Azkals defender Alvaro Silva bids farewell to Ceres-Negros

After Ceres-Negros ended their AFC Cup campaign with a loss against Hanoi FC in the ASEAN Zone semifinals, defender Alvaro Silva posted via his social media account that his tenure with the Bacolod-based club has come to an end.

Alvaro Silva joined Ceres-Negros from Malaysian club Kedah FA late January of 2019 where he was able to amass 8 appearances for the duration of the AFC Cup campaign and has started once in the Philippine Football League during their first match of the season against Stallion Laguna.

Before Alvaro Silva joined Ceres, he also played for the Azkals in the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup where the squad reached the semifinals eventually being eliminated by Vietnam who would go on to be as champions.

Silva also was in the Philippine squad during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in Dubai, the nation’s maiden campaign in the tournament.

Playing mainly as a centerback, the 35-year-old Filipino international hailed from and started his career in Spain. His career highlights were stints with then LaLiga side Malaga (2006-09), a loan spell with Xerez, and also a significant tenure with Spanish club Cadiz (2009-11).

As of this writing, Silva’s next destination has yet to be officially declared.

Photo credit: Ceres-Negros FC

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PFF’s Stars of Tomorrow U15 Boys National Football Championship is set

On Saturday, June 29, a milestone in Philippine grassroots football is about to start as the first ever PFF-sanctioned national tournament for Under-15 teams kicks off.

Aptly named as Stars of Tomorrow, the competition aims to kickstart a more centralized means of strengthening the grassroots program towards the elite level, and forming the junior national team.

It could also start bridging the gap of the junior national squads and the senior Azkals in terms of competitiveness in the international stage.

The tournament will be in a significant scale involving 33 teams around the archipelago and will run until November this year.

And with the groupings already determined, according to regional proximities, the journey begins for these youth squads towards being the first ever national champions.

For more info and details on this milestone tournament, visit the Philippine Football Federation website and their official Facebook page. Also, use #StarsOfTomorrow as the official tournament hashtag to follow the latest developments on-line.

Photo credit: Philippine Football Federation

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PFL Team of the Week 3

In a matchweek that has seen fixtures laid out for quite a stretch, here is the third edition of 5th Minute of Added Time’s eleven standout players that make up the Team of the Week (TOTW) list.

MATCH RESULTS

June 15: Stallion 6-1 Mendiola; Kaya 1-0 Global
June 19: Global 3-1 Air Force, Mendiola 3-6 Kaya, Green Archers 0-0 Stallion
June 22: Global v Mendiola (abandoned)
June 23: Air Force 0-3 Green Archers

Formation: 3-5-2

Goalkeeper: Henri Bandeken Fong (Green Archers United)

The Cameroonian shot-stopper has been immense for Green Archers’ draw against Stallion Laguna last June 19 in a match that is considered as probably one of the toughest challenges they have in their campaign.

With several key saves, Green Archers were able to repel Stallion’s chances holding them scoreless as both teams shared the spoils in which the Archers would consider as a massive achievement, thanks to the efforts of their colossal sentinel that night.

Defender: Reynald Villareal (Stallion Laguna)

Stallion’s centerback has been a key figure in the club’s defense line during its two-game stretch for this edition of TOTW where both Mendiola and Green Archers were not able to find the back of the net.

Defender: Julian Clarino (Stallion Laguna)

The former UP Fighting Maroon has been a dependable force for the Binan-based club both in his defensive role and as a conduit in being one of the channels towards an offensive buildup from the left flank.

His efforts as one of the pieces in Stallion’s backline has been rewarded successfully helping the club get two clean sheets against Mendiola and, more importantly, against Green Archers United.

Defender: Reymart Cubon (Green Archers United)

Definitely not to be missed out as one of this week’s outstanding defenders, homegrown talent Reymart Cubon has been undeniably stellar at the back as Green Archers United amassed two clean-sheets against Stallion and Air Force to help propel the club to second place (as of this writing) in the league standings.

Midfielder/Winger: Fitch Arboleda (Stallion Laguna)

One of Stallion’s go to guy when it comes to the attack, Fitch Arboleda’s brace in a win against Mendiola FC and initiatives up front in a draw against Green Archers United cannot deny his quality for the Laguna-based outfit.

Midfielder: Eric Giganto (Kaya FC Iloilo)

A player who can deliver big time for the club when called upon, Eric Giganto showed once again why he is one of Kaya’s major threats this season with two stellar goals and an assist against Mendiola last June 19.

Now that is one heck of an all-around attacking effort.

Midfielder: Marvin Angeles (Green Archers United)

What can we say? Despite coming in as a substitute, Marvin Angeles showed his undeniable talent and quality when it mattered most by scoring two goals against Air Force.

His second one was a thing of beauty as he connected with Paolo Bugas’ delivery in spectacular fashion with an acrobatic volley as icing on the cake as Green Archers’ leaped their way to second place in the PFL standings.

Midfielder: Alfred Osei (Kaya FC Iloilo)

Whether being an enforcer or a scoring option, Alfred Osei, proves that he can operate as a box-to-box midfielder for Kaya FC.

His scoring capabilities has been witnessed once again as he registered his first goal for the domestic campaign against Global last June 15.

Midfielder: Paolo Bugas (Green Archers United)

Paolo Bugas is turning out to be one of the main midfield architects for his club this 2019 season with his creativity, vision and distribution.

His well-placed and well-weighted pass leading to Marvin Angeles’ highlight reel notched his second assist for the season.

Chima Uzoka (Stallion Laguna)

Chima Uzoka’s hat-trick against Mendiola has been a glimpse of what he can offer for the club.

And despite being held in a goalless draw against Green Archers in the following match, his previous exploits showed his potential for his new club.

Jordan Mintah (Kaya FC Iloilo)

With another hat-trick against Mendiola FC, Jordan Mintah puts his goals tally up to seven, propelling him to second place in the scorers table.

But what’s more important than being up there as one of the most potent strikers in the league is the fact that his efforts helped his club Kaya FC maintain its perfect start to the season and the early grip of the leadership in the race for the domestic league championship.

Photo credit: PFL

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Filipino footballer Sato officially unveiled by Thai club Muangthong United

After spending two seasons in Romania’s top flight, Azkals left-back Daisuke Sato has been officially presented by Thai League 1 giants Muangthong United as their latest transfer window acquisition.

Unveiling of the club’s new players happened on Monday early afternoon (local time), June 24, 2019 in SCG Stadium.

The Filipino international returns to Southeast Asian Football as he joins his new club from Romanian Liga I’s Sepsi OSK and he is assigned with the number 22.

His inclusion in the squad fills up the Thai outfit’s third, and final, ASEAN foreign player quota in addition to Vietnamese goalkeeper Dang Van Lam and forward Aung Thu of Myanmar. He will be playing under new Brazilian manager Alexandre Gama and will also join Thai stars such as Teerasil Dangda, Adisak Kraisorn, Korrawit Tasa, and Charyl Chappuis.

Sato has been in Thailand since late last week. He was even seen in Muangthong United’s home ground, the SCG Stadium, as he watched his then prospective new club get a win against Trat FC last Saturday.

With Thailand’s transfer window set to begin this June 24, the club has unveiled their early swoops with Sato alongside Brazilian forward Derley.

Muangthong United is currently in a struggle to find form as it sees itself, as of this writing, in 14th place out of the 16-team league with the Filipino’s arrival being expected to reinforce the defense and boost their chances to turn their fortunes and avoid relegation in the league campaign.

Also, the confirmation of his joining with the Muang Thong Thani-based club makes Sato available for a competitive appearance as early as Sunday’s away fixture (June 30) against Prachuap.

Photo credit: The Azkals

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Azkals defender Daisuke Sato officially bids farewell to Romanian club Sepsi OSK

After a two-season stint, Philippine international defender Daisuke Sato formally announces via social media that he is leaving Romanian club Sepsi OSK Sfântu Gheorghe.

The former Global FC star completed a move to the Covasna County-based club from Danish Superliga side AC Horsens in early 2018 where he amassed a total of 45 competitive appearances playing as a left-back.

He was a main contributor in Sepsi OSK’s successful run in avoiding relegation during the 2017-18 Liga I Play-out while helping the club in 2018-2019 qualify for the Liga I Championship Playoffs.

Initial unofficial reports of Sato’s departure from the club has circulated as early as June 12, 2019 stating that his affiliation with the club effectively comes to end by July 1.

As of this writing, it is not yet determined on where or which club the Azkals star will be heading next.

Photo credit: Sepsi OSK Facebook page

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Patrick Reichelt nominated as Player of the Month for May in Malaysia

Filipino international Patrick Reichelt has been on a tear for Malaysia Super League club Melaka United, and his four-goal haul last May has merited him to be one of the candidates for Player of the Month by the Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM) this 2019 season.

Now with a total of nine goals under his name, the Azkals’ forward-winger is tied at second in the top goal-scorers’ table.

Determining who will receive the plaudit will be via on-line fan voting which will run until July 1. Voting for the poll can be accessed through the PFAM website link HERE.

Patrick Reichelt joined Melaka United last January 2019 after being with Filipino club Ceres-Negros since 2014 where he thrived as one of the Bacolod-based club’s stars.

The overseas move by the Philippine international footballer to the neighboring country proved to be an almost instant hit for the Malacca City-based club helping and contributing to the forward line as the club finds itself at the top four of the standings with a good chance of finishing the season strongly.

Reichelt is still in a rich vein of form as of this writing, scoring the only goal in a vital away win against Kuala Lumpur FA last Wednesday (June 19).

Historically, Patrick Reichelt’s nomination is the second time that a Filipino international has been meritoriously acknowledged by the PFAM for a shot at winning its Player of the Month award with Iain Ramsay getting the distinction last May 2018 for his exploits with his former Malaysia Premier League club, Felda United.

Photo credit: Melaka United Soccer Association Facebook page

PFL: Kaya stays perfect, Global gets breakthrough, Archers and Stallion share spoils

The Philippines Football League concluded a busy Wednesday with Kaya FC Iloilo maintaining their perfect run to the season off a goal-fest and Global FC notching their first win of the campaign. Meanwhile Green Archers United held Stallion to a scoreless draw as both teams rounded up the matchday sharing the spoils.

Kaya FC show firepower over Mendiola in a nine-goal spectacle

The Iloilo representatives of the PFL proved once again that they are legitimate challengers for the throne this season after scoring six goals against Mendiola FC 1991’s three. Jordan Mintah scored a hat-trick while Eric Giganto got a brace with Shirmar Felongco also getting on the scoresheet with a first half conversion.

Despite finding the back of the net thrice with team captain Aaron Altiche, Ashley Flores and Alen Angeles scoring, Mendiola FC 1991 could only look into the positives on the match regarding their offense as the goals were not enough against the might of their opponents for the day.

Global FC fightback results to first win of the campaign

A spirited second half performance by Global FC over Air Force proved to be a much needed boost in the midst of their rebuild as they get their first three points of the season.

Late goals by Kennedy Uzoka, Marvin Bricenio and Matthew Custodio were enough to overturn an Alvin Obero own-goal in the first half.

Stallion held by Green Archers

In what was considered as the marquee matchup for the day, Green Archers United produced a monumental defensive effort, particularly from goalkeeper Henri Bandeken, as they were able to successfully hold their fort and repel the attacks of Stallion to a goalless draw, showing that they are the best performing debutants this early in the PFL season.

Stallion though might consider this result as a lost opportunity that could later haunt them in their aim to contend for an AFC tournament qualification with some squandered gilt-edged chances that could have killed the match in their favor.

Photo credit: Philippines Football League

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Transfer news: Azkals midfielder Kevin Ingreso joins Thai League giants Buriram United

Philippine Azkals midfielder Kevin Ingreso was not part of the list when Ceres-Negros officially released the squad list for the 2019 PFL season raising speculations that he is heading to an overseas club.

Initial developments in which the player has been seen training with the his supposed new club prior to the transfer window were finally confirmed when defending Thai League champions, Buriram United, released an official post of the now former Busman‘s transfer to their squad.

Buriram United are currently leading the table in the on-going Thai League season, but it is turning out to be a closely fought campaign with Port FC, Bangkok United and Samut Prakan City mounting serious challenges to unseat the Thunder Castles.

Kevin Ingreso’s acquisition would most likely serve as a reinforcement in the midfield area. Though he can operate well with a holding role, he is also effective on the offensive end with his creative qualities by helping the frontline find goalscoring opportunities.

A product of Hamburger SV’s youth system, Kevin played in Germany in the early part of his career before joining Ceres in 2015 and being a part of the club’s meteoric rise to prominence in professional football in the Philippines and it’s milestone-laden campaigns in the continental front, particularly in the AFC Cup.

On the international stage, Kevin Ingreso’s most significant highlight while playing for the Philippines is scoring the equalizer against Tajikistan at the final qualification match that technically booked the Southeast Asian nation to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup – the first time ever in its history.

Photo credit: The Azkals

Current top scoring boot brands in PFL 2019

A little over a month has passed since the third season of the Philippines Football League has commenced. With 43 goals scored in total, here are the top scoring football boots in the country’s top tier (as of June 17, 2019).

Puma, Kipsta: 1 goal each

Mendiola’s Franco Dela Torre scored a goal near the half-hour mark last June 2 against Green Archers United wearing a pair of Kipsta Agility’s.

Alvin Obero of Air Force etched his name in the goalscoring tally after converting against Mendiola near the hour mark last June 8 while armed with his Puma Future boots.

Mizuno: 3 goals

Green Archers United’s Val Jurao scored a brace last June 2 against Mendiola in Morelia Neos.

Meanwhile, defender Martin Steuble scored a spectacular 24th minute goal for Ceres-Negros during the club’s opener against Stallion while also wearing the Morelia Neos.

Adidas: 14 goals

Adidas came in second in the standings with 14 goals, led by Kaya FC Iloilo’s Jordan Mintah who was able to shake the back of the net four times making him the second highest scorer in the league at the moment with his Adidas Nemeziz Initiators.

Other goal-scorers for Adidas: Jayson Panhay (Kaya FC), Christian Zubiri (Green Archers), Mike Ott (Ceres-Negros), Jo Warren Bedia (Stallion), Nathan Alquiros (Stallion), James Kim (Green Archers), Papuh Corsame (Mendiola FC), Alfred Osei (Kaya FC)

Nike: 24 goals

Currently the choice of the league’s deadliest strikers and chance-takers, Nike boasts the most number of conversions with the ball crossing the line and into the back of the net a whopping 24 times.

Although leading by a very significant margin, Nike also has the distinction of scoring an own goal.

Topping the list of scorers at the moment while wearing Nike in the Philippines Football League is Ceres-Negros’ Bienvenido Marañon with a league-leading eight goals under his name, all while wearing Nike Tiempo 7 Stealth Ops.

Other goal-scorers for Nike in the PFL: Abou Sy (Stallion), Jovin Bedic (Kaya FC), Curt Dizon (Ceres-Negros), Mahir Karic (Ceres-Negros), Jeffrey Chirstiaens (Ceres-Negros), Floriano Pasilan (Green Archers), John Celiz (Green Archers), Fitch Arboleda (Stallion), Ashley Flores (Mendiola FC), Chima Uzoka (Stallion)

Photo credit: Philippines Football League

Stallion dominates, Kaya prevails as battle for early supremacy in PFL shapes up

Two matches in the Philippines Football League saw Stallion Laguna get a lopsided 6-1 win against Mendiola FC 1991 while Kaya FC Iloilo toiled to a 1-0 result against a resolute Global FC in last Saturday in the Philippines Football League.

Inspired second half for Stallion

After a seemingly close scoreline of 2-1 at halftime in favor of the hosts courtesy of an early Nathan Alquiros freekick in the sixth minute and a close range conversion by Fitch Arboleda in the eighth to go against a 20th minute penalty kick by Ashley Flores for the visiting side, the Biñan-based outfit produced an inspired performance after the restart to notch in four unanswered goals against 10-man Mendiola FC.

Substitute striker Chyma Uzoka produced a stellar output with his first hat-trick (55′, 83′, 87′) for his new club with Arboleda also adding another in the 86th minute to complete his brace.

Prior to the home side’s barrage, the writing was on the wall when Mendiola went down to ten-men in the 52nd minute when Franco Dela Torre got his marching orders from referee Michael Barajas for a second bookable offense.

The win puts Stallion in third place of the standings, overtaking Green Archers United (which they face on Wednesday, June 19) by a point.

Lone goal puts Kaya on top

Meanwhile, in an almost simultaneous match in Rizal Stadium, a 52nd minute opportunistic pounce by Alfred Osei has been the difference that broke Global’s gallant effort particularly from goalkeeper Nelson Gasic.

A lackluster performance in front of goal that lacked the usual killer instincts from their forward line, Kaya toiled to convert their chances despite a seemingly one-sided affair as Global focused on defense to avoid a similar walloping they suffered at the hands of Ceres-Negros.

At the end of the match, Global were successful in stymieing their more favored opponents for the most part, but they weren’t able to deny Kaya the full three points and hand them their first blemish in the standings as the Iloilo-based squad regains the leadership with a still perfect slate.

Battle for early supremacy shapes up

With Saturday’s results, a crucial match awaits on Wedensday. Although three fixtures are set on June 19, the match between Green Archers United and Stallion Laguna can be the most telling one as it will determine who will momentarily leap-frog Ceres-Negros and seize the provisional second spot in the table.

The clash will serve as the best opportunity for Green Archers to put their form to the test and how far they’ve progressed this early in their maiden season in the pro-ranks. Meanwhile for Stallion, their face-off with the Archers will serve as their next major challenge in their bid to vie for a spot for an AFC competition.

This Wednesday, June 19, is indeed going to be a major barometer for these two clubs.

Meanwhile, for the other fixtures, Philippine Air Force and Global set to battle on who will get their first win. On the other hand, winless Mendiola FC face a monumental task as they try to upset league leaders Kaya.

Photo credit: Kaya FC Iloilo, Stallion Laguna FC