Yrick Gallantes stars for Philippines U22s as Hibs youngster nets in Copa Paulino Alcántara

Easter Road starlet featured in all of the Philippines U22 matches during the Copa Paulino Alcántara

Thursday, 7th November 2019, 12:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th November 2019, 12:13 pm
Yrick Gallantes celebrates his goal against Ceres-Negros. Picture: Philippines Football League / Janb Dayrit

Yrick Gallantes played the full 90 minutes in all three group matches as the Philippines Under-22 squad took part as a guest team in the Copa Paulino Alcantara, the country's domestic cup competition.

The Hibs youngster started all three matches and scored the Azkals' goal in a 2-1 defeat to Philippines league champions Ceres-Negros as the nation warmed up for the South East Asian (SEA) Games in Manila.

Standout performer

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Gallantes, currently on loan at Lowland League side Gala Fairydean Rovers, was the standout performer for the Under-22s against the undefeated Ceres Negros team.

Chances were at a premium in the early stages of the match, but Gallantes created one of the game's first chances, crossing for Chima Uzoka, who sent a header narrowly over the bar.

The 18-year-old was rewarded for his efforts on the half-hour mark, giving his marker the slip as he headed for goal. Although his orginal shot was parried by the 'keeper, Gallantes was first to the rebound and fired in to give the young Azkals the lead.

Ceres-Negros levelled the scoreline on 61 minutes, Dylan De Bruycker beating Anthony Pinthus, while Robert Lopez Mendy scored an 86th minute winner, heading in Angelo Marasigan's cross.

Against Green Archers United Gallantes impressed again, and after Uzoka had given the Under-22s the lead, the Hibee hit the post with a header as Dan Palami's side sought a second goal. The national side held out for a 1-0 win - their sole victory in the competition.

Against Mendiola FC 1991, Gallantes lined up again on the left flank, but a 2-2 draw ended the Philippines U22's hopes of progressing in the tournament as Mendiola and Ceres-Negros advanced to the semi-final stage.

SEA Games hope

Gallantes has a very good chance of being included in the Southeast Asian Games squad. Speaking earlier this week, Palami told the media: "We’ll trim [the squad] down to 20.

"We still have two players coming from the senior team [to take the slots for] the over-age players."

Gallantes has been capped for the Philippines senior team but at 18 is still young enough to feature for the Under-22s. Given the excitement in the Philippines around his potential despite his tender age, it would appear almost certain that he will be named in the final squad.

The Philippines face Cambodia on November 25, Myanmar on November 27, Malaysia on November 29 and Timor-Leste on December 4.