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    'Little Azkals' debut in style in Japan meet

    Jun 20, 2012
    Davao-based Javi Romero-Salas, extreme left front row, scored a goal in the three-goal romp over Brunei.

    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, fast emerging as the team’s most prolific scorer, 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 another Davao standout 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.

    Both Romero-Salas and Diamante play for the Ateneo de Davao University before being plucked to play for the Little Azkals.

    Brunei also saw action in the recently-held Asian Football Federation (AFC) U-14 Festival of Football 2012 in Kota Kinabalu. Although the two teams didn’t cross paths, the Little Azkals had a better win-draw-loss record of 3-2-4 than Brunei (1-1-7).

    All matches will be held at the J-Green Sakai, the Sakai Soccer National Training Center, a 35-hectare football village where teams are also billeted. Each team will play five matches with 25-minute halves and no extra time and penalty shootouts.

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    Davao-based Javi Romero-Salas, extreme left front row, scored a goal in the three-goal romp over Brunei.
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