Thursday, February 27, 2014


AFC Cup Match Day 1


Persipura v Churchill Brothers 2-0 (Boaz Solossa, Ferdinand Pahabol) 9,000
New Radiant v Home United 1-0 5,200

Selangor v Arema 1-1 (Rangel; Igbenefo) 7,000

Yangon United v Kelantan 5-3 (Emerson Reis 2, Kyaw Ko Ko 3; Zaharul, Badhri Radzi 2) 2,000

Tampines Rovers v Kitchee 0-5 712

Monday, February 24, 2014


Results 23/02

Indonesia Super League

Perseru v Persiba Balikpapan 3-2 (Pierre Patrick Seme, Arthur Bonai, Okta Maniani; Anson Toure, Carlos Ozuna) 300

PSM v Persiram 1-1 (Ponaryo Astaman; Messi Mbdia) 400

Sounds like a right barrel of laughs at Bung Tomo for the PSM game. Ponaryo hit a penalty in first half injury time, Messi saved Persiram on 90 minutes and nine players booked. Still, that makes it one win and one draw from their last two games.

Thai Premier League

Sisaket v Osotspa 0-1 (Gusmao Jeferson) 7,683
Samut Songkram v BEC Tero 0-0 2,367
Air Force v TOT 0-0 4,072
Army United v Bangkok United 2-1 (Goran Jerkovic, Mongkol; Sompong Suleb) 3,559
Singha Tha Rua v PTT Rayong (Leandro Da Luiz; Familiar Sanchez) 3,272

After the glamour of the new money and big crowds on Saturday, Sunday;s games in the TPL had a proper old scholl feel about them with some familiar names returning to the top flight.

STR used to be Thai Port...they fell behind to a goal from Familiar Sanchez as opposed to the unfamiliar Sanchez.


Warriors v Geylang International 2-1 (Hafiz Rahim, Irwan Arismail; Hafiz Nor)

Despite having four players booked and one sent off, Alex Weaver's men held on for a win in their first game of the season against Geylang.

Young Lions v Balestier Khalsa 0-4 (Goran Ljubojevic, Kim Minho, Yi Feng Poh, Park Kang Jin)

Good start to the campaign for Balestier under their new coach. I guess Young Lions still jet lagged after their spell in Europe?

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Vietnam Appoint Foreign Administrator

Hanoi – The Vietnam Professional Football JSC (VPF) have appointed Koji Tanaka as the chief organizer of the V-League.

The 58-year-old former Japanese international has been roped in to inject more vibrancy into the V-League which has suffered over the past year due to financial issues.

“It’s an honor for me to be introduced to Vietnam to receive this important mission. I would thoroughly learn about the Vietnam football and would like to receive the active support of the collective behind. I will try to quickly get into the job and run the league well,” said Koji.

Added Pham Ngoc Vien, the general director of the VPF: “we have noticed that Koji is very enthusiastic, passionate and highly professional. These are the criteria that VPF sets when looking for the V-League chief organizer.”

COMMENT - you have foreign players and foreign coaches...makes sense to have foreign administrators if they are more competent than those on the ground. The question is will he be allowed to succeed?

Can't see this happening in Indonesia but then again, who'd have they would be doing this in Vietnam?


Results 22/02

Indonesia Super League

Persebaya v Persiba Bantul 4-1 (Onorionde Kughegbe, Greg Nwokolo, Emmanuel Kenmonge, Alfin Tuasalamony; Claude Ngon A Djam)

Former Persebaya striker Ngon A Djam gave the visitors a surprise lead but it didn't take Rahmad Darmawan's expensively assembled team to go through the gears with Nwokolo equalising in injury time of the first half and Kughegbe giving them the lead on the hour mark.

Kenmonge made it 3-1 on the hour mark while Tuasalamony hit a penalty to prove not just foreigners can score in Indonesia.

Thai Premier League

Buriram United v Songkla United 3-0 (Patino Javier Lachica 2, Victor Altobelli) 20,347
Chiang Rai United v Bangkok Glass 0-2 (Teerathep Winothai 2) 12,143
Suphanburi v Rathcburi 1-2 (Wuttichai; Heberty Fernandes de Andrade, Genki Nagasato) 14,595
Chonburi v Police 4-0 (Thiago Cunha 2, Anderson Dos Santos, Therdsak Chaiman) 5,444
Muang Thong United v Chainat 2-1 (Wuttichai Tatong, Mario Gjurovski; Panuwat Failai) 10,750

Well, the Thai league is back and no real surprises. Buriram and Muang Thong win, the ageless Therdsak scores. The pattern has been set for the season...


Albirex Niigata v DPMM 0-1 (Rodrigo Antonio Tosi)

Steve Kean's debut in charge of Brunei side against Japanese side played in Singapore settled by Brazilian while former Republic of Ireland international Roy O'Donovan made his debut.

Hougang United v Woodlands Wellington 2-2 (Igor Cerina, Fazli Jaffar; Taufiq Ghani, Soon Ho Moon)

Looks like an exciting game at Hougang with the home team taking the lead after 5 minutes through Cerina before Ghani pulled one back for Darren Stewart's Woodlands on 24 minutes.

Hougang went into the break 2-1 up thanks to Jaffa but the Korean Moon levelled with 20 minutes left.


Thai Refs Have Been Shot At

There have been complaints about biased refereeing and rumours about referees taking bribes. Several match officials were shot last year but FAT and TPL officials insisted they had nothing to do with alleged match fixing

FAT and TPL officials have warned wayward referees that they will face severe punishment now that the professional sports law has been in place.

SOURCE - Bangkok Post

What a phenomenal end to a pre season preview in the Bangkok Post. Match officials were shot? Evidence? Links?

I am sure that if match officials in Thailand have been shot at, FIFA would like to know about it. They may not do anything; they ban Brunei cos a couple of family members have a chat but do zilch when the head of the Indonesian FA does bird.

Then there is that bit about 'wayward' referees!

In a country where status is everything, where politics and business is a game of one phu yai trumping another, the idea that the referee has that much influence is frankly laughable and an insult to the readers.

Especially when you consider the writer is a Thai who will well understand the complicated web of relationships and patronage that control daily life up there.

To read the story you would end up thinking the refs have an inordinate amount of control and are able, in theory, to get the better of clubs like Buriram United, Muang Thong United and Suphanburi and, more importantly, the people who control them.

Exactly the same thing happens in Indonesia. The refs get the blame when in fact everyone knows, but is too scared to say, what really goes on.

In a country where corruption is rife and relationships is everything, the last two paragraphs are total bollocks.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Malaysia Date For Spurs?

Hong Kong: English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur are certain to play in Malaysia under the terms of their new sponsorship agreement with the Hong Kong-based American International Assurance (AIA) Group Ltd.

The AIA Group have been given a free hand to pick and choose the locations for Tottenham to hold their training programmes and playing tours in the Asian Pacific region for the next five years.

AIA Group chief executive and president Mark Tucker confirmed that Malaysia will definitely be one of Tottenham’s stopovers.

The AIA Group signed on as Tottenham’s major sponsorship partner for five seasons beginning from the 2014-15 season. Apart from carrying the AIA brand on their shirts in all competitions, the London-based football club have also agreed to bring their first team to play in this region and also send their coaches to conduct a series of junior training programmes for underprivileged children.

“We have not sat down and finalised the details yet but Tottenham Hotspur are sure to come to Malaysia. I don’t know when but it will most probably be sooner rather than later,” said Tucker after signing the sponsorship deal, which runs up to the 2018-19 season.

“AIA have a strong presence and commitment in Malaysia. There is also a huge support for Tottenham in the country and we will hold football development programmes there as well.”

Besides Malaysia, AIA are likely to also pick their home base Hong Kong and both China and Indonesia, where Tottenham have the biggest fan bases outside England, to host the Londoners.

COMMENT - any more room on the bandwagon? As ever, Spurs come late to the party that has already seen the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, QPR and Fulham Under 21s!


Tampines Kick Off SLeague With Win

Indonesia Super League


Persisam v Persepam 2-2 (Pavel Solomin, Radiansyah; Silvio Escabar, Ishak Djober) 13,289
PSM v Persiba 4-0 (Michael Baird 2, Andi Oddang, Rasyid Bakkri) 500

Always the way, innit, sack the coach and start winning...a comfortable day at the office for PSM though you can't help thinking they would have got a similar result under Jorg Steinbrunner


Persipura v Persiba Balikpapan 1-0 (Ian Louis Kabes) 5,158

The champions remained unbeaten but needed an injury time penalty to overcome plucky Persiba who traditionally have had a pretty decent record in Jayapura. It was Persipura's second win in five games, a slow start by their standards but they ain't losing.

Mitra Kukar v Persela 5-1 (Herman Dzumafo 3, Anindito, Zulham Zamrun; Addison Alves) 3,106

While Persipura have been struggling to find their groove, Mitra Kukar have had no difficulty finding theirs. New signing Dzumafo settled in quickly with a hat trick as they moved top of the eastern conference.


Arema v Barito Putera 2-0 (Ahmad Bustomi, Samsul Arif) 19,500

Arema kept their unbeaten start to the season going with a comfortable win over Barito Putera who have really yet to get started this season and having Herman Abanda red carded after 12 minutes was definitely not part of the pre match plan.. An amazing game at the Kanjuruhan...neither Gonzales nor Goncalves scored!

Pelita Bandung Raya v Semen Padang 1-1 (Gaston Castano; Hendra Bayaw) 500

Injury time penalties for the home team seem to be in vogue this week in Indonesia as PBR came from behind to salvage a point and preserve their good start to the season. And while Semen Padang may bemoan the the decision that led to the spot kick, they will look back on four points from two games in West Java, they beat Persib 2-1, as a job well done.

Western Conference

1. Arema 5 5 0 0 14-1 15
2. Pelita Bandung Raya 6 3 2 1 9-6 11
3. Persib 5 3 1 1 8-4 10     

Eastern Conference

1. Mitra Kukar 5 3 1 1 9-3 10
2. Persipura 5 2 3 0 8-4 9
3. Putra Samarinda 5 1 3 1 10-6 6

 5 - Cristian Gonzales (Arema), Ilija Spasojevic (Putra Samarinda)


Tampines Rovers v Home United 1-0 (Miljan Mrdakovic)

The SLeague champions began the new campaign with a narrow win over Home United last night at Jalan Besar  Stadium. Mrdakovic netted for the Stags a couple of minutes in to the second half. The night ended grimly for Home with Qiu Li sent off before the end. Obviously. I mean, he cant get sent off after the end, can he? Well, he can but you know what I mean.

According to my maths, Tampines are top of the table, unbeaten, they have scored in every game this season and have yet to concede a goal. Championship form indeed!


Perak's Firdaus Gets ALeague Chance

Petaling Jaya: Former Australian international Marshall Soper believes Perak youngster Muhd Firdaus Saiyadi will make the grade with A-League outfit Newcastle United Jets (NUJ).

The Perak FA (Pafa) Academy head coach said the 18-year-old state President’s Cupper is one of the new findings of the season.

“Firdaus is a gifted player and I have monitored his progress from school (SMK Anderson, Ipoh). I have worked with him for eight to nine months now and I believe he has the talent and will be going places,” said Soper on Friday.

Firdaus is the first from the state to be selected to undergo trials with the Australian club. He will be accompanied by Soper for the nine-day trials with the New South Wales club from Tuesday.

Soper said Pafa have taken the right approach in their junior development plans, having tied up with the Australian club.

“We are sending a message to every young player in Perak. Show us what you have and we will do the rest. Under this programme we will send two talented boys annually for training stints and trials with the club. It is not a reserve team ... but an A-League outfit.

“Firdaus will get to train with the top A-League players and there is England’s Emile Heskey in the squad, too,” said Soper.

A former Golden Boot winner with Penang in 1991, Soper’s task as the Academy head coach is to go to all corners of the state in search of talents.

“My vision is that Perak will no longer be looking for outside players in the M-League. Perak is for Perak and they will have their pool of talented players in the years to come. There are plans to set up 24 independent district academies all over the state,” he said.

A soft-spoken Firdaus said he is looking forward to the new challenge.

“I do not have the experience but I am confident of myself and of giving it a good shot. My aim is to play for Perak but if I can achieve bigger goals, I will pursue them,” said Firdaus, whose stint is fully sponsored by the Australian club.

Last month, Pafa and the Australian club signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which will see an exchange programme between the two parties with players, coaches and management staff sharing experiences and ideas.

Firdaus is a member of the Perak President’s Cup squad who emerged champions in 2012. Last year, he led SMK Anderson to a runners-up finish in the 100Plus Ministry of Education Super Cup Under-17 Champion Schools tournament, where he was also named best player of the tournament.

Friday, February 21, 2014


Play Persib v Persija In Singapore

After humming and haaing over the fate of Indonesia's very own El Classico, Persib v Persija, the powers that be have decided, on the day before, the game is to be cancelled for another day.

Apparently, people were freaked out no one could control a few hundred people last week when Pelita Bandung Raya hosted Persija at the same stadium.

I mean, no one noticed a few hundred kids from Jakarta dressed in orange?

I know where it should be played!

With greater ASEAN integration on the way, why not play the game in Singapore? Apart from anything else, it would be great for people there to see a game with a real atmosphere and real fans.

But picture the scene. Can you imagine 5,000 Jakmania jumping on top of Singapore buses to head out to the stadium? Or 5,000 Vikings sat on the field behind the main stand four hours before kick off?

Better still, can you imagine the look on the faces of the locals when kids in orange or blue get on buses with their three string guitars and start wailing in return for some cash? Or football fans brawling on Orchard Road while the good denziens of Lions City, and all them tourists (including many coiffured Ibus from Pondok Indah) nipping into Orchard Towers to avoid the fights!

And who knows, this could be the start of something big. Bangkok Glass v Chonburi in Surabaya for example or Selangor v Kelantan in Pattaya. And don't forget, Tampines Rovers v Warriors in Batam!

Labels: , ,


Tanjong Pagar Strive For More Fans

Singapore — They were one of the best-supported clubs in the S-League last season with an average attendance of 1,500 fans per match at Queenstown Stadium, which was higher than the league average of 1,200. Yet Tanjong Pagar United were unable to translate that support into success, eventually finishing only sixth in the standings.
This season, the Jaguars are aiming higher — both on and off the pitch. Club chairman Edward Liu has not only set a top-three finish for the team, he has also declared a target of 2,000 fans for every home game.
“It’s a challenge but it’s achievable,” said Liu at a press conference yesterday that saw the club signing a three-year sponsorship deal with British sports goods firm Mitre worth S$255,000.
And just like last season, the club are putting their hopes on their French connection to take them there. They have four French players on their payroll — goalkeeper Aurelien Herisson, defender Anthony Aymard, midfielder Kamel Ramdani and new midfield signing Sebastian Etiemble, who was unveiled yesterday, and French-born Moroccan striker Monsef Zerka, who was their top scorer last season with 20 goals.
The top-three challenge was one which coach Patrick Vallee — who is also French — has readily accepted.
“The chairman is right to set a top-three finish. We have to do better than last season,” he said.
But it is the desire to see better crowd attendances, at one of Singapore’s oldest stadiums, which is driving the club forward.
“We used to have 300-500 fans only when we rejoined the S-League in 2011,” said Liu. “But things improved and even the S-League has acknowledged that we were one of the best-supported clubs last season.
“It means our outreach programme to the community, telling the residents in the housing areas around us of the club’s existence and asking them to come to our home matches, is paying dividends.”
Liu felt that playing attractive football is another weapon that Tanjong Pagar must deploy to get the desired numbers through the turnstiles.
COMMENT - I like stories like this. And it os good to see Tanjong reaping the rewards. Remember, they joined the SLeague at a time when all and sundry were slagging it off, got thumped by everyone in their first season yet are still here tp tell the tale. Respect!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Persiram Get Own Post Shock

Let's face it. Not much is known about Persiram Raja Ampat beyond the fact they have some nice beaches and diving. Well, they would do if they had a home ground!

They don't. A couple of seasons back they played some home games at Lebak Bulus while this season they have moved to Sleman.

But what I love about Persiram is the names of their players...they are priceless!

Take for example their recent 1-1 draw away to Persebaya.

They have a midfielder called Gideon Way. Not a street, a midfielder!

Marvelous is up front for may remember his goal feats for PSAP a couple of seasons back. 

Messi is in midfield, alongside Gideon no doubt. That is the Way to go!

Up front was Errol Ethicus...much better than Errol Flynn don't you think!

On the bench was Moses, Engelberd, Edison and Elvis!

You know what? If I was the coach of Persiram, I would have kept Precious and signed Radikal Idealis. Not because we needed them...but because they have great names!

Labels: , ,


Malaysia FA Cup

Kedah v Johor Darul Takzim 0-2 (Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, Safee Sali) JDT win 5-1 on aggregate

JDT kept up their recent fine form, brushing past a tough Kedah side with an impressive 5-1 aggregate. Interestingly the Malaysian strikers Norshahrul and safee got the goals...perhaps they rested the foreign players for the Cup?!

Pahang v PDRM 2-1 (Fauzi Roslan, Sunandren; ) Pahang win 3-2 on aggregate

PKNS v Kelantan 3-3 (Patrick Ronaldhino Wleh, Karlo Primorac, Hamka Hamzah; Ahmad Fakri, Shakir Ali, Mohamad Ghadar) Kelantan win 6-5 on aggregate

Liberian striker Wleh's fourth FA Cup goal on two minutes set the tome for a ding dong affair with Gadar's leveller, two minuets after Hamzah had netted for PKNS, squeezing holders Kelantan through to the semi finals

Sarawak v Felda United 2-2 (Joseph Kalang Tie, Akmal Rizal; Zah Rahan 2) Felda United win on away goals

Former Persipura midfielder netted six minutes from the end to put Felda United in to the semi finals at the expense of Robert Alberts team

Semi Final Draw 13 & 20 May

Kelantan v Felda United
Pahang v Johor Darul Takzim

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


SLeague Plan Initiatives For New Season

Singapore — Average attendances for last season’s Great Eastern-Yeo’s S-League may have improved, but S-League Chief Executive Officer Lim Chin concedes that it faces an uphill battle to attract more fans to stadiums as a slew of initiatives are being introduced in a bid to make that happen.
This season, fans will be given match-day programmes with previews, pictures of players and statistics (good move).
Under a new Food Initiative Programme, the first 500 fans at matches can also exchange their admission tickets for complimentary finger food provided by the S-League’s partner merchants, and vouchers for items such as movie tickets or complimentary cups of coffee.
(I'm sorry but this thing with free food at football me the evidence of it working. Have Warriors/SAFFC reported fans queuing at the gate to get their free ice cream? For any business mode; to include giving things away willy nilly like this, obviously ain't a good business model.
Wanna give things away? Fine. Try this. Fans go to five games, keep their ticket stubs, then present all five and get a free scarf. Go to every home game, hand over ticket stubs and get a free shirt. At least involve the club and incentivise fans attending and most importantly paying.)
There will be also be photo opportunities with club mascots at home matches. (Cringe. Just google DJ Bear.)
The S-League will also use its social media platforms to reach out to football fans, including plans to provide video highlights of matches for those who cannot make it to the stadiums.
Local football fans will get to experience these initiatives when the S-League kicks off on Friday with the Charity Shield match between defending champions Tampines Rovers and Singapore Cup holders Home United at the Jalan Besar Stadium, which will also be a league match with three points at stake.
The initiatives are being rolled out in a bid to maintain and even improve on last season’s average attendance of 1,200, which is a 30 to 40 per cent improvement on the historic low of 932 for the 2012 campaign.
“We have to be realistic even as we try to get more people to come to our matches. In the minds of Singapore football fans, it’s all about the action across Europe,” said Lim.
“Singapore has a population of 5.3 million, of which 1 million are foreigners. We are also a vibrant city filled with many other kinds of attractions. (Welcome to la la land. Has this guy been to London or Melbourne of Munchen? There are a few things to see there I believe but sports are also quite popular). So, it will be a huge challenge to bring in more fans to the stadiums.
“But with all our new initiatives, the signing of marquee players by the clubs, and the performances of local players, things will get better.” 
COMMENT - ok, they are making an effort but like Jakarta's efforts to solve its traffic problems, it is too little too late. Singaporeans spend big money on hand phones, hand bags and Certificate of Entitlements but they won't pay five bucks to watch their local team because they prefer a team thousands of miles away they will never see.
It's about mindset and no amount of free ice cream will change that. In fact, it probably cheapens the game even further in people's eyes. 
There may also be an element of identification. Do you see kids from Geylang schools fighting with kids from schools in Tampines? I am guessing not. People identify with Singapore but not where they come from in Singapore.
Still, when an FAS officials says Singapore contributes $200 million to the local economy annually what can we do but just smile?


Jakarta Globe Column

While Muang Thong United and Chonburi may have eased past AFC Champions League play off opponents on home turf, when it comes to jumping on an airplane they seem to leave their scoring boots behind.

Chonburi were turned over 4-0 by Beijing Guoan in China while Muang Thong United were unable to hold on to a 22nd minute lead given to them by Mario Durovski and went down 2-1 to Melbourne Victory and suffered the ignominy of having Datsakorn Thonglao red carded in injury time.
They will have no time to reflect on their disappointment as the Thai Premier League kicks off this weekend. Champions Buriram United host Songkla United, Muang Thong entertain Chainat while Chonburi take on Police.

The eruption from Mount Kelud in East Java has had repercussions on the Indonesia Super League. Following their 1-0 win over Persita Tangerang, unbeaten western conference leaders Arema were stranded at the airport as all flights to their home base of Malang were cancelled due to layers of volcanic ash on the runway.

They eventually made it home after flying to Bali and going overland from there!

Champions Persipura Jayapura continued their strange start to the season with a 2-2 draw away to Putra Samarinda in East Kalimantan. Gerald Pangkali gave the visitors the lead on 16 minutes but prolific striker Ilija Spasojevic leveled just before half time from the penalty spot.

Sultan Samma gave the home team the lead eight minutes into the second half before the long serving Cameroonian defender, Paulin Pierre Bio saved a point for the Black Pearls with 10 minutes remaining. 

The draw was enough to keep them top of the table despite winning just one of their opening four games.

Their spell in the top spot of the eastern conference lasted just 24 hours as Mitra Kukar defeated Perseru Seru 1-0 with a goal from Eric Weeks Lewis to move a point clear.

The last couple of seasons have seen Semen Padang pretty much all one their own in the weakened Premier League. There was little in the way of competition and they even found time for a run to the quarter finals of the AFC Cup suggesting the team could do a job in a stronger league.

Now they are playing in the ISL and thus far their season hadn’t been much to write home about, defeating Barito Putera 2-0 and losing to Persija Jakarta by the same score in Jakarta.

With Persib Bandung enjoying their traditional good start to the season not many people would have predicted an away win.

The Jalak Harupat Stadium can be an intimidating venue at the best of times but it seems the men from West Sumatra were unperturbed and went into an early lead through Esteban. An own goal from Supardi doubled the lead and despite a last minute goal from Djibril Coulibily, they held on for a momentous victory.

In Monday’s game there was an emotional return to first team action for Bambang Pamungaks. Only tis time he wasn’t lining up for Persija but against them. Bepe took the field for his new team, Pelita Bandung Raya and scored twice in the 2-2 draw to keep PBR’s fine start to the season on track.

Unfortunately there were reports of isolated violence in and around the stadium as a small band of travelling Persija fans were attacked with rocks. Later this week, Persija return to the same stadium to take on Persib and it is certain there won’t be any away fans then.

In Malaysia, big spenders Johor Darul Takzim crushed Selangor 4-1. Forget the former World Cup star Pablo Aimar, this game was all about a couple of internationals from a more humble background.

Goals from Baihakki Khaizan and Hariss Harun, Singapore internationals both, gave JDT a 2-0 lead in the first half hour and the big spenders from the southern tip of the Asian mainland went on to defeat Selangor 4-1.

The result keeps JDT comfortably mid table but Baihakki was uncomfortably aware the defence needed more time to gel.

We realize that we still haven’t got that grip within one another. Also knowing that the expectation level is really high, demanding top quality performance every game. I think that’s where it frazed us a little’.

The former Geylang United, Persija, Persib and LionsXII defender said the seeds of the win had been planted in the last game.

‘It started with the 3-1 home win against Kedah in the FA cup and it went on again against Selangor. That is what we have been searching for, something that could rise the confidence level of the whole team and everybody realize it’s all about togetherness and working hard each and every game.’

Selangor coach Mehmet Durakovic will rue the opportunity spurned to go top but will also recognize the team remain just one point off the lead. 

Perhaps of greater concern to the former Australian international will the lack of goals contributed by the team. So far, Paolo Rangel has hit six of Selangor’s seven league goals this campaign.

Terengganu moved top of the heap with 10 points after defeating Pahang 2-0 with a brace from Mario Karlovic while Kelantan and Sarawak joined Selangor on nine points behind the leaders.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Queensland Football Reject Harimau Muda Match Fixing Worries

One of the world's foremost authorities on football match fixing has warned the inclusion of a Malaysian side in the upcoming National Premier Leagues Queensland could expose the competition to the influence of Asian betting syndicates.

But Football Queensland has dismissed the possibility, saying it was a "long bow" to draw.
Harimau Muda A, the Malaysian under-22 side, will play for competition points in the 14-team NPL Queensland competition from next month.

However, the side will be ineligible to make the finals and will instead use the competition as preparation for Asian international competitions.

International match fixing expert Declan Hill, the author of The Fix and The Insider's Guide to Match Fixing, told Fairfax Media that situation left the NPL Queensland more open to corruption.

While not suggesting Harimau Muda A was involved in match fixing, Mr Hill said playing for points but being ineligible for finals football could further expose the NPL Queensland to the influence of Asian betting syndicates.

"You have these guys saying 'what does it matter?'. It should be a case of if they win it, then great, let them win it - everyone else can lift their games next season."If you have a team in your league, they should be able to win it, otherwise you've got to wonder what it is they're playing for," he said.

"I can't understand why a league administrator would have a team play on these terms."

The concerns were not without precedent.

When Harimau Muda A played in Singapore's S-League in 2012, then-Geylang United goalkeeper Yazid Yasin said he was approached to throw a game against them.

There is no suggestion the Football Association of Malaysia or the Harimau Muda A players have been involved in any such activity.

Football Queensland chief operations officer Ben Mannion, the head of NPL Queensland, said the suggestion the competition could be compromised was in "poor taste" and not fair on the Malaysians or the NPL.

"We've gone through the right channels with the (Football Federation of Australia), the (Asian Football Confederation) and also FIFA, who are across it, and we've got Sportradar that we work with at the FFA level, which is an internationally renowned agency to monitor sports betting and stop match fixing," he said.

"We write to those departments within 48 hours of every match, with all the official things that happened within the game, so that they can register any abnormal betting trends and report back to the FFA and back to us."

Queensland is no stranger to football match fixing. Last year, Brisbane Premier League club Albany Creek Excelsior was caught up in a match fixing scandal that saw 10 people arrested in Victoria.

"Obviously, with what happened in Melbourne previously, they're well and truly across what needs to happen to make sure that sort of thing doesn't happen again," Mr Mannion said.

Mr Hill said Australian football betting markets were more popular in Asia than the English Premier League, due to a similar time zone.

"I think these are absolutely bona fide concerns. If you had a blindfold on somebody and put a pin into a map, Malaysia and Singapore and number one and number two when it comes to match fixing," he said.

"By the time a player reaches 20 years of age, they've been exposed to this stuff."

Harimau Muda A's inclusion is expected to attract unprecedented interest from Malaysia.

Former Far North Queensland Heat NPL coach Joe Fenech, now director of coaching in central Queensland and involved in a bid for a Gladstone-based NPL side, said he could not discount the possibility of betting syndicates trying to influence NPL Queensland matches.

"The involvement of a Malaysian team is clearly going to generate interest in Malaysia, who would be following the NPL a lot closer because of that involvement and it goes without saying that people will have a flutter," he said.

Mr Fenech, who stressed he was speaking in his capacity as a supporter and not as a Football Queensland employee, said a "win-win" situation would have been to have a 13-team NPL Queensland with teams playing Harimau Muda A on bye weeks.

But Mr Mannion said the NPL clubs would play for points to ensure they fielded their strongest sides.

"If it was for no points, the clubs would rest their senior players and they would play under-18s and under-20s against the Malaysians, which is not what we're looking for," he said.

The NPL is a national second tier competition aimed to be a pathway to the A-League and features several ex-National Soccer League clubs, including former champions Brisbane Strikers, Sydney United and South Melbourne.

Read more:

Labels: , , ,


Geylang International Squad 2014

Joey Sim
Siddiq Durimi

Khairulnizam Jumahat
Wyldan Wisam
Jalal Jasim
Krishna Murthy Sathiaraj
Kento Fukuda (Japanese)
Yuki Ichikawa (Japanese)
Mustaqim Manzur
Hafiz Nor
Fabian Kwok
Shah Hirul
Hamqaamal Shah
Joaquin Lopez (Argentinian)
Franco Chivilo (Argentinian)
Ridhuan Muhammad
Aliff Shafaein
Leonel Felice (Argentinian)
Head Coach

Vedhamuthu Kanan
Assistant Coach (S

League) and Prime League Coach
 Nazareno Velez (Argentinian)
Goalkeeper Coach
Kit Man
 Abdul Halim
Team Manager
 Andrew Ang


Thursday, February 13, 2014


Balestier Khalsa Sign Former Dinamo Zagreb Striker

Singapore — Balestier Khalsa have signed former Dinamo Zagreb forward Goran Ljubojevic as it aims to win the 2014 Great Eastern-Yeo’s S-League season after finishing fourth last year, but attracting fans remains a challenge for Singapore’s premier domestic league competition as it enters its 18th season.

Yesterday, the club unveiled former Croatian under-21 player as their marquee signing for the new season which starts on Feb 21, and Balestier chairman S Thavaneson has urged fans to support the S-League, which has seen average attendances dwindle from more than 2,000 in the late-1990s to a low of 932 in 2012.

“We must be proud of our league, it is our own league after all,” he said at the unveiling ceremony of Ljubojevic yesterday.

“The inclusion of more exciting foreign players will certainly make for a better S-League and help build up the spectators interest.”

S-League Chief Executive Officer Lim Chin added: “Football fans will always want to see good players in action and I hope the introduction of the marqee signings will help boost crowd attendances.”

Ljubojevic, who is believed to command up to S$12,000 a month as a marquee player, has played in the Champions League for Dinamo, and had stints with Swiss side St Gallen and Genk in Belgium.

He is the latest marquee signing for the 2014 S-League season after league champions Tampines Rovers acquired former Serbia international forward Milan Mrdakovic.

Thavaneson hopes the move will attract more fans to Balestier’s 3,800-capacity Toa Payoh Stadium and help improve the club’s fortunes under head coach Marko Kraljevic.

“For a long time we were struggling to stay afloat and we suffered losses year after year,” said Thavaneson.

“But things have improved now and our losses are manageable. And with the S-League coming in to help defray the cost of signing a marquee player, we are able to do so (sign a marquee player) now.”

Labels: , ,


Results 12/02

Indonesia Super League

Persik v Persib 0-3 (Jufrianto, Coulibaly, Atep) 14,678
Persijap v Pelita Bandung Raya 1-2 (Rezky; Gaston Castano 2) 4,300

Just two games yesterday and a good day for the Bandung teams with both winning on their travels. Coulibaly returned to Persib and scored in the second half after coming on as a sub to put the team top of the western conference at this early stage.

Meanwhile PBR continue to surprise people with a second straight win on the road that puts them third, just a point behind leaders Persib.

And this was achieved after an 11 hour road trip from Kediri in East Java. One wonders what Arsene Whiney Wenger would have made of that?

1 - Persib 4 3 1 0 7-2 10
2 - Arema 3 3 0 0 11-1 9
3 - PBR 4 3 0 1 603 9

This afternoon sees Arema take on Persita in Karawang. A point will see them go back to the top of the table.

Meanwhile, for Persijap it could be a long old season. After four games they have picked up just one point and the only reason they, and Persik for that matter, are not bottom of the table is because Barito Putera have played just two games.


More Dead Indonesian Football Fans

I mentioned a couple of days ago about the trouble in Bantul between rival supporters groups. Well, it seems one fan has died as a result of the fighting.

What the fuck is all that about? This was not a barney between fans of two different teams, it was fans of the same club battering the shit out of each other and, in one case, the life out of one fan.

Does these people even know why they were fighting their own? And for who?

There is enough crowd misbehaviour when fans of opposing teams clash without supporters now turning on each other.

Persiba Bantul are still unsure what they will do ie withdraw from the league, play behind closed doors or move to another city.

Perhaps as a first step they should gather together representatives of the rival factions and tell them that this behaviour is totally unacceptable and has no place within the football club. Maybe get the players involved, talking to the supporters though it is questionable how many of the fans will know which player is which.

Meanwhile it looks like police in Solo are looking into another incident where a fan was attacked and died at a friendly, yep, friendly between Pre Pon Central Jav Pon are the national games played out between the different provinces) and Indonesia U19s.

Too many fans die at football matches in Indonesia. Too many people die on the roads in Indonesia. Too many animals die at a zoo in Surabaya. Too little is done to address these issues.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Indonesia Squad For Saudi Arabia AFC Asian Cup Qualifier

Andritany Ardhiyasa (Persija Jakarta)
I Made Wirawan(Persib Bandung)
Kurnia Meiga Hermansyah (Arema Indonesia)

Diego Robbie Michiels (Mitra Kukar)
Novan Setya Sasongko (Semen Padang)
Achmad Jufriyanto (Persib)
Hamka Hamzah (PKNS Selangor)
Muhamad Roby (Putra Samarinda)
Victor Chukwuekezie Igbonefo (Arema Indonesia)
Alfin Ismail Tuasalamony (Persebaya Surabaya)

Zulkifli Syukur (Mitra Kukar)
Ferdinan Alfred Sinaga(Persib Bandung)
Irsyad Maulana (Arema Indonesia)
Ahmad Bustomi (Arema Indonesia)
Firman Utina (Persib Bandung)
Imanuel Wanggai (Persipura Jayapura)
I Gede Sukadana (Arema Indonesia)
Manahati Lestusen (Persebaya Surabaya)
Raphael Guillermo Eduardo Maitimo (Mitra Kukar)
Muhammad Ridwan (Persib Bandung)

Zulham Malik Zamrun (Mitra Kukar)
Alfaro Gonzales Cristian (Arema Indonesia)
Greg Nwokolo (Persebaya Surabaya)

Choirul Huda (Persela Lamongan)
Ruben Karel Sanadi (Persipura Jayapura)
Hasim Kipuw (Persebaya Surabaya)
Tantan (Persib Bandung)
Rizky Ahmad Sanjaya Pellu (Pelita Bandung Raya)
Bayu Gatra Sanggiawan (Putra Samarinda)
Samsul Arif Munip (Arema Indonesia)



Results 11/02

Indonesia Super League

Mitra Kukar v Persipura 0-0 2,794
Persepam v PSM 1-0 (Silvio Escabar) 11,230

We are only three games into the ISL season and we already have our first coaching casualty. PSM's Jorg Steinbrunner has stepped down, that seems to be the official line anyway, after the team lost 1-0 away to Persepam yesterday afternoon.

The loss leaves PSM bottom of the eastern conference with just one point from their opening games.

A few days back Rudy Keltjes was appointed as some kind of technical director at the club and you kind of wonder what the thinking was behind that move if not to undermine the man in the hot seat.

It is a common tactic in this part of the world for clubs to try and force a coach out by undermining his position

Malaysia FA Cup

Johor Darul Takzim v Kedah 3-1 (Amri Yahya, Hariss Harun, Luciano Figueroa; Billy Mehmet)
PDRM v Pahang 1-1 (Charles Souza Chad, Azizon Kadir)
Kelantan v PKNS 3-2 (Badhri Radzi, Tengku Hasbullah Raja Hassa, Ahmad Shakir Ali; Patrick Ronaldhino Wleh, Kim Dong Chen)
Felda United v Sarawak 0-0


Thai Teams Impress In Champions League Qualifiers

Thailand showed why at least some of its clubs are streets ahead of anything else in the region with a couple of convincing results in the AFC Champions League Qualifying Round at the weekend.

Former England international Jay Bothroyd was on the score sheet for Muang Thong United as they overcame T & T Hanoi 2-0 while Chonburi defeated South China 3-0.

Muang Thong’s reward is a trip to Melbourne this weekend to take on Victory while Chonburi head north east to face Beijing Guoan in the next stage of the play offs.

After having home ground advantage against teams from Vietnam and Hong Kong, the Thais now face long trips abroad if they are to have a chance of reaching the group stage of the Champions League where Buriram United have already qualified.

In more news from Thailand, Spanish side Almeria announced they will be taking Muang Thong United striker Teerasil Dangda on loan next season. This will be his third fourth time abroad after trials with Athletico Madrid and Manchester City and a stint with Grasshoppers Zurich.

Obviously a talented player, Teerasil will be 26 when he moves to Spain and he will probably be aware this could be his last chance of making an impression overseas and certainly a low key club like Almeria, currently facing relegation, would offer the perfect opportunity to make an impression.

Johor Darul Takzim are never far from the headlines in Malaysia. They travelled to Malaysia Cup winners Pahang on Friday night and were involved in an enthralling game in front of another sell out crowd in Kuantan on the east coast of the peninsula.

Hafiz Kamal won the game for the home team in injury time, giving them a 3-2 win and leaving big spending JDT just one point off bottom place.

Former Argentine international Pablo Aimar, who has been reported as unhappy in local media, netted for JDT as did former Arema striker Safee Sali.

After the game, Pakistan international and former Fulham and Queens Park Rangers defender Zesh Rehman said the game was a good one for the fans.

For the players we felt a little disappointed as we were leading twice and lost concentration to allow them back in the game. Sometimes in football you have to grind out a victory and fighting spirit. The character was brilliant from our lads,’ he said.

Following their first Malaysia Cup success in more than 20 years, hopes are high in Pahang they can kick on to another level this season and Rehman has been pleased with the start to the campaign.

‘We are satisfied with the start. 3 points off top spot and in the quarter final of The FA Cup. I believe we get stronger once we have everyone back from injury. We will always create and score goals so that’s a major positive point.’

Rehamn, who was the first Asian footballer to play in the English Premier League, has been playing in Asia since 2011 when he signed for Muang Thong United. After two years in Thailand he moved to Kitchee in Hong Kong before heading to Malaysia for the current campaign. And so far, he has been impressed by what he has seen in Malaysia.

‘From what I have seen so far the league is very even, everyone is capable of beating everyone at any venue which makes the league standings unpredictable and exciting. The level here is good and the support from the fans to their teams is up there amongst the most passionate in the Asean region.’

In the other game played on Friday night, PKNS were defeated by Sarawak 2-0 with goals from Milorad Janjus and Gabor Gyepes.

Former Indonesian international Hamkah Hamza has been linked with a recall in the local media recently but he had a mixed game against a big, strong Sarawak team, coached by former Arema coach Robert Alberts, who certainly played to their strengths.

Much was expected of PKNS this season and especially their strike force of Karlo Primorac and Patrick Wleh. However, Promorac looked out of sorts while Liberian international Wleh has this Nwanko Kanu quality about him; you’re never quite sure what he is going to do next.

With PKNS chasing the game, Hamkah pushed on to form a three man strike force but Sarawak saw the game to move into fourth place.

On Saturday night, Selangor defeated Sime Darby, two goals from Paulo Rangel, to move two points clear of a very congested table where just six points separate the 12 teams after four rounds. Champions LionsXII were held 0-0 by Terengganu in a disappointing game at Jalan Besar Stadium and have just one win from their opening four games.

SOURCE - My Jakarta Globe column...wonder if it appears online?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Persiba Bantul Concerned By Supporter Violence

Just hours after I praised Persiba Bantul and their forward line comes news they may withdraw from the Indoneia Super League!

Indonesian football loves its duelisme. In recent years we have seen two football associations, two leagues, two teams with same name and for a few memorable weeks two national teams.

Many clubs have more than one supporters club and this can lead to hilarity or indeed violence.

I have written before about the different groups who follow Persijap Jepara. When I saw them at Si Jalak Harupat pre season against Pelita Bandung Raya in the Inter Island Cup you had one group of a few dozen behind one goal and another group of a few dozen behind the other!

Persiba Bantul it seems are not immune to this nonsense either. Apparently, during their game with Persiram at the weekend, two groups went at it together. Why? I have no idea and I guess if you asked the foot soldiers what they were doing they wouldn't know either.

One report suggested one fan ended up in a coma but that has not been confirmed.

News reports suggest the club are concerned about this trouble and are considering three options.

1 - Pulling out of ISL
2 - Playing home games behind closed doors
3 - Moving to another town.

I dunno to read this. Are they over reacting or are they behaving sensibly?

Of course, there are other options but totally impractical in this part of the world.


Results 10/02

Indonesia Super League

Persita v Gresik United 3-2 (Valentino Telaubun, Kenji Adichihara, Irvi Arfani; Ndiaye Pape Latyr, Shohei Matsunaga) 3,246

A right ding dong affair sees Persita claim their first win of the season at their new home in Karawang. It was the visitors, call them Gresik United, call them Persegres, who took the lead in 8 minutes through Latyr.
Valentino equalised five minutes before half time but the visitors, who had won one and drawn one of their opening games, went back in front just minutes before half time through Japanese import Matsunaga.
Persita's own Japanese striker, Adichihara, again levelled the scores moments into the second half before Arfani made it safe for the home team just eight minutes from the end.
Next up for Persita are the conference leaders, Arema!

Persela v Persebaya 3-0 (Bijahil Chalwa 3) 12,000

An upset in the East Java derby with leaders Persebaya destroyed by a 12 minute hat trick by Chalwa. Persebaya do however stay top of the table

Malaysia Premier League

PBAPP v SPA Putrajaya 0-2 (Khairul Izwan Khalid 2)
Perlis v Penang 2-3 (Dao Bakary, Haziq Muiz; Buengo Andre, Lee Gil Hoon 2)
DRB Hicom v Johor Darul Takzim II 3-2 (Khairul Anuwar Shahrudin, Khairul Naim Mayhudin, Fakhrullah Rosli; Yusof Zainal Abidin, OG)
Sabah v Negeri Sembilan 2-1 (Ezaidy Khadar, Farid Ideris; Effa Owona)

Negeri Sembilan's surprise loss in Sabah means they missed the opportunity to go to the top of the table in what is just a tight a division as the Super League.

 1 - PDRM 3 0 0 9-2 9
2 - SPA Putrajaya 4 3 0 1 4-1 9
3 - Penang 4 3 0 1 8-8 9
4 - Negeri Sembilan 4 2 1 1 5-4 7

Monday, February 10, 2014


Persiba Bantul's Misfiring Strikers

They have been spoilt down Bantul way in recent seasons.

Back in 2011/2012, they had Fortune Udo rattling in the goals for fun. 34 goals, to be precise, in 26 games. Form that earned him not a move to one of Indonesia's big clubs but to Binh Duong in Vietnam.

Then of course there was Ezequial Gonzales. The long-locked (!) Argentine striker spent a pretty impressive seven years with the Paserbumi, netting 54 goals in 120 games.

Now competing in the Indonesia Super League for the first time in their history, Persiba Bantul, not to be confused with Persiba Balikpapan, have played two games and managed just one goal.

But a look at their striking options this campaign suggests goals should be just around the corner.

Claude Parfait Ngon Djam, catch an old interview I did with him while he was at Persebaya on Jakarta Casual TV, was part of the Cameroon side that competed in the 2003 African Cup of Nations, he was in the same squad as Rigobert Song, Pierre Njanka and Samuel E'to!

Since arriving in Indonesia he has played for Sriwijaya, Persebaya, Persema, Persidafon, Persika and now has arrived in Bantul.

Alongside the Cameroonian is another player with a pedigree. Emile Mbamba, also a Cameroon player, has lined up for Viitesse Arnhem, Macaabi Tel Aviv, Vitoria Setubal, Daegu FC and Potros Neza.

His first stint in Indonesia came in 2007/2008 when he netted 15 goals in 21 games for Arema in a campaign that was cut short by frequent suspensions.

He returned in 2011 when he had a short spell with Bontang, scoring eight in 13 games. He moved back to Malang with Persema where he managed 10 in 18 before last season playing in Divisi Utama for Persepar, he scored an impressive 16 in 21 games.

With Indonesian striker M Isnaini, who formed a lethal partnership with Herman Dzumafo at PSPS, Persiba certainly have plenty in their arsenal to score goals.

I guess the question is, where will the supply come from?

Labels: , ,


Results 08-09/02

AFC Champions League Qualifiers

Muang Thong United v T&T Hanoi 2-0 (Jay Simpson, Mario Durovski) 7,927

Good night for the Thai teams, potentially we could see three teams from the kingdom competing in the champions league. Ex Arsenal man Jay Simpson got his name on the scoresheet as MTU lined up a date in Melbourne next weekend against Victory

Chonburi v South China 3-0 (Pipob On Mo, Thiago Dos Santos 2) 7,336

Chonburi's reward for doing what Tampines Rovers could not do is a trip to China to take on Beijing Guoan to see if they can reach the next stage of the Champions League.

Indonesia Super League

Persija v Semen Padang 2-0 (Rahmat Affandi, Ivan Bosjnak) 23,479
Persijap v Persib 1-1 (Claudinho; OG) 6,200
Persik v Pelita Bandung Raya 1-2 (JP Boumsong; Agus Indra Kurniawan, Rizky Pellu) 13,678
Sriwijaya v Arema 0-2 (Cristian Gonzales, Alberto Goncalves) 23,532

1 - Arema 3 3 0 0 11-1 9
2 - Persib 3 2 1 0 4-1 7

Persiba Bantul v Persiram 0-1 (Mbdia Messi) 7,000
Putra Samarinda v Persru 5-0 (Ilja Spasojevic 3, Sanggiawan, Pavel Solomin) 11,564

Malaysia Super League

LionsXII v Terengganu 0-0
Perak v Kelantan 2-1 Shukri Hamid, Khairul Asyraf Sahizah; Shawky Yazid)
T Team v ATM 2-2 Azlan Ismail, Khairan Ezuan Razali; Narfazly Alias,Bruno Sebastian Martelotto)
Sime Darby v Selangor 1-2 Failee Ghazli; Paulo Rangel 2)

1 - Selangor 4 3 0 1 6-3 9
2 - ATM 4 2 1 5-3 7
3 - Terengganu 4 2 1 1 4-2 7
4 - Sarawak 4 2 0 2 5-3 6
5 - Kelantan 4 2 0 2 5-5 6
6 - Pahang 4 2 0 2 4-4 6
7 - PKNS 4 2 0 2 4-5 6
8 - Perak 4 2 0 2 3-4 6
9 - LionsXII 1 2 1 4-4 4
10 - Johor Darul Takzim 4 1 1 2 6-6 4
11 - T Team 4 1 1 2 3 3-6 4
12 - Sime Darby 4 1 0 3 3-7 3

Remember some twat who predicted a high scoring Malaysian league? Ignore him. Or her. There may not be many goals flying in but it sure is a tight affair and at this early stage the position in the left hand column of the league table is surely superfluous with just six points separating all 12 teams.

I mean, have a gander at big spending JDT and champions'd think they were involved in a relegation scrap!


Results 07/07

Indonesia Super League

Persipura v Persepam 2-2 (Ian Louis Kabes, Lukas Mandowen; Noprihanis, Ade Suhendra) 1,538

Well this was a turn up for the books. Interesting crowd by the way! Kabes gave the home team the lead on 27 minutes and that was the way things ended at half time. Noprihanis leveled the scores on 77 minutes before Mandowen restored the home team's lead three minutes later. The well travelled Suhendra, on as a second half substitute levelled for the visitors and that is the way things ended. Interesting attendance. Persipura's last game attracted 18,000 plus to the Mandala Stadium.

PSM v Mitra Kukar 0-2 (Zulham, Anindito) 1,000

Malaysia Super League

Pahang v Johor Darul Takzim 3-2 (Matias Conti, Fauzi Roslan, Hafiz Kamal; Pablo Aimar, Safee Sali)

This sounds like it was a right firey affair with Kamal deciding the game for the home team in injury time.

PKNS v Sarawak 0-2 (Milorad Janjus, Gabor Gyepes) (Asian Football Pictures)

Malaysia Premier League

Negeri Sembilan v Felda United 2-1 (Effa Owona, Sivanesan; Indra Putra Mahayuddin)
DRB Hicom v SPA Putrajaya 0-1 (Mickael Nicoise Joseph)
JDT II v Perlis 1-0 (See Kok Luen)
Penang v UiTM 1-0 (Lee Kil-Hoon)
PDRM v Sabah 1-0 Sabre Mat Abu)

Absolute goal feast in Malaysia's second tier as you can see!

1 - PDRM 3 3 0 0 9-2 9
2 - Negeri Sembilan 3 2 1 0 4-2 7

Saturday, February 08, 2014


Teerasil Gets Spanish Chance

Thai striker Teerasil Dangda will join  Spanish side Almeria on loan next season. It remains to be seen what division he will be playing in as the team are currently fighting against relegation.

Teerasil, who plays for Muang Thong United, has previously had trials with Manchester City and Athletico Madrid.

As Piyapong Pue-On says, it is a win-win for the striker although you wonder about the words of another guy, quoted in the Bangkok Post, who says Teerasil's style of play may not suit Spain...

Labels: , ,


PKNS v Sarawak 0-2

You're 2-0 down at home. You have two of last season's most prolific strikers up top. You have about 15 minutes left on the clock. What do you do? Send one of your central defenders forward!

Patrick Wleh maybe nicknamed Ronaldhino but there is a bit of Kanu about him...the languid pull backs, the tight ball control, the unpredictability. There was a buzz among the tiny band of home fans every time the Liberian international got the ball and he was often able to conjour something out of not much.

Certainly, he had the chances to score against Sarawak at Selayang Stadium and on another night he may well have done.

His striking partner, Karlo Primorac, was more anonymous, effectively marshalled by the visiting team.

I missed the first goal, I was enjoying roti at a food stall in Bukit Bintang and got stuck in traffic, but Sarawak, coached by former Arema coach Robert Alberts, played well in patches, counter attacking at pace and themselves had the chances to put the game to bed long before the end.

As PKNS chased the game, they pushed Indonesian defender Hamkah Hamza up top to add more presence. It's a tactic that has worked before, the guy had already netted three times this season in all competitions, but to no avail this time around.

Sarawak rode their luck at times but their rapier like attacks made them a constant threat while soaking up PKNS pressure and their own striker, Gabor Gyepes, had his own chances to put the game to bed.

One other player stood out. The PKNS number seven had pace and energy to burn. Nazmi Faiz maybe small of stature but he stood out amid some giants...little wonder he has already spend time overseas but as happens all too often, he returned home.

Pictures can be found on Asian Football Pictures and my Instagram account.

Friday, February 07, 2014


Jakarta Globe Column

We are still a couple of weeks away from the start of Singapore’s SLeague but this has already been a bad month for fans of the game in the city state.

Last Sunday saw champions Tampines Rovers host Hong Kong’s South China in an AFC Champions League Qualifier at Jalan Besar Stadium and it was the visitors who took the spoils with two goals from former Arema and Persebaya 1927 striker Andrew Barisic giving them a 2-1 win. To make matters worse for the home side, they ended the game with nine men after Imran Sahib and Miljan Mrdakovic were red carded.

Coach Salim Moin was naturally disappointed with the result but praised his team’s fighting performance, saying ‘I’m very proud of my team. Despite the two red cards we showed great fighting spirit.’
Days later the national team were in action in an AFC Asian Cup Qualifier against Jordan at the same stadium.

Singapore’s chances of going through to the Asian Cup in Australia were next to zero before the game and coach Bernd Stange recognized this, saying he preferred to use the game as a gauge as to how far the team had progressed since their last qualifier, a 4-0 loss away to Syria.

‘We have had a short time to prepare for this match but it’s a good opportunity against a good side to see if we are improving or not,’ said the former East German international.

Jordan took the lead through Thaer Bawab just before half time. More bad news for the Lions when defender Baihakki Khaizan, plying his trade with Johor Darul Takzim in Malaysia, received a second yellow meaning they faced a second half with just 10 men.

Jordan’s skipper, Ahmad Hayel, seemed to have put the game beyond the reach of the home team when he made it 2-0 on 58 minutes but the Lions roared back with former Tampines Rovers and Persiba Balikpapan striker scoring from the penalty spot with just six minutes on the clock.

Jordan finally put the game to bed in injury time when substitute Youseff Rawshdeh made it 3-1.
There was some bad news for Hougang United’s Guinea winger  Mamadou Diallo. The 23 year old has had his application for a work permit rejected and must leave the country. This despite having played in Singapore since 2008.

Fans of the club have responded by organizing an online petition calling for the decision to be revoked, suggesting the decision not to allow him to stay ‘could be due to his country of origin is African (sic)’ and there is a limit on the number of permits issued to Africans.

In Indonesia, the Super League got under way last Saturday and so far there have been few surprises which is a surprise in itself in a league where anything that can go wrong, and often things that can’t go wrong, often do go wrong!

Pre season favourites Arema, Persebaya Surabaya and Persipura Jayapura all recorded home wins, against Persijap Jepara, Mitra Kukar and Persela Lamongan respectively.

Some of the attendances may cause authorities concern though. PSM Makassar are being forced to play their home games in Surabaya and they could only attract a few hundred for their first home game of the season while Pelita Bandung also had a three figure attendance. Persiram Raja Ampat are another team whose attendances fall way short of the league’s average; they attracted just 200 for the game with Persiba Balikpapan, played in Sleman.

At least events in Singapore and Indonesia have mostly revolved around events on the field. In Malaysia the news, in what should have been an exciting week of FA Cup action, has most definitely centered on events and activities off the pitch.

The cup tie between Johor Darul Takzim and T Team ended at half time when the visitors refused to come out for the second half.

With the home team leading 2-1, some T Team players have claimed they were abused and assaulted by JDT officials in the tunnel.

The following day, a number of reports were filed with the police in T Team’s home town of Terengganu, claiming assault and accusing the head of the Johor Football Association, who just happens to be the Crown Prince of the state of Johor.

It was reported one of T Team’s players was verbally abused by the Crown Prince while another was punched in the face and the team’s fitness coach was kicked in the groin by one of the Crown Prince’s bodyguards.

The alleged involvement of the Crown Prince makes this case a potential tinderbox and already the Sports Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, has said the ministry would not get involved. It was an ‘incident for the FAM (Football Association of Malaysia and other relevant bodies’ he said.

The JDT coach, Cesar Jimines, was next to complain to the police, saying he had been assaulted as well in the tunnel while, in yet another twist, one of the T Team players has come out and said nothing happened in the tunnel and the assistant coach Azlan Johar ordered the players to get on the bus.

This incident is putting the FAM in a very tricky situation, coming as it announces a further 17 players of Kuala Lumpur had been fined for the involvement in match fixing. Earlier, five players and three officials had received lifetime bans.

The head of the FAM disciplinary committee, Taufek Abdul Razak, said some of the players had been threatened by the match fixers while others had been beaten up for not following instructions.

The FAM were due to meet with officials from JDT and T Team on Thursday to decide what action should be taken.

SOURCE - this is not yet on the Jakarta Globe website which is normal despite their avowed policy of putting stories straight on the web...

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?