Thursday, April 30, 2009


Exclusive - Richard Bok reflects on life on the road

On Kashima Antlers away

In Japan, we did our very best, but we were unable to maintain at the level throughout the match, once they scored in the 30 min, its always a challange for us. We were simply outclassed by Kashima. Having say that, we gave our best and i cant fault the players.

On DPMM away

Regarding Brunei, we were tired after all the travelling, its not an excuse but it's a fact. We were poor 1st half, after they scored their 2nd after 2min of the restart, we started to dominate the match but could not convert our chances. But i will make sure that when they visit us in Singapore ( 2 times ), we will be ready for them.


Bad news for Persikota

Because their IPL home game against PSP was cancelled and no alternative stadium found the game has been awarded 3-0 to the bottom side. Other games have also been decided likewise with challengers from the eastern division seeing two of their home games awarded to their opponents without a ball kicked in anger.

Persikota have also announced their coach Angel Varela Riano will be leaving the club when his contract ends next Tuesday. He will take charge of the team for the final time this Saturday when they take on Persisam. As ever, there is no money to keep the Uruguayan for the final two games of the season.


Sriwijaya target Thais

Sriwijaya's defence of the title may have fallen away over the last few weeks, and performances in the ACL may not have been the best but the side from Palembang still have the Copa Indonesia in their sights. And they're thinking big about next season. Whenever it may start. One option is August (!), another is October.

Among their targets are Therdsak Chaiman, currently with SLeague side SAF, 20 year old striker Teerasil Dangda who is now with Muang Thong United, and former Persib keeper Kosin Hattairatanakul. Local targets include Pelita Jaya duo Erol Iba and Firman Utina, national team full back Ricardo Salempessy and aging Persik keeper Achmad Kurniawan.

Doncha just love a bit of transfer gossip?!


Persitara take to the rails

Persitara, prevented from playing their home games in Jakarta, will play Sriwijaya at Surajaya Stadium, Lamongan, this Friday. Back in an automatic relegation spot the side from North Jakarta will take heart from Sriwijaya's recent poor form which has seen them dropping points all over the shop including three against relegation rivals Persita.

But Persitara aren't having the best preparation, with Prince Bello Kabir and his team mates making the long journey east by train. Dunno how long, perhaps figure 8-12 hours depending on the service being used, this is not the first time they have had difficulty getting to away games. Earlier in the season they headed to Papua but only booked a flight as far as Makassar. They then waited their for ages before being able to get onward flights before finally arriving in Wamena just a few hours befor kick off!

Never a dull moment with this lot!

But while there won't be many NJ Mania making the trip east for this particular game, there is some good news for the loyal and true fans. Persitara have been given the go whead to play Persebaya in their outstanding Copa Indonesia tie at Mashud Wishnu Saputra Stadium in Kuningan. West Java.


PSPS slip, Persisam take over

In the Indonesia Premier League western division PSPS Pekanbaru were beaten by play off challengers Persikab the other day in Soreang. April Hadi had given the visitors an early lead but Egi Nirwan equalised with a penalty half way through the first half before Alejandro Tobar gave the home side a late winner.

Persisam took full advantage edging Persikad 1-0 thanks to Aldo Baretto's 77th minute winner. Mitra Kukar stayed 3rd after coming from behind to defeat Persikota at Benteng Stadium. Zamroney had given the struggling Tangerang side the lead but second half goals from former Persema striker Franco Hita (50' & 70') and Germain Baitono made it 3-1 for the visitors. Zamroney scored a second with a minute left to set up an exciting climax but Mitra Kukar held on.

1 - Persisam 25 15 6 4 48-23 51
2 - PSPS 25 15 5 5 42-23 50
3 - Mitra Kukar 25 15 1 9 30-25 46
4 - Persikab 26 13 5 8 41-31 44
5 - Persikabo 26 11 10 5 41-27 43

Five clubs battling it out for the Play Offs with the top 4 in the Eastern Division. This Saturday sees Persikabo host PSPS, Mitra Kukar take on Persikad in Depok and Persisam going to the Benteng Stadium to chance their arm against Persikota. Persikab are scheduled to play Persih but Pelita Jaya are also taking on Persija at the same stadium. A double header or a reschedule?


Persipura Champions?

They're eight points clear of nearest rivals Sriwijaya and Persiwa. They have a game in hand on the champions from Palembang who have drawn their last two games, dropping vital points. Their goal difference is far superior to anyone else's in the ISL. With just eight games to play the title is Persipura's to lose.

But tonight they face a tricky game away to Persita. The Benteng Viola as they are known have looked sharp at home, until they were turned over by Persib 4-2, and recently defeated Sriwijaya 2-1 coming from behind in the process.

But with Persiwa facing a challenging away game at Persijap victory could see Persipura 11 points clear.

Despite changes to the coaching staff at the Jayapura club, previous coach Raja Isa was sacked after a draw at home to Deltras if I recall correctly, there is a stability hanging over the Black Pearls with several players having been around a few years and tasting title glory in 2005.

Now with Jacksen Tiago at the helm, incidentally the last foreigner to coach a side to the champion ship with Persebaya, there is an invicibility coarsing through the veins of this tough side. From former international keeper Jendri Pitoy through defensive rocks Paulo, Ricardo Salempessy and Victor Igbenefo, through the aging but still hard as nails Eduard Ivakdalam through to the most potent strike force in the country in Goncalves (17), local lad Boas Solossa (16) and Ernest Jeremiah (13) there is quality all over the pitch.

There is also a seemingly neverending production of young local talent with players like Emmanuel Wangganai and Ian Luis Kabes given their chance to shine alongside the bigger name stars.

They're not champions yet. Not mathematically. But with near rivals Sriwijaya and Persija consideratley losing points in their quest to play catch up and perhaps Persib, their one in form rival, having too much ground to make up (10 points behind with two games in hand) they're not that far off.

But you can't help wondering how this side would fare in Asian club competition, especially seeing the maulings poor Sriwijaya, coached by Rahmad Dharmawan who led Persipura back in 2005 to their last title, have been recieving.

This Papuan side are bigger and stronger than most of their rivals in Indonesia. But would that extra fitness and body strength manage to handle to best of Japan and South Korea?

And of course where would they play? 'Cos for sure no club would fancy the five to seven journey from Jakarta out east after long haul from their own country...


Persija held again

Indonesia Super League

Persija v PSM 2-2 (Aliyudin, Bambang Pamungkas; Diva Turkas, Julio Lopez) 1,000
Deltras v Arema 1-1 (Danilo Fenando; Fandy Mochtar) 3,596

Without both Pierre Njanka and Greg Nwokolo, red carded in their last game at Arema, Persija dropped two more vital points in their title challenge as they came from 2-0 down. Because of the nonsensical decision not to allow the Jakarta side to play games in their home city it looks like their title bid could fizzle out in a series of road trips and tedious airport waiting.

Singapore Cup

DPMM v Pelita Jaya 1-0 (Abdelhamid Berguiga) 2,132

1 Dian Agus Prasetyo
2 Supardi 3 Erol Iba 5 Carlos Bizarro

15 Firman Utina 22 Ardan Aras 23 Muhammad Ridwan 29 Egi Melgiansyah
9 Cristiano Figueiredo Lopes(C) 10 Rudi Widodo 14 Gendut Dony Christiawan


Jajang Mulyana for Gendut Dony Christiawan (50')
Jusmadi for Egi Melgiansyah (58')
Supardi for Basri Baddusalam (80')

Pelita Jaya's Singapore Cup dreams dashed at the first hurdle while DPMM continue to handle everything put before them. Interesting that Fandi included Jajang who I thought was on loan in Brazil with a 3rd Division side.

DPMM will play the winner of TTM Samut Sakorn and Super Reds in the Quarter Finals

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Persib's fine form

While people tend to look at Persipura and Sriwijaya for this season's champions Persib have been overlooked. Yet their recent form has been as good as anyones.

Having lost four of their first seven games the club from Bandung have been unbeaten since September 2008, a run of 17 games.

P 17 W 11 D 6 L0 F28 A12 P39

At the moment they sit 4th on 45 points, 13 points behind leaders Persipura but with three games in hand but the Papuan giants have a far superior goal difference.

Persib have 10 games left to claw back that lead, just three of which are at home and check out their final game of the season!

Outstanding games

Persitara A
Pelita Jaya A
Arema A
Persik A
Persiwa H
Persijap A
Deltras H
Persela A
Persija A


Fandi's coming home

Tonight sees Fandi Ahmad bring his Pelita Jaya side to the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore to take on DPMM in the Singapore Cup. Catch an exclusive preview here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Results 28/4

Singapore Cup

Woodlands Wellington v Bangkok Glass 0-1 (Tanat Wongsupphalak) 1,344

Bangkok Glass have had a smashing start in the TPL surprising everyone perhaps by remaining unbeaten and leading the league in its early days. They have continued this form into the Singapore Cup by heading south and narrowly beating the Rams.

Indonesia Super League

PSIS v Persib 0-2 (Gonzales, Moreira)
Sriwijaya v PKT 1-1 (Kayamba; Debbah)

Three straight wins for Persib, back to back home draws for Sriwijaya. The Champions conceded early to a PKT buoyed by their surprise win last week over PSMS. Kayamba netted an equaliser but four points dropped at home ain't the form of champions. Meanwhile Persib continued their fine run of form in Semarang in front of an empty stadium. And to think just last week there was a section of their support who wanted coach Jaya Hartono sacked!

1 - Persipura 26 18 4 4 57-17 58
2 - Persiwa 26 16 2 8 41-29 50
3 - Sriwijaya 26 14 6 6 52-31 48
4 - Persib 23 13 6 4 41-26 45

Malaysian Super League

Kedah v Pahang 3-0 (Faizal Abu Bakar, Shahrulnizam Mustapa, Khyril Muhymeen Zambr)
Johor v PDRM 4-0 (Wan Rohaimi Hassan, Saiful Sabtu, Nurul Azuan Roya 2)

AFC Challenge Cup

Macau v Cambodia 1-2
Myanmar v Bangladesh 2-1

Myanmar lead the group with a 100% record while Bangladesh and Cambodia each have three points and similar goal difference


Dolphins tame Lions

Young Lions v Sengkang Punggol 2-3 (Afiq Yunos, Eugene Luo; Indra SahdanDaud, Murphy Wiredu, Anthony Bahadur) 1,559

Persik v Persela 4-1 (Yongky Ariwibowo, Saktiawan Sinaga, Ronald Fagundez; Charly)

Monday, April 27, 2009


If - the biggest word in football?

Just been thinking about the PSMS defeat at home to PKT on Saturday. As I mentioned earlier this game was played just hours after the Medan side had returned from a 24 trip back from the Maldives.

I only caught the last 20 minutes, still 1-1, and it was a ding dong affair. PKT took the lead on 80 minutes but PSMS still pressed and indeed Andhika should have equalised instead of sending his header over from close range.

Can we blame tiredness on his wayward header? Surely he had done all the work. He was in the right place at the right time, perhaps all he needed was some more composure?

And then Andhika's last minute effort that Batak did so well to save. To be fair it looked like his first touch had let him down as he forced himself wide but he recovered well and got in a rasping goalbound drive from a difficult angle that the keeper did well to save.

The young Indonesian striker had played six minutes in the Maldives and had come on as a sub for Elie Aiboy against PKT. He had though shared in the nightmare trip round the houses to Male and all that time cooped up.

If he had converted those two chances he would have been a hero and no one would have mentioned jet lag. Such is the fine line in football. But he missed them both. In a struggling PSMS side he has failed to impose himself all season despite plenty of oppotunities.

It seems too easy just to blame the defeat on accumulating air miles. What do we blame his other misses on? Eating two shredded wheat in the morning and not three?

Another team who have spent far too long recently in airports are SAF who returned from a fruitless trip to Japan in the ACL only to pick up some new toothpaste and head straight to Brunei where they got beat 2-1.

Now if anyone could complain about aching bones it's Richard Bok's ageless army some of whom are nearly the same age as me. Nearly, Richard! But SAF did not rollover and die in the final few moments in Brunei. Indeed it was on 89' when veteran Therdsak Chaiman pulled a goal back.

DPMM involve their opponents in a game perhaps like no other SLeague team yet the fact that SAF held out for so long and managed to score so late is testament to their fitness.

Everybody of course should be allowed to rest between games, especially when long flights have been involved. And yes, no doubt there were some tired legs on the pitches in Palembang and Brunei. But perhaps they are not the only factors at play. We can never of course account for lady luck.

(Sits back and waits for some coaches' feedback!)


Bangladesh start with a win

Mohammed Enamul Hoque scored the only goal of the game as Bangladesh defeated Cambodia 1-0 at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka in front of 8,060 fans in their opening group game of the AFC Challenge Cup.

Myanmar however lead the group after beating Macau 4-0.

Tuesday sees Bangladesh take on Myanmar while Cambodia look to boost their goal difference against Macau


Results 26/04


DPMM v SAF 2-1 (Ivan Jerkovic, Abdelhamid Berguiga; Therdsak Chaiman) 10,583

DPMM's unbeaten run continued as they scrapped past champions SAF in Brunei in front of an impressive 10,000 + crowd last night. Ivan Jerkovic prepared to meet his old club Pelita Jaya by netting the first before Algerian Berguiga made it two just after half time. Therdsak's 89' effort was little more than consolation for the Warriors who had just returned from an exhaustive trip to Japan

1 - Brunei DPMM 10 6 4 0 14-8 222
2 - Singapore Armed Forces 10 7 0 3 28-11 21
3 - Gombak United 10 6 3 1 16-6 21
4 - Tampines Rovers 10 4 6 0 12-5 18

Indonesia Super League

Arema v Persija 2-2 (Morales, Brown; Setiwawan og, Lopes)

1 - Persipura 26 18 4 4 58
2 - Persiwa 26 16 2 8 50

3 - Sriwijaya FC 27 14 7 6 49
4 - Persib 23 13 6 4 45

10 man Persija didn't get the three points they needed to get back in the top four. Indeed coach Danurwindo will look on this as points dropped as his side, playing their first game in two months, lost valuable ground on leaders Persipura. They have four games in hand and play PSM on Wednesday in their new adopted Malang home on Wednesday

Thai Premier League

BEC Teo v Osotsapa 2-3
Port Authority v Navy Rayong 2-1
TTM Samut Sakhorn v Nakhorn Pathom 4-0
Muang Thong United v Sri Racha 0-0

1 - Bangkok Glass 7 5 2 0 12-6 17
2 - Osotsapa 7 5 1 1 10-5 16
3 - Chonburi 7 4 2 1 8-6 14
4 - Muang Thong 7 3 4 0 9-4 13

Muang Thong were surprisingly held at home by lowly Sri Racha while Osotsapa continue to be the surprise package with their 3-2 win at BEC Tero keeping them hanging onto leaders Bangkok Glass

Sunday, April 26, 2009


AFC Challenge Cup

Today sees the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifying Group A kick off in Dhaka featuring the hosts Bangladesh alongside Cambodia, Myanmar and Macau.

Wouldn't ordinarily mention but it features a couple of countries I have soft spots for having spent lengthy periods in them in the past, Bangladesh and Cambodia.

Today has Myanmar take on Macau while in the second game Bangladesh come up against Cambodia.


Hooligan watch

The following games recently have been marred by incidents of violence.

PEA Ayuthya v Chonburi (Thai Premier League)
Kelantan v Negeri Sembilan (Malaysian FA Cup)
Singapore v Vietnam (AFF Cup)

There have also been other incidents in Malaysia recently but the above semi final was perhaps the worst.

As far as I'm aware there have been two major outbreaks in Indonesia this season in the ISL. One featured Arema v PKT and followed a refereeing decision while the other game eludes me at the moment.

There have been several incidents in the IPL where there are far more local derbies especially in Central and East Java


Super Reds v Home United

Two underachieving sides met at Yishun Stadium last night and it took Park Han Seok on 28' to seperate them.

After fine campaigns last season when they took on SAF right to the end this time round they seem to have struggled to find any fluency and sit mid table just six points off the bottom and seven off the top four.

Tonight? Tonight we have DPMM take on SAF...3rd against 1st.


Leaders Bangkok Glass held

PEA Ayuthya v Chonburi 2-2
Samut Songkram v Bangkok Glass 1-1
Bangkok United v Pattaya United 0-0
TOT v Chula United 3-0

Apparently crowd trouble marred the PEA v Chonburi game with bottles being thrown onto the pitch and one girl getting one in the head.


Selangor win the FA Cup

It went to extra time then it went to penalties. By the time the dust settled Selangor were the FA Cup winners for 5th time in their history while Kelantan can only look back on what might have been.

Goalless after 90 minutes Nor Farhan gave Kelantan the lead but Amri Yahyah, whose brace in the semi played such a crucial role in getting Selangor to the final, levelled things on 101'.

The Red Giants won 4-1 on penalties.


PSMS v PKT 1-3

Well well, here was a turnip for the books. Or was it? Considering Medan's mid week adventures in the Maldives was it a surprise that two goals in the last 10 minutes killed them off?

They were given the lead by Rahmat Affandi in the first half but James Debbah soon pulled one back for the away side. Two late goals from Jossiah Seton, who sounds like a character from a Sherlock Holmes novel, gave PKT a rare three points but it could have been oh so different.

Andhika, on as a sub for Elie Aiboy, wasted a glorious opportunity when he headed over from five yards when it was still 2-1. Then in injury time his drive from an acute angle was superbly saved one handed by Herman Batak. PKT went down the other end and Seton made it safe.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Jet lagged PSMS

After qualifying for the knock out stage of the AFC Cup PSMS face a more mundane challenge as they fight to keep their ISL status when they take on PKT at Gelora Sriwijaya in Palembang today. And they go into the game after a mammoth 24 hour journey home from the Maldives where they defeated VB 2-1 to ensure qualification.

Imagine Fergie, Wenger or Rafa having to ge their teams prepared hours after a long flight. The 3 Whiners complain about treks to Spain or Greece, calling them long flights. What would they make of 24 hours including endless hours in mind numbing transit.

I just hope those poor players were able to keep their iPods, PSPs and mobiles charged. I mean heaven forbid they actually read anything!

Still at least they're only playing PKT, a side in an even more precarious position than themselves.

In fact here's the bottom of the table...

Bottom 4

15 - PSMS 25 3 12 10 28-36 21
16 - PKT 26 4 8 14 25-46 20
17 - PSIS 25 4 7 14 14-45 19
18 - Deltras 25 4 6 15 16-35 18

It's all pretty tight down there with Persitara in 14th on 22 and Persita 13th on 24 points. No doubting PSMS will be shattered after their mid week endeavours but PKT, despite just five points and none goals away from home, won't be any pushovers as they try to hold on to their own ISL spot.

The bottom three go down to the IPL while the 4th bottom placed side, currently PSMS, will go into a play off with one of the 4th placed side in the IPL play offs.


Cup Final line ups

KELANTAN (4-4-2)

Goalkeeper: Shahrizan Ismail.
Defenders: Zairol Fitri, Md Zamri Ramli, Mohd Farisham, Sarudy Aziz.
Midfielders: Mohd Badri Radzi, Indra Putra Mahayuddin, Md Rizal Fahmi, Ahmad Ezry.
Strikers: Mohd Norfarhan Mohd, Khalid Jamlus.

SELANGOR (4-4-2)

Goalkeeper: Mohd Hamsani Ahmad.
Defenders: Khairul Annuar Baharom, Nasriq Baharom, D. Surendran, Razman Roslan.
Midfielders: Mohd Hardi Jaafar, Mohd Amri Yahyah, C. Premnath, Mohd Fitri Shahzuan.
Strikers: Mohd Safee Sali, R. Surendran.


Indonesia offer Samarinda

With all this fuss and bother over arranging simple football matches in Jakarta at the moment now there is a possibility that the prestige friendly between an Indonesia All Stars and Manchester United may be relocated with Samarinda in Kalimantan being suggested as a plan B.

I don't claim to have any inside channel to Old Trafford but it ain't rocket science to suggest that there is no way United will consent to travelling to Samarinda. None.

It's Jakarta or nothing.

The game takes place about 10 days after the presidential election and it is being suggested if there are problems during the campaign and election in the capital city the game would be relocated fucking miles away.

If there are any problems in Jakarta be sure the game will be cancelled. And all these batik wearing, holier than thou officials can piss their dreams of photos with Ronaldo & co goodbye.


Indonesian results


Persela v PSM 1-1 (Marcio Souza; Diva Tarkas)

Souza hit his 16th goal of the season for Persela but it wasn't enough to secure three points in a mid table clash with PSM.

Copa Indonesia

Deltras v Persih 1-1 (Kornelis Kaimu; J Galardo)

Deltras join PSMS, Sriwijaya, Persipura, Persibo, Persija and Persijap in the Quarter Finals. Persitara have still to play the 2nd leg of their tie against Persebaya.

Friday, April 24, 2009


FA Cup Final Day - Selangor v Kelantan

Malaysia's first trophy is up for grabs (just love those three words!) tomorrow as Kelantan and Selangor clash head to head at the Bukit Jalil for the FA Cup, won in the last two years by Kedah.

Kelantan, coached by former West Ham player Peter Butler, stand on the verge of their first ever triumph, while for Selangor it's a case of been there, done that for Malaysia's most successful side.

Ticket sales start at 10 am on the big day as officials expect a full house. Prices are 15 RM.

With foreign players banned this season in Malaysia, both Selangor and Kelantan have hogged the best of Malaysian striking talent with the Red Giants boasting the likes of Safee Sali, R. Surendran, Amirulhadi Zainal, Rudie Ramli, Mohd Amir and C. Premnath as well as Amri Yahyah who netted twice in the semi final.

On the other hand Butler can call on the likes of Indra Putra Maha­yuddin, Norfarhan Mohd and Khalid Jamlus. Putra and Khalid have both played for Selangor in the past.

More than 100 buses have been chartered from Kota Bahru to ferry Kelantan's expectant support to the capital city as the Kijang participate in their first final since Peter Bonetti watched England lose to West Germany in the 1970 World Cup. The side from north east Malaysia are hoping they will be cheered on by 40,000 fans making for a white hot atmosphere inside the Bukit Jalil tomorow night.

Skipper Badri Radzi has called on his team mates to 'to stand up and be counted in the Malaysian Super League (MSL). We have been making up the numbers all this while ... now it’s time to make history.'

Kelantan have never won a trophy in their history and Radzi doesn't want his side to have to wait another 39 years before they get so close.


Obatola hat trick inspires Gombak

Balestier Khalsa v Gombak United 1-4 (Syaqir Sulaiman; Obatola 3, Agu Casmir) 3,486

1 - Singapore Armed Forces 9 7 0 2 27-9 21
2 - Gombak United 10 6 3 1 16-6 21
3 - Brunei DPMM 9 5 4 0 12-7 19
4 - Tampines Rovers 10 4 6 0 12-5 18

Sunday sees SAF travel to Brunei to take on DPMM in what should be a real humdinger!


Rare win for Sengkang

This was to be the season that Sengkang Punggol would change once and for all the perceptions about them. No longer the whipping boys of the SLeague, the Dolphins hoped that by recruiting Jorg Steinebrunner as coach and investing big on new players the side from Hougang Stadium would climb the table.

But it hasn't happened. No reason why of course change should be immediate.

But tonight at least the Dolphins fans can celebrate as Anthony Bahadur's goal on half time was enough to beat Steinebrunner's old club Woodlands Wellington and give the home fans some much needed cheer.

It was only the Dolphins second win of the season and their first in seven games so you can forgive the bositerous celebrations in the north east tonight. Especially after conceding 10 goals in their last two outings against a struggling Woodlands who managed to go to SAF and win just a few weeks back.

Bahadur's goal was only his second of the season, the Dolphin's nonth, and perhaps telling is the fact that only three players have scored for them this season. Still, it's an improvement on last season when they scored 13 during the whole campaign! This is free flowing goal fests!

Sengkang Punggol are 12th with eight points from 10 games while Woodlands are 11th with nine points from their 10.

Bottom club Balestier Khalsa take on Gombak United and victory for the Bulls could see them sharing top spot with SAF for a day or so at least.


Persitara homeless again

Persitara have been made homeless again. The side from North Jakarta had hoped to start the season using Bung Karno but that was never going to happen given that they average 3,000 per home game.

After living out of suitcases for several months they finally settled on Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta. But now that football has been banned in the capital for several months, how daft is that, they must look again for a new stadium.

Their Copa Indonesia tie against Persebaya has been put on hold until after the IPL side finish their campaign early next month. Persitara have proposed a number of stadiums for hosting this tie including Karawang, Purwakarta, Kuningan, Cilegon and the old standbt Jalak Harupat.

But ISL games are a different plate of bakso. Stadiums must meet minimum criteria and of the aformentioned foursome only Jalak Harupat ticks all the boxes.

Their ISL game with Persib tomorrow has now ben cancelled while everyone wonders what to do.

Meanwhile Persija pack their bags and head to Malang where they play Arema this weekend. Next Wednesday they host PSM also in Malang as they look to catch up the 16 points that seperate them from leaders Persipura.

They have five games in hand with a home game against the Black Pearls to be played sometime so they head east knowing they need maximum points if they are going to keep their title challenge alive.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Singapore stuff

Asian Champions League

Kashima Antlers v Singapore Armed Forces 5-0


Geylang United v Young Lions 1-1 (Shah Hirul; Swee Swee Goh )

My article on ESPN this week looks at an exciting few days in Singaporean football.


Pelita Jaya goal feast

Pelita Jaya v Persitara 2-1 (Cristian Lopes, Muhammed Riduan; Rahmat Rivai)


PSMS & the AFC Cup

Obviously congratulations are in order to PSMS as they have successfully navigated their way through the group stage of the AFC Cup but what does this say about the standard of football in some of our neighbouring countries?

The Medan side ended the last domestic season runner's up to Sriwijaya but back then they boasted a side brimming with quality. The likes of Gustavo Chena and James Koko Lommel were ably backed by home grown talent in Markus Horison and Boy Jati this was a side built around a strong defence.

This was also a side that nearly didn't start the ISL back in July 2008 as doubts hung over where they would play their home games and who would actually run the club.

With home games thus far played in far flung Jakarta, Bandung and Palembang, that PSMS are even playing is nothing short of a miracle. That they sit 15th just a single point clear of automatic relegation is less so.

The draw kings of Indonesia, their 25 league games have produced 12 draws and a miserly three wins so far.

They have had more coaches this season than Dierdrie has had rutting partners in four decades of Coronation Street.

They lack a potent hit man in the domestic game with no stiker netting more than six goals in the ISL while Rahmat Affandi has hit four in the Copa Indonesia.

And yet they have qualified from a group containing South China, VB Sports and Johor. The finest from Hong Kong, Maldives and Malaysia! What does that say about the standard of football in those countires?

One thing is for sure. PSMS, like other South East nations have found out recently, will find the Arab sides a different kettle of fish when they come head to head in the later rounds. If they make it any further.

Of course there is nothing they can do about the quality of oppositon or lack thereof. All PSMS can do is beat what's put in front of them and that is what they have been doing. At least the AFC Cup run has seen cash flowing into the club and if it is invested wisely, ie on players and stadium improvements, then perhaps the future maybe a bit brighter for the side from North Sumatra.


Indonesia goal kings

Indonesian Super League

19 - Ngon A Djam (Sriwijaya FC), Cristian Gonzales (14 Persik/5 Persib)
17 - Beto Goncalves (Persipura)
16 - Boaz Salossa (Persipura), Marcio Souza (Persela)
13 - Bambang Pamungkas, Greg Nwokolo (Persija), Ernest Jeremiah (Persipura)
11 - Cristiano Lopes (Pelita), Julio Lopez (PSM), T.A. Musafry (Persiba), Gaston Castano (Persiba)
9 - Zah Rahan, Keith Kayamba (Sriwijaya FC), Rafael Bastos, Hilton Moreira (Persib), Boakay Edy Foday (Persiwa)
8 - Aldo Baretto (PSM), Rahmad Rivai (Persitara), Pieter Romaropen (Persiwa), Leonardo Zada (PSMS), Saktiawan Sinaga (Persik)
7 - Lorenzo Cabanas (Persib)
6 - Aliyudin (Persija), Evaldo Silva, Arnaldo Villalba (Persijap), Dicky Firasat (Persela)

Indonesia Premier League

15 - Mardiansyah (Persikabo)
13 - Jardel Santana Da Silva (Persisam), JPC Boumsong (Persikad), Dzumafu Epandi Herman (PSPS), Edward Junior Wilson (Semen Padang)
11 - Niane Mamadou (Persikab)
9 - Zulkarnain (Persiraja), Ezequail Gonzalez (Persiba Bantul)
8 - Tantan, Alejandro Tobar (Persikab), Agung Suprayogi (Persih), Roberto Kwateh (PSIR), Javier Roca (Gresik United), M. Eksan (PSIM)

Copa Indonesia

8 - Syamsul Arif (Persibo)
5 - Pablo Frances (Persijap), Gaston Castano (Persiba)
4 - Jimmy Suparno (Persela), Rachmat Afandi (PSMS), Rahmad Rivai (Persitara), Danilo Fernando (Deltras)
3 - Dicky Firasat, Varney Pas Boakay (Persibo), Germain Bationo (Mitra), Yongky Ariwibowo (Persik), Mauro Gaston Benito (Persikabo), Leandro Martin Dineli (PSMS), Ezequiel Gonzales (Persiba)


Vietnam and Indonesia to co host AFF Cup?

One news report out of Vietnam is reporting that both Vietnam and Indonesia will co host the 2010 AFF Cup next December with the qualifying rounds taking place in Laos a couple of months earlier.

No confirmation of this yet on the AFF website.

Bit of a surprise that Indonesia was chosen again after they shared the 2008 competition with Thailand, I was thinking perhaps next time round Malaysia would have been involved, but at least the Indonesians get bums on seats.


Rajagobal gets busy

Malaysia have appointed Rajagobal as their national team coach and he has been given a two year contract as the FA goes 'long term.' He also has to prepare the Under 23 side for the SEA Games in Laos in December this year.

June sees the Under 23 Inter Continental Championships in Malaysia while in July the full side take on Manchester United in a glamourous, but meaningless, friendly.

The Merdeka Cup takes place in August with Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam invited along with a middle eastern side.

Meanwhile November sees Asian Cup qualifiers against Uzbekistan.


Bangkok Glass


They have 16 points from six games, three points clear of Osotspa M-150 and Chonburi FC in the 16-team league.
For many fans, this is a surprise. In fact, it is not as Bangkok Glass are "old wine in a new bottle".
Bangkok Glass were formerly known as Krung Thai Bank, who were disbanded after last season to avoid legal problems.
Bangkok Glass Co took over the club during the close season because this term all teams in the top flight must be registered as a limited company and the law does not allow a bank to do so.
Bangkok Glass, nicknamed the "Glass Rabbit" after the company's logo, inherited players from Krung Thai Bank.
Bangkok Glass have been very impressive. Of their five wins, two were away against title contenders Chonburi (3-1) and defending champions Provincial Electricity Authority (2-1).
Their teamwork is second to none as most players have played together since the days when Krung Thai Bank won the league twice in recent years.
The likes of Anon Bunsukho, Amnaj Kaewkew and Ruangroj Sawangsri have been the core players for a long time.
They also have a couple of rising stars, notably striker Nantawat Tansopha who was the top scorer in the AFC Champions League with Krung Thai Bank two years ago.
Their foreign players such as forwards Kone Kasim of Ivory Coast and 19-year-old Samuel Arjayi from Nigeria have been brilliant.
Arjayi has caused trouble for opponents with his speed and skill.
He tormented defenders of top sides such as Chonburi and the PEA.
Bangkok Glass are one of the best organised clubs. Aside from their first team in the top flight, they also have a good reserve side and a junior team whose players are aged 11-18.
Bangkok Glass have sent four young players to train with former German champions Kaiserslautern who are now in the second division.
They are Surachate Ngarm-thip, Praweewat Boonyong, Jirayu Pinthong and Chareewat Teerawatsirikul who could become the club's future stars.
Bangkok Glass manager Supasin Leelarit said the club are in talks with Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen to create a partnership.
If a deal is struck Leverkusen may open a football academy here and send their young players to play in the Thai Premier League.
Leverkusen, backed by Germany's largest drug manufacturer Bayer, may be able to market themselves in Thailand.
Money is not a problem for Bangkok Glass who enjoy considerable funds from the company which is one of the country's biggest glass manufacturers.
It is good for the domestic league that several teams are now better managed and look more professional. They are Bangkok Glass, Muang Thong-Nong Chok United and BEC Tero Sasana.
As for Bangkok Glass Co, it also supports futsal (five-a-side) and has a team in the Thailand Futsal League.
Bangkok Glass have people with disabilities on their futsal team as they want to give them a chance to mingle with able-bodied players.
Their good deeds may result in them winning the Thai Premier League. However, it is still early in the season and it will certainly not be an easy job.
Teams like Chonburi, Muang Thong, Osotspa, BEC Tero and defending champions PEA all are capable of winning the title.
Hopefully, Bangkok Glass do not become "the rabbit and the turtle" and can maintain their form against the pre-season favourites. This will make the league a multi-horse race and more exciting.


Struggling PSMS reach last 16 of AFC Cup

Asian Champions League
Sriwijaya v Gomba Osaka 0-3

Johor v South China 1-4
VB v PSMS 1-2 (PSMS qualify for the knock out stage)
Chonburi v Hanoi 6-0 (Chonburi qualify)
Eastern Athletic v Kedah 3-3
Home United v Valencia 5-1
Binh Duong v PEA Ayuthya 1-1

Indonesia Super League
Persiba v Persik 1-0 (Gastan Catano)
Persita v Persib 2-4 (Supriyono, Adolfo Souza; Hilton 2, Eka Ramdani, Gonzales) 12,000
PKT v Arema 1-1 (James Debbah; Fortune Udo)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Tampines edge Albirex Niigata

It took an 8th minute strike from Noh Alam Shah to secure all three points for Tampines last night and keep their unbeaten start to the season going. They now sit 3rd in the SLeague


PSMS hoping for AFC Cup bounty

There’s quite a bit of action today featuring Indonesian sides both domestically and in Asian club competition.

We’ll start with Persib taking on Persita. Even though this is a home game for the Tangerang side it’s being played at Persib’s home stadium which, if fans are allowed, should allow a healthy injection of cash for Persita who have ben deprived of their own support this season.

Persib, who recently overcame Sriwijaya 3-2, as indeed did Persita, will be without the influential Lorenzo Cabanas in the middle and Maman Abdurahman at the back. Persita on the other hand will be looking for more of the same from 25 year old striker Made Adi Wirahan whose late brace against Persijap secured an unlikely three points last Friday.

Persiba host Persik in Balikpapan with bth sides lacking familiar faces up top. Persiba’s leading scorer Musafry will miss the game through suspension and his strike partner Gaston Castano isn’t fully fit either. At the back Mijo Dadic and Rully Saputan will also be missing with injuries.

Similarly Persil will be without both Saktiawan Sinaga and Ronaldo Fagundez for this mid table clash.

Elsewhere on Kalimantan PKT host Arema in another game featuring sides in the wrong half of the table. PKT currently sit 17th with 19 points while Arema, who have struggled to score goals since losing Emile Mbamba maybe 11th but are in danger of being sucked into a relegation struggle.

Bottom club Deltras make the shortish journey to Persela knowing they have yet to win on their travels while Persela, under new coach Widodo Cahyono Putro, welcome back Marcio Souza their top scorer and free kick specialist.

In the ACL Sriwijaya host Gamba Osaka. Two goals scored and fourteen against tells its own sorry tale and coach Rahmad Darmawan will be hoping his side can finally break their ACL hoodoo and get their first points tonight. But they will have to do so with Ferry Rotinsulu who was injured against Persib last week. He is replaced by Dede Sulaiman.

Things are looking better for PSMS though in the AFC Cup. Deprived of a game against Persja last Friday they turned their attentions to the Maldives, and why not, as they prepare to take on VB later on today in the capital Male. The Medan side sit second in the table three points behind leaders South China but five ahead of both VB and Johor. A draw today would go along way to securing their passage to the group stage.

Monday, April 20, 2009


On the road...again

OK, this is the latest but it may change again.

Clubs who insist on playing their games at their own stadiums will be responsible for getting the requisite police permission. If they can't get the permission for the regular stadium then they have to find a new stadium. If they can't do that then they forfeit the game 3-0 to the visitors.

I don't know if this is retroactive and includes Persija's non game against PSMS last Friday or not or PSIS against Persija today.

Talking about PSIS. If they and other Central Java teams cannot play in their own province then they should rearrange to Yogyakarta.

Some fixtures will be centralised starting next month. It was going to start last wekk but someone decided to change all that and look at the mess we're in now.

My local side Persikota will now have to play their games in Bandung if the local police don't give permission which is a joke. No bugger turns up at the Benteng Stadium anyway beyond a few African players and me.


Persikabo win but lose

Persikabo v Persijap 1-0

Persijap win 4-1 on aggregate and go through to the last 8 of the Copa Indonesia. Big, healthy crowd down in Cibinong for the game - don't these guys go to school or nothing?!


ISL latest

I have no idea what's going on at the moment. Persija were due to fly to Semarang on Saturday for the game with PSIS tonight but then the police refused to allow the game to go ahead and now we have both PSIS and Persijap without a home ground in Central Java. They join Persija and Persitara who are being prevented from carrying out their home games.

Meanwhile one source says East Java can hold games after all. But who really knows?

Recently I was talking to some friends in the game here and I was saying that it didn't matter how bad things got in Indonesia, Malaysia was much worse.

But not anymore. I have a Malaysian fixture list and I can pretty well be sure that it's reliable. I have an Indonesian fixture list, well the 5th edition, and it ain't worth the paper it's printed on.


Bangkok Glass lead TPL

TOT v Bangkok United 1-1
Bangkok Glass v Pattaya United 2-1
TTM Samut Sakhorn v Samut Songkhram 0-1
Osotspa v Port 2-1

1 Bangkok Glass 6 5 1 0 11-5 16
2 Osotspa 6 4 1 1 7-3 13
3 Chonburi 6 4 1 1 6-4 13

4 Muant Thong 6 3 3 0 9-4 12

Once again the goals are flying in thick and fast in the TPL. Or not. Only leaders Bangkok Glass, five straight wins, have reached double figures.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Results 18 April

Thai Premier League

Muang Thong United v PEA Ayuthya 1-0
Chula United v Nakhorn Pathom 1-3
Navy Rayong BEC Tero 0-0
Sri Racha v Chonburi 0-1

Indonesia Super League

Pelita Jaya v Persela 1-0 (Carlos Eduardo Bizzaro)
Persiba v Arema 2-1 (Gaston Catano, Musafry; Chmelo Roman)
PKT v Persik 2-2 (Wilfrido Galeani Genes, Tarik El Janaby; Saktiawan Sinaga, Hamkah Hamza)

Malaysian FA Cup

Negeri Sembilan v Kelantan 1-2 (Asyraf Al-Japri; Norfarhan Mohammad,Indra Putra Mahayuddin)
Selangor v Perlis 2-1 (Amri Yahyah 2; Azi Shahril Azmi)

Two quick goals early in the second half ensured Peter Butler's Kelantan put their recent poor run against Negeri Sembilan behind them as they reached next week's FA Cup Final where they meet Selangor. Amri Yahyah returned to the Red Giants and it was his last minute winner that took Selangor through to the Final

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Pelita Jaya look to Lommel

Pelita Jaya host Persela tonight in the ISL desperately searching for some firepower from their forwards. Rudi Wibowo has disappointed all season while coach Fandi Ahmad finally recruited former PSMS striker James Koko Lomel to partner the prolific, if somewhat lonley, Cristian Lopes.

Mid table stuff expected from both teams though at least Pelita Jaya have the Singapore Cup to look forward to in 10 days time or so.


Selangor eye final

Today sees Selangor take on Perlis in the FA Cup semi final second leg at Shah Alam knowing that a 0-0 will be enough to see them into the Final next weekend. In the 1st leg played in Perlis a couple of weeks back Shazwan Zainol had given the home side a 1st minute lead only for Premnath Chandra to level on 34'.

Recent form hasn't been good for the Red Giants with just one win in their last four but they welcome back captain Amri Yahyah and Amirulhadi.

Tickets go on sale at 9 am today and cost 10 RM.

In the other semi final Negeri Sembilan host Kelantan at Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi. Zaquan Adha's 7th minute effort was enough to piss off the home fans and give the side from the south a narrow lead to take into the 2nd leg.

Officials are expecting a 17,000 sell out crowd as Negeri Sembilan look to reach the final.

Selangor are looking for a record 5th triumph in the FA Cup, they last won in 2005 while Negeri Sembilan have only won once back in 2003.

Neither Perlis nor Kelantan have won the Cup but Perlis have been runners up on three occassions


SAF back on top

It took 78 minutes before Johnny Wilkinson could get the breakthrough against a stubborn Super Reds last night at Jalan Besar. It was a vital win for the Warriors ahead of a vital week. Next week sees them return to ACL action as well as take on surprise package DPMM in the SLeague. But for now Wilkinson celebrates his 7th goal of the season putting him top of the scoring charts level with the more familiar Aleksander Duric


Singapore Cup schedule

Tuesday 28 April 2009
Woodlands Wellington FC vs Bangkok Glass FC
Venue: Woodlands Stadium
Time: 7.45pm

Wednesday 29 April 2009

Brunei DPMM FC vs Pelita Jaya FC
Venue: Jalan Besar Stadium
Time: 7.45pm

Thursday 30 April 2009
Balestier Khalsa FC vs Home United FC
Venue: Toa Payoh Stadium
Time: 7.45pm

Friday 1 May 2009

Geylang United FC vs Singapore Armed Forces FC
Venue: Bedok Stadium
Time: 7.30pm

Saturday 2 May 2009
Albirex Niigata FC (S) vs Gombak United FC
Venue: Jurong East Stadium
Time: 7.45pm

Sunday 3 May 2009
Tampines Rovers FC vs Sengkang Punggol FC
Venue: Tampines Stadium
Time: 7.45pm

Monday 4 May 2009
Phnom Penh Crown FC vs Young Lions
Venue: Hougang Stadium
Time: 7.45pm

Wednesday 6 May 2009
TTM Samut Sakhon FC vs Super Reds FC
Venue: Jalan Besar Stadium
Time: 7.45pm


Indonesian football descends into farce - again

Following Jakarta's decision not to allow any ISL games in the run up to the presedential election now East Java has done the same thing. Clubs affected will be Persik, Arema, Persela and Deltras. This just days after the area had been selected to host a barrage of games.

Now, in the interests of 'the greater good' football is all but being shelved because nobody can guarantee safety in the stadiums. And this despite the fact that the elections passed off largely without a hitch and despite the fact there have been perhaps two major incidents at ISL games this season.

And this country wants to charge fans 100 USD to see Manchester United on a pitch torn up by weeks of election rallies? This country wants to host the World Cup?

In fact will the United game even go ahead? The police have said no football in Jakarta...


Persib v Sriwijaya 3-2

Sriwijaya's international keeper Ferry Rotinsulu was injured again as Sriwijaya lost vital ground on leaders Persipura.

Christian Gonzales gave the home team the lead after he broke Sriwijaya's offisde trap and calmly beat Ferry. Minutes late his rival at the top of the scoring charts, Ngan A Djam equalised with a free header from a corner.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Persita v Persijap 2-0

Two late, late goals from Made Adi Wirahadi rescued this game from utter tedium and gave Persita a vital three points in their scrap to pull away from the relegation zone. The victory takes them up to the heady heights of 13th.

For 86 minutes we were heading for ths stalemate we all expected. Persita had scored 12 goals n their 11 home games while Persijap had rattled in pretty unimpressive six in their 11.


Ticket prices for Manchester United

Dream on guys!

VVIP: Rp 3,500,000 *
VIP West: Rp 1,000,000
VIP East: Rp 1,000,000
Category I: Rp 400.000
Category II: Rp 250.000
Category III: Rp 100.000

72,800 tickets will go on sale

I have no problem with bleeding dry those folks who have absolutely no interest in Indonesian football and just wanna cream their kaks at Ronaldo preening himself. But what about the kids who go week in, week out, supporting their team while the game is all but ignored?

The Indonesian FA are saying that the premium tickets come with a premium experience and that the game is only 10% of the deal. Considering the foyers and concourses at the Bung Karno are always bare, concrete nothings and many toilets are kept locked, those that are open are disgusting, I'm all aquiver.

Actually, no I ain't.

* Rp 11,000 - USD 1 (approx)


Worrying times for Persib

Many clubs wouldn't mind sitting 5th in the ISL with five games in hand on leaders Persipura. But Persib aren't like many clubs. They are the Newcastle United of Indonesian football and their fans see them as gods. They see titles and trophies as their divine right.

But this season has been another poor one. Knocked out of the Copa Indonesia by Sriwijaya, they host the Palembang side this evening knowing that coach Jaya Hartono is hanging onto his job by his fingernails.

Jaya's side boast the second best defensive record in the league with just 22 goals conceded in 21 games. Players like Nyeck Nyobe, Nova Arianto and Maman Abdurahman would be on any coaches' teamsheet. But the problems lie at the other end.

Christian Gonzales has struggled to repeat the form he showed week in, week out for Persik Kediri since his arrival while partners Hilton Moreira and Rafael Bastos have struggled to find the net consistently. Hilton has netted just six goals in the ISL while Bastos has scored nine. Playmaker Lorenzo Cabanas has chipped in with six as well.

With a midfield boasting the likes of Eka Ramdani, Cabanas and the newly capped Hariono it's difficult to see why Persib have struggled so much this season.

Three points would mean so much for coach Hartono but recent form suggests he will be disappointed and that axe will be getting closer. Two wins in their last five ISL games, four of them at home, have effectively seen Persib's title challenge flounder but while Hartono might point to back to back wins in the last two games, with due respect to Persiba and PKT, these are games his charges should be winning comfortably.

For Sriwijaya the challenge is different. They are currently 3rd with a game in hand on runaway leaders Persipura. But they are 10 points behind, with a game in hand, and a worrying record on the road which has seen them win just three times.

Defeat tonight would not be the end of their dreams of keeping the title they won last year. But a 10 point gap with eight games remaining will be one hell of an ask for Rahmad Darmawan's men, especially as they try to juggle CI and ACL commitments.

It's a vital game tonight for both sides. Recent form suggests three points for Sriwijaya, they have beaten the Bandung side in their last two league meetings as well as having the upper hand in the recent CI tie. But tonight is different and, as Benny Dollo once said, the ball is round.


IPL round up

Western Division

PSPS thumped PSAP 6-1 to move five points clear at the top of the table in their race for next season's Super League. It was 4-0 at half time. Persisam came from 2-0 down at Cibinong to earn a point against Persikabo and sees them stay second. Top scorer Mardiansyah had given the home side the lead before Sairan made it 2-0 early in the second half. Two late goals in six minutes secured the point for the visitors as Ilham Jayakusama and Aldo Baretto saved a point.

Persikab moved up to 3rd after defeating Mitra Kukar 3-1 at Jalak Harupat Stadium. Elsewhere the Persikota v PSP result can't be found anywhere! I do know the Persita U21 game at the Benteng Stadium was called off the day before so perhaps they are linked? All very inconvenient for any travelling fans but who cares about them eh?

1 - PSPS 23 14 5 4 40-21 47
2 - Persisam 22 12 6 4 40-21 42
3 - Persikab 24 12 4 8 38-29 40

Eastern Division

Brima Pepito Sanusia's 77th goal was enough to Persema the three points in their top of the table clash with Persebaya at the Gajayana Stadium in Malang. The Kraton derby between PSIM and Persis ended goaless while the other derby between Persiba and PSS ended with Persiba winning 3-1. In other news Persibom from North Sulawesi have failed to host their last two games and face punishment today.

1 - Persema 20 15 1 4 36-21 46
2 - Persebaya 20 14 1 5 33-13 43
3 - Persiba 21 12 4 5 24-14 40


Change of date for United

Indonesia will now host Manchester United on 20 July at Bung Karno Stadium and not 24 July as originally planned.

And it appears Indonesia will be represented by an All Star XI, not the national team.


Tampines remain unbeaten

Gombak United v Tampines Rovers 0-0 2,535
Woodlands Wellington v Geylang United 0-2 (Lloyd Butler, Rastislav Belicak) 1,466

Tampines stay 4th, three points behind Gombak United despite extending their unbeaten run this season to nine games while their East Coast rivals Geylang United made it three straight wins with Butler scoring in each game as they rise to 5th, just a point behind Tampines.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Sergio van Dijk to Indonesia?

That Dutch striker with some Indonesian blood has had a pretty good season in Australia with Queensland Roar where he is apparently contracted till 2010. But according to this story it hasn't stopped Indonesian clubs sniffing round.

Among the sniffers are both double winners Sriwijaya and Pelita Jaya.

How will it end? Who knows but the way he talks about English and Greek clubs being interested in him suggests he is just floating a few balloons and seeing who bites.


No football in Jakarta?

Reports in a local tabloid suggest that the Jakarta police are refusing to sanction any more games in the capital city until after the election is over. Last week was just the first stage in what could be a three episode marathon that could last until October!

Last week saw the election for the local houses of parliament. Next on the agenda, in July is the Presedential election and if there is no clear winner there will be a play off in October

Tomorrow Persija were due to play PSMS and on Sunday Persitara were due to host Persebaya in the Copa Indonesia and these games are now in the balance.

Of course taking this latest injunction to its logical conclusion the prestige friendly against Manchester United would also be cancelled. Because of an election three months later!

Obviously this story is very fluid and once it reaches a conclusion, if it reaches a conclusion, I'll post more.

Hey bloody ho.

Persija may need to find a new stadium which would be difficult. They can't play anywhere in West Java so will have to travel further afield to find a temporary home base.

UPDATE - just got a text off a Persija official which made me smile. Very short, very sweet...ACAB.


Exciting IPL action today

With all this uncertainty surrounding the Indonesian Super League, the second tier Premier League carries on regardless far from the glare of publicity and today throws up some mouthwatering fixtures.

In the Western Division it’s third hosting second as Persikabo take on Persisam in Cibinong. Persisam are the team of all starts featuring well known players like Ilham Jayakasuma, Kurniawan Dwi Yulianto and Patricio Jiminez.

The side from Samarinda sit second just three points behind leaders PSP with a game in hand. Victory today could see them top of the league on goal difference.

Persikabo have ambitions of their own and in Mardiansyah the IPL’s leading scorer. But they have played more games than the sides above and currently six points behind PSP. Victory today is crucial if they are to reach the play offs for the ISL.

Another top of the table clash sees fourth against fifth when Persikab host Mitra Kukar at Jalak Harupat Stadium while leaders PSPS host 11th placed PSAP in Pekanbaru.

Fireworks are guaranteed in the Eastern Division with a slew of tasty derbies taking place today and none hotter than Persema v Persebaya in Malang. First against second with both sides having 43 points from their 19 games. The Surabaya side have gone off the boil recently but nothing that three points today wouldn’t put right.

They may be in the bottom four but royal pride will be at stake in the Kraton Derby between PSIM and Persis in Yogyakarta today. The two historic cities have been regal rivals for centuries and expect that to continue this afternoon. The other derby, also in Yogyakarta, sees Persiba Bantul host PSS.


ISL is back

After plenty of humming and haaing and dicking around with the idea of centreing a whole group of games in East Java, a topic I tried to steer away from till something was finalised, the dear hearts who run the game in Indonesia have decided clubs can play where they want.

Which means that instead of Persija playing PSMS in some godforsaken outpost like Lamongan tomorrow they could well be hosting them closer to home. Like Lebak Bulus Stadium.

Notice the use of the word could. Much can still change and probably will.

All the turmoil about where the games will be played is little more than politicking as so much is in the game here. Certain individuals flexing their muscles and seeking to garner popularity.

UPDATE - according to the Jakmania website the game with PSMS has been cancelled because no security clearance was issued by the police. It is up to Persija to find another stadium quick, Bung Karno is undergoing renovations after the political parties trashed the pitch during the recent campaigns, or they risk seeing the game awarded to PSMS 3-0.

What a way to run a war...


Greg Nwokolo

Just wondering. Is the Persija striker a Singaporean national like Agu Casmir?


DPMM remain unbeaten; Home win at last

Albirex Niigata v DPMM 2-2 (Kenji Adachihara, Kunihiro Honda; Shahrazen Said, Abdelhamid Berguiga)
Home United v Sengkang Punngol 3-0 (Peres De Oliveira, Kengne Ludovick, Norikazu Murakami)

1 - DPMM FC 9 5 4 0 12-7 19
2 - Singapore Armed Forces 8 6 0 2 26-9 18
3 - Gombak United 8 5 2 1 12-5 17
4 - Tampines Rovers 8 3 5 0 11-5 14

Tonight sees Gombak United take on unbeaten Tampines Rovers!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Merdeka Cup

Malaysia's Merdeka Cup will start 31 July and end 8 August. Games will be played at Bukit Jalil Stadium in KL and Shah Alam Stadium in, um, Shah Alam.


Singapore Cup Preliminary Round

Tampines Rovers v Sengkang Punggol
Albirex Niigata v Gombak United
Geylang United v SAFFC
Balestier Khalsa v Home United
TTM Samut Sakhon v Super Reds
DPMM v Pelita Jaya
Phnom Penh Crown v Young Lions
Woodlands Wellington v Bangkok Glass

Games start 27 April

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


SLeague results

Geylang United v Home United 1-0 (Butler)
Young Lions v Balestier Khalsa 2-0 (Irwan Shah, Yang Mu)


Sriwijaya cup triumph

Persib v Sriwijaya 1-1 (Eka Ramdani; Toni Sucipto) 30,000

Sriwijaya reach the quarter finals of the Copa Indonesia, defeating Persib 4-2 on aggregate. There were last minute red cards for the home team's Salim Alaydrus and the visitors Budi Sudarsono.

In other CI news Persitara are scheduled to play Persebaya this coming Sunday in Jakarta but it remains to be seen whether this game gets the go ahead or not. Monday sees Persikabo host Persijap while Deltras take on Persih on 24 April.

Sriwijaya join Persija, Persibo, Persipura and one other team in the quarters and the draw will be made after the outstanding games have been played.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Persikota v Semen Padang 3-2

Finally some Indonesian action even if it was only IPL. A rare three points for Persikota in front of a crowd that the adjective sparse doesn't do any credit. Thrilling stuff too with the home side taking the lead, Padang equalising, 2-1 Persikota, a twice taken penalty missed by the visitors, a nice first touch and sweetly taken shot made it 3-1 and set up an enthralling second half.

Semen Padang were pretty much camped in Persikota's half but the bettwe chances fell to the Tangerang side who could have extended their lead on two or three occassions. They didn't and a late goal by Wilson for Padang made it a tense last few minutes before the few fans who had bothered could celebrate that rarest of events. Three points.

See the goals here and more action here


MSL weekend results

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

Four draws yesterday in the MSL but surely the highlight saw PDRM get their first point of the season, after 12 games, with a draw at home to Negeri Sembilan. The side, it must be remembered, who have had the evil eye of Kelantan recently.

More misfortune for Peter Butler's men from the north east at their new home in KL. They were held 1-1 by Selangor but Perlis continue to lead after a narrow victory over My Team.

1. Perlis 12 9 1 2 18-10 28
2. Selangor 12 8 1 3 28-12 25
3. Kelantan 12 8 1 3 29-21 25
4. Negeri Sembilan 12 7 3 2 23-9 24


Pelita Jaya, Indonesian Super League & Singapore Cup

With Pelita Jaya entering the Singapore Cup expect the side from West Java to be gaining plenty of flight time. The preliminary rounds of the SC begin 27 April and end 4 May. At the same time the ISL is surging many fixtures to try and ease the backlog caused by the recent elections.

18/04 - Pelita Jaya v Persela (Lamongan)
22/04 - Pelita Jaya v Persitara (Lamongan)
02/05 - Pelita Jaya v Persija (Malang)
05/05 - Pelita Jaya v Persib (Bandung)

Figure Fandi taking his team to Singapore for their preliminary round round about 27/04


Kelantan think positive

KELANTAN will not hesitate to withdraw from the Super League if the sanctions imposed on them by the FA of Malaysia (FAM) lead to financial ruin. Rather than owe players wages, as is the case with some other teams, Kelantan FA president Tan Sri Annuar Musa is prepared for a mass auction of his squad during the May transfer window instead.

FAM banned Kelantan from using the Sultan Mohamed IV Stadium in Kota Baru as their home venue for the rest of the season as punishment for their fans' violent behaviour after Tuesday's 1-0 home defeat to Negri Sembilan in the FA Cup semi-finals first leg.

Kelantan were also hit with a RM90,000 fine and ordered to play all their home matches, including youth and age-group tournaments, at a neutral venue.

"We are one of the few state teams not to receive support from the state government. We have had to survive on gate collections and other sources of income," said Annuar at a press conference at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

"With this home ban, we will find ourselves short of RM2 million. In evaluating our options, we might stop playing if we cannot afford to continue."We lose out on gate collection and because our President's Cup team also have to play at neutral venues, our costs will increase drastically.

"In fact, we have given back to FAM through fines and stadium levies more than what we received from them through the RM300,000 grant."But we don't want to owe our players wages, so when the transfer window opens in May, I'd rather 'lelong' them all to other teams. No need for Kelantan to play anymore then.

"But I stress that this is the most extreme of circumstances. We hope we don't reach that stage and will find a way to survive this somehow."Annuar, who rebuilt the team following relegation to the third-tier FAM Cup league in 2005, expressed hope that their fans will have learnt their lesson.

"We hope this becomes a lesson to Kelantan supporters. Their actions hurt the team. They always want to win but must also learn to accept defeat," said Annuar.'When we were playing in the FAM Cup in 2005, we had no spectators. We started from zero, repaid old debts, but they cannot expect miracles to happen. Sometimes they just don't understand."

Annuar also ruled out an appeal to FAM against the punishment and stated his desire to base the team in Kuala Lumpur, starting with today's "home" fixture against Selangor at the National Stadium.

The match is expected to attract a sizable crowd given that 40,000 turned up at the reverse fixture on Feb 28 in Shah Alam, half of whom were Kelantan fans -- who also turned unruly by raining missiles and seats on to the pitch and at rival supporters after Selangor won 3-0.

"The issue of an appeal does not arise as we accept this as a challenge. We also hope to use the National Stadium as our home venue and if needed, I will base the entire team in Kuala Lumpur so that we don't have to travel," added Annuar."For tomorrow's (today's) match against Selangor, we have arranged for 300 police and 100 security personnel to be on duty. We hope everything passes of peacefully."

COMMENT - fair play to the guy for not whinging and blaming everyone else.

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