azkals-ceres-negros-mark-hartmann

Azkals forward Mark Hartmann ends Ceres sojourn; joins PJ City

After a brief stay with Filipino champions Ceres-Negros FC, Philippine Azkals forward Mark Hartmann has completed another move, reportedly joining Malaysia Super League club Petaling Jaya City FC.

The development regarding his departure from Ceres has been confirmed yesterday by Hartmann himself via a social media post.

Although official confirmation has yet to be released, it is believed that his destination club is Petaling Jaya City FC, which in effect, completes its foreign quota in time for Malaysia Super League 2020 season.

Once the move is complete, 28-year old Hartmann is already no stranger to Malaysian club football as he already had previous stints with Sarawak FA and Penang FA respectively.

With the Filipino forward’s move away from Ceres, his short tenure as part of the busmen will be remembered for his contributions in the AFC Champions League 2020 qualification campaign where he featured as a substitute in the historic win over Thai club Port FC follow by the defeat against J1 League side FC Tokyo.

Before joining Ceres, Mark Hartmann played for Thai club Nakhon Ratchasima.

Follow the 5th Minute of Added time on Facebook and Twitter for more news and contents.

Photo credit: The Azkals

gayoso-azkalsu22

Jarvey Gayoso foregoes UAAP football with Ateneo to go pro

As of February 5, former Ateneo de Manila standout footballer and U22 Philippine National Team player Javier “Jarvey” Gayoso opted not to use his remaining eligibility in the UAAP to play professional football in the domestic scene.

This development came from the player himself, via his social media channel, thanking the university he served as a forward in its varsity team in stellar fashion for 8 years in the UAAP football tournaments beginning in the high school levels.

View this post on Instagram

After much thought and deliberation, and with the guidance of Ateneo de Manila University and the AMFT, I have decided not to return to the UAAP this year. Although this was a tough decision to make, ultimately I had to choose what I believe would be what’s best for me and my future. After my stint at this year’s South East Asian games, God blessed me with an opportunity to play professional football overseas. Thus, in preparation for this huge task, I have made the decision to join a local professional team. I will, however, continue to pursue my college degree at the Ateneo, as this has also been a lifelong goal. I have played my heart out for the Ateneo for 8 wonderful years. 8 years that have brought me trials, triumph, and memories I will keep with me forever. As a student, my biggest task was to balance my academics and my love for the sport and along with this, came setbacks that tested my ambition. Being an athlete, I was given the opportunity to compete in football and track and field which strengthened my athleticism and versatility. As a football player, I have suffered devastating losses which helped build my character. And taking on the responsibility of representing my country and my alma mater showed my heart and my passion for the beautiful game. So to my dear Ateneo, I’d like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to strive for an Ateneo education, while proudly representing the blue and white. Playing for the Ateneo has improved every aspect of my life and opened numerous doors for me and I could never thank you enough. Choosing the Ateneo was and will always be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. To the 12th men, thank you for your continuous support and love for the game and for cheering us on through every minute. Thank you for all your sacrifices – for coming to watch our games under the heat of the sun, taking the time off your busy schedules to watch us do what we’re most passionate about, and for crying, celebrating, and fighting with us. (1/2)

A post shared by Jarvey Gayoso (@jarveygayoso) on

But what is the more interesting part in the substantial post is his jump to the local professional ranks may serve to be just a stepping stone for an opportunity to play overseas.

“After my stint at this year’s South East Asian games, God blessed me with an opportunity to play professional football overseas. Thus, in preparation for this huge task, I have made the decision to join a local professional team.”

For the past years, when his actual rise to prominence in the local footballing circles began in full blast from his breakout season in the college level, the now 22-year old footballer immediately made a name by being the top scorer in the UAAP where his prolific outputs in front of goal were maintained almost his entire tenure in college football. Such a career span produced two championships, multiple top scoring awards and MVP honors.

As a national athlete, Gayoso has been part of the junior ranks of the national football team program with stints in the U19 and U22 levels with the recent 2019 Southeast Asian Games as one of the most high profile playing alongside Azkals mainstays Stephan Schröck, and Amani Aguinaldo, with promising peers based overseas such as Justin Baas, Anthony Pinthus and Yrick Gallantes in what could be considered as one of the best showings of the youth squad in years, despite coming short of qualifying to the semifinals due to goal difference.

The mentioned international tournament may have been a revelation for the college star’s massive potential in his capabilities as, although he has been mainly a striker and one of the main focal points in attack for his teams both in Ateneo and the Philippines, his role for his latest stint in the national squad has been very different by being utilized as a left-back with a license to operate up the wing.

As of this writing, it is yet to be officially confirmed which local team he is joining, but with the Philippines Football League already on the horizon in less than a month’s time, Jarvey Gayoso will finally be seen donning a kit and stepping onto the pitch as a professional.

Photo credit: Jarvey Gayoso FB fan page, Smile 8 Photography

Azkals-Schröck-vs-Malaysia

Azkals U22 get monumental 1-0 win against Malaysia

The Philippine Azkals U22, against the odds, produced a gritty 1-0 win in their third group stage match against Malaysia to keep their hopes of reaching the semifinals alive in the 30th Southeast Asian Games held in Rizal Stadium last November 29, 2019.

Right from the start, the Philippines tried to push forward as evidenced by a freekick awarded within the first minute of the match when Stephan Schröck was fouled.

The ensuing freekick led to a corner kick for the hosts, but the attempted buildup was broken down successfully by the Malaysian defense.

Moments followed with both teams trading possessions and threatening runs but neither were able to produce a gilt-edged chance.

In the 18th minute Azkals defender Mar Diano seemed to have suffered a knock but after undergoing initial treatment, was able to continue as the match saw sporadic action until Rontini’s 21st minute effort from range that was comfortably dealt with by Malaysia’s net-minder Muhammad Nadzli.

A freekick by Malaysia in the 23rd minute by Adam Nor Azlin flew well on-target but Philippines’ goalkeeper Anthony Pinthus was equal to it.

As the match went nearer the half-hour mark, team captain Schröck tried to intiate some half-chances but the opening goal was hard to come by with Harimau Malaya having some promising glimpses as well.

But come the 30th minute, just as the Philippines seem to have gotten the slight upper-hand, Malaysia’s Muhammad Abdul Razak was able to unleash an effort from an angle that flew just wide of the far post.

In the 38th minute, another promising spell went the Azkals’ way with Dylan de Bruycker’s shot from outside the box being blocked by a Malaysian defender for a corner kick but the ensuing play left the hosts empty handed.

Malaysia may have a good chance to score via a 40th minute counterattack but they weren’t able to take advantage as the undermanned defense of the Philippines was able to thwart the buildup.

The final minutes of the first half had both sets of fans at the edge of their seats as the match hung precariously in the balance with either of the two teams having the possibility poised to break the ice.

It could be something that the Azkals would rue in the play that followed in the first minute of injury time of the first half as a well-worked cross by Schröck was able to find towering forward Chima Uzoka but the headed attempt arched way over the bar.

A thrilling close to the first half unfolded with Malaysia handed a freekick in what served as the last kick of the first 45 minutes but the ball produced was far from promising as it flew out of bounds and both teams headed into the break with neither scoring a goal.

As the second half began, with Stephan Schröck unleashing an early shot that flew just wide.

In the 52nd minute, a corner kick saw a shooting chance when the ball bounced kindly in front of an Azkal outside the box but the attempt was blocked.

The hosts turned up the ante in the following minutes as they were able to get a few consecutive set-pieces with Malaysia forced to defend for the most part, but still the opening goal proved to be elusive.

As the hour mark arrived, the visitors came up with a threatening play as the ball glided into the danger zone but Pinthus was able to cushion the ball with the palm of his hands and under his control.

In the 66th minute, the Malaysians were able to get a shot on target as Muhammad Norhisham unleashing a low strike from distance but Pinthus once again was composed in dealing with the attempt.

But the breakthrough did arrive for the Azkals as a 73rd minute deceitful corner kick by Stephan Schröck, aided with the pressure applied by Amani Aguinaldo, found the back of the net.

The advantage seemed to have immediately turned Malaysia into life as two successive attempts within the 77th minute, though ending empty-handed, were worryingly enough for the Azkals backline.

Sure enough in the 80th minute the Malaysians pulled off probably one of their most promising shots but Muhammad Abdul Razak’s just flew marginally off target. But Malaysia still kept piling the pressure near the 90th minute mark by marauding the Azkals’ penalty box as the onus rested on their end to produce the crucial leveler.

But the equalizer proved to be elusive for the Harimau as the Philippines get a monumental win to keep its 2019 SEA Games campaign and hopes of surviving Group A alive and kicking.

The Philippine Azkals will next face Timor-Leste in their final group stage match on December 4 which will be hosted in Biñan Football Stadium. Kickoff is at 4:00PM. Malaysia meanwhile will clash against Cambodia at the same schedule which will be held in Rizal Stadium.

Photo credit: Smile Eight Photography

Azkals Generic Ball

SEAG2019: Azkals U22 suffer first loss against Myanmar

Despite an equalizer late in the first half and a sustained pressure in most of the second, it wasn’t meant to be as the Philippine Azkals U22 suffer a 2-1 loss from a go-ahead goal in the 79th minute against Myanmar U22 in the Southeast Asian Games 2019 Group A men’s football encounter held in Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila last November 27.

The match began with the Philippines applying pressure against the Asian Lions even forcing a corner within the first five minutes of action.

Ceres-Negros talisman and national team captain Stephan Schröck has been lively in attack, initiating plays and supplying passes up front.

But Myanmar also showed some early signs of what they are capable of with glimpses of threatening speed on the counter.

The first clear chance of the match arrived for the hosts in the ninth minute when Gallantes saw his header go way over the crossbar off a feed from Schröck.

In the 13th minute, Myanmar demonstrated an almost moment of brilliance with midfielder Myat Kaung Khant unleashing a curler from the right edge of the box that only flashed wide of the far post.

The first quarter of an hour arrived with both sides settling well into the match with promising plays traded back and forth.

However the breakthrough did arrive for the lions in the 17th minute with forward Aung Kaung Mann capitalizing on the cleverly executed one-two pass that evaded the hosts’ defense and beat the arms of Azkals keeper Anthony Pinthus.

Philippines tried for a quick response, but the Burmese squad were able to hold on firmly onto their defensive tasks.

What followed is a spell of promising breaks in favor of Myanmar whose players were able to craft half-chances on a few occasions that raised some worry on the Filipino back-line.

Near the half-hour mark, Dennis Chung was able to exploit the right flank, earning his side a free-kick but Myanmar were not threatened in the ensuing set-piece.

After another chance arrived for the visitors a few moments after the half-hour, tried to push and build on a chance, to no avail as Myanmar once again almost successfully constructed another chance to increase their lead.

A brief stoppage followed when goalscorer Myat Kaung Khant suffered a knock from a corner-kick play, but the Burmese player turned out to be able to continue as play resumed.

It was all Myanmar at this point, as the Asian Lions found another gilt-edged opportunity in the 40th minute with a teasing low cross from the left side of the box that only failed to connect with a striker.

At around the 43rd minute, just as defender Edison Suerti was introduced, a rare golden opportunity arrived for the Azkals as Myanmar committed an uncharacteristically errant pass that saw the ball roll in front of the on-rushing, Chima Uzoka, but the forward took to much time to control the ball as the visitors were able to regroup and break down the possible opportunity.

The Philippines immediately made amends equalizing in the first minute of injury time as defensive midfielder Justin Baas unleashed a pile-driver inside the box off a feed from Dennis Chung from a well-timed cross initiated by mercurial midfielder Yrick Gallantes as both teams headed into the break all-square with one goal apiece.

After that equalizer, the Philippines immediately tried to build on the momentum after the restart by piling the pressure from the get-go.

In the 49th minute a Chima Uzoka seemed to have committed a costly miss by blasting Schröck’s well placed cross towards him high in the sky. But to the relief of the Filipino fans, the play has been ruled for offside.

Despite Schröck’s inspirational leadership on the attacking end, Myanmar suddenly sparked things up on the other side in the 51st minute with an on-rushing counter-attacking play but Dennis Chung busted his lungs to track back and chase the man with the ball that led to a timely intervention to snuff out the attack.

The Filipinos immediately tried to regain the momentum and sustain it as they continued to pile the pressure relentlessly on their opponents as the Burmese resorted to defend in numbers and hopeful balls upfield.

And just after the hour mark, the hosts unwavering efforts almost got rewarded as Schröck shimmied his way into Myanmar’s danger zone at the left, unleashing another sumptuous cross that just evaded Uzoka, but kindly bounced towards Baas’ path whose low drive just missed the far post.

But Myanmar produced a scare in the 63rd minute with what seemed a decent counterattack that beat the Azkals’ backline only for the linesman to raise for offside.

A few minutes of kind spell in favor of the Azkals continue to follow as it has been all the hosts who have been able to build chances upon chances save for the go-ahead goal as Myanmar finally got a free-kick in the 71st minute, but Pinthus was able to smother the ball after initially spilling it.

Stephan Schrock has been pulling the strings in several of the plays for the Philippines but a momentary lapse gave Myanmar a glimmer of an attacking chance with Aung Kaung Mann breaking away from Amani Aguinaldo only to see his chance denied by Pinthus.

Myanmar saw another chance came begging with pacy substitute striker Win Naing Tun denied but it just served as a premonition as he found the back of the net in the subsequent play in the 79th minute when he received a well-worked lay-over from Myat Kaung Khant as the visitors regained their control of the driver’s seat.

The conversion somehow changed the complexion of the match as the Azkals lost the pressure they were able to bring to the opposition a few moments ago as Myanmar suddenly seem to be on the ascendancy late in the game.

In the 90th minute Anthony Pinthus made a crucial stop to avoid the Azkals from suffering a two-goal deficit by denying a clear one-on-one chance for Myanmar.

A late freekick for the Philippines taken by Schröck was saved by Asian Lions’ keeper Sann Sat Naing as time eventually expired with Myanmar getting their first win of the campaign at the Azkals’ expense with a 2-1 scoreline.

Philippines U22 will next face an important match against six-time SEA Games gold medal winners, Malaysia on November 29, 2019 at 8:00PM also at the Rizal Memorial Stadium while Myanmar face Timor-Leste in an earlier 4:00PM kickoff also in the same venue

Photo credit: Philippine Football Federation

azkals-v-syria_strauss

WCQ2022: Shaky first half by Azkals gave Syria 1-0 edge

A first half that lacked composure from the Philippine Azkals served to be their own undoing as Syria’s lone goal proved decisive in their joint World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023 qualifying match held last November 19, 2019 at the Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Azkals assistant coach Scott Cooper fielded a side with a few changes from the ones that started in the match against Maldives as Martin Steuble goes back in the defensive end while Angel Guirado and Curt Dizon also made the Starting XI.

The changes prompted Iain Ramsay to deputize as the left-back in place of Daisuke Sato, who is in the substitute’s bench after receiving a knock in the previous match in Male.

In the early moments of the match, Philippines’ defender Alvaro Silva was quickly cautioned with a yellow card after a challenge on Al-Soma as Syria showed signs of fluidity in their passing play.

A sixth minute speculative effort from a counterattack came for the Azkals with forward Angel Guirado firing from a tight angle forcing Syrian keeper Ibrahim Alma to a diving save and awarding the Southeast Asians a corner kick that was easily dealt with.

Just as the Filipinos were able to get their bearings into the match, Cardiff City FC keeper Neil Etheridge was forced to produce a reflex save to deny Osama Omari from a slightly angled position.

In the 20th minute Patrick Reichelt may have thought that he got to the ball in a very promising position to unleash a shot and break the ice for the Azkals, but the linesman promptly flagged for offside.

But Syria are keen to get a better grip of their lead in the qualifying group as they finally broke the deadlock off a cleverly executed set-piece that unleashed Osama Omari who then squared perfectly to an on-rushing Ward Alslamh to tap-in the goal in the 23rd minute.

In the 32nd minute, Kamel Hmeisheh almost produced something special from range for Syria only narrowly going over the bar as Syria continued with their ascendancy in terms of the proceedings as the first half progressed.

For the few moments that followed, the Philippines seemed to have been chasing shadows as the Qasioun Eagles further improved with their crisp passing plays.

The remaining minutes have been tense and nervy for the Azkals, defending for the most part, as Syria were able to maraud into the box almost at will.

In the 41st minute Omari once again proved to be one of the main thorns for the Philippines after unleashing a venomous strike from distance that Etheridge was able to parry away.

In the 43rd minute Syria’s towering striker Omar Al Somah almost made it two-nil, but his effort inside the box just sailed wide of the far post as the Filipinos’ problems continue to pile up near the half-time break.

A rare attacking breakthrough arrived in the second minute of added time as Guirado was fouled for a set-piece opportunity, then another corner-kick, but both plays have been snuffed out by the Syrians as halftime arrived, more to the relief of the Azkals, with the more superior middle-easterners ahead by only a goal.

After the restart, at the 49th minute, Neil Etheridge collided with Al-Soma in an offside play that put a momentary stoppage in the proceedings but the Filipino goalkeeper, who have been on the receiving end of that particular collision, turned out to be okay as play resumed.

In the 51st minute Stephan Schrock produced a powerful low drive from 30-yards out but Syria’s Alma was able to gather the attempt.

A well crafted play in the 54th minute for the Azkals had Curt Dizon laying off a well-weighted pass towards Guirado who had only Alma to beat but his effort rolled just agonizingly wide of the right post.

Two minutes later, Syria were awarded a freekick in a very dangerous position for the Azkals but Al-Soma’s attempt for the spectacular just narrowly missed the target.

Mark Hartmann’s introduction proved to be the first change for the Philippines as he replaced Angel Guirado in the 58th minute of the match in a bid to provide a different dimension in attack.

As the hour mark came, the Philippines had already produced a much improved showing compared to the whole of the first half.

In the 63rd minute, a last gasp intervention by the Filipino back-line denied Syria a chance for an attempt inside the box and avoid a sure dangerous situation.

Seven minutes into the hour mark, Mike Ott replaced Curt Dizon to provide fresher legs in attack, just as the Filipinos are finally getting some better spells in possession and attacking plays.

In the 70th minute, Syria injected their first change with highly rated Omar Kharbin replacing Omari.

A minute later, Azkals captain Stephan Schröck tried to pull off a curled effort but Alma was able to deal with the attempt easily as another heroic move from the Syrian keeper immediately followed, denying Mark Hartmann’s well-struck effort inside the box off a service from Mike Ott.

Moments before heading into the 80th minute, the Azkals were able to come up with some promising forays into the Syrians’ half as the search for an equalizer ensued.

Five minutes before the 90th minute mark, Neil Etheridge pulled off another set of heroics outside his box to deny Syria a chance to increase their lead.

Even though the Azkals kept pushing forth for a leveller, it was actually Syria who got the gilt-edged chance as Almawas’ curler just missed its intended target with Etheridge seemingly caught in a not so good position to defend.

Despite a tense four minutes of added time, the middle-easterners held on to their slim advantage with Alma producing another last minute denial this time of Mike Ott.

An end-to-end action ensued with Al-Soma missing a sitter to erase all doubts but the Syrians eventually got the win, just barely to maintain their place in the driver’s seat of Group A with a perfect 15 points out of five matches.

The Azkals meanwhile remain at third in the standings with 7 points behind China (who now have a game in hand) just on goal difference.

A lengthy break in qualifying fixtures immediately follows for the Philippines’ senior side as the next match is set late in the first quarter of next year, specifically in March 26, 2020 with Guam visiting for the return leg.

Photo credit: Asian Football Confedration

Azkals-legend-Phil-Younghusband-retires

Azkals top-scorer and ‘Living Legend’ Phil Younghusband retires from football

Right at the eve of the Philippine Azkals’ World Cup 2022 qualifier match against Syria, the country’s best goalscorer ever, Phil Younghusband, announced his retirement from the beautiful game which he posted via social media.

After a lengthy absence from football beginning on the end of the 2018 Copa Paulino Alcantara when his club Davao Aguilas lost in the final against Kaya FC Iloilo, which was further lengthened after being married and adjusting to the new lifestyle, it seems one of Philippines’ most recognizable sportsmen decided to hang up his boots for good.

The 32-year-old Filipino footballer was born in Surrey, England to a Filipino mother and an English father, and along with his older brother James Younghusband, began their young career within famous London-based club Chelsea FC’s youth ranks before embarking on and blazing a trail towards a fruitful and influential career in the Philippines beginning in 2009, playing with San Beda FC, Loyola Meralco Sparks (later known as Meralco Manila), and Davao Aguilas.

But Phil Younghusband’s biggest contribution to Philippine Football is his involvement with the Azkals which started in 2007 when he, along with brother James, decided to represent their mother’s roots, the Philippines, in international competition from the U21 side up until the senior squad.

A reliable and confident finisher in front of goal, Phil eventually racked up goals almost at will until amassing 52 conversions under his name which became the most scored for the Philippines in history.

His most important moment for the Philippines was scoring the second goal in the 79th minute against hosts Vietnam in the group stage of the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup, a major upset that has been dubbed as “Miracle of Hanoi” which then further boosted the country’s already newfound renaissance in international football.

Such was the immensity of his contributions to the squad that he also became the most capped player ever for the Southeast Asian nation with 108 in total.

An unexpected surprise

After Phil’s post, an outpouring of reactions and plaudits immediately came in reply from fans and colleagues alike, most especially from the football community such as former teammates and coaches.

Photo credit: The Philippine Football Federation

Schrock-Azkals-vs-Maldives-wcq2022

FIFA WCQ2022: Azkals captain Stephan Schröck looks for redemption against Syria

Just after the Philippine Azkals reignited their campaign and hopes of progressing to the third round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers after getting a 2-1 win against hosts Maldives last November 14, national team captain Stephan Schröck is looking forward to a better showing against a formidable Syrian side on November 19 in Dubai.

Speaking to the media during their pre-departure flight to United Arab Emirates, Azkals team captain Stephan Schröck shared the overall positive morale of the squad after getting the much needed win that put them in the same points haul with China in Group A standings.

“The (team) spirit is very good at the moment. Of course if you level points with China ( in the group) after four games… Who would have thought this (promising situation)?

“Now, if we get a good result against Syria we can maybe go out of the hunt (for survival) and look for something even bigger (in the next round).”

The Ceres-Negros talisman and spark-plug also heaped praise to his teammates who scored goals against Maldives, Iain Ramsay and John-Patrick Strauss.

“Both of them really had a good game and they deserve (scoring) these goals.

“Iain (Ramsay) worked very hard. (John-Patrick) Strauss was all over the place, chasing everyone over the pitch.”

The captain also did not forget to commend the whole squad during the course of the entire match.

“The whole team (gave) a great performance… We showed character in the second half.”

When asked about the upcoming return match against Syria (The Azkals lost their first meeting with the middle-easterners with a 2-5 scoreline), Schröck is looking forward to a much better output form the team.

“We’re looking to learn from our mistakes, and the next game will prove (just that).

“We’re looking to improve the result because it was a hard one for us to swallow that night (during the first meeting against Syria).

“We’re looking for redemption.”

Syria vs Philippines is scheduled to kickoff on Tuesday, November 19, at 10:00PM (Philippine Time). The Venue is at Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium.

Photo credit: Football Association of Maldives Facebook page