by Daryl Lagos
The Philippines build-up towards the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 has reached one of it's 'Periodic Exams" battling Bahrain to a 0-0 Draw in Manama before slightly losing 2-1 to the home side Kuwait.
The Azkals did not entirely fielded the lineup who won the Philippine Peace Cup 2012 but did have the Younghusbands, Guirado Brothers, Lucena, Cagara, Jonsson, Mulders, Muller & Neil Etheridge for Kuwait which proved to be a handful for both middle eastern countries to just hammer away a win on the Philippines.
We are trying to get what we like to call in the music industry the "Final Mix" for our ultimate goal this year, the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 out of the deep bench in the Azkals disposal.
The draw in Bahrain proved to be a substantial result against a team that used to be 44 in the world! GCC Champions & Arab Champions in 2011 and is always a force to reckon with in the Middle East & Asia.
Kuwait proved to be a step ahead exhibiting speed, stamina and fitness. Sitting at 112 world wide, Al-Asraq proved to be a bench mark for the country to break. The regular gulf champions has kept the Philippines from advancing in last year's world cup qualification.
The Azkals exhibited discipline and class throughout the field & game and even proving hard to crack easily on defense. The Philippines did not settle for an all defensive action without counter attacks or trying to set up a formation to get a win unlike our previous match in Kuwait.
I can see Angel Guirado, Dennis Wolf, Phil Younghusband in the Kuwait match battling with their defensive match ups to get on the score sheet, the Mid-Field was on war and our Goal Keepers in both matches were highly up to the challenge.
Roland Muller highlighted a great save from a Bahrain attack the could have been the most dangerous for the Azkals. Neil Etheridge was more than outstanding and produced one of the best goal keeping for the nationals I have seen so far, multiple saves from several attacks and what capped it off was a penalty effort saved from a Kuwaiti striker and yet again saving the rebound only seconds right after.
His loan to the pirates kept him sharp and focused. I once said to myself, Bristol Rovers has the entire Philippines guarding their goal now.
3 Stars and a Sun!
You can never take away anything from the team against these 2 countries. We even won a lot of respect and experience. OFWs in particular are ecstatic to see our team go head to head with the host countries, because for them it is not just football but playing for their pride, honor and recognition.
Many might not have seen this part of the pitch but the not only did our team came there, they saw the people who looked up to them and conquered the notion that one day we will be there to win a game and prove Filipinos are truly up to the global challenge in and out of the pitch.
I admire that people on Twitterverse that has already learned the importance of not only producing goals in match, its every little thing that should come together as an entire piece, an entire team.
Decisions are made by the coaches & management based on how they become to see it and people are starting to appreciate the bigger picture. Healthy and constructive arguments that results to deepening relationships between the supporters and football.
A lost or a draw cannot just dictate the massive improvements we have come upon till this date. We still lack some cohesion, but just a little bit of tweaking here and there we will get that engine running.
I am pleased with the Azkals experience in the Middle East!
Great Shots by Anton Sheker
The Azkals coming off a strengthening process after reaching historical milestones such as the AFC Challenge Cup 2012 3rd place finish are approaching an almost new phase in their preparations for the the region's most prestigious tournament, the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012.
The Philippines started off with a draw in Cambodia, 0-0 Score line last Wednesday did not really reflect the story that went with it. We had the upper hand as to controlling the match tempo and creating chances but was just not able to finish with a goal. Quite unlucky too as we could have scored but it's either the post saving it for Cambodia, or us missing it an inch wide and hitting it a little off target. The pitch was horrible and as if it was not meant to be for us...rain made it even more worst. No argument, many people said that we could have done better but this is football.
One big revelation however, is the quality shown by Filipino-Belgian Patrick Reichelt who came in as a impact-sub in the later half.
Expectations are high but these friendlies are tests for the team to know where and when to put on the needed adjustments. Winning is great, but the journey towards it is even greater.
Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 saw the Azkals battling regional football powerhouse Singapore. The Philippines twisting history again by defeating The Lions 2 - 0 in what many would describe as a glimpse of our potentials best displayed. Bob Guerrero would account this win for the Philippines as the 1st in the last 40 Years. FIFA would revealed our country defeating Singapore in 1972 with the same score.
Chieffy Caligdong scored in the 1st goal creating a shot for himself at 8' minute mark, followed by a precise curve shot by Phil Younghusband for the 2nd goal in the 48' minute at the 2nd half. Our defenders being led by Rob Gier, Jason Sabio, Carli De Murga and Jeffrey Christiaens were solid to help fend off Singapore's attack providing much needed defensive cover for our No.1 GK Neil Etherdige at the post.
The arrival of Filipino-German Stephan Schrock and playing along side with the team Vs Singapore is one big boost for the Philippines. Schrock was involved in a number of visionary passing that helped scored both goals. An assist to Chieffy and a great ball to set Phil Younghusband made a lot of difference. Stephan would then say that he is just a small piece of the team and that everyone played a great game.
Everyone has been waiting for the most formidable Azkals squad ever, but the hardship of trying to get our best team is always a work in progress since many of them still play for their European clubs. Having get them to play together for a short period is a leisure for both the country and the management but it is never impossible.
The Azkals is now enjoying a little bit more flexibility in trying to field the best squad in every match. The move of Fil-Europeans like Jason De Jong, Dennis Wolf and Patrick Reichelt for instance to our United Football League (UFL) is instrumental to the success of the national team. Younger players are influenced and more Filipinos are taking on the challenge than ever before with the emergence of professional football in the country.
A young 9 year old Filipino kid Sandro Reyes has been accepted to Barcelona's Futbol Escola, the development of our grass root programs and the recent partnership of DEPed & PFF. The many more undiscovered young Filipino talents in the country with football genes waiting to be polished...the future looks promising.
The Philippines National Football Team is now on its 3rd and final ASEAN 3-Nation tour in Laos. They will play a friendly game with the host country on Monday, Sept. 10, 2012. The Azkals will miss the services of Phil & James Younghusband which is due to a very important family commitment, while Jerry Lucena has been recalled by his club, the final line up for LAOS is listed below from the Official Site.
The following national team players have been called up for the friendly against Laos on September 10, 2012.
Goalkeepers: Neil Leonard Etheridge, Eduard Sacapano, Ref Delany Cuaresma
Defenders: David Mark Basa, Robert James Gier, Jason Abbott Sabio, Carlos Alberto Martinez de Murga, Roel Gener
Midfielders: Marwin Angeles, Marvin Angeles, Misagh Bahadoran, Emelio Caligdong, Jeffrey Christiaens, Jason Nicolas Maria De Jong, Nestorio Margarse Jr., Paul Mulders, Jose Elmer Porteria, Andres Crisanto Gonzales, Patrick Reichelt, Stephan Schrock
Forwards: Ian Araneta, Denis Wolf
By Daryl Lagos
Many are chosen, but only 3 made it to the Global Top 100 from the UK National Finals and top 4 was UK Born Filipino, Curt Dizon.
I bought a NIke mercurial shoes about 4 months ago and saw on the tag that came in with the shoes was "Get The Chance - Register" I had no clue that it will truly be something awesome until I heard about Nike's football camp across countries all over the world.
In the UK draft of 5000 entries, Curt Dizon made his cut to the top 50 and 28, It must have been crazy just having to think about this young man's experience in the football camp that was not set for training...but rather a competition.
Curt is seen in this picture 2nd from the right on a bottom row.
This article will give you a personal insight on Curt Dizon written by J. Henson
UK-BORN PINOY SEES AZKALS TRY-OUT
The Video will tour your around the Nike: Chance - UK National Finals, Curt Dizon making a goal with a curve strike to top it off.
Fulham's Neil Etheridge admits his chances at Craven Cottage are limited but is happy to learn from Mark Schwarzer and David Stockdale.
The Filipino shot-stopper admits his chances of securing regular first-team football in the near future are unlikely, due to the quality of the two men ahead of him in the pecking order.
However, the 22-year-old feels working alongside Australian international Schwarzer and Stockdale can only aid his development and Etheridge is happy to play the waiting game at Fulham.
He told the club's official website: "It's great for my development working with guys like Mark Schwarzer and David Stockdale.
"They're two great goalkeepers and it's obviously great working with them. Stocko has been on the fringes of the England squad and people don't need to say how good Schwarzey is as a goalkeeper.
"He's nearly reached 100 caps for his country and he's been playing in the Premier League for 14 years. Stocko still learns from Mark and obviously I'm learning from Mark as well, but everyone has their own style of play.
"When you've got 'keepers of their calibre ahead of you it's hard to get the opportunity [to play] but it makes you work that little bit harder. Not that you need any extra motivation, but it does make you work that little bit harder because you've got great goalkeepers in front of you."
| Original Post |
Qatar - (AU) Azkals United
Philippine Football is on a renaissance, rebirth, being reborn, its like being back to zero again when the Filipinos embraced a religion in basketball, but then the AZKALS have stepped on so much achievement in such a short time that everybody notices that we have something to prove in the world's most popular sport.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is football, we lose some and we win on some. We are at an early stage of coming back to the pitch on a Philippine flag represent. We have shown through the AZKALS that Filipinos can and will be a team not to be bullied on the field.
Philippine International players born and raised in Europe or pure Filipinos grown in the country play side by side to battle a middle eastern powerhouse in Kuwait yesterday, we lost 3 - 0, but the score is not really a reflection of how we gallantly stood up to the much skilled Kuwait. playing defensively on a 4-5-1 formation we stuck on the strategy to block, tackle, clear any Kuwaiti onslaught, left to right, break away and long range strikes, The AZKALS would rather want to block all the shots with their leg, body and head and not let any ball pass them, Angel Aldeguer was physically tackled in the first minutes of the match as a Kuwait midfielder rushed in and sent Angel flying on a 360 and had him at his back shaken, he would suffer another tackle from behind as he tried to received a pass and turn it to a break away score fighting for the Philippines.
We had chances to take the lead as Phil Younghusband manage to stay onside on a break away but was met by Kuwait's goalkeeper, on a corner however Angel Aldeguer almost heads in to score but unlucky to hit the crossbar in the early minutes. Phil Younghusband all alone in front tries to scorched in a perfect goal placer but was tipped by a hairline! via the Goalkeeper sending it hitting the top bar again.
Unfortunately, the 1st goal was a skill, the 2nd was pure luck, and the third was fatigue, Neil Etheridge had defended his post all night as he was curled shot after shot and threatened by crosses on this evening. Ball possession was 80-85% for Kuwait. The pressure was tremendously at a constant build up, physical as it was, the brave AZKALS stood even at fatigue which was catching up on the adrenaline.
Back in Manila, AZKALS and its united fans are eager to bring home the game for the 2nd leg in Rizal Memorial Stadium on July 28. Everyone had their opinions, constructive and destructive haters present as well. The AZKALS didn't lose without a fight, nor will they lay the flag down in the 2nd leg without having to put on a brave face, but you know a secret better than anyone else kasi Pilipino ka, Azkals are more dangerous when angered, bloodied and beaten, so expect the unexpected when the Kuwaitis come to the Philippines.
We are proud of you AZKALS.
Photo by: Tariq Al-Ali
Qatar, July 15, 2011
Iraq, the former 2007 Asian Cup Champions were outclassed by Kuwait in their Invitation friendly match in Jordan on Wednesday. Kuwait won 2- 0 Vs The Iraqis on a friendly but very physical game, The first Half saw good action from both sides, creating passes and chances but led to well defined defense. However the 2nd half was another story.
The Iraqi Goalkeeper stopped shots and kept the ball out all night from an aggressive Kuwaiti offense, but couldn't hold more as Kuwaiti's Fahad Awadh stroke a perfect angle from a picture perfect pass fed by Bader Al-Mutwa coming in the box that had Kuwait leading on the 65th Minute. Hussain Fadel sealed the victory on 85th mark striking from a cross received by a teammate wildly passed to him and he made no mistake kicking it on the top right of the net. The Iraqis tried to score a goal on a break away attacker but was pulled literally from behind by a Kuwaiti defender.
Kuwait invested on deadly crosses and superior physicality vs an Iraq defense that was sloppy coming in the 2nd half.
The battle looms ahead for Kuwait Vs Philippines, The Azkals will leave today, 15 July 2011 to Bahrain as part of their 2nd round preparation, They will be without Jerry Lucena, who suffered a slight foot injury last June 30, Paul Mulders is another player the team will surely miss if Club fixtures forbids. Ray Jonsson's Club currently suffers from the list of injured players, but all hope is high that he can join in with the team in Bahrain. Jason De Jong was called up to the squad along with Patrick Hinrichsen and Yannick Tuason, who last saw action in the AFC Challenge Cup in Myanmar. Aly Borromeo and Schrock will not play on the first leg due to suspensions from acquiring 2 yellow cards vs Sri Lanka.
The Philippine Azkals hope to use their Bahrain matches to adjust in the Middle Eastern region's Hot Dry Climate. The 1st game vs U23 Bahrain will be in the National Stadium in Rifa then the 2nd game played after 2 days will be at the Muharraq Club Stadium. Tickets at BD. 114.00 (Bahraini Dinar)
"We will go 4-5-1," said Weiss, the formation he intends to use when the Azkals play the Kuwaitis in the opening leg at the 22,000 Seating Capacity of Mohammad Al Hamad Stadium on July 23.
"Defense is key" says coach and will try to control the Mid Field and Solidify the defense hoping to make a 0-0 Draw and bringing the match home in Leg 2 come July 28, 2011 in Rizal Memorial Stadium.
While the team prepares rigorously, Michael Weiss knows that they are truly the underdogs VS a powerhouse like Kuwait, but as our coach would tell FIFA "With solid preparation, good performance and perhaps an extra ounce of luck, it’s possible for us to turn the corner." and that corner is just around the bend.
Help the AZKALS U23 Squad by purchasing your AU Football Kit . 50% of each Sale will be donated to the U23 Team. More Details here:
The Awaited AU Football Kit is a project concept by Azkals United to be worn by Azkals Supporters for the Home Game Vs Kuwait in Leg 2, July 28, 2011
We hope to gain more support in fulfilling a fundraiser for the AZKALS U23 Squad which is now under selection process led by Coach Michael Weiss.
For Each AU Football Kit sold, 50% of the sale is donated to the U23 Azkals players wherein Simon Greatwich, Jason De Jong, Paolo Pascual are going to play and battle for the SEAG 2011 in November.
Get your very own rare 2nd rounder Home Shirt Memorabilia when the Senior Azkals Battle Kuwait in Rizal Memorial Stadium!
Be United in Support!
About the Shirt:
The AU Football Kit (Upper)
Branded Shirt from Blue Corner
(Best Cool Feeling Shirts on Hot Summers! And comfortable in Rainy Seasons Guaranteed =))
Rubberized Print for Quality
Front : 2 Logos Full Color Crest 1 Full Text
Back : 3 Prints/Places (PILIPINAS No. 1)
No personalization. Unite in Support. Pilipinas No.1
Cost of KIT : PHP. 350.00 Only
Payment Modes : Bank Payment / Western Union
Claiming : Meet Up is set on a particular Location in QC / Makati
For Shipping / Home Delivery –
Buyers are to shoulder the amount
Courier is LBC
Sizes: (Width/Length) In Inches
EXTRA SMALL – 18-26
SMALL – 19-27
MEDIUM – 20-28
LARGE – 21.25-29
EXTRA LARGE – 22.25-30
2X LARGE – 24-32 (Additional Php. 30.00)
3X LARGE – 26-33 (Additional Php. 30.00)
HOW TO ORDER
Email or Note your (Full Name, City Address, Contact No., Quantity, Size 7 and Kit Color) in this note
For those who doesn't want their Infos here, Email them to: Azkalsunited@gmail.com
Order Format Example:
435 Offside St. St. Mary, Quezon City (Must be Exact Delivery Address)
2 - Large Kits - Blue
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