband

Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/news/azkals-lineup-nearly-complete-as-pff-books-21-players-to-hanoi-flights

18 November 2014

With overseas-based goalkeepers unavailable, Patrick Deyto takes spotlight as Azkals' last line of defense

From: Karlo Sacamos

WITH overseas-based standouts swamped with club duties, Patrick Deyto once again takes the spotlight as the Philippine men’s football team’s last line of defense in the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup. Neil Etheridge of England is trying to make a good first impression with his new club Oldham Athletic, while Filipino-German Roland Muller is listed, but will only be available in the knockout stage after the end of Swiss club Servette FC’s season. That makes Manila-based Deyto the starting goalkeeper for the Azkals when they vie for top honors in the Suzuki Cup kicking off on Saturday. The Azkals’ first match is against Laos. Deyto’s Global coach, Leigh Manson, believes his ward is ready for the challenge after being honed by Azkals and Global goalkeeping coach Jorge Kuriyama of Mexico, a relationship that has resulted in the student winning the Golden Glove award in the recent United Football League FA League Cup. “I think Patrick’s blossoming under Jorge’s tutelage,” Manson said. “He’s getting training like he’s never had before.” The 6-foot La Salle product also had the chance to play against top-striking Global teammates Mark Hartmann and Izzo El-Habbib. “He’s facing the likes of Mark and Izzo, shooting at him every day,” Manson said, noting that the 24-year-old Deyto is still far from his full potential. “I don’t think he has reached his peak by any means. We all know goalkeepers mature and get better at reading the game and that’s when they really come into themselves.” “I think in two years’ time, you’ll see a real Philippine-based goalkeeper who’ll give the foreign-based ’keepers a real run for their money, because of the quality of the training he’s getting day in and day out,” Manson added. But Deyto has already shown he can deliver in the present, with his stellar showing in friendlies. “I’m very proud of him,” Manson said. “I think you’ll continue to see Patrick getting better and better, which is great for Filipino football.” Tomas Trigo of Soccerro is the other goalkeeper who Azkals coach Thomas Dooley is expected to bring in the Suzuki Cup.

Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/azkals/news/patrick-deyto-azkals-goalkeeper-neil-etheridge-roland-muller-aff-suzuki-cup

PFF books players for Hanoi

The Philippine Football Federation has booked the following players of the National Men’s Team for their flight to Vietnam. The team will be participating in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2014 to be held in Hanoi.
1. Robert James GIER

2. Juan Luis GUIRADO

3. James Joseph YOUNGHUSBAND

4. Manuel OTT


6. Philip James YOUNGHUSBAND

7. Daisuke SATO

8. Amani Manuel AGUINALDO

9. Patrick Phillip DEYTO

10. Christopher Robert GREATWICH

11. Martin Markus STEUBLE

12. Paul MULDERS

13. Simone ROTA

14. Simon Clive GREATWICH

15. Mark Andrew HARTMANN

16. Tomas Angel TRIGO

17. Curt-Jordan DIZON

18. Patrick REICHELT

19. Kenshiro Michael DANIELS

20. Jerry Ruben LUCENA


Team Officials:

22. Dan Stephen PALAMI (Team Manager)​
​23. Thomas Dennis DOOLEY (Head Coach)​

24. Sebastian STACHE (Assistant Coach)​

25. Jorge Andres TREVIÑO KURIYAMA (Goalkeeper Coach)​

26. Josef Mari MALINAY (Fitness Coach)​

27. Walfred JAVIER (Physiotherapist)​

28. Chester Benedict PELIÑO (Equipment Manager)​

29. Jaron GENOTA (Team Coordinator/Media Officer)​

30. Kevin CONEJOS (Masseur)​

31. Anton George SHEKER (Official Photographer)​