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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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Azkals overseas: February 2019 weekend 4 fixtures

There’s a bit of a shakeup in the Azkals overseas lineup as Amani Aguinaldo and Luke Woodland join PKNP and Kuala Lumpur FA respectively in the Malaysia Super League.

Also, with the Thai League 1 beginning this weekend, it is going to be a pretty busy set of fixtures with the list of matches coming this week [all kickoff schedules are in Philippine Standard Time]:

Neil Etheridge [GK, Cardiff City FC – Premier League]

Cardiff City vs Watford – February 23 [Saturday], 3:45 AM

Daisuke Sato [DF, Sepsi OSK – Romanian Liga I Playoff]

Sepsi OSK vs Viitorul – Feburary 23 [Saturday], 1:00AM

Kevin Ray Mendoza [GK, AC Horsens – Danish Superliga]

AC Horsens vs Odense Boldklub – February 24 [Sunday], 9:00PM

John-Patrick Strauß [MF, FC Erzgebirge Aue – 2. Bundesliga]

Erzgebirge Aue vs FC Duisburg – February 24 [Sunday], 9:30PM

Hikaru Minegishi [MF, JL Chiangmai United – Thai League 2]

Sisaket FC vs JL Chiangmai United – February 23 [Saturday], 9:00PM

MALAYSIA SUPER LEAGUE

Joshua Grommen [DF, PJ City FC]: PJ City FC vs Kedah FA [Home] – February 22 [Friday], 9:00PM

Patrick Reichelt [MF/FW, Melaka United]: Johor Darul Ta’zim vs Melaka United – February 23 [Saturday], 9:00PM

Luke Woodland [DF/MF, Kuala Lumpur FA]: Kuala Lumpur vs Terengganu – February 22 [Friday], 9:00PM

Amani Aguinaldo [DF, PKNP FC]: PKNS vs PKNP – February 23 [Saturday], 9:00PM

THAI LEAGUE 1

Amin Nazari [MF], Manuel Ott [MF] – Ratchaburi Mitr Phol: Ratchaburi Mitr Phol vs Trat FC – February 22 [Friday], 9:00PM

Marco Casambre [DF], Adam Reed [MF] – Chainat Hornbill vs Mark Hartmann [FW, Suphanburi FC]: Chainat Hornbill vs Suphanburi – February 23 [Saturday], 7:45PM

Stephan Palla [DF], Javier Patino [FW] – Buriram United: Buriram United vs Chonburi – February 23 [Saturday], 8:00PM

Iain Ramsay [MF, Sukhothai FC] vs Michael Falkesgaard [GK, Bangkok United]: Sukhothai vs Bangkok United – Feburary 24 [Sunday], 7:00PM

Photo credits: PKNP FC Instagram, Kuala Lumpur FA Instagram

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Azkals in overseas leagues fixtures for February 2019: Weekend 3

It’s the third weekend of February as the Philippine Azkals in Europe, Malaysia and Thai League 2 continue with their respective campaigns.

Here are the schedules for this upcoming matchdays for the week [All schedules are in Philippine Standard Time, GMT +8]:

Hikaru Minegishi [JL Chaingmai United – Thai League 2]

JL Chiangmai vs Khon Kaen [Home] – February 16 [Saturday]. Kickoff: 8:00PM

After opening their league campaign with a 1-0 loss away from home against Udonthani last February 10, JL Chiangmai United with Filipino midfielder Hikaru Minegishi are about to have their first home match against Khon Kaen which also lost their first assignment as both teams try to get their first win of the season.

Joshua Grommen [Petaling Jaya City – Malaysia Super League]

PKNP vs Petaling Jaya City [Away] – February 16, 2019 [Saturday]. Kickoff: 9:00PM

A 1-1 draw against Selangor last February 9, earned Filipino defender Joshua Grommen’s PJ City FC their first point in the standings after two matches.

But the next fixture in their bid to get their first three points could be a challenging one as they are on an away mission against PKNP, which share an identical record of one loss and a draw.

Patrick Reichelt [Melaka United – Malaysia Super League]

Melaka United vs Pahang [Home] – February 16, 2019 [Saturday]. Kickoff at 9:00PM

After getting their second win in as many matches in the Super League from a 1-0 win against hosts PKNS – with Filipino midfielder Patrick Reichelt even getting Man of the Match honors, Melaka United aim to keep their perfect start to the season in their third fixture.

It will be easier said than done though as they host current leaders Pahang who are on a goalscoring spree with six goals scored and only one conceded in just two matches.

Daisuke Sato [Sepsi OSK – Romania Liga I]

Gaz Metan vs Sepsi OSK [Away]- February 17, 2019 [Sunday]. Kickoff 11:30PM

Azkals defender Daisuke Sato’s club Sepsi OSK have had a rough start after the winter break, dropping their previous two fixtures.

Although the results did not affect their standing in the table as they proceed for the championship playoff round, they would need to get a win away against Gaz Metan in the hopes of kicking off their campaign back to winning ways.

John-Patrick Strauss [FC Erzgebirge Aue – 2. Bundesliga]

FC St. Pauli vs Erzgebirge Aue [Away] – February 16, 2019 [Saturday]. Kickoff at 8:00PM

Erzgebirge Aue and Filipino midfielder John-Patrick Strauss hope to get the breakthrough win after getting back to back losses in their return from winter break.

Kevin Ray Mendoza Hansen [AC Horsens – Danish Superliga]

Horsens vs Vendsyssel FF [Home] – February 17, 2019 [Sunday]. Kickoff at 7:00PM.

After getting a point in a goalless away fixture against Hobro, AC Horsens and Azkals goalkeeper Kevin Ray Mendoza host Vendsyssel to get full three points after the winter break.

Photo credits: Sepsi OSK, Melaka United, JL Chiangmai United,

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Azkals overseas fixtures for February 2019: Weekend 2

The Philippine Azkals based overseas are now slowly getting back into the pitch with the commencement of leagues in Asia while those based in Europe have their respective clubs ready to compete once again after the winter break.

Here are their fixtures you may follow this weekend [kickoff times are in Philippine Standard Time or GMT +8]:

Patrick Reichelt [Melaka United – Malaysia Super League]

PKNS FC vs Melaka United [Away] – February 9, 2019 [Saturday]. Kickoff at 9:00PM

After getting a good start with his new club Melaka United via a win at home against Petaling Jaya City FC, Patrick Reichelt and his teammates are aiming to build on the result as they visit PKNS to make it two wins in two matches.

Joshua Grommen [Petaling Jaya City – Malaysia Super League]

Petaling Jaya City vs Selangor [Home] – February 9, 2019 [Saturday]. Kickoff at 9:00PM

Joshua Grommen’s club may have slipped in its first MSL assignment against Melaka United but for their second fixture, they get to face Selangor at their home turf.

Although the Filipino defender received plaudits for his combative efforts by playing through an injury, him suiting up this weekend could still be in doubt as he gets monitored on his fitness after suffering a dislocated shoulder.

UPDATE: According to Rudolf, Joshua Grommen’s father, the player will feature for the squad and will wear a special shoulder brace so he can play.

Neil Etheridge [Cardiff City – Premier League]

Southampton vs Cardiff City FC [Away] – February 9, 2019 [Saturday]. Kickoff at 11:00PM

Cardiff City will build on the win they have achieved against Bournemouth the previous matchday with Azkals keeper Neil Etheridge pulling off some crucial saves. But they’ll be facing Southampton next time as visitors while they try to pull themselves out of the relegation zone.

Daisuke Sato [Sepsi OSK – Romania Liga I]

Sepsi OSK vs Dinamo Bucuresti [Home]- February 10, 2019 [Sunday]. Kickoff 2:00AM

Daisuke Sato’s club Sepsi OSK slipped against Voluntari in their post-winter break opener, but the next fixture will still most possibly be a challenge still as they go up against Dinamo Bucuresti, as the Sfantu Gheorghe-based club will try to keep themselves in the top half of the league and avoid the relegation playout.

Hikaru Minegishi [JL Chiangmai United – Thai League 2]

JL Chiangmai United vs Udon Thani FC [Home] – February 10, 2019 [Sunday]. Kickoff 7:00PM

Hikaru Minegishi will debut for his newly promoted club JL Chiangmai United in Thailand’s League 2, with the optimism of coming up with an excellent campaign in the second-tier.

Kevin Ray Mendoza Hansen [AC Horsens – Danish Superliga]

Hobro vs Horsens [Away] – February 10, 2019 [Sunday]. Kickoff at 7:00PM

Kevin Ray Mendoza will suit up for AC Horsens after the winter break. Let’s see if he will be a starter for the club.

Horsens still have six games left to improve their standing [currently 8th] and qualify for the championship round.

John-Patrick Strauss [FC Erzgebirge Aue – 2. Bundesliga]

Erzgebirge Aue vs Ingolstadt – February 10, 2019 [Sunday]. Kickoff at 8:30PM

John-Patrick Strauss has yet to feature as a starter after decent performances for the Azkals in both the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 and AFC Cup 2019. The club will hope to climb further up the standings as they are currently in the lower half of the table [13th out of 18].

Photo credits: Hikaru Minegishi, Sepsi OSK, Cardiff City FC, Melaka United SA