Guirado, Cagara rejoining Azkals


Chieffy Caligdong, Angel Guirado and Phil Younghusband.

The Philippines got a boost ahead of its AFF Suzuki Cup semifinal clash against three-time champion Singapore on Saturday with striker Angel Guirado and leftback Dennis Cagara given the green light by their clubs to rejoin the Azkals for their first home game in the history of the prestigious tournament.

Azkals manager Dan Palami Wednesday confirmed the release of the two key players for the national side, which is looking to surpass its semifinal finish two years ago.

Guirado, who scored in stoppage time in the 2-0 win over Myanmar, is slated to arrive in Manila Thursday just like Cagara, easing the worries of coach Michael Weiss.

Guirado plays club football for Salgaocar FC in the Indian League, while Cagara plies his trade for Karlsruher in the German third division. The clubs are actually not inclined to release players for the Suzuki Cup as the tournament doesn’t fall on a Fifa-sanctioned international date.

“We thank the clubs for heeding our request,” said Palami. “It’s important that we have all our players for our game here. We are determined to give a good performance for the country in our first Suzuki Cup home game.”

Cagara started all three games of the group stage, capped by a remarkable performance against Myanmar, where he helped neutralize striker Kyi Lin. Guirado also assisted on Chieffy Caligdong’s winning goal against Vietnam.

Rightback Ray Jonsson is also expected to recover from the quad muscle injury in time for the showdown with Singapore, giving Weiss a selection dilemma after Carli de Murga played steadily in Jonsson’s place against Myanmar.

Fil-Danish midfielder Jerry Lucena, who started in the matches against Thailand and Vietnam, has been ruled out for the first leg due to club commitments. Palami said Lucena will be back for the second leg in Singapore on Dec. 12.

But while the Azkals’ bid got a shot-in-the-arm with the availability of key players, the Lions were dealt a blow after midfielder Shi Jiayi was ruled out from the first leg showdown due to personal reasons.

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  • oh_noh

    ‘galing ng goal ni guirado against myanmar… parang hindi pa pagod nung nakatyempo!

    azkals – all the way!!!

  • Dexter S

    Cagara: sana di jet lag for the game.  I remember last year when we lost to S’Pore in S’Pore with Lucena and Cagara jetlagged.

  • peteryang47

    A Two Leg Semi Finals match falls into two aspects, between Cushion lead.and taking a point or even  a win.
    The first leg which is held in Manila, the Philippines team has to try to command Cushion lead of at least by two clear goals to take to Singapore for the return match to be on the safe side. while Singapore will opt to take home  at least a point  ( if not a win) from Manila game, before the return match in Singapore. A single goal lead is a slim lead.  If the Philippines is able to win the first match by two clear goals, it will put the team on the driver seat for the return match and this will put more pressure on Singapore team on the return match. Of cos we saw how Singapore pulled off a miracle game against Laos from trailing 0-2 to win 4-3 in the final minute., This shows that Philippines must not take lightly on their opponent just because they had beaten them twice in the recent friendlies. It isn’t a 90 minutes game, It is a 180 minutes Semi final match.,The  first 90 minutes in Manila is halftime, while the other 90 minutes in Singapore is full time which will determine the winner.. My prediction is if the Philippines team can take at least a two goals lead,then  they have put one foot on the final, the rest is left to seen how they will be able to contain Singapore in the return leg match. And if the Philippines team managed only a single goal lead, there is still chance, but they only made it harder for themselves on the return leg in Singapore. But if Singapore can take a point off in Manila, the advantage is on Singapore on the return leg, but the ball is always round so they said, anything goes and anything can happen as soccer is an unpredictable sport.  Two to three goals lead, in Manila, You are 60% bet for the final, another 40% is how  the team hold off Singapore in the return leg match. These type of match you need not only strong but winning mental approach in the team.
    All the best to the Philippines team. and keep on playing the beautiful game. God bless

  • CmdrAdobo

    I wonder what would be the commitment of Lucena. It would be difficult for him to play in Denmark on weekends and play for azkals in 2nd leg. That would mean he will have fatigue and jet lag when he fly on Sunday.

  • CmdrAdobo

    These people are more filipinos than most of us.

  • Jeff Plazo

    good news talaga
    cagara at angel guirado #winning

  • Night

    taena!!!!! SANA MANALO TAYO!!!!! 



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