[Photo courtesy of the "Little Azkals journey in Sicily" facebook page]
The Philippines Under-14 football squad, more popularly known as the Little Azkals kicked off its campaign in the Japan-East Asean Football Exchange Programme U-14 Youth Football Festival with an impressive 3-0 licking of Brunei Darussalam in Osaka, Japan on Tuesday.
Davao’s Javi Romero-Salas was once more at the forefront of the Philippines’ attack as he found the net in the 36th minute to add another international goal to his credit.
Marco Casambre opened the scoring for the Little Azkals in the 10th minute as the Philippines took a 1-0 lead at halftime. Romero-Salas made it 2-nil in the second half before Mason Vergara wrapped up the blowout with another marker in the 45th.
The Little Azkals, captained by Davao football phenom Jed Diamante, was set to face Indonesia later in the day. The Little Azkals were fresh from a stint in the Asian Football Federation U-14 Football Festival in Kota Kinabalu and a training camp in Italy.
Against Brunei, the Little Azkals reportedly controlled the match and displayed better teamwork. Brunei also saw action in the recently-held Asian Football Federation (AFC) U-14 Festival of Football 2012 in Kota Kinabalu but was not able to play against the Little Azkals because of the way the festival was formatted.
The Little Azkals had a better win-draw-loss record of 3-2-4 while Brunei managed a 1-1-7 record.
According to team sources, all matches will be held at the J-Green Sakai, the Sakai Soccer National Training Center, a 35-hectare football village where teams are billeted. The tournament will follow a league match system with each participating team having five matches. Each game will have 25-minute halves with no extra time and penalty shootouts.
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