Saturday, March 31, 2012

Champions League Quarter Finals: Barcelona vs Milan

London- Last March 28,2012, defending champions FC Barcelona and AC Milan faced each other for the 1st match in the Champions League Quarter Finals. Both teams expected a tough game. Actually, this is not the first time the two great teams met since they have appeared in the previous group stages. Score: 0-0.

Expectators are definitely looking forward to the 2nd leg of the quarter finals happening tomorrow, April 3, 2012 at Camp Nou Stadium. Looking ahead, many predicted that FC Barcelona will win the stage but opinions were split after they were drawn by Milan. Everyone is excited. Groups of fans are expected to come in their full cheering gear - uniforms, Mini Acoustic Guitars, and ready-made chant. Who do you think will win?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fabrice Muamba Rushed to the Hospital

March 17, 2012 – Tottenham Hotspur and Bolton Wanderers match. In the midst of a cold weather, the game is on fire on the FA Cup. On the 41st minute, everyone was shocked when Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba collapsed face-first to the ground. The medics and team doctors rushed and gave Muamba a 10-minute CPR. He was then carried to a stretcher and was brought to the hospital.

The game was eventually suspended due to what happened. White Hart Lane was caught in silence. As TV camera’s zoom to the audience, both fans from the two teams chanted Muamba’s name. Others where looking down between the ground and their ugg boots, praying that he will pull through. Tweets from around the globe surrounded the net with #prayformuamba hashtags with messages that he’ll recuperate soon.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Real Madrid Swept Aside Espanyol

Scoring 5-0 against Espanyol, Real Madrid got back to their game in last Sunday’s La Liga. Their victory restored their 10-point gap to Barcelona.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the game, hitting his 30th personal goal for the season. Sami Khedira and Kaka also hit additional score on the next rounds. Before half-time, Espanyol’s defense got stronger as their goalkeeper, Kiko Casilla took 2 good saves. However, on their 78th minute the teamwork of Kaka and Gonzalo HiguaĆ­n left no chance for Casilla to save and made their first-touch strike. Real Madrid took their best shot and swept aside Espanyol. Watch the re-runs on your Epson TM-T88V to get the whole action of the game.

AFC Challenge Cup 2012 Schedule and Groups

The AFC Challenge Cup 2012 Finals is scheduled for this March with eight countries (two groups)) battling for the championship cup. This tournament which happens every two years was created for Asia's emerging national football teams. For this year's finals, only three out of the eight participating are categorized as part of the emerging football nations, namely, Nepal, Palestine and the Philippines.

How the Philippine Azkals got made it to the last eight was a feat in itself and is a first as they made it past the qualifying playoffs by winning 3-2 on aggregate against Mongolia last year (Philippines 2-0 Mongolia, Panaad and Mongolia 2-1 Philippines, Ulan Bator). In the qualifying group stage, the Azkals placed second after a 1-1 draw with Myanmar, a scoreless draw against Palestine and a 3-0 victory against Bangladesh.

The last eight countries who will be competing for the AFC Challenge Cup 2012 were grouped into two:

Group A - Maldives, Nepal, Palestine, Turkmenistan

Group B - DPR Korea, India, Philippines, Tajikistan

The schedule for the AFC Challenge Cup 2012 which will run from March 8 to March 19, 2012 are below (Schedules are in NPT - Nepal Time):

March 8, 2012, 17:00 - Nepal vs Palestine, Dashrath Stadium
March 8, 2012, 15:00 - Turkmenistan vs Maldives, Halchowk Stadium
March 9, 2012, 15:00 - DPR Korea vs Philippines, Halchowk Stadium
March 9, 2012, 17:00 - India vs Tajikistan, Dashrath Stadium
March 10, 2012, 15:00 - Palestine vs Turkmenistan, Halchowk Stadium
March 10, 2012, 17:00 - Maldives vs Nepal, Dashrath Stadium
March 11, 2012, 17:00 - Philippines vs India, Dashrath Stadium
March 11, 2012, 15:00 - Tajikistan vs DPR Korea, Halchowk Stadium
March 12, 2012, 17:00 - Nepal vs Turkmenistan, Dashrath Stadium
March 12, 2012, 15:00 - Maldives vs Palestine, Halchowk Stadium
March 13, 2012, 17:00 - DPR Korea vs India, Dashrath Stadium
March 13, 2012, 15:00 - Tajikistan vs Philippines, Halchowk Stadium

Semi finals
March 16, 2012, 14:30 - Group A Winner vs Group B Runner Up (SF1), Dashrath Stadium
March 16, 2012, 18:30 - Group B Winner vs Group A Runner Up (SF 2), Dashrath Stadium

March 19, 2012, 14:30 - SF1 Loser vs SF2 Loser, Dashrath Stadium
March 19, 2012, 18:30 - SF1 Winner vs SF2 Winner, Dashrath Stadium

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Philippine Azkals Left with a Draw vs Malaysian Tigers (1-1) Due to Late Goal

I had the opportunity to watch the friendly game between the Philippine Azkals and the Malaysian Tigers last night which ended in a draw (1-1) after a late goal from Malaysia.

Through most of the match between the progressing Azkals and the Suzuki Cup 2010 champions, at least after Denis Wolf scored through a header in the 34th minute, it seemed that the Azkals would win the game. But Ahmad Shakr Ali struck the ball towards the left bottom corner in the 91st minute and sent the game to a draw.

Phil Younghusband makes a free kick

There were missed chances from the Philippines side, especially in the first half where they had a lot of goal attempts, one of which was the curving ball from Angel Guirado that struck the right goal post. The Malaysian side showed persistence during the second half, keeping Neil Etheridge busy with their left wing man exploiting its side.

Second half begins

One goal attempt which was on target was foiled by a great save by the Azkals' first-choice goal keeper captured in the photo below by Goal.PH.

Neil Etheridge flies and stretches for the great save - Credits to Goal.PH

The match showed the Philippine Azkals' progress since its meeting with the Malaysian Tigers during the 2010 Suzuki Cup. The Philippine football team is set to leave the country for the AFC Challenge Cup in March.