30 April 2018

UAAP Final - UP vs UST

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Philippines Girls Under-16 Team To Play In AFF Girls Under-16 Championship

The Philippines Girls Under-16 Football Team is excited to compete in the AFF Girls’ Under-16 Championship which begins on 1 May 2018 in Palembang, Indonesia.
The Philippines is in Group A and will face Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Vietnam in the group stage. The team arrived in Palembang in the morning of 30 April 2018.
Last year in Vientiane, Laos, the Philippines Girls Under-15 Team clinched a silver medal finish after yielding to Thailand in the final.
The team trained at the PFF National Training Centre in the San Lazaro Leisure Park, Carmona, Cavite and at De La Salle Santiago Zobel school in Alabang, Muntinlupa. The team also conducted friendly matches at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
The head coach is former Philippines Women’s National Team captain Marielle Benitez. She is assisted by former Philippines national team players Isabella Fernando and Eleonora Dillera. Former Women’s National Team head coach Letecia “Buda” Bautista is the Technical Advisor and PFF Women’s Committee Chairperson Ms. Lalaine Sarmiento is the Head of Delegation.
“We wish the Philippines Girls Under-16 team the best of luck as they look to claim a podium finish in this year’s AFF Girls’ Under-16 Championship,” said PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes. “In the Girls Under-15 tournament last year, the team had a silver-medal finish. This year we hope the team can improve on it.”
Players and Place of Birth:
  1. ALUDOS, Lorjane – Benguet
  2. BOCALAN, Eunique – Benguet
  3. BORRA, Jazindah Alanah – Quezon City
  4. DIVINO, Stella Marie – Quezon City
  5. GAYAPA, Leofrance – Zamboanga del Norte
  6. HOSKING, Isabella Maria – Thailand
  7. IGNACIO, Astrid Heiress – Quezon City
  8. LAZO, Maria Gloria – Quezon City
  9. LIM, Traci Paige – Quezon City
  10. MAPANAO, Isabelle – Muntinlupa City
  11. ONG, Isabelle Meagan – Makati City
  12. PANAGAN, Kylie Faith – Benguet
  13. SANTIAGO, Micha Pauline – Manila
  14. SY, Bianca Ellaine – Zamboanga del Norte
  15. TAN, Gretl Margrethe – Davao City
  16. TAYLOR, Abigail – China
  17. TEMPLAZA, Jean – Compostela Valley
  18. TUAÑO, Gabrielle Satine – Quezon City
  19. TULABING, Sarahgen – Zamboanga del Norte
  20. UMBAO, Jenny Lou – Negros Occidental
  21. VILLACIN, Mikaela Jacqueline – Cadiz City
  22. YATCO, Alyanna Marie – Quezon City
3 May 2018 4:00 PM Local time (5:00 PM Philippine time)
Malaysia vs Philippines
Venue: Bumi Sriwijaya
5 May 2018 4:00 PM Local time (5:00 PM Philippine time)
Philippines vs Singapore
Venue: Bumi Sriwijaya
7 May 2018 4:00 PM Local time (5:00 PM Philippine time)
Vietnam vs Philippines
Venue: Jaka Baring 1
9 May 2018 4:00 PM Local time (5:00 PM Philippine time)
Philippines vs Myanmar
Venue: Jaka Baring 1

28 April 2018

PFL Sunday - Global Cebu 0-3 Davao Aguilas

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Start 7 pm

Livestream :


0-1 Phil Younghusband PK
0-1 HT
0-2 James Younghusband
0-3 James Younghusband
0-3 FT

Global Cebu: Deyto, Casambre, Lee, Dos Santos, Jarvis (Regala 54’), Bugas, Gadia (Angeles ’67), Mulders (Marasigan 42’), Roberts, Salenga, Rufo
Davao Aguilas: O’ Donnell, Matas, Rota, Grommen, Otomo, Villanueva, P Younghusband (Khan 82’), Hartmann, Kim (McDonald 69’), J Younghusband (Sawyer 75’), Guirado

PFL : JPV Marikina 1-4 Ceres-Negros

AFF Suzuki Cup Draw: The Possible Groups and Match-ups

The group-stage draw for the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup takes place on May 2. We know the identities of nine of the 10 teams, with the winner of Brunei Darussalam and Timor Leste joining after September’s play-off, and it's time to turn our attentions to the permutations on offer.
Here we look at what could unfold at the prestigious tournament draw event in Jakarta and which teams could be pitted against one another in potential groups of death, groups of champions, familiar foes and more.
As it stands, here is the current seeding with one nation from each pot to be drawn to make two groups of five teams, which will play a round robin system with each team playing two home and two away fixtures:
Pot 1: Thailand, Vietnam
Pot 2: Indonesia, Malaysia
Pot 3: Philippines, Myanmar
Pot 4: Singapore, Cambodia
Pot 5: Laos, Brunei Darussalam or Timor Leste

27 April 2018

Davao Aguilas FC finds solution for grueling home-and-away PFL games

by Beatrice Go

MANILA, Philippines – Davao Aguilas FC continues to reach greater heights in its second Philippines Football League (PFL) season as the club formalized its partnership with Cebu Pacific Air on Thursday, April 26.
With an airline sponsor, the club expects to be able to cope with the PFL's grueling home-and-away format that had greatly affected a number of their players last season, especially those who had national duties with the Azkals in the Asian Cup qualifiers.
"In terms of us flying to and from [provinces], we’ll be given some more assistance," said Davao Aguilas FC general manager Michael Shaw.
"We need to maximize our sponsorships to make sure that our athletes minimize their focus on the logisitics to purely just focusing on the game."
According to Shaw, the club is currently based in Manila but it will also eventually settle in Davao later in 2018. The partnership with Cebu Pacific becomes a strategic decision as it will pay dividends in the future seasons of the PFL.
"It’s also very strategic because [for] us flying home and away, especially with Kaya going to Iloilo, Ceres in Negros and sooner or later more teams coming into the PFL, we hope that this will be a lot easier and we will streamline the process of the home-and-away matches," said Shaw.
Davao Aguilas aims to be one of the clubs that will minimize the disruptions in schedule this PFL season as the inaugural edition suffered from game cancellations due to a lack of budget allocated for traveling.
"Travel has been an issue, whether the team can travel to the games or not," recalled Davao Aguilas captain Phil Younghusband.
"It hasn’t been feasible and they haven’t been able to [travel], so it has affected the schedules and it will mean that later when you have to catch up on games."
In the first PFL season, Davao Aguilas finished 7th out of 8 despite being able to load up on talent, acquiring Phil and James Younghusband from FC Meralco last July.
Azkals mainstays Younghusbands, Dennis Villanueva and Simone Rota had difficulties in juggling national team duties in the Asian Cup qualifiers while playing with the club every 3 days due to the packed schedule of the PFL.
"That was probably the most tired I felt during my time in the Philippines last season," admitted Phil.
"You can see in our performances [in the Asian Cup qualifiers] that we got 3 games that we expected to win, but we got 3 draws. So I think it was the effect of a lot of traveling and a lot of the consecutive games in the [PFL] schedule."
However, with the PFL's revamped schedule this season, the league is aiming to finish before the international break in September which will make way for the Azkals' training for the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup and the 2019 Asian Cup in United Arab Emirates.
"We want to be ready for Suzuki Cup and we want to be ready for the Asian Cup and we don’t want to go into those competitions tired because of the schedule and too much traveling," said the Azkals striker.

For now, the Younghusbands and other members of the national team are focusing on the ongoing PFL season of their respective clubs. After 4 games, the Davao Aguilas ranked 2nd behind Ceres Negros FC with 8 points from two wins and two draws. – Rappler.com


We would like to advise the football stakeholders that the match between JPV Marikina FC and Ceres Negros FC will be played in a closed stadium at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on 28 April 2018, 4 p.m.
JPV Marikina FC was not able to mobilize adequate security personnel for the match and hence requested for the match to be played without spectators


26 April 2018


Liga Futbol Inc. (LFI), the governing body of the Philippines Football League (PFL), would like to advise the football stakeholders that the home matches of Davao Aguilas FC, Global Cebu FC, and JPV Marikina FC would temporarily be held at approved alternate venues. The approval was made upon the request of the said Clubs after providing justifiable reasons.
The three Clubs were granted provisional permission to host their home matches at the alternate venues with their Approved Grounds currently unavailable for the time being. Davao Aguilas, Global Cebu and JPV Marikina will be hosting their home matches at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium and Binan Football Stadium until further notice.
The LFI requests the stakeholders to understand the current situation of the said Clubs and rest assured that fans will be able to watch their Clubs play at their approved venues as soon as availability permits.


24 April 2018


Ceres-Negros FC aims to make history as they host Home United FC in their final group stage match in the AFC Cup on April 25 at the Panaad stadium. The busmen are keen to end their Group F campaign on a high note with a good performance at home.
The two clubs met last February 27 at the Jalan Besar Stadium where they had a 1-1 draw in Match Day 2. Home United went ahead with an early penalty but Ceres conjured an equalizer near the end to salvage a point in Singapore.
Winning is the only option for the Singaporean club as of presstime as it will put them at the number one spot and edge Ceres via the head-to-head tiebreaker.
“I think, to come here, it’s in our mind is to win and get three points,” said United Coach Aidil Sharin. “But we have to be smart on how were gonna play and of course be very tight during the counterattack. I expect the boys to follow (the game plan) and to hope to get a good result and surprise them (Ceres),” Sharin added.
Ceres-Negros Coach Risto Vidakovic sees the match as an opportunity to finish strong after having a good run in the group stage.
“I think we really had an excellent group stage up to now and we have the opportunity to make it perfect. I think we have to try and give everything tomorrow. ” said Vidakovic.
“We know each other and we played each other three times. We know how they play and we want to have a good result and give happiness to our home crowd tomorrow,” he added.
Stephan Schrock is well aware of the quality that the opponent brings and trusts his team can deliver a good result in their final group match with a good crowd behind them in Panaad,
“We believe in our strengths and we believe in our team,” said Stephan Schrock. “We want to deliver a quality performance tomorrow once again and we will do that. I hope there will be a lot of people coming out supporting us, he added.
Home United is expected to miss Faritz Hameed and Shakir Hamzah due to accumulated cards but Juma’at Jantan and Sirina Camara will be expected to lead the defense. Song Ui-Young and veteran Shahril Ishak will be leading the Home attack tomorrow.
Ceres-Negros will have a full squad at their disposal on the coming match with Bienvenido Maranon, Toni Doblas. and Schrock anticipated to be a part of the starting eleven. A win for the home squad will push them to 16 points, the most points earned by a Filipino Club in the group stage of the tournament.
The match will kick off at 6pm and fans with tickets are expected to come early. Viewing screens will also be available at the grandstand entrance for those unable to secure tickets. A live telecast of the match is available via Fox Sports (1) while paid streams of the match can be accessed through Fox Plus and Fox Sports Play.


Martin Steuble marked his return to competitive football last April 11 on a humid night in Phnom Penh in the AFC Cup. It was the Ceres veteran’s first appearance after limping off the second leg of the ASEAN final in Bacolod last year.
Steuble checked in the 81st minute against Boeung Ket and produced a good run on the pitch after challenging phase of treatment and rehabilitation. He was in good spirits after the match where he almost produced an assist and showed good form for his squad.
“I’m very happy to be back,” said the former MLS player. “I’m happy to be able to play and be on the pitch again with my teammates. The rehab is now behind me but I still have to work further to maintain my condition,” he added.
The former national team player felt a pop in his knee in August of last year which showed no ligament damage after initial tests. With no improvements to his condition after therapy, Steuble had to consult with other specialists who eventually found the true cause of his inury
“It was a nerve problem which blocked some functions of my body. With time, it affected my knee which was used in a wrong way until it popped. It took maybe 1 1/2 to 2 years until it happened,” he added.
The versatile playmaker returned to the team last January in full fitness after getting the right treatment in Switzerzland months earluer. His return however had a few setbacks as his knee didn’t have the desired reaction to the higher load.
“I had to do further treatment to just release and unblock my nerves again. It took some time but I would say I’m back now for more than a month and fully back in team training,” said Steuble.
The 29-year old is however not rushing into things after getting a taste of competitive football. “If you’re out for eight months, you appreciate all the things. For me to share the field again with my teammates and just to be able to be part of it is already great. So I try not to think too far ahead,” said the Swiss league veteran.
“We have a lot of games coming and we need all of the players. I’m  sure I will get my minutes whenever I get the trust from the coach and from my teammates and I want to pay them back with a good performance,” Steuble added.

Masbate - 3rd Ikthus Futsal Cup

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Kaya Fc-Iloilo

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22 April 2018

PFL approves Iloilo as Kaya home field

 Adrian Stewart Co

THE Philippines Football League formally approved the Iloilo Sports Complex in Iloilo City to become the venue of the home matches of Kaya Iloilo for the ongoing 2018 season.
Iloilo Provincial Sports Development Officer Ray Cabarles told Panay News the move was approved after Liga Futbol, Inc. inspected the playing venue on Friday.
“We thank Kaya Futbol Club for making the province of Iloilo as its home stadium,” Cabarles said. “Having a commercial football team based in our province will be a huge boost to our sports program.”
Kaya Iloilo played the PFL matches it previously hosted at its former home field, the University of Makati football stadium, when the PFL has not yet approved the new venue.
Kaya Iloilo’s debut game in the newly renovated Sports Complex will be against fellow Visayan squad Global Cebu on May 2, Cabarles disclosed.
Meanwhile Provincial Football Director Edwin Caro Laru-an said llonggos welcome Kaya’s formal move – they will have a football team to cheer on again since Stallion FC, which was formerly based in Iloilo.
“Kaya playing its home games [in Iloilo] will give football-loving Ilonggos a chance to watch quality games,” Laru-an said.
Kaya is one of the oldest active football clubs in the Philippines. Established in 1996, the club became one of the founding members of the United Football League in 2010.
The Santi Araneta-supported football squad has one UFL championship and appeared in one international tournament – during the 2016 AFC Cup./PN

PFL - Kaya Fc 4-1 Stallion Laguna

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Livestream link :


21 April 2018

PFL - Davao Aguilas 3-2 JPV Marikina

PFL - Davao Aguilas vs JPV Marikina

Rizal Memorial Stadium , start 7 pm

Livestream :


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Gasic, Kozawa, Moriyasu, Tsubasa, Shimono, Sarmiento, Morallo, Uzoka, Basa, Celiz, Fadrigalan


Tripulca, Cañedo, Baguioro, Angeles, Espinosa, Unabia, De La Torre

19 April 2018

Los Banos Laguna - 7-a-side Football Festival


Subic Bay - 1st MVFC Futsal Tournament


Balayan , Batangas - Tiger Futsal

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Hello coach we are inviting your team to join our first futsal tournament league...Hope you will send partisipants on each age group...Register your team now limited slots only... See you in May 19,2018 @ the Municipal Covered Court Balayan Batangas


Mandaluyong City - 7-a-side football tournament

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Taguig City - 7th Football For Peace Festival

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1st Bulacan 9 Mens Open Football Tournament

1st Bulacan 9 Mens Open Football Tournament
When: May 20, 2018 (Sunday)
Where: Bulacan Sports Complex, Sta. Isabel, Malolos City, Bulacan
Maximum Players: 12 per Team
Entry Fee: 2,500 Pesos
Awards for the Winning Team
For Inquiries: Pls call Levis Galang CP Host 09234305600 or Renante Portera (portz) 09955224074
Host: St. Agatha Football Club
Thank you very much!
Please invite more teams for fun........

17 April 2018


The biggest rivalry in the modern age of Philippine club football. Global Cebu and Ceres-Negros lock horns for their first meeting in the Philippines Football League on April 18 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Global has been winless in the league after surrendering losses to JPV Marikina and Stallion but have turned the corner earning a come from behind draw against the Davao Aguilas. Ceres meanwhile has been unbeatean so far with wins over Kaya FC and JPV.
Both teams have gone different routes in the AFC Cup with Ceres on its way to the Zonal semifinals while Global has been eliminated even after getting points in the latter matches.
It has always been tight in league action for both squads. Alternating wins from the hosts by an average of 1.25 goals per game was the story of last year with Ceres getting an outlier with a 4-1 win in the one-time PFL Final.
Rufo Sanchez, Darryl Roberts, and Wesley Dos Santos have been carrying the load for the Cebu squad so far and the return of Paul Mulders have put them in better shape.
A scoring resurgence from Takumi Uesato may have been dampened with an injury from last game but inspired play from Patrick Reichelt, Bienvenido Maranon, and Carlie De Murga may be enough to match up well with the hosts.
A tight match is expected Wednesday night (April 18) with Global eager to get its first win and Ceres vying to continue their streak. The match kicks off at 7pm with a livestream available at PFLTV.PH.

16 April 2018

YouTube - Philippines 0-5 Korea Republic (AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2018: 5th/6th Playoff)

Benlarbi issues rallying cry to Philippines stars

Amman: Philippines coach Rabah Benlarbi has urged his players to seize the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that has been thrown their way when they face Korea Republic for a place in next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Both sides finished third in their respective groups to set up the crucial play-off for fifth place at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2018, the winner of which is guaranteed a place at France 2019 along with China PR, Thailand, Australia and Japan who have all made the semi-finals in Jordan.

Despite his side being far from favourites to win Monday’s eagerly anticipated showdown, Benlarbi believes the Philippines are more than ready to give their all given what is at stake.

“We still have a chance to qualify for the World Cup, so we must play without any pressure,” he said.

“The Philippines have absolutely nothing to lose as nobody really expected us to be in the position that we find ourselves in.

“We must give our all, as we have 90 minutes to reach the World Cup, it is potentially a once-in-a-lifetime moment for my players.

“If they all do their very best, they can achieve their goals.”

Benlarbi was also quick, however, to acknowledge the size of the task his side faces against a Korea Republic team he feels were unlucky not to qualify for the tournament’s semi-finals.

“I am a little surprised to be playing Korea Republic as they were one of the best teams in Group B and deserved, in my opinion, to go to the semi-finals and of course the World Cup,” declared the Frenchman.

“In football, though, you always have a chance. We know the strengths that the Koreans have, that they are a very compact team and that they are the only team to have not conceded at this tournament.

“They do not have many weakness, but they have a few and we will try to focus on those. It will be difficult, but we have one or two possibilities and we will use those to score against them.”

Meanwhile, opposite number Yoon Duk-yeo is urging his Korea Republic stars to give one final push as they attempt to finish the AFC Women’s Asian Cup on a high by qualifying the World Cup.

“Although my players did their utmost during the group stage, we could not go to the semi-finals as was our plan before we came to Jordan as was our plan.” he said.

“But this match against the Philippines is, of course, a very important one for us, as we can qualify for the World Cup by winning it.

“Our players have given some excellent performances during the group stage, and I will ask them to, once again, give their all as we look to qualify for the World Cup.”


14 April 2018

PFL : JPV Marikina 0-3 Ceres-Negros Fc

PFL : JPV Marikina 3-0  Ceres-Negros Fc

Rizal Memorial Stadium

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13 April 2018


Ceres-Negros FC returns to league action when they take on JPV Marikina FC on April 14 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Both squads have played memorable matches in last years competition with a win apiece and two draws for each club.
JPV drew first blood in their first meeting with a 2-1 win in June of last year. The Marikina side also forced a come from behind win in their first meeting in Bacolod from two goals down.
Ceres made amends with a 5-0 rout in Panaad before their final meeting saw a 2-2 decision when they played last November in Biñan.
Assistant Coach Ian Treyes is well aware of the threat of the Japanese flavored side especially after playing some memorable games in 2017.
“We know that JPV and Ceres have good games in the past years and the margin is not too big,” said the former University of Saint La Salle standout. “I hope we can play our best tomorrow and we can see a good game, he added.
The assistant coach is also wary of the short gap in between tournaments that will make it challenging for the Negros squad but trusts the teams depth to maintain its good form so far.
“Coming from a game abroad in the AFC Cup is difficult for us. We need to recover from the previous game and we’ll adjust again for the game against JPV. We’ll need some other players to step up for this game,” added Treyes.
Marikina currently sits on top with six points after three games while Ceres has three points from their lone match. The match is set to kick-off at 7PM with a livestream available at PFLtv.ph

PFL : Stallion Laguna 3-1 Kaya Fc

Livestream link :


12 April 2018

Philippines Achieved Highest FIFA Ranking At 113th

Philippine Football Federation officials congratulated the Philippine Men’s National Team after the team garnered its highest FIFA ranking at 113th last Thursday 12 April 2018.
The rankings boost, which saw the Philippines move up by 9 places from 122nd last month, came at a very opportune time. Previously the Philippines’ highest FIFA ranking was 115th last May 2016.
The Philippines qualified for their first ever AFC Asian Cup appearance after a thrilling 2-1 win over Tajikistan last 27 March 2018 in front of a packed crowd at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Following the rankings update, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has placed the Philippines in Pot 4 for the 2019 Asian Cup Final Draw which will be held on 4 May 2018 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
“We congratulate the Philippine Men’s National Team for claiming their highest FIFA ranking to date at 113th,” said PFF president Mariano Araneta Jr. “The team’s achievement is a fitting testament to how far Philippine football has improved in a short span and we hope that it will sustain.”
“It is another historic milestone for Philippine football,” said PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes. “It shows that football in the country is on ascendancy brought on by the achievements not just by the Men’s team, but by the Women’s team as well.”

Malditas relegated to playoffs as Thailand book tickets to France

By Kevin Estrada

The Philippines tried with all their might against Thailand, but in the end it was just too good for the ASEAN powerhouse as they made their second-ever consecutive Women's World Cup appearance with a classy 3-1 win in their Group A finale in Amman's King Abdullah Stadium, early Friday morning Manila time.

What was a close encounter in the first half turned into a convincing rout for the Chabakaew, stopping the Malditas anew to book their flight to France by ending their group as runners-up on back-to-back wins, returning to the last four for the first time in 32 years, where they finished third in the fifth edition in Hong Kong.

In the other match, China brushed aside Jordan 8-1 to sweep all their matches and head to the semifinal as group winners.

At the opening whistle, both teams went into attack mode early in an even matched affair, but it was Kearra Bastes-Jones who were the busier goalkeeper, palming away several Thai corners at will.

The Malditas had better quality of their chances, with Marisa Park had her shot saved by Waraporn Boonsing from close range

However, it was the Thais that drew first blood from the spot in the 28th minute, when Tahnai Annis' arm interfered Taneekarn Dangda's shot with Kanjana Sung-Ngoen made no mistake as she tucked away the ensuing penalty out of Bastes-Jones' reach.

Staring at a slim deficit, the Filipinas went to work right away and Annis almost redeemed herself by smashing the ball into the net from close, but Ri Hyang-ok waved away the equalizer on a foul after Waraporn got the ball.

Silawan Intamee had her chance to double the lead went awry in the 35th minute, but the top team of ASEAN are contented with a slim lead at the break.

Thailand then turned the heat at the restart, when they scored twice in less than ten minutes to repeat its mastery over the Cinderella of the tournament.

Kanjana got her brace in the 53rd minute, firing an open shot that left Bastes-Jones no chance after being picked out by Suchawadee Nildhamrong.

Nine minutes later, Silawan deservedly got into the scoresheet by firing a tight-angled free kick near the goal line to put the match beyond any doubt.

However, Waraporn's clean sheet aspirations was quashed in stoppage time after Jesse Shugg fired a late consolation after being found by Park inside the box.

Despite ending their group campaign on back-to-back defeats, the Malditas made the country proud as they made Filipina football history with their best-ever showing in the continental stage, as they still had one more chance to qualify for the Women's World Cup in a playoff for fifth on Tuesday, Manila time


AFC Asian Women's Cup : Philippines 1-3 Thailand

Seedings confirmed for UAE 2019 draw

Kuala Lumpur: The seeding for the eagerly-anticipated draw for the most prestigious competition on the Continent, the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, which will take place on May 4, 2018, 7:30pm (UAE time), in Dubai has now been confirmed following Thursday's release of the latest FIFA World Ranking

In line with previous editions of the AFC Asian Cup, the hosts United Arab Emirates have been allocated the first position in pot one in the draw to be held at the Armani Hotel in the UAE’s iconic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. This will ensure they will play the opening match on January 5, 2019, at the Zayed Sports City Stadium.

The 12 teams, who received an automatic bye into the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 after qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 - Asian Qualifiers Final Round, have already secured their places in pots one and two and have been allocated spots following Thursday’s publication of the latest FIFA ranking.

Meanwhile, the 12 teams who qualified from the recently concluded AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Qualifiers Final Round have been seeded in pots three and four and positioned accordingly based on the same rankings.

This means the hosts UAE along with Islamic Republic of Iran, defending champions Australia, and the tournament’s most successful nation, Japan as well as Korea Republic and Saudi Arabia will take pole position in pot one, while China PR, Syria, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Qatar and Thailand have been seeded in pot two.

Debutants Kyrgyz Republic, who were the biggest movers in world football in the FIFA Ranking - up an astonishing 40 places - take their place in pot three alongside Lebanon, Palestine, Oman, India and Vietnam. Meanwhile DPR Korea, Philippines, Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen and Turkmenistan make up the final six teams in the final pot.

The expansion from 16 to 24 teams will see countries representing all five AFC zones divided into six groups of four teams each, with the top two and four best third-placed teams advancing into the final 16 of the competition, which lives up to its slogan of “Bringing Asia Together.”