Thursday, October 30, 2008


Persija v Persita 4-0

9' - Ismed Sofyan (Persija)
29' - Greg Nwokolo (Persija)
50' - Aliyudin (Persija)
77' - Bambang (Persija)

Ismed doesn't score too many but when he does they're belters. Last season his 40 yard effort against Persik won Top Corner's Goal of the Season. Tonight his free kick from just on the touch line 40 yards out is sure to be a contender.

Nwokolo throughout the first half was a constant thorn in the side of the Persita defence with his intelligent running and it was one such run on to a slide rule pass from Robertinho that made it 2-0.

Early in the second half Nwokolo dispossessed Bruno Casmir in the centre circle and his pass released Aliyudin. For once the tireless striker's first touch let him down but there was no Persita defender to take advantage and his shot across goal went in off the post.

For all their possession Persija got only their third corner on 77'. Both Bambang and Aliyudin attacked Robertinho's flick on with BP getting the final touch and it was 4-0 Persija.

A comfortable three points for the Kemayoran Tigers and a boost to the goal difference means it was a satisfactory day at the office for coach Danurwindo's men. But putting nine goals past PKT and Persita, while very satisfying, is all well and good. But they need to go on the road and get results at places like Persik and Arema in the second half of the seaon if their title race isn't to come off the rails.


Memory Lane - Persija v Persita

Persija P 14 W 7 D3 L4
Persita P 14 W4 D3 L7

Last 4 games

2006 Persita v Persija 0-1, Persija v Persita 3-0
2007 Persita v Persija 0-3, Persija v Persita 2-2


Some Thai News

Following on from their oh so late victory against North Korea in the T&T Cup in Hanoi, a game assistant coach Steve Darby described as 'very difficult', the Thais have a rest until Saturday when they play Vietnam. With Uzbekistan pulling out there are only three nations competing in Vietnam.

Next up is a one off game in Riyadh against the Saudis. Some reports mention two games over there but it's just the one before the Thaos return home. Peter Reid is hoping to take the players round the country in a series of coaching camps to allow fans the chance of seeing the players up close.

Some games will also be organised but nothing has been arranged yet.


Gonazalez in Trouble

He is without doubt one of the best players plying his trade in the country. For the last three year seasons he has been the League's top scorer and now, approaching the mid season break, he is again leading the scoring charts with 14 goals.

But within Christian Gonzalez lies a spark that is all too easy to light. Two years back in a final he lashed out at a player moments after scoring the winner in the final minute. He got red for his troubles. In January during the Liga Play Offs he sparked a melee when he was alleged to have been a bit too physical with Persija's man mountain Cameroonian Abanda Herman.

Now, in the wake of Persik's 2-1 victory over PSMS he stands accusued assaulting a PSMS player and, according to some reports has been reported to the police.

I never saw the incident so this is based on local media reports and quotes. I am omitting many of the allegations flying around.

Gonzalez is quality and he is a bonus to the ISL when he lets his football do the talking. But he does have a record of indiscipline and with Persik facing financial woes do they keep him and risk him exploding again or do they let him go?

There'll be no shortage of suitors with the likes of Persib and Persiba already being linked with the Uruguayan striker.

Let's hope he calms down. It wasn't that long ago Cameroonian striker Emile Mbamba was banned for five years from the game in Indonesia for continued petulance, we don't want to see another talented player go the same way.


More Money for ACL

KUALA LUMPUR: The AFC Champions League received a huge boost yesterday with prize money for next season’s revamped tournament massively increased to US$14mil.

Asia’s top club competition will be expanded from 28 to 32 teams in 2009, but with stricter criteria for participation in an effort to raise standards.

Tokuaki Suzuki, deputy chief of the AFC’s Professional League Project, said the extra money on offer would provide clubs with the motivation to meet the new requirements to compete.

“The new budget means there is much, much more revenue for clubs participating in the tournament,” Suzuki said at an AFC managers seminar here.

“This will give clubs the incentive to be more professional so they meet the requirements to take part in the competition.”

The total budget for 2009 is US$20mil, dwarfing the US$4mil available for this year’s event.
Of that, 70 percent is dedicated to prize money and incentives, with the eventual winners taking home US$1.5mil plus bonuses from earlier rounds.

With a victory in the group stages worth US$40,000, a club is able to make up to US$2.25mil if they win all their matches.

“This means that even if a team cannot qualify for the round of 16, they still have an incentive to do well in the group matches,” said Suzuki.

The AFC is attempting to make football in the region more professional and has laid down tough new rules for entry into the 2009 Champions League.

Leagues wishing to take part have had to satisfy the governing body that they meet certain standards regarding team affairs, attendances, marketing, stadiums, and media arrangements.
So far only 11 countries have made the grade, with just one — Japan’s J-League — satisfying all criteria.

Mohamad Reza Saket, managing director of Iran’s top club Sepahan, lauded the move to fully commercialise the Asian showpiece.

“It definitely motivates all the clubs to put in more efforts,” said Saket, whose side lost in the final last year to Japan’s Urawa Reds.

“The players, coaches and whoever else is involved can benefit from the prizes.

“Anyone with common sense knows that success now pays and this will unite all behind a club’s efforts.

“There will be no dead match from now on. You come to win even if it is your last group match and you have no hope of qualifying for the next round.”

Hirotoshi Nitta, managing director of Urawa Reds, said Japanese clubs would play a central role in the success of the new AFC Champions League.

“J-League clubs have a central and key role to contribute to the improvement of Asian football,” he told reporters.

“The J-League has been a pace-setter in Asia and we (the clubs) can share our successful experience with others.”

The final of this year’s event will be held next month and features Australia’s Adelaide United and Japan’s Gamba Osaka.


The Future is Yellow

Tampines thumped Geylang last night in the Eastern Derby 5-2 with a hat trick from Sutee and a brace from Khairul Amri.

The win extends Tamines unbeaten run to seven games and is the second consecutive home game when they have scored five goals after hitting the same against Dalian Shide

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


AFF Cup Ticket Details

Indonesia have announced ticket prices for the AFF Cup in December.

Some 72,000 tickets will be made available for games at Bung Karno Stadium with the following prices:

20,000 IDR
35,000 IDR
50,000 IDR
75,000 IDR
100,000 IDR

The fixture between Myanmar and Cambodia will be layed at the same time as Indonesia v Singaore but will be held in Soreang at the Jalak Harupat Stadium where 20,000 tickets will be released.

15,000 IDR
25,000 IDR
50,000 IDR

They aren't going to sell much for this game so I really think the best thing they can do is give free tickets to schools in the area. No one likes to see empty stadiums in international competitions so bus some kids in. What is there to lose?


Pictures From Hanoi

These images and more come from


Thais Edge Dear Leader's Lads

Thailand register victory under Reid
Patiparn settles cup match in injury time

HANOI : An injury-time goal helped Thailand beat North Korea 1-0 yesterday in Vietnam in their first international game under English coach Peter Reid.
Thailand midfielder Phichitpong Chieuchiew tries to find a way through against North Korea in Vietnam yesterday.
Thailand defender Patiparn Phetphun scored in the second minute of stoppage time at My Dinh Stadium to get their T&T Cup campaign off to a winning start.
Reid conceded the game had been close and had given him plenty to think about.
"We saved some good shots and were lucky to score at the end of the match," said Reid.
"However, there are several things that I am not very pleased about and I needed to do some work on the training ground.
"North Korea are a strong team and I told the players to concentrate and we got the right result."
Thailand started with Issrapong Lilakorn and Teerathep Winothai up front against North Korea's World Cup hopefuls.
Four minutes after kick off, Thai midfielder Datsakorn Thonglao fired a 20-yard free-kick goalwards only to see it fizz wide.
Both teams pressured and defender Chonlatit Jantakam had to be alert to deny Kim Kum Il a scoring opportunity.
North Korea created several chances but the Thai defence held firm.
Kim Kum Il forced a good save from Thai goalkeeper Kittisak Rawangpa then, at the other end, midfielder Arthit Sunthonphit fired a long shot over the bar.
Striker Teerathep Winothai was booked for a foul before the whistle was blown to end the first half with the game locked at 0-0.
Reid switched Arthit for Nataporn Phanrit and Issarapong for Teerasil Dangda during the interval.
The substitutions made Thailand more lively and it wasn't long before Teerasil and Teerathep both had scoring opportunities only to be denied by the Korean back line.
Kittisak did well to parry a shot from Mun In Guk in the 74th minute before Chonlatit Jantakam cleared it away from danger.
Two minutes later Korea striker Kim Kum Il was sent off for hitting Datsakorn in the chest.
Thailand couldn't break down their opponents and the game seemed destined to end up goalless before Patiparn scored the winner during stoppage time.
North Korea coach Kim Jong Hun said his team's poor preparation contributed to the defeat.
"The condition of the team was not good when they trained two weeks before the tournament started," he said.
"However, I am pleased with the performance."
The president of the Football Association of Thailand (FAT), Mr Worawi Makudi was pleased with the outcome.
"I would say that it is great for Peter Reid to use some new players for this match," he said.
"It is a good for us because we have more choice for the team and it is also a good start for him with a win."
Worawi, , a Fifa executive committee member, also said there is a strong possibility England will play a one-off friendly in Thailand next year because of strong ties with the English Football Association, which were central to Reid's appointment as Thailand boss. *
Thailand play Vietnam on Saturday.

*I wouldn't get too excited about this (Jakarta Casual)


SAF Go 4 Clear

SAF managed to do last night what their two title rivals failed to do in their last game. They won utting a four point cushion between themselves and the chasing Home and Super Reds.

Two early goals from Duric, who now has 28 for the season, and Norikazu Murakami did the damage.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Sathia Lays Down the Law

Tuesday October 28, 2008
Sathia tells Titus: Show up on Friday or miss AFF Cup
KUALA LUMPUR: National coach B. Sathianathan has given France-based Titus James Palani until Friday to show up for training or give the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup championship a miss.
“This is necessary as I need to plan the team. I have to evaluate his performance before making a decision,” he said last Sunday.
Sathianathan said that the national squad would start training next Sunday before leaving for Myanmar for the Grand Royal Challenge Cup tournament starting on Nov 9.
Titus, who last played for French third division club Villenoy FC, had been called up to don national colours several times, including the friendly match against English club Chelsea in July.
However, club commitments had prevented the 22-year-old player from joining the national squad.
In the AFF Group B matches to be played in Bangkok from Dec 5-28, Malaysia have been drawn with Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. Group A matches to be played in Jakarta involve Indonesia, Singapore, Myanmar and Cambodia.
Sathianathan added that he had no choice but to depend on the 25 players in the national squad.
“Akmal Rizal Ahmad Rakhli is still the country’s best striker while Mohd Safee Sali has been excluded as he is not fully fit,” he said.


Rams Beat Home

In a surprise SLeague result title chasers Home United lost 2-1 to Woodlands Wellington. Park Tae Won gave the hosts the lead on 12' before Shi Jiyai equalised on 34'. Nalamura gave the home side the three points with the winner on 73'.

Home's defeat came just days after Super Reds were beaten by Albirex Niigata. Tonight sees SAF looking to take advantage of their rivals slip ups when they take on Young Lions. Victory would given them a four point cushion with three games left.


Wins for Arema & Persik

Arema v Sriwijaya 2-1 (Arif Suyono, Serge; Kayamaba)
Persik v SMS 2-1 (Gonzales 2; Lubis)

Persik came from behind to defeat PSMS last night with a late winner from goal machine Gonzales. The Uruguayan now has 14 for the season. Sriwijaya slipped to a rare defeat losing 2-1 to Arema at the Delta Stadium in Sidoarjo.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Jeremiah Out for Two Months

I bumped into Persipura's Nigerian striker Ernest Jeremiah last night and he told me that he had been substituted during the Papuan derby against Persiwa on Saturday with a thigh injury. He said he wouldn't be playing again till the new year.

Which is obvious innit. 'Cos for the Black Pearls the mid season has already begun and the second round of fixtures won't begin till then!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Laos and Cambodia Join Big Boys

Laos v Timor Leste 2-1
Brunei v Cambodia 1-2

1. Laos 4 3 0 1 9-7 9
2. Cambodia 4 2 1 1 9-8 7
3. Philippines 4 2 1 1 6-5 7
4. Brunei 4 1 1 2 8-7 4
5. Timor Leste 4 0 1 3 4-9 1

Laos join Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam while Cambodia join Indonesia, Singapore and Myanmar in the AFF cup which kicks off 5/12 in Jakarta.


Vietnam Triumph in Malaysia

0-0 after extra time Vietnam beat Malaysia in the Merdeka Cup Final in KL last night.


Persipura Powering to the Title

Check out Persipura's recent form:

H v Persiwa 2-0 (Igbonefo, Goncalves)
H v Arema 2-1 (Jeremiah, Igbonefo)
H v Persik 5-0 (Boaz 2, Oritsan, Jeremiah, Ian Luis Kabes)
H v Persija 6-0 (Boaz 3, Goncalves 2, Ivakdalam)
H v Persela 2-0 (Goncalves, Jeremiah)
A v Persiba 2-1 (Igbonefo, Goncalves)
A v PKT 4-2 (Boaz 2, Jeremiah, Ivakdalam)
A v Pelita Jaya 1-0 (Goncalves)

Eight straight wins is good form in anyone's book. Their last defeat came 10 September away to PSIS. If they are going to drop a bollock it's going to be on the road. Much will depend on how they fare at places like Persela, Persija, Arema, Persib and Persik.


Persipura Triumph in Papua Derby

Persipura v Persiwa 2-0 (Igbonefo 17', Goncalves 75') 18,000
Persita v PSIS 1-0 (Wirahadi 67') 500
PKT v Persiba 0-0 3,000
Persijap v Pelita Jaya 1-0 (Villalba 33') 3,100

Persipura's win over rivals Persiwa sends them four points clear at the top of the ISL with 39 points from 17 games. Meanwhile Persita's recent fine form continued with back to back victories for the first time this season against PSIS. My Semaranag mate was at the game and he said he felt a right twat sitting all alone in a 35,000 seater stadium!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Pelita Jaya Frustrate Again

Fandi Ahmad must be wondering where it all went wrong. Top of the table after four games Pelita Jaya may have more only envied by Juande Ramos but there is nothing like inconsistency to frustrate a coach’s plans.

Today away to Persijap it’s fair to say Pelita Jaya never really turned up and a first half goal by someone was enough for the home side. Until the last 20’ the visitors weren’t involved and it was only the arrival of the shot shy Rudi Widodo that injexted some urgency into the visitors.

Camilo went close on three occasions but no one else did. The likes of Firman Utina and Erol Iba, brought in at great expense to provide experience to Fandi’s youthful charges did little to improve their reputations and you would not blame national team coach Benny Dollo for dropping them from the upcoming trip to Myanmar.

As for Persijap, they aren’t packed with any star names. Instead they are a workman like side lacking anything in the way of quality but dogged and determined and a hard side to beat especially at their Bumi Kartini Stadium


Local Football Association's Failing in PR

I've lost count of the number of regional cup competitions happening either now or in the very near future.

The Merdeka Cup in Malaysia has some pedigree. This year sees the 40th running of this venerable old cup but can you find any info about it? The Malaysian FA website is down meaning people have to get their info from blogs such as Bola Today or the occassional piece in The Star. Recently the Malaysian coach complained about the lack of support at the games but it's hardly surprising given the lack of publicity.

Indonesia also recently held a Merdeka Cup which was attended by crowds counted in the hundreds. An advert in local papers giving misleading information ain't going to have fans salivating at the thought of seeing the likes of Brunei or Cambodia at 10 o'clock at night!

The T&T Cup is starting next week in Vietnam and this one is being publicised but the same cannot be said about the Grand Royal Challenge in Myanmar. Grand by name, it has been easier to find out about the Dear Leader's sex life in Pyongyang than learning what''s happeneing in Yangon.

It's worth remembering that all too often the people at the FA's are appointees not exactly steeped in football. They have no marketing experience because they don't need it. Their glory comes from being associated with the glamour of football and they are rarely made accountable for any decisions they may or may not make. Football to these people is a stepping stome to something else, it's a favour, it's a photo opportunity.

So what we have is endless competitions played out in empty stadiums with little or no promotion. People turn on the TV, say oh look, there's some football on. Where is it? Who's playing? How do I get tickets? And there are no easy answers because no one really gives a shit.

At least this year's AFF Cup is showing some promise. There is a dedicated website for a start. It would be nice to see a professionaly produced magazine made available as well. The recent Asian Cup had one but boy I had a hard time tracking it down and even then only found it outside Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta. You couldn't find it in any stores.

One day perhaps these people will learn there is more to hosting a tournament than just hosting. They need bums on seats, TV needs bums on seats and viewers need bums on seats. And, whisper it, bums on seats are a source of revenue.


Possible Myanmar Schedule

The Grand Royal Challenge Cup kicks off next month in Myanmar but beyond Indonesia and Myanmar competing I had little idea who was taking part. Local media have been reporting the competition will take place from 9-15 November with the Indonesians arriving on 7th.

Now I have found this info from Big Soccer

Group A
Bangladesh, Myanmar and Indonesia
Group B
Vietnam OT, Malaysia U23 and Ulsan Hyundai FC

11/11/08 Myanmar vs Bangladesh
12/11/08 Vietnam OT vs Malaysia U23
13/11/08 Bangladesh vs Indonesia
14/11/08 Malaysia U23 vs Ulsan Hyundai FC
15/11/08 Myanmar vs Indonesia
16/11/08 Ulsan Hyundai FC vs Vietnam OT
18-19/11/08 Semi-finals
21/11/08 Final

Different dates to what the Indonesian media is reporting. We'll find out soon enough maybe.


SLeague Wide Open

Super Reds were surprisingly beaten last night by Albirex Niigata 2-1 at the Jalan Besar in a game that blows the title race wide open.

It wasn't that long ago that the Koreans had a four point lead and all they had to do was win every game to be assured of their first title but there are no easy games in football as they found out last night.

They even had the luxury of taking the lead on 25' through Park Kang Jin but this Albirex side are no push over. Two rapid second half goals by Taisuke Akiyoshi 66' and Ryota Kobayashi 69' mean with four games remaining just one point seperates the top three.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Malaysia Meet Vietnam in Merdeka Final

Friday October 24, 2008
Football: Champs Malaysia set up title showdown against Vietnam
KUALA LUMPUR: Hosts Malaysia thrashed Myanmar 4-0 to storm into their second consecutive final of the Merdeka Tournament at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil last night.
Hot shot Indra Putra Mahayuddin scored a brace €” opening the accounts in the 26th minute and getting another from the penalty spot in the 76th minute €” while Mohd Safee Sali (61st) and Mohd Amirulhadi Zainal (84th) chipped in with a goal each.
Malaysia, who defeated Myanmar 3-1 in last year’s final, will take on Vietnam in tomorrow’s final.
Vietnam had earlier edged Sierra Leone 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out after the game ended 2-2 in regulation and extra time.
Tight Squeeze: Malaysia's Mohd Amirulhadi trying to get past two Mynamar players during the semi-final match on Thursday. - Kamarlu Ariffin/TheStar.
Malaysia, under coach B. Sathia-nathan, are riding high €” marching into the final by wining all four matches, scoring the most number of goals (17) and conceding none.
Last night’s game, watched by a crowd of 10,000, got off to a scrappy start as Myanmar played defensively to frustrate the hosts.
The Malaysian frontline of Safee, Mohd Zaquan Adha Abdul Razak, Amirulhadi and Indra Putra offered little in attack and it was Myanmar who looked dangerous in their counter attacks.
That, however, did not last long as Indra Putra floated in the opening goal with a well-taken freekick past goalkeeper Nyi Nyi Lwin in the 26th minute.
Credit should also be given to the strong Malaysian backline of Norhafiz Zamani Misbah, Irwan Fadli Idrus, Mohd Daudsu Jamaluddin and Mohd Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak for keeping the Myanmar forwards at bay.
Malaysia doubled their lead in the 61st minute when Safee went on a dazzling solo run to beat two defenders before slotting the ball past the hapless Myanmar goalkeeper.
Safee then won a penalty when he was brought down by Aye San in the 76th minute. Indra was spot on to make it 3-0.
Amirulhadi then sealed Myanmar’s fate with the final goal off a goalmouth melee in the 84th minute.


Thais Recall Anon

Sorry but all season I've been calling him Anand! Oh well...mai pen rai.

What ever his name his the BEC Tero striker was initially dropped from the Thai party off to Vietnam for the T&T Cup soon but an injury to Sarayuth Chaikamdee of Osotapa. means he's back.

Oct 28: Thailand v North Korea (4.50pm)
Oct 30: Thailand v Uzbekistan (4.50pm)
Nov 1: Thailand v Vietnam (7pm)


Copa Indonesia Draw

The draw was made yesterday for the 1st Round of this season's Copa Indonesia at a Jakarta hotel. As I mentioned a day or so back 52 teams are entered in this years' competition and the early rounds will be played home and away.

Last season's semi finalists, Sriwijaya, Persipura, Persija and Pelita Jaya receive a round through to what they call the Big 16 which in effect is the 3rd Round.

To minimise travel expenses the 48 teams who must start from scratch have been put into four groups of 12 based regionally. I have grouped the ties in pairs - the winners of the first tie will meet the winner of the second tie if you get my gist.

PSMS v Persiraja
Semen Padang v PSPS

Persih v PSSB

Persib v PSDS
PS Banyuasin v Persires

PSIS v Pro Duta
Persikota v Persitara

Persijap v Persiku
PSIR v Persikab

Persita v Persikabo
Persikad v Persibat

Persela v PSMP
PSS v Persema

Persik v Persekabpas
Persiba Batul v PSIM

Arema v Persibo
PP Sakti v Persis

PKT Bontang v Persiwa
Persebaya v Gresik United

Deltras v Persiram
Persigo v Persidafon

PSM v Mitra Kukar
Persibom v Persiba

Given the regional aspect there is no surprise there are a few tasty derbies. Last year Persitara's game with Persita was marred by violence. This time they get to have a pop at the other side from Tangerang. Spread the violence I say! Persijap and Persiku are central Javan towns with a fe tourist attractions one of which ain't the football. And as for Persebaya against Gresik United?!


Sivaji Interests Victory

A report on Maldives Soccer has Home United coach N Sivaji linked with Maldives side New Radiant. I don't know how much to read into this, for sure at the moment the Singaporean coach is 100% focussed on helping his present club secure the SLeague where they are in a three horse race for the title.


Vietnam to Host International Club Tournament

Those that can do. Those that can't just sit in the shadows whinging and waiting for someone to do something for them.

The Vietnamese city of Bin Duong is to host an international club competition from 28 November to 7 December. four Vietnamese sides will compete alongside New Radiant from Maldives, and sides from Thailand, South Korea and Brazil.

20,000 US to the champions which I believe is more than the winners of the Merdeka Cup in Malaysia will recieve.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Arema Win at Last

Arema v PSMS 4-3 (Fandy Mochtar 24', Arif Suyono 64', 74', Suroso 78'; Zada 3', 38', 88')
Persik v Sriwijaya 2-2 (Saktiawan 61', Gonzalez 79'; Ambrizal 46', Zah Rahan 85') 1,000

Both Arema and Persik came from behind last night to snatch points in what sounds like a couple of cracking games. Must have been better than the yawn fest served up by Persela


Persija v Persela 0-0

Persija coach Danurwindo sprang a surprise going into this crucial away game by dropping Argentinian midfielder Robertinho. It wasn't the last surprise in a pretty uneventful game where Persela played to their strengths. Plenty of pressing in their opponents half and plenty of free kicks. It ain't pretty but they still need to work the keeper with the dead ball and they did that often enough to provide further evidence of their ability in this department.

Indeed Hendro Kartiko was the second busiest person in the first half as free kick after free kick rained on his goal and he punched, kicked and prayed for deliverance. The busiest was the person making a note of the stats.

Top scorer Marcio Souza and Edgar were constant threats from around the penalty area but the visitors somehow held firm.

Greg Nwokolo worked hard up front for Persija but while they played the better football they were unable to create too many opportunities. Their best in fact coming from their very own dead ball specialist Ismed Sofyan.

On 60' Danurwindo removed star striker and leading scorer Bambang Pamungkas, replacing him with Robertinho. A bit early to be playing for a draw me thought - I'm trying to find out the rationale for that decision. With 30 minutes on the clock you go defensive?

Persela had the chances, sorry, free kicks, to win. They didn't and Danurwindo will breathe a sigh of relief having lost the last three games on the road. Lamongan ain't an easy place to get anything, especially under lights that wouldn't have been strong enough for Subbueto games.


Malaysia Looking for Support

Thursday October 23, 2008
Football: Sathia wants fans to show up in full force
PETALING JAYA: Defending champions Malaysia have everything going for them ahead of their Merdeka Tournament semi-final clash against Myanmar at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tonight.
They have the best men, an impressive strike force with the the highest number of goals (14) and a strong backline that has not conceded a goal thus far in the tournament.
The only missing factor for the home side is the lack of support from their home fans in matches.
And coach B. Sathianathan hoped that the fans show up in force for their semi-final match against Myanmar.
“I want to hear it from the Malaysian fans,” said Sathianathan at the pre-match conference at the Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya yesterday.
“It was sad when the national team played against Chelsea recently. There were more fans supporting the English club than the home team.”
A total of less than 5,000 spectators turned up to watch Malaysia in action in three matches in the Merdeka Tournament ” against Nepal (4-0), Sierra Leone (4-0) and Afghanistan (6-0).
Myanmar coach Marcos Falopa is expecting a strong turnout from the Myanmar population based in the Klang Valley. About 2,000 Myanmar fans turned up to watch their team beat Mozambique 3-2 in their last group match on Monday.
“We also had a meet-the-fan session at the Sogo Shopping Complex on Tuesday and the response was very good,” said Falopa.
Myanmar unlike Malaysia will sorely miss the services of their ace striker Yan Paing, who is out on suspension. However, skipper Soe Myat Min, who has played for more than a decade with the national team is confident they would be able to match the Malaysians.
“We have worked hard and with the support of our fans, there is a good chance we can make the final again,” said Myat Min.
Malaysia defeated Myanmar 3-1 in the final last year.
The other semi-final match is between Sierra Leone and Vietnam.
The African side have only 12 outfield players and three goalkeepers and most of them are Under-20 players. To make matters worse, stopper Issa Kamara is out on suspension.
Coach Manuel R. Bliches (who used to coach in Indonesia) from Argentina said that he had no choice but to put one of his reserve goalkeepers on standby to play in an outfield position.
“We are still a handicapped side. But let’s see how the players cope with the situation ... and mind you, our opponents, Vietnam, play well as a unit,” he said.


Penang Will Compete

Thursday October 23, 2008
FA of Penang decide to keep team in Super League
GEORGE TOWN: Penang will continue to feature in the Super League when the new season kicks off in January.

This was the decision taken at the FA of Penang (FAP) second council meeting yesterday and it ended speculations that the cash strapped association would withdraw their team’s participation in the league.

The FAP deputy president, Laurence Loh, who chaired the meeting, said: “’We were urged by the state government to continue with our participation in the league. And with their assurance of support, we will continue to work with them to make Penang a strong team.’’

If Penang had withdrawn their particiaption, they would have been the first State side to drop out of the national league since the HMS Malaya Cup competition was introduced in 1921.

Penang football is now at its lowest ebb with the FA unable to pay players and officials their salaries for more than four months. And their problems resulted in their president, Mohd Fairus Khairuddin, announcing his resignation on Monday.

“We respect and accept his decision to resign and would like to thank him for trying to help us solve our problems despite his tight schedules as Deputy Chief Minister,’’ said Laurence.

“For now, it is for us to hold an EGM (emergency general meeting) to elect a new president and we hope to do it by the end of November.’’

Laurence gave an assurance that they would settle their debts fully, especially the salaries owed to players.
He added that the formation of the team to carry the challenge in the Super League would be done soon and the appointment of the team manager and coach would be the priority.

He also said that they will see through their domestic commitments, among them was to complete their Division 2, Division 3, Under-18 and Under-21 competitions, which were suspended because of financial constraints.


Thais Win Friendly

Reid happy with victory
The Thai national team beat Bangkok Thonburi College 4-0 in a warm-up match at Nong Jok ground yesterday.

Ronnachai Rangsiyo (23), Datsakorn Thonglao (27), Teerasil Dangda (70) and Pipat Tonkanya (100) scored for the national side.

The special match had three periods with the first and second each lasting 40 minutes and the final 30 minutes.

After the match, Thailand coach Peter Reid said that he was pleased with the performance.
"They played according to our plans. Every player played very well and the fitness is okay," he said.

The match was part of Thailand's preparations for the TT&T Cup in Hanoi from October 28-November 1. The four-team tournament features Vietnam, Thailand, North Korea and Uzbekistan.


Busy Day in East Java

Three high risk fixtures today bring the potential for serious disorder as rivals Persik and Arema play in neutral venues near Surabaya with whom there is no love lost either. Add Persija into the mix at Lamongan and it could be one busy day.

Persija play at Persela tonight in a game being shown live on TV. With it being midweek there is little chance of a large following from Jakarta for this game and indeed nothing has been organised.

Meanwhile Persik take on Sriwijaya at Gresik's Petrokimia Stadium just north of Surabaya. Just to the south we have Arema hosting PSMS at Deltra's Stadium in Sidoarjo.

With both Gresik and Sidoarjo overspill towns for Surabaya the infamous 'bonek' from Indonesia's second largest city are spoilt for choice. Their rivalry with Arema is legendary while Arema and Persik's fans are none too close either.

I understand Arema's officials have requested their fans don't travel to their fixture today for fear of trouble.

Today it may be a good idea to avoid the trains in and around Surabaya!


Persib Unbeaten in 6, Arema Winless in 6

Last nights win against Deltras was Persib's sixth unbeaten game on the run and perhaps showed the importance with sticking with the coach. After their first four games had produced three defeats Persib stuck with new coach Joyo Hartono when other clubs in similar predicaments might have reached for the axe.

Since defeat in Palembang against champions Sriwijaya Persib have played six games winning four and drawing two.

PSMS vs Persib 1 - 1
Persib vs PSIS 3 - 1
Persib vs Pelita Jaya 1 - 0
PKT vs Persib 1 - 2
Persiba vs Persib 0 - 0
Deltras vs Persib 0-2

Persib have their next three games at home, though I believe home may be Jalak Harupat Stadium in Soreang, against Persijap, Arema and Persita and certainly they should be looking at extending that impressive run.

Talking Arema, they have the opposite problem. Since surprisingly being beaten 2-1 at home by PKT Bontang they have lost five and drawn one in a meagre run which has seen five consecutive games on the road. Defeats have come at Persija, Persipura, Persiwa and Persik while their solitary point came in a 2-2 draw at Persela.

This run has coincided with the suspension of striker Emile Mbamba, banned for five years after the PKT game.

Today they play PSMS at home. Well, home is the Deltras Stadium in Sidoarjo. Then they have two more tough fixtures against Sriwijaya at home and Persib away.

Contrasting fortunes indeed for two of Indonesia's glamour clubs.


National Stadium for Singapore?

The Singapore FA are considering using the National Stadium should they reach the semis and final of the upcoming AFF Cup. The Stadium originally had it's farewell party last year in a friendly against Australia but has subsequently hosted a few games including a prestige friendly against the Brazilian Olympic squad.

Plans had been in place to expand Bishan Stadium but with the National Stadium still awaiting the bulldozers there is a chance the old girl maybe dusted off one more time.

Much depends on talks between the FA and the people who own the Stadium, the Singapore Sports Council.


SAF Back in the Goals

Just when coach Richard Bok was demanding more his Warriors came up with the goods. Balestier Khalsa away may have looked easy on paper but football rarely gets played on such a fragile surface and 5-1 at such a crucial stage of the season sends a clear signal. SAF want a third consecutive title.

Thai Therdsak gave the visitors the lead after 10' before a Alex Duric penalty made it 2-0 at half time. Within a couple of minutes of the restart it was game over as Norikazu Murakami made it 3-0. Late goals by Therdsak and Duric either side of a consolation by Poh Yi Feng boosted SAF's goal difference.

SAF now lead the SLeague a point ahead of Home United and Super Reds who have a game in hand tomorrow against Albirex Niigata which should be intriguing.


Copa Indonesia

The Copa Indonesia starts early next month with Arema travelling to Sriwijaya on 5 November. The competition proper kicks off 24 hours later though the draw is yet to be finalised.

18 ISL clubs will be joined by 27 IPL and 7 1st Division sides. Persisam and Perseman from the IPL are suspended from this season's tournament for failing to fulfil fixtures last year.

This is the 4th season of the Copa. The first two were won by Arema while Sriwijaya won loast season's trophy


Thanks for the 3 Points

Joyo Hartono took his new charges Persib to Sidoarjo and left with three points further consigning his old club Deltras to the nether regions of the ISL. Another Deltras old boy Hilton gave the visitors the lead while Airlangga made it 2-0 on 84'.

In the Central Java derby Persijap defeated rivals PSIS 1-0. Evaldo Silva de Assis scored the only goal on 55'.

In the Soreang derby Persita, who were at home even though they were miles from home, beat Pelita Jaya, who were also at home but away at the same time if you get my drift, 2-1 in their first game after coach Agus Suparman left. In front of a less than bumper derby crowd of 723, Persita took the lead on 55' through Christian Bekatal. Firman Utina netted his second in two games to level for Pelita Jaya but Cucu Hidayat netted on 85'.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


AFF Cup Qualifications

Philippines v East Timor 1-0
Cambodia v Laos 3-2

East Timor v Cambodia 2-2
Brunei v Philippines 1-1

Philipines v Laos 1-2


Chimp Chokers Aid Sarawak

Published: Tuesday October 21, 2008 MYT 4:08:00 PM
Football: Sarawak trio to train with Hartlepool
KUCHING: Three Sarawak footballers have been selected to attend a two-month training stint with English League One side Hartlepool United.
Joseph Kalang Tie, 21, Mohd Shahrol Saperi, 24, and Zamri Morshidi, 25, will leave on Oct 28 for the November-December stint.
Social Development and Urbanisation Minister Datuk William Mawan said the three were core players in Sarawak’s Super League squad last season.
“They were selected to undergo this (training) programme with the hope and intent that they will improve technically and mentally,” he told a press conference here on Tuesday.
He said the stint was the first step towards a meaningful collaboration between the Sarawak team and Hartlepool in areas such as youth and football development programmes.
“Hartlepool United can provide Sarawak with ideas and information on how to structure our youth development programme more efficiently,” he said.
Kalang said he wanted to learn as much as possible during his time with Hartlepool. “I’m excited about the trip and I hope to improve my skills,” he added.


Penang are Skint

Published: Tuesday October 21, 2008 MYT 4:23:00 PM
Football: Penang withdrawal would be a ‘disaster’
GEORGE TOWN: Penang’s former players, coaches and supporters all agree that it would be a disaster if the state football team was withdrawn from the Malaysian Super League competition next season.
Penang football is at its lowest ebb, with the Football Association of Penang (FAP) facing a crippling financial crisis, unable to pay the players’ salaries for more than four months.
The FAP council, rocked by their president Mohd Fairus Khairuddin’s resignation on Monday, will meet Tuesday night to decide on the state’s participation in national competitions next year.
Club sides like Selangor Public Bank, MK Land and Nibong Tebal FA have withdrawn due to financial difficulties in the past.
But if Penang withdraw, it will be the first time that a state team has dropped out of the national league due to financial constraints since the HMS Malaya Cup began in 1921.
Former Penang and national player Isa Bakar symphatises with FAP’s predicament, but strongly feels that a pullout would harm the development of football in the state.
“The Penang FA are caught in a difficult situation. They have an obligation to put up a state team, but do not have the funds to do so,” the football legend said.
“Even during my playing days in the 1970s, the team officials had to look hard for the money to fund the team. The current FAP officials need to work out ways to solve the problem.
“One way to keep the Penang team afloat would be for the FAP to negotiate with the players to take a pay cut. The players need to make a concession for the sake of Penang football for this idea to work,” said Isa.
Former Penang player and coach Datuk M. Kuppan, who coached the Panthers to their last Malaysia Cup victory in 1974, urged FAP to find a new president with true passion for the state’s football affairs.
“If Penang pulls out, the whole image of the state will be badly affected. The Penang football fraternity will be demoralised and it will take years to recover from the setback.
“It is important that the FAP regroup and find someone with a strong passion and with the means to bring in funds, as their new president.
“Penang has plenty of corporate figures, and I am confident that at least a few of them have followed the state team’s fortunes over the years,” said Kuppan.
Long serving state coach Moey Yoke Ham said it would be sad if Penang, with a rich winning tradition in the past, were to withdraw.
“I have faith in the FAP council to find a way to avert the withdrawal. The main issue now is a lack of funds. The public, especially the Penang supporters, can step up to contribute and save the day.
“I believe Penang can compete next year by working on a reduced budget,” he said.
For Penang Football Supporters Club (PFSC) members, the thought of the team not playing in the M-League is frightening.
PFSC president Tamsir Rizal Ali Akbar said that the club is strongly against a withdrawal.
“I hope the FAP council can find ways to keep the state team in the Super League competition. It is unthinkable for us supporters if our beloved Penang team is missing from the Super League.”
In the 2007-08 season, Penang finished 12th out of the 13 teams in the Super League and failed to reach the quarter-finals in the Malaysia Cup competition.


T&T Cup Schedule

28.10 - North Korea v Thailand
28.10 - Vietnam v Uzbekistan
30.10 - Thailand v Uzbekistan
30.10 - Vietnam v North Korea
01.11 - North Korea v Uzbekistan
01.11 - Vietnam v Thailand

This four nation tournament takes place in Vietnam at the end of this month and this schedule comes from the Thai Football message board


Indonesia Head for Myanmar

Indonesia will be competing in the upcoming Grand Royal Challenge Cup in Myanmar from 9-15 November. The party of 15 players and 8 officials (!) leave on 7th and will not feature players from either Persib or PSM who will still have outstanding ISL games.

I understand Indonesia also hope to arrange a minimum of two more friendlies before the AFF Cup in December.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Indra Downs Lions

Young Lions v Home United 0-1 (Indra)

1. Home United 29 21 3 5 65-27 66
2. Super Reds 28 21 3 4 60-26 66
3. SAF 28 20 4 4 71-30 64


Big Wins for Sriwijaya and Persija

Persija v PKT 5-0 (Nwokolo 3, Bambang, Aliyudin)
Sriwijaya v Persita 6-0
Pelita Jaya v PSM 1-1
Persipura v Arema 2-1
Persiwa v Persik 1-0
PSIS v Deltras 1-0

1 - Persipura 16 11 3 2 36
2 - Persiwa 16 11 2 3 35
3 - Sriwijaya 14 9 2 3 29
4 - Persija 14 9 1 4 28

Friday, October 17, 2008


Darby Goes to Bangkok

I understand Steve Darby has been appointed coach to the Thai National side. The Englishman has loads of experience coaching in South East Asia, most recently with Perak in the Malaysian Super League. He will assist fellow scouser Peter Reid as the Thais look to the AFF Cup in December.


AFC Under 16s

Tomorrow sees the Final between Iran and South Korea with South East Asian hopes long extinguished.

Group A

Singapore v Uzbekistan 0-7
Singapore v Bahrain 0-3
Singapore v Iran 1-4

Group B

Indonesia v Syria 1-2
Indonesia v South Korea 0-9
Indonesia v India 0-1

Group D

Malaysia v Japan 0-4
Malaysia v Yeman 1-1
Malaysia v UAE 2-3

Having witnessed the AFF Under 16s in Jakarta in July I can't say I'm surprised to see the Malaysians performed the best out of the countries from our region. They pushed the Japanese, got the only point against Yemen and made UAE sweat with two late goals in four minutes by substitue Idris. One hopes this group of players gets plenty more experience of playing in competitions like this and that one or two become household names later down the line.


Some ISL Stats

Highest scorers - Persipura 32 goals from 15 games
Lowest scorers - PSIS 7/14
Best defence - Persipura 9/15
Worst defence - PKT 28/15
Most goals per game - PKT 46/15
Most wins - Perspiura & Persiwa 10/15
Most draws - PSMS 8/13
Most defeats - Deltras 9/13

Top scorers
12 - Souza (Persela)
11 - Gonzalez (Persik)
9 - Bambang (Persija), Boaz (Perspiura),Lopes (Pelita Jaya), Bastos (Persb)


Thailand's Preliminary Squad

Peter Reid will use this squad to examine his options in a Hanoi based tournament before ringing the changes in December for the AFF Cup

Goalkeepers:Kosin Hathairattanakool (Chonburi), Amarin Yaodum (Provincial Electricity Authority), Narit Taweekul (Thailand Tobacco Monopoly), Prasit Kotmaha (Coke-Bangpra)

Defenders:Suree Sukha (Manchester City - England), Natthapong Samana (Chonburi), Nataporn Phanrit (Chonburi), Pattipan Petchpool (Provincial Electricity Authority), Niweat Siriwong (BEC Tero Sasana), Panupong Wongsa (Provincial Electricity Authority), Apichate Puttan (Provincial Electricity Authority), Chollatid Jantakam (Chonburi), Supachai Pupha (Krung Thai Bank), Prasit Taodee (Chula United) and Panuwat Failai (Customs Department).

Midfielders:Nirut Surasiang (Hoang Anh Gia Lai - Vietnam), Datsakorn Thonglao (Hoang Anh Gia Lai - Vietnam), Tana Chanaboot (Chonburi), Suchao Nutnum (Telephone Organisation of Thailand), Phichitpong Chieuchiew (Krung Thai Bank), Surat Sukha (Chonburi), Arthit Sunthornpit (Chonburi), Krissadee Prakobkong (Royal Thai Police), Jakkraphan Kaewprom (BEC Tero Sasana), Sutee Suksomkit (Tampines Rovers - Singapore), Piyachart Tamaphan (Chula United), Narongchai Vachiraban (Provincial Electricity Authority), Salaudin Arware (Muang Thong-Nong Jok United), Adisak Kanu (Chula United).

Forwards:Ronnachai Rangsiyo (Provincial Electricity Authority), Teerasil Dangda (Manchester City), Teerathep Winothai (BEC Tero Sasana), Anon Sangsanoi (BEC Tero Sasana), Issarapong Lilakorn (Khon Kaen), Sarayoot Chaikumdee (Osotspa M-150), Pipat Thonkanya (Provincial Electricity Authority).


Merdeka Cup

With the showcase Merdeka Cup ongoing in Malaysia perhaps now is not the best time for the FA website to be down. But then the Malaysian FA moves in very mysterious ways.

Malaysia v Nepal 4-0 (Indraputra Mahayuddin, Mohd Safee 2, Mohd Khyril Muhymeen Zambry )
Vietnam v Myanmar 3-1 (Phan Thanh Binh , Hoang Dinh Tung ,Nguyen Duc Thien ; Zaw Htet Aung )
Mozambique v Bangladesh
Nepal v Afghanistan 2-2
Malaysia v Sierra Leone 4-0
Vietnam v Mozambique 4-0
Scorers: Phan Thanh Binh (51st), Huang Dinh Tung (59th, 76th), Trinh Quang Vinh (68th)Teams: Vietnam: Bui Tan Truong (GK), Chu Ngoc Anh, Nguyon Thanh Long Giang, Nguyen Tang Tuan (Trinh Quang Vinh) , Hoang Nhat Nam, Hoang Dinh Tung, Houng Danh Ngoc, Le Van Duyet, Mai Xuan Hop (C), Nguyen Cong Huy, Phan Thanh Binh (Huynh Phuc Hiep).Mozambique: Marcelino Cumbane (GK) (Sozinho Tafula), Mouricio Pequenino, IIisio Magair (Fabio Sambo), Inocencio Chivindze, Enio Saize, Francisco Jange, Manuel Fernandes (C) (Ibrahimo Pilale), Antionio Timane, Hermenegildo Mutambe, Jeronimo Manhique, Hilario Madeira.
Myanmar v Bangladesh 1-0 (Soe Myantmin )
Sierra Leone v Afghansitan 6-1
Myanmar v Mozambique 3-2
Malaysia v Afghanistan 6-0

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Papuan Giants Win

Persipura remain top of the ISL after beating Persik 5-0 in Jayapura yesterday just days after beating another potential title rival Persija 6-0. Boaz scored twice while elder bro Ortisan also got on the score sheet. Ernest Jeremiah and Ian Luis Kabes got the others. And they were without Brazilian striker Alberto Goncalves! All a far cry for their new coach Jacksen Tiago and his short stay at Persitara where goals were hard to come by.

In the other game Persiwa beat Arema 1-0 with Peter Romaropen getting the only goal.

Given a Papua one two, and they meet each other next week, I wonder what provisions the FA have made should either of these sides qualify for the Asian Champions League. Of course they could forget to send in their application. Worked before.

But given it's a six and a half hour flight from Jakarta out to Jayapura would sides from Japan or Korea or wherever really be expected to traipse all the way over there? Or will a neutral venue be considered?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Injury Time Pen Saves PSMS

PSMS v Persita 2-2 (Bastos, Zada; Bekatal, Sukur) 126

Zada's 92' minute penalty spared Medan's blushes and deprived Persita of their first away win of the season in this fixture last night played in Semarang.

Two back to back draws for Persita while only four teams have less defeats than PSMS in the whole league and three of them are in the top three!

14. PSMS 13 1 8 4 12-16 11
15. PSIS 13 2 4 7 7-23 10
16. Deltras 14 2 3 9 9-22 9
17. Persitara 13 1 4 8 11-24 7
18. Persita 11 1 3 7 9-21 6


Reid Looks to the Future

Reid banks on youth to lift Thailand

After the Thailand Premier League ended on Saturday, national coach Peter Reid announced his 36-man squad for the TT&T Cup (formerly Agribank Cup) in Hanoi from October 28-November 1 and the AFF Suzuki Cup (formerly Tiger Cup) from December 6-28 to be held in Thailand and Indonesia.
Peter Reid
Not surprisingly, the English coach picked seven players each from the newly-crowned Thai league champions Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) and runners-up Chonburi FC.
Overseas-based players who are among Thailand's best players are also included in the team. They are Datsakorn Thonglao and Nirut Surasiang of Vietnam's Hong Anh Gia Lai and Sutee Suksomkit of Singapore's Tampines Rovers.
There are several newcomers including Coke-Bangpra goalkeeper Prasit Kotmaha, defender Panuwat Failai of the relegated Customs, Chula United midfielder Adisak Kanu, midfielder Salaudin Arware of promoted Muang Thong-Nong Jok United and Issarapong Leelakorn of First Division side Khon Kaen.
A number of players who played under previous national coach Chanvit Phalajivin were left out of the squad including Jetsada Jitsawad, Prat Samakrat and Jakkrit Bunkham, while Manchester City's Kiatprawut Saiwaew is recovering from an injury.
Kiatprawut's team-mates at City, Suree Sukha and Teerasil Dangda (all of whose future at the English club is unclear) are in Reid's squad.
It seems that Reid wants to build a team in his style and give young players a chance.
He said he selected the players based on their performances in the Thailand Premier League and the First Division. He had talks with his assistants before making a decision.
"Some players like Salaudin and Issarapong performed very well in the league. This is why I called them to the national team," Reid said.
"I also considered players from their age because I want some young players to join the team for a long term preparation."
The 52-year-old coach is especially pleased with BEC striker Anon and midfielders Narongchai Vachiraban and Surat Sukha.
"I think Anon will be the main player for the national team in a forward position," Reid said.
He said Anon may team up with Teerathep Winothai, Ronnachai Rangsiyo or Teerasil and that he will make a decision after watching them in training.
While the players' technique is acceptable, Reid is not happy with their fitness and stamina.
"They can run for only 50 minutes. They lack fitness and stamina," he said.
"The game of football is played over 90 minutes and not 50 minutes. The first thing I want to do during the training is improve their fitness. We have only 10 days before we leave for Vietnam so we have to train hard to boost their fitness."
All but four players reported to the National Training Camp yesterday with the absentees being Narongchai, Nirut, Sutee and Natthapong Samana.
Reid said he did not expect much from the TT&T Cup which comprises Vietnam, Thailand, Uzbekistan and North Korea.
"We know that every team wants to win the tournament but our players have just finished the Thailand Premier League and their fitness is not 100% ," he said.
"We do not expect much from the tournament. Teams like North Korea and Uzbekistan are much better than Thailand."
While Reid does not aim to win the tournament, at least Thailand must play well or the Englishman could soon find himself in hot water.


Vietnam v Singapore

Lions shade Hanoi stalemate
HANOI, 12 October 2008: Singapore and Vietnam played to a 0-0 draw in an international friendly at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi this evening.
On a wet night, the Lions shaded the contest with the Vietnamese keeper arguably the busier of the two custodians.
Skipper Indra Sahdan almost put the visitors ahead on the half hour mark when his flick towards goal was cleared off the line.
Fahrudin Mustafic started the match having arrived in Hanoi the day before and he almost made his mark after 38 minutes when his pile-driver was deflected just wide after good build-up play from the Lions.
The returning Agu Casmir should have put Singapore ahead just after the break on 50 minutes when substitute Muhamad Ridhuan's superb centre found the Gombak striker right in front of goal but his stiff effort was brilliantly tipped over the bar by the Vietnam keeper.
Noh Alam Shah almost marked his own return to the National Team with a goal but his two efforts - one a header and the other a speculative volley - were comfortably dealt with by the Vietnam keeper.
Coach Radojko Avramovic was well pleased with the efforts put in by his charges against a good opponent who "moved the ball very well and was not easy to play against".
"It was a good game and I'm happy with what we showed. We passed the ball better than before and generally we tried very hard. However, we can of course do better and we missed several good chances as well.
"The defence was stable throughout the game and restricted Vietnam to taking shots from outside the box."
Despite failing to get on the scoresheet, Raddy was satisfied with the outing by his forwards.
"All of them have done ok even though I always expect more from them. It was a first game in a long while for Agu and Alam Shah and they have shown me that they have the will and desire to play which is important to me.
"In the long run, with the competition we have up front, the quality will be there as they know they have to be better than each other to play."
Singapore: Lionel Lewis (gk), Ismail Yunos, Baihakki Khaizan, Daniel Bennett, Juma'at Jantan, Shahril Ishak (Ridhuan Muhammad 46'), Fahrudin Mustafic, (Noh Rahman 82') Shi Jia Yi (Isa Halim 75'), Khairul Amri (Fazrul Nawaz 70'), Agu Casmir (Aleksandar Duric 65'), Indra Sahdan (captain) (Noh Alam Shah 65')

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


More ISL Results

Sriwijaya v Persijap 2-0 (Ngon, Nasuha) 20,000
Persela v PKT 5-0 (Marcio Souza 3, Epalla, Rifka Putra) 10,000
Pelita Jaya v Deltras 2-1 (Lopes 2; Kunarko) 735
PSIS v PSM 1-0 (Onambele)

Table here


Ponaryo From the Halfway Line

David Beckham and that twat who used to play for Spurs are famous for scoring from the half way line in high profile games. Anders Limpar once managed it for Arsenal against Liverpool at Highbury but that was in the pre Premier League days and for many numpties doesn't count.

In fact it is the way of the world here to be as condescending as possible about local football whatever it may throw up. And last night it threw up a Ponaryo free kick from about 50 yards which had the Persiba keeper back pedalling to little avail.

The opportunism and bravado was enough to drag Persija back into a game they were losing against 10 men and probably offered coach Danurwindo a stay of execution from an axe that was being sharpened.

Musyafry had given the visitors a shock lead on 17' minutes, his seventh of the season, as a disjoined Persija shorn of defensive rock Pierre Njanka struggled at the back. Going forward Persija also offered little and despite hitting the post on a few occassions and forcing keeper Made Wirawan into some good saves they struggled to find any fluency.

Aris Nanto saw red just after the break but for 10 minutes or so it was difficult to believe the visitor's were down to 10 men.

Ponaryo's audacity spurred Persija androared on by a raucous but small crowd of just under 8,000 they laid siege to the Persiba goal, Aliyudin finally making it 2-1 on 76'.

It was a vital three points after three straight defeats but no o ne was convinced. Without Njanka at the back they looked jittery and even Abanda, normally so unflustered, looked ill at ease and uncomfortable.

Next up is PKT at home next Sunday and Danurwindo will be looking for some improvement. Whether it will be with Njanka remains to be seen.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Some Persija Stuff

Last week was none too pleasant for the side from Jakarta. A few days in Papua saw them lose two games, conceding eight goals in the process. Their bank manager will be none too happy either. The 6.5 hour flight east cost about $500 each! 6.5 hours?

Persipura and Persiwa maybe among the strongest sides in the ISL but should either of them win the thing will they be allowed to play their home games at home? I guess not.

In other news Persija are looking at setting up their own club website as well as a club boutique in and around posh Semanggi.


Persita v Deltras

This clash of the cellar dwellers stayed pretty dormant for 89 minutes before explosing into life right at the death.

What football there was came from the visiting Deltras with Roberto dangerous in the air and Begottoni showing flashes of skill. Indeed Bergottoni was at the heart of the best move of the game when he intelligently released someone wide. The Brazilian found space in the penalty box and when the ball was pulled back his side footed effort brought a great save from Wawan in the Persita goal.

It was another flowing Deltras move that gave them the lead on 89'. A low cross from the left was much admired by the static Bruno Casmir. So impressed was the defender he allowed Sergei Yunior a free header and it was 1-0.

Seconds later down the other end and Deltras give away a free kick right on the 18 yard line. After some pinball in the goal mouth where the visitors were given chances to clear the bloody thing but couldn't Ervin took advantage and made it 1-1.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Geylang Release Coach

With just a handful of games left in the SLeague Geylang have released their coach Jozef Herel . OK you're hired to be fired but ...Why? What's the point? Why not wait to the end of the season. Still, the Slovakian coach should consider himself lucky. Here in Indonesia when they want to dump their coach they just beat the crap out of him.


Persik Triumph

In the East Javan derby Persik defeated Arema 2-1 at neutral Sidoarjo. Life without their star imports may soon become a reality but Persik showed they can still score. Khusnul Yuli opened the scoring for the 'hosts' on 38' before Serge equalised on 68'. Substitute Susanto made sure of three points for Persik and saw them climb to 3rd spot in the ISL.


Sparkies are the Champions

After beating Bang Phra 4-1 PEA were crowned TPL Champions for the first time in thier history. More to follow...

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Malaysia Win Big

In a friendly last night Malaysia beat Pakistan 4-1 at a stadium somewhere in Malaysia. Safee Sali gave them the lead on 32 then three second half goals made it four. Pakistan pulled a goal back five minutes from time. 4-1 to Malaysia but the coach still ain't happy!

Friday, October 10, 2008


Aremania Not Welcome

One of Indonesia's powder keg fixtures has been moved to neutral Sidoarjo after officials in Kediri said thanks but no thanks.

Relations have been sour between Arema Malang and Persik for some time now, boring political shit, and matters worsened back in January during the Liga Play Offs when visiting Arema fans rioted at Brawijaya Stadium during their clash with Persiwa.

Arema are expecting somewhere in the region of 10,000 fans to travel and are liasing with local Deltras fans to minimise disturbances.


Thai Friendly Announced

Thailand are to play Saudi Arabia in Riyadh in November as part of their preparations for the December AFF Cup.

The Thais and Saudis haven't been best friends for ages. Not since some cleaner half inched some royal jewels from some palace. The jewels may or may not have found their way to Bangkok where they may or may not have been seen on some policeman's wife and some people may or may not have been killed to cover up what may or may not have happened.

Any old hows with new coach Peter Reid going on record recently about the players low stamina levels is the long haul to Riyadh going to improve that? Certainly the quality of opposition will help but as Indonesia showed during last season's Asian Cup the Saudis can be got at but they need to be killed off. Because they don't have stamina issues.

Sounds a great idea for a movie...


Good News For The Warriors

Balestier-SAFFC match rescheduled to 21 October

SINGAPORE, 10 October 2008: Defending champions SAFFC’s crucial trip to Toa Payoh next week in an NTUC Income – YEO’S S.League match has been rescheduled to Tuesday 21 October due to our National Team’s friendly against Vietnam in Hanoi on Tuesday 14 October. .

SAFFC are currently two points behind league leaders Super Reds with five games remaining and face arguably the toughest title run-in. The Warriors have games against both title protagonists Super Reds and Home United as well as fifth-placed Gombak United in their final three matches.

NTUC Income – YEO’S S.League 2008
Original Date: Thursday 16 October 2008
New Date: TUESDAY 21 OCTOBER 2008
Venue: Toa Payoh Stadium

Coach Richard Bok will be happy with this. I was talking to him the other day and this was a reall gripe with him as he felt his players weren't being given enough time to rest up after they returned from Hanoi


Ref Lamping Time

Fun and games at Jatidiri Stadium yesterday during the 1-1 draw between PSIS and PSMS. The visitors, fresh from defeating Pelita Jaya last time out, were awarded a penalty. The PSIS manager took umbrage at this and charged onto the pitch, clumping the match official with a right hook.

PSMS scored. The ref was changed and the home team equalise, with a spot kick, right at the end.

I didn't see the game though a picture of the ref trying to avoid the incoming does appear on the front page of one of the better local papers. Which is good for Indonesian football.

My Semarang contacts tell me all sorts of wonderful stuff which I shall refrain from posting.

One wonders whether the offender faces any legal action for this.

Indonesia follows the European model of having a coach and a team manager. The manager the decisions while the coach takes the blame as far as I can make out. Which is fair. If you're a manager.


Merdeka Cup

Thursday October 9, 2008
Sathia sees the bright side of Merdeka tourney
PETALING JAYA: Hosts Malaysia have been placed in Group A with Sierra Leone, Nepal and Afghanistan for the 40th Merdeka Tournament, which will be held at the MBPJ Stadium in Kelana Jaya from Oct 15-25.
Mozambique, ranked 102nd on the FIFA list, will be the top draw card in Group B with Myanmar, Bangladesh and Vietnam. The Group B matches will be held at the Shah Alam Stadium.
FA of Malaysia (FAM) general secretary Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad said they were unable to get some of the higher ranked teams from the Asean region, like Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia, due to their ongoing domestic competitions.
“The Merdeka Tournament was postponed from its original date in August due to the Beijing Olympics. The fasting month followed and we had no choice but to hold it this month,” said Azzuddin after announcing the teams and the groupings at the Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya yesterday.
He assured that all the invited teams would send their national teams and confirmed that Afghanistan would include several of their German-based players for the tournament.
National coach B. Sathianathan was not bothered with the lower quality fare offered in this year’s tournament, saying he would use it to their best advantage.
“You can forget about teams like Japan or South Korea coming here nor can we be playing English Premier League giants Manchester United or Chelsea every time,” said Sathianathan.
He said that his main task for the year was to prepare the national team for the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup in December.
“I do not have much information on the teams but there will be no let-up from our side. I want to see full commitment from my players and I want them to fight for their places,” he said.
Sathianathan has 30 players in camp and would put the team to a final test match against Pakistan at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tomorrow (6.30pm).
The Merdeka Tournament winners will receive US$10,000 and the runners-up US$5,000.
Tickets are priced at RM10 for the preliminary rounds and RM20 for the knock-out stages.
Tickets will be sold on match days at the respective venues from 4pm. There will be two matches played daily at 6.30pm and 8.45pm.
Last year, Malaysia emerged champions after beating Myanmar 3-1 in the final.

It's like pulling teeth trying to get info from Malaysia. Taken from the Star


The Persik Break Up

Rumours continue to circulate regarding the future of Persik Kediri's three foreign imports. Striker Christain Gonzalez, the leading scorer in Indonesia for the last three seasons, is being linked with Persib Bandung as well as ambitious IPL side Persisam Samarinda.

Meanwhile his two team mates Danilo Fernando and Ronald Fagundez are also said to interest Persisam.

It's still not clear of these three quality players will be leaving Persik but unless the club find some mega bucks before the transfer window they may well do so.


Tampines Thump Dalian

Tampines Rovers v Dalian Shide 5-1 (Aliff Shafaein 5', Santi Chaiyaphuak 38', Khairul Amri 54', Fathi Yunus 69'(p), Ridhuan Muhammad 70'; Bi Jinhao 48'(p)) 2,339
Geylang United v Young Lions 1-1 (Rivaldo Costa; Zulfadli Zainal Abidin ) 1,830
Albirex Niigata v Gombak United 1-3 (Ojimi Gabriel Obatola 11', Agu Casmir 25', Kingsley Njoku 30'; Akira Takase 72') 1,445


Persija Hit for 6

Persipura v Persija 6-0 (Boaz 3, Goncalves 2, Ivakdalam) 18,500
PKT v Persitara 3-2 (Seton, Susanto, Huda; Tarkpor, Bossoken) 2,000
Persiba v Persib 0-0 5,000
Pelita Jaya v Sriwijaya 2-1 (Lopes, Widodo; Zah Rahan) 710
Persijap v PSM 3-1 (De Sousa 2, De Assis; Pronetto) 13,880
PSIS v PSMS 1-1 (Gaston; Zada) 3,219
Persiwa v Persela 2-0 (Satar, Romaropen) 13,000

A right royal thumping for Persija in Jayapura, the Jakarta side were two down in six minutes and four down at half time. Pelita Jaya though will be breathing a little easier after their first win in six games against double champions Sriwijaya.

1. Persipura 14 9 3 2 27-9 30
2. Persiwa 14 9 2 3 25-14 29
3. Sriwijaya 12 7 2 3 24-17 23
4. Persela 14 7 2 5 17-16 23

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


ISL Facts n Stats

Persita v PSM 1-2 (Wirhadi; Baretto 2) 735
Persipura v Persela 2-0 (Goncalves, Jeremiah) 18,000
Persiwa v Persija 2-1 (Benoit, Foday Boakay; Aliyudin) 12,000
Persiba v Persitara 1-0 (Musafry) 4,000
Persijap v Deltras 2-1 (Nurjipal, Benetiz; Aguero) 12,500
Pelita Jaya v PSMS 1-2 (Lopes; Affandi) 2,153
PSIS v Sriwijaya 1-2 (Saloman; Ngon, Zah Rahan) 4,798
PKT v Persib 1-2 (Tarik El Janaby; Airlangga, Bastos) 3,000

1. Persipura 13 8 3 2 21-9 27
2. Persiwa 13 8 2 3 23-14 26
3. Sriwijaya 11 7 2 2 23-15 23
4. Persela 13 7 2 4 17-14 23

11 - Gonzalez (Persik)
9 - Bambang (Persija), Marcio Souza (Persela), Rafael Bastos (Persib)

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