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Azkals overseas: Patino, Palla face Falkesgaard in mouthwatering T1 clash

After the midweek AFC Cup action involving two Filipino clubs, it’s now time to focus on Filipino football players in overseas leagues as they play their respective fixtures this third weekend of March 2019.

The match that could gain the most attention for Filipino football fans might be in Thailand as Bangkok United, with Azkals Michael Falkesgaard as their main goalkeeper, host Buriram United, who have Javier Patino and Stephan Palla in their ranks in a clash between league contenders.

(Kickoff schedules are in Philippine Standard Time)

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

Sepsi OSK vs Universitatea Craiova: March 16, Saturday at 2:30AM

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

Holstein Kiel vs Erzgebirge Aue: March 16, Saturday at 1:30AM

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

AC Horsens vs Brondby IF: March 18, Monday at 12:00AM

Jordan Jarvis, DF – Eastern Long Lions [Hong Kong Premier League]

Hoi King vs Eastern: March 17, Sunday at 2:30PM

Hikaru Minegishi, MF – JL Chiangmai United [Thai League 2 (T2)]

Nongbua Pitchaya vs JL Chiangmai United: March 16, Saturday at 9:00PM

THAI LEAGUE 1 (T1)

Marco Casambre, DF and Adam Reed, MF – Chainat Hornbill

Prachuap vs Chainat Hornbill: March 15, Friday at 9:00PM

Michael Falkesgaard, GK – Bangkok United vs Javier Patino, FW and Stephan Palla, DF – Buriram United

Bangkok United vs Buriram United: March 17, Sunday at 8:00PM

Mark Hartmann, FW – Suphanburi FC

Suphanburi vs Chonburi: March 16, Saturday at 7:00PM

Amin Nazari MF and Manuel Ott, MF* – Ratchaburi Mitr Phol

Chiangmai FC vs Ratchaburi Mitr Phol: March 16, Saturday at 6:45PM

Iain Ramsay, MF – Sukhothai FC

Pattaya United vs Sukhothai: March 17, Sunday at 7:00PM

*Manuel Ott is still recovering from a shin injury.

Photo credits: Buriram United, Bangkok United

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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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A full Azkals squad now playing in Thailand

With midfielder Adam Reed’s joining with Thai League 1 club Chainat Hornbill, Thailand now has a full squad of eleven Filipino internationals playing in its football leagues.

Here is the list of Filipino footballers now signed with Thai clubs:

  • Javier Patino – Forward, Buriram United
  • Mark Hartmann – Forward, Suphanburi FC
  • Iain Ramsay – Winger/Midfielder, Sukhothai FC
  • Manuel Ott – Midfielder, Ratchaburi Mitr Phol
  • Amin Nazari – Midfielder, Ratchaburi Mitr Phol
  • Adam Reed – Midfielder, Chainat Hornbill
  • Hikaru Minegishi – Midfielder, JL Chiangmai United [Thai League 2]
  • Stephan Palla – Defender, Buriram United
  • Luke Woodland – Defender, Buriram United
  • Marco Casambre – Defender, Chainat Hornbill
  • Michael Falkesgaard – Goalkeeper, Bangkok United

Here’s how the Azkals 11 in Thailand would look like if lined up as one team [3-5-2 formation]:

Seeing the wealth of talent, it’s a pretty decent and competitive lineup that could very much stand to-to-toe against other clubs or teams.

Photo credits: Bangkok United, Buriram United, Ratchaburi Mitr Phol, Chainat Hornbill

Azkals Asian Cup 2019 focus: Massive defence against South Korea

The Philippines may have began their AFC Asian Cup 2019 debut campaign with a 1-0 loss. Despite that, the result actually surpassed expectations, as the Azkals proved the naysayers, doubters and oddsmakers – who predicted a lopsided win for the superior South Koreans – wrong.

Behind that result was a resolute defending by Sven-Goran Eriksson’s men. This aspect makes this discussion focus on the defence, namely the back four consisting of Luke Woodland, Alvaro Silva, Stephan Palla, Daisuke Sato and goalkeeper Michael Falkesgaard.

An almost impenetrable backline

The Azkals’ defence has been tested for most of the match. Even with most of the Azkals retreating in their own half for the most part, the back four still had a very busy day. But in spite of that and the one-sided predictions, the Philippine backline were able to hold fast for the most part.

First up is Stephan Palla, who was able to shine on the clearances department as he was able to clear more than a handful of threatening deliveries by the opposition.

Next is Daisuke Sato, who had been a constant defensive live-wire and a bridge as well towards mounting a counter-attack from the left part of the pitch. He also was able to pull off [maybe] a clean tackle or two.

For Luke Woodland, most of his contributions came from some timely blocks that he was able to pull-off denying some possible goal-bound shots in favour of the Taeguk Warriors. His excellent positioning in some of those dangerous plays helped the Azkals keep themselves well in the match.

Goalkeeper Michael Falkesgaard meanwhile was able to thwart almost all of maybe a handful of shots he faced from the Taeguk Warriors, save for one – Hwang Ui-jo’s 67th minute winning goal.

Lastly, Alvaro Silva who most definitely was the man of the match – with striker Javier Patino probably an honourable mention – came up with a stellar performance as he won a good amount (more than a handful for sure) of duels he has encountered. Aside from that, Alvaro definitely produced the most number of timely clearances. Alas, his mistimed sliding attempt to intervene with Hwang Hee-chan’s delivery led to the winning goal.

But an almost bonus contribution on the other end, Alvaro Silva came close to producing the equaliser for the Azkals in the 79th minute, if only he was able to come up with a better contact with the ball via a header off a corner-kick from substitute winger Iain Ramsay.

Disciplined defending at a high order

Despite numerous amount of attempts and sustained pressure from the South Koreans, the Philippines’ defence stood firmly while showing maybe the highest level of discipline and constraint that the team were able to recently, as no defender suffered a booking in the course of the whole match.

Now that’s a boon for the squad as the starting defenders carry no cautions heading into another daunting assignment against current Group C leaders China on Friday, January 11, in Abu Dhabi.

Photo credits: The Azkals Facebook Page