Saturday, February 28, 2009


Salary budgets in the ISL

This came from a local sports tabloid and makes interesting reading. Basically how much each club spends on wages over the season. The number in brackets is their place in the ISL as of today.

1 - Persija 16.836 billion rupiah (3rd)
2 - Persik 15.495 (8th)
3 - Persib 14.265 (4th)
4- Sriwijaya 14.150 (2nd)
5 - Pelita Jaya 13.630 (9th)
6 - PSMS 11.585 (14th)
7 - Persipura 11.482 (1st)
8 - Persela 10.204 (7th)
9 - PSM 9.431 (10th)
10 - Persiba 8.958 (13th)
11 - Arema 8.326 (11th)
12 - Deltras 7.614 (18th)
13 - PKT 7.595 (15th)
14 - Persijap 6.070 (5th)
15 - Persita 5.515 (17th)
16 - Persiwa 5.205 (6th)
17 - Persitara 4.915 (12th)
18 - PSIS 2.221 (16th)


DPMM Debut with Draw

Young Lions v DPMM 1-1 (Khairul Nizam 44' ;Abu Bakar Mahari 90') 3,000

1. Gombak United 2 2 0 0 2-0 6
2. Home United 2 1 1 0 3-0 6
3. SAF 1 1 0 0 3-0 3
4. Geylang United 2 1 0 1 3-1 3
5. Sengkang Punggol 2 1 0 1 1-1 3

Today sees SAF take on Geylang United and victory for Richard Bok's men would see them go to the top of the table.

Friday, February 27, 2009


All change in Thai football

I mentioned about the name changes and takeovers there a few days back. Now comes new the Thailand Premier League will be renamed the Thai Premier League. Wonder what consultancy came up with that bit of genius.

In more Thai news TOT or, as they are known to their hardcore support, Telephone Organisation of Thailand, are relocating to Kanchanaburi. Dunno if that will also entail a name change


Complaining about the Malaysian FA

Coach Reduan banned a year for speaking out
Felda United FC coach Reduan Abdullah has been slapped with a one-year ban and fined RM4,000 for commenting on policy matters of the FA of Malaysia (FAM).

The former international was the second coach to pay the price for speaking his mind on Malaysian football. Early this month, national coach B. Sathianathan was given the boot by the FAM executive committee for his infamous outburst “M-League is not football”.

Reduan’s comments was published in a Malay daily last week and he was hauled up to face the FAM disciplinary board at the Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya yesterday.

The board chairman, Kamaruddin Abdullah, said: “He (Reduan) got his facts wrong. And in the first place, he is not allowed to talk to the press on policy matters without the consent of the FAM. There are proper channels to voice out such matters to the FAM.”

Reduan said it was a sad day for him as it was the first time that disciplinary action was taken against him.

“I have never been hauled by the disciplinary board even as a player. I did not mean any harm in what I said and was for the good of Malaysian football,” said the former international, who made his debut in the national team in 1973.

Reduan had commented that the FAM had failed to monitor on the fitness test for teams in the M-League and that by doing so the unfit players were also issued licence to play. He also said that there were no guidelines or benchmark for the grading of the players for their fitness.

The FAM general secretary, Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad, said that the coaching department had conducted a clinic to brief coaches on the fitness tests for the 2007-08 season and Reduan was one of the participants of the clinic.

“We have documented evidence on having briefed the coaches on the tests and Reduan was there,” he said.

Meanwhile, Perlis coach Irfan Bakti was fined RM7,000 and handed a four-match ban for kicking a microphone during the Super League match against Penang in Kangar on Jan 10.

The Police FA were handed a RM10,000 fine for their fans’ unruly behaviour, who threw objects onto the pitch in a Malaysia Cup match against Selangor last year. Their assistant coach Roslan Ismail was fined RM3,000 for spitting at the referee. Their trainer, Annuar Udin, was fined RM1,000 and slapped a two-match suspension for violent conduct and trying to charge at the referee.

Another official, Gifar Wari, was fined RM3,000 and suspended indefinitely from all FAM activities until he appears before the disciplinary board.

COMMENT - just love the stories in this article! Police fans rioted! Spitting at the ref! I also understand Reduan has been warned if he steps out of line again he will be forced to attend all FAM meetings for 18 months. That should shut him up!


Results 26/01

Copa Indonesia

Persija v Persiba 3-0 (Bambang 2, Robertinho) 12,000
Sriwijaya v Persib 3-1 (Ngon A Djam, Budi, Keith Kayamba Gumbs; Hilton) 15,000


Woodlands Wellington v Tampines Rovers 2-2 (Zakaria Yousif 14' M Tehranizadeh 50'; Sutee Suksomkit 28',43') 1,955
Home United v Balestier Khalsa 3-0 (K Ludovick 61',90'(p) Peres de Oliveira 76') 1,783


3 + 2

The Indonesian FA have said they are considering having just three foreigners per club in the ISL next season plus two Asian players who must be full internationals.

Presently just about every club has five foreigners, mostly from Africa or South America. There is one Thai who plays for Persijap, Thaipoon, but nobody else springs to mind unless we include Aussie Robbie Gaspar at Persiba.

If adopted it could mean a mass exodus of players from these shores as clubs and agents scurry to familiarise themselves with the local game more and the unwanted look elsewhere.

Realistically, who would come here? Can't see many Chinese, Japanese or Koreans wanting to come. Not many Singaporeans could come, perhaps Noh Alam Shah. Are any Malaysians better than what is available here?

You might get one or two Thais heading south, maybe some Indians? Or the big names from the Philippines and East Timor?


Sergio to play against United?

It seems from this story that Dutch striker Sergio van Dijk has spoken with the Indonesian FA and they have asked him if he wants to play against Manchester United in their friendly match in July.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Sriwijaya v Persib 3-1

What a great game of football. I have been planning on building up a library of DVDs featuring games in this region and this game would have taken pride of place. It hasn't happened yet but oh what a game. if it had ended 9-5 nobody could have complained.

Ngon A Djam gave Sriwijaya the lead, Budi Sudarsono made it 2. Gonzales netted for Persib but it was disallowed and Kayamba made it three just before half time with an old school centre forwards header from Budi's cross. Hilton netted a late goal for Persib to give them some hope but Indonesian football was the winner with this game. If only it had a bigger audience!


PSMS AFC Schedule

10/03 v South China (A)
17/03 v Johor (H)
07/04 v VB (H)
21/04 v VB (A)
05/05 v South China (H)
19/05 v Johor (A)


SAF ACL draw

11/03 v Shanghai Shenhua (A)
18/03 v Suwon Bluwings (H)
07/04 v Kashima Antlers (H)
22/04 v Kashima Antlers (A)
05/05 v Shanghai Shenhua (H)
19/05 v Suwon Bluewings (A)


AFC Under 19s

As mentioned before, Indonesia will be hosting a group stage of the AFC Under 19s. along with the hosts, Australia, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Singapore and Hong Kong will make up Group F from 26 September until 11 October 2009. It is anticipated that Bung Karno and Lebak Bulus will be the stadiums used for this event. The Indonesians will enter their prodigies who are currently playing in the Uruguayan Under 17 League where they are coached by Cesar Payovich Perez


Consoloation for PSMS

PSMS may have lost to SAF last night but as consolation they have been drawn in the AFC Cup alongside Johor (Malaysia), VB (Maldives) and South China (Hong Kong). Home games have been penciled in for Jalak Harupat Stadium in Soreang, West Java but who knows? That may well change!


Ditch the salary cap!

So Richard Bok will be leading his SAF into unchartered territory in the ACL. No more trips to the Gulf with their hugs and kisses between the match officials and the home side, Bok will be taking on the cream of Japan, South Korea and, err, China.

How well equipped are the Warriors, and indeed Indonesia’s Sriwijaya, to compete at the very highest level?

Squad sizes here are tiny. If a leading ASEAN team, a Sriwijaya or SAF, for example had an injury list like the Arsenal’s then they would have waved the white flag a long time ago.

Manchester United have three quality goalkeepers and a fourth out on loan. It is a maxim that every outfield position is covered these days in the biggest leagues. Japan and South Korea of course aren’t the biggest leagues but the chances are they are ahead of the best of South East Asia.

Sriwijaya have Claude Ngon A Djam and Keith Kayamba Gumbs up front but there is precious little to take their place should one of them be injured. The obvious choice would be Budi Sudarsono but he was brought in to start games, not be a squad member.

Indonesia is considering capping the salaries of its foreign players. Singapore already has salary caps. In Singapore’s case for good reason. With such a small talent pool to draw on the founding fathers, seeking a more equitable league, decided everyone should play on a level field. Ish.

But what has happened is two or three clubs have become bigger than the rest despite the limits. But they’re not big enough to compete Asia wide. You may have a first team squad or 14 or 15 players and that’s it. That will include a couple of ball boys who get a kick around when there are too many injuries. And that ain’t enough when you’re up against the best of the best.

Both Richard Bok and Steve Darby, two of the most successful coaches in Singapore recently, have called for salary caps to be lifted to allow their sides to compete at the highest level.

Throwing money at a problem is never the best solution. But by allowing clubs to decide what they can afford and allowing them to develop first team squads with strength in depth we would be giving them the opportunity to match the best Asian sides. Success in the ACL, given its increasingly high profile, may even have a trickle down effect to the local leagues which could well benefit more youngsters from a variety of backgrounds take up the game as the rewards increase.


Another bloody break?

The Indonesian Super League could well be looking at another break. The police in some regions are worried that they cannot provide adequate security for the upcoming elections in March as well as allow their officers to watch games free in fans seats. Sorry, ignore that last bit. What I meant to say was provide crowd control in and around football stadiums.

Every season the game here goes through a series of pauses. Every bloody year. It seems the people in charge are not able to plan for the future. Oh, and there will be another break at the end of March no doubt while the international team prepare for that vitally important friendly against New Zealand which comes just a few days before the parliamentary elections.

The 2008/2009 season started in July. There was a break of sorts during the fasting month in October when some teams hardly played, others played too many and everyone kicked off at 9pm. There was a break in November while the international team competed in the GRCC in Myanmar. There was a break in December for the AFF Cup. And there was a break in January for the Asian Cup qualifiers.

And all this coming after a 6 month mid season break!

We could be looking at another 13 month season here in cuckoo land.


Persitara back to winning ways

Persitara v PKT 2-1 (Prince Bello, Rahmat Rivai; Titus John Londouw Bonai) 1,253

Persijap v Persikabo 4-0 (Juansyah 2, Siregar, Ilham Hasan) - Copa Indonesia


SAF squeeze through

SAF, SLeague champions the last three seasons, just about overcame struggling PSMS last night at Jalan Besar to book their place in the ACL proper for the first time in their history.

The Warriors took the lead through Thai Therdsak Chaiman but Costas equalised early in the second half. It took an extra winner from Ahmad Latiff Khamarudin to guarantee SAF's place among Asia's elite.

In the last few minutes PSMS had two players sent off by the Malaysian ref.

SAF will now join the group populated by Shanghai Shenhua, Kashima Antlers Suwon Bluewings while PSMS join the AFC Cup - I will add group details later.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


No of the SLeague

Gombak United v Super Reds 1-0 (Agu Casmir) 2,157

Gombak carried on their fine form from last season by beating Super Reds with Agu's late goal. Gombak top with six points from two games while Super Reds have just a single point in 8th



I'd love to have gone over for tonight's ACL qualifier but as some guy called Mick once said, you can't always get what you want. Still, I have done a match preview, admittedly one sided having seen PSMS just recently. It will be interesting to see if many Indonesians turn up to follow the Medan side. If they do then alan Besar might get to have an atmosphere. Forget those magic European nights at Anfield... sales at the gate


Persibo's victory was no upset

The local media are desribing it as an embarrassment but was it? Going into yesterday’s Copa Indonesia clash between Pelita Jaya and Persibo Bojonegoro did we really believe it was going to be a home banker?

Pelita Jaya can’t buy a goal these days. One against Persita, one against Persijap, one against PSMS, it doesn’t need a FIFA A license to see where Fandi’s men are having problems.

Yesterday they gave a debut to new signing James Koko Lomel but he was relplaced at half time by the consistently underachieving Rudi Widodo. If there are any PJ fans then they must have known all was already lost. 1-0 down with only one recognized goal scorer on the pitch and 45 minutes left.

But we knew before about Persibo and especially their young striker Syamsul Arief. It tells something about the game in Indonesia that the 24 year old is considered young where in many countries he would already be a full international and playing with one of the big clubs.

Fandi Ahmad, a coach known for giving youth its steam, went for the tried and trusted Liberian Lomel to partner Lopes rather than take a punt on Arief.

The big clubs are reluctant to try promising young talent. Arema among others have been looking for strikers but they cast their net overseas. Instead it is the smaller sides who give it a go, witness Persitara signing up Mostapha Aji.

Syamsul now has seven goals in this season’s Copa Indonesia. He’s bound to move on during the mid season which starts in June but to where? Will it be some team with little ambition or will one of the big boys take the gamble?


Persibo look to another shock

Indonesian Premier League side Persibo defeated Pelita Jaya yesterday in their Copa Indonesia 3rd round first leg at the Jalak Harupat Stadium in Soreang. Copa leading scorer Syamsul Arief netted his seventh cup goal of the season as he continues to lead his side to unlikely cup glory.


Kedah's Malaysian domination is over

Bojak Hodak is the coach of My Team and this morning he is one happy man after his young team put one over treble winners Kedah holding them to a 0-0 last night in the second round, second leg FA Cup tie.

He gave me his thoughts after the game when he was no doubt still buzzing!

One thing is sure in Malaysian football this season Kedah will not win a triple this season...
We have 3-4 great chanse in first half but thanks to poor finishing match was 0-0. second half 2 more chances including Norsharul Talaha 1v1 with kedah goalie n miss ....
than kedah scored from off side position and I know that they will complain about refs but they can only blame themselfs,
they have good players but playing English football from 70s...kick long ball and pressure....
true is that My Team was better in 2 matches

The 3rd round kicks off 3rd March with the second leg on 7th.

MyTeam vs Kelantan
T-Team vs Negri Sembilan
Harimau Muda vs Perlis
Perak vs Selangor

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Outstanding results

Indonesian Super League

Persela v Persipura 1-3

Copa Indonesia

Persih v Deltras 1-2 (Jajang Hasan; Danilo Fernando 2) 5,400


Albirex Niigata v Sengkang Punggol 0-1 (Indra Sahdan Daud) 1,642

Monday, February 23, 2009


PEA v SAFFC 18/02 - one fan's unhappy experience

I received this e mail from a Singaporean football fan who had travelled to Bangkok last week to seethe above ACL qualifier. His story is pretty self explanatory but the message is loud and clear. Football in this region needs to get its PR sorted. Bryan is a keen football fan, the kind of guy who is prepared to travel distances to see games. While the AFC maybe more interested in revenues from TV and other sponsorship it should not overlook the fan on the terrace. Especially the ones who are prepared to give up their own time like Bryan did.

I had a frustrating time in BKK. I DIDN"T CATCH THE GAME @ ALL!!! I arrived at the hotel 4 hours before kickoff. I read from one of the reporters, Gary Koh's ORGINAL article on Feb 16th (it was amended later) that the game will be played @ the Thai Army Sports stadium coz Thammasat Uni's stadium doesn't meetAFC criteria (strange coz it hosted the Asian Games soccer event in 1998). I was delighted coz the Thai Army Stadium is nearer to my hotel. Thus, with so much time on hand, I actually walked to the stadia in 2 hrs & took motorcycle transport when I hit the vicinity. When I arrived 1.5 hrs before kickoff, I found it strange that the stadium was empty with no policemen, no ticketseller, no organizers etc..

I entered the stadia, sat @ the grandstand & found a few army guys running there. I sensed something was wrong about 1hr before kickoff & called writer, Po Hui to verify. He doesn't know where they are playing as well. Then I called my female colleague who helped me surfed the AFC website but she doesn't know how to look for the interview article with SAF coach, Richard Bok. Thus, I thought that the game has been reinstated to the Thammasat University stadia again so I quickly made my way there via taxi.

The ignorant taxi driver only dropped me @ the Uni's doorstep coz the security guy @ the entrance said that the stadia was nearby. Both of them don't understand English & I showed them a kicking action & mentioned Therdsak Chaiman's name. The securityguy nodded his head & used his fingers to indicate that SAF will lose the game 2-1. I thought I must have hit jackpot & I tried to locate the stadium which is at least 3km away! Along the way, some uni students (who can speak English) gave me directions to the stadium but when I arrived there- I only found students doing track & field stuff, playing football on the pitch....

There was no damned game!! By then,it was 6pm Thai time & the game has already kickoffed. I was so disheartened & frustrated by all the mindless running about that I made my way back to the hotel via cab. I was even chased by a dog outside the stadia. It was jam hour & it took me an hour to reach my hotel. Along the way, I had messaged all my S-League pals about my bad experience. Then one of the SAF reserve player's dad texted me to find out the score. I told him my bad experience & he told me that the game was in fact played @ the RAJAMANGALA NATIONAL STADIUM- right in front of my hotel doorsteps!!!

Urggh...On the highway near my hotel, I could see the floodlights from Rajamangala (the game was about 75 minutes old by then) but I had already lost the mood. I ddin't know the score at that point of time but had I known, I could have made it for the extra time period.

Granted.....I am partly to blame as I had 5 chances to verify the venue before the game:

1) I had only scanned through Richard Bok's interview by AFC on Feb 16th & probably missed out on the venue detail;
2) I could have checked out the venue again @ Changi Airport when I was surfing the internet;
3) I could have verified the venue @ the hotel lobby when I was flippin through the English papers but didn't pay attention to the sports section;
4) I could have called my friend, Peh, the SAF kitman who texted me in Bangkok 4 hours before kickoff & I replied him that I knew there was a change of venue to the Thai Army Sports Stadium. And being less proficient in English, he probably doesn't understand my reply. Still, I should have called him @ that point of time and not 1 hour before kickoff when his phone was off.
5) I should have called the reseved player's dad, instead of my colleague, right?

Still, I don't think it's right for AFC to change the venue 2 days before the game when the fixture & venue was already fixed way back in Dec. Gosh....they have bloody 2 months to ascertain whether the Thammasat pitchis suitable for the can they be so unprofessional by switching the stadia @ the 11th hour?

Just imagine...A World Cup game is slated to be played in New York & then FIFA announces that the game has to be played in LA 2 days before the scheduled date. I am sure all of us will be tearing our hair out coz our flights, accomodation plans etc will be thrown into disarray!! Simply frustrating coz I have never screwed up for all these overseas football trips....Sigh.

Anyway, PEA has been relegated to Home United's AFC Cup group after the defeat. Undeterred, I'll likely make the trip again to bAngkok & this time, I am bloody sure it's Rajamangala Stadium coz the other stadias in Thailand don't meet AFC criteria. Yup...this time round, I'll verify with whatever sources I can lay my hands on before I fly.


Persib win again

Persib v PKT 2-1 (Cabanes, Hilton; Titus John Londouw Bonai) 24,000

Persib moved into 4th place in the ISL after this win over PKT. The first goal was simplicity itself. Eka Ramdhani, so inflential first half, hit a long free kick which Gonzales nodded down for Cabanas to drive home on 5 minutes.



Balestier Khalsa v SAF 0-3 (Duric 2, Masahiro Fukasawa)

SAF prepared for Wednesday's ACL qualifier against PSMS by beating Balestier Khalsa with a pair from the recovered Aleksander Duric. Last week they beat the Thai side PEA 4-1 while on Friday PSMS beat Persiba bantul in the Copa Indonesia 5-1.

Wednesday night has all the makings of a 0-0 with one side qualifiying on penalties!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Persitara v Persiba 0-2

Good old Persitara! Just a few days ago I was calling them the great entertainers and after today's showing against Persiba little has changed. Oh, except against PSM they got three points and today they got zilch.

Musafry, some time international, gave the visitors the lead and until then little had been seen of Prince Bello Kabir, Persitara's new striker, who was in the back pocket of former My Team defender Mijo Dadic for much of the game. Not until the dying embers of the first half did he have a whiff of anything and then from close range he succeeded only in directing the ball at the prostrate, but impressive visiting keeper Wirawan.

Second half Persitara jiggled things round abit Bossoken dropping to central midfield. John Tarkpor pushed wide while Mostapha Aji went up top. And it was Aji who nearly brought the home side back into the game with an impish chip from about six yards that Wirawan did well to push over the bar.

I always get nervous when I see players take short run ups for penalties. This time it was Rahmat Rivai taking the casual approach after Prince had been felled and was off the field but Wirawan guessed correctly.

Moments later, or was it minutes or did it happen earlier (?), Tarkpor cleverly made space for himself in the penalty area but his drive hit the side netting.

Down the other end Gaston Castano broke with two against one. All he had to do was shoot but instead looked to play his partner in and it was all wasted.

Moments later down the other end and Persitara get another penalty. You know when you get stuck in traffic? You stop, you start. Prince was like that. By the time he got to the ball the moment had gone and it went high and wide.

Substitute Yahya had the chance to make Gaston rue his earlier lack of fortitude in front of goal but he shaved the cross bar.

Persiba looked lethal on the breaks with a player on each flank bearing down on goal. Right at the end Musafry repeated his goal in the first half, securing the points for the Persiba side who had also welcomed back Adrian Trinidad to their ranks.

Images of Persiba players can be found here while Persitara players dyed their hair blue!


Malaysian FA Cup 2nd round 1st leg

Kedah v My Team 1-1
Kelantan v PDRM 5-1
T Team v Sarawak 2-0
Penang v Negeri Sembilan 1-1
Terengganu v Harimau Muda 2-1
Selangor PKNS v Perlis 1-2
Perak v Kuala Muda 1-1
KL v Selangor 0-1

My Team took the lead against holders Kedah when Saravanan gave them an 18th minute lead but Badrol Bhaktiar equalised on 78. Kelantan can't stop scoring and their team of Malaysian stars went nap against the ploddish Police. Khalid Jamlus led the way with a couple for the run away MSL leaders.

Second leg next Tuesday and there ain't much in the way of upsets in the cards. But then that's the beauty of cup upsets innit? You don't predict them!


Pelita Jaya v Persijap 1-1

Pelita Jaya made a couple of changes from their narrow win over Persita last weekend with coach Fandi Ahmad bringing back Dian Agus Prasetyo and Dony Gendot replacing the ineffective Rudi Widowo.

But everything went tits up when Dony was injured in the first half meaning a shot shy attack had Rudi back up front...hardly the ideal scenario.

Basri gave PJ the lead five minutes before half time but the thing with Fandi's boys is you can't see them scoring a second. Especially not with this performance where it wasn't just the final ball that went stray. All too often the first ball became the final in a deeply disappointing display by the home side.

Persijap don't get much on the road but they equalised about midway through the second half though there was a question of offside.

Fandi's frustrations were typified right at the death when defender Yohan Ibo went for glory with a 35 yard free kick. What happened to dinking the ball into the box and allowing the likes of Lopes to unsettle the defence?

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Thais delighted to go United

Once upon a time clubs in England usually called themselves United 'cos there was some kind of merger between two previous sides.

The Thais, perhaps ignoring the tradition, have desided to ape the Manchester version and this coming TPL season, which begins next month, sees a whole host of Utds.

Chula Sinthana becomes Chula United which makes some kind of sense
Bangkok University becomes Bangkok United which makes none
Pattaya United have taken over Bang Phra and set up tasty local derbies with Chonburi
Nong Jork have become Muang Thong United and play at a public lavatory called the Thunder Dome

There's other name changes and or takeovers just to add to the confusion in the Thai league.

Thai Tobacco Monopoly have become TTM Samut Sakorn which is odd. The TTM backs on to Nana Soi 4 - surely they could have taken a more local name perhaps or even got sponsorship from one of the bars there? Like Big Dogs?

Navy have become Raja Navy Rayong while Bangkok Bank have given up full stop and those other bankers Krung Thai Bank have become Bangkok Glass. From bankers to glaziers with the stroke of a pen!

And Si Racha are now named Si Racha Samut Prakan for some wierd and wonderful reason. In the fixtures I have there is also a Thai word in there which I think refers to a level of government?

With Samuts Songkram, Sakorn and Prakan now featuring in the TPL the coastal provinces around Bangkok will have their very own series of derbies, much like the Didcot Triangle of Reading, Oxford United and Swindon Town. Full of local passion and angst for the locals but just a bunch of rurals getting some excitment for the rest of us


A change in Fortune for Arema

God, what an awful heading! Former Balestier Khalsa and Negeri Sembilan striker Fortune Udo has joined Arema Malang where he will team up with Patricio Morales.


Trinidad returns

Argentinian striker Adrian Trinidad looks like he is returning to Persiba after a spell round the houses in KL Plus and Perth Glory. He arrived in Jakarta a couple of days back but it remains to be seen whether or not he lines up against Persitara tomorrow or Persija next Thursday


10 Top South East Asian Talents

Inspired by another website, which I have totally forgotten, and having plenty of free time as usual I decided to come up with a list of players I enjoy watching. They may not be the best in their position but that ain't the point. The point is they have shone in games I have seen. They're in no particular order but we'll start, like all fantasy sides, with the keeper.

Achmed Kurniawan (Persik) - Aging a bit and behind Markus Horison in the pecking order for the national team I first saw this guy playing for Arema against Deltras in an East Java derby and he turned in a Jim Montgomery 1973 style performance when he stopped everything that went his way. A similar performance last time out against Sriwijaya when he was unlucky to end on the losing side.

Firman Utina (Pelita Jaya) - I get tired just watching this guy. First thought he was all brawn but the more I see him, the more I like. Indonesia's very own Roy Keane though perhaps without the beer intake, his coach Fandi says he needs a rest but he won't give him one. With such a versatile player where do you get the best from him? Playing off a striker, attacking midfield?

Hamka Hamza (Persik) - I did laugh when Persik signed Hamka, they seemed such a perfect match. Persik, the team that don't defend, Hamka, the defender that won't defend. He thinks he's Ronald Koeman! Him and Abanda Herman last season at Persija had the coaching staff tearing their hair out.

Budi Sudarsono (Sriwijaya) - Class oozes from his very spores. At his best running against defenders, especially from wide positions, this guy is always going to cause problems...unless he is played as a central striker where I feel we don't see the best of him. Shone with Persik during their ACL campaign in 2007 I'm sure he will do again this time.

Ismed Sofyan (Persija) - A reluctant defender, Ismed has a touch of a Beckham about him but without the life style or a missus who likes the limelight as much as her old man. Ismed does a couple of things very well indeed. One is dead balls. Free kicks or corners, he will nearly always work the keeper. And long range shots. Check out his 40 yard effort against Persik on You Tube. Somewhere.

Boas Solossa (Persipura) - Just returning from a nightmare 18 month injury Boas has pace to burn but like Firman, just where do you play him? Through the middle, on the flank where he is one of the few attacking options for Benny Dollo?

Bambang Pamungkas (Persija) - The Gary Linekar of Indonesian football, Bambang is the hottest name in the country. A consumate professional, a quality striker and a bloody nice guy as well. Just watch him on the pitch. Always appreciating others efforts, a pat on the back, a thumbs up. Used as the main striker in the national team, his club coach Danurwindo sees him differently and pairing him alongside a big striker could be a master stroke.

Syamsul Arief (Persibo) - Just seen him on the box in Copa games, he's one of those players who always looks like scoring. ADmittedly he hasn't been so prolific in the second tier IPL as he has in the Copa against the big teams but he still has a certain summat about him. Must ask Fandi what he thinks of him when we next meet - Pelita Jaya are up against Persibo in the Copa.

Teerathep Winothai (Lierse) - When someone like Steve Darby tells me to look out for such a such a player then I do as I'm told. While the Thai media moaned about his lack of goals I was impressed by his movement. The way he went wide to create space, the way how he could cross the ball. He may not have been scoring himself but for sure his efforts were helping his team. The other thing I noticed was his size. One reason why Indonesia struggled during the AFF Cup is their lack of a big man up front. It all got one dimensional.

Noh Alam Shah (Tampines Rovers) - Bubbly, heart on sleeve, all that sort of stuff. NAS is the most un-Singaporean Singaporean I know. In the semi final against Vietnam I spent the first half hour just watching this human dynamo. When the tackles were flying he was in there, when the crosses came in he was in there and when it was handbags he was in there. Sometimes it looks like he plays on passion alone and that makes him worth watching.


Indonesia to host U19 qualification

They may have missed out on hosting the final stages but Indonesia does get to host the qualification round of the AFC Under 19 later on in the year.

Indonesia are drawn alongside Singapore, Australia, Japan, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong.

The top two go through to the tournament proper which will be held next year. UAE are the current holders having beaten Uzbekistan last time.

In the AFC Under 16 Indonesia were drawn alongside Japan, Mongolia, Chinese Taipei, Bangladesh and the Philippines. This will be played 3-18 October at a venue to be decided.


Results 20/02


Sengkang Punggol v Gombak United 0-1 (Obatola) 4,230

What a crowd last night at the Hougang Stadium to see the new look Dolphins try and shake off their celler dweller tag. Indra Daud Sahdan and Adie Iskandar were among the new faces but it was Darren Stewart's Bulls who took the points. Gombak had a very impressive run in to the end of last season and have ambitions of their own.

Copa Indonesia

PSMS v Persiba Bantul 5-1 (Elie Aiboy, Rachmat Affandi, Roni Prowanda, Asri Akhbar 2; Yantara)

PSMS prepared for next week's ACL qualifier against SAF by thumping IPL side Persiba in their home town of Medan yesterday. The home team were two up in 14 minutes and on the half hour mark they were three up and the tie was over. Aiboy, Horison and Affandi all started while Martins missed the game.

UPDATE - it should of course be Jalan Besar and not Hougang for the SLeague game! Thanks to Paul for pointing that out

Friday, February 20, 2009


Mediocre coverage

It's fair to say the coverage of domestic football in the local English language media is mediacre throughout the region.

In Thailand the Bangkok Post has been covering Peter Reid and the national team a fair bit recently but when Reidy leaves and the expats lose any lingering interest they may have will the Post still cover the xploits of Somchai Rattanakosinchaikulbumphen and the side.

And local league coverage is non existant, even back when Thai Farmer's bank were winning the Asian Champions Cup, presumably because the editors decided their readers couldn't handle the local names.

Oddly enough Malaysia fares a little better. Both papers there have pieces about the game there but mostly it is negative coverage and tries not to offend any of the 'important' people; a fine balancing act. So the national team coach is always easy prey but the guy who appointed him is considered untouchable.

South of the causeway and coverage there is cursory at best, mediocore at worse. Check the weekend's papers and you get to know what size socks Ronaldo wears and Lampard's latest car but you can find sod all about who is playing that night in Tampines or Woodlands.

But when there is negative news these guys are leading the bandwagon. Match fixing is a good 'un as is when the national side loses. The media love that and run polls asking buggers who couldn't even find Bedok Stadium on a map what is wrong with Singaporean football.

Indonesia now has two English language newspapers and one, the Jakarta Globe, does at least provide coverage of the local league, perhaps the only paper to do so in the whole region. At least they make the effort and we can forgive them the odd mistake that seeps through (today they have PSMS playing Persiba Balikpapan instead of Persiba Bantul!). The Jakarta Post, their stodgy, dull old rival rarely bothers. Not unless they can fit the old stereotype of violence or corruption or some coiffured Ibu is late for a coffee appointment at some bland mall.

Four countries, eight newspapers and only one can be relied on for any regular coverage. Thank god for the new media. For the blogs and message boards listed on my links column, for the E zines put together by the fans.


More blanks in SLeague

Super Reds v Young Lions 0-0 2,464

Copa Indonesia
Persipura v Persema 3-0 (Boaz Solossa 2, Alberto Goncalves) 15,000

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Long live the Prince

The arrival of Prince Kabir Bello at Persitara has turned around the fortunes of a side that were good for a laugh but were far from serious players where it mattered; on the pitch.

Last time out at home to Deltras, Persitara bordered on tepid. Yesterday, with Prince returning after suspension, there were moments when the North Jakarta side looked mesmerizing. Only moments mind, but oh, the potential!

Fielding possibly the most attack minded line up in the ISL at the moment, coach Buitelaar went with John Tarkpor and Essiah Benson anchoring the midfield with neither naturally defensive minded. On the flanks there were Mostapha Aji and Rahmat Rivai who pushed on while through the centre Prince and defender turned striker Banaken.

It took Rahmat and Mostapha time to get used to their new roles despite the fact that the home side were two up before we had reached the half hour mark but if the coaching staff are brave enough to give this formation time then we could be seeing the new entertainers.

Two goals from Prince yesterday made it four in three ISL games to go with his two yellows and one suspension. The man signed from Sepahan in Iran has certainly had an impact in his short time here.

That impact could have been greater had not his outrageous scissors kick not rebounded off the cross bar.

If only the Prince was Indonesian!

Before the game I was with Persija coach Danurwindo and among other things we discussed his own signing of Fabio Lopes as well as the likelihood of seeing Sergio van Dijk in an Indonesian shirt. He asked me what I thought of Prince but like him I hadn’t seen him. After the game we both were purring.

The lad, he’s about 22, is an old school centre forward. A battering ram but with a touch of finesse. Good on the ground and in the air, he has that selfish touch in and around the box that all good strikers need. Fine when he’s scoring, perhaps he won’t be so popular when he goes through a barren spell but this guy oozes confidence.

His work rate also impressed with him helping out the defence when needed leaving Banaken up top alone.

Persitara are now 12th on 19 points. This was only their 4h win of the season but with two more home games on the horizon, Persiba on 22nd and PKT on 25th, they have the perfect opportunity to put more distance between themselves and the other cellar dwellers beneath them.

And expect to be hearing a lot more about the Prince of North Jakarta


Latest results


Geylang United v Albirex Niigata 3-1

Geylang are top of the SLeague, two points clear of Tampines and Home.


Persitara v PSM 3-0 (Prince Kabir Bello 2, Rahmat Rivai) 1,251
Persib v Persiba 2-1 (Gonzales 2; Caston) 19,000

Asian Champions League Qualifier

PEA v SAFFC 1-4 (Apipoon; Kenji Arai, Therdsak Chaiman 2, Mustaqim Manzur )


Perak v Terengganu 0-1
Selangor v My Team 0-1
Johor v Perlis 1-2
Pahang v Kelantan 1-5
Negeri Sembilan v KL Plus 0-0
Penang v PDRM 3-1
Kedah v Kuala Muda 2-1

These results are from Tuesday so apologies lah. Peter Buter's Kelantan go three clear after thumping fellow east coasters Pahang. They were helped by My Team's surprise victory at the Shah Alam against Selangor. Kedah's revival continues with a third straight win while the Police, (PDRM), lost to Penang to keep them at the bottom winless, drawless and pointless.

1. Kelantan 7 6 0 1 21-13 18
2. Selangor 7 5 0 2 16-7 15
3. Perlis 7 5 0 2 11-8 15

While his new club Kelantan thrive back in the MSL, his old side Persiba are at the wrong end of the ISL and face tricky games over the next few days. Last night they lost to Persib, Sunday they play a regenerated Persitara then next Thursday take on Persija.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Sriwijaya go top, SLeague kicks off

Sriwijaya v Persik 2-1 (Ngon A Djam, Benben Berlian; Ronald Fagundez)

Tampines Rovers v Home United 0-0 3,317

Sriwijaya went top of the ISL last night as they just about squeezed by a Persik side who time and time again were saved by the heroics of keeper Achmad Kurniawan. Last season's double winners had Budi Sudarsono lining up against his old club and tellingly coach Rahmad Darmawan had the striker nicknamed Python out wide allowing him the opportunity to run at defenders.

From one such run his cross stood up and Benben powered home his header at the back stick, finally getting past AK and putting his side two points clear of Persija in the ISL.

At international level coach Benny Dollo stuck with Budi as a central striker and although he netted four goals Cambodia and Myanmar are not major players in world football.

Monday, February 16, 2009


More images added

Just finished uploading some pictures from the weekend. There are some of the Persitara fans, called NJ Mania, action from their game against Deltras as well as shots of two former Persikota players who have found new clubs.

Check it out at Asian Football Pictures


Indonesia misses out

The AFF have given this year's Under 16 competition to Thailand while Ho Chi Minh gets to host the Under 19s.

In more AFF news last years AFF Cup, won by Vietnam, saw an increase in attendances compared to the previous competition. It would be nice to see th actual attendances for each game but perhaps they are trade secrets?

And interestingly a survey was carried out during the tournament kast December and most fans were happy to see the current format with a qualifing stage, group stage and knock out stage.

I attended many games in both Jakarta and Singapore and don't remember seeing anybody doing any surveys.

There was also an official programme for the event but these were not made available to the general public. I scrounged mine off some guy who was invited into some corporate part of the stadium.

Is there no way team sheets can be made available for these competitions? Most fans would like to know who was actually playing on each side. Small matters like this help make events more professional but I guess all people are interested in is sponsorhsip revenue and viewing figures. Anything that makes the actual paying fan's experience more complete just ain't a priority.


MSL results 14/01

ing My Team v Kedah 0-1
Johor v Perak 0-1
Kuala Muda v Penang 3-1
Perlis v Negeri Sembilan1-0
KL Plus v Selangor 1-3
PDRM v Pahang 1-4
Kelantan v Terengganu 3-2

Selangor and Kelantan went three points clear of the MSL after victories at the weekend. Both have 15 points from their six games. The Red Giants defeated surprise package KL Plus and Kelantang were made to battle for their three points in the north eastern derby. PDRM scored a goal which was no doubt a moment of great joy but they stay rooted to the bottom with nul points from their six games, four points behind second bottom placed side Penang.

1. Selangor 6 5 0 1 16-6 15
2. Kelantan 6 5 0 1 16-12 15
3. Negeri Sembilan 6 4 0 2 12-4 12
4. KL Plus 6 4 0 2 10-7 12

's a funnything but there's only been two draws this season on the ML and both featured 8th placed Johor. Now in't that odd?


On the road again

Indonesia is a big country. The distances involved are immense at times and the logistics involved in getting to away games time consuming. Persija, leaders of the ISL, are looking forward to a road trip that will see them away from home for the best part of a month, playing three games on the island of Kalimantan and two in East Java.

Rather than flying in and out just for the games obviously the bean counters, if they have one, have decided the best thing for the squad to do is keep together for the whole time which makes it difficult for the family men in the team.

Many of the younger players, or the single ones, live in a mess at the Persija training centre so for them they probably welcome the break. More of the same but with the promise of better food.

But for those with families it’s harder. I recall after the AFF Cup defeat against Thailand last December seeing the Indonesian players distraught arriving back at the hotel they were staying at and I was drinking at. One by one they trooped in wearily except for one. He saw his wife and children sat in the lobby area and his whole demeanor changed. He had on his Indonesia track suit and was wearing all the football gear but he was no longer a footballer, he was a family man and his children were cheering him up after a bad day at the office.

As fans we live and breathe football but for the players it’s a job. Behind the headlines and supposed glamour they’re just geezers trying to take care of their families and we sometimes forget that.


Where's the goals?

Persitara v Deltras 1- 1 (Kusen; Bassoken)
Persib v PSM 0-0 24,000
Pelita Jaya v Persita 1-0 (Cristiano Lopes)
PSIS v Persijap 0-0 15,127

After the flood of goals at the Persija game last week against Persiwa, cometh the famine. I got to catch up with three of the bottom clubs over the weekend and boy was it impressive? Maybe not.

First up was the Persitara game on Saturday against Deltras who had been busy during the mid season break snapping up Danilo Fernando and Gustavo Chena but they need someone who can score Hilary Echesa doesn’t look like he can do that at the moment. Danilo, on the other hand, has all the makings of this generation’s very own Jan Molby. I never knew they made shirts that size!

The home side were without new signing Prince Kabir Bello, suspended after two yellows in his first two games, but instead of giving Mostapha Aji his first run out new coach Dick Buitelaar elected to push Bassoken up top.

Difficult to know how to describe this game so perhaps it’s best I don’t. A belly full of lunch time beer does that to the brain. Deltras were roared on by about 100 fans who had made the long journey up from Sidoarjo and spent the night before kipping on the floor of the Persija fan club’s office in the stadium. Great story but one that doesn’t attract any interest from mainstream media who prefer riots and brawls.

Persitara had more about them and in Rahmat Rivai, a former national team player, perhaps the best player on the pitch. Mostapha Aji came on for the second half and was busy but little more. Any regulars may know I have mentioned him a few times before and I was interested in what the geezer sat next to me thought. He nodded approvingly and said he was fast and skilful.

Deltras could and should have had a penalty second half. A two footed challenge from behind that misse the ball and brings down the attacker? Dead cert pen in my book and also the geezer next to me agreed. And he should know, what with him being coach of Persija, Danurwindo.

The visitors took the lead, Persitara equalized moments later and that, fact fans, was that.

Sunday being hangover day I had a late start but still managed to get to Soreang in time for the Pelita Jaya game with exceedingly low expectations and I wasn’t disappointed. In the 40 games played beforehand by these two sides they had only produced 33 goals. Take the Brazilian striker Lopes out of the mix and their combined squads had scored 23 goals.

The only quality on the pitch came from Lopes and his header half way through the second half was enough to spare us a 0-0. Persita? Difficult to say anything positive about them. Indeed when you look to Adolfo Souza for goals then you’re in trouble.

There was absolutely no atmosphere in the stadium at all. Indeed Pelita Jaya coach Fandi Ahmad must have thought he was back in Singapore, so subdued was the crowd. No Persita fans had made the three hour trip and Pelita Jaya have done little to attract fans to their new home stadium. At least last season in Purwakarta they pulled reasonable numbers but yesterday the only shirts I saw worn by fans were belonging to Persib.

As with Rahmat Rivai on Saturday, on Sunday it was Rudi Wibowo. A former international, he had chances but only succeeded in keeping the ball boys busy on what was a depressing afternoon all round with the exception of Fandi’s boys who least had three points to comfort them.

The lack of goals is of concern though and there are stories doing the rounds that theyare interested in bring James Koko Lomell back to Indonesia. The Liberian striker hit 17 goals last season for PSMS

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Copa Indonesia 3rd Draw

19/02 Persipura v Persema
20/02 PSMS v Persiba Bantul
22/02 Persih v Deltras
24/02 Pelita Jaya v Persibo
25/02 Persijap v Persikabo
25/02 Sriwijaya v Persib
26/02 Persija v Persiba
08/03 Persebaya v Persitara

04/03 Persema v Persipura
11/03 Persiba v Persija
12/03 Persibo v Pelita Jaya
14/03 Persiba Bantul v PSMS
14/03 Persib v Sriwijaya
15/03 Deltras v Persih
17/03 Persitara v Persebaya
25/03 Persikabo v Persijap

Of course these dates may be changed!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Home away from home

With the Sleague starting next Monday Home United have been in Thailand doin a bit of bonding. They also played some football and lost 2-1 to Lamphun. They did better against Chiang Mai All Stars, thumping them 5-1.

They have also signed Itimi Dickson who has spent much of the last few months doing very little football wise. He finished 2007 with Persitara in the Indonesian league then priced himself out of a move back their before the current season started back in July.

Their fans are also having a bit of a whinge. With Bishan Stadium being renovated Home have been forced to find a new, umm, home. For 2009 they will be playing at Clementi Stadium which has some of their supporters moaning, saying it's too far and difficult to get to.

Like yeah, Singapore really does have a lousy public transport system eh?


MSL results 10/02

Kedah v KL Plus 2-0
Pahang v Kuala Muda 1-2
Negeri Sembilan v Johor 3-0
Selangor v Perlis 2-1
Perak v Kelantan 2-3
Penang v My Team 2-3
Terengganu v PDRM 1-0

Champions Kedah secured their first win of the season beating surprise leaders KL Plus 2-0. There are four clubs sharing top spot with 12 points.

1. Negeri Sembilan 5 4 0 1 12-3 12
2. Selangor 5 4 0 1 13-5 12
3. KL Plus 5 4 0 1 9-4 12
4. Kelantan 5 4 0 1 13-10 12

PDRM are pointless at the bottom with just two goals all season.

Tomorrow sees 2nd against 3rd as Selangor travel to KL Plus. It's also the north eastern derby with Peter Butler's Kelantan hosting Ken Worden's Terengganu in Kota Bahru.


Goal drought worries Arema

Arema Malang are one of the few private clubs strutting their stuff in the ISL yet that doesn’t mean they are flush with cash. They are struggling as most other clubs are.

The second half of the season has been unkind to the side known as the Crazy Lions with three games played and no goals scored. At least yesterday they secured a point, drawing 0-0 away to PSMS, Indonesia’s draw specialists.

After two straight defeats coach Gusnul Yakin will be happy enough at the clean sheet but the lack of goals is of immediate concern. Emile Mbamba was suspended months ago yet he is still the second top scorer with four goals. Both Emaleu Serge and Soulayman Traore have scored more but just one more.

Patricio Morales has yet to score since his return from Chile and to be fair in his last spell with the club he was hardly a prolific scorer, not even reaching double figures if I recall.

Arema are probably safe from relegation, they are 12 points above the drop zone with 14 games left, but they are a long way from being a contender for anything. Out of the Copa Indonesia and out of the title race, those heady ACL days back in 2007 seem very far away.

In yesterday’s other game Persiba won the Borneo Derby beating PKT Bontang 1-0 thanks to Gaston Castano’s first half penalty. That was the Argentinean striker’s fourth goal of the season but his first for Persiba. The others came for PSIS.

The Balikpapan side have been drawn against Persija in the Copa Indonesia 3rd round with the first leg at the Bung Karno in Jakarta likely to be on 26th February.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Not football, schoolboy stuff

The comments keep a coming for Malasyian football. After former coach Sathianathan described the MSL as not football now a returning foreign coach has had a pop at his boys.

Ken Worden said he had never seen a more pathetic display of football in his entire professional years of playing and coaching after his first game in charge of Terengganu.

They had just beaten PDRM 1-0 at home - imagine his mood had they lost!


Fallen giants

Two famous sides currently struggling in the ISL collide at the Siliangi Stadium in Bandung. PSMS host Arema buoyed by their late, late show against Persik at the weekend when new signing Esteban secured three points deep in injury time with a close range nod.

But neither side has impressed this season and both are in the bottom half of the table.

Both started the season poorly and both have chopped and changed their coaching staff while at the same time looked to invest in some quality to draw them out of the unfamiliar territory.

Arema sorely lacked goals during the first half of the season ever since Emile Mbamba was suspended. During the mid season break they signed Chilean striker Patricio Morales, back for his second spell, and looked close to snapping up Franco Hita before he went elsewhere.

They have added Leo Chitescu and with Arief Suryono pulling the strings in midfield the Arema fans, eternal optimists as football fans usually are, looked forward to a steady climb up the table.

But it was not to be. Defeats against bitter rivals Persik and champions Sriwijaya have left the Malang side 10 points off the top 4 and a bloody great mountain to climb.

It’s difficult to see them getting anything against PSMS this afternoon. The Medan side welcome back Brazilian playmaker Zada and also have the likes of Elie Aiboy and Rachmat Affandi finding some form.

Victory for PSMS would see them rise to 12th while should Arema collect a win bonus they would climb to 9th. Still far from where their fans feel they should be.


Bambang Pamungkas

With Indonesia firing blanks on the international stage, just a solitary own goal in their last five games, questions are being raised about the future of Bambang Pamungkas with more than a couple of people suggesting his days are finished. What bollocks.

Three goals for his team Persija in their last two games suggest otherwise. But rippling the net doesn’t tell the whole story.

The Persija coaching staff were busy during the mid season break trying to source a target man. Someone to take the work load off the man known as BP.

Too often Persija, and the national team, have taken to hoofing 40 yard passes forward hoping the 5’ 8’ striker can get the nod down. It’s a testament to his ability in the air that he often does.

Unfortunately when he does win the ball there is often little support near him. What he has needed has been a Bambang to flick the ball on to.

Persija coach Danurwindo has recognized this and signed Brazilian Fabio Lopez from Persib.

The first time I saw him, in a friendly against Pelita Jaya, he looked a fish out of water but in his first ISL game against Persela he impressed and it was his flick on that Bambang converted to secure the three points for the home side.

Bambang has much more to offer the side than just aerial ability. He is sharp on the ground, has quick feet and is a thoughtful intelligent footballer. Playing him as the focal point of the attack has been to waste many of his talents.

The Persija coach acted ruthlessly. Persija were already among the top scorers in the ISL and BP, Greg Nwokolo and terrace favourite Aliyudin figured prominently in the top scorers chart.

Danurwindo has dropped Aliyudin and, after two home games, has seen his side score seven goals, with a 6-1 mauling of fellow challengers Persiwa, and go one point clear.

The problem is Indonesia isn’t blessed with many strikers over 6 feet tall. I can think of none, hold on, a brief recount…yep, none. That’s why Persija went through six or seven before deciding on Lopez.

And that is why the national team needs at least to look at Sergio van Dijk, the Dutch striker with Indonesian heritage playing in Australia. He ticks all the boxes as a Fabio type striker and Indonesia owes it to their greatest footballing son, Bambang, to at least look for an effective foil for him.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Persija run riot

Persija v Persiwa 6-1 (Bambang 2 (1 pen), Nwokolo 2, Melky Pelky, Roberinho; Redouane Barkaoui) 19,500

More later. I'm rather overcome what with all the goals, even one from Melky Pelky. Seven goals in one game after seeing six in six is all too much, so I top my hat to thee...


ISL relegation frenzy

I rarely look at the bottom of the ISL but things are quiet this morning, still trying to find the MSL results from last night, so nows a good a time as any.

There’s a group of even clubs sepeated by just five points who occupy the lower standings and in turn they are some 10 points behind 11th placed Arema.

Deltras find themselves bottom of the league with just two wins all season and a single point taken from their nine away games. Despite adding Danilo Fernando to their squad their coach, Malaysian M Zein Al Hadad, just got the boot and things are loking grim down Sidoarjo way. With just 11 points from their 19 games, and a pissy 10 goals scored, the Deltras will need inspiration pretty damned soon, starting Saturday when they travel to Persitara.

Persita are one place off the bottom with 15 points from their 21 games. With Adolfo Souza up front scoring has been a problem for the Benteng Viola, just 13 in their 21 games. They have also been forced to play their games all over Java in cities like Sidoarjo, Jepara, Solo and Bandung because their stadium doesn’t meet the required standard. They also have the worst defence in the ISL having conceded 39.

Persitara are 16th with 15 points from their 19 games. They drew their last game against Persita 1-1 and this Saturday host Deltras at their adopted Lebak Bulus Stadium. With Prince Kabir Bello settling in already with two goals in two games and Mostapha Aji ready to play the North Jakartan side will fancy their chances of pulling away from the drop zone though a sustained Copa Indonesia run may stretch them.

Persiba are one place above Persitara though with the same number of points but have played just 17 games. With Musafri always likely to be a threat up top they have scored just 13 goals all season, a poor return. They had hoped to have recruited Moroccan Redouane Barkaoui but he elected to move to Persiwa instead. Unless they want to get sucked into the relegation dogfight they need support for the Indonesian striker.

PSMS are perhaps the best equipped side to escape the drop. Along with PKT they are the only side to win on their travels. One of the traditional clubs they have the pedigree on the field to get away from the drop zone. Their problem lies off the field where they are now looking for their 4th coach of the season. They have scored more goals than their rivals and have lost nine games. Their problem? Nine draws and two wins!

PSIS are a pale shadow of their attractive side that came so close to winning the league back in 2006. They have 16 points from their 20 games, scoring 12 goals, and sit in 13th spot but perhaps Bambang Nurdiansiah’s men have most to worry about. They’re a young team and won’t have enjoyed being thumped 4-1 by relegation rivals Persitara the other day in the Copa. They are the side perhaps most at risk

PKT Bontang are 12th in the ISL on 16 points, 10 behind Arema Malang in 10th, ironically the side they beat earlier in the season for their only away win. They have more wins than their rivals, four, including one away. They should be safe but to be honest they are a low profile club, rarely on TV so I can’t comment too much.

12. PKT Bontang 17 4 4 9 18-33 16
13. PSIS 20 3 7 10 12-32 16
14. PSMS 20 2 9 9 21-30 15
15. Persiba 17 3 6 8 13-23 15
16. Persitara 19 3 6 10 20-31 15
17. Persita 21 3 6 12 13-39 15
18. Deltras 19 2 5 12 10-27 11

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Sriwijaya Squad for ACL

Keepers: Ferry Rotinsulu, Dede Sulaiman, Afriyanto

Defenders: Charis Yulianto, Isnan Ali, Christian Warobay, Syafruddin, Slamet Riyadi, Ambrizal, Muhammad Maully Lessy.

Midfield: M Nasuha, Toni Sucipto, Wijay, Amirul Mukminin, Alamsyah Nasution, Octavianus, Zah Rahan, Benben Berlian, Donny Fahamsyah.

Strikers: Ngon A Djam, Keith Kayamba Gumbs, Budi Sudarsono, Korinus Fingkrew, Eki Nurhakim


Copa Indonesia 3rd draw

Persija Jakarta vs Persiba Balikpapan
Sriwijaya FC vs Persib Bandung
Persipura Jayapura vs Persema Malang
Pelita Jaya vs Persibo Bojonegoro
Persebaya Surabaya vs Persitara Jakarta Utara
Persiba Bantul vs PSMS Medan
Persih Tembilahan vs Deltras Sidoarjo
Persijap Jepara vs Persikabo Bogor

Some interesting match ups but then there always are in draws. The stand out tie without a doubt sees Persib take on holders Sriwijaya. Ties will be home and away and dates will be confirmed later.


DPMM are in

The SLeague goes international after the decision to accept DPMM from Brunei to join the league which starts on Monday. Perhaps now we'll get the fixtures soon?

DPMM, flush with cash from some oil rich royal, replace Chinese side Dalian Shide who impressed no one last season.

Great, now to convince the Ibu that I wanna go to Brunei for the weekend to see some football...she should buy it, the place is dry.

Their first home game is against Super Reds on 5th March


Jakarta double header?

As it stands tomorrow sees both Jakarta sides, Persija and Persitara, playing home matches in the capital city. Persija host Persiwa at the Bung Karno in the evening while Persitara entertain PSM at Lebak Bulus Stadium.

Given the rivalry that exists between fans of both clubs it does seem odd that both games have been given the go ahead to be played within hours of each other.


Persitara's attacking riches

I've had a few laughs at Persitara this last season and there were those who felt they would all but fall off the ISL map. Instead they go into today's Copa Indonesia draw brimming with confidence having thumped PSIS 4-1 and boasting an impressive arsenal up front.

Rahmat Rivai is a sometime full international who has fallen off the radar somewhat since moving from Persiter last pre season but he has had a good season, scoring goals in a struggling side.

New signing Prince Bello Kabir has come from Iranian side Sepahan and settled in well scoring against the Semarang side in the Copa as well as against Persita in the ISL.

Behind them has been John Tarkpor who was rumoured to have been on his way to big boys Arema. Instead he's stayed and if the side from North Jakarta beat PSM they will be honing on Arema in the ISL table.

Esiah Benson has been brought into the midfield to add more experience and strength while Persitara have added highly rated young striker Mostapha Aji from neighnouring Persikota and he should be able to feature in their home game against fellow strugglers Deltras this weekend.

Two wins in back to back home games will have the long suffering Persitara fans, thinking life ain't so bad after all.


The Belgian Groundhopper

A while back I mentioned about a Belgian groundhopper who was passing through the region hopeful of catching some games. Well, he caught a couple in KL but was less fortunate in Jakarta which he missed out all togeher having watched the news in Bali and seen all that flooding!

Interestingly, given the current WC bid by Indonesia, and they have listed a venue in Bali, he did visit a stadium that was used by Persigi and Bali FC.

His KL shots can be found here


Copa Indonesia 3rd Round Draw

The draw will be made today for the 12 sides who came through the 2nd round as well as the four semi finalists last season. It's an open draw meaning no club is seedd and there will be no regional bias.

PSMS, Persih, Persib, Persitara, Persijap, Persikabo, Sriwijaya, Persija, Persipura, Pelita Jaya, Persema, Persiba Bantul, Persibo, Persebaya, Deltras, Persiba.

I'll post it when I get it.


Indonesia's World Cup bid proposal

Is a 51 page .pdf file written in Indonesian entitled Road to Green World Cup 2022 subtitled 'For the game. For the World. For Our Planet Safety'. (Original mistakes kept!)

One would hope an English language version is made available pretty soon so the world's media have have a look see. But then when the English pages of the FA website have been dropped...

The FA are planning for 13 stadiums though only three exist at the moment and they will need refurbishment.

Bung Karno, Jakarta 88,306
Sriwijaya Stadium, Palembang 40,000
Palarin Stadium, Samarinda 30,000

The following stadiums are planned and should be completed by 2011/2012 (FA projections)

Riau Stadium, Pekanbaru 40,000
Gede Bage, Bandung 50,000
BMW Stadium, Jakarta 50,000
Bogor Stadium, Bogor 40,000

These are dreams which could be finished by 2015

Surabaya, Makassar, Medan, Tangerang, Sleman/Yogyakarta, Bali


Datsakorn interesting Aussies?

Thai skipper Datsakorn Thonglao is believed to interest A League side Adelaide United. He currently plays in the V League, which started recently, with HAGL but I have no idea whether or not he played in their first game which they lost 3-0.

Monday, February 09, 2009


Persib v Persipura 1-1

A pulsating encounter at a packed Jalak Harupat Stadium saw honours even between two sides eager to have a say in where this season's ISL title ends up. Persipura, having suffered a rare defeat last time out after something like eight straight wins, will probably be the happier of the two sets of campers.

The Persib fans had come to praise Christian Gonzales, their new recruit from Persik, but it looked for 82 minutes like the no nonsense defending of the Black Pearls had shackled the prolific striker.

The first half had been an in your face affair with more action in the opening 30 minutes than I saw in 120 of weekend action. Persib had the edge, hitting the woodwork and forcing Jendri Pitoy into some desperate saves but half time was 0-0.

Second half and Persipura coach Jacksen Tiago threw on Boas Solossa to try his luck alongside Ernest Jeremiah and Alberto Goncalves. It took 11 minutes to pay off.

Persipura broke quickly from a corner with Boas going wide. He looked up and seeing Brazilian Goncalves unmarked delivered a perfect cross that was buried with glee.

Lorenzo Cabanas was the puppet master for the home team with Hilton Moreira tormenting the Papuan side. Hariono built on his recent fine showings for the national side with an industrious performance in the middle alllowing Cabanas the opportunity to set up his strikers but it looked increasingly like it wasn't to be their night.

Until Hariono scuffed a shot. Gonzales, unmarked on the 6 yard line, took one touch to tee himself up and with the next he toe poked it beyond the reach of Pitoy. It's what he does, Ian Rush's predatory instincts combined with Mark Viduka's shape, the Uruguayan oozes goals and this was his 15th of the season.

Jeremiah could have won the game for Persipura in injury time as he broke into the box but he never had the ball fully under control and his shot ballooned over the bar and into orbit where it stays until now.

Possibly not the resuly coach would have wanted for his Persib side but until the 82nd minute the city of Bandung was staring defeat in the face. As the whistle ended you could see by the players' reactions they knew thay had contributed to something special. It was not champagne football, more Yorkshire Bitter than Moet, but it was good, honest endeavour, with some rolling round thrown in for good measure.

Persipura return to the top of the ISL on goal difference ahead of Sriwijaya while Persib stay 7th. If Persib can get results on the road regularly they should soon start climbing the table.


Persitara thump PSIS

Persitara v PSIS 4-1 (Rahmat Rivai 2, Prince Bello Kabir, John Tarkpor; Yohan Yoga Utama) 5,733

Persitara booked their place in the Copa Indonesia 3rd round draw today after brushing aside PSIS at their tiny Tugu Stadium. They win 4-2 on aggregate

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