CITING “personal reasons,” midfielder Jason de Jong, one of the most improved players under national football team coach Thomas Dooley,
yesterday announced his retirement from the Azkals.
The 24-year-old De Jong, the reigning Golden Ball winner in the United Football League, said he has already informed Dooley of his decision not to play for the national team’s next major tournament, the AFF Suzuki Cup.
The move comes as a shock as De Jong has been an integral part of the team being developed by Dooley. It also leaves a big hole in the Azkals
midfield as they prepare for the Suzuki Cup.
“My heart is not in it anymore and I want to spend more time with my family,”
said the Filipino-Dutch standout, who has played 49 times for the Azkals
De Jong told the Inquirer that, unlike the “resignation” of Stephan Schrock and
Dennis Cagara early this year, his move to quit the team wasn’t because of a
falling out with Dooley.
“I thank boss Dan (Palami) and coach Dooley for the opportunity they gave me,”
said De Jong. “It was certainly an honor playing for the national team.”
De Jong has been part of almost every PH side that achieved milestones the
past four years. He played in the AFF Suzuki Cup side in 2010 and 2012 as
well as the AFC Challenge Cup squad that reached the final against
Palestine early this year.
Meanwhile, the Azkals will face Thailand on Nov. 10 as part of their buildup
for the Suzuki Cup. The Azkals will no longer play Malaysia on Nov. 8 and
instead will fly to Nakhon Ratchasima for the duel with the Thais,
the losing finalists toSingapore in the 2012 Suzuki Cup.
MANILA, Philippines - Loyola Meralco Sparks FC outran Stallion FC in the dying minutes of their goal-clad match, 6-4, to end their United Football League (UFL) FA League Cup group stage campaign on a high note at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium (RMFS) on Thursday, October 23.
Early in the game, the aggressive offense of the Sparks made the blitz of their opponents to rely mainly on counter attacks.
The counter insurgences that Stallion capitalized during the opening minutes of the match proved to be useful as Jordan Mintah surprised the defense of Loyola and notched a goal from just inside the box.
Both clubs remained silent on the pitch for the remaining minutes of the first half until veteran booter Freddy Gonzalez struck the ball to equalize the score at 1-1 before halftime.
Nguene Landry wrote the opening sentence for the second half by beating three defenders to get a shot at goal and take the lead for Stallion, 1-2.
On the other end, Loyola swiftly responded with a duo of goals to post a 3-2 courtesy of Charlie Beaton in the 63rd minute and Max Wright in the 68th.
A handball inside the box resulted into a penalty kick given to the Stallion side. Mario Clariño took and converted the penalty to level the score at 3-3.
Loyola star striker Phil Younghusband, who came in during the 60th minute, broke the scoring standstill after his long distance shot found the back of the net to once again inch his team ahead of their foes, 4-3.
There was no shortage of goals in the match as another goal was sank by Clariño in the 78th minute to again bring the game into a deadlock, 4-4.
Fresh legs became instrumental in the Sparks’ late game rally as substitute Graham Caygill slotted a sneaky shot to give his team a 5-4 advantage in the 89th minute.
Stallion FC exhausted the last few drops of fuel in their gas tanks to hopefully equalize the score before regulation ended but their efforts went unrewarded as P. Younghusband struck the final whip to give Loyola a 6-4 win.
Meanwhile, Kaya FC slipped past Global FC, 2-1 to take the number one spot in Group B while Ceres La Salle FC dominated Philippine Army FC, 3-0, to end the group stage without a loss.
The UFL FA League Cup quarterfinals will commence on Sunday, October 26 with games between Ceres La Salle FC and Stallion FC followed by the game of Global FC and Laos FC.
Lastly, the quarterfinal meeting of Pachanga Diliman FC versus Manila All-Japan and the Kaya FC versus Loyola FC match-up will be held on Monday, October 27. All games will still be held at the RMFS. - Rappler.com
By Karlo Sacamos THE Philippine men’s football team moved up in latest world rankings despite hardly seeing action this month. With only a 5-0 friendly win over Papa New Guinea last week to show, the Azkals still rose five place up to 129th in the October rankings released on Thursday. Their latest ranking is two shy of their best ever notched earlier this year. The Filipino booters, though, will still have one match this month, a friendly against Nepal in Doha on October 31. The national team is also set to face Thailand on November 10, before plunging into action in the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup later next month. The Azkals remained the top team in Southeast Asia, followed by Vietnam (136), Myanmar (137), Laos (154), Malaysia (156), and Indonesia (157). Singapore (161), Thailand (165), Timor-Leste (182), Cambodia (185), and Brunei (198) complete the Asean list. Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/azkals/news/philippine-azkals-129th-in-fifa-ranking-football Follow Us: @spinph on Twitter | spin.philippines on Facebook