Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Persipura Lose At Last

Persipura's unbeaten start to the season came to an end yesterday when they were beaten 1-0 by Barito Putra in Banjarmasin.

Yongki Aribowo scored the only goal for the home team right at the death.

This defeat won't come as a surprise to any readers of my Jakarta Globe column as I predecited earlier this month the game in Banjarmasin could be a banana skin for Jacksen F Tiago's men.

Of course one defeat does not mean their season will come off the rails and Persipura are still odds on favourite for the ISL.

Jakarta Globe story

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Without Fans

Security officials in Jakarta decided Persija's high octane clash with Persib could go ahead. But without fans.

Its a busy day in Jakarta what with the city celebrating its birthday and a big rock concert up north as well as some fragile, geriatric men in town on behalf og Manchestwr United so security officials decidwdmthe last thing they needed was Persija v Persib to be policed in the hart of the city.

A game like this without fans is like Christmas without Santa. And from what i am hearing it never happened anyway. I'm hearing tales of rocks, hooligans, buses and a game called off. More when I know more...

UPDATE - The bus carrying the Persib team from their hotel to the stadium was attacked by Persija fans so they never bothered turning up for the game. Persija officials are calling for the game to be awarded to them 3-0, Walkover, because Persib never turned up but no decision has been made whether the game will be replayed or not.

In response to the incident Jakarta registered cars were attacked in Bandung, a popular weekend trip for capital city dwellers.

Typically when the two teams meet they travel to and from the stadium in armoured vehicles. For some reason this time Persib chose a bus.

Friday, June 21, 2013


IPL Walkovers

The race is on to find the walkover champions in the Indonesia Premier League. With the season effectively a dead rubber for all but three of the teams, those who get promoted and can join the Super League next season, the only thing of interest remaining is who doesn't turn up for games.

Persibo won the Indonesia Cup last year and did a spelnedid job of humiliating themselves in the AFC Cup this campaign. They are taking that fine form into the IPL by not bothering to turn up for their scheduled games and foreiting the points.

They are second bottom on the ladder, only Persija IPL remain below them, and from 12 games have two wins showing...and one of them came against Persija. Who, you may have guessed by now, never turned up!

Persibo have not turned up for six games, by far the most impressive record in the league. Persija have not turned up for three, they have just one point, no home stadium and no fans.

14 - Persema 11 3 0 8 15-26 9
15 - Persibo - 12 2 1 9 6-27 7
16 - Persija 10 0 1 9 6-33 1

14 - Persema 15-26 9
15 - Persija

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Indonesia's Classico

A somewhat unfortunate banner to show during Classico!
This weekend sees Persija host Persib, one of Indonesia's biggest games along with Persebaya and Arema.

Sriwijaya and Persipura maybe sharing the trophies between them but these two encapsulate the power and passion of the game here.

It's a game when away fans don't travel. If they do they keep schtum and try to blend in but the old 'got the time mate' ploy so beloved of northerners back in the day in England comes into play with lads on edge trying to tap the unwary.

Persib fans who made it to the game last year were attacked and killed despite not wearing colours. Apparently one was attacked because he didn't cheer loudly enough when Persija scored!

It is beauty and the beast of local football and despite the best efforts on both sides nothing can be done to stem the hatred and undercurrent of violence always threatening beneath the surface. Catch a taste of the atmosphere on Jakarta Casual TV

One year we made the mistake of driving past Siliwangi Stadium in a Jakarta registered car on match day. The car was punched and we were roundly abused in teens' best pre-pubescent screams until we opened the window and showed we were just dumb foreigners and not Persija's finest on a mission.

There has been no confirmation whether this weekend's game will allow fans to watch or not. If they are Persija are planning displays to commemorate Jakarta's birthday but that is up in the air at the moment.

Persija have history on their side in their clashes:

P 31 W 15 D 10 L 6 F 48 A 31

Current form they are looking good as well having been bottom of the ISL at the mid season break. Unbeaten since then they have climbed the table and now sit 10th, 18 points behind 3rd place Persib. Indeed had Maung Bandung performed better on their travels we would perhaps have seen a more concerted title push from them but just wins tells its own story.

As ever there are several intriguing sub plots t
o this most volatile of games but if the game does allow fans and you are free on Saturday afternoon, if they don't postpone it, you owe it to yourself to get down there!

For a bit of background on the Persija and Persib rivalry, with a definite Persija twist, check out this video with a Persija fan on Jakarta Casual TV

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


PSMS Players Protest Non Payment

The world has moved on but on the ground nothing has changed.

Attention spans are never very long at the best of times and once the PSSI and the KPSI decided to bury the hatchet and be friends again everyone lost interest. The feeling was everything was fine, hunky dory and ship shape once again.

But it isn't and it isn't going to be. The problems afflicting Indonesian football are never going to be solved by the same people who started the whole nonsense in the first place. And it ain't about football anyway, never has been and won't be for the foreseeable future.

Despite the different leagues seeming to run smoothly under the surface things are so bloody rosy.

Take the players of PSMS. The Divisi Utama club have a fine tradition but no one cares about that. The players have not been paid for yonks and have come to Jakarta to air their grievances...only to find the PSSI have shifted to Surabaya to slap each other on the back, jostle for position and show off their latest batik shirts.

When the players went to the PSSI office it was locked. Everyone it seemed had gone.  Everyone from office boy upwards was needed in Surabaya.

It's fortunate these people don't run the country, ambitions aside. All an enemy power needs to do is wait for them to have a meeting in somewhere like Makassar then invade Jakarta. Job done!

The players of course will soon run out of money.

The PSSI will be enjoying bumper pay days and bumper photo ops from the visits of Netherlands, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool yet no one has the vision to get players paid. A basic right afterall.

Nope, nothing has changed.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Malaysia Adopts 'Dob In A Fan'

Sick and tired of crowd violence marring matches, the Football Association of Malaysia will offer fans a financial reward if they catch hooligans causing trouble at the FA Cup final later this month.

The FAM said supporters would be given 1,000 Malaysian Ringgit (£200) for their 'policework' during the showpiece final between Kelantan and Johor Darul Takzim at the National Stadium on June 29.
"We have decided to take a different, and positive, approach to preventing crowd trouble during the Cup final," FAM competitions committee chairman Hamidin Mohd Amin was quoted as saying by Malaysian media on Friday.
Johor's semi-final second leg against Pahang was abandoned due to crowd trouble, while Kelantan were fined 40,000 Ringgit (£8,000) last year after their fans caused a long delay to a Cup match when they threw bottles on to the field.
Amin said each team would also appoint 100 marshals to help the police with crowd control at the match, which is expected to be an 87,000 sell out.
"I need to laud the proactive steps being taken by FAM to control the crowd and I believe these two measures will improve the safety of fans in the stadium," FAM security committee chairman Seri Wira Salleh Mat Rasid said.
SOURCE - Eurosport
COMMENT - another fantastic idea by the forward thing Malaysian Football Association. A tour down under where dobbing in is enough to have you ostracised socially and now they want to adopt it as a policy. But I think it's brilliant. I would be having every face painted, vuvuzula blowing, Mexican waving fan nicked. 


Persipura Edge Closer To ISL

Indonesia Super League

Persidafon v Persiba 2-0 (Pape Latyr 2) 7,735
Persiram v Barito Putra 3-1 (Elthon Maran, Steven Imbiri, James Koko Lomell; Konate Makan) 855
Persita v Pelita Bandung Raya 2-0 (Luis Edmundo, Cristian Carrasco) 1,250
Persib v Sriwijaya 4-0 (Sergio van Dijk 2, Hilton Moreira, M Ridwan) 25,000
Persipura v Mitra Kukar 1-0 (Boas Solossa)
Persiwa v Persisam 1-3 (Max Suel; Osas Marvelous 3)
Persepam v PSPS 3-0 (Rossy, Alain Nkong, Ali Khaddafi)
Persela v Persija 1-1 (Mario Costas; Alfariz)

Persipura's lead has now stretched to 14 points after their narrow victory over Mitra Kukar at the Mandala Stadium and other results went their way though Arema have a game in hand and play Tuesday. At the other end of the table wins for Persita and Persidafon though PSPS and Persiwa continued their freefall. Persiwa are now just a point off the relegation places and they travel to Banjarmasin on Friday to play Barito Putra, a team unbeaten at home.

Indonesia Premier League

Pro Duta v PSLS 1-1
Persepar v Persema 1-0 (Wijay)
Semen Padang v Persiraja 5-0 (Edward Wilson 2, Vizcarra 2, Nur Iskander)
Persebaya v Perseman 2-1 (Fernando Soler, Karlovic; Kaimu)
Bontang v PSM 0-2 (Andi Oddang 2)
Persijap v Arema 2-0

1 - Semen Padang 10 8 1 1 28-4 25
2 - Persebaya 11 7 3 1 22-9 24
3 - Perseman 11 7 2 2 22-8 23

12 - Edward Wilson Junior (Semen Padang)
9 - Carlos Raul Scicuatti)

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Lion City Cup & England's Disaster In Israel

England’s abject failure in Israel at the European Under 21 Chamoionships has yet again thrown the country’s youth policies, or lack thereof, into focus.
As if three straight defeats wasn’t enough, against Italy, Norway and Israel, it was the manner of them. Manager Stuart Pearce was quick to say he was deprived of key players like Phil Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but whether they would have had the power to change things is a moot point.
For a nation that still considers itself a football power it must be galling to know they cannot put together a squad of 23 players who can beat minnows like Israel and Norway. England, as the English love to tell us monotonously, is home to the greatest football league in the world.
Developing young players is without doubt the toughest job in football despite what the likes of Jose Mourinho might say as he contemplates Chelsea’s bulging bank account. No waving obscene sums of money to attract the best kids.
Coaching the kids come with its own pressures. They would rather practice celebrate scoring a 40 yard scorcher rather than work on shape and defensive discipline. The natural precociousness of teenagers is multiplied they ull on a football shirt and think they are just months away from contracts that could make them millionaires before they can vote in an election.
Singapore have their own approach to youth development. Like Malaysia they have their own dedicated team, Young Lions in the SLeague while younger players compete in the National FootballLeague, an amateur second tier.
Indeed as England were waving the white flag in Israel Singapore was hosting a youth tournament of its own.
This year marked the 25th anniversary of the Lion City Cup, a celebration of youth football that attracts some of the biggest names in world football.
Recent editions have seen the likes of Ajax, Manchester United and Juventus and the current edition is no less illustrious with Arsenal, Eintracht Frankfurt, Corinthians and PSV Eindhoven joining two host teams, NFA Under 16 and NFA Under 15 in a mouth watering week of football.
To give some idea of how popular this competition is over 5,000 fans turned up on match day one to see Corinthians thrash NFA Under 15 7-0 while Arsenal just edged NFA Under 16 2-1.
Apart from patriotic fervor many in the crowd had come to see a young lad named Irfan Fandi who carries all the pedigree of a thoroughbred. Son of Singapore legend Fandi Ahmad, Irfan has been tipped for stardom from an early age.
He has already enjoyed stints overseas with a number of European clubs and indeed ahead of the Lion City Cup he had spent two months training with Spanish side Hercules CF and for many Singaporeans this was their first opportunity to catch their future star.
And he didn’t disappoint, netting against Arsenal, a real poacher’s effort from one yard, and putting in a fine performance against the London team that impressed many onlookers.
The beauty of football at this level is it is not yet about results. Arsenal manager Liam Brady, himself a product of their youth system, said as much after his team had lost 4-3 to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Arsenal had lost 4-3 but Brady has happy to see how the players had reacted to going a goal down within 15 seconds and conceding a second halfway through the first half, pointing out the defence had recovered well after starting poorly.
‘It’s all about experience’ said the Irishman charged with developing Arsenal’s famed policy that has produced players like Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshire.
There is a large gap between playing at Under 15 level when the players are still in effect schoolchildren, and Under 21 when they have become men. Yet those are the crucial years. Talent can be spotted early, these days it is common to see players join club’s academies as nine year olds, but the post puberty years are crucial.
That is when the lessons learned are either absorbed or discarded. That is when an individual’s hunger and mental strength become important. Boys become men, discover girls, cars and money. It can be a heady mix and not all can handle it.
The raw potential shown by the likes of Fandi, Kaylen Hinds (Arsenal) and Nils Herdt (Eintracht Frankfurt) still has a long way to go before they can be considered to have made the grade.
And even when a player does feel he has ‘made it’ performances like England’s in the Middle East suggest they continue to be plagued by outside distractions.

SOURCE - My Jakarta Globe column last week...not on line


Chelsea Tickets On Sale In Jakarta

SOURCE - Nine Sports


Ticket Prices Indonesia XI v Liverpool

Rp 10,000 = approx $1. Category 1, 2 and 3 include access to an open training session when you can get to see bored young men run a little bit!

West VVIP (Yellow)Reserved SeatRp. 3,000,000
West VIP A,B,C (Blue)Reserved SeatRp. 2,000,000
East VIP (Yellow)Reserved SeatRp. 1,500,000
East Blue, Sector 12 & 13GA SeatRp. 1,250,000
Green Sec 3-4, Green Sec 21-22
Orange Sec 9-11, Orange Sec 14-16
GA SeatRp. 400,000
Purple Sec 5-8, Purple Sec 17-20GA SeatRp. 150,000
All Upper Tribune, Sector 1 - 24GA SeatRp. 65,000

SOURCE - MyTicket

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Arsenal's Game In Hanoi Doubtful As Greed Rears Its Ugly Head

The visit by Arsenal to Vietnam, the first ever English club to go there, is in doubt after the owners of My Dinh Stadium cranked up the rent to use the stadium.

The Vietnam Football Federation are fuming and asking for the government to get involved which, being a communist nation, they shouldn't find too difficult.

Of course ticket prices for the friendly which no doubt will feature lots of men hugging, water breaks and substitutions are fixed at normal V League prices. Aren't they?

Because there is a word for people who are happy to raise prices when it benefits themselves but slam others who do the same isn't there?


Malaysia's Winter Break Absolutely Brilliant

Canberra v Malaysia 3-2
Sydney Olympic v Malaysia 0-4
Marconi v Malaysia 2-0

This tour, organised the amazing Football Association of Malaysia, was a resounding success for the national team. OK, maybe the results weren't the best but then football is not always about results is it?

Losing 3-2 to what pretty much amounts to a pub team in Canberra will live long in the annals and it is fair to say Malaysia may never want to go there again. After all the weather is cold and the shopping awful.

But Sydney and the photo opps down by the harbour means the tour no doubt will be seen as a success by the super duper FAM and can only auger well for them in the future.

From a football point of view? Hang on, you don't want me to get negative do you? The FAM have chosen wisely and we must accept their wisdom because they know what they are doing and we are mere mortals who should be satisfied with our lot in life.

Friday, June 14, 2013


Weaver's A Warrior

Good to see Alex Weaver back in work after he as announced new coach of Warriors.

Once known as SAFFC they dominated Singapore football for several years but now find themselves in 10th place in the SLeague.

Weaver was previously with Hougang United but was mysteriously removed from coaching duties and sent to the stand like a naughty school boy.

From the outside it looked like the club was trying to freeze Weaver out. Make him feel unwanted so he would quit so the club did not need to pay off his contract but then I am just cynical!

That shows the type of people football in these parts has to deal with. Beneath all the business school speak about KPIs and hubs at the end of the day some people are just on massive ego trips,keen to show they are in charge and look what power they can swing.

Football will never progress all the while there are people like this in prominent positions.

I hope one day the rue story comes out one day.


Indonesian Results

Indonesia Super League

Persipura v Persisam 4-1 (Boas Solossa, Dutra, Patrich Wanggai, Lukas Mandowen; Osas Saha) 17,523
Persiwa v Mitra Kukar 1-2 (Max Suel; Heru Nerly, Ilja Spasojevic) 435
Persela v PSPS 9-1 (Taufiq, Gustavo, Dedi Indra, Mario Costas 3, Fandi Eko 2, Jimmy Suparno; Novi) 7,234
Persepam v Persija 0-1 (Rohit Chand) 12,389

1 - Persipura 24 18 6 0 57-12 60
2 - Arema 23 15 3 5 46-18 48
3 - Sriwijaya 22 14 3 5 40-31 45
4 - Persib 23 23 5 5 50-32 44

20 - Boas Solossa (Persipura)
17 - Djibril Coulibaly (Barito Putra)

Divisi Utama

PSIS v Persikabo 1-2 (Yulianto; Aliyuddin 2) 21,900
Persiku v Persikad 4-1 (Alberto Ramon Sosa 4; Aji Nurpijal) 3,793

Indonesia Premier League

Persibo v Persema W/O (Persibo didn't show, again, match awarded 3-0 to Persema)
Persepar v PSIR 2-0
Pro Duta v Persiraja 3-0
Semen Padang v PSLS 6-0
Persebaya v PSM 2-0 (Fernando Soler, Andik Vermansyah)
Bontang v Perseman 0-5
Persijap v Persiba 1-0
Persija v Arema PP

1 - Semen Padang 9 7 1 1 23-4 22
2 - Persebaya 10 6 3 1 16-6 20-8 21
3 - Perseman 9 6 2 1 16-6 20

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Stange's Solid Start

Myanmar v Singapore 0-2 (Khairul Amri, Shaiful Esah)
Laos v Singapore 2-5 (Indra Sahdan, Hariss Harun, Safuwan Baharudin, Gabriel Quawk, Hafiz Rahim)

As starts go that is pretty impressive. You can only beat what is in front of you and Singapore have done that with seven goals scored by seven different players.

Next is Oman in the Asian Cup qualifiers and that may not be so easy.


Singapore Targeting Philippine Market

SINGAPORE, 11 JUNE 2013: The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) is pleased to announce that ticket sales for the international friendly match between Singapore U23 and Philippines U23 on Thursday, 13 June 2013, 7.45pm at Hougang Stadium will commence tomorrow, 12 June 2013 at 12 noon.
Fans may purchase their tickets from the TicketBooth’s website, the 12 TicketBooth outlets, or AXS machines island-wide until 4pm on match-day. The ticket sales will resume on match-day from 5pm onwards at Hougang Stadium, subject to availability.
All ticket redemption (for online and AXS purchases) can be done at the 12 TicketBooth outlets during their operating hours or at Hougang Stadium on match-day, using the sales receipt.
Each patron is only allowed to purchase a maximum of 4 tickets.
The FAS requests fans to turn up early to avoid delays, as there will be enhanced security checks in place during match-day.
The ticketing details are as follows:
*          Students aged below 16 years and Senior Citizens aged 60 years and above have to produce their concession passes upon entry into the stadium. Concession tickets are also applicable to children, aged 7 and below without concession passes, and who require a seat in the stadium.
'           Above mentioned ticket prices exclude $1 ticketing fee.
COMMENT - remember Singapore invited two Philippine teams to the Singapore Cup this year!


Indonesia Super League Results

Persita v Sriwijaya 2-4 (Cristian Carrasco, Sirvi Arfani; Tantan, Herman Dzumafo 2, Eric Weeks) 5,817
Persib v Pelita Bandung Raya 4-3 (Sergio van Dijk 2, Kenji Adichihara, Supardi; Camara Sekou, Marwan Sayedh 2) 10,567
Persidafon v Barito Putra 1-2 (Ndiaye Pape; Konate Makan, Djibril Coulibaly)
Persiram v Persiba 1-0 (Lee Soung Yong)

1 - Persipura 23 17 6 0 53-11 57
2 - Arema 23 15 3 5 46-18 48
3 - Sriwijaya 22 14 3 5 40-31 45

19 - Boas Solossa (Persipura)
17 - Djibril Coulibaly (Barito Putra)
15 - Sergio van Dijk (Persib)
14 - James Koko Lomell (Persiram)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Wilkinson Back In Singapore Without Uniform

Former Singapore international Johnny Wilkinson is back in what he describes as his 'home league'. He has joined Tanjong Pagar after a spell in India with Salgoacar.

He previously played for SAFFC and Home United in Singapore while also having a short spell in Thailand with Police United.

Hence the headline!


Arsenal Lose To Eintracht In Lion City Cup

Not the best result for Arsenal as they went down 4-3 against Eintracht Frankfurt on the second match day of the Lion City Cup in Singapore.

The Gunners had narrowly defeated hosts NFA in the opening game 2-1 but against the Germans found themselves a goal down within seconds of the start after carelessly losing possession in their own half. As someone said to me earlier, watching the Under 15s was like watching the first team!

Things got worse for the Arsenal kids when they went 2-0 on 25 minutes but to their credit they hauled themselves back in the game when Joseph Willock pulled one back from the spot.

Right on half time Arsenal conceded a third when they fell asleep at a corner allowing Nils Herdt to net his second of the night at the near post.

Ukasyah Wallace, a Felliani look alike at the back, had endured a torrid start  to the game but it was he who pulled a goal back (pictured), poking home from close range and as the game wore on he regained confidence and put in a good shift.

The impressive Kaylen Hinds made it 3-3 and Arsenal were hoping they had turned a corner but it wasn't to be when a delightful chip from sub Adrian Matuschewski gave the Germans the win.

There was a penalty shoot out at the end of the game to be used instead of goal difference or head to head but it was England against Germany, you don't need me to tell me the result of that!

After the game Eintracht coach Abdessamad El Messaoudi said, “It was a great winning goal. One of a kind - something we do not see every day.” I would respectfully disagree. I saw an Eintracht sub do exactly the same thing at half may even have been the same player.

Arsenal coach Kwamae Ampadu was satisfied with how his team had clawed their way back in the game while Liam Brady praised the response of the players at the end describing Willock,who had scored the pen yet missed from 12 yards in the shoot out as in tears.

At the end of the day at this age it isn't so much about results as about experience. Playing in the Singapore heat cannot be easy for kids used to the vagaries of English weather but the way they responded to the early set back will be one positive for the coaches when they pick the bones of this game.

More pictures can be found on Asian Football Pictures 

In the other game NFA drew with Dutch team PSV Eindhoven 0-0.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Irfan The Messiah

It's not easy being the anointed one in Singapore, a country stuck in a time warp. Football, it is commonly held, stopped in 1994 when they won the Malaysia Cup in a game that has all the resonance of 1966 for the English.

That team has gone and in the eyes of the 94 brigade that team has never been equalled.

At the core of that team was Fandi Ahmad. Imagine George Best without the beer. And the birds. And the excesses. That is how Singaporeans see Fandi. Many cross the border to catch the team he coaches, Johor Darul Tazkim in the Malaysia Super League where they are engaged in a frantic title race with Singapore's LionsX11.

For years now the spotlight has been on Fandi's sons. I am serious! When he was in Indonesia the Singapore media would gleefully report how well the lads were doing at soccer school rather than report on the local game which it will be remembered died in 1994.

Irfan is one of the sons and on Saturday night he scored for NFA Under 16 against Arsenal which over course sent everyone into overdrive. Surely he was the messiah of Singapore football even though he had apparently not tidied his room the night before causing his old man to say 'he is not the messiah, he is a very naughty boy'.

The pressure on him is not healthy. In fact if you want to talk about highly hyped prodigies consider John Bostock who was signed by Tottenham as a spotty  but highly thought of teenager who has been released by the club without getting a game.

If Singaporeans really cared about Irfan and his future the best thing they can do is forget all about him. Let him be a teenager. Let him beat the crap out of his younger brother, wear dirty shoes in the house and tell the science teacher the subject is crap.

There is so much pressure to find the next 'insert name' with media and fans leading the charge but footballers need to be allowed to develop away from the headlines and hype. The last thing they need is petty, hysterical reactions; just concentrate on football and at Irfan's age girls. If he is good enough he will make it.


Warriors Part Company With Coach

Warriors coach V Selvaraj stepped down last night after they lost to DPMM in a League Cup tie at Jalan Besar.

When they were known as SAFFC they were the most successful team in the country but things have not gone well for them over the last few years though the squeaky voiced cheerleaders still follow them over land and, um, sea.

Former Home United coach Steve Darby has exopressed his interest in taking over but no decision has been made yet.

And remember this is Singapore where coaches aren't really required. The national team went five months without appointing one while one SLeague club stuck theirs' in the stand rather than have him on the bench.

Saturday, June 08, 2013


Indonesia v Netherlands 0-3

The thing with these types of friendlies is that smaller team, in this case Indonesia, has nothing to lose. Win and everyone is surprised. Lose and well, it's ok.

No one really could have expected Indonesia to have gone in at half time 0-0 against the Dutch. That they did so was thanks to Robin van Persie's profligacy in front of goal and an outstanding performance from the back line including keeper Meiga Kurnia whose handling was flawless for the whole game.

It was at the other end Indonesia were struggling. Forced on to the back foot by the Dutch the home team were forced to go long looking to release the pacy Boas Solossa but while he did cause a few problems too often he was easily brushed off the ball by the larger Dutch defenders.

If coach Jacksen F Tiago can take some joy from this performance then it would be those first 55 minutes. Much of that was against the Dutch trinity of van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben who had come on as an early substitute when the visitors failed to get past a defence featuring Dutch born Raphael Maitimo.

It was when van Persie and Sneijder went off that the Dutch started to make their pressure and experience tell with a couple of simple goals from substitute Siem de Jong the Ajax striker. Twice the ball was stood up from the flank and twice he rose to net.

The goals seemed to deflate the Indonesians. They faded rapidly and while substitute Andik Vermansyah came on to lift the crowd and provide a handy cameo that will burnish his own reputation they produced little. Arjen Robben slalomed through the defence at the end to make it 3-0 and give it a comfortable sheen for coach Louis van Gaal.

After the match van Gaal praised Meiga Kurnia's performance while the travelling Dutch media seemed more interested in why Wesley Schneijder was not captain. They love their dressing room rifts those boys!

More images Asian Football Pictures

Thursday, June 06, 2013


Persija v Persipura 2-3

When two in form teams collide you expect an exciting game. It doesn't always happen of course; English football is littered with hype before any of the big teams go head to head yet all too often the game fizzles out and the headlines soon forgotten.

Not this time. Persipura went into the game unbeaten all season, Persija on their best run of the season. And both teams played like it as the game matched its billing and more.

Persipura were ahead within three minutes, the mercurial Zah Rahan's speculative effort from 20 yards coming off the crossbar and bouncing off the hapless keeper.

It took Persija a while to make an impression, so adept were the league leaders at winning and keeping the ball but the home team ground themselves back into the game with new signing Kenmogne proving increasingly influential.

With their first real attack of the game Persija were level through Kenmogne, breaching a mean defence that had conceded just eight goals all season.

The goal spurred Kemayoran Tigers and they pressed well forcing the champions on to the back foot and giving Cameroonian defender Paulin Pierre Bio a torrid time.

Deep into injury time Kenmogne gave Persija the lead with a header.

The saying is the best time to score a goal is right before half time. Obviously Persipura don't agree as they came out of the  blocks second half and were level within eight minutes, Ruben Sanadi celebrating his call up for the national team by levelling.

It was end to end stuff with the Black Pearls playing lovely but powerful football. They are a big team, big and strong, yet at their heart is the Liberian Zah Rahan, small but supremely talented.

A couple of substitutions in the last 10 minutes decided the game. Benny Dollo surprisingly withdrew Kenmogne, replacing him with Rudi Setiawan while Persipura replaced Ian Louis Kabes with a ball boy. In his first six games Kenmogne has hit five goals, immediately endearing himself to the home support.

No, that's not fair! Yohanes Ferinando Pahabol is tiny though and blessed with the speed of a whippet. His impact was immediate, scoring a thunderbolt three minutes from the end, hitting the crossbar and stinging Galih's gloves with another scorching effort.

The ref finally blew and the travelling Persipura support, who according to earlier media reports shouldn't have even been at the game, went crazy. It was a great game of football between two teams who played football. I know, sounds daft but many teams don't even try and do that.

I haven't mentioned Boas Solossa. Always a threat he was outshone by the likes of Zah Rahan and Pahabol's cameo yet his was a measured, mature performance for the team.

This was the first time Persija have been able to play in front of their own fans for several months and just under 17,000 came out to support their team. One or two morons tried to start some racist chants whenever Persipura players got near to the touch line  but they were ignored by everyone else which was good to see.

In the day's other game PSPS defeated Persiwa in a game that was polar opposite to the one in Jakarta. Two teams in shocking form but it was the home team that shaded it with M Isnani scoring on 78'. They remain bottom but Persiwa are now just four points off a relegation place and their coach Subangkit stepped down after the match

Monday, June 03, 2013


Arsenal Squad For Lion City Cup



PSIS Crowds Deserve Bigger Stage

v PSCS 1-0 22,000
v Persitara 2-1 14,125
v Persipur 7-0 22,000
v Persiku 0-0 22,000
v Persip 4-0 25,000

Pretty consistent numbers there from PSI. In fact apart from the Persitara game, strangely consistent! Do you get the impression they don't really take an accurate count of fans through the gate?


Persebaya Win Puts Pressure On Top Two

Persebaya v Perspar 2-1 (Mat Halili, Feri Ariawan; Oyedepo)
Arema v Persiba Bantul 1-3 (Dhuani; Ugik, Slamet, Kwateh) 73

1 - Perseman 9 6 2 1 16-6 20
2 - Semen Padang 8 6 1 1 17-4 19
3 - Persebaya 9 5 3 1 18-8 18

8 - Carlos Raul Sciutti (PSLS), Edward Wilson Junior (Semen Padang)
7 - Cristian Lenglolo (PSIR)
6 - Roberto Kwateh (Persiba)

The Indonesia Premier League is still out there but only just. Arema, the IPL version, attracting on 73 in an attendance that would shame the SLeague. Quite why they insist on calling themselves Arema is beyond me but without logic I am nothing.

No one knows who plays where or when and nobody really cares.

Sunday, June 02, 2013


Results 01/06

Indonesia Super League

Persija v Persiwa 3-0 (Rahmat Affandi, Fabiano, Kenmogne)
Pelita Bandung Raya v Persepam 0-1 (Zaenal Arief) 1,025
PSPS v Persipura 1-5 (Yudi Rianto; Patrick Wanggai 2, Otavio Dutra, Im Junsik, Boas Solossa) 3,250

Divisi Utama 

Persipur v Persiku 1-1 (Edris Gunawan; Joko Purnomo) 4,125
PSCS v Persikad 2-1 (Arif Sarifudin, Wahyu Triharjanto; Agwa Aliba Jules) 7,915
PSIS v Persip 4-0 (Addison Alves de Oliverira 2, Ronald Fagundez, I Nyoman Sukaraja) 25,000

Malaysia FA Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg

Pahang v Johor Darul Takzim 2-1 (Matias Conti 2; Andrezinho)

2-2 on aggregate, Johor DT go through on away goals and play Kelantan in the final on 29 June.

Singapore Cup

Warriors v Global 0-2 (Misagh Bahadoran, Jordan Robertson)
Young Lions v Balestier Khalsa 0-1 (Paul Cunningham)

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