Philippine Azkals start Peace Cup title defense on Friday


Martin_Steuble_AzkalsPhilippine Azkals will defend their Peace Cup title on October 11, Friday at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.

Manned with a powerhouse team, they will face Chinese-Taipei on Friday at 7pm, then Pakistan on October 15 at 7pm.

Peace Cup 2012 runner-up, Chinese Taipei, currently ranks 175th in the world by FIFA; while Pakistan is ranked 170th. Philippines ranks 141st at preset.

The Philippines won the 1st Peace Cup in September 2012 and is expected to field defend the title in the 2nd edition of this tournament.

“Well, of course, we expect to be champions. I won’t settle for anything less,” said Azkals manager Dan Palami Monday night at Bonifacio Global City during the launch of the Azkals’ new kit created by Puma.

Palami added that their eyes remain focused on the Challenge Cup in Maldives next year, wherein the winner will be given a slot in the 2015 Asian Cup.

Azkals’ line-up at the Peace Cup 2013 include Marwin Janver Angeles, Misagh Bahadoran, Jerry Barbaso, Emelio Caligdong, Jeffrey Christiaens, Jason Nicolas Maria De Jong, Patrick Philip Deyto, Neil Leonard Etheridge, Raymark Kenneth Fernandez, Robert James Gier, Christopher Robert Greatwich, Angel Guirado, Juan Luis Guirado, Mark Andrew Hartmann, Jerry Ruben Lucena, Paul Mulders, Jose Elmer Porteria, Patrick Reichelt, Eduard Sacapaño, Stephan Markus Schrock, James Joseph Younghusband, and Philip James Younghusband.

The Philippine national men’s football team has also added a new member in an effort to find the missing pieces that would help the Azkals succeed in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup in Maldives next year.

Filipino-Swiss midfielder Martin Steuble has arrived in the country to fix his eligibility requirements that will allow him to suit up for the Azkals in future matches including the Challenge Cup, where they will aim to clinch the crown to qualify for the prestigious 2015 Asian Cup.

Born to a Filipino mother, Steuble, 25, has been playing professional football in Switzerland since 2008 with 11 goals under his name. He currently suits up for FC Wil 1900 in the Swiss Challenge League, the country’s second-tier football competition.

He won’t be playing at this year’s Peace Cup though as he is still processing his eligibility requirements; but he is sure to figure for Azkals at the Challenge Cup next year.

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