Reposted with thanks from the PFF Communications Group:
A Look at the Countries in the Peace Cup
The Philippine Football Peace Cup kicks off this coming Tuesday, September 25, 2012. Official squad lists will be released on Monday but in the meantime here is a breakdown of each country’s FIFA ranking, form, and players to watch out for before the tournament starts.
The Philippines are hosting the Philippine Football Peace Cup as the next evolution of the Long Teng Cup. Finishing third in 2010, then second in 2011, the Azkals are hoping to go one better and win the cup this time around. As hosts and the highest ranked nation in the competition, the Philippines are favorites to win. It would also be the first time the country has won an international tournament for 99 years.
After their rise in the last two years – the most improved nation in a year back to back in 2010 and 2011 in ELO ratings – the Azkals are improving and will use this as preparation for the AFF Suzuki Cup later this year.
FIFA Rank: 150
Last five fixtures: W2 D3 L1
Dangerman: Phil Younghusband – the AFC Challenge Cup Golden Boot winner is the Philippines’ top scorer with 26 goals in 38 matches. The Chelsea Academy graduate is the Philippines’ biggest threat up front and without the striker the Azkals have found it difficult to hit the back of the net. With Angel Guirado unlikely to be available Younghusband will again be heavily relied on for this group of matches.
Chinese Taipei are 176th in the world. They have fallen in the rankings recently and are only four spots from their lowest ever position of 180th. Their recent form is discouraging as in their last international, back in February this year, Chinese Taipei lost 5-1 to Hong Kong – the winners of the 2010 and 2011 Long Teng Cup.
Before that they almost made the Second Round of World Cup Qualification against Suzuki Cup holders Malaysia – but lost on the away goals rule. After a 2-1 loss in Malaysia and a 3-2 win in Chinese Taipei both teams scored four goals but Malaysia scored more away goals so progressed to the next round.
They are hoping to fire back into contention, though, and are the Philippines’ closest rivals in this competition. Usually in the 160s of FIFA rankings they will hope to show they are still a contender by winning this tournament, after finishing second and third in the previous editions.
FIFA Rank: 176
Last five fixtures: W1 D1 L3
Last result against the Philippines: Chinese Taipei 0-0 Philippines, October 2, 2011, Kaohsiung National Stadium, Chinese Taipei
Dangerman: Chen Po-liang – Chen is the youngest player to ever captain Chinese Taipei. He scored in both legs against Malaysia in World Cup Qualification. The 24 year old will be capable of marshalling the midfield and driving his team on, fiercely proud of his country – even crying and publicly apologizing to the fans after he missed a penalty against Malaysia. He has just joined Shenzhen Ruby in the Chinese second tier, after they got relegated in 2011. With sixteen goals for his country he could be a dangerous in providing both assists and goals for Chinese Taipei.
Guam are on the rise in FIFA rankings courtesy of wins over Macau (3-0) and the Northern Mariana Islands (3-1). They have risen to 185th in the world after they rose ten places in August, from 194 to 184. The Guam squad are very young and English Coach Gary White has invested in the future, as they look to gain experience and improve. Their highest ever ranking in FIFA is 182nd in the world, so a good showing at the Peace Cup could see them climb higher than they’ve ever been before.
With Jonahan Romero already at Kaya and Captain Jason Cunliffe joining Pachanga FC for the 2012 UFL Cup they are also strengthening their ties in the Philippines too. Guam will be hoping for a respectable showing and to cement their rise. They beat Macau 3-0 on July 22 this year and are looking to consolidate their recent progress so could be a handful for all the teams.
FIFA Rank: 185
Last five fixtures: W2 D1 L2
Last result against the Philippines: Philippines 3-0 Guam, June 12, 2012, Rizal Memorial Stadium, Manila
Dangerman: Jason Cunliffe – Guam’s captain has scored nine goals in fifteen games for the National side and is one of their most experienced players at 28 years old. Growing up in the US he played for University side Santa Clara Broncos before moving back to Guam. He made his debut for Guam in the 2006 AFC Challenge Cup but represented Guam at youth level too. He has now moved to Pachanga FC and will be showing his skills in the upcoming UFL Cup.
Macau beat Mongolia on away goals in the 2009 AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers, the same team the Philippines beat in 2011. Recently they beat the Northern Mariana Islands 5-1 also, but this is their only win in the last fifteen games. They have lost the other fourteen and conceded 59 goals, an average of almost four goals per match. Last month they were ranked 201st, the lowest they have ever been. Macau has a population of 570,000.
FIFA Rank: 200
Last five fixtures: W1 D0 L4
Last result against the Philippines: Philippines 2-0 Macau, October 4, 2011, Kaohsiung National Stadium, Chinese Taipei
Dangerman: Chan Kin Seng – Chan Kin Seng is Macau’s veteran threat up front with sixteen goals for the National side. He scored a hat-trick in Macau’s 5-1 win over the Northern Mariana Islands in July, and then scored in both legs against Mongolia as Macau won on away goals in the 2009 AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers. Defenses will need to be alert to stop him from scoring, especially with likely strike partner Leong Ka Hang – who won the Macau Footballer of the Year for 2011 despite only being 18 at the time.
Philippine Football Peace Cup Tournament Rules
The tournament will be played as a single round robin league system where every team will play each other. Three points will be awarded for a win, one point will be awarded for a draw and zero points will be awarded for a loss.
In the event of a tie-break, the ranking will be determined through the following::
1. Greatest number of points obtained in all matches;
2. Goal difference in all matches;
3. Greatest number of goals scored in all matches.
If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria, their rankings will be determined as follows:
4. Greatest number of points obtained in the matches between the teams concerned;
5. Goal difference resulting from the matches between the teams concerned;
6. Greater number of goals scored in the group matches between the teams concerned;
7. Kicks from the penalty mark if only two teams are involved and they are both on the field of play;
8. Drawing of lots by the PFF.
Each match will be played for ninety (90) minutes consisting of two (2) periods of forty-five (45) minutes with an interval of fifteen (15) minutes in between. There will be no extra-time in any of the matches.