The Little Azkals under-13 team failed to enter the quarterfinals of the 2015 SuperMokh Cup after bowing to Japan’s Yokohama FC, 1-4, at the MSN Field in Bukita Jalil, Malaysia on Thursday.
The Philippine team, who was unable to register a win after four games, was overwhelmed by the Japanese squad during their meeting in the crossover playoff match.
The Little Azkals, composed of standouts from all over the country, bowed out of contention after losing to foes in Group D, among them Spain’s Rayo Vallecano FC, Suwon Samsung Bluewings FC of South Korea and Uzbekistan’s Bunyodkor.
In their first match, the Little Azkals took a beating from Uzbekistan’s Bunyodkor FC, 0-6, before suffering another loss to Spain’s Rayo Vallecano, 0-8.
The Philippines, in the group stage of the tournament, was again defeated in the last elimination stage match by the Bluewings of South Korea, 0-4.
Besides the Little Azkals, United Football League club Global FC’s U12 team is also representing the Philippines in the under-12 category of the tilt. The squad has been playing in Group D together with Sepahan FC of Iran, PSW Futera of Thailand, South Korea’s Haeundae FC and Bintang Biru of Malaysia.
In contrast to their older compatriots playing in the international youth tourney, Global FC is currently on top of their group with five points after a win and two draws.
Meet the precocious Filipino footballer, with endless talent and bigger dreams
FourFourTwo presents Shane Clemente, a prodigiously talented young Filipino footballer who has already experienced Wembley and Old Trafford and plans to one-day turn out professionally in the world’s top stadiums… To help avoid the searing heat, school runs from 6am until midday. Then there’s a short nap and from early afternoon until last light it’s what 12-year-old Shane Neil Clemente calls “training time”.
It’s an area where the street regularly passes for a football field and shoes or rocks mark the space within which Clemente is honing the skills that, as he tells it, will take him all the way to Barcelona. For a boy not yet in his teens he certainly has the skills and if confidence is any marker, he’s also well on the way to achieving his dreams. He prefers to be known as ‘Shaninho’ in deference to Ronaldinho and on the day FourFourTwo first met him, he was bouncing through downtown Manila in full national team attire: shirt, shorts, socks, boots … everything bar shin pads. It was a kit he earned as the first step on an already remarkable football journey when he toured England as part of the Philippines’ under-11 side, visiting Wembley and Old Trafford and being a feature part in a film made of the trip, titled ‘Baby Azkals’. The Philippines’ national team is known as the Azkals.
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