Philippines national football team
|Association||Philippine Football Federation|
|Sub-confederation||AFF (Southeast Asia)|
|Most caps||Phil Younghusband (108)|
|Top scorer||Phil Younghusband (52)|
|Home stadium||Panaad Stadium|
|Current||125 1 (7 April 2021)|
|Highest||111 (May 2018)|
|Lowest||195 (September – October 2006)|
| Philippines 2–1 China |
(Manila, Philippines; 1 February 1913)
| Japan 2–15 Philippines |
(Tokyo, Japan; 10 May 1917)
| Japan 15–0 Philippines |
(Tokyo, Japan; 28 September 1967)
|Appearances||1 (first in 2019)|
|Best result||Group stage, (2019)|
|AFC Challenge Cup|
|Appearances||3 (first in 2006)|
|Best result||Runners-up (2014)|
|Appearances||11 (first in 1996)|
|Best result||Semi-finals (2010, 2012, 2014, 2018)|
The Philippines national football team (Filipino/Tagalog: Pambansang koponan ng futbol ng Pilipinas) represents the Philippines in international football, governed by Philippine Football Federation and has been playing at the international level as early as 1913.
Prior to the World War II, the Philippines had regularly competed with Japan and the Republic of China in the Far Eastern Championship Games. So far, the national team has never qualified for the FIFA World Cup and has qualified for the AFC Asian Cup only once, in 2019. They finished second at the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup after losing to Palestine in the final.
Unlike most of Southeast Asia, where football is the most popular, the Philippines' most popular sports are basketball and boxing, the result from the American rule, thus drives away many football talents and contributes to the lack of success of football of the Philippines. Often the Philippines only participated in the AFF Championship and finished bottom. However, starting from 2010 AFF Championship, the country has started to develop football as part of the sport's renaissance, finding more incentives to increase football development and fan support, eventually led to the country's first ever Asian Cup competition, the 2019 edition.
1910s–1940s: Early years
The Philippines participated at the Far Eastern Championship Games, which included football. The first edition was in 1913 and the last was in 1934. The games were the first regional football tournament for national teams outside the British Home Championship. The national team routinely faced Japan and China and at one edition the Dutch East Indies at the games. The Philippines won over China at the inaugural tournament with the scoreline of 2–1. During the 1917 edition, the national team achieved its biggest win in international football. Led by Filipino-Spanish icon Paulino Alcantara, the Philippines defeated Japan 15–2.
After the dissolution of the Far Eastern Championship Games, the national squad participated at the 1940 East Asian Games organized to commemorate the 2600th anniversary of the foundation of the Empire of Japan by Emperor Jimmu. The team finished third behind champions Japan and second placers, Manchukuo and ahead of the Republic of China.
1950s–1990s: Decline of football
In the 1950s the Philippines hosted friendlies with international-based sides, However the national team experienced lack of funding and barely received any coverage from the media. During that time talents from the national team were drawn from the Manila Football League which received substantial support from the Chinese-Filipino community. The national team's decent performance at the 1958 Asian Games, hosted in Tokyo, where they defeated Japan, 1–0 in a game which was labeled as an upset by the Japanese press.
After 1958, saw the decline of Philippine football, several key players resigned from the national team due to financial challenges for playing for the national team. National team players Ed Ocampo and Eduardo Pacheco switched to basketball, and went on playing for commercial basketball clubs where players are paid. The Philippine Congress passed Republic Act 3135 that revised the charter of the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation which had a provision or a 60-40 rule that mandates teams to not have more than 40 percent Chinese and other players with foreign blood. Sponsors withdrew and leagues, which were mostly funded by the Chinese-Filipino community started to decline. The 60–40 rule was lifted much later during the tenure of president Johnny Romualdez of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF), after 1982 when the PFA has reorganized itself as the PFF.
The national team suffered defeats with big margins at the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta. This includes the national team's record 15–1 defeat to Malaysia, which became the worst defeat of the national team at that time. The record was later broken by the 15–0 loss to Japan in 1967 at the qualifiers for the 1968 Summer Olympics. Foreigners were hired to serve as head coaches for the national team in an attempt to reduce big margin loses. Englishman, Allan Rogers was hired following the record defeat to Malaysia and Spaniard Juan Cutillas was likewise tasked to lead the national team following the record defeat to Japan.
In the early sixties, the Philippine Football Association partnered with the San Miguel Corporation to seek foreign assistance to train local football players and coaches and to develop the sport in the country. Coaches from the United Kingdom, Alan Rogers and Brian Birch. After the two were relieved, Danny McClellan and Graham Adams continued their task. In 1961, San Miguel through the national football association bought in four medical students from Spain who were expert in football — Francisco Escarte, Enrique dela Mata, Claudio Sanchez and Juan Cutillas. Escarte and dela Mata left the country after one year.
In 1971, head coach Juan Cutillas recruited five foreign players to play for the national team; four Spaniards and one Chinese. The national team joined several international competitions such as the Merdeka Tournament, Jakarta Anniversary Tournament and the President Park Tournament. The team caused some upset results against the national teams of Thailand, Singapore and South Korea. The national team saw another decline after the four Spanish players left the team due to financial reasons and basketball gains more foothold over football in the country.
The national team under German head coach, Eckhard Krautzun finished fourth overall at the 1991 Southeast Asian Games, its best ever finish at the tournament. The Philippines dealt a 1–0 defeat to defending champions Malaysia at the tournament which knocked out the latter out of the tournament at just the group stage. Norman Fegidero scored the sole goal for the Philippines.
In September 2006, the country fell to 195th on the FIFA World Rankings, its lowest ever. By the end of the year, the Philippines moved back up to 171st overall, after a good run in the 2007 ASEAN Football Championship qualification. They were able to win three games in a row which was a first for the Philippines and thus qualifying for the 2007 ASEAN Football Championship. Coach at that time Aris Caslib, aimed to reach the semifinals with two wins at the group stage. The decision came despite Philippine Football Federation president Juan Miguel Romualdez stating that they would still be underdogs in the tournament and that they mustn't raise their expectations too high, as the Philippines have only won their first ever win of the tournament during the 2004 edition.
The Philippines eventually failed to reach their target, only getting a draw in three matches. Their poor performances led to Caslib's resignation, as well as the refusal of the PFF to register and enter the qualification stages for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. They would be one of four nations, all from Southeast Asia not to enter after a record number of entries. However it was revealed that the decision not to enter the 2010 as well as the 2006 World Cup qualification was made during the PFF presidency of Rene Adad, whose term ended in 2003. Instead, the PFF wanted to focus on domestic and regional competitions.
The Philippines failed to qualify for any major competition in 2008. They missed out on the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup only on goal difference, and the 2008 AFF Suzuki Cup with an inferior goals scored record.
Dan Palami, businessman and sports patron, was appointed as team manager of the national team in 2009 by the Philippine Football Federation. The national team still receive minimal support from the government. Palami made financial investments to the team using his own personal money. Since taking responsibility over the national team, he has envisioned a plan named Project 100, which plans to make the team among the top 100 national teams in the world in terms of FIFA rankings. More foreign-born Filipinos were called up to play for the national squad.
2010s: era of renaissance
The Philippines's campaign at the 2010 AFF Championship under Simon McMenemy's tenure was a breakthrough. Hold a primal ticket as one of two teams along with Laos that had to qualify for the tournament, the Philippines advanced from the group stage for the first time, did not concede a single defeat and their win against defending champions Vietnam in particular was considered as one of the biggest upsets in the tournament's history. The match, which would later be referred by local Filipino fans as the "Miracle of Hanoi", is also considered as the match that started a football renaissance in the country where basketball is the more popular sport. In the knockout stage, they had to play both their designated home and away games against Indonesia in Jakarta due to the unavailability of a stadium that passes AFF standards. The Philippines lost both games to end their campaign.
The following year, Michael Weiß became the head coach. The national team managed to qualify for the 2012 edition of the AFC Challenge Cup, the first time since qualifiers were introduced and also recorded their first ever victory in the FIFA World Cup qualification, beating Sri Lanka 4–0 in the second leg of the first preliminary round. Kuwait finished the Philippines' World Cup qualification campaign after winning over them twice in the second round.
In 2012, the Philippines qualified for the semifinals of the AFC Challenge Cup for the first time winning over defending champions India and Tajikistan though they lost 2–1 against Turkmenistan in the semifinal. In the third place-playoff the Philippines won 4–3 over Palestine. The Philippines won the 2012 Philippine Peace Cup, a friendly tournament hosted at home, which was their first title since the 1913 Far Eastern Games. At the 2012 AFF Championship, the Philippines replicated their performance in 2010 by advancing to the semifinal. They loss to Singapore on aggregate by a single goal in the two-legged semifinal.
The Philippines reached the final of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup. With a berth to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup on the line, the Philippines lost to Palestine 1–0 on 30 May. The Philippines once again advance from the group stage at the 2014 AFF Championship by winning over Indonesia, the first time since the 1934 Far Eastern Games, and Laos despite their loss to Vietnam. The Philippines faced Thailand in the two-legged semifinal, coming up with a goalless draw against their opponents at home in Manila but losing the away match at Bangkok.
Thomas Dooley became the head coach of the national team. In October 2015 their 2–0 victory Yemen in Doha, Qatar in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers was their first-ever World Cup qualifier away from home, a victory over Yemen in Doha, Qatar. They campaign to qualify for the FIFA World Cup ended in the second round though they advance to the third round of the Asian Cup qualifiers.
Though the national team failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, they secured qualification for 2019 AFC Asian Cup after defeating Tajikistan, 2–1 at home in their final qualifier match.
The Philippines made its historic debut in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup with a 0–1 defeat to South Korea. then a 0–3 lost to China and was edged 1–3 by Kyrgyzstan, with Stephan Schröck scoring a historic goal for the Azkals in the tournament.
Following a relatively successful debut in the Asian Cup, the Philippines began their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification where they were grouped together with Syria, China, Guam and the Maldives. In their opening game, the Azkals met Syria at home and took an early lead, only to see the Syrians managed an outstanding comeback and smashing the Azkals 5–2 in Bacolod. Following the crushing home defeat, the Pinoys regained its pace with two away wins over Guam and the Maldives. Between these matches, the Pinoys also hosted China at home where they acquired an encouraging goalless draw, after a splendid performance by the Azkals goalkeeper Neil Etheridge which increased the team's chance. However, the Syrians once again blew the chance of the Filipinos, with the Syrians emerged with a 1–0 win over the Azkals.
Some fans have organized themselves to support the national team, one of them is the Ultras Filipinas, which formed in 2011. The Kaholeros started out as a gathering of friends using Twitter calling for fans to watch games of the AFC Challenge Cup at the National Sports Grill in Greenbelt. The Ultras Filipinas was established when fans of Philippine Air Force F.C. and Ultras Kayas decided to form a support group for the national teams of the Philippines not necessarily just for the football team. The first outing of Ultras Filipinas was not for the national football team but for the national rugby union team. The two fan groups take alternative turns in cheering and chanting for the national team during games.
|Kit Suppliers of the Philippine national team|
The traditional home kit is similar to the France national team; blue jersey, white shorts, and red socks. However, in recent times, the home and away kit has either been all-blue, all-red or all-white, currently is the all-white as home jerseys. The current kit supplier of the national team is local firm, LGR Sportswear. German companies Adidas and Puma, as well as Japanese company Mizuno, has provided kits for the team in the past
Puma was the official outfitter of the national team during the 1996 AFC Asian Cup qualification. Later that year, Adidas assumed that role and outfitted the team that participated at the 1996 Tiger Cup.
For three years from March 2008, Mizuno served as the official outfitter and equipment supplier of the team. It also helped the national federation in its grassroots development program. On 4 June 2012, Puma supplanted Mizuno's role with the national team.
Local firm LGR Sportswear became the official kit provider of the national team in 2015 and a new set of kits made by LGR were unveiled to the public in on 5 June which was later used by the team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The home and away kits were white and blue respectively. Filipino weave design and the three stars and the sun are present at the back of the home and away kits. The goalkeeper's kit is black and has a yellow trim on the chest area and a weave pattern with the three stars and the sun and azkals logo incorporated in the design, in front around the shoulder area. Adidas was also announced as the footwear sponsor of the team for the qualifiers The current kits of the national team were introduced in latter part of 2016. The home kit is white, the away kit is red while a third kit which is blue was also used.
Under the official FIFA Trigramme the team's name is abbreviated as PHI; this acronym is used by FIFA, the AFC and the AFF to identify the team in official competitions. The team is also identified under the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) country code for the Philippines as PHL. However the team was more commonly known as the RP, the acronym for the country's official name, Republika ng Pilipinas, which the local press used when they referred to the team as the "RP Booters" or the "RP XI". This was until late October 2010 when the Department of Foreign Affairs decided to change the official abbreviation of the country from "RP" to "PH" or "PHL", to be in line with ISO standards. The local press have since referred to the team as either "PH/PHL Booters" or "PH/PHL XI".
The national team is referred to as the "Azkals". The name was coined when an online Philippine football community proposed the nickname Calle Azul (Spanish for Streets of Blue, referring to the color of their kit) which was modified to Azul Calle, shortened to AzCal, and finally became Azkal – a word that is similar to Filipino term Askal meaning street dog. "Azkals" became a trending topic on Twitter during the semifinals of the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup.
During the early years of the Philippine national team, they played their home matches at the Manila Carnival Grounds. By 1934 it became the site of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. One of the facilities within the complex is the 12,000 capacity national stadium, known as the Rizal Memorial Track and Football Stadium or simply the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Since its opening, it has been the home venue of the Philippine national team until May 2015 where they declared the 25,000 seater and Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan as their new home. However, due to disappointing attendance numbers in PSS and RMS and an impressive crowd for Ceres–Negros F.C.'s run to the 2017 AFC Cup, the Philippine Football Federation decided to make Panaad Stadium as the national team's home again for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
The RMS has also become a hub for track and field. The continued use for athletics along with poor maintenance has deteriorated the stadium and the 1991 Southeast Asian Games was the last time it was used for international football matches. In early 2009, the Philippine Sports Commission planned to transform it to a modern football stadium which would make it usable by the national team for international matches.
|Philippines national football team home stadiums|
|Philippine Sports Stadium||20,000||Santa Maria, Bulacan||v Thailand|
(25 November 2016; 2016 AFF Championship)
|Rizal Memorial Stadium||12,873||Manila||v Tajikistan|
(27 March 2018; AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualification)
|Panaad Stadium||9,825||Bacolod||v China PR|
(15 October 2019; FIFA World Cup qualification)
|Cebu City Sports Complex||Cebu City||v Malaysia|
(27 April 2014; Friendly)
|Quirino Stadium||5,000||Bantay, Ilocos Sur||v Perth Glory FC|
(26 June 2016; Friendly)
The following 23 players were called up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Maldives and Syria in November 2019.
Caps and goals updated as of 19 November 2019, after the match against Syria.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Neil Etheridge||7 February 1990||65||0||Birmingham City|
|15||GK||Michael Falkesgaard||9 April 1991||12||0||Bangkok United|
|16||GK||Patrick Deyto||15 February 1990||17||0||Suphanburi|
|2||DF||Álvaro Silva||30 March 1984||17||0||BG Pathum United|
|3||DF||Carli de Murga||30 November 1988||44||4||Terengganu|
|6||DF||Luke Woodland||21 July 1995||21||0||Ratchaburi Mitr Phol|
|8||DF||Elias Mordal||20 January 1998||0||0||ADT|
|9||DF||Sean Patrick Kane||13 May 1991||1||0||United City|
|11||DF||Daisuke Sato||20 September 1994||49||3||Muangthong United|
|12||DF||Amani Aguinaldo||24 April 1995||38||0||Trat|
|13||DF||Justin Baas||16 March 2000||4||0||United City|
|14||DF||Marco Casambre||18 December 1998||2||0||Kaya–Iloilo|
|23||DF||Martin Steuble||9 June 1988||43||3||Port|
|4||MF||John-Patrick Strauß||28 January 1996||12||2||Erzgebirge Aue|
|5||MF||Iain Ramsay||27 February 1988||33||5||Prachuap|
|7||MF||Mike Ott||2 March 1995||21||3||United City|
|17||MF||Stephan Schröck||21 August 1986||44||6||United City|
|19||MF||Yrick Gallantes||14 January 2001||1||0||ADT|
|10||FW||OJ Porteria||9 May 1994||22||2||Ratchaburi Mitr Phol|
|18||FW||Patrick Reichelt||5 June 1988||61||10||Suphanburi|
|20||FW||Curt Dizon||4 February 1994||18||1||United City|
|21||FW||Mark Hartmann||20 January 1992||26||7||United City|
|22||FW||Ángel Guirado||9 December 1984||39||10||St Joseph's|
The following players have been called up for the Philippines within the past 12 months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
INJ Withdrew from the squad due to an injury
RET Retired from the national team
SUS Omitted from the squad due to suspension
PRE Included in the preliminary squad
|Previous squads of the Philippines|
|AFC Asian Cup|
|AFC Challenge Cup|
Fixtures and results
The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
|3 June 2021 FIFA World Cup qualification R2||Philippines||v||Guam||Suzhou, China|
|--:-- UTC+8||Stadium: TBD|
|7 June 2021 FIFA World Cup qualification R2||China PR||v||Philippines||Suzhou, China|
|--:-- UTC+8||Report (FIFA)
|15 June 2021 FIFA World Cup qualification R2||Philippines||v||Maldives||Suzhou, China|
|--:-- UTC+8||Stadium: TBD|
One of the earlier head coaches of the national team was Dionisio Calvo. Foreign coaches of American, Argentinean, English, German, Scottish, Spanish, and Swedish nationality have managed the national team. Juan Cutillas has managed the team in at least four non-consecutive tenures (1969–1978, 1981–1984, 1996–2000 and 2008–09).
Thomas Dooley led the national team to its best finish in a tournament sanctioned by the Asian Football Confederation and FIFA by leading the team to second place at the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup. The past three coaches, Simon McMenemy, Michael Weiß and Thomas Dooley, also made some strides at the regional level leading the team to the semifinals at the AFF Suzuki Cup (2010, 2012 and 2014 editions respectively), the top football tournament in Southeast Asia. Eckhard Krautzun also led the national team to the semifinals, its best finish at the 1991 Southeast Asian Games, before football became an under-23 tournament at said multi-sporting event.
|List of head coaches of the Philippines|
|Philippines||Dionisio Calvo||(1930, 1934, 1954)|
|Philippines||Ramon Echevarria Sr.||(1958)|||
|Philippines||Fernando Giménez Álvarez||(1962)|
|West Germany||Bernhard Zgoll||(1980)|
|United States||Thomas Dooley||(2014–18)|||
|Philippines||Marlon Maro||(2017)||[note 1]|
|Ireland||Scott Cooper||(2018, interim)|||
|Philippines||Anto Gonzales||(2018)||[note 2]|
|Ireland||Scott Cooper||(2019, interim)|||
- Philippines women's national football team
- Philippines national under-23 football team
- Philippines national under-21 football team
- Philippines national under-19 football team
- Philippines national under-17 football team
- Football in the Philippines
- Ultras Filipinas
- Head coach on a temporary basis. Maro only coached the team that took part at the 2017 CTFA International Tournament in Taiwan which was held in December 2017. Dooley remained the head coach. Maro was supposed to lead a U22 side, but the matches of the CTFA International Tournament were recognized as Tier 1 "A" international matches hence the Philippine Football Federation sent a senior side with Maro as its coach in lieu of Thomas Dooley.
- Head coach on a temporary basis. Gonzales only coached the team that took part at the 2018 Bangabandhu Cup in Bangladesh which was held in October 2018. Cooper remained the head coach.
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- "DLSAA Sports Hall of Fame Awardees".
During the Third Asian Games in Tokyo in 1958, he coached the Philippine National Football Team defeating Japan before 60,000 spectators at the National Stadium, and placing 6th among 14 participating Asian nations.
- Japa, Raffy (26 March 1987). "Elizalde to the rescue". Manila Standard. p. 8. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
Alberto Honasan has been designate coach of the team
- "Fegidero uses old magic on Malaysia". Manila Standard Today. Bacolod. 13 May 1993. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
"We lack serious games which can only be attained in overseas tournament", said head coach Mariano Araneta
- Saaid, Hamdan (19 July 2007). "ASEAN Football Federation Championship - Details". RSSSF.
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- Christian Jacinto (14 June 2018). "New Philippine coach Terry Butcher says he wants Azkals to win 'with finesse and skill'". Sports Interactive Network Philippines. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
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- http://theazkals.com/technical-staff/ |Azkals Technical Staff
- Philippine Football Federation
- Philippines at FIFA.com
- Philippines – World football elo ratings at ELOratings.net (Includes past fixtures & results)
- Media related to Philippines national football team at Wikimedia Commons
- Media related to Matches of the Philippines national football team at Wikimedia Commons
- Quotations related to Philippines men's national football team at Wikiquote