Philippines suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Vietnam in the semifinal first leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 and now have an uphill task when they visit the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi for the return leg.

Veteran striker Nguyen Anh Duc put the Golden Dragons ahead at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod before Patrick Reichelt pulled the home side level before half-time. But the parity was short-lived as Phan Van Duc scored three minutes into the second half to gift Vietnam the advantage of two away goals heading into the second leg.

Philippines National Team Earn Draw with Oman

Philippines were able to get a hard-earned 1-1 draw with Oman in a recent friendly match. After having been regularly considered as the whipping boys, it was a major result for Philippines as a whole. The result can also have greater implications for the nation in the upcoming group stages of the AFC Champions Cup. Philippines have lost only once in the last five games across all competitions and they head into the opening game against Singapore in a positive frame of mind. Despite being one of the oldest football Association’s in Asia after being founded in 1907, Philippines have not been able to make much of an impact in the Asian football.

The popularity of other sports like basketball and boxing has resulted in football being downgraded to a lower level in terms of Philippine sports. This has directly affected the quality of the players who have been coming through the ranks. Since 2000s, however, there has been a significant change with overseas talent – who have Filipino lineage in their blood – being accepted into the national team. Players who were unable to feature for popular national teams have decided to opt for Philippines due to their lineage. Some of the popular names to have gone down this road are James Younghusband and Phil Younghusband – both players have been associated with the Chelsea youth system in the past.
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Philippine Azkals Had A Painful Draw Opposite Bahrain

The men’s football team of Philippine has now started its buildup process under Scott Cooper. He is the new coach of the team. The Philippine Azkals has a draw in the match which was played against familiar foe Bahrain. The draw was with the score 1-1, in a FIFA international friendly match that held on September 7. The match held in Riffa at the Bahrain National Stadium.

The score line was opened by Phil Younghusband doing damage in the 49th minute from the spot again for his 51st international goal for the Philippines. Then the momentum of the game shifted slightly when Carlos De Murga the defender went down in the 77th minute. This is the time when Bahrain had an opportunity in the 86th minute when Neil Etheridge, the goalkeeper went out of line, but scrabble with the save, however De Murga was right there and at the right spot to clear the header.
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Sacked coach of the Japanese national team VahidHalilhodzic is seeking explanation for his shock exit, according to reports. Lawyers of the former coach say they are prepared for legal action against the Japanese football officials following his shock firing two months out from Russia 2018. The lawyers claim it was an “abusive” breach of contract.

The Franco-Bosnian tactician was fired in a similar manner by the Ivory Coast months before the 2010 World Cup. However, the coach revealed that in that case, the president of the country called him to explain the political angle that forced the decision. He said in the case of Japan, there were no issues but he was suddenly fired from the role where he was expected to lead the team to the World Cup after three years work. He added that it was “very difficult to accept” since there were no warnings or explanations for the action.

Prandelli Looking Forward To Working With Sneijder

Former Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has claimed that he is very much looking forward to working with the Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder at Galatasaray. Prandelli has been regarded as one of the finest young coaches in world football. However, he failed to prevent Italy from being knocked out of the group stages for a second consecutive World Cup. Taking the blame for this early exit, Prandelli offered his resignation and has since become the new manager of Galatasaray. The Turkish club recently parted company with another Italian in the form of Roberto Mancini and they wasted no time in securing Prandelli.

The return to club football opens the door to managing players from other national teams and one of the players he is keen on working with is Sneijder. The Dutchman was an ever present in Louis Van Gaal’s team at the World Cup. Prandelli says that he was extremely impressed with the way Sneijder applied himself in the Dutch team that was missing star players like Robin van Persie on a few occasions. Even though the former Inter Milan player is not at his best, Prandelli reckons that Sneijder more than substituted it with his impressive workrate.

Galatasaray failed to win the league title last season and this is expected to be the key objective in the coming campaign.

“Sneijder played very well in the World Cup. He ran more than everyone else in the tournament. His work rate was top. Sneijder is a very important player for us. I hope he will play with the same ambition when he returns. I want to win everything and Galatasaray is a good place for my aims. I’m different from Roberto Mancini. I want to win 20th title for Galatasaray. I cannot wait to play in TT Arena,” said the new Galatasaray manager.


Nigerian defender Taye Taiwo has claimed that he will be surprised as everyone if he gets a call from the national team for the upcoming World Cup 2014. Taiwo has been out of the national team reckoning for the last two years now. Despite being one of the established players for the national team, manager Stephen Keshi has been unwilling to call him for the national team. The former AC Milan player has almost given up hope of representing Nigeria once again. The provisional Nigerian squad for the World Cup 2014 will be announced by Keshi next week.

Taiwo says that it is highly unlikely that he will be even in this provisional squad. Since making his debut in 2004, the defender has made more than 50 appearances for the national team. He has represented Nigeria at the World Cup 2010. However, he says that the fact that Nigeria have been incredibly successful in the last few years – by winning the African cup of nations and qualifying comfortably for the World Cup 2014 – makes it difficult for him to get into the squad.

The 28-year-old is currently playing with Turkish outfit Bursaspor, which further limits his opportunities to get into the squad. However, he says that he has still not retired from international action and will always be available.

“I played at the last World Cup, but this one will be very difficult to be a part of. I’ve been out of the set-up for over two years so I am rather pessimistic than optimistic this time around. Without me playing a part, Nigeria won the Africa Cup of Nations and qualified for the World Cup, so realistically my chances of making it are very slim. I’ve not retired from the national team, so I will always make myself available for selection,” said Taiwo.


Oguchi Onyewu wants to make it into Jurgen Klinsmann 23 man list which the manager will be bringing along with him to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. The former Ac.Milan player stated that he joined Sheffield Wednesday as a way to guarantee himself plenty of playing time with the club and hopefully be taken into consideration by Klinsmann.

The 31 years old defender joined Sheffield Wednesday in January after not being given the chance to perform with QPR.

“Going into the winter market I knew I had to find a situation where I had at least an opportunity to showcase what I could do… If I flopped and fell flat on my face, so be it. But I needed that opportunity,” Onyewu said, in an exclusive interview.

“There were some options on the table, but Stuart Gray, Sheffield Wednesday’s head coach contacted me and expressed his interest in wanting to help out my situation, and wanted me to help out with their situation. I spoke with the U.S. international Stuart Holden about the club, who was on loan to Wednesday last year, and the move ticked every box I think needed to be ticked.”Onyewu said.

Onyewu sustains a close relationship with Klinsmann and this was evidenced when the German coach gave the captain armband to Onyewu during a Gold Cup match against Cuba back in 2013. The problem for the veteran defender is that he is constantly struggling with injury spells which has not allowed him to perform at the level he wants at just about every club he has joined starting from Ac.Milan then moving along to Twente, Malaga, Sporting CP and QPR.

Despite moving from different leagues, different clubs, he still has not managed to make a stand out role anywhere he has been in and Onyewu was a performer in the U.S. national team’s match against Ukraine earlier in March which witnessed the American team suffering a disappointing 2-0 defeat.

It still remains unclear whether or not Onyewu will be representing his country for the 2014 World Cup but the next few weeks will be crucial for the future of the veteran defender.


Last month Thomas Dooley was appointed as the head coach of the Philippines national soccer team and the former USA captain is going to have some busy few months ahead of him as Philippines as to get ready for their Asia Challenge Cup matches which will be played on May.

Dooley and his team will face off against Afghanistan, Laos and Turkmenistan all of which will be played 2 days apart from each other. The 52 years old coach has experience in coaching teams as he already has taken up similar roles in his football career as he was appointed as the assistant coach in the match against Mexico which was back in August of 2011 as well as taking charge of FC Saarbrucken in 2002 and 2003.

All of those past experiences have given him confidence for his new challenges and even though he is not familiar with the Asian football scene, he has assured everyone that he will be ready to prepare his new squad for all of their big tournaments of this year.

Thomas Dooley revealed that he does not have much information about the opponents that Philippines has to face for their Asian Football Confederation Challenge but that he is going to do everything he can in order to prepare his side for whatever they might bring.

“I don’t know a lot of them. We’ll try to get information about them. We’ll call the people I know who know them to get information about them.” Dooley admitted.

The Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup plays an important role not only for Philippines but for all the teams participating in it because the winner will get a ticket which will allow them to play in the 2015 Asian Cup.