by Daryl Lagos
After just a win by the Azkals hosting powerhouse Singapore in Cebu last Thursday, Coach Weiss fielded in a starting line-up of younger guns and players who has now graduated from representing the U23 side.
Significantly, this move was also displayed in clinching the Philippines first international title in the Peace Cup 2012 which also saw our younger nationals mixing up with familiar standouts.
In support of the grass roots effort, a much younger pack of Azkals need to be developed if we want to sustain football in the Philippines that is now breaking on to the world.
I would like to introduce 16 year old Dominic Liam Del Rosario, born on 14 November 1996 who is an Irish-Filipino now residing in Australia.
I spoke to Dominic's mom, Ms. Chastine on about Dom's development and current activity. Last month, both of them flew to UK and mailed me;
" Good day Daryl,
Football season just ended in Sydney Australia that's why we are here in UK as he got a call for a trial in Manchester City and Blackpool. However, we are returning back to Sydney next week as he has school commitments.
He played at the following clubs in Australia:
Australian Football Club
Liverpool Olympic Football Club
Southwest Wanderers Football Club
in which are all under the Southern District of New South Wales
He is also a representative player of the World Football Club in Sydney where he was brought to the UK (Manchester area) to play against other teams here.
This is where he was noticed by different scouts and have been asked to trial. "
Dominic is left footer who can utilize both feet anyway, he plays Left Winger, Midfielder, Striker positions and has been a constant goal scorer.
Below are some of his achievements and honors;
- Currently attending World Football Group Academy
- Have been offered to be assessed by Blackburn Rovers Football Club Academy England on 10 October 2012 however due to flight schedule this has been extended for a few months
- Played for Manchester City Football Club Selective under 16’s against Liverpool Football Club in United Kingdom on 8 October 2012
- Trialled and trained with Manchester City Football Club and Blackpool Football Club in the United Kingdom August 2012 to October 2012
- Captain of World Football Group Academy under 16’s and played against the following clubs in the United Kingdom (Blackpool Football Club, Sheffield United Football Club, Manchester City Football Club and Fleetwood Football Club all in the under 16’s)
Dominic has proven on several occasions he is capable of playing at the highest level in his age group. He is keen to continue his football aspirations and achieve its highest level of play.
He aims to play football in the United Kingdom ( EPL - like every boy's dream ) and wants to represent the Philippines Azkals at the National level.
by Daryl Lagos
Baptized by Fire & Ice, Indonesia has found a new rival in the north eastern part of their archipelago.
Indonesia traveled to Manila to meet the Philippines on a FIFA sanctioned friendly game that ended in a 2-2 Draw & 3 Red Cards.
The Philippines for the 1st time in their match against the Indonesians controlled possession all through out the game.
A slightly off beat 1st half for the Azkals who were trying to assemble an attack that can break the Indonesian defense was seen early.
Filipino-Danish Dennis Cagara who just flew in to join the squad was remarkable with his precision passes saw great chances for the Philippines to take an early lead.
The 1st half ended with no goals, but the 2nd half is where it all begun.
Philippines coach Weiss started fielding in the starters that saw Philip & James Younghusband, Neil Etheridge and Jerry Lucena come in for Wolf, Mulders, Angeles and GK Roland Muller.
In the 58' mark, Wanggai from a cross connected with a low header breaking the stand off 1-0 in favor of Indonesia. A minute later, James Younghusband would equalize following a determined interception of a ball that he clinically finished on a 1 on 1 against a very experienced Indonesian Goal Keeper.
A clearance by Indonesia was met by Carli's header only to bounce off finding a Garuda Star Striker Irfan Bachdim racing towards Neil Etheridge who tried to sweep the ball but only to see it slip off in between his legs finding the net the gave Indonesia the lead 2-1 in the 61st minute.
Rain fell as dramatic as ever, it tried to cool off the pressure but rather became the baptism of fire and ice. Misagh Bahadoran came in for Angel Guirado earlier was fouled on a possession, a complaining Chieffy Caligdong was a recipient of a hot headed Irfan that pushed the Azkals captain starting the confusion and Manny Ott got involved immediately.
Irfan continued pushing Chieffy Caligdong until Dennis Cagara from behind came in to push the Indonesian Idol back to knock it off (Face Me Style!)
The Referee pulled out 3 solid red cards that sent the Indonesian Idol Bachdim to an early after rain shower. Chieffy & Ott was off the pitch as well. The Philippines with 9 Men Vs 10 Indonesians scuffle back to reorganize the set piece as a free kick was underway.
Cagara made a precise kick for James Younghusband to head bounce pass it close enough to Phil that would make no mistake in volleying in the 2nd equalizer of the match.
The Philippines could have even won this game after Phil's well timed shot was critically saved by another Indonesian Idol Goalie Marcus. He then went down on the pitch as if in pain burning the critical 5 mins added for injury time.
The game ended in a draw 2-2.
The Philippines fought with heart all game but the cohesiveness of their play made things difficult at the end.
The Azkals had so much talent on the bench and coach needed to use the game as an experiment to bring out possible scenarios that could come in the future.
Some players might not be available during games and the team needed back up fire power that can be tapped in easily.
A glimpse of an upcoming Suzuki 2012 match was seen and a new rivalry is born out of it.
It started off in AFF Suzuki 2010 when Indonesia through their Uruguayan naturalized striker shot 2 goals that took the Philippines off the semi-finals.
The 2 national team shall meet again in this year's edition...the only difference is that the Azkals are now ranked 3rd in the entire region.
Stats Summary : Indonesia Vs The Philippines
Qatar - Azkals United
Philippine football leaped from their lowest World Ranking ever at 195 in September 2006 to hitting an all time high in December 2010 placing at 150. Our team dubbed as Big Fish bait or the "Minnows" in the region ate bigger fishes for breakfast, lions for lunch and the gobbled the regional Champions for dinner in one of the toughest competition in the Asean region.
The AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 lay witness to these accounts as team who had nothing to just a few support captivated not just the entire nation they represent, but turned quite a few heads in the international football scene as well. ESPN, BBC, the region and oh, FIFA.
Surging from their success, reinforcements coming from Filipinos living outside the country rallied and joined hands as the band of brothers representing the Philippines and aiming to reach just one goal, the success of Philippine Football.
The latest victim of this small fish are the brave reds from South Asia, Sri Lanka 5-1 on aggregate, before whole hardheartedly fighting a gallant stand to a blue Goliath in Kuwait sitting 67 places ahead of the Philippines in round 2 of the FIFA World Cup Qualifers for Brasil 2014, but make not mistake, nothing was taken away from these Filipinos and they only had everything to gain, winning world class experience which was never thought of even before.
The Azkals now sit on 162, in order for us to move, friendly matches with other national teams will determine a climb or a decent on those numeric values. Team manager Dan Palami has organized friendly matches starting next month followed by a 4-Nation Challenge that will see the best of ASEAN Regional powerhouse, these will also serve as a preparatory tune ups for the Philippines will compete anew in the AFC Challenge Cup in Nepal, a Cup for emerging football nations, but something triggered me to write this blog and I found it in Fulhamfc.com where Philippine International Neil Etheridge is currently a part off.
I found it offensive at first, yet understood a clear thought a little bit in the latter part, but let me tell you this Steven & George, in time we will only be stronger, and through it we will only be wiser, we might be placed 2 worlds apart from England to which my football respect is utmost, growing up following the Premier League has one of the finest football, but surely, we will get respect from our hard work Sir. Just you watch.
Meanwhile, I hope you will be able to read this post and as a supporter of Fulham, Do not insult or sarcastically comment on the country of Neil Etheridge & Filipinos, instead support it too for football.
Everything big started small, and nothing goes up without starting from the ground. We will get there.
Thank you Fulham FC for supporting our No.1 Goalkeeper and as the club would say. "BELIEVE."
See thread here :http://cc.fulhamfc.com/forum/topics/neil-etheridge-2