Showing posts with label football. Show all posts
Showing posts with label football. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Is the Philippines raising the next Football Hero like Paulino Alcántara?

Paulino Alcántara vs Leonel Messi
Filipino Football Hero Paulino Alcántara's record in football remain unbroken by Lionel Messi more appearances. Photo:

When will the Philippines find their new Paulino Alcántara?

When will the Philippines find their new Paulino Alcántara? The half-Filipino, half Spanish football hero that set records at FC Barcelona that only Lionel Messi can break.

The Iloilo-born net breaker set goal scoring record in FC Barcelona with 369 goals in 357 games that stood for many years before he was overtaken by Leonel Messi on 16 March 2014.

His record as the youngest player to ever score for FC Barcelona in an official match at the age of 15 is still yet to be broken.

With the influx of half Filipinos in the Philippine National teams, and the newly formed Profesional Football League (PFL), there is a feeling that Alcántara will be found. However, the truth is that the new Alcantara will not be found abroad.

At this period of time, world-class Filipinos playing abroad will surely not be ready to represent the motherland because of the competitive edge and of course the financial reward they will have playing oversea.

David Alaba, for example, is a world-class player currently playing for Bayern Munich and Austria National Team. He holds Austria’s record as the youngest player to play for their senior national team, debuting for them in 2009 as a 17-year-old. His mother is a Filipina while his father is a Nigerian.

 Paulino Alcántara's Ful name, Birth Date, Place
Filipino Football Hero Paulino Alcántara's Ful name, Birth Date, Place and career. Photo:

The Philippines for sure will find the new Alcantara at home as football authorities have started to pay more attention to youth development.

The two summer youth football leagues (YFL and NCR) are over but were there new possible Alcántara scouted for the country’s development center during this period?

I read on Four Four Two about Shane Clemente, a young talented Filipino footballer who has already experienced Wembley and Old Trafford at the age of 12 saying:

“I want to play at FC Barcelona because that’s where Alcantara played” ” “He was known for breaking the net and I’m going to be known for breaking the net and the goalpost”.

This is one of the many talented young players at home that should be in the development center under the watchful eye of the Philippines Football Federation and I look forward to meeting this young talent to discuss how far he has gone with his football development. Read more at ROAR

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Philippine Azkals would take full advantage of three more home games to match in FIFA World Cup qualifier


The Philippine Azkals have scored the maximum six points from two matches. image:

Azkals play 3 more home matches in FIFA World Cup qualifier

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine national football team is scheduled to play only three more games in the country in the ongoing qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup as the rest of its matches will be held outside the Philippines.

“Let’s take advantage of the hometown matches by watching the Azkals play in person. The Azkals will be playing for the country’s honor. The fans’ support will count a lot,” Team Manager Dan Palami said.

The next Azkals game is scheduled on September 8 against a tough Uzbekistan squad at the spanking Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan.

Kickoff time is at 8 p.m.

Palami said playing before a home crowd will be motivating for the Azkals, especially if the players see the all-out support of fans turning up in droves for the games.

“We are fortunate to see our Azkals playing more home games, unlike in the 2011 qualifiers where they had only two home games,” he said.

For the ongoing World Cup qualifiers, the Azkals were lined up to play four games in the Philippines -- with the first game already held last June 11 against Bahrain at the Philippine Sports Stadium -- and another four games outside the country under a round robin format. The first home away game of the Azkals happened last June 17 in Doha, Qatar, when it trounced Yemen, 2-0.

After the September 8 game against Uzbekistan, the next Azkals matches in the country are on November 12, 2015, against Yemen and on March 29 next year against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), both at the Philippine Sports Stadium.

The rest of the Azkals games scheduled outside of the country are on October 8, 2015, against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in Pyongyang; on October 13, 2015, against Bahrain in Manama, and on March 24 next year against Uzbekistan in Tashkent.

There are eight groups with five teams each. The top team in each group plus the four second-best teams to be determined by goal difference across all groups will advance to the next round. The Philippines, Uzbekistan, People’s Republic of Korea, Bahrain, and Yemen are in Group H.

The 12 teams will compete in the 2016 qualifiers, which will determine the final group for the World Cup in 2018 to be held in Russia. The 12 teams will also automatically qualify for the 2019 Asian Cup.

“Our ultimate goal is to play in the World Cup, the most followed sporting event worldwide and which is every nation’s dream,” Palami said.

Tickets for the Azkals vs. Uzbekistan game to be held at the Philippine Sports Stadium on September 8, 2015 are now available at  Tickets are at P531.80 for Price Zone 1, P331.14 for Price Zone 2 and P125.40 for Price Zone 3. - Philstar

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Philippine Azkals Football Team reach highest ever FIFA ranking


Philippine Azkals National Football Team -

Azkals ascend in FIFA rankings

The Philippine Azkals got on Thursday their highest FIFA rankings so far at 124.

The Azkals that was ranked 137th in the world last month, climbed 13 notches following their success in the joint World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers.

Consequently, the Philippines remained the No.1 team in the Southeast Asian region and No.17 in the continental rankings. The Azkals will continue their journey to the World Cup on September 8 when they face Uzbekistan in a home game at the Philippine Sports Stadium.

Meanwhile, Newbie Azkal Luke Woodland might be the possible answer to the team’s center back problem according to veteran defender Rob Gier.

“I do see him as a central midfielder in the future but in the meantime having more competition for places in all areas of the team can only be good for the development of the squad,” Gier said on Woodland in an interview with The Manila Times.

Woodland, who is currently searching for a club after being released by long-time team Bolton Wanderers FC, last played for Oldham Athletic FC on a one-month loan agreement with his mother club.

At the young age of 19, Woodland is a seasoned competitor having represented England in youth level international tourneys.

Gier believes that Woodland, standing six-foot tall fits perfectly in the back-line.

“Seeing his size and physique in person, it was obvious that he could also be an asset at the back,” Gier said.

He added that Woodland could also fill-up a defense position.

“Center back has been a position we have struggled to find any real depth so learning that Luke is capable of play there is a big positive,” he said.

Having three natural center backs, Gier, Juani Guirado and Amani Aguinaldo, it is crucial for the Azkals to put a competent man in the center back position.

After being barred to play in the first game against Bahrain because of eligibility issues, Woodland is now cleared to play for the Philippines.

He was part of coach Thomas Dooley’s new 3-5-2 formation used by the Azkals in their second game against Yemen.

“He dealt with the disappointment of missing out on the first game very professionally and produced a solid display against Yemen,” Gier said.  - The Manila Times

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Footbal Score 4 - 0 Philippines Azkals crashed Nepal Gorkhalis

Nepal Gorkhalis coach Paul Graham Roberts promised yesterday that his visiting squad will put on a show.  Instead, his team was reduced to a mere spectator of the Philippine Azkals’ masterful performance before a roaring 8,000 home crowd tonight at the Rizal Memorial Football Field.

The 166th ranked Philippines Azkals put together their best performance to date as they blasted the 135th ranked Gorkhalis, 4-nil, to atone for their lackluster 0-2 loss to 136th ranked Singapore Lions last week.

Unleashing the full brunt of its attack, the Philippines crushed Nepal, 4-0, Tuesday night (October 11, 2011)  in an international friendly before a sizeable crowd at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.

Phil Younghusband struck twice and set up one goal, while older brother James and substitute Matthew Hartmann were also on target in a thorough domination of a Nepalese side ranked 31 places higher than the Azkals in the international rankings

“We wanted to end the year with a bang and give a clear answer to people who are not happy with the team,” said Azkals coach Michael Weiss.

“This is the way we wanted to play. Not to be arrogant but 4-0 is a mild result.”

Showing the incisiveness and clinical finishing that had gone lacking in the previous matches, the Azkals scored two goals in each half in one of their best performances for the year fashioned out before 8,000 fans.

The Azkals got off to a blistering start with three clear-cut chances in the first 15 minutes, before they were rewarded by Younghusband’s close-range strike.

Paul Mulders provided the pass that split the Nepalese defense before Younghusband drilled the ball into the bottom right corner of goalkeeper Kiran Limbu.

The 24-year-old striker grabbed his second for the night with a cool left-footed finish in the 55th minute after a pinpoint pass from Dennis Cagara freed him from eight yards.

Younghusband barely missed a hattrick in the 68th minute, sending his low shot wide after a lofted pass from goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.

It was one way traffic in the first half with the Azkals enjoying plenty of possession and  James Younghusband, who had proven to be a menace on the right flank, finally getting on the scoresheet in the 30th minute.

James found the back of the net from 20 yards out after Nepal failed to clear the ball due to the Azkals pressure from the the top of the penalty box.

Weiss lauded the performance of the Younghusband brothers, who, around this time last month lost their mother, Susan, due to a massive heart attack.

“Every game we play is for our Mom and Dad, I know they are looking down on us and are very proud,” Phil said.

Ian Araneta could have added a third two minutes from halftime, but he was unable to get on a touch on Dennis Cagara’s dangerous low cross.

In a bid to salvage the game, the Nepalese side made three changes at halftime.

But it hardly mattered as Cagara, now more adventurous on the left flank, getting into dangerous areas.

Cagara, who like fellow Fil-Danish player Jerry Lucena, made his home debut had a shot wide before creating the chance for Hartmann.

The 26-year-old leftback found Phil Younghusband darting into the area, before the striker fed an unmarked Hartmann, who rifled in a well-placed left-footed strike from just outside the box in the 88th minute.

Nepal coach Graham Roberts lamented his squad’s inability to cope with the Azkals pressure and pointed to the lack of matches as the culprit to their sloppy performance.

“We were not sharp enough and when we make mistakes, you get punished,” said Roberts. “Our defending was absolutely abysmal.”

The game result of 4 – 0 in favor of the Philippines Azkals shows, the Azkals is continuously growing.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Gorkhalis takes on Philippines Azkals Football Today in friendly match

Azkals Vs Gorkhalis

As part of the preparation for the upcoming SAFF Championship to be held in New Delhi, India, in December 2011, Nepal is all set to begin the tour of ASEAN countries with its first clash against the national team of the Philippines Azkals at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in the capital city Manila on Tuesday (October 11, 2011).

The first tour match will be vital for both-the visiting team Nepal "Gorkhalis" and the home side.

The victory in the first match is sure to boost morale of the Nepali team which is set to play against three other countries namely Malaysia, Colombia and Thailand and some local clubs of those nations.

The match, at the same time, will be a prestige match for the host as it will be played at their home ground which is expected to pull huge crowd.

Similarly, the result will carry vital significance to the Philippines side which will play the final stage of AFC Challenge Cup at the Dasharath Stadium next year 2012.

The match is also expected to be a test for the ambitious Nepali national team "Gorkhalis" that started the tour of ASEAN countries to prepare itself for winning the SAFF Championship after 18 years.

Looking back at the history, Nepal has played against the Philippines only once during the Kings Cup in Thailand in 1982. Nepal had defeated the opponent 1-0.

Despite the fact that Nepal is placed above Philippines in both FIFA and AFC rankings, Nepali team´s British coach Graham Roberts is in no mood to take the match lightly and has dismissed the difference in the rankings between two teams is an advantage for Nepal.

Nepal ranks 135 and the Philippines 166 in FIFA rankings, while AFC rankings puts Nepal at 20 and the Philippines at 33.

"Ranking is not a great deal and low rank doesn´t mean that they are weak," Roberts had told Republica ahead of the team´s departure to Manila. "We will play against Philippines for victory and will try to improve our performance in every match we play."

"I have seen the Philippines side play. They are a very tough side. Some of their players play from European clubs and two of them are members of Premier League side Fulham. Our players are both physically and mentally fit and we will try to give our cent percent," Roberts had said, adding, "We have come here to play good football and we will not take any team lightly."

The Nepali team is in a good form following a tough two months training. Though the team´s confidence level is very high, Nepal does not have a good record of playing well abroad.

Nepal surely has a strong defense line up and the coach has termed his defense as world class. The midfield is also satisfactory but Nepal has always lagged behind in finishing and must come up with improved finishing for favorable result.

The Philippines coach Michael Weiss said during the pre-match press conference that he has a strong side and the team will be a mix-up of Europe based players and local players, according to

"We will take the match seriously as we are going Nepal next year for AFC Challenge Cup," Weiss said, adding, "We recently played against Singapore. We lost the match but boys played really well. I feel this is going to be a close tie."

Nepal will play its next match against Malaysian U-23 (Olympic team) in another friendly on October 15.


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