Tuesday, December 30, 2008


A striking lack of goals

With just four goals each Agu Casmir, Budi Sudarsono and Teerasil Dangda shared the top scorer award in the recent AFF Cup highlighting the lack of quality strikers in the region.

In fact Budi and Agu only scored against whipping boys Cambodia and Myanmar in their first two games. Once the competition hardened they failed to hit the net.

And Thailand's great hope, Teerathep Winothai, maybe lined up for Belgium in the new year but he hit the net just once in the competition while the TPL's leading scorer last season Anon Sangsanoi scored twice in ten minutes against Laos.

Against Indonesia in the group stage the Lions managed to score twice but both came from deadball situations while in the semi finals, with Aleksander Duric missing through injury, the only time they breached the Vietnam rearguard was through an own goal and that was disallowed.

The Thais managed an early goal against Indonesia in Jakarta when Teerasil was given heaps of space while in the second leg they scored twice in the last 20 minutes when the Indonesians were visably wilting.

After scoring seven against the likes of Myanmar and Cambodia the Indonesians went three games and only managed one goal...and that an own goal from a corner. With Bambang barely fit and Budi well schackled there is little goal threat from the rest of the team unless Firman Utina is able to get up in support.

Even the winning goal in the final from the highly thought of Le Cong Vinh came from a free kick.

Last season's domestic top scorers:

TPL - Anon (Thai)
SLeague - Aleksander Duric (Naturalised foreigner)
ISL - Christian Gonzales
MSL - Marlon Alex James

Ironically perhaps the most prolific scorers were the Malaysians. Indra Putra Mahayuddin scored three times in their three group games while Safee Salee hit two.

Singapore were badly hit by injuries both before and during the competition. Before they lost Khairul Amri while Duric was injured in the first game. Add Noh Alam Shah who missed pretty much most of 2008 and they were always going to struggle to score with a heavy reliance on Agu Casmir.

Perhaps the Thais have the most to feel pleased about. There's only one thing worse than missing chances and that's not creating them but they had no problems in that department. They have a young side and players like Ronnachai, Teerasil, Anon and Teeratheo can only get better in the future.

With Asian Cup qualifiers on the near horizon you can be sure coaches like Raddy, Reidy and Benny will be working on their player's finishing.

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