The 2015 Passionate Fan Pinoy Football Awards
Player Of The Year: Misagh Bahadoran. The Iranian-raised Bahadoran was always brimming with promise. In 2015 he made the potential bear fruit with 3 goals in World Cup qualifying that briefly gave the Azkals Nation hope for Russia in 2018.
Wait, 3 goals? There is a case to be made that the goal in the Bahrain game credited to Javi Patiño was really off the boot of Lord Misagh. Watch the footage and be the judge. Bahadoran had earlier given the team an opener with a stab off a Phil Younghusband assist.
The Global star's pace, guile and finishing were also on hand to help his club reach the final 4 of the Singapore Cup, where he wore the captain's armband with pride. Bahadoran has also proven to be a versatile attacker, effective on either wing and also up top, where Global coach Leigh Manson deployed him.
Goal Of The Year: Stephan Schrӧck versus Uzbekistan.
September 8, 2015 was a rough day for Philippine football. The Azkals were getting bullied in their own house, the Philippine Stadium in Bulacan, by a more skilled Central Asian side. Trailing 4-0 after an hour in the pouring rain, substitute Stephan Schrӧck was given a free kick a good forty yards away from the Uzbek goal.
“I saw we wouldn't win a header if I cross the ball in,” recounted the Greuther Furth man. (The Uzbeks were taller than the Azkals.)
“So I only had two options: play short to Kevin (Ingreso), or look if the GK is on his way.”
The Filipino-German did indeed spy Alexander Lobanov creeping off his line and so he launched an audacious curling missile that soared a few feet over Lobanov and into the net, sparking celebrations in the stands.
The Philippines eventually lost that match 5-1, but for one brief moment, we had a reason to cheer on that moist and dreary evening.
“I think this was one of my best goals,” says Schrӧck.
My personal Honorable Mentions: This lovely long-range effort from Daisuke Sato against Jeepney.
Daisuke Sato you naughty boy! :DThe #Azkal scores a Carli Lloyd-esque goal in UFL play on Saturday night from 40 yards out!Posted by Bob Guerrero on Saturday, 18 July 2015
It's not every day you see a goal scored from a yard inside the center circle, much less by a female player. FEU's Daidai Dolino did just that in the UAAP final against UP. Carli who?
Coach Of The Year: Kim Chul Su, FEU Tamaraws. There were a few successful coaches in 2015 who won titles. Ali Go won the UFL League with Ceres. Simon McMenemy steered Loyola to the Smart-PFF National Championship. And player-coach Chris Greatwich picked up his first bit of coaching silverware when Kaya won the UFL Cup.
But Coach Kim gets the nod. The avuncular Korean completed a UAAP back-to-back with Far Eastern's senior team with a thrilling 3-2 extra time win over De La Salle in March. Relive all the goals here.
The game capped a topsy-turvy Season 77 campaign where they were far from the dominant team. They even lost a game against a non-Final Four team, NU. DLSU were the top-seed going into the playoffs but the Tams pipped them to the title.
Kim also ended up coaching Manila Jeepney in the UFL, a team that was, for all intents and purposes, FEU with white or navy jerseys minus Paolo Bugas and Jhan Jhan Melliza. The beep-beep crew produced one of the shocks of the tournament when they defeated Ceres 2-1 late in the league. True, Ceres had sewn up the title by then, but still, for a virtually university-level side to defeat the best side in the land was an achievement.
In October FEU added yet another trophy to the cabinet by defeating UP 3-0 in the Ang Liga league final. Kim was even confident enough to start his younger players in that game, with rookie Dave Deloso rewarding his faith with the first goal. It was only later in the game did Kim deploy his regular starters when it was clear that UP were going to be a tough nut to crack.
But Kim's influence goes beyond his men's senior team. In 2015 FEU completed the “Double Treble,” with back-to-back crowns in the UAAP Seniors, Juniors, and Women's competitions. FEU's ladies also won the PFF Women's Cup. Kim's fingerprints are all over these championships as well.
UAAP MVP Paolo Bugas says Kim is a stickler for technical fundamentals, making sure that his charges have honed them long before they step onto the pitch.
He can also be tough with players, but according to Bugas it's his way of bringing out the best in every Tamaraw.
“Ang Korean style dina-down ka niya tapos ikaw bahala mag-adjust kasi nasa player naman kung paano tanggapin. Syempre as a player babawi ka at babawi ka talaga para gumanda yung laro mo.” (It's the Korean way to bring you down or criticize you then it's up to the player how he accepts it. Of course as a player you want to bounce back so you perform better.)
Bugas also notices that Kim introduces a whole new training program every year to keep things fresh so that the players can reach a new level.
Game Of The Year: UP 3, FEU 3, February 5, 2015. The Diliman Derby was magical on this day. Three quality header goals from Nicolas Ferrer, Jinggoy Valmayor, and Feb Baya within the first half hour meant UP lead 2-1 before a Jhan Jhan Melliza penalty leveled matters.
The Tams thought they had taken the lead for good with a superb volley from Tata Chavez in the 54th. But that only set up a classic finish in the 93rd minute. Watch the goals and the jaw-dropping conclusion to an unforgettable football match.
Breakout Player Of The Year: Paolo Salenga. The striker/winger completed a solid collegiate career with NU as their captain and main attacking threat. But better things were on offer for him this year.
Salenga scored a remarkable header consolation goal in an U22 game versus Thailand. Catch it in the very end of this clip. Start watching at 6:40, I don't recommend watching anything before that.
Salenga struck again in the Southeast Asian Games, once again off an assist from from Kennedy Uzoka in the match versus Cambodia. Watch starting at 1:07.
Salenga went on to score another international goal for Global in the Singapore Cup, a cheeky outside-the-boot chipped volley against Geylang that helped them reach the semis. Have a look at the footage from the 1:40 mark.
There was more from the Kapampangan marksman. Check out this terrific volley for Global versus Kaya.
Super volley goal by Paolo Salenga for global! I hate that my camera turned flash on hence white spot in the middle. Footage courtesy TV 5.Posted by Bob Guerrero on Saturday, 1 August 2015
The youngster has pace and finishing ability to threaten for a spot on the Azkals sooner than later. Salenga might turn out to be our footballing Olson Racela: solid in college, great as a pro.
Save(s) Of The Year: Nick O'Donnell versus Ceres in the UFL Cup Final. “It was surreal,” recalled Kaya's Filipino-Canadian netminder of the UFL Cup Final Penalty shootout against Ceres last August.
“I just had a strong feeling where they were going to shoot and then I went the right way. I felt no pressure at all and when the final whistle blew it was pure ecstasy.”
When O'Donnell refers to “they.” he speaks of none other than Martin Steuble and Paul Mulder, veteran Azkals whom he stoned in the 4-2 penalty shootout win after the sides finished 1-1 after extra time. O'Donnell leaped to his right to deny Paul Mulders then went the other way to parry clear Steuble's attempt.
O'Donnell also starred in a penalty shootout in the semifinals against Stallion. The kid is ripe for a recall back to the Azkals, especially during the Suzuki Cup, where European-based goalies Neil Etheridge and Roland Müller will likely not be available.
Wackiest Game Of The Year: Green Archers United Globe 9, Pachanga 5, June 20, 2015. Last year I gave this award to FEU and UST, who combined for 11 goals in a weird 7-4 win by the Tams. This year the Archers and Pachanga went 3 scores better.
Sadly there does not seem to be an available video for this game. But I was there in Rizal Memorial and I saw Robert Lopez-Mendy strike 4 times for GAU, with Melliza and Jimuel Ariola also getting in on the action. Great goals by Hamid Hajimehdi and Valmayor for Pachanga weren't enough to overturn the massive haul by the Archers.
Lets hope for more unpredictability in the coming year for Pinoy Football fans. – Rappler.com