Author Archives: Icko De Guzman

Stallion Laguna Draw Global Cebu

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Stallion Laguna FC left it extremely late to snatch a 1-1 draw against Global Cebu FC in yesterday’s Philippines Football League match at the Binan Football Stadium in Binan, Laguna.

It was the second straight draw for Global in a span of a few days. Last Tuesday Global were leading 2-1 against Home United in the AFC Cup Zonal semifinal first leg when the visitors draw level with the last kick of the match.

Yesterday had a similar ending to it. Global looked set to come away with their second straight win when Shu Sasaki scored in the 84th minute. The winger was at the end of the Hikaru Minegishi pass and went on to beat Roland Sadia on goal.

However, Global turned off in defense at the worse possible time. Stallion went for a last ditch attack in the second minute of added time and were rewarded with the equalizing goal from Matthew Nierras.

The equalizer was a deserved one for Stallion, which saw goalkeeper Roland Sadia torment his former club with a penalty save on Paul Mulders midway in the second half. — CAL

Meralco Win Third Straight; Kaya Edge Davao

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FC Meralco Manila continued their hot start in the Philippines Football League with a 1-0 win over JPV Marikina yesterday at the Binan Football Stadium in Binan, Laguna.

James Younghusband scored the only goal of the game to put Meralco at the top of the standings with nine points. It was also the Sparks’ first clean sheet in the League after conceding in their last two games against Stallion Laguna and Ilocos United.

The Sparks skipper won the match with a perfectly timed header in the 64th minute. Phil Younghusband assisted on the goal with the inviting corner kick.

JPV Marikina pressed on for a late equalizer and were almost rewarded at the death. Former Meralco player Kouichi Belgira could have scored but sent his effort just wide.

In the evening match, Kaya FC Makati scored twice in the first half to beat Davao Aguilas, 2-0. Jordan Mintah and Adam Reed found the back of the net for Kaya in the win. However, the match finished with both teams playing with ten men after both Davao’s Jason Cordova and Reed were sent off in either half.

The League continues today at the Binan Football Stadium. Stallion Laguna host Global Cebu in Sunday’s only game. Kick off is at 4:00 PM and the match will be shown live on PTV 4. — CAL

Ceres Claim Two Away Goals In Loss to JDT

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Ceres Negros FC claimed two vital away goals despite absorbing a 2-3 loss against Johor Darul Ta’zim last night at the Larkin Stadium in Johor, Malaysia.

The Bacolod side brought the game to the Malaysians in the first half with goals from Fernando Rodriguez and Bienvenido Maranon, but Johor’s constant attacking threat ultimately paid off in the second half.

Ceres looked the more confident side at the start of the match. Manny Ott almost had an early breakthrough in the opening minutes, but he sent his shot wide of the target.

The visitors’ positive start was dampened as Johor drew first blood in the 18th minute. Gonzalo Cabrera found enough space outside the box to rifle a low shot past Roland Muller. The goal served as a wake up call for Ceres as they found the back of the net twice in a space of five minutes.

Rodriguez equalized for Ceres in the 21st minute. The forward launched a diving header after OJ Porteria fed him with the cross from the right flank.

Maranon gave Ceres the lead four minutes later. Similar to Cabrera’s goal, Maranon slalomed his way past his marker and launched a shot that went in to the top coner.

Ceres’ slim lead was breached on the stroke of half-time. Safiq Rahim sneaked past the defense unmarked and sent his header past Muller to end the first half at 2-2.

Johor took control of the match in the 68th minute. Hazwan Bakri’s shot took a deflection and made it’s way past Muller.

Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic hailed his players for their spirited performance against the 2015 AFC Cup winners.

“It was a very tough games for both teams and we were unlucky with the goal, but this is football,” said the Serbian. “We have another game at home and we will do our best to turn this around.”

The second leg between Ceres and Johor will be on May 31st at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod, Negros Occidental at TIME and are there ticket details at all. — CAL

Meralco Manila Turn Away Ilocos United, 2-1; JPV Marikina Beats Davao Aguilas

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FC Meralco Manila bucked a poor start to get their second straight win in the Philippines Football League following a 2-1 win over Ilocos United FC yesterday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Australian Tahj Minniecon was the catalyst for the Sparks’ comeback after going a goal down in the first half. The winger provided two assists to hand Meralco the three points and hold a firm grip on first place.

However, the visitors proved to be a side not to be underestimated. Graham Caygill snatched an early goal for Ilocos in the 13th minute after the forward delivered a close ranged volley.

Tyler Matas equalized for the Sparks five minutes later. The left back made an inspired run from the left wing and was found by Minniecon with a timely pass to put him through on goal. The first half ended at 1-1.

The Sparks took the lead for good in the 52nd minute. Minniecon was once again involved in the buildup. The Australian was on the end of an inviting pass from Phil Younghusband before serving a cross that was headed in by the well-placed Jake Morallo.

Ilocos had chances late but the Sparks held on, frustrating the visitors with their tireless defending.

Meralco Manila coach Aris Caslib hailed the mentality of the team that led to their second win in the League.

“(The) first goal showed a very strong rebound mentality of the team,” said Caslib. “However, we still have to develop our killer instinct (in front of goal).”

On the other side, Ilocos United coach Ian Gillan looked on the positives from the match. Angelo Marasigan, John Kanayama, and Dominic Del Rosario were vital threats to the Sparks’ defense.

“I think we played quite well,” said Gillan. “We produced (plenty of) opportunities in the game.”

In the other PFL match, Davao Aguilas FC fell to JPV Marikina FC, 3-2, at home. Takashi Odawara broke the deadlock in the second minute before Daniel De Bruycker equalized six minutes later. Marikina took the lead in the 20th minute from Robert Canedo and Takumi Uesato extended it to 3-1. De Bruycker scored from the spot late on to give the home side something to cheer about. The Aguilas’ opening match was the best-attended PFL match so far with 4.384 attendees in the stands. — CAL

Meralco Manila Hosts Ilocos United in Rizal

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Philippines Football League leaders FC Meralco Manila host Ilocos United FC in their second match today at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The Sparks started the PFL with a comprehensive 5-1 win over Stallion Laguna FC to take the lead in the standings.

Meralco Manila’s James Younghusband saw the win as a step into the direction for the Sparks.

“(The win was) good for confidence,” said Younghusband. “It’s another challenge for us players that we can use in our upcoming games or go the other direction and get complacent. We need to keep on improving and keep on impressing.”

The Sparks skipper is also wary of what Ilocos are capable of especially with former Sparks John Kanayama, Anton del Rosario, and Graham Caygill in their squad.

“We cannot take any team lightly,” added Younghusband. “We’ll approach every team with the same respect and work.”

Challenging the Sparks are the league’s new blood, Ilocos United. The northern club impressed in their first match, a 1-1 draw against fellow newcomers, Davao Aguilas FC.

Led by Kanayama, Ilocos look to have a decent outcome against the captain’s former side.

“Pressure will be high (against Meralco),” said Kanayama. “We’ll do our best. We’re the new boys, but we can stand out against the bigger clubs.”

Ilocos coach Ian Gillan views the match as a chance for the entire squad to impress away from home. Ilocos has a mix of veterans and youngsters in their squad with del Rosario serving as a mentor to the young players.

“We started from nothing, but we continue building and building,” said Gillan. “This week we don’t want to be in the same position. Preparation has been quite good.”

Kick off is at 4:00 PM and the match will be shown live on PTV and on its YouTube streaming site. — CAL

Global Rallies Past JPV; Ilocos, Davao Play to a Draw

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Global Cebu FC needed a late comeback to win their first Philippines Football League match against JPV Marikina FC yesterday at the Biñan Football Stadium in Biñan, Laguna.

Amani Aguinaldo and Paul Mulders ensured Global go to second place, behind FC Meralco Manila on goal difference after the first two match dates.

Takashi Odawara gave JPV Marikina the lead in the 56th minute, but Aguinaldo answered with an equalizer just two minutes later.

Mulders completed the turnaround from the penalty spot in the 61st minute to give Global the full three points.

“It was a good win. But we still have a long way to go, we still have games to be play, we have to keep our focus and fitness,” said goalscorer Aguinaldo. “That goal was just a bonus for me.”

In the other match, Ilocos United FC and Davao Aguilas FC began their PFL campaigns with a 1-1 draw at the Quirino Stadium in Bantay, Ilocos Sur.

Dylan De Bruyckner gave Davao the lead in the 50th minute. However, Ilocos captain John Kanayama made sure that both new teams share the points in their debut match by making a penalty in the 78th minute. — CAL

La Salle Sweeps UAAP Season With Ninth Championship

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The De La Salle University Women’s football team capped off a memorable season with a title winning 3-1 win over the University of Santo Tomas last night in front of a capacity crowd at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

It was a fitting end for the Lady Archers, who swept the season with nine straight wins to cap off a ninth UAAP title. It is Hans Peter Smit’s first championship since Season 72 and also served as redemption from last year’s disappointment.

“I give all the honor to (the girls) and of course to the God Almighty. I’m not gonna take this away from them,” said Smit. “They’ve earned this championship. They worked hard for it. They did an impossible thing which is to keep a clean slate for the whole season.”

The two teams settled for a goalless first half that provided crucial chances for both teams. La Salle had several chances to go 1-0 up in the 25th minute, but UST survived the attack.

The best chance came from Jan Cleofe in the 34th minute but her shot hit the far post and out. Kyra Dimaandal also saw her shot in the 43rd minute go inches wide after UST goalkeeper Nicole Reyes came off her line.

Dimaandal finally broke the deadlock in the 56th minute. Kyla Inquig launched the ball into the rushing Dimaandal in the box. The forward lifted the ball past Reyes before slotting it home.

But the opening goal did not dampen UST’s spirit. Charisa Lemoran and MJ Indac came close to nailing the equalizer but Inna Palacios was equal to the task.

The breakthrough finally came for UST in the 73rd minute. Hazel Lustan rounded her defenders before sending the shot past Palacios to set-up a nervy finish to the championship match

With extra time looming in Rizal, Sara Castañeda once again lifted her team with the championship winning goal in the 87th minute. Irish Navaja made a darting run on the left flank past the UST defenders. The winger sent the ball to the box and found an unmarked Castañeda, who made the finish.

La Salle put the result beyond doubt right before the final whistle. In her final game, Inna Palacios stepped up to take the penalty kick and scored the third goal to kickstart the celebrations. — CAL

Ateneo Crowned UAAP Men’s Champions

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The Ateneo de Manila University Men’s Football team claimed the UAAP Men’s football title after a close 1-0 win over Far Eastern University yesterday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The Blue Booters completed their redemption run in the UAAP after falling short at the final hurdle last year. Jarvey Gayoso proved to be the difference in the final, scoring the winning goal in the first half.

“We deserved this championship,” said now two-time UAAP champion coach Jaypee Merida. “Sobrang saya.”

It was also a fitting end to Ateneo captain Carlo Liay’s UAAP career. The midfielder collected his first UAAP title in his rookie year four years ago, and led his team back to the championshup this season.

“It feels great. I can’t really describe it right now,” said Liay. “It’s like a perfect story, winning the first year and the last year made it sweeter.”

Gayoso scored the only goal of the match in the 38th minute. The forward was stifled for most of the match, but a moment of brilliance allowed him to break free from his defenders and scored off the rebound after his first shot was denied by Rey Joyel.

“It was what we deserved in the end,” said Gayoso. “I believe we got the best outcome out of it.”

It was Ateneo’s first UAAP triumph since 2013. — CAL

Meralco Manila Blazes Past Stallion Laguna for First PFL Win

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FC Meralco Manila could not have asked for a better start to their Philippines Football League campaign. The Sparks were in top shape and inflicted a 5-1 hammering of Stallion Laguna FC yesterday at the Binan Football Stadium in Laguna.

Curt Dizon became the League’s first ever goalscorer in the ninth minute. Alvin Sarmiento and Meralco captain James Younghusband connected with Dizon in attack before the forward sent his shot past Roland Sadia.

Stallion’s new foreign signing Ryota Ishikawa made it 1-1 at the half-hour mark. The Japanese reinforcement struck a well taken free kick that took a deflection before beating Ace Villanueva.

However, Meralco answered right back in the 36th minute. Milan Nikolic placed a weighted ball into the path of Tahj Minniecon, who finished it from a tight angle to put the Sparks up, 2-1, at the half.

Nikolic extended Meralco’s lead just minutes into the second half. The defender delivered a thunderous header past Sadia.

The Younghusband brothers took over in the latter stage of the match to complete the rout. James Younghusband rifled in a shot from outside the box in the 58th minute. Phil Younghusband scored the fifth goal with a close ranged header to seal the three points for Aris Caslib’s side.

“We have to give credit to everyone in the whole (FC Meralco Manila) organization for all the hard work they have put in,” said Caslib after the match.

Meralco Manila’s next assignment will be against Ilocos United on Saturday, May 13th at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Stallion will be away against Ceres Negros also on the same day at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod, Negros Occidental. — CAL

Kaya, Ceres Share Spoils in Opening PFL Match

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Kaya FC Makati claimed a vital point in their opening Philippines Football League match against fancied Ceres Negros FC yesterday at the University of Makati Stadium.

Former Ceres midfielder Marwin Angeles tormented his former club with a 68th minute equalizer cancelling out Iain Ramsay’s 45th minute opener.

The first chance of the match came from Kaya in the 26th minute when Kenshiro Daniels took a free kick from distance but it sailed wide.

At the stroke of half-time, Ramsay finally found the back of the net. The winger was on the end of a Ceres counter-attack, and slotted it in past Zach Banson to put the Negros side 1-0 up at the half.

But it was Kaya that grew in confidence in the second half. A chance for Jovin Bedic in the 59th minute was just off target after Louie Casas went off his line.

Ceres new signing Omid Nazari almost made it 2-0 in the 61st minute. The winger’s free kick hit the underside of the bar and looked like it went in but was left unnoticed by the referee.

Kaya’s resilience allowed them to find the equalizer with 20 minutes left. Angeles, who came on in the 65th minute, fired from inside the box after a goalmouth scramble in the Ceres box.

Ceres almost came away with the three points late in the match, but Daniels made a crucial goalline clearance to preserve the 1-1 scoreline.

Kaya coach Noel Marcaida and Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic provided contrasting insights in the draw. While Marcaida viewed the result as a morale booster, Vidakovic criticized the state of the UMak field.

“(It was) a crucial point in our first PFL match,” said Marcaida in Filipino. “It gave us the morale we need going through the League.”

“I’m satisfied with the draw because with this kind of field, we really can’t play football,” said Vidakovic. “We had a very hard game before and for us to come here and and play in the pitch can be dangerous for the players also.”

Kaya’s next assigment will be against Global Cebu FC on Sunday, May 14 at a venue to be announced. Meanwhile, Ceres will host Stallion Laguna FC on Saturday, May 13 at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City. — CAL

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