Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Turkmenistan floors Loyola 4-1

Pardon the pun of the title. And sorry, Ref! One of my favorite goalkeepers takes a nap about an hour before the match at the Emperador Stadium turf. Long day for Ref Cuaresma as he had two coaching clinics in the morning and afternoon with the Chelsea Soccer School. Also helping out were Junior de Murga and Loyola assistants Gil Talavera and Dang Cecilio. Great time to inteview Ref as he had developed an English accent. There are now six Fil-Brits in Loyola. Hahahaha

Turkmenistan floors Loyola 4-1
by rick olivares

Thursday March 28, 2013
Emperador Stadium

UFL Thursday?

It had the atmosphere of it as some 400 fans were on hand for a Maundy Thursday friendly between Loyola and Turkmenistan.

This came about when Turkmenistan followed Loyola in practice sometime during the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers. As their match with Brunei didn’t push through, they were eager to play one more match. After watching Loyola’s practice, they extended the invitation. The Sparks management and coaching staff discussed the invite with the players who all agreed to do this.

Working as “match commissioner” we got both sides to agree to an open substitution with no extra time to be played.

The Green Men attacked from the opening whistle as Loyola couldn’t get its midfield established. I thought that Loyola played their defense much like they did against Kaya in their recent tussle – a lot of players committing to ball side then quickly switching out to help on the weak side when the ball was swung the other way. That meant the defensive over shift was on the left side of Turkmenistan. That left two attackers on Roxy Dorlas’ side.

At first Dorlas almost by his lonesome stopped the incursions (with some help from the Hartmanns). That got Loyola’s offense going and had Turkmenistan backpedalling. One sequence foreshadowed Loyola’s goal.

In the seventh minute, off a steal in the midfield by Jeong Byeong Yeol, he quickly passed to Mark Hartmann in the middle of the park. Hartmann found his brother Matthew on the overlap but he quickly darted towards the middle drawing a crowd of three defenders. Dorlas was running up the left flank and Hartmann sent it his way where he was unmarked. Dorlas sent a long cross towards the second post where Jeong had cut in. The Korean fired but it was just wide.

In the 12th minute, off a quick counter, Chad Gould raced up the right flank drawing a crowd. He saw Jeong once more coming in unmarked and he passed it off. Jeong fired as the ball struck into the top right corner for a Loyola goal.

The Sparks pressed their advantage against the shocked Green Men and they nearly doubled their lead but Matthew Hartmann’s shot went straight to the keeper.

Turkmenistan could not get going from the left side where Loyola’s best defense. It is ironic considering this area used to be their porous side. The Green Men then went back to probing the right flank where Dorlas oft remained by himself.

Turkmenistan’s play (at least for 14 of their 15 shots) called for three players -- #2 Irazalyyev, #10 Abylov, and #17 Amanov to work a sideline triangle. Samyradov would cut in to the middle to provide back up support for Amanov who cuts to the middle. It sure looked like a play as they ran it all the time while constantly testing Loyola’s defense.

In the 37th minute, they worked this play to perfection with Amanov dropping the ball over Park Min Ho for Samyradov. Samyradov went one-on-one with Ref Cuaresma for the equalizer.

Both teams went into the half tied at one goal apiece.

In the second half, the game coincidentally turned after Chad Gould went out for Alex Elnar. By then, the Green Men attacked that right side with purpose. Turkmenistan, save for Sayramov’s goal, couldn’t get inside because of the strong defensive line. So they attacked the “soft” area between Loyola’s back four and their midfield. Fourteen of their 15 shots on goal came from the center and just outside the box.

Annasahedov scored in the 73rd minute from the same play to give the visitor’s the lead. Loyola had a couple of opportunities to level the match but Jake Morallo, Matthew Hartmann, and Park Min Ho all hit their shots straight at keeper Nikita Gorbunov.

Then five minutes later, the Green Men broke the game wide open with a goal from late sub Gahrymanberdi Conkayev. Their only shot not from the outside of the box was a curving boot from 25 yards out by Abylov to make it 4-1 in the 80th minute as Loyola succumbed to the late pressure from the #140th ranked side in the world. They had played a perfect 72 minutes until the defense gave way. Nevertheless it was a good experience for them.

Both squads had their group picture taken after the match.

LoyolaRef Cuaresma (GK), Roxy Dorlas, Park Min Ho, Rodrigue Nembot, PJ Fadrigalan, Jeong Byeong Yeol, Simon Greatwich, Mark Hartmann, Matthew Hartmann, Jang Joo Won, and Chad Gould.

Substitutes: Jake Morallo, Alex Elnar, Jason Cutamora, Pat Ozaeta, and Armand del Rosario.

Injured: Phil Younghusband, Jang Jo Won, Mark Sorongon

TurkemistanNikita Gorbunov (GK), Nursahet Sapargyljyov, Berdi Samyradov, Annasahet Annasahedov, Guwanc Abylov, Gurbangeldi Batyrov, Dowran Orazalyyev, Wladimir Bayramov, Parahat Jumanazarov, Farhad Italmazov, and Serdar Annaorazov.

Substitutes: Bahtyyar Hojaahmedov, David Sarkisov, Arslanmyrat Amanov, and Gahrymanberdi Conkayev.

Match stats
Shot attempts:
Turkmenistan 16
Loyola 12

Shots on goal
Turkmenistan: 8
Loyola 8

Turkmenistan: 7
Loyola: 4

I find it ridiculous that the crabs have come out again questioning why Loyola played Turkmenistan and why not blah blah. The simple truth of the matter is Turkmenistan asked. Take a cold shower you yahoos.

Read my thoughts on the Philippines-Turkmenistan match in the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers.


  1. Nice pic Rick... Great experience.. Only who was with ref ,Rick Antonio de murga coach Gil and coach dang would know what they have been through the whole day before the match... Great day reffixcuaresma

  2. "I find it ridiculous that the crabs have come out again questioning why Loyola played Turkmenistan and why not blah blah. The simple truth of the matter is Turkmenistan asked. Take a cold shower you yahoos."

    i like this one :)

    1. Hahahaha u mad Global and Stallion fans??

      sarap isamapal sa mukha nila yan ahahahaha

  3. tanungin nyo ako bakit loyola ang kalaban ng turkmenistan at hindi ibang ufl teams.

    ariel serrantes
    liason officer of turkmenistan

  4. "I find it ridiculous that the crabs have come out again questioning why Loyola played Turkmenistan and why not blah blah. The simple truth of the matter is Turkmenistan asked."

    Loyola supporters or whoever reacted about "why Loyola and not blah blah", they should be proud kasi in all teams of UFL, Loyola was being chosen na makalaban ng Turkmenistan. It means, Turkmenistan find Loyola Sparks as a strong team. Loyola tried their best to win but still didnt happenend, at least they had one goal! Happy na ako dun than nothing

    1. I'll bet these crabs are bandwagon scum.

  5. No need to explain... but as to why Turkmenistan just so happened to ask Loyola for a friendly...

    The Sparks were practicing in Emperador and the Turkmenistan team was waiting for their turn to practice in the field. The latter team had extra days in Manila and had watched Loyola practice so they decided to ask them for a game against the Sparks.

    To the crabs, let's just enjoy it for what it is - just a great pick up game of football between two good squads. This will be good for football in our country in the long run.