19 March 2018

$100,000 for national football tour

By Zanzeer Singh

THE Vodafone national team's two-match tour of the Philippines this week has cost the Fiji Football Association in excess of $100,000.
The national side will depart for Manila today and will face Philippines on March 24 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
The second game will be against Kaya FC a professional Filipino outfit on March 26.
Despite the costs involved for international matches, the Fiji FA is ready to invest in the national side.
Fiji FA president Rajesh Patel said matches were being lined up for the next FIFA window and also for next year.
"This tour is costing us more than $100,000 and we have to pay for extra accommodation because of the second match that we have against Kaya FC," Patel said.
"We are trying to arrange a vice versa thing that we have with Indonesia where they look after our meals, accommodation and transportation and we just pay our air fare.
"We are grateful to Fiji Airways for the ticket arrangements for this trip.
"In every FIFA window we plan to play international matches. We are lining the games up.

PFF Advisory: Broadcast Of The Philippine Men’s National Team Matches

The International Friendly Match of the Philippines versus Fiji on 22 March 2018 and the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Qualifiers match between the Philippines and Tajikistan on 27 March 2018 will be broadcasted LIVE on LIGA Channel.
The telecast details are as follows:
22 March 2018 (International Friendly Match – Philippines vs. Fiji)
Venue: Rizal Memorial Football Stadium
Kick-off time: 7:30 PM
27 March 2018 (AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Qualifiers – Philippines vs. Tajikistan)
Venue: Rizal Memorial Football Stadium
Kick-off time: 7:30 PM
LIGA is shown on SkyCable Channel 86 (SD) and 183 (HD). Live-streaming details will also be provided shortly.

18 March 2018

Azkals begin buildup for biggest match yet


With players returning from injuries and foreign-based recruits all making themselves available, the Philippine Azkals buckled down to work on Saturday in preparation for their most important match yet. 

The Azkals face Tajikistan on March 27 in their final game of AFC Asian Cup Qualifying at Rizal Memorial Stadium with the Filipinos needing a draw to punch their ticket to the continental showpiece event next year in the United Arab Emirates. 

Azkals captain Phil Younghusband said the return of the likes of Manny Ott and Javier Patino from injury should come as a huge boost for the side that drew its last three matches.

“It gives us confidence knowing we have players who could have made a difference in the past three games back for this game,” said Younghusband. “We all missed Patino and Manny in the previous games. Patrick (Reichelt) is also back.” 
Only the local-based Azkals joined training at McKinley Hill Stadium last Saturday with the rest of the foreign-based players like Neil Etheridge, Daisuke Sato, Iain Ramsay, Pika Minegishi, Misagh Bahadoran and new recruit Michael Falkesgaard linking up with the team next week.
Etheridge will still play for Cardiff City in the English Championship this weekend. Cardiff is currently in a strong position to gain promotion to the English Premier League with Etheridge among its key players. 
The Azkals clash with Fiji in a friendly on Thursday also at Rizal Memorial Stadium as Dooley tries to whip his squad into shape for the crucial duel with the Tajiks five days later. Tajikistan will qualify with a victory over the Azkals, whose fate will now depend on the result of the Yemen-Nepal match. A win by both Tajikistan and Yemen will eliminate the Azkals. 
Younghusband acknowledged the importance of the match for the sport in the country. 
“As it (match) gets closer, I can feel the pressure a bit more with the situation of Philippine football right now,” said Younghusband. “I think we need another milestone, another achievement, another success for football to grow again and this match (against) Tajikistan gives us that chance.” 

Read more: http://sports.inquirer.net/289215/azkals-begin-buildup-biggest-match-yet#ixzz5A5uFGeBd

17 March 2018

PFF Announcement: Rabah Benlarbi Named Philippines WNT Head Coach

The Philippine Football Federation has appointed Rabah Benlarbi as Head Coach of the Philippine Women’s National Team effective 15 March 2018. He was previously designated Assistant Coach.
Coach Benlarbi, a French national, holds a UEFA ‘A’ coaching license. He counts being assistant coach of the Chinese Women’s National Team in 2015-2016 among his international coaching stints.
He will be assisted by Assistant Coaches Joyce Landagan and Steven Joseph Hoffman. The current Goalkeeping coach is Anthony Albao.
Members of the national training pool are having their Philippine-based training since 8 March 2018 at the PFF National Training Pitch in San Lazaro Leisure Park, Carmona, Cavite. The team will fly to Japan on 20 March 2018 for a 1-week final training camp before competing in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup Jordan 2018 which begins on 6 April 2018 in Amman, Jordan.
“The road to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 begins with the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2018,” said PFF president Mariano Araneta. “With Coach Rabah’s guidance and leadership, we hope that the Philippine Women’s National Team clinch a place in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019.”
Out of 8 participating national teams in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, 5 will go to the FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in France in 2019. The Philippines is grouped with Jordan, China PR and Thailand in Group A. The other group consists of Australia, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam.
15 March 2018. PFF House of Football, Pasig City.
Atty Edwin Gastanes
General Secretary

16 March 2018

14 March 2018


Bienvenido Marañon stepped up to the penalty spot after a Ceres player was brought down in the box in the match against Home United in Match Day 2 of Group F in the AFC Cup.
The Busmen came into the match as favorites after their nine-goal demolition of Boeung Ket in Panaad and the early penalty was supposed to be a beginning of a routine victory at the Jalan Besar.
The Spaniard picked his spot and delivered a shot that rattled off the post which was then cleared by the defense. United later on scored a penalty of their own with Ceres producing an equalizer late in the match.
A made penalty could have changed Ceres’ fortunes early in the group stages but Marañon didn’t let the misstep get in his head and later on delivered against Shan United in an eerily similar situation.
The Ceres veteran buried the the penalty deep on the bottom left corner early in the match to give his squad the ultimate edge to get full three points and reinforce their hold on the top spot of Group F.
“Sometimes in the game, we have chances to score and sometimes we don’t have any,” said the joint top scorer of the tournament.
“But I’m only looking forward to shoot the next penalty and score goals because football does not stop when you miss a penalty or a chance,” said the striker.
Marañon revealed that the sport may be unforgiving sometimes, but there is always another opportunity in the end for one to get redemption.
“You have to be ready, you have to work hard, and I think with that you can do a lot,” he added.
Ceres are now favorites to top the group, needing only a win in the last two games to get some much needed breathing space.
Rest assured the Marañon is there, ready to take on another chance to bring glory to his beloved club.

13 March 2018


Group F leaders Ceres-Negros FC aims to continue their unbeaten run as they face a dangerous Shan United squad on March 14 at the Thuwanna Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.
It will be the second time that the two teams meet in Yangon after their initial meeting in the AFC Champions League that went to a draw after ninety minutes.
Their match in Bacolod almost went the same route until Patrick Reichelt pounced on a defensive blunder in the 79th minute to break the tie. Superb dribbling from Mike Ott allowed Bienvenido Maranon to seal the game minutes later for the home side.
With elimination staring in the face of Shan, the Myanmar squad is expected to go all out in their third and final match. The strike partnership of Iyikwobe Chizoba and Patrick Asare will lead the way supported by Lee Han Kuk and Nay Lin Tun.
The Busmen are expecting another tough physical match similar to the Bacolod leg where Stephan Schrock walked away with bruised ribs and torn shorts after the match. Carlie De Murga and company will have the unenviable task of holding back the Shan attack.
“I think we need to get three points in Myanmar,” said Patrick Reichelt. “Last game (in Yangon) was 0-0. We know the conditions with the heat and all but I’m confident, especially with the win in Panaad, that we could get another three points,” the Ceres winger added.
Ceres are currently on top with seven points  followed by Home United by four. Shan United and Boeung Ket have three points apiece. A win by the visitors in Yangon could solidify their hold in first place while a loss could break the group wide open.
There are no suspended players for both squads who can field complete lineups barring injuries. The match kicks off under searing conditions at 4pm (530pm Manila) in the venue also known as the Youth Training Centre. It will be shown live over cable channel Fox Sports 2 and will be streamed live through the Fox mobile apps.

Global Cebu keeps AFC Cup KO stage hopes alive


Global Cebu secured its first win in the AFC Cup in dramatic fashion, nipping Group G leader Yangon United, 2-1, last Tuesday night at Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Spanish striker Rufo Sanchez struck from the spot in the fifth minute of added time as the Filipino side grabbed maximum points to increase its tally to four with two matches remaining.
Global remained bottom of the group, behind Vietnamese side Thanh Hoa on goal difference, but the Filipinos’ hopes of reaching the next round are still alive especially if they sweep remaining matches against Thanh Hoa at home and Bali United away.

Yangon is still on top with nine points, while Bali is in second with five.
Only the top team in the group is guaranteed of a spot in knockout phase, but the best second placed team from among the three Southeast Asian groups will also reach the next round.
Daryl Roberts opened the scoring in the 79th minute, heading home off a free kick from Dom Del Rosario, but the visitors equalized in the 90tj minute through Muang Muang Lwin’s diving header.
But there was time for Global to grab the winner as Sanchez was fouled inside the area, before keeping his poise from the spot.

Read more: http://sports.inquirer.net/288707/global-cebu-keeps-afc-cup-ko-stage-hopes-alive#ixzz59ff3hths