30 May 2018


Ceres Negros FC made sure that a repeat performance of Saturday’s win over Stallion Laguna FC will not happen again. The 2017 PFL champions extended their lead at the top of the Philippines Football League standings after a ferocious 6-2 win over Stallion Laguna last Wednesday at the Biñan Football Stadium.
The Negros side scored two goals inside the first 10 minutes. Patrick Reichelt and OJ Porteria lifted Ceres to a 2-0 advantage at the end of the first half.
Mike Ott joined in on the goalscoring spree with a 53rd minute strike before Stallion’s Jason Cordova’s own goal in the 57th minute. Kevin Ingreso and Porteria’s second goal gave Ceres a commanding 6-0 lead with 20 minutes left in the match.
Stallion did not waver despite the scoreline and fired two consolation goals in the 72nd and 76th minutes from Abou Sy and Fitch Arboleda.
Ceres have opened a eight-point gap over second placed Kaya FC Iloilo, while Stallion Laguna remained in fourth place with 9 points.
Ceres return to Biñan on Saturday 2 June against JPV Marikina FC while Stallion Laguna face the same opposition on 6 June also at the same venue.


AFC U-16 Women - Journey for 2019 edition begins

DPR Korea, Korea Republic and Japan, the top three finishers in the 2017 edition, received direct qualification to the Finals.

Thirty teams from across Asia will vye for eight spots in Round 2 of the Qualifiers, where the teams will then be divided into two groups of four teams, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the Finals in 2019.

Bangladesh, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Tajikistan will play hosts to Round 1 of the Qualifiers.

Each group will play a one-round league in a centralised venue.

Sri Lanka will host  Group A of the Qualifiers Round 1, alongside China PR - fourth in the 2017 edition, Uzbekistan, Jordan and Guam, who all have made one appearance in the Finals in previous editions.

Tournament debutants Mongolia are set to welcome Laos, India, Hong Kong and newcomers Pakistan in Group B.

Thailand, hosts of the 2017 Finals, will travel to Tajikistan, alongside Islamic Republic of Iran Northern Mariana Islands and Singapore for the Group C ties.

Australia, who came up short in the 2017 Finals when they missed a spot in the Knockout Stage after finishing third in the group stage, will meet Chinese Taipei, Kyrgyz Republic (host), Palestine and Indonesia in Group D.

Group E hosts Nepal are grouped with Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia and Syria while in Group F,  Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Lebanon will travel to Bangladesh.

The Qualifiers Round 1 will be played on September 15 to 23, 2018 while the Qualifiers Round 2 will be held on February 23 to March 3, 2019.

The dates and hosts for the Finals will be announced in due course.


27 May 2018

PFL : Global Cebu 1-3 JPV Marikina

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0-1 Moriyasu

0-1 HT

0-2 Kozawa
0-3 Ozaka
1-3 Roberts
1-3 FT

26 May 2018

Negros rallies in 2nd half to trounce Laguna

By Ivan Saldajeno

BINAN--Ceres Negros went ablaze in the second half to defeat Stallion Laguna, 3-2, in their PFL match-up at the Binan Football Stadium on Saturday night.

Negros made the turnaround in the final 45 minutes of play as Jhan-Jhan Melliza's first half barrage went down the drain.

Melliza scored a brace following goals in the ninth and the 25th minutes to put Laguna up, 2-0.

However, a Stephan Schrock header in the 55th minute sparked Negros' comeback.

Bienve Maranon then forced the deadlock in the 58th minute as he was wide open for the inside the box goal.

Maranon then scored the eventual game-winner in the 63rd minute, drilling in a penalty to frustrate Pepito Hayeson anew.

Negros remains on top of the league table after winning for the second straight time since incurring its first loss of the season.

Laguna, on the other hand, had its winning streak snapped, although the club stays in fourth place.

Both clubs will meet again on Wednesday night at the said venue.

PFL : Stalllion Laguna 2-3 Ceres-Negros

Starting XI : Doblas, Christaens, Steuble, De Murga, Muñoz, Marañon, Uesato, Ingreso, Ott, Nazari, Schröck Substitutes: Casas, Reichelt, MR Ott, Pasinabo, Aguinaldo, Dutosme


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25 May 2018

Cagayan de Oro City - 2 th Rosevale Friendship Cup


June 12 - Laguna Football Festival



Bulacan - 7-a-side Football Cup

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Futsal Fiesta in Batangas - Women's Open Division

We are inviting your team/clubs!! FUTSAL FIESTA Women's Open June 22,2018 (Friday) @Kutawtaw Gym Brgy.2 Balayan Batangas

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Ceres-Negros travels to southern Luzon to face the red hot Stallion Laguna on May 26, 2018 at the Binan Football Stadium in the City of Binan.
The two squads had memorable encounters in the same stadium last year where they split both matches at the end of the season.
Ceres-Negros eked out a 1-0 win last October 21, 2017 but were beaten days later with Stallion earning a 2-0 win at home.
The Laguna squad has been on a tear recently with big wins in their last two matches. A well deserved 3-0 win over the Davao Aguilas was followed by 4-1 win by JPV Marikina.
Ceres meanwhile returned to winning ways after disposing of Davao 3-0 after losing to Kaya FC 0-2 at home in the previous match.
All eyes will be Bienvenido Maranon and Jan Melliza as the top scorers for both squads. Maranon scored a brace in the last match versus Davao while Melliza has been clinical, scoring at least one goal in the last two games.
Conditions will be a challenge for both squads with the 4pm kickoff in the middle of the Philippine summer. Lights are still unavailable as the stadium is at the tailend of its completion phase.
Only 250 fans from both teams will be allowed in the stadium as mandated by the league. The match will be shown live on PFLtv.ph for fans outside the stadium.


The draw for the AFC Cup knockout stages was recently concluded last May 23 at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur and Filipino champ Ceres-Negros was drawn as ‘Team A’ for the ASEAN Zonal final.
As such, the Filipino squad will play the first leg of the final in Panaad on August 1 and will travel to Singapore for the return leg on August 8.
The club was also awarded by the AFC for its return to the Zonal final which was given by AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John.
Should the busmen win over their Singaporean rivals, they will match up in the Inter-Zone Semis versus DPR Korea’s April 25 SC with the home leg scheduled on August 21and the away leg on the 28th.

24 May 2018

Cebu stuns 9-man Iloilo on second half rally

By Kevin Estrada

BIÑAN -- Global Cebu came from a goal down to shock leaders Kaya Iloilo in a pulsating PFL encounter, 3-1 in Stallion Laguna's stable Wednesday afternoon.

The Queen City side turned up the heat in the second half to take all three points for the first time and give Ceres Negros a massive favor ahead of their tussle at the top against Davao Aguilas later in the night.

It was a much needed relief for the beleaguered cellar dwellers as they took the biggest fish of them all, snapping their winning streak to four.

Kaya struck first just before halftime but ill-discipline let them down as they were reduced to nine men at the final whistle, with Robert Lopez-Mendy and Alfred Osei sent off.

The Senegalese had a bad day on the pitch, seeing his penalty stopped by Patrick Deyto in the 21st minute, and was sent off in stoppage time after choking Lee Jeong-min after he was decked by the Korean defender on the break.

Osei joined Lopez-Mendy at the changing room after elbowing Daniel Gadia in the 66th minute.

Masa Omura made amends by scoring the match's first on a header from a corner that was virtually the last kick of the first half.

But that was all Kaya Iloilo wrote as the home side turned up at the restart, knocking out the leaders cold with three goals of their own.

Jordan Jarvis equalized at the hour with a header from a corner, then Darryl Roberts shoved Global ahead for good twelve minutes later.

Jinggoy Valmayor sealed their first win with a strike from inside the box past a hapless Ace Villanueva.

22 May 2018


Ceres-Negros FC hosts the Davao Aguilas at home for the first time this season in their midweek clash on May 23 at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
 Negros and Davao met early this month in searing conditions at the Rizal Memorial where Ceres earned a 2-0 win over the Aguilas.
Bienvenido Maranon scored the first goal with a marvelous chip late in the first while Mike Ott’s persistence saw him net the second of the match
Toni Doblas was named man of the match after he produced a fantastic performance by making key saves in their resounding win over the Mindanao squad.
An explosive match is expected with better conditions expected at the evening kickoff. Maranon and Stephan Schrock will have another chance to test the Davao backline while Carli De Murga and company will have to deal with the Younghusband’s at the back.
Both teams are keen to return to winning ways after dropping their last assignments in the Philippines Football League.
Resting their key players, Ceres-Negros lost 0-2 at home last May 12 versus Kaya while he Aguilas meanwhile were overpowered by the Iloilo squad in their home debut to finish with 2-4 result last Sunday.
With Kaya earning the top spot after last weekend, the match will be equally important for both teams to keep in step with the league leaders.
The Iloilo squad leads Ceres by a point but has played two more matches than the Negros side. Davao meanwhile need the points to keep in step of the title race as they trail by two points but has played one game more.
Gates will open at 5pm with free admission given to the home fans. Grandstand and Bleachers seats will be available via a first-come, first served basis. Kickoff if set at 7pm sharp and a livestream will be made available at PFLtv.ph.

Kaya FC–Iloilo Takes on Global Cebu, Looks to Extend Winning Streak to Five

Fresh from a rousing debut in Iloilo, Kaya FC–Iloilo are looking to keep their red hot form going, as they gun for a fifth-straight win in the Philippines Football League. Just three days after a successful first match at the Iloilo Sports Complex, Kaya head straight back to action against Global Cebu on Wednesday (May 23, 2018), 4pm, at the Biñan Football Stadium.
While Iloilo’s main concern is managing the quick turnaround of games, Global’s problem is the opposite — a lack of field time. Cebu last played on April 29, in a 3-0 defeat to Davao Aguilas. Since then, financial woes have taken their toll on the club. On May 2, the club failed to travel to Iloilo to play Kaya. Then, they had their May 12 match against Stallion Laguna postponed in order to have more time to sort out their issues. After a tumultuous couple of weeks, the highly decorated club is ready to get back into action, albeit, without key players Rufo Sanchez, Wesley dos Santos, and Paolo Bugas.
“We’re climbing up a mountain based on our standing at the moment,” said Global Cebu head coach Marjo Allado, quoting one of his players from a past press conference. “At the moment some of our main players have left. Of course we’ll play tomorrow with the remaining players that we have. Those players are top players, especially the two young Filipino players.”
“We went back to training last Sunday. For almost three weeks we didn’t have official training, so in terms of fitness we’re maybe 70-80%, just to be honest,” he added.
Despite the issues plaguing Wednesday’s opponents, Kaya FC–Iloilo enter the contest expecting nothing less than the usual challenge from a familiar rival.
“It will be like all the other games we’ve played against Global. Every time we play them it’s a tough game, no matter what,” said Kaya’s Robert Lopez Mendy, scorer of a recent hat-trick in Iloilo. “What happened to them (financial issues) can happen to any team too. I think that’s not a big deal for us [once the football starts]. I think it’s going to be a good game, like we’re used to playing against them because, they’re still a big team, no matter what. They have the players for that.”
Head coach Noel Marcaida was equally dismissive of any notion that Kaya would take Wednesday’s match lightly.
“Global Cebu have been through these situations so many times. Although they have players that have already left the club, still they have players that want to showcase their talent. We can’t take their team lightly tomorrow. For us, we need to continue what we’re doing, we need to keep our intensity, our pace. We want to keep our winning streak alive,” he said.
“As of the moment, we’re just managing the recovery of the players. We trained last night and the intensity was really good. Players who haven’t played too many minutes played really well. The intensity was great, and the morale is really high. ” said Marcaida.
Wednesday’s match is the battle between top and bottom. Kaya FC–Iloilo currently leads the PFL standings with 16 points from eight outings, while Global have only a solitary point from five matches. The game will be streamed live over PFLTV.ph.

21 May 2018

Wesley Rodrigues bids goodbye to his tenure with Global Cebu

Brazilian defender Wesley Rodrigues dos Santos leaves Global Cebu FC after more than one year with the club.
In a statement posted via his social media accounts, Wesley gave thanks to the staff of Global Cebu especially the fans.
Wesley joined Global as of February of 2017 from Brazilian club CE União and has been a starter and a consistent standout performer for the most part of his stint with Global.
With this latest development, Global now has four players who have confirmed their departure from the club: Rufo Sanchez, Paolo Bugas, Paolo Salenga and Wesley.

20 May 2018

PFL: Kaya takes down Aguilas in home field

 Adrian Stewart Co

Kaya Iloilo midfielder Miguel Tanton (foreground, left) charges at the ball while Davao San Miguel Aguilas defender Joshua Grommen tries to get in his way. Aguilas’ forward Phil Younghusband (background, left) and Matt Hartmann look on. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN

KAYA Iloilo made a rousing debut at its home field at the Iloilo Sports Complex in Iloilo City as it defeated Davao San Miguel Aguilas 4-2 in the 2018 Philippines Football League on Sunday.
Robert Lopez Mendy finished with a hat-trick while Jordan Mintah made a conversion for Kaya, which moved up to second place with 16 points on five wins, a draw and two losses.
“We were really looking forward to this game – our first here in Iloilo,” said Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida. “The players were motivated by the support shown by football-loving Ilonggos.”
Kaya drew first blood early in the match courtesy of Mintah from a feed by Ilonggo Jovin Bedic. But Mintah hurt his knee in a collision and was stretchered off in the next play.
With Aguilas missing in its attempts, Kaya managed to double the advantage just before halftime – Lopez Mendy intercepted a pass by Aguilas’ Nicholas O’Donnell for a close-range shot.
Davao was able to pull one back early in the second period courtesy of a header by James Younghusband. Iloilo quickly extended the lead with Lopez Mendy scoring a header from a free kick by Miguel Tanton.
Aguilas trimmed the deficit anew 2-3 in the 69th minute with Takashi Odawara converting from a corner kick. Kaya raised the advantage after Lopez Mendy scored on a header from a Tanton free kick.
Davao Aguilas dropped to third place with 14 points on four victories, two draws and three defeats./PN

Ceres-Negros Fc - Club Statement

Club Statement
We would like to apologize to our partners in the Philippine Football Federation and the Philippines Football League for statements made by one of our players, Martin Steuble, during a post-match interview last Wednesday.
The club regrets that the player’s comments aired at the conclusion of the live broadcast of the match and amplified on social media have not only put the PFF, but the PFL in a negative light.
While the club encourages its players to exercise their freedom to speak, particularly on matters that they are passionate about, Mr. Steuble’s statements do not reflect that of the club, which is actually appreciative of the tireless work of the PFF and the PFL to ensure that club football is alive and vibrant in the country.
The club is grateful to the PFF and the PFL for setting up a structure that allows Filipino clubs to represent the country in continental competitions like the AFC Cup and the AFC Champions League.
If not for the PFF and PFL, Ceres-Negros would not have reached its goal of making the country proud by winning the AFC Cup Asean zonal title last year.
In light of the recent events in Yangon, the club has already taken the initiative of dealing with the matter internally. Mr. Steuble’s comments were made at the heat of the moment, right when emotions were running high after a tough win. Rest assured, however, that there will be actions that will be taken to avoid a repetition of such incidents.
The club reiterates its support to the PFF and PFL, which are our partners in the development of the Beautiful Game in the country.

Pangasinan - June 2 Football/Futsal tournament

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Southern Leyte - 9 th Erwin A. Buling Football Cup

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Tacloban Football Cup 2018

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NO REGISTRATION FEE required, so book your teams now! There are limited slots only. For inquiries, please contact Shaun Michael Brazil Yu at +63 929 595 2541

Organized by Playfootball.ph in cooperation with EVRFA.

PFL - Kaya Fc-Iloilo 4-2 Davao Aguilas

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Livestream :


19 May 2018

PFL: Kaya faces off with Aguilas on home field

 Adrian Stewart Co

Kaya Iloilo FC defender Shirmar Felongco (2nd from left) shakes the hand of San Miguel Davao Aguilas goalkeeper Nick O'Donnell as they face the press at the Iloilo Sports Complex in La Paz, Iloilo City on Saturday, May 19 in a briefing before their 2018 Philippines Football League match Sunday, May 20. With them are Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida (leftmost) and Aguilas head coach Marlon Maro. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN
KAYA Iloilo will finally play its first 2018 Philippines Football League match on its home field at the Iloilo Sports Complex in La Paz, Iloilo City as it plays host to San Miguel Davao Aguilas on Sunday.
Game time is 4 p.m. Kaya is on third place with 13 points on four wins, two losses and a draw while Aguilas is on second place with 14 points on four wins, two losses and two draws.
“It’s going to be a massive game for both sides,” Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida told Panay News. “It is very important for us to keep up with the league leader in the standings.”
“The result of this match will give a separation for both sides. We will defend our home turf and continue our winning streak and give that first home game to the Ilonggos,” he added.
But Kaya will have to win its first home game without Negrense defender Camelo Tacusalme, who was suspended after being slapped with a red card during their 2-0 win over Ceres Negros last week.
“Camelo is a huge loss for us because he is our main defender. But I am counting on my other players to step up and fill his shoes. It will be a total team effort,” Marcaida said.
Sunday’s game was Kaya’s much-awaited home match after its previous scheduled home game, supposedly against Global Cebu, no May 2 was cancelled due to the latter team’s unavailability.
Kaya players include Jalsor Soriano, Jayson Panhay, Janrick Soriano, Shirmar Felongco, Ref Cuaresma, Chy Villasenor, Manasari Omura, Antonio Ugarte, Kenshiro Daniels, Miguel Tanton, Mike Menzi, Alfred Osei, Robert Lopez Mendy, Dean Ebarle, Eric Giganto, Zach Banson, Marwin Angeles, Ace Villanueva, Jordan Mintah, and Connor Tacagni./PN

No stone unturned


The Philippine Azkals will leave no stone unturned in preparing for two major tournaments in the next eight months.
Speaking at the Business of Football-Philippines conference at New World Hotel in Makati Friday, Azkals manager Dan Palami said they have already lined up training camps for the buildup for the AFF Suzuki Cup in November and the AFC Asian Cup in January.
Members of the national side will remain tied up with their clubs for the next three months before the Azkals converge in September for a camp in Bahrain. Palami said the Azkals would play a club team in Manama on Sept. 7 before taking on the Bahrain national team four days later.

For the October international window, the Azkals boss said he is closely coordinating with the Philippine Football Federation in setting up a friendly match against a team that just played in the World Cup, preferably Australia. Another camp in the Middle East is scheduled on the last week of the year before the Azkals travel to Dubai for their Jan. 7 match against South Korea.
“We will prepare the best way we can,” said Palami. “These are two important tournament that we’ve been looking forward to for quite some time.”
The Azkals are also identifying Filipinos who were born and raised abroad for possible selection to the team in the future.
The Azkals coaching job remained vacant almost two months after Thomas Dooley’s deal expired last March.
“We are in the final stages of our evaluation and we will be making an announcement on June 14,” Palami said.

Read more: http://sports.inquirer.net/297980/no-stone-unturned#ixzz5FxHJ9Y1t

Laguna adds more woes to Marikina with blowout win

By Ivan Saldajeno

BINAN--Stallion Laguna stretched JPV Marikina's long PFL skid with a 4-1 rout at the Binan Football Stadium on Saturday night.

Playing as the road team due to the unavailability of the Marikina Sports Center, Laguna went ablaze in the second half, especially after Marikina got into the scoresheet, to post its fourth win in seven matches.

It was actually Laguna that struck first in the first half as Jhan-Jhan Melliza struck from just outside the box in the 23rd minute.

Keigo Moriwasu equalized in the 52nd minute as he drilled in a wide open goal from just the interior of the penalty area.

Ko Kyung-Joon put Laguna back up as his header off a corner kick bounced to the post before going inside the goal mouth.

Yannick Tuason then scored a putback in the 75th minute for the 3-1 count before Abou Sy scored the exclamation point in the third minute of stoppage time.

Laguna, now on nine points, is now four points behind Iloilo for third place.

Marikina, on the other hand, stuck in fifth place at six points as the club suffered its seventh straight loss.


Dan Palami: Azkals head coach to be unveiled on June 14

By Earl Averilla

Azkals manager Dan Stephen Palami informed that the national team head coach will be confirmed on June 14 in an event in Solaire.
In an interview with the media during The Business of Football – Philippines event sanctioned by the Philippine Football Federation in Makati, the manager provided an update on who will lead the Philippine national football team to the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup on November and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup on January 2019.
“There’s an event in Solaire on June 14 at that time, I’ll be making that announcement (on who will be the new Azkals head coach),” said the Azkals boss when asked about the timetable on the new head coach will be confirmed.
It is to note that previous head coach Thomas Dooley’s contract has already matured as of the end of last March, yet he is still in the running for an extension along with two other candidates for replacement.

Striker Rufo Sanchez leaves Global Cebu

Bu\y Earl Averilla

Spanish forward Rufino “Rufo” Sanchez bids farewell to embattled club Global Cebu FC as he goes back to Spain.
In a post via his personal Facebook account, Rufo gave thanks to the club for the opportunity particularly in the AFC Cup where the striker had been most effective in this season’s campaign.
Being one of the brightest spots for Global in the in the regional front, Rufo was able to rack up a total of four goals during the Group stage of the regional tournament.
The first was his late game heroics against Yangon United when he was able to draw a foul and bury the ensuing penalty at the death to give his team hope in the campaign.

Ceres’ Martin Steuble to undergo disciplinary proceedings in PFL after remarks in AFC Cup

By Earl Averilla
Liga Futbol Inc. (LFI), the governing body of Philippines Football League, is about to commence proceedings that will lead to disciplinary sanctions towards Ceres Negros defender Martin Steuble.
This is in-line with the Azkal’s scathing remarks towards the local league in a post-match interview of Ceres Negros against Yangon United in Myanmar last Wednesday, May 16.
Speaking to FOX Sports PH after the Business of Football-Philippines event in Makati, Mr. Xavier shared the league’s stand regarding the contents of Steuble’s statements:
“It’s unfortunate that the player (Martin Steuble) had to make such remarks which, of course, affects the credibility and integrity of the league.
“Having said that, we have investigated this matter and we will definitely open disciplinary proceedings against the player hopefully next week.”
The incident happened after Ceres Negros was able to qualify for the AFC Cup Zonal Finals via aggregate despite going down 3-2 against hosts Yangon United in the second leg of the semis.
After the match the Bacolod-based club’s captain happened to be the one to give the interview on the sidelines immediately to give some thoughts on the game in which the particular statements were provided when asked about the preparation of the team.
That prompted the Ceres player to respond that the team’s preparation has been “terrible” and that they weren’t given support “at all” by the league and the federation.
He ended that the local league is a “big question mark” and that the AFC international (tournament) is what all they have and what they play for.
Ceres Nagros’ next match in the PFL is scheduled on May 23 at home against Davao Aguilas and this could affect Martin’s eligibility to play if the sanction has already been meted by the league’s disciplinary committee.

PH Azkals eye top 100


After reaching new heights in the latest International Football Federation rankings, the Philippines hopes to finally crack the Top 100 before its historic campaign in the AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates in January.
Azkals manager Dan Palami vowed to pull out the stops to ensure that the team reaches that goal by the time it faces South Korea (Jan. 7), China (Jan. 11) and Kyrgyzstan (Jan. 15) in the 24-nation continental showpiece event in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The Azkals improved two notches to a record high of 111 in the rankings released by the sport’s governing body on Thursday. It has been a steady climb for the Azkals in the last eight years since Palami started helping bankroll the national team, which hovered between 180 to 190 in 2010.

“It’s a reward for all the hard work of the players, staff and management and the federation all these years,” Palami said. “This wasn’t easy. It has been a long and arduous climb. The rankings have shown how far we’ve developed as a team.”
Ranking points are determined by results of the past four years with the more recent games carrying more weight.
“It’s a good place to be as we prepare for the Asian Cup,” said Palami, noting that a higher ranking will allow the Azkals to attract quality teams for friendly matches in preparation for the continental tournament.
Palami also said an announcement on the national team coaching job would be made soon.
The Azkals are also vying in the AFF Suzuki Cup in November with two home matches against Singapore (Nov. 13) and Thailand (Nov. 21). The Azkals are also traveling to face the playoff winner between Timor Leste and Brunei (Nov. 17) as well as Indonesia (Nov. 25).

Read more: http://sports.inquirer.net/297806/ph-azkals-eye-top-100#ixzz5Ftbt6nAv

16 May 2018


Ceres-Negros broke through the ASEAN Zone finals after a 2-3 saw them progress via a 5-6 aggregate win over Yangon United last May 16 at the Thuwunna Stadium in Myanmar.
The second leg had a thrilling finish with Yangon pushing for an aggregate tying goal deep in the match but the busmen held on to earn the chance to defend their zonal title.
Yangon had a dream start in the second minute when Kosuke Yamazaki blasted a ball to the far post to open the scoring for the Burmese squad.
Ceres-Negros responded quickly minutes later when Manny Ott won a ball from Lin Aung before releasing to Stephan Schrock who beautifully returned to ball to Ott. The midfielder made no mistake and fired past Kzaw Zin Htet for the equalizer.
Schrock almost made it two for the visitors minutes later but a good save from the kept the Filipino squad at bay. Ceres-Negros controlled the action in the remaining half and tamed chances from the home squad.
Ceres almost conceded early in the second have when Sean Kane lost possession after an Emmnuel Uzochokwu challenge. The striker rushed to the but Doblas cleared the ball into space. Maung Maung Lwin recovered the ball but his shot to the open goal was wide.
The action picked up in the final minutes when Ceres-Negros went ahead via a Bienvenido Maranon goal in the 79th minute. The striker tricked the Yangon for a cross before poking it to the back of the net for the 2-1 lead.
Celebrations were however cut short as Maranon was shown a red card after talking to his defender who dogged him all day long.
Yangon would equalized in the 83rd minute after Aee Soe smashed the ball to the top corner after a poor defensive sequence from the Ceres defense.
Things would turn from bad to worse from Ceres as a penalty was awarded to the home squad when a shot hit the outstretched arms of Carlie De Murga in the 86th minute.
Sekou Sylla would convert in the 87th minute with the home squad given hope after the fourth official declared seven minutes of extra time. The busmen however held on to avoid extra time and book their return to the finals.
“We played very good in the first half. We controlled the game basically. The second half was difficult because we had a game last Saturday. Because in this weather you can expect everything.  Its not about your talent, its more about how you feel and how you can run and keep up,” said Ceres Coach Risto Vidakovic.
The Ceres Coach lauded his players for their performance despite being caught in an unfavorable situation in the days leading to the match.
“We had to play a game and we had to travel. We hoped to get a little help with our situation but didn’t get any. But I’m proud of my players that they did everything to get to the Finals and they deserve it,” he added.