Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Thailand Top Scorers

I'm afraid I dropped a bollock last time I listed the leading scorers in the TPL. In my defence I would point out that my source hadn't been updated!

17 - Anand (BEC Tero)
13 - Ratchai (PEA)
10 - Kone Kasim (KTB), Teerathep (BEC Tero), Sarayuth (Osotspa)


Super Reds March On

Last night at Bishan Stadium Super Reds defeated Home United 3-0 to move five points clear at the top of the SLeague. A goal in each half from Park Mun Ki plus an effort from Choi Dong Soo put the memories of thoe dropped points at home to Gombak behind them.

1. Super Reds 28 21 3 4 60-26 66
2. SAF 27 19 4 4 69-29 61
3. Home United 27 19 3 5 61-26 60

With SLeague teams playing 33 games in the season has last night's game finally pushed Home United out of the title race? They play Geylang this Friday knowing that three points are vital.

Likewise SAF host Woodlands knowing they have to win to remain in contention.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


More Malaysian Woes

Sunday September 28, 2008
Football: Axe to fall on five
PETALING JAYA: At least five players will be axed following the national football team’s dismal outing in the playing tour of Slovakia recently.
Malaysia lost three matches and drew one in the tour.
National material: Kedah striker Mohd Khyril Muhymeen (right) has been picked by national coach B. Sathianathan for his Merdeka Tournament squad
National coach B. Sathianathan said he would submit a report to the team management on their return from Slovakia today.
“I found that some are just not good enough to play at the international level,” said Sathianathan yesterday.
However, he did not name the players likely to be dropped ahead of their final phase of preparations for the Merdeka Tournament from Oct 15-25.
The final phase of training for the eight-team Merdeka Tournament will resume after Hari Raya on Oct 3.
Sathianathan said he would include six more players from Kedah and Perak, who were left behind to represent their states in their AFC Cup quarter-final campaigns.
The six are Badrol Bakhtiar, Mohd Khyril Muhymeen, Mohd Helmi Eliza Elias (Kedah), S. Subramaniam, Mohd Nasril Nourdin and Mohd Hardy Jaafar (Perak).
Sathianathan said he would field the strongest line-up for their the final two test matches against Sri Lanka here on Oct 6 and against another side to be confirmed on Oct 10.
Vietnam, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sierra Leone have confirmed their participation for the Merdeka Tournament while Pakistan have been put on standby as Kazakhstan have yet to give their reply.

Taken from the Star


Kelantan Appoint Butler

Malaysian Premier League side Kelantan have appointed Peter Butler as their new coach for the season which begins in January.

The former West Ham midfielder has previously coached Sabah, SAF and Persiba.

Kafa council member Azman Ibrahim said they wanted a candidate who was familiar with the local scene and the Englishman fitted the bill, having coached Sabah for two seasons (2003-04).

“Butler is with Indonesian club Balik Papan and should serve out his contract before moving here,” said Azman

I suggest Mr Azman check his sources. He was sacked on Wednesday night!


What a Weekend of Action!


Chonburi v Port 0-0
Bangkok Bank v Bangkok University 0-0
TOT v Army 0-0
Chula United v KTB 2-2
Customs v TTM 2-1
BEC Tero Sasana v PEA 1-0
Nakorn Pathom v Osotspa 1-2
Samut Songkram v Bang Phra 2-1

35 yellows in 8 games but Chonburi return to the top of the table despite drawing 0-0 with Port. PEA losing to BEC does that you know with the club associated with Arsenal now 4 points behind the two leaders who are seperated by goal difference.


Persitara v PSIS 2-0 (Rachmat Rivai 2) 3,000 (was it bollocks)
Persela v Arema 2-2 (Suparno, Firasat; Serge 2) 12,000

When two of the worst teams in the ISL meet you expect boredom and dreams of visiting a painful dentist. Didn't happen at Lebak Bulus where Persitara fully deserved their first win of the season against a team worse than them but still keen on playing football. Congrats to Agus Murod in the Semarang goal for an impressive performance.


Tampines Rovers v SAF 3-1 (Shahdan Sulaiman 61' Fahrudin Mustafic 77' Qiu Li 90'; Ahmad Latiff 72')

SAF could have gone top tonight but they didn't.

Ok so I'm pissed, it has been a good night including a bit of verbals with twats who should know better, but the action round the region has been proof indeed that while the game here may not get the publicity on the pitch it stands up to intense inspection.

After last nights clasic, scroll down eh, I went to Persitara expecting little beyond a smile and a cold bag of chips. i got neither but I did get a good game of football played by two teams who did just that. Play football.

The leagues in Thailand and Singapore took more twists than a Reticulated Python gagging on Steve Irwin and you know what? If you live here then get down to a game eh?

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Singapore to Play Vietnam

Vietnam will host Singapore in a friendly in Hanoi on October 14 as part of both nations' AFF Cup preperations.


Indonesia Under 16s in Uzbekistan

The Indonesian kids have arrived in Tashkent to prepare for the AFC Under 16s which kick off 4 October. The planned friendly in the UAE was ditched when someone discovered the coffers were dry but a game has been lined up against Saudi Arabia tomorrow.

The Indoneisans, who finished bottom of the AFF Under 16s in July, are grouped with Syria, India and South Korea.


Goalkeeper: Egha Putra, Benny Setyo, Aris Wahyu
Defence: Tata Kurniawan, M. Abduh, Rian Ferdianto, Agung Nurahman, M. Lestusen, Tery Bayu, Samuel Kowet, Imam Baihaki
Midfield: Rudy Setiawan, Fahreza Agamal, Delton Stefano, Rizky Sanjaya Pelu, Rahmat Johani, M. Slamet, Fikri Fahmi
Strikers: A. Rezal, Tomy Febiayanto, Imam Baihaqi, Vava Mario Zagalo, A. Bayaou


04/10 - Syria
06/10 - South Korea
08/10 - India


Penang Get Help

More financial woes in Malaysia. I have documented of course the troubles faced by Perak and they are one of the better sides in teh country. Penang also have no money as this story from the Star shows.

Saturday September 27, 2008
Penang FA raise RM15,000 to pay players
GEORGE TOWN: The 30 Muslim players in the Penang senior and President’s Cup teams can now look forward to celebrating Hari Raya - albeit in a small way.
The Penang FA (FAP), whose coffers have run dry, have not paid their players and staff their salaries for the last four months.
With Hari Raya just days away, FAP vice-president Gary Nair said they had managed to raise about RM15,000 to be given out to the 30 players and the association’s staff.
He said the Penang Indians FA were the main donors, contributing RM2,000.
Gary, meanwhile, agreed that the amount raised was insufficient.
“We hope the State Government can lend us a helping hand,” said Gary, who is also appealing to well-wishers to chip in.
Those who wish to give financial aid to the players can contact the FAP at No. 9, Jalan Scotland


Bulls Hold The Reds

Last night at Jalan Besar Gombak United suprisingly held leaders Super Reds 1-1. Emmanuel Emuejeraye gave the Bulls the lead on 36' but an early second half goal by Joo Ki Hwan levelled things. The Super Reds couldn't find a winner so now sit just two and three points clear of SAF and Home respectively.

In a mouthwatering couple of days in the SLeague tonight sees SAF take on Tampines in the east of the island while Monday has Super Reds go to Home United. Bedtime Monday could see the exciting title race in a totally different light. Who needs boring old racing cars when you have the SLeague eh?


English Butler Available

Following Persiba's 2-1 home defeat by Persipura the other night coach Peter Butler found himself without a job as he paid the ultimate price. The Borneo side acted quickly by bringing in Daniel Roekito, formerly of Persik and PSIM.


Persik Firesale?

After brushing aside Persija last night 3-1 rumours abound that come the transfer window Persik might look to release their three star imports. Class costs and Christian Gonzalez, Ronald Fagundez and Danilo Fernando don't come cheap at some shrapnel short of half a million dollars for the season.

Unless Persik can find some sponsors then they could be forced to release the trio and that would be bad not just for the club but also football in this country.


More PSM Woe

A season that started brightly for PSM is rapidly falling apart as a third home without a win, this time against Sriwijaya, sends them slipping further down the table.

Played in an empty stadium, a result of their fans rioting during an earlier defeat, Sriwijaya took the lead through Zah Rahan, the Liberian international who was voted Player of the Season last year. Julio Lopez got his 8th just before half time but Keith Kayamba Gumbs secured the points for the double champions.


Persija v Persik 1-3

This game had classic written all over and it sure fitted up to its billing as Persik took a surprise three points from Bung Karno Stadium.

You never know what you're getting from Arcan Iurie's men on the road. Last time out at Persela they were feeble but not today. Not after Christian Gonzalez was allowed space in the box after 4' minutes and gave the White Tigers an early lead. Iurie must have been delighted. By scoring early the pressure is on the home side to surge forward leaving gaps at the back. Gaps Persik exploited.

It was the Uruguayan striker's 11th goal of the season, his 130th in Indonesian football, and it had the Persija defence asking questions of each other.

The home side pushed forward, it's all they know, with Greg Nwokolo prmoinent down the left flank but too often poor delivery saw Achmad Kurniawan in the Persik goal threatened little.

Persija spent most of the first half encamped in the Persik half but for all their possession there ws little penetration.

Two quick goals second half for Budi Sudarsono, both smartly executed drives from outside the box, underlined not just his potential but that of his team. Despite being under the cosh most of the match the Kediri side kept two men up top...they just don't defend, while at the back some almost comical defending went unpunished.

Bambang dropped deep and following a flurry of short passes in and around the penalty area he followed up to smash the ball home, his 105th, and give Persija a chance with still almost 30' on the clock.

They pushed forward in an orange tide relentlessly but, with Robertinho strangely anonymous, there was little creativity to fashion an opening and even Persik's three man defence coped with the balls pumped forward almost in desperation.

In a wonderful Persik moment, on the back foot against the pressing Persija, they replace defensive midfielder Legimin with Saktiawan Sinaga. A striker!

As the clock wound down Persik were not content with three goals and time and time again Gonzalez found himself ably supported as his team mates turned defence into attack with the joy of a kid leaving an exam hall.

Some people doubt Gonzalez' work rate but today he was immense. Apart from his goal he worked hard at closing the Persija defenders down, he held the ball up and he provided a reliable outlet for his hard pressed defense.

Young Ramdhani came on as Persija sought inspiration but their bench lacked anystrength or quality and minutes after coming on he was red carded for a reckless challenge. It was a foul, no one contested it, but it was late in the game, he is young and really nothing was gained by the red. But if that's the only complaint then you can see what a feast it was.

21,549 fans filed out of Bung Karno Stadium at the final whistle dejected. Unfortunately for the doom mongers there was no rioting, no violence. Instead perhaps an appreciation that the better team had won. A great advert for Indonesian football, well reffed and played in a sporting manner among two great sides.

Before the game birthday boy Ponaryo Astaman blew out the candles on his birthday cake. But it was Persik who blew Persija away on the pitch.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Persib Edge West Java Derby

Persib v Pelita Jaya 1-0 (Cabanas) 25,000
Persiba v Persipura 1-2 (Gaspar; Igbonefo, Goncalves) 5,000
Deltras v PSMS 1-1 (Aguero; Pereira) 35,000 (?!)
PKT v Persiwa 1-3 (Imral Usman; Benoit, Romaropen 2) 2,000

The Papuan sides share the lead of the ISL with Persipura top 24 points from 12 games, Persiwa second 23 points from 12. Persija sit third with 22 points from 9 while Persela also have 22 points but have played two games more

Images from the West Java game can be found here

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Mbamba's Out

Emile Mbamba without doubt was one of the best foreign talents in the country. The Arema Malang striker had played at the highest level, scored in the UEFA Champions League. He was a bit young to have been there and done that but he had a career ahead of him.

He still does only not in Indonesia. The FA have banned him for five years and fined him $5,5oo after his outburts against the referee during Arema's recent home defeat by PKT.

Time and time again during his short career Mbamba's indiscipline has let down himself and his team mates. This season alone he has collected four yellows and two reds in his eight games.

Talk to football officials here and they stress one thing. They want foreign players to pass on their skills and set a good example. In his 12 months here Mbamba has done one but not the other.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Bad Night for Local Sides

SAF - out
Perak - out
Kedah - out
Home - out

Perak got beat 5-0 in Beirut and are probably still on their way home now. Two of their players quit last week... they loved football but it was money that put the food on the table not the love so they found jobs that paid a salary.

SAF lost 3-0 in Oman against Al Nahda going out 4-2 on aggregate.

Kedah lost 2-1 at home to Muharraq, bowing out 7-1 on aggregate.

You know what? I've been thinking. Malaysia of course are dead in the water next season but would Singapore do better if they ditched the salary cap? SAF for example are tied up on the domestic front chasing a double and with a small squad Asian glory was always going to be a big ask.

But what if they weren't limited by home much they could spend on wages? Perhaps then they could have bid for either Noh Alam Shah, ok a big ask given his ties to Tampines, or Khairul Amri. By adding strength to their squad perhaps coach Richard Bok could have afforded to rest one or two players while not diluting the rest of the team.

I understand of course why there is a cap in the Singapore game, and Tampines have benefited by adding these two strikers for next season if the can keep them, but can a side from this region strike a real challenge for Asian silverware with such paper thin squads?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Home Tumble Out

If it's true that football is emotion then Home United and their supporters experienced the full circle earlier this evening as they took on Dempo in the AFC Cup quarter final second leg at Jalan Besar. 1-1 from the first leg the Protectors appeared to have the advantage of a crucial away goal with coach Sivaji promising all out attack.

But within 60 seconds the tie had been turned tit round arse as Mboyo, who isn't Mwelsh, gave the Indian side a shock lead. Peres D'Oliveria made it 1-1 on 13' but Roberto Mendes Silva restored the Indian lead on 24'.

On the half hour mark Valery Hiek saw red for the home side leaving them down on the night, down on the tie and down on the pitch but not for long.

Two goals in three minutes from Indra Sahdan put the home side in the lead, 3-2 on the night and through on goal difference but this football lark lasts for 90' not 38' and in first half injury time the wonderfully named Climax drew the Indians level. 3-3, Dempo were on their way.

A second goal for Silva 7' minutes from the end confirmed it would be the Indians who would be in the semi final draw.

A pulsating, rip roaring affair, had it been played out in front of the Kop we would be hearing about this game for years to come. On nights like this are reputations forged but with just 1,300 watching it will soon be forgotten about.

Perhaps India is finally coming of age on the football stage but Singapore, through the valiant efforts of Home United, with a population of the average rush hour commuter train into Mumbai's Victoria Terminus, run them pretty bloody close.


My 2000th Post

Following an incident after Persitara's home game with Pelita Jaya last Saturday night a 16 year old Persitara fan tragically died.

As far as I can make out a group of Persija fans attacked a bus carrying Persitara fans home after the game and one young lad fell off the bus, cracking his head on the road. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died from his wounds.

It is fairly common to see fans travelling on top of public transport going to and from games here.

That's about all I know so far. I don't know whether or not Persija will get any punishment or not.

UPDATE - Apparently it's still not clear how the poor lad fell off the bus. Whether there was a fight or not is still not certain. However it happened it was the first chance he got to see his side this season and the last.


Tough Ask for Home and SAF

Tonight sees the second leg of the AFC Cup quarter finals with all four local sides facing tough challenges.

The two Singapore sides are marginally better off. SAF carry a narrow 2-1 lead to Al Nadha in Oman but Datoma Yedibahoma's late penalty will have the hosts feeling confident knowing one goal would be enough to put them in the semis. With defender Mohamed Hafiz bin Osman and goalkeeper Shahril bin Jantan suspended after red cards in the first leg coach Richard Bok will have to change things around. However he has said he will play a more defensive game in away legs in Continetal competition and with Duric up front they are always likely to nick a goal.

Home United drew 1-1 in Hyderabad against Dempo last week and coach Sivaji has promised to go for the jugular tonight. The visiting Indians have expressed concern about the artifical turf at the Jalan Besar Stadium but the onus is on them to get forward and get an early goal. Home have that away goal advantage so they should have enough to see them through.

Malaysia's sides look doomed. Kedah, back to baack treble winners domestically, crumbled 5-0 in Bahrain against Muharraq last time out. Without their foreign triangle of Marlon Alex James, Bernard Huggins and Nelso San Martin they look a pretty poor side but then that's the Malaysian FA for you. It was their decision to get rid of the foreigners.

In what could be Steve Darby's last match in charge of Perak he takes a weakened squad to to take on SAFA in Lebanon 2-0 down from the first leg. A loan from the FA enabled the party to travel or they were faced with being disqualified. Darby hopes to have striker Khalid Jamlus fit again after the striker went off injured in the first game.


Wins for Persib and Persija

Persib v PSIS 3-1 (Hilton, Cabanas, Bastos; Gaston) 25,000
Persija v Arema 1-0 (Bambang) 16,543
Deltras v Sriwijaya 1-1 (Acosta; Obiora) 1,914
Persiba v Persiwa 0-0 2,500
Persitara v Pelita Jaya 1-1 (Ebendje; Cariastawan) 3,000

I had intended to get to the Persija game last night but the car lights weren't working. A great big bule driving round an ill lit Jakarta in a poorly lit car is just asking for trouble with Eid ul Fitri coming up. You get pulled over and the 'prices' have suddenly doubled or tripled.

Persib fans made the journey down to Jaluk Harupat Stadium in large numbers and were rewarded with their three foreigners netting and secruing three points. There seems no respite for the hapless PSIS who recently put their foreign players on notice. Ship up or ship out.

Persija returned to the top of the table thanks to Bambang's first half goal but they must be a bit concerned about the attendance at the Bung Karno Stadium. 9 pm kick offs aren't that user friendly but their rivals Persib managed to take more to their game.

Still, this Friday sees Persija take on Persik and by hook and by crook I will be there for that!

A suprise result last night in the SLeague where Sengkang Punggol took a point off Tampines Rovers at Hougang Stadium. Khairul Amri gave the Stags the lead but Simic made it 1-1 with a rare Dolphins goal.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Saturday's Scores


Persitara v Pelita Jaya 1-1 (Ebendje; Gendut Doni Caristiawan) 3,000

PKT v Persipura 2-4 (Galeano, Thesia; Jeremiah, Ivakdalam, Boaz 2) 4,000
PSM v PSMS 1-1 ()


Army v Bangkok Bank 0-3
Bangkok University v Chonburi 2-3
Bang Phra v Nakorn Pathom 1-0
Osotspa v BEC Tero 1-0
PEA v Customs 1-0
TTM v Chula United 0-0
KTB v TOT 4-1
Port v Samut Songkhram 2-1

1. PEA 27 16 7 4 30-13 55
2. Chonburi 27 14 12 1 32-13 54
3. BEC Tero 27 14 6 7 46-29 48


Merdeka Cup

Next month sees the Merdeka Cup kick off in Malaysia with eight countries bidding to win the trophy won by Malaysia last year.

Seven of the countries have been confirmed while Kazakhstan have yet to confirm their attendance.

Despite Indonesia having postponed the ISL for a month so they could compete in this competition the Star doesn't include them!

Instead the following will take part.

Malaysia, Sierra Leone, Myanmar, Vietnam, Nepal, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Pakistan have been lined up to replace the Kazakhs if they don't bother.


The AFC Cup

Here we sit between the first and second leg of the AFC Cup quarter finals and I can't help thinking what's the point?

Of course it would be great for football in this region if SAF or Home United could go on and win the trophy but I can't help thinking it would come at a price. And that price would be domestic success. Hi Rafa!

Copying UEFA and having two continent wide competitions doesn't add up. If UEFA still had three would the AFC follow suit?

I know the arguments about players and coaches pitting their wits against a different class of opposition but my argument is not football. Rather logistical.

Europe is small and there are airports everywhere. Practically every nation, apart maybe from Italy, has a hub but with the proliferation of budget airlines people can pretty much get from any place to any where within just a few hours.

That isn't the case in Asia. I would hate to think of the logistics of getting to Lebanon from Singapore. It's just daft having finely tuned athletes spending the better part of three days milling round airports and squashed inside planes. Arsene Wenger moans about going to the Ukraine, about 3 or 4 hours, on a specially chartered flight. How would he feel about taking a team from Singapore to Oman via god knows where? While at the same time his team is challenging for both the title and the cup!

Getting from east to west Asia isn't the piece of cake that European travel is. Nearly every long haul would include a stop off somewhere with endless dull hours waiting for a connection.

When the players get on the pitch the attendances are crap and the atmosphere nil. Would you spend the best part of a day travelling just to have a kick around in front of one man and his dog? It all seems pretty disheartening.

Perhaps there is time for a rethink.

OK at the moment the group stage is pretty regional but throwing India, Maldives and Hong Kong into the mix seems pretty desperate.

Why not have the three regions, South East Asia, South Asia and West Asia (is there a Central Asian grouping?), have their own regional tournament? Then perhaps the winner of these groups could meet somewhere neutral for a round robin with the winners joining the Champions League.

Lets' be honest. Fans here just aren't going to queue all night to see another team from the gulf called Al whatever, they don't have the interest or the knowledge of who they're playing.

The Champions League is building on its base thanks in part to live coverage of the games in the region. Does Asia have a second string competition because Europe does or does Asia stick with the ACL and promote more regional competitions which would drastically reduce the strain on the players and perhaps later on down the road seek to rebrand the AFC Cup when a better infrastructure is in place?


ISL Hotshots

10 - Christian Gonzelez (Persik)
9 - Marcio Souza (Persela)
7 - Julio Lopez (PSM)
6 - Bambang Pamungkas (Persija), Ngon Djam (Sriwijaya), Greg Nwokolo (Persija)


Persela's Samba

Lamongan will never be known as a football hotbed yet today their football team sits atop the ISL looking down on more established names like Arema, Persik and Persib. And this despite starting the season with a 5-2 tonking by Persib.

Much of Persela's progress, I hesitate to use the word success because they have nothing, is down to Brazilian import Marcio Souza now in his third season with the side from the north coast of East Java.

In his time with the club he has netted 35 goals including 9 so far this campaign and many of them have come from free kicks just outside the area.

The 28 year old Brazilian striker gets to keep company with compatriot defender Fabiano Beltraine who returned to Persela for a second spell after spending a season with Persmin. Fabiano who is 26 spent two seasons with Persela before trying his arm, or leg, in the north of Sulawesi.


SLeague Title Race

Super Reds

26/09 v Gombak United (H)
29/09 v Home United (A)
24/10 v Albirex Niigata (H)
31/10 v Sengkang Punggol (A)
04/11 v SAF (H)
11/11 v Balestier Khalsa (A)
16/11 v Tampines Rovers (H)

Singapore Armed Forces

27/09 v Tampines Rovers (A)
02/10 v Woodlands Wellington (H)
16/10 v Balestier Khalsa (A)
28/10 v Young Lions (H)
04/11 v Super Reds (A)
14/11 v Home United (H)
17/11 v Gombak United (A)

Home United

29/09 v Super Reds (H)
03/10 v Geylang United (H)
17/10 v Young Lions (A)
26/10 v Woodlands (A)
03/11 v Sengkang Punggol (H)
14/11 v SAF (A)
17/11 v Balestier Khalsa (H)

Prediction? Not me lah. But I would say that Tampines Rover will be difficult for both the Super Reds and SAF. Plus the fact that they all have to play each other.

Tellingly Super Reds have a break of about a month which of course can work both ways. Momentum is lost but then the players wil be fresh for the final games. I think though that if I was the coach I would rather have players playing than sitting on their butts watching Mr Bean reruns.


SLeague Netbusters

24 - Alex Duric (SAF)
22 - Kengne Ludovick (Home United)
13 - Khairul Amri (Young Lions/Tampines Rovers)
12 - Ojimi Gabriel Obatoma (Gombak United), Oh Ddog Yi (Super Reds)
11 - Qiu Li (Tampines Rovers)
10 - Alif Shafaein (Tampines Rovers)


Chonburi's Goal Drought

I've mentioned, nay, mocked, the absolute lack of goals up in the Thai Premier League on a good few occassions. If we look at title challengers Chonburi, who currently sit second a point behind leaders PEA, they have played 26 games and these, as best as I can transliterate, are their leader scorers

6 - Thana
5 - Ekkapon
4 - Pithip, Jules Baga
3 - Nattaporn (?), Surat

When your leading scorer is only netting worse than every four games you have problems. And mates always told me it was easy to score in Thailand!?


Gajayana Stadium Images

Arema's renovations are coming along nicely as can be seen by these images.

The pictures come from an Arema fan site , no idea what that means, which has recently undergone renovations of it's own. Check out their very own on line magazine which looks superb. Wish there was a hard copy available.

Monday sees Arema visiting Persija at the Bung Karno which should be a vital top of the table clash. The last time these two sides met at the stadium Arema won 4-3 in the Indonesian Cup Final back in 2005 when Firman Utina netted a hat trick.


Marcio Fires Persela Top

You don't expect Persik to get much on their travels, especially when they are shorn of their leading scorer Christian Gonzalez, and last night was n o exception as they got beat 2-0 by Persela at a poorly lit Surajaya Stadium in Lamongan.

Giving away free kicks on the edge of the area is never a good idea when you have Marcio Souza ready to have a pop but the Persik defence did it time and time again. From one such 'foul' Souza finally got his bearings and gave the home team the lead.

Persik coach Arcan Iurie would have been furious. Replays showed this time there was neglibble contact while when the Brazilian struck the ball his defensive wall made like a wall and didn't move.

Firasat scored a second in the second half and now we have the odd sight of Persela top of the table. They won't win the league 'cos their away record is poor but at home they have won five straight without conceding a goal.

Tonight sees Persitara hosting Pelita Jaya at Lebak Bulus. The North Jakarta side have had a woeful start to the season while Fandi's men have lost two of their last three games and while they are strong defensively they are offering little up front for Cristian Lopes to get n the end of.

PSM host PSMS and Persipura travel to Bontang to take on PKT who managed a suprise 2-1 victory away to Arema last time out.

Friday, September 19, 2008


The Merdeka Cup

The Merdeka Cup in Malaysia is an annual event which was won last year by the hosts who beat Myanmar 3-1 in the final.

This time around it is being played in October and will feature eight nations. According to the Star these are the confirmed participants:

Malaysia, Sierra Leone, Myanmar, Vietnam, Nepal, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. By my pisspoor adding that makes seven. Indonesia have cleared October of ISL fixtures to take part in this so perhaps the Star sports editor just omitted them from the list. Or perhaps thay just ain't coming?

Kazakhstan have yet to confirm their participation while Pakistan are on hold in case someone drops out.

Which happens.

So where does this leave Indonesia?



Tampines Rovers v Albirex Niigata 2-1 (Khairul Amri 37', Aliff Shafaein 84'; Ryota Doi 60') 1,973

Gombak United v Young Lions 2-1 (Ojimi Gabriel Obatola 79', Agu Casmir 84'; Faizal Abdul Hamid 88'(og))


King's Cup Moved to January

Thailand's King's Cup will be held next January between the AFF Cup and the Asian Cup Qualifiers. With the team going to Hanoi next month for the Agribank Cup new coach Peter Reid is hitting the ground running.

The Thais have also appointed Tawan Siripin as Reid's assistant. Tawan was the first Thai player I came across during the dream team era of the mid 90's and it's good to see his experience is being put to good use.

With the TPL season finishing next month it doesn't leave much of a break for the players does it? The old club v country chestnut eh?

Anyway North Korea will be in Bangkok in January whch is nice. I'll be there in December which is also nice.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Super Duper

Super Reds v Geylang United 2-1 (Kim Jae Hong 42', Park Ki Wook 86' ;Rivaldo Costa 26'(p)) 1.036
PSMS v Persitara 1-1 (Anderson; Ebendje) 200

Proof! The SLeague is better supported than the Indonesian Super League!

Maybe not. The ISL game was played hundreds of miles from PSMS' home town of Medan and featured the bottom two sides in the table who have managed zero wins in their 19 games.


Promoting the Domestic Game

I missed this story in yesterday's Bangkok Post which has attracted a bit of comment on Thai Football forums but in my defence one of my rabbits is feeling a bit under the weather at the moment so I decided to spend quality time with him.

Debate rages around whether or not local media should be producing positive stories about the local game. The assumption, and one I share, is that the only time rags in Bangkok, Singapore or Jakarta take an interest in the football on their own doorstep is when they can get free tickets to see visiting European teams or when they can have a good old fashioned pop.

The local rag here is clueless about the game with their appointed correspondent proudly announcing Indonesia will line up with five midfielders in a 4-4-2.

But it's not the job of papers to write good news about football. It's bad news that sells and anyway anything that can allow the reader to have one over the locals always goes down well among some of the saddos.

Recently here in Jakarta there was a media workshop where 30 clubs headed along to the FA's offices to hear some geezer talk about, um, media. He might as well have talked about flower pressing as social rebellion in 12th century Fiji for all the good it did.

It's down to the FA's and the clubs to get media savvy and involve the papers. No one else. It ain't the job of the Jakarta Post, the Thai Football forum or even this here blog to extol the virtues of the local scene. The clubs and the FA's. Period.

And that will never happen all the while the people who 'run' these things are little more than political cronies been given a high profile position as a reward for support.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


AFC Cup Woes

Perak v SAFA 0-2
SAFFC v Al Nahda 2-1
Dempo v Home United 1-1
Muharraq v Kedah 5-0

With the exception of Home United it was a bad day at the office for the region's AFC hopefuls. Perak went into their game minus their foreigners as well as one player who had gone missing and coach Steve Darby opted for one man up top for the cash strapped club.

Home took a half time lead but were pegged back second half but they will be quietly confident of getting a result in the second leg next week.

SAF may have felt they were cruising thanks to a couple from Duric but a late penalty will give the visiting Omani's hope for the second leg. Coach Richard Bok will also be unhappy at two late red cards his side recieved.

We won't mention Kedah, shorn of their foreign players...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Singapore Under 21s Head to Vietnam

SINGAPORE, 16 September 2008: Terry Pathmanathan’s Singapore Under-21 team is set to compete in the International Under-21 Football Tournament – Vietnam Youth Newspaper Cup 2008 which will begin on 20 September at Hue City, Vietnam.

Singapore is in Group B together with Iran and Myanmar while Group A consists of Thailand, Malaysia and hosts Vietnam.

Singapore’s first match is against Iran on 20 September followed by the game against Myanmar on 24 September.

The top two teams in each group will qualify for the semi-finals which will be held on 26 September. The 3rd/4th placing and final will be held on 28 September.

Most of the players called up ply their trade in the Prime League except for Irwan Shah, who is a regular with the Young Lions.

NFA U-18 players, Hafiz Sujad and Izwan Mahbud who have appeared for the Young Lions this season, have been called up to the squad together with players from the Prime League squads of Balestier Khalsa, Geylang United, Home United, Gombak United and SAFFC.

This is the second edition of the tournament which is organised by the Vietnam newspaper, Than Nien News.

Singapore competed in last year’s round robin tournament, finishing third.

International U-21 Football Tournament – Vietnam Youth Newspaper Cup 2008 Schedule

Group B

Singapore vs Iran
20 September 2008

Singapore vs Myanmar
24 September 2008

26 September 2008

3rd/4th Placing
28 September 2008

28 September 2008


Don't Lose at Home

Once again the immaturity of some football fans in this county attracts the headlines. Days after Arema fans caused disturbances after losing at home to PKT, images here, we have PSM doing the same thing with their defeat last night in Makassar.

Sure glad the fasting season is controlling people's emotions!


Singapore Prepare for Uzbekistan

SINGAPORE, 16 September 2008: Coach Kageyama Masanaga named a 21-man squad for the AFC U-16 Championship which is set to begin on 4 October in Uzbekistan.

They will be flying to Japan on 18 September for a two week training camp before heading off to Tashkent for the AFC U-16 Championship where they will be in Group A together with Bahrain, Iran and host Uzbekistan.

Singapore will be based in the Shizuoka Prefecture for their training camp where they will play three friendly games.

Singapore’s first game will be against the Prefecture’s Championship winning High School team. They will then take on the Japan U-16 team, which has also qualified for the AFC U-16 Championship, on 24 September. Their last game will be against the J.League’s Shonan Bellmare’s U18 team on 27 September.

“This will be a great experience for the boys as they prepare for the AFC U-16 Championship. The boys need the exposure of playing against bigger, faster opponents and going to Japan will help us achieve that,” said Coach Masanaga.

“The weather conditions in Japan will be closer to what that is in Uzbekistan. They boys will get used to staying in a hotel and playing games every few days. This will help them get into a proper tournament mindset,” added Masanaga.

This is the first time that a Singapore team has qualified for the AFC U-16 Championship and the semi-finalists for this year’s tournament will qualify for the finals of the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup to be held in Nigeria.

Japan won the previous Championship which was held in Singapore in 2006.

Singapore will leave Japan for Tashkent on 30 September and will play the host on 4 October. They will play Bahrain in the second match on 6 October and their last group match will be against Iran on 8 October 2008.

“This will be a tough tournament as the level of opposition is very high. The boys have prepared to the best of their abilities. They have given their all in training and they are looking forward to playing in the finals.”

“I took over the team early this year and since then, they have shown a lot of improvement. They are much more confident now and are excited to take part in these finals,” said Masanaga.

Apart from this training camp in Japan, the boys also took part in the AFF Youth Championships which was held in Jakarta in July.

Teams from Australia, Bahrain, Malaysia and Indonesia took part in the AFF Youth Championship where all the teams, including Singapore, used the tournament as preparation for the AFC U-16 Championship.

Training Matches in Japan

Singapore U-16 vs Tokai University Syoyo High School
20 September 2008

Singapore U-16 vs Japan U-16
24 September 2008

Singapore U-16 vs Shonan Bellmare U-18
27 September 2008

AFC U-16 Championship in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan vs Singapore
4 October 2008
Pakhtakor Stadium

Singapore vs Bahrain
6 October 2008
Pakhtakor Stadium

Singapore vs Iran
8 October 2008
MHSK Stadium


Chula Name Change

I read on Thai Football that Chula Sinthana in the Thai Premier League have changed their name to become Chula United which is nice.

Perhaps less nice is their garish pink kit!


What Makes Indonesian Football So Special?

1 - Rioting fans blame the ref for their actions
2 - The FA owe a 5 *hotel tens of thousands of dollars
3 - 9pm kick offs
4 - A visiting coach gets lamped in the players tunnel
5 - Clubs can get away without paying any salaries.

You couldn't make it up!


Persela and Persiwa Back to Winning Ways

PSM v Persela 1-3 (Lopez; Fabiano 2, Souza) Match abandoned after crowd trouble
PSIS v Persiwa 0-2 (Padwa, Romaropen) 7,832

Pelita Jaya v Persipura 0-1 (Goncalves) 6,583

There are now four sides leading the ISL on 19 points, Persija, Persiwa, Arema and Persela.

Tonight sees the two bottom sides, PSMS and Persitara, meet at Semarang.


Indonesia to Myanmar?

Apparently there is some Tournament Challenge Cup being hosted by Myanmar in November which Indonesia are considering entering. Possibly featuring the likes of India, China, Thailand, Maldives, India as well as Myanmar and Indonesia but at this moment no one is too sure whether it is to be an Under 23 comp or not.

Monday, September 15, 2008


KL Plus Bemoan Lack of Quality

KL Plus finding it hard to get good players
PETALING JAYA: KL Plus FC are hard pressed to fill the vacuum left behind by their foreign players for their debut in the Super League next year.
Team manager Husni Mohd Yusuf said that the attacking trio of Nigerian Alex Agbo and Brazilians Tercio Nunes Machado and Andrin Dario Tranidad were instrumental in KL Plus’ strong showing to finish as the runners-up in the Premier League.
“It will not be easy to get replacements of their calibre,” he said yesterday.
In the new season that kicks off on Jan 3, no foreign player will feature in the Malaysian Super League (MSL).
Husni added that they had retained only six players from the previous squad and were scouting for the right buys.
“The local players are in better demand now following the ban on foreign players. But the problem is that their asking price is more and at times double than what they earned before,” he said.
KL Plus have retained Mat Zan Mat Aris as coach.

Taken from The Star


Persija Back on Top

Persija's 2-0 victory last night away to Deltras in Sidoarjo, their 5th away win, puts them level on top of the ISL with Arema...who they play next Sunday!

Deltras v Persija 0-2 (Bambang Pamungkas, Greg Nwokolo) 3,913

1. Persija 8 6 1 1 19-7 19
2. Arema 9 6 1 2 12-5 19
3. Persik 10 5 3 2 19-11 18

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Floating Football?

Following on from my post the other day about Singapore facing a stadium crisis in the evnt they need to play an AFF Cup tie at home I have had Singapore fans telling me there is no crisis and that they will be using a floating pontoon in the harbour with one roofless stand and three sides open to the elements.

As you can see from my mate Po Hui's pictures on his blog here ...

Would this pitch and stadium pass muster with FIFA? Are the FAS training as we speak aquatic ball boys?

Nope, no crisis there...

Anybody know the capacity? Can you take your fishing rod in case the game gets a bit dull?


Yesterday's Results

Indonesia Super League

Pelita Jaya v Persiwa 2-0 (Ridwan, Lopes) 4,356
PSMS v Persib 1-1 (Makinwa;Bastos) 2,500
Sriwijaya v Persitara 3-1 (Zah Rahan, Ngon Djam, Kayamba; Rachmat Rivai) 21,000
Arema v PKT Bontang 1-2 ( )
Persik v Persiba 3-1 (Gonzalez 2, Sudisarno; Sansiue) 10,000

A lacklustre Pelita Jaya overcame Persiwa Friday night to prove the old adage the result is all that counts. Sriwijaya made it seven goals in two games as they thumped Persitara who only traveled with 15 players...was all they could afford. Nogon Djam made it 5 goals in 2 games as well as the Champions moved up to 4th.

I was in Bandung yesterday and met my old mate Heru Joku who is the leader of the Persib Supporters Club the Viking. He hadn't made the journey to Semarang for the game with Medan (!) because of the fasting season but I guess he won't be too disappointed with the draw.

Surprise defeat for Arema at home to PKT in Malang but the Crazy Lions, it's their nockname honest, stay a point clear at the top. The Arema fans showed they can not take a defeat by acting a little peeved shall we say. Persik moved second after knocking aside Persiba and Gonzalez scoring twice to make his total 10 for the season. Can the Uruguayan striker really be the league's leading scoring for the 4th consecutive season?

1. Arema 9 6 1 2 12-5 19
2. Persik 10 5 3 2 19-11 18
2. Persija 7 5 1 1 17-7 16
4. Sriwijaya 8 5 1 2 18-12 16
5. Persiwa 9 5 1 3 16-12 16
6. Persela 9 5 1 3 10-9 16


Geylang United v Albirex Niigata 1-1 (Fazrul Nawaz; Ryota Doi) 2,060

All eyes next week are on the hopes of SAF and Home United as they battle in the AFC Cup.

Thailand Premier League

Port v Bangkok University Postponed
Chonburi v Army 1-1
Bangkok Bank v KTB 3-4
TOT v TTM 0-0
Sinthana v PEA 0-0
Customs v Osotspa 2-3
BEC Tero v Bang Phra 1-0
Samut Songkram v Nakorn Pathom 2-0

Once again in Thailand the card counts seems more fun than the games apart from the Bankers Derby where KTB edged the Bangkok Bankers. But what a treat it was for the ref with 9 yellows and a red dished out! You can just imagine a high challenge and a finger wagging player yelling at the writhing victim (our interest rates are .25 % higher than yours).

Both PEA and Chonburi have decided they don't really want to win the TPL after all so they allowed other teams to play catch up. Only BEC Tero took advantage of this generosity as they thrashed Bang Phra to move within four points of the leaders.

1. PEA 26 15 7 4 29-13 53
2. Chonburi 26 13 12 1 29-11 51
3. BEC Tero 26 14 6 6 46 28 48

Friday, September 12, 2008


Singapore Stadium Crisis

It finally looks like the National Stadium has shut for good. Now it has been revealed the turf at Jalan Besar Stadium will be relaid in December, during the AFF Cup.

Should the Lions reach the semis or final the games will be played home and away and now Singapore's flagship stadiums will be unavailable. Could we see Singapore play Thailand in a semi final at Bishan Stadium in front of a sell out 3,000 crowd?

One would hope not.


Singapore's Most Exciting Strike Force

With Noh Alam Shah back from suspension and having secured the promising Khairul Amri from Young Lions Tamplines Rovers fans are looking at possibly the most exciting local partnership in the country.

Last night they teamed up to beat Balestier Khalsa 4-1, NAS getting two, Amri one and one for Qiu Li.

They may be out of the title race but still over 2,200 went to Tampines Stadium last night for the game.

Thursday, September 11, 2008



After you, no, please, after you. The SLeague is proving to be unfailingly polite as we get down to the wire.

Albirex Niigata v Home United 1-1 (Akira Takase 85'; Valery Hiek 68') 2,103
Woodlands Wellington v Gombak United 0-2 (Ruhaizad Ismail 43', T Seehawong 55') 1,556
Dalian Shide v SAF 1-4 (Bi Jinhao 24' ;John Wilkinson 2'Faizal Aziz 22'Aleksandar Duric 33',78') 709

SAF back on top with 61 points from 26 games while Home sit a point behind. Super Reds have a game in hand and have 59 points.

I'll be in Singapore in three weeks time to catch SAF and Home United in action which I'm looking forward to. Wanted to take in Super Reds as well but that would have clashed with the Formula One which holds as much attraction to me as warm beer.


Persija and Persipura Lose as Arema Go Top

PSIS v Persipura 1-0 (Fery Ariawan) 4,876
PSM V Persija 2-1 (Claudio Pronetto, Julio Lopez; Greg Nwokolo) 15,000
Arema v Persiba 2-0 (Mbamba, Traore) 45,000

A late winner from Lopez sent Persija crashing to their first defeat of the season in Makassar while PSIS sprung a suprise by beating Persipura in their first game under new coach Jacksen Tiago.

Arema are now three points clear at the top of the ISL with 19 points from their eight games.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


This Week on ESPN

My column this week on looks at Peter Reid and the challenge he faces taking Thailand to the 2014 World Cup


ISL Last Night

Sriwijaya v Persib 4-2 (Djam Ngon 3, Wijay; ) 40,000
Persik v PKT 2-1 (Fagundez, Saktiawan; Imral Usman) 15,000
Persijap v Persita 2-0 (Evaldo, Ilham Hasan) 20,000

1. Persija 6 5 1 0 16-5
2. Persiwa 8 5 1 2 16-10 16
3. Arema 7 5 1 1 9-3 16
4. Persela 8 5 1 2 10-8 16
5. Persipura 8 4 3 1 12-5 15
6. Persik 9 4 3 2 16-10 15

Tonight sees Jacksen Tiago's first game in charge of Persipura as they travel to Semarang and take on PSIS reeling after their threashing at Persija at the weekend. PSM have struggled for results recently but they put up a good show at Persik last time out with Ju;io Lopez netting a later qualiser but tonight they host unbeaten Persija. In the other game Arema entertain Persiba in Malang


8 - Gonzalez (Persik)
6 - Ngon Djam (Sriwijaya), Marcio Souza (Persela)
5 - Bambang (Persija), Julio Lopez (PSM), Bastos (Persib), Musafri TM (Persiba)


The Thai Matchday Exprience

I've not made it to a TPL game yet, it's a bit of a trek from my surburban Jakarta pad to Bangkok don't you knwo, but these pictures from a recent game featuring PEA and Chonburi have certainly whetted the appetite.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Fares Please

Tonight sees Persita play Persijap in the ISL. Normally for an away game like this the clubs would fly, in this case to Semarang.

But times are tough for the cash strapped club from Tangerang so they have taken the bus for the gruelling journey. Gruelling not because it's far, Semarang is perhaps a 45 minute flight. Gruelling 'cos the road is shit.

The north coast road is a 'mare. Often narrow, it plainly can't cope with the long distance lorries that trek from one end of Java to the other, let alone private vehicles and public transport.

The journey time could be anything up to 10 hours apparently...hardly ideal preparation for a side with just four points from their opening seven games.

Football and the glamourous lifestyle eh?


The Malaysian FA

The Malaysian FA gets a torrid time around the region. Last season they stubbornly insisted Manchester United play a friendly game in KL despite the fact they were hosting the Asian Cup, Asia's Euro Championships, at the time.

More recently they dusted off the bunting to welcome Chelsea and the chance for officials to beam on the front pages.

Top Corner, Star Sports weekly wrap up of South East Asian football, frequently has the hapless FAM in their sights and most recently the good orang decided what Malaysian football needed was no foreigners. So contracts were cancelled and quality players like Marlon Alex James were sent away with a terima kasih but don't come back. Unless it's on holiday in which case Malaysia is truly Asia.

There is nothing like kicking someone, something, when they're down. Now comes this full frontal assault from one of Malaysia's leading papers. Of course they can't have a pop at the government so the FAM are an easy target.

Sunday September 7, 2008
Commonsense has never been FAM’s forte
HERE'S a fact that should surprise no one. Malaysian football is in the doldrums. Nobody really cares – not the fans, who have been staying away, not the sponsors, and what the hell, not even the keepers of the nation's football, FAM.
Yes, not even FAM.
Why else would the Football Association of Malaysia choose to hold their prized tournament – the Malaysia Cup final – on Aug 23, the penultimate day of the Beijing Olympics, when everyone was watching the United States finally winning the relays – in the 4x400m.
The Malaysia Cup is THE football tournament in Malaysia. It is – no, was – highly regarded by fans and players alike. The stadiums that hosted the final were packed to the brim. Fans around the country were glued to the TV watching the match. In earlier days, fans had transistor radios up against their ears as excited commentators shouted out the proceedings.
The Malaysia Cup was the English Premier League’s FA Cup.
The Malaysia Cup has history. It dates back to 1921. Some of the biggest names in Malaysian/Singapore football have lifted the coveted Cup over the years. And it is still the most coveted and cherished Cup in the country.
The newspapers used to lap up the Malaysia Cup final, with three, four and sometimes even five pages in the run-up to the final.
The final itself was a back page lead event.
Not this year, though. With the Beijing Olympics – now acknowledged as the greatest Games ever – going on, the Cup final was a non-event.
The FAM could have – in fact, should have – been more receptive to the happenings around the world.
Couldn’t they have put off the final by a week? That would have given the media ample time, space and opportunity to build up the Cup final fever to a crescendo.
But who are we kidding? The FAM obviously think they have a product that's bigger than anything – the Olympics, the World Cup or even the European Championship.
The FA Cup this year was held during the Euros while the Malaysia Cup was held during the World Cup in Japan-South Korea.
The FAM, of course, have no need for the media to raise the profile of their product.
It wasn't just the Malaysia Cup final. The National Football Awards, sponsored by 100Plus, to honour players who made their mark in the Malaysian League – encompassing the Super League, FA Cup and Malaysia Cup – this season was held just hours before the Cup final.
With Kedah running away with all and sundry for the second consecutive time, it was no surprise that many of the Kedah players were in the hunt for the awards, including the coveted Most Valuable Player (MVP).
But what do the FAM do? They hold the awards ceremony hours before the final.
The Kedah players stayed away. They had to be focused on the final.
They won seven of the 10 awards and the coach took it all by himself, denying the players their moment of glory.
And what about the sponsors?
All that money. All that effort. And they got next to no mileage in the newspapers as the country and the world were tuned to Beijing.
Held at any other time, the occasion would have garnered much wider coverage.
As if having the award ceremony and Cup final on the same day wasn’t bad enough, the FAM Congress was also held on the same day.
The press had always had access to the FAM Congress. This time, they were shut out. The world was not to know about what was going on in the FAM.
In fact, no one can figure out what is going on in the FAM. The logic and sense of timing boggles the mind.
Commonsense dictates that the best course of action would have been to postpone the Cup final. But since when was commonsense a forte of FAM?
If it was, Malaysian football wouldn’t be in the doldrums, would it?
At their height, Malaysia were ranked No. 79 in the world in 1993. Now, we are at No. 161 – below even the likes of Maldives, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Hong Kong.
There are (204) teams in the listing. We have some 40 places to go before hitting rock bottom.

Striking a positive note I was very impressed by the Malaysian Under 16s during the recent competition in Jakarta. They showed a lot of talent and discipline and one or two of them could go on to be big names in a few years down the line.

Unless the FAM get their hands on them...


Persib Forced to Move

Persib Bandung have been told to play their next two home games, against PSIS and Pelita Jaya, at Jaluk Harupat Stadium, in nearby Soreang for security reasons.

Concerns were raised after the riot that followed the Persija game at their usual stadium of Siliwangi and while the security officials are keen that Persib's fans can see their team they are reluctant to see a repeat of those incidents.

It is of course the job of security to keep things safe but moving the team 90 minutes down the road doesn't solve the problem. Crowd control is a serious business and doesn't include sitting on one's bum watching a football match. There's much more to it than that.

With effective measures in place then scenes like the one mentioned earlier will become a distant memory and not a recurring event.


Pelita Jaya's First Defeat

Fandi Ahmad's Pelita Jaya suffered their first defeat of the season last night in the ISL when a Marcio Souza free kick, his fifth goal of the season, was enough to give the home side Persela three points.

First half the visitors seemed content to play long with little success and while they changed things around a bit at half time, with captain Firman Utina being replaced, up front they threatened little with Cristian Lopes looking isolated.

Persela are now one of four clubs who lead the ISL with 16 points.


Super Oh Ddog Yi

Young Lions v Super Reds 0-5

Oh Ddog Yi 8',88',90'(p), Jeon Byung Euk 58', Choi Dong Soo 79'

This win, nay massacre, puts the Super Reds level on points with Home United as the title race across the water heats up.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Yellow is the Colour

Thailand have changed their official colours from red to yellow. Yellow is the colour strongly associated the highly revered monarch and officials hope it will bring them luck in the new era that sees Peter Reid tasked with helping them qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Blue will continue to be their second shirt.


Persija Leave it Late

5 goals in the last quarter gave Persija an emphatic victory over PSIS last night at Bung Karno to see them return to the top of the ISL on goal difference ahead of Persiwa and Arema.

In front of a small fasting crowd of 17,000 Bambang Pamungkas netted a hart trick while his strike partner Aliyudin and Greg Nwokolo also netted against a hapless PSIS.

In the other game Arema squeezed past Deltras in the East Java derby 1-0 to keep level on top.

Sunday, September 07, 2008


16 Minutes

The ISL returned last night with a whimper as Persik Kediri hosted PSM Makassar at the Brawijaya Stadium under the lights.

Budi Sudarsono, fresh from an impressive Independence Cup, scored after 16' but Julio Lopez equalised for the visitors on 74'.

90 minus 74 = 16 hence the title of this thread. Interesteding eh? Bet you never get a headline like that in a real newspaper! This is what happens when you get a geezer with a lap top and too much free time.

Tonight Persija host PSIS and I might even go to the game. I've only seen one ISL game all season which is pretty bloody feeble but in my defence only two games have been played in Jakarta!


Last Gasp SAF

Singapore Armed Forces recent poor run of one win in five had the fans staying away in droves on Friday night as they took on Sengkang Punggol at Jalan Besar.

Just 1600 turned up to see an 87' own goal secure the three points for the Warriors that puts them in second spot.

Friday, September 05, 2008


Remember the Three Thais?

Taken from the Bangkok Post

Thai trio wait and see

The selling of Manchester City to the Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment will not immediately affect the three Thai players on the club's books, according to an associate of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Jimmy Haewsanti, who has been marketing manager of Manchester City Thailand, said the players _ Suree Sukha, Kiatprawut Saiwaew and Teerasil Dangda _ would remain on City's books for the time being and would receive their wages.
However, he said the players would have to wait and see if there is a change in policy by the new owners.
He said the setting up of the City Football Academy in Thailand planned by Mr Thaksin would also depend on the new owners.
Mr Jimmy said the former Thai coach, Carlos Roberto Carvalho who was in Thailand to find young players for City, had returned to Brazil.
Mr Thaksin will reportedly continue at the club as an a honorary board member.


Under 16s Prepare for Uzbekistan

New coach Mundari Karya has rang the changes to the Under 16 squad that recently underperformed at the ASEAN Championships here in Jakarta as he perpares his side for the upcoming AFC Under 16 Championships to be held in Uzbekistan next month.

A series of friendlies have also been prepared to get the side ready for a tough competition where they have been drawn with India, South Korea and Syria

06/09 v PS Urakan
11/09 v Persija Under 21
13/09 v Pelita Jaya
17/09 v United Arab Emirates


Persija Home at Last

Persija have had an impressive start to the season but a start they have not been able to share with their fans.

Away Persitara - behind closed doors in Soreang
Away Persib - Persija fans don't travel to Bandung
Away PSMS - played in Semarang and a few travelled
Away Sriwijaya - about 200 travelled
Home Pelita Jaya - played in Solo. About 600 made the journey

Finally this Sunday I understand permission has been granted for Persija fans to support their team at Bung Karno Stadium as they host PSIS. The fans have been told to avoid rioting (!), avoid 'offensive' chanting (about the police or FA) and to buy official tickets.

Of course much can change between now and 9pm on Sunday evening!


AFC Cup Quarter Finals

16 September

Perak v SAFA (Lebanon)
SAF v Al Nadha (Oman)
Dempo (India) v Home United
Muharraq (Bahrain) v Kedah

Kedah and Perak go into these crucial games with severe handicaps. Perak's financial woes have been well publicised while both teams will be without their foreign players who can no longer play in Malaysia.

Domestically SAF have been n a poor run recently with just one win in five games so they will be hoping a change of scenery will provide a fresh impetus.

It would be great for South East Asian football if the two finalists can come from this region but them middle east sides will be no walkover.

2nd legs to be played 23 September


PEA Power Ahead

Thai Premier League

Bangkok University v Army 0-2
Port v KTB 2-2
Chonburi v TTM 1-0
Bangkok Bank v PEA 0-4
TOT v Osotspa 0-0
Sintana v Bang Phra 2-0
Customs v Nakorn Pathom 0-1
Samut Songkram v BEC 1-1

27 yellow cards in eight games that see PEA keep a three point lead over second placed Chonburi while BEC and TOT lost further ground. Looks like a two horse race going to the finish and new Thai coach must be praying for some striking inspiration as he looks to build a team for a busy period during the Thai close season.

1. PEA 24 15 5 4 28-12 50
2. Chonburi 24 12 11 1 26-10 47
3. BEC Tero 24 12 6 6 43-28 42
4. TOT 24 11 8 5 29-21 41

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