Sunday, April 03, 2011
Jakarta v Semarang United 0-1
This was a match so bad not even a mother could love it.
Semarang United came into the game third in the table and if they are the third best team in the breakaway league then we're all in trouble. Both sides were abject. The ball spent so much time in the air you could imagine people like Harry Basset and Egil Olsen replaying the game non stop.
But for the fan and the neutral it was painful to watch. Balls pumped long, balls pumped high and long, balls pumped high and short. Rarely was the ball played to feet. And if it was it rarely found its intended target, either too short, too long or just played into an alternate dimension.
It was depressing stuff all round and it wasn't just the players caught up in the miasma. The ref seemed to be auditioning for his own reality TV show; there was one spell where he was dishing out cards like a vending machine dishes out contraceptives in a Patpong bar.
The poor Semarang number 10 received a number of verbal lashings from the ref that we could hear in the main stand, accompanied by waving arms and manic stare. The general gist was stop whining or you're gone.
He would have been the lucky one.
The game started in the torpid heat under a rare Jakartan blue sky and players struggled from the get go. Even when they were given the chance to score, Semarang United got a first half penalty, they hit the cross bar with such venom it was still shaking this morning. Not long after the guy who had rattled the cross bar from 12 yards was scaring the pigeons with a free kick from 40!
It would be churlish to single out any one player epitomising the malaise on the field so I won't . Except to say that while he may think he has the passing range of a Glenn Hoddle in his prime it took 70 minutes for one of his passes to reach its target.
Bloody awful game, I should have stayed in the pub.
I have now seen almost half the teams in the LPI and I'm not totally surprised that it's two former Indonesia Super League clubs that are leading the table. Persema and Persebaya have been together longer, they have players and coaches who know the score and they have players who are not scared of the ball. The only other LPI team that seemed to play football, rather than kick n hope, sacked their coach.
Change the game? Nope, not yet.
Images of the fun can be found on Asian Football Pictures.