Azkals vs Malaysia in AFC Cup buildup (February 25, 2017)
Olmin Leyba [ Source: Philippine Star ]

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MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Azkals will have a familiar face, Malaysia, as “training buddies” as they gear up for the coming AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers.

Philippine Football Federation general secretary Edwin Gastanes yesterday told The STAR that everything’s set for an international friendly between the Azkals and Tigers on March 22 at Rizal Memorial Stadium.

“The friendly with Malaysia on March 22 is confirmed and the venue will be at the RMS,” Gastanes said.

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Azkals prepare for Asian Cup qualifiers (February 23, 2017)
Earl Leonard Sebastian [ Source: Philippine Star ]

Philippine Azkals.

MANILA, Philippines — With a month to go before the Asian Cup qualifiers campaign for the Azkals, which kicks off March 28 against Nepal, the team is set to participate in some friendlies.

According to Azkals team manager Dan Palami, the team has been in touch with three overseas signees for the squad: a midfielder, defender and forward, who have yet to confirm in joining but have shown intent. Their names have been in the rounds in social media.

They are also in the process of securing Filipino passports to be eligible for the squad.

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Strong finish powers Global past Singapore (January 26, 2017)
Olmin Leyba [ Source: Philippine Star ]

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MANILA, Philippines – Global debuted in the AFC Champions League on a fiery note, nipping Singapore’s Tampines Rovers, 2-0, to march into the second phase of the Preliminary Stage qualifying for Asia’s premier club competition Tuesday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The People’s Club struck hard in the second half with new recruit Ahmad Azzawi (61’) and skipper Misagh Bahadoran (73’) delivering the goals and keeper Patrick Deyto leading the defense as it moved two wins  near a coveted spot in the ACL.

Cebu-based Global will seek to sustain the momentum when it faces the Brisbane Roar in a Preliminary Stage 2 away match at the latter’s turf on Tuesday.

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Global FC kicks off bid vs Singapore (January 24, 2017)
Olmin Leyba [ Source: Philippine Star ]

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MANILA, Philippines - Global FC sets out to play its best game against Singapore side Tampines Rovers tonight at Rizal Memorial Stadium as it tries to take the next step in its bid to crash the prestigious Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League.

The Cebu-based club makes its historic debut in the Champions League’s Preliminary Stage 1 qualifiers in the 7:30 p.m. home fixture and hopes to take full advantage of this opportunity to further its cause.

“We’re representing the Philippines for the first time in the AFC Champions League and this is the biggest game we have to play so we have to go 100 percent,” Global skipper Misagh Bahadoran said during yesterday’s pre-match presscon.

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Ronaldo wins FIFA's player of the year award (January 10, 2017)
Brian Homewood [ Source: Reuters ]

 Football Soccer - FIFA Awards Ceremony - Men's Player of the Year - Zurich, Switzerland - 09/01/17. Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with the trophy. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

Cristiano Ronaldo won FIFA's player of the year award for the fourth time on Monday, beating his old rival Lionel Messi who was pulled out of the ceremony only a few hours earlier by his club Barcelona.

Italian Claudio Ranieri won the coach of the year award for leading rank outsiders Leicester City to the English Premier League title.

Ronaldo was rewarded for his performance in 2016 when he won the Champions League with his club Real Madrid and then Euro 2016 with Portugal. Five-times winner and four-times runner-up Messi was second and Frenchman Antoine Griezmann third.

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MANILA, Philippines – After the disappointing crowd turnout in the AFF Suzuki Cup, the Philippine Football Federation is eyeing venues that are more accessible to fans for the Azkals’ home games in the coming AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers.

PFF president Nonong Araneta told The STAR that Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila looms as the top candidate even as football-loving provinces like Bacolod and Cebu are considered.

“It depends on the preparations (of the venues). If Panaad or Abellana (Cebu City Sports Complex) or the new USC stadium in Cebu will be ready, we might bring it there. Otherwise, (it’s) Rizal,” Araneta said.

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Azkals’ Asian Cup foes known Jan. 23 (January 05, 2017)
Jonas Terrado [ Source: Manila Bulletin ]

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The Philippine Azkals will get to know which teams they’ll face in the third and final round of the 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers when the Asian Football Confederation holds a draw on Jan. 23.

The Azkals reached the last stage of the qualifiers for Asia’s biggest football tournament after placing third in the second round, marked by a dramatic 3-2 victory over North Korea at home last March.

Twenty-four countries, including the Philippines, have qualified for the competition, and will be divided into four groups composed of six. The top two teams in each group advance to the 2019 Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

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