Kaya FC, Tampines Rovers settle score in a goalless draw

Hosts Kaya FC-Iloilo and Tampines Rovers failed to find the back of the net as both squads ended their clash goalless last February 26 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The Filipino side started much better with some half-chances early on while Tampines Rovers were still adjusting to the ebb and flow of the game.

As the clock approached the tenth minute, the Stags were able to assert themselves more as they started to conjure some attacking plays.

A minute before the first quarter of an hour, left midfielder Jordan Webb was able to break free of his marker but his attempt while at speed, at a tight angle can only fly over the bar.

Immediately the next minute, Kaya mounted a momentary siege of Tampines’ box but opportunities fleetingly came and went without getting the breakthrough.

In the 22nd minute a golden opportunity came for the Stags as the ball fell kindly on the path of Irwan Shah Arismail’s foot to unleash from close range but Kaya keeper Mike Casas was equal to it with a reflex save.

A few nervous moments arrived against Kaya FC as the Singaporeans peppered the hosts with some promising plays but the Filipino side were able to hold their fort and keep the stalemate.

In the 28th minute Jayson Panhay could have scored the opening goal for Kaya from a direct freekick but his well-curled effort flew agonizingly wide of the near post.

The game then proceeded with both teams trading possessions but neither was able to get a good look to score the icebreaker.

At the 42nd minute, Tampines had another half-decent chance with forward Boris Kopitovic unleashing a pile-driver in stride and at an angle, but his effort fizzed just over the bar.

Kopitovic’s attempt would be the last decent effort at goal as halftime arrived with the match goalless and finely in the balance.

Early in the second half, Tampines Rovers almost got ahead with Madhu Mohana’s strike inside the box deflected by a Kaya defender but Casas, once again, came up with a reflex save to deny the chance and maintain parity.

In the subsequent minutes after the hour mark, Kaya were able to control the match for the most part as they controlled the possession, but were not able to convert.

A late golden chance came for the Singaporean visitors with Webb releasing Kopitovic who duly produced a goal-bound effort but once again, Casas was the savior who kept the parity.

Tampines Rovers suddenly came alive in the final minutes as they knocked on Kaya’s door on several occasions. Meanwhile, Kaya had their few moments in injury time, but it wasn’t meant to be as the tie ended in a goalless draw.

Kaya FC-Iloilo will next visit Indonesian side PSM Makassar on March 10.

Photo credit: Kaya FC-Iloilo

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Ceres-Negros, Than Quang Ninh share spoils in four-goal draw

A heated encounter between Philippine champions Ceres-Negros FC and Vietnamese side Than Quang Ninh FC ended in a battling 2-2 draw in the AFC Cup 2020 Group G match held in Rizal Stadium last February 25.

In the early proceedings, the match exhibited a stop-start pace as both sides tried to weigh each other, exhibiting physicality, with some fouls committed on both ends.

But at the seventh minute, the hosts showed signs with regards to their capabilities on the attack, particularly on the wing play at the right flank with OJ Porteria and Robert Lopez Mendy almost connecting.

A good run of spell in possession followed for Ceres-Negros as they were able to dictate the proceedings in the moments that followed.

At the 14th minute, Than Quang Ninh had a decent chance though to score the breakthrough off a corner kick, but the headed attempt just flew wide of the near post as it remained a stalemate after the first quarter of an hour.

Despite the threat, the busmen were able to regain their bearings as they dictated once again the match with a promising chance arriving in the 24th minute as Stephan Schrock produced a teasing low pass across the opposition’s goalmouth only for the ball to marginally avoid the lurking forwards, Bienvenido Maranon and Lopez Mendy.

However that chance proved to be something that they would immediately rue as the Vietnamese side found themselves in front in the 26th minute after capitalizing on a defensive error with forward Jermie Lynch guiding the ball with such precision to find the back of the net.

Ceres immediately tried to respond with two consecutive chances from headers, but the equalizer proved elusive with half an hour gone.

Six minutes later, Manuel Ott tried a speculative effort, but his attempt to pull off something spectacular came to naught as the shot missed the target.

However a late first-half drama ensued. As the hosts desperately tried to claw their way and come up with an equalizing goal, Bienvenido Maranon was fouled inside the box promoting Malaysian referee Mohd Amirul Rizwan to point to the spot.

The aggrieved Maranon, duly took the penalty with such audacity, converting a chipped effort to put the tie well in the balance, as both sides head into the break sharing a goal each.

After the restart, both sides went off the blocks by employing high pressure on both ends, trying to catch the opposition on the counter.

Nine minutes into the second half, after a well-worked passing play, Bienve Maranon found himself in a position to unleash and put Ceres ahead, but his lobbed effort went over the bar.

A similar situation faced Robert Lopez Mendy a few moments after but also his attempt went sky high.

In the 61st minute, after an excellent play initiated by Porteria that found Maranon, the ball eventually found Manuel Ott without opposition but his shot hit the bar.

That miss will not be much of a concern for the busmen in the next minute though, as Porteria eventually gave his side the lead, firing low from an angle that beat Than Quang Ninh keeper, Huyn Tuan Linh to send the stadium into raptures.

With the onus now on the visiting side to come up with a leveller, the hero miners eventually got what they were searching for in the 70th minute after a mix-up inside Ceres-Negros’ box gave midfielder Nguyen Hai Huy enough window for an opportunistic strike that caught Ceres keeper Roland Muller stranded and hushing the Rizal Memorial crowd into stunned silence.

Six minutes later another and the Vietnamese side produced another scare for the Philippine champions as another shot from range unleashed just scraped outside Muller’s left post, escaping what could definitely be a complicated deficit.

As both clubs searched for the wining goal, eventually the tie ended in a draw as both sides split points in Group G.

Ceres-Negros will next face Indonesian champions Bali United on March 11 in Rizal Stadium in what could be considered as the busmen’s biggest test yet in the early phase of this year’s continental tournament.

Photo credit: Ceres-Negros FC

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AFC Cup 2020 Boot Spotting: Ceres and Kaya goal scorers in Group Stage Rd 1

With the first round of AFC Cup 2020 group stage action in the books, and Filipino clubs Ceres-Negros FC and Kaya FC-Iloilo beginning their respective campaigns on the right track, here the goal scorers and the boots they wear.

Bienvenido Marañon (FW, Ceres-Negros FC: 2 GOALS)

Ceres-Negros’ prolific Spanish forward, Bienve Marañon, scored a brace in the opener against Cambodian champions Svay Rieng FC, putting him jointly on top of the goal-scoring chart.

If this form can be maintained, the AFC Cup 2019 top scorer is poised for another productive season in the continental stage!

Photo credit: Ceres-Negros FC

Bienvenido Marañon’s boots: Nike Tiempo 8 Legend Elite

Takashi Odawara (MF/DF, Ceres-Negros FC: 1 GOAL)

A wise mid-season acquisition by the busmen last season, Japanese versatile defensive midfielder Takashi Odawara possesses a potent striking ability despite his mainly defensive duties as demonstrated by his goal against Svay Rieng near the edge of the box.

Although a regular haul is not expected from Odawara, it won’t come as a surprise if he could be an occasional option in attack and convert a few in crucial situations.

Photo credit: Ceres-Negros FC

Takashi Odawara’s boots: adidas X 18.1

Joshua Grommen (DF, Ceres-Negros FC: 1 GOAL)

After a two-year stint overseas, Josh Grommen made a homecoming to Ceres-Negros for the 2020 season. And in just his third appearance for the club this year (his second as a starter), Grommen opened his account in the AFC Cup against Svay Rieng.

Although replays show that the 23-year old enforcer may have used his hand in converting the chance fed by team captain Stephan Schröck, the goal stood eventually generating a momentary buzz in the footballing world as another “Hand of God” has been scored.

Josh Grommen’s boots: adidas Copa Gloro 19

Jovin Bedic (FW, Kaya FC-Iloilo: 1 GOAL)

Kaya FC-Iloilo skipper Jovin Bedic was clutch, converting what eventually has been a pivotal second half penalty kick for his club in a tough AFC Cup away opener against Burmese champions Shan United.

With the game finely on the balance, a momentary lapse on the part of the hosts tipped the scales in favor of the Filipino side when substitute Arnel Amita was fouled inside the box. Jovin Bedic stepped up to the occasion as he kept himself cool, calm and collected to convert from the spot without a hint of a doubt that served as the pivotal icebreaker.

Photo credit: AFC Cup

Jovin Bedic’s boots: Nike Mercurial Vapor 13 Elite

Eric Giganto (FW/MF, Kaya FC-Iloilo: 1 GOAL)

One of Kaya FC’s ever-dependable players the past few seasons, Eric Giganto once again demonstrated his importance to the team when he scored a late goal off a feed from Arnel Amita to put his club two-goals up against Shan United and erase all doubts in the tie.

Giganto’s knack for scoring late goals, particularly as a substitute, makes him virtually the club’s super-sub, and his jugular against Shan United further strengthened such case.

Photo credit: Kaya FC-Iloilo

Eric Giganto’s boots: Mizuno Morelia Neo

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FIFA WCQ: Ramsay, Strauss score as Azkals snatch crucial win VS Maldives

Despite a costly missed penalty-kick in the first half, the Philippine Azkals produced a spirited second half display as Iain Ramsay and John-Patrick Strauss convert their chances en-route to an important 2-1 win against Maldives in a joint World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023 qualifying fixture held in Male last Thursday, November 14, 2019.

Coming from a performance full of positives against China, The Azkals management opted to stick to virtually the same set of starters from that match with Luke Woodland the only change in place of Martin Steuble, who was suspended due to accumulation of yellow cards, on defense.

The match began with hosts Maldives trying to employ a more attacking approach by dominating possession while the visiting Philippine side were more cautious.

With the Maldivians’ positive start, a corner kick was produced in the 13th minute after a shot from Hamza Mohamed was deflected out of bounds by an Azkal player. The ensuing play did not produce a breakthrough though but the early dynamics of the game tipped more in favor of the hosts as they were able to come up with some clever combination plays.

In the 23rd minute Patrick Strauss received an elbow from Akram Abdul Gani during an aerial challenge that wounded the Azkal that put a brief pause in the proceedings as the Erzgebirge Aue midfielder received treatment.

Momentarily down to ten men, Maldives tried to take advantage as they crafted a couple of aerial long balls into the Philippines’ own box but the Azkals were able to scramble and defend their lines barely.

A golden opportunity did arrive just at the half-hour mark for Scott Cooper’s men as Patrick Reichelt saw himself in a very good position to shoot with only the keeper to beat but he may have took too much time to get his bearings as his shot was desperately cleared by a defender just in time.

The ensuing corner kick though produced a fortunate turn of events in favor of the Azkals as a Maldivian handled the ball inside the box for the Philippines to be awarded a penalty kick. But it turned out to be a chance that only came begging as Patrick Reichelt, who stood up to take the spot-kick, was denied the breakthrough.

Despite the denial, the penalty kick proved to be pivotal as the Filipinos began to slowly get a foothold in the match by being able to come up with better plays and forays into the opposition’s half.

After three minutes of added time that saw some sloppy plays from both ends of the pitch, the first half ended in a stalemate, with Reichelt’s missed penalty-kick a few moments after the half-hour mark serving as the most clear-cut chance for an icebreaker.

After the restart the Philippine Azkals tried to turn things around in terms of their approach to the game as they cranked up the urgency a few notches higher with Iain Ramsay firing an attempt inside the box that only sailed wide of the post.

Soon enough, Maldives were able to come up with their own well-crafted offensive response, almost successfully getting the icebreaker, but AZ Alkmaar defender Justin Baas produced an all-important intervention to thwart what could have been a sure-goal for the hosts.

But the goal did arrive in favor of the Azkals, with Iain Ramsay being rewarded for his previous efforts, as the Sukhothai FC winger showed a momentary piece of skill before unleashing a firm shot that beat the keeper to give his side a crucial advantage.

A crucial blow though for the Azkals ensued at the hour mark as a late tackle from a Maldivian player saw Daisuke Sato at the receiving end resulting to a knock to the Muangthong United defensive stalwart.

With Sato not able to proceed at full strength, he was replaced by Curt Dizon, the former Ceres-Negros wingman who now plays for Chonburi FC of Thailand.

In the 67th minute, a free-kick was awarded to the Philippines. Despite the attempt being at a considerable distance, Stephan Schrock produced an on-target effort which was smothered by Maldives’ keeper, Mohamed Faisal.

The Philippines immediately applied relentless pressure, giving Luke Woodland a good chance to score from range, with the hosts unsettled in defense, only to be denied by the bar. A scramble for the ball ensued, with Reichelt’s follow up unsuccessful. However, John Patrick Strauss was at the right place and time to slot in the loose-ball to double the lead in the 69th minute.

Despite the two-goal cushion, the Philippine Azkals were still far from danger as the Maldivians continued to push forward and get themselves into the game as testified by a 78th minute effort that tested Cardiff City FC keeper Neil Etheridge.

It continued to be a compelling match as the clock neared the 90th minute mark as the South Asians never let up with their efforts to come up with a result despite the piling odds against them with time already not on their side.

A late attempt for fightback from Maldives produced a late consolation in the end, but the two-goal cushion proved enough as full-time blew with the scoreboard showing 1-2 in favor of the visitors, setting up the Azkals for an all-important fixture against Syria on Tuesday, November 19, in Dubai.

The result maintains the Philippines’ place in third in Group A of the qualifiers and within arm’s reach of second placed China who face Syria later on the same day.

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AFC Cup TOP HITMAN: Ceres-Negros’ Bienvenido Marañon

Ceres-Negros FC’s marksman Bienvenido Marañon has been certified as the top goalscorer with 10 conversions under his belt in the recently concluded 2019 AFC Cup continental football competition.

The Spanish forward’s efforts helped the Bacolod-based Busmen and reigning domestic league champions reach the ASEAN Zonal Semifinals.

Virtually Unstoppable

Marañon scored in almost all of the Filipino club’s fixtures in the group stage, save for one match, highlighted by his two hat-tricks with the first one against Vietnamese outfit Becamex Binh Duong held in Vietnam last March 12 that ended in a 1-3 win, followed by another stellar performance also in an away fixture against Shan United last April 16 that concluded to a 0-5 triumph.

Ceres-Negros’ continental campaign was only halted in its tracks by Hanoi FC in the ASEAN Zonal Semifinals knockout phase, but it wasn’t without a fight with the eventual top marksman scoring with a diving header in the 57th minute against the Vietnamese side in the first leg that was held last June 18 in Panaad Stadium.

Photo credit: Ceres-Negros FC

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3 PFL players who deserve Azkals call-ups this 2019

The Philippine Azkals have three more fixtures for the remainder of 2019 with the World Cup qualifier match against China happening in a fortnight, and with the Philippines Football League (PFL) 2019 season in its end-phase, a few  local players emerged as standouts that could merit a consideration to be in Azkals Head Coach Goran Milojevic’s near future squad.

In the Azkals that recently competed against Syria and Guam for the qualifiers, only OJ Porteria, Mike Ott and Sean Kane (all of Ceres-Negros) represented the domestic pro league. Meanwhile, homegrown PFL player Jovin Bedic of Kaya who probably may have also featured in the squad, suffered an injury which made him unavailable that time.

However, with the domestic season already poised for its conclusion and the performances of players for their respective clubs already becoming clear in terms of how they fared, here is a list of three proven in-form local PFL players who deserve to have at least a shot in being part of the national team before 2019 ends (in no particular order).

Nathan Alquiros (Stallion Laguna, Midfielder)

Nathan Alquiros (Stallion Laguna, 6) battling for the ball against Mike Ott (Ceres-Negros). Source: Philippines Football League

One of Stallion Laguna’s main offensive orchestrators from the middle of the park has been an engine for his squad this PFL 2019 season which is currently at solo third in the standings.

Being the one who usually pull the strings for Coach Ernest Nierras’ Biñan-based squad either in the center or right midfield, with an occasional license to advance and strike forward, the product of De La Salle University’s football program has been a model of industry for his club.

Nathan Alquiros’ vision, ball-control and ability to read the play and unleash a shot in promising situations make him one of the standout creative midfielders in the league, not to mention his willingness to put in the hard work on the defensive end – something that the Azkals coaching staff might need to have a second look to further add a dash of uncompromising industry to the midfield.

Fitch Arboleda (Stallion Laguna, Winger/Forward/Midfielder)

Fitch Arboleda (Stallion Laguna, 27) with the ball as Boris Moudang (Air Force, 37) chases.
Source: Philippines Football League

Definitely one of the most consistent performers for Stallion Laguna this season, Fitch Arboleda has been on a tear for his club either as a scorer or a creator.

The pacy winger has been one of the main focal points of Stallion’s attack and his current output of nine goals, which is tied at fourth, is a testament of how Fitch has become an indispensable part of the club for all these three years in the PFL, not to mention his proven ability to also provide an assist to a much better-positioned strike partner.

However, the Azkals’ wealth in the winger and forward roles may prove a tough challenge for the former University of the East standout in making the squad. But if the Azkals are somehow presented a void on the flanks, Fitch Arboleda definitely is an option that should not be ignored.

Jim Ashley Flores (Mendiola FC 1991, Forward/Striker)

Jim Ashley Flores (Mendiola, 7) in an aerial battle against Chyma Uzoka (Global, 20)
Source: Philippines Football League

Arguably the most deserving of a call-up at the moment, Ashley Flores has been one of the few, yet most significant, positives for an otherwise tough debut season for FC Mendiola 1991 in the PFL.

The former San Beda University product’s current total of nine goals makes him tied in the goal-scorers’ standings at fourth, but what makes his achievement all the more notable is he was able to score against all other opposing PFL clubs, including powerhouses Ceres-Negros and Kaya FC.

A proven scorer deployed either as a main or support striker, whether it’s from a spectacular individual effort or a bundled goal produced from pure graft, Ashley Flores’ qualities and current form definitely merit a chance for an inclusion to the Azkals in at last one of its future qualifier matches.

Honorable Mentions

  • Alen Angeles (Mendiola FC 1991, Forward/Winger)
  • Jesus Melliza (Stallion Laguna, Forward/Midfielder)
  • Paolo Bugas (Green Archers United, Midfielder)
  • Marwin Angeles (Kaya FC Iloilo, Midfielder)
  • Joshua Dutosme (Ceres-Negros, Defender/Wingback)

YOUR OPINION COUNTS TOO!

Do you agree in this list? Which PFL player at the moment do you think deserves a call-up to the national team? Post them on the comments section below or on our social media channels on Facebook.

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The crucial campaign ahead for PH 2019 SEAG Men’s Football Team

The 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) will be hosted by the Philippines in the latter part of 2019 with men’s football as the biggest team sports that almost all participating nations are going to vie for with much fervor.

With limitations of teams only allowed to be comprised Under-22 players (with the exception of two overaged players) and the competition not falling within the FIFA international break, most senior Azkals (even if their ages falls well within SEAG eligibility) won’t be able to participate in this tournament due to club commitments. Despite these constraints, the Philippine SEAG football team, under the reins of Azkals manager Dan Palami, are preparing to assemble its strongest squad yet as reported in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Such an undertaking and campaign could prove seminal, if successful, as a template for organizing junior national teams for future tournaments.

Beginning mid-August, the Azkals management already held several days of open tryouts which were participated by several top junior prospects and hopefuls, both based locally and abroad.

And during the past September FIFA international break, right when the senior Azkals squad is in the middle of its World Cup and Asian Cup joint qualification campaigns, the initial shortlist of players for the 2019 SEAG were training in Manila.

Despite the early preparations, the task at hand is a monumental one, not only due to the fact that Azkals Management team has been tapped to be involved, but because the junior squad needs to turn its recent fortunes around as well for the better – something which is easier said than done.

THE HARD TRUTH

At the moment, in contrast to the leaps and bounds that the Azkals have achieved in terms of its relative profile in international football, the Philippine junior squads particularly the U-22 and U-23 still have a lot to do in order to close the gap to its other Southeast Asian counterparts.

Recent results by our youth squads have not been so encouraging, as the federation also recently took steps to improve talent identification and development at this level.

However, with the current system of youth football here in the country where the highest level still lies in the collegiate varsity leagues, it is still a far cry to the Philippines’ neighboring footballing nations where the best talents are honed within club system through academies and youth squads.

As the SEAG kicks off, surely traditional powerhouses and contenders will field young players coming from of either academy or club reserves from locally renowned clubs or even first team sensations (not to mention the additional two overage players who are likely to be veteran professionals).

These athletes that the Filipino U-22 SEAG squad will go up against already seasoned footballers, despite their young age, who are experiencing frequent, season-long and grinding competitive football at a high level making it a daunting proposition for the Philippine squad.

Hence, despite the promise and optimism that goes with a tried and tested Azkals management team being directly involved in the preparation of the SEAG men’s football team, expectations still should be tempered with healthy dose of realism.

REALISTIC TARGETS

Given that the U-22 Philippine SEAG squad will be made up mostly of varsity players from various colleges and universities reinforced with some standout youths from the Philippines Football League and two overage players, demanding for a medal finish will be too premature.

With the very high-level of competition and the high-stakes involved when given the profile of the sport, particularly for footballing nations, surviving the group and reaching the semifinals (matching the 1991 edition in Manila) for the Filipinos in Men’s Football will already be considered a resounding success and anything higher than would be a miraculous bonus.

A better expectation from the Philippine Men’s Football Team this 2019 SEAG for sports fans is to avoid lopsided losses. In this stage, with the preparation that is being done and the fact that the biennial tournament will be hosted in the Philippines, national pride is at stake for all sporting events – and that includes football. So a good account of our representatives in terms of competency level should be paramount. The least the Filipinos could expect is for the team to give a good fight.

Grinding out draws against contenders, winning against non-regional powerhouses should be the results to expect from the squad. If losses are inevitable they should not be without a fight. Such factors should be the ones considered as the more rational of expectations.

NEXT STEPS

Basing on what would be the outcome of the Philippines’ campaign in men’s football this 2019 SEAG, if reaching the semifinals is achieved, then it can be considered that the Azkals management’s direct involvement in the junior squad has obvious positive effects and should continue on.

If the campaign turns out to be otherwise, and ends up well below par of expectations, then it proves that there are an even bigger hurdles to conquer internally and they involve improving what is further down the footballing strata: the one that bridges the grassroots and the competitive youth levels of the sport.

2019 SEAG is definitely going to be big for Philippine Football as this could serve as either a turning point, an indicator, or an eye-opener for our country’s state in the sport at the developmental level.

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3rd National Youth Futsal Invitational continues to nurture sport and future talents in PH

Futsal has been on a steady rise as more Filipino youths get into the sport. With the increasing popularity of 11-a-side football, its quicker, indoor-variation, futsal, which is more conducive to the urban setting is starting to pick up in terms of its growth in the country.

Allianz Philippines, in partnership with the Henry V. Moran Foundation and the Philippine Football Federation (PFF), has been a contributor to the growth of this sport with the third edition of its annual Allianz National Youth Futsal invitational (ANYFI).

The three aforementioned entities involved in the in the midst of ANYFI’s regional tournament phase. As of this writing, the Visayas Regional Leg is currently on-going where a nationwide tournament is about to unfold until June 30 in which champions from each region will be determined.

True to ANYFI’s nationwide scope, the press conference on the launch of the 2019 edition of the invitational tournament was held last April 6 in Davao City to spark futsal, particularly the competition’s presence in Mindanao.

“The sport of football has progressed a lot since we started our futsal invitational three years ago. We have sent our most talented Filipino players in one of the best if not the best football camps in Asia and Europe. Many of them have advanced in their careers getting into the national team and representing the country in games abroad. We have also brought them to train at the FC Bayern training grounds of Sabener Strasse in Munich, Germany, and they have shown that they can indeed play amongst the best young football and futsal players in the world,” said Rei Abrazaldo, Brand Communications and Digital Director, Allianz Philippines.

The non-profit Henry V. Moran Foundation, which contributes in helping public school youths with sporting opportunities through football and futsal, shared the on-court sport’s potential in developing talent.

“The Philippines is teeming with talents in football. We just need to give our youth the support and venue to further hone their skills and excel in the sport. In the Philippines, this can be easily achieved through futsal, a sport that can be organized and played in gyms. It’s proven across the world that futsal develops better football players, and our experience tells us that futsal is an appropriate development approach for the Philippine setting,” said Chairman Danny Moran.

The PFF, in a show of support, had Futsal Department Head Kevin Goco in attendance.

“The PFF is always pleased to see private entities like Allianz and the Henry V. Moran Foundation in helping us grow the sport of futsal in the country. Allianz’s support is a welcome act by the PFF and we hope that the children who join this tournament will have fun and display their skills and talents throughout the competition,” Atty. Gastanes stated in a message.

“Our young players’ achievements will not only make their parents, teams, and communities proud; they can likewise make their country proud. We have seen it before and we hope we continue seeing it in the future as the
popularity of the sport progresses in the coming years. Futsal is the world’s fastest growing indoor sport, and we feel it has massive potential in engaging more communities, creating world class athletes, and improving lives,” shared Mr. Goco.

It is to note that in the 2018 Allianz Explorer Camp in Germany (through Allianz Philippines), Philippine representatives Juan Miguel Basmayor (Manila) and Catherine Angelica Bradborn (Pampanga) got silver and bronze with their respective teams in the events they competed in while a third representative Ivy Tapiz (Dipolog) also produced a commendable performance.

Below are the list of the activities (on-going and scheduled as of this writing) on the regional tournaments:

It’s time for the country’s future futsal elite athletes to shine. Who will emerge as regional champions? Also which players will shine for a shot to represent the country in this year’s Allianz Explorer Camps in Singapore and Germany?

Let’s find out!

NOTE: ANYFI age groups and categories

  • 14 under Boys (Born 2005)
  • 14 under Girls (Born 2005)
  • 16 under Boys (Born Sept 1, 2002, and after)
  • 16 under Girls (Born Sept 1, 2002, and after)

Interested teams are advised to email their completed application form, team registration form, waivers, and supporting documents to futsalinvitational@gmail.com at the soonest possible time. Once submitted, the Tournament Committee will then inform the teams if their application has been received. For inquiries, you can contact Jesus Montealto at 09950083924.

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AFC Cup: Ceres and Kaya players top goalscoring chart after Matchday 2

Five players from Ceres-Negros and Kaya FC Iloilo have made the Top 10 goalscoring chart after two rounds of fixtures in the AFC Cup 2019 group stage.

Matchday 2 in the ASEAN Zone has been one to savor for Filipino football fans as both Philippine club representatives notch convincing wins in their respective assignments.

First up, Ceres-Negros notched their second win in as many matches with a 3-1 scoreline as Bienvenido Maranon scored a hat-trick away against Vietnam’s Becamex Binh Duong last Tuesday, March 12, at the Go Dau Stadium.

On Wednesday afternoon (March 13), Kaya Iloilo attains its first win of the campaign in emphatic fashion as they thumped Singapore’s Home United 5-0 in their designated home ground, the Panaad Stadium, as Darryl Roberts (2′, 37′) and Alfred Osei (49′, 55′) score two goals each while team captain Jovin Bedic also saw the back of the net off a 33rd minute effort.

Such results put five players from both Filipino clubs into the top ten goalscoring chart according to AFC.

Maranon’s hat-trick puts him in joint top spot with four goals in total alongside Al Wehdat forward Baha’ Seif and Hanoi FC striker Ganiyu Oseni.

Jovin Bedic, Alfred Osei and Darryl Roberts round up the scorers’ table alongside Ceres-Negros winger OJ Porteria, who scored two goals in the opener against Shan United last February 26, with two goals each.

AFC Cup official goalscoring stats

From a team standpoint, both Filipino clubs also make waves in the scoring department as their respective outputs put them tied in fourth place with six goals scored in total for each.

Although, it is still very much early in the group phase, the positive results for both clubs in their respective Matchday 2 give them a head-start, putting them in a promising position as they aim to progress to the knockout phase.

Standings for both Ceres-Negros and Kaya FC Iloilo’s respective groups

Despite firing “yellow warnings” to oppositions, both Filipino clubs are up for mouthwatering clashes as Ceres-Negros host Indonesian giants and champions Persija Jakarta in Panaad on April 3 at 7:30PM, while Kaya travel to South Sulawesi in Indonesia to face Liga I runners-up PSM Makassar on April 2 at 4:00PM.

Both matches will be shown via ESPN5’s 5Plus and FOX Sports Asia channels.

Photo credits: AFC Cup

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Green Archers United and Mendiola FC unveil kits for PPL

Green Archers United and Mendiola FC 1991 prepare their return to domestic club football’s top-flight after years of hiatus as they unveil their respective kits for the inaugural PPL season.

With the design reveals of both clubs, comes one word: Anticipation. The reason is both teams came up with equally mouthwatering designs that will definitely pique their supporters’, or even football kit collectors’ interests to purchase the shirts that their players will wear on the pitch.

Green Archers partner with a local kit supplier, Cutz Apparel, that is founded just this 2018 according to the company’s Facebook page. But, despite being a new player in the kit business, their designs for the Weekend Futbol League – Elite champions for their maiden PPL season are quite solid.

As for Mendiola, their kit supplier is Indonesia-based FAT Sportswear, which initially was focused on goalkeeping equipment, mainly gloves, before expanding on football apparels.

FAT’s first foray into the Philippine club football scene happened last year when they supplied the gloves of Filipino goalkeepers Louie Casas [currently of Kaya Iloilo] and Ronilo Bayan Jr. [currently of Ceres-Negros].

And with the initial designs released by FAT Sportswear, it seems Mendiola FC 1991 may have taken the driver’s seat in terms of ‘kit aesthetics’ department.

Without further delay, here are the kit designs of both clubs:

Green Archers United

Mendiola FC 1991

As of this writing, it is not yet known if these on-pitch outfits will be available for purchase to fans but let’s hope they hit the shelves soon!