Saturday, April 26, 2014


Kelantan Opt For Untested Boateng

Dutchman George Boateng is joining Kelantan as head coach with some good recommendation from his former club, T-Team.

Announced as the replacement for Steve Darby by Kelantan manager Azman Ibrahim yesterday, Boateng, 39, who played for T-Team last season, has the backing of his former teammates and coaches.

T-Team defender Marzuki Yusof, who was alternating the captain’s armband with the Ghana-born Boateng last year, said Kelantan had made the right move in picking the former Aston Villa and Hull player.

“He may not have much experience as a coach but he has played top level football for a long time and he has more than enough knowledge about Malaysian football to be an effective coach.

“I was part of the team that he coached when he got his professional coaching licence last year.”

T-Team player Nuralif Zainal Abidin said Boateng has been given another opportunity to win a trophy in the Malaysian league.

“I still remember his words when he first arrived here in Kuala Terengganu... that he was not on vacation and his aim was to leave Malaysia with a silverware of sorts.

“He could not do it as a player with T-Team as we barely survived relegation last season but he may just be able to get what he wanted as a coach for Kelantan.”

T-Team assistant coach Azlan Johar said Boateng was dedicated, disciplined and hardworking throughout his one-year stint with the Titans.

“He has all the characteristics of becoming an effective coach.”

Read more: Boateng the right choice for Kelantan - Soccer - New Straits Times 


AFC Under 19 Championship

Group A

09/10 Myanmar v Yemen, Iran v Thailand
11/10 Thailand v Myanmar, Yemen v Iran
13/10 Myanmar v Iran, Thailand v Yemen 

Group B
09/10 Uzbekistan v Indonesia, Australia v UAE
11/10 UAE v Uzbekistan, Indonesia v Australia
13/10 Uzbekistan v  Australia, UAE v Indonesia

It's a moments like this people normally chip in with quotes from people saying 'oh look at how tough these groups are so I wont bother with that!

Full details can be found here.


Divisi Utama Wrap

Persikabo maintained their 100 % start to the season with a narrow 1-0 win over PS Bengkulu at the Persikabo Stadium in Cibinong yesterday. Nunandi scored the only goal of the game about 10 minutes from the end with just 6,438 fans looking on.

Persiku traveled along the Pantura to play Persp and returned home with a point from a 1-1 draw in front of 8,269 fans. The home team took the lead in the first half through Nurcoyo but Persiku's Gakou Amadou equalised mid way through the second half.

Villa 2000's tough baptism in Divisi Utama continued. They were beaten 1-0 by PS Bangka, leaving them earching for their first win of the season while Bangka made three wins in three and are comfortably placed just behind Persikabo at the top of the group.

PSIM needed an injury time winner from Supri Andrianto to take three points from group leaders PSBI Blitar. Tri Hindoko had given them an early lead but PSBI made it a worrying end for the home team before that late, late goal.

Persis earned a point from their trip to the north coast of central Java after they drew 1-1 with PSIR Rembang. Juan Marcello Cirelli had given Persis the lead on half time but Bissa Donal scored from the spot for the home side on the hour mark.

Meanwhile, up in Medan, Pro Duta defeated newly promoted PS Kwarta 3-1 at Teladen Stadium. Iksan Lubis had the affront to give the visitors the lead but Pro Duta fought back and hit three goals in a 17 minute spell to win the game and earn the points. Syamir scored twice with Rachmad Hidayat hitting the other.

With seven of the other eight teams in the group playing in eaither Central or East Java, there is perhaps little surprise that Perseman, from Papua seem to have taken the financially friendly option of switching their home games to Madiun. And it doesnt seem to have done them much harm as they brushed past PSS 2-1 with John Pattikawa hitting the winner just three minutes from the home.

It's funny how often home teams manage to earn the points right at the death, isn't it?!

Friday, April 25, 2014


Persela's First Away Win Sees Them Top Eastern Conference

Indonesia Super League

Persiba Balikpapan v Persela 0-2 (Addison Alves, Arif) 4,379

Persela's impressive start to the season continues with a fine win away at Persiba. The result sees them back on table of the table, three points clear of Mitra Kukar.

Persiba's loss keeps them in a relegation place and continues a poor run of form under coach Jaya Hartono. They have just one win this season and while they are just a point from safety their must be some concern at the club. Only Arema, Persija, Mitra Kukar, Persipura and Persiram have a better defence than the Honey Bears (!) but at the other end theu have just four goals from their seven games; by far the lowest return in the league.

Barito Putra v Persijap 4-1 (James Koko Lomell, Herman Abanda 2, Yongki Aribowo; Diva Tarkas) 4,232

It is difficult to see how Persijap are going to save their season. The losses are piling up, this was their seventh in ninth games.

For Barito Putra, this win sees them mid table and after a slow start themselves they are now slowly getting their act together. But then they have the quality to do so. A look at the names on the scoresheet shows that. Persijap lack that quality. They also lack money.


Young Lions v Warriors 2-3 (Muhaimin Suhaimi; Nicholas Velez 2, Marin Vidosevic)

Far be it for me to speak for coach Aide Iskander but you can't help but feel he was a tad proud last night as his players trooped off the pitch after another loss. Pride in defeat? Surely that ain't the Singapore way?

But I tell thee, with 66 minutes gone, Young Lions were losing 3-0 and the game was as good as over. But goals from Suhaimi, first on 76 minutes and then on 90 showed a mental strength in the development team that will please those on the bench and behind the scenes.

Warriors went top after the victory but maybe coach Alex Weaver will be concerned about those last 15 minutes. Before this game, the Warriors, it's still a daft name, had conceded six times in almost 800 minutes. Then, a bit like waiting for the number 51, loads come at once!

Harimau Muda v Houngang United 3-4 (Ramzi Sufian, Nurshamil Ghani 2; Nurhilmi Jasmi, Geison de Carvalho Moura, Diego Gama de Oliveria, Nakatake Shunsuke)

Another thrilling SLeague featuring one of the development sides! Hougang were made to fight all the way for this win, especially after ending the game with 10 men after Firman Hanif was red carded on 85 minutes.

The goals went some thing like this:


Harimau Muda stay bottom. They stay winless. They have conceded 29 goals in nine games and they have scored just eight in that time. But the way they kept fighting right to the end, as with their Singapore counterparts, will delight the coaching staff.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


New Stadiums And Access

There do seem to have been a spate of news stadiums go up in the last few seasons in Indonesia which is a good thing. Getting to them though is not always easy.

Bung Tomo in Surabaya is a case in point. It is bloody miles from sits off a narrow single carriage lane surrounded by rice fields. From a distance it looks like a space ship has landed in the middle of nowhere and has no way of returning from whence it came.

Si Jalak Harupat is an older venue but it too is a bugger to get to. Soreang?! The easiest route is along the highway a stretch then join a narrow bumpy lane for a journey that can take an age if Persib are playing at home. Not so long if Persikab or Pelita Bandung have a home game though! And then, once you are there, there is only one access into the car park!

My memory is less secure when it comes to Jakabaring, the venue for Sriwijaya's ground. Not actually in Palembang, you have to cross the city's iconic bridge to reach there and then, of course, there is the monster car park with just one way in! No fun for a big crowd!

And then there is Arema's home at Kanjuruhan. A scenic drive out there to be sure but sod all when you get there.

Those four stadiums are commercial wastelands. Wanna bite to eat or a drink? Make do with a bag of nuts and a plastic bottle of water!

Some stadiums do though break the mold. Delta Stadium is situated right next to the toll road connecting Sidoarjo with Malang and Surabaya and, even better, there are plenty of options nearby for a bite to eat including well lit, air conditioned mini marts and even golden arches!

One reason I like going to Manahan Stadium, apart from the manic Pasoepati fans, is the stadium is fairly central and close to a reasonable hotel.

A number of new stadiums are currently being constructed and it would be nice to think access and facilities were part of the master plan though don't draw your breath.

Persipasi's Patriot Stadium is fairly central and if I recall not to far from the station...of course it ain't being used so tough! Persib, Persita and Persiba Balikpapan are also in the process of getting new grounds and it would be nice if they were not just blocks of concrete ill served by transport or food.

Of course, I realise this may all be coming from a foreigner's view point. Many fans walk to stadiums or 'hijack' trucks for a ride and they may not have the cash to splurge on much else. But Indonesian football is forever moaning about having no money. Surely there is a balance between catering to those who do have a bit of disposable income and the hardcore who are the heart and soul of the club/


Heartbreak For Home United


Persipura v Home United 0-2 (Fazrul Nawaz, Juma'at Jantan) 12,525

That rarest of rarities, a Persipura home loss. Great result for Home who were 2-0 up after 23 minutes but it was, alas and alack, not enough. Churchill Brothers' 2-1 win in the Maldives against New Radiant means the Indian side go through to the next round of the cup on goal difference.

For Persipura, the result was academic as they had already qualified as group leaders but that didn't stop coach Jacksen F Tiago getting angry with his team and their performance.

Persipura's reward is a tie with Yangon United

Hanoi T & T v Arema 2-1 (Ngyuen 2; Gonzales)

The obligatory goal from Cristian Gonzales wasn't enough to save Arema from defeat against the Vietnamese side but again, the job was done and they were through to the next round.

It was Arema who took the lead in the first half but the home team hit twice in 68; and 75' and to compound the misery they had Samsul Arif sent off on 77 minutes.

They now face Kitchee in the next round!

Selangor v Maizya 4-1 (Paolo Rangel 3, Azmi Muslim; Abdulla Asadhulla) 500

By my estimation, that is about 8,639 goals for Rangel this season which isn't bad I suppose but where were the fans?

Indonesia Super League

Gresik United v Pelita Bandung Raya 0-0 1,255

Umm, it was 0-0. In front of a small crowd. And that, I think, is about all we need to know! Oh, and Jimmy Suparno was sent off in the second hlf.

Persepam MU v Persiba Bantul 3-1 (Zaenal Arif, Rossy, Busari; Ugik) 4,430

The Madura team kept up their winning start under new coach Arcan Iurie, safely enconsed in midtable. Persiba however are in big trouble. Despite having forwward like Claude Ngon Djam and Emile Mbamba up top they are are deep poo poo with just two points from eight games

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


PSSI Fund Raising Day

Yesterday on Twitter several people were showing photos of old coins suggesting they could come in handy for PSSI as they seem to be short of a bob or two.

So the disciplinary committee held a meeting to pass judgement on recent events.

Persib fans were banned from attending away games for a period of six months after they travelled to Gresik for their ISL game on Sunday. Apparently, they had already been banned!

Umm, I may be no Sherlock Holmes but no one noticed a bunch of kids wearing blue shorts converging on Gresik? They were allowed to travel, they were allowed to enter the stadium and the fans get punished?

Persepam MU, Persib, Barito Putra, Gresik United were fined after their fans let off flares and fireworks inside the stadium and were warned they could face playing a home game without fans if it happens again.

Divisi Utama clubs PSS, PSIS, PSMP and PSCS also received a similar warning.

Persis must play Persip behind closed doors after incidents that marred their game against PPSM.


JDT II Coach Accused Of Slapping Ref

Police have started investigating the alleged attack on a referee after a Premier League match at the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council on Saturday, following a report lodged by the victim.

The referee, Sukri Abd Rahman was officiating a match between Johor and UiTM FC which ended 2-2.

Following the final whistle, Sukri, 40, was walking towards the sideline when Johor team manager On Jabbar allegedly punched him.

Johor deputy police chief Datuk Ismail Yatim confirmed that a report was lodged by Sukri at the Chukai police station in Terengganu, on Sunday.

“We (police) recorded the team manager’s statement and are also in the process of recording the statements of those who witnessed the incident to facilitate investigations.”

He said the case is being investigated under Section 323 of the Penal Code for voluntarily causing hurt.

It is learnt that a television station cameraman, who had the full recording of the alleged incident, was also called to have his statement recorded. Recordings of On Jabbar allegedly landing a punch on Sukri have gone viral on the Internet.

Sukri, in his police report, claimed he was assaulted, resulting in injuries to his right cheek and jaw.
Meanwhile, On Jabbar spent about 10 minutes at the Seri Alam district police headquarters yesterday, where his statement was recorded.

Outside the police station, about 100 supporters gathered, with placards and banners supporting him. On Jabbar, who has been relieved of his duties by Johor Football Association with immediate effect, said he is yet to be called up by FAM.

He was also slapped with a RM25,000 fine by Johor FA. However, On Jabbar still sits on the Johor FA executive council.

Read more: On Jabbar under probe over punching incident - Soccer - New Straits Times

COMMENT - at least the club seem to have responded quickly...


JDT Move To Replace Aimar & Bai

Petaling Jaya: Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) have completed the signing of Argentinian striker Jorge Pereyra Diaz from Argentine Primera Division side Lanus to replace their outgoing midfielder Pablo Aimar.

The 23-year-old Diaz is the second signing for the cash-rich JDT in the M-League second transfer window. The team had earlier secured Brazilian defender Marcos Antonio Elias Santos to replace Singaporean centreback Baihakki Khaizan.

JDT manager Bojan Hodak said the management are adapting a change of strategy in their foreign players signing policy.

“There is a change in our transfer policy, we are looking at good players instead of big name players,” said Hodak on Monday.

“We did our scouting and short-listed a few other players before signing the players that we want. They were two other players that we were interested but their clubs didn’t want to sell them.
“We will try to get him to gel with the team ... he’s a quality player and young so I think it won’t take him long to blend into the team.”

It is learnt that Diaz has been signed for a two-year deal and is expected to arrive in Malaysia on Tuesday.

Hodak said that the two new additions to the team will be a major boost for their title challenge this season.

JDT are currently third in the Super League standings with 25 points – three behind leaders Pahang and one behind Selangor, who have a game in hand.

“We believe that Diaz has enough quality to play in the M-League... He is a player who can create and score goals and he will be a valuable addition to the team,” said the former Kelantan coach.

“We have won three matches in a row and are not too far behind Pahang. We are still in the title race and we just need to keep our winning momentum going.”


Results 22/04

Indonesia Super League

Sriwijaya v Persita 1-0 (Lancine Kone) 10,355

It has not been the best of starts for Sriwijaya this season. This narrow win moves them up to 5th, three points behind Persija.

Mitra Kukar v Pusam 2-0 (Herman Dzumafo, Zulham) 10,000

Mitra Kukar moved to the top of the ISL eastern conference after defeating Pusam in an East Kalimantan derby

1 - Mitra Kukar 8 5 1 2 13-6 16
2 - Persela 8 5 1 2 14-10 16
3 - Persebaya 9 5 2 2 17-9 14*
4 - Persipura 7 3 4 0 11-6 13

*Persebaya have been deducted three points from FIFA and, unusually, it has been passed on!

Divisi Utama (Selected)

Persip v PSIS 0-2 (Julio Alcorse 2) 12,032

Three games, three wins for PSIS with Alcorse again among the goals. Impressive crowd for Central Java derby

PS Bangka v Persitara 3-1 702

Poor old Persitara. No money, no wins and they managed to arrive just before kick off for this game as bad weather delayed their flight from Jakarta. They sit second bottom of Group 2 with a single point to their name

Persipur v Persis 0-1 (Bayu Nugroho) 10,000

It needed an injury time winner for Persis to earn all three points from yet another Central Java derby.It was their first win of the season and they sit third, five points behind leaders PSIS

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Never A Dull Moment At JDT

Ah, Johor Darul Takzim. The Malaysian club flush with royal riches are not finding football success that easy to come by.

Just recently, Bojan Hodak was bought in to replace Cesaer Jiminez as first team coach...the reason? Jiminez's English was not that good! I guess the initial job interview was carried out in Spanish? Anyway, he has been placed in charge of the JDT U21 and JDT II where, I imagine, the players understand Espanol better than the first team!

Expensive Argentine import Pablo Aimar, who was runoured to have been unhappy at the club anyway, has been dropped. The crown prince of the state, who is also the president of the football club said JDT were not 'able to maximise our investment'.

And then there is the decision to drop Singapore international defender Baihakki Khaizan, a 'phenomenal defender' says the prince, but Jiminez said the team needed someone with 'greater physical ability.' So they drop the player voted the best defender in the league last season.

Bai remains under contract apparently and has been told he can train with the first team but will only play for JDTII!

With JDT fans talking about boycotting games in anger at recent developments at the club, the prince had taken to the clubs Facebook page to explain the recent decisions but he began his statement by saying 'I would like to take this opportunity to express my disappointment due to a majority of you out there jumping to conclusions and speculating without actual facts and truth.'

He went on to say 'We must be an example as a professional club football association in the country' and goes on to talk about the club's fighting spirit. The same fighting spirit, perhaps, that saw players from an opposing team allegedly assaulted in the tunnel at half time.

On the field Johor Darul Takzim have been enjoying some good form recently, winning four and drawing three of their last seven games, a run that has seen them climb to third in the Super League, three points behind leaders Pahang.

Appointing big names in whatever capacity guarantees nothing but headlines just like pots of money guarantees nothing but less cash in the bank.


Results 20-21/04

Indonesia Super League

Persebaya v Perseru 4-0 (Alfin Tuasalamony, Greg Nwokolo 2, Emmanuel Kenmogne) 1,234

Another disappointing crowd at Bung Tomo Stadium saw Persebaya initially struggle to break down a determined Perseru defence well marshalled by Patrick Seme and co.

With Perseru down to 10 men, it could have been a rout with the home team guilty of over elaboration in the final third. 

After the game, the Perseru coach felt the ref had been intimidated by the home team players but in truth, after showing some spirit early on, his team did fade.

The result moved Persebaya up to second in the eastern conference.

Gresik United v Persib 1-4 (Shogei Matsunaga; Ferdinand Sinaga 2, M Ridwan, Atep) 12,300

Arema enjoyed 24 hours at the top of the western conference before Persib brushed aside Gresik at the Petrokimia Stadium in East Java.

Persik v Persija 2-1 (Michael Ndubuisi, Syaiful Indra Cahya; Fabiano Beltrane) 8,438

When the western conferences only unbeaten team took on its only winless team the end result was obvious! Both records ended at the Brawijaya Stadium allowing Persik to leap frog Persijap and to move within one point of Gresik United.


Harimau Muda v Young Lions 2-3 (Ramzi Sufian, Ramzi Haziq; Sahil Suhaimi, Jordan Webb, Sherif El Masri)

The Development Derby anyone?!

It took Jordan Webb to give the young Lions victory just three minutes from the end of this SLeague game played in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia.

Having taken the lead twice, earlier, this time there was not enough for the Malaysians to claw their way back and Young Lions crossed the Causeway turning handstands and double twists.

It was Young Lions first win of the season while the hosts have yet to record their first point, no doubt engendering mass shame for their compatriots. Still, they can take some pride in scoring two goals in 14 minutes...their first three goals had taken seven games!

11 - Young Lions 8 1 1 6 11-13 4
12 - Harimau Muda 8 0 0 8 5-25 0

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Results 20/04

Indonesia Super League

Arema v Pelita Bandung Raya 3-0 (Alberto Goncalves 2, Gustavo Lopez) 11,814

Arema returned to the top of the western conference of the ISL after a fairly comfortable win over PBR at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in front of a pretty smallish crowd considering it was a Saturday night.

PBR ended the game with 10 men after Boban Nikolic received a second yellow in the second half. It could have been worse had the ref seen Agus Indra Kurniawan's elbow on 51 minutes. He received a yellow for a dig that would have done someone shopping on Orchard Road proud.

With Persib playing at Persegres today, Arema's lead may not last long!

Perspiura v PSM 1-1 (Paulin Pierre Bio; Rahmat) 9,895

It's been a funny old start to the campaign for champions Persipura. They have yet to begin firing on all cylinders but as long as they remain unbeaten, I am not sure coach Jacksen F Tiago will be too unhappy.

This was the Black Pearls fourth draw in seven games and it keeps them at the right end of the table. For PSM, they will look on this as a result well earned, especially as it followed on from a 1-0 win away to Perseru.

Four points from a trip to Papua is never to be sniffed at.

Persela v Persiba Bantul 2-0 (Taufiq Kasrun, Zaenal Arifin) 12,809

If Persipura do insist on dropping points at home then Persela are just going to carry on taking advantage. This win took the East Java side to the top of the table on the day they celebrated their anniversary.

Whether they stay there or not is another matter. Both Persipura and Mitra Kukar are three points behind with a game in hand while the East Kalimantan have a slightly superior goal difference.

Malaysia Super League

Played Friday

Johor Darul Takzim v T Team 2-1
Kelantan v Sarawak 0-1

Played Saturday

Pahang v Sime Darby 4-1
Selangor v LionsXII 1-0
Terengganu v Perak 0-2
ATM v PKNS 4-1

1 - Pahang 14 9 1 4 27-16 28
2 - Selangor 13 8 3 2 17-11 27
3 - Johor DT 14 7 4 3 21-13 25
4 - Sarawak 14 7 1 6 18-18 22

Saturday, April 19, 2014


It Was Over Before It Begun

The title comes from a line in a Kevin Bloody Wilson song...

Was at the Persida v Pusamania Borneo game this afternoon in Divisi Utama at Delta Stadium in Sidoarjo and a surreal experience it was to.

Firstly, as I was trying to get a taxi from the hotel, it seemed no one had a scooby who Persida were! They knew about Deltras of course but they hadn't heard of their newly promoted city rivals.

Got to the stadium and were able to park up right outside the ticket office! There was just no bugger around...getting inside and it was all but empty. Perhaps 50-100?

While Persida have very little history, Pusamania Borneo have even less. Last season, they were playing in Divisi Utama and known as Perseba Super Bangkalan and then just a month before the new season, Persisam fans decided they wanted to buy a club of their very own and hey presto! The whole kitten and caboodle upped sticks to East Kalimantan

So the buzz before the game, how shall we say it, pretty bloody small.

The game kicked off, as games tend to, and the atmosphere was...shall we just say I have heard more noise at Serengoon Stadium for an NFL game and that wasn't just the pop of a ring pull!

About 15 minutes in and suddenly a couple of dozen fans appeared on the terrace behind the goal...I guess the officials must have opened the gates and let them in free! But once they were in...decision time. Where to hang their banner! I guess they weren't used to home games.

They hung it behind the goal but nope, that wasn't good enough so they moved to along the side terrace and, nope, that wasn't good enough either so they moved back behind the goal and started all over again.

It was all a bit like when you get on an empty railway just don't know where to sit.

The match? Oh yeah. Persida were a bit physical, targeting Pusamania's captain Danilo Fernando and the lad out on the right, and they did take the lead, good work from their striker who may well have been wearing number nine.

Back on the terraces, once the nagging problem of where to hang the banner was sorted, the fans sat down. They hardly raised a cheer when they took the lead.

At some time in the first half, another group of supporters arrived and set up their banner behind the same goal as the Persida lot. The second bunch were fans of city rivals Deltras. And they sat down.

Honestly, watching the inactivity on the terraces was more fun than the game.

Second half, something kicked off on the terrace. From a distance, it looked like some of the Persida fans had moved to the Deltras support and had a pop. There was some dancing going on between a small number, perhaps five or six tops. As a few more got involved, the rest just had it away on their flip flops, Deltras to the right, Persida to the left. Most, apparently, weren't interested.

It was all over in seconds and I don't think most of the people in the stadium were aware anything had happened. The Persida lot returned to their half of the terrace and made for the tunnel. A couple of bigger lads followed them and they melted. All except one lad who approached the dividing fence and asked for his drum back! Which was duly returned.

Once the incident, which had lasted a few seconds tops, had died down, both sets of fans picked up their banners and flags and left for the (same) exit.  Judging by a flurry of excitement at the back of the terrace opposite the main stand, I am guessing there was some afters outside the ground but that too soon died downed.

So, what did happen? Was it Persida having a go at Deltras? After all, it was the later bunch who were making what little noise there was in the stadium and we know how territorial football fans can be.

If there is a nascent rivalry between the Sidoarjo teams, that could well cause problems later in the season as they are both in the same group and both share the same stadium.

Tha game? Oh yeah, Persida won 2-0.


Rams Overcome Stags

While I have been bouncing around Central and East Java, there is plenty of stuff going on in Singapore.

On Wednesday, Nicolas Velez hit four for the Warriors as they defeated Albirex Niigata 4-0 at Jurong East Stadium.

On the same evening, DPMM kept their recent fine run going as they defeated Hougang United 1-0 at Hougang with the goal coming from Azwan Rahman 13 minutes from the end. After a couple of convincing home wins against the Singapore and Malaysian development sides, coach Steve Kean would have been just as happy with scraping the three points on the road against one of the better teams in the country.

Home United are rattling in the goals at the moment...they defeated Tanjong Pagar 4-0 at Bishan with Lee Kwan Woo, Dakyung Kwon, two, and Shafiq Yacob doing the damage. On the bench for Tanjong Pagar, but unused, was Lucas Jester...I kid you not!

Jorg Steinbrunner seems to be doing a fine job at Geylang International. He has reversed their slide and they managed a 1-1 draw at Balestier Khalsa. It was the home team who had taken the lead between you know mean you don't know? What planet are you on? Goran Ljubojevic if you must know but Felix Ezequial equalised for Geylang with about 10 minutes remaining.

And to the shock. Champions Tampines going down 2-1 at home to Woodlands Wellington.  Chang Jo Yoon had given the visitors a 10th minute lead but Shahdan Sulaiman equalised a few minutes into the second half. 

Atsushi Shimono restored Woodlands advantage just minutes later and they held on for a famous victory, one that perhaps justified coach Darren Stewart's rejection of a switch to Newcastle Jets in the ALeague.It was only the Rams second win of the season and the three points saw them climb to 8th place.

Those fascinating results leave the table looking like this:

1 - DPMM 8 6 1 1 20-4 19
2 - Tampines  8 6 0 2 18-12 18
3 - Warriors 8 5 2 1 15-6 17
4 - Home United 8 5 1 2 18-8 16


Arcan Iurie's Wry Smile

Now I am not suggesting for a moment former Persita coach Arcan Iurie felt any schandenfreude yesterday. As a professional, that is an emotion best steered away from.

But, in the sanctity of his hotel room last night, he can be forgiven a wry smile or two.

Earlier in the day, Persita lost 2-1 at home to Barito Putra. Rizky Riporal and James Koko Lomell had given the visitors the lead before Riquelme hit a penalty three minutes from the end of the game to give Persita some dignity.

Meanwhile, Iurie's new club, Persepam MU, beat Persiram. They were sent on their way with a penalty from veteran striker Zaenal Arif and while Errol Ethicus pulled one back just after half time, Jose Gonzales hit a late, late winner.

Victory for Persiram, and they would have been unlikely leaders of the eastern conference, at least for a few hours.

The attendance was give as 9,230...a tad optimistic I feel!


Persikabo Keep On Winning

After been locked out of their new stadium on the opening day of the season, Persipasi managed to borrow PTIK Stadium in South Jakarta for their game against Persires and were rewarded with a 3-1 victory. Unfortunately, no fans were present at the game.

PSIS made it two wins on the spin after they defeated PSIR 1-0 with a goal by Julio Cesar half way through the first half in front of a crowd just shy of 10,000.

Villa 2000 remain winless after two games cut coach Ricky Nelson can take heart after they held an experienced Persikad to a 0-0 draw.

It was fair pissing down up in North Jakarta, delaying the kick off of Persitara against just really delayed the inevitable. The visitors, clear favourities for Divisi Utama this season when onlu two clubs get promoted (at the moment), won 3-1 with all the big hitters getting on the score sheet.

Aliyudin gave them the lead just before half time but although the home team did pull a goal back on 70 minutes through Fathul Adul, Budi Sudarsono made it 2-1 just a couple of minutes later and Rudi Widodo made it 3-1 with just a few minutes on the clock.

Up in Aceh, Persiraja came from 2-0 down to earn a draw with Pro Duta. Syamir and Fiwi Dwipan had the visitors 2-0 before 50 minutes were on the clock but two goals by  Septi Hariansyah, the second from the spot, saved a point for the home side.


Persijap v Persija 0-2

Persija kept their unbeaten start to the season, defeating Persijap 2-0 at Bumi Kartini Stadium last night. 
There may be no such thing as a straight forward win in football but this was as probably as comfortable
as it gets against a Persijap side still missing their coach, Raja Isa.

Persijap giving a better performance than their team
Persija had lost on their last two visits to Jepara but there was little danger of making it three consecutive 
losses in front of a crowd given as 3,068 (I have my doubts - in fact a local paper said there were approximately 4,000 home fans plus a traveling support of some 1,500 which sounds a better number). 

Agung Supriyanto gave the visitor the lead on 36 minutes and Ramdani Lesalahu made the points safe 
early in the second half.

This was the second time I had seen Persijap this campaign, the other against Pelita Bandung Raya in
the Inter Island Cup, and while they showed a slight improvement on that game when they drew 1-1, 
they remain a side lacking in real quality.

Persija defended solidly and on the odd occasion when the hosts were able to get a good cross in, 
Andritany Ardhiyasa showed why he is so highly rated with a good command of his area.

It is difficult to see where Persijap go next. They are two points clear of Persik at the bottom of the table
with just one win and one draw from their opening eight games and have conceded more goals, 16, than
any other Indonesia Super League team. 

There are obviously problems at the football club and despite the good support they fans gave them 
some surgery needs to happen if they are to retain their place among Indonesia’s elite.

In the other ISL game, Persik lost 2-1 at home to Semen Padang to remain rooted at the bottom of the

The Cement men though moved to second, equal on points with leaders Persib despite having played 
one game more.

Esteban scored twice for the visitors, the second just five minutes from the end. Dimas Galih Gumilang
did pull one back on 90 minutes to set up an exciting climax but it was too little, too late and most of
the 7,565 crowd went home disappointed.


Divisi Utama Opening Day

The first day of a new season is always an exciting one. Clubs and fans start with clean records and 
big dreams.Unless you are a fan of Persipasi. They arrived at their brand spanking new Patriot Stadium
to find it all locked up and security all around to ensure no one could gain admittance!

Why? Who the hell knows...some local petty official playing at Mr Big perhaps. Now, Persipasi are 
threatening to withdraw from the league.

Their fans have taken the battle to the internet, making a petition asking for the stadium to be reopened.

Another game never happened. With Persebuol being awarded a walkover, can I assume Persid Jember
never even made it to Sulawesi?

OK, in games that actually took place, and I am not going to list them all cos there are too damned
many, Divisi Utama favourites Persikabo won 2-1 at newly promoted Villa 2000 with Rudi Widodo and
Aji Mostapha getting the goals after Fadhil Ibrahim had given the new boys a dream start in front of
1,323 in Ciracas.

With Persikabo boasting s starting 11 featuring Budi Sudarsono, Aldo Baretto, Joel Tsimi and 
Johan Juansyah as well as the goalscorers and the likes of Bobby Satria and Aliyudin on the bench, 
you can see why hopes are high at the club.

One club thought to have withdrawn from the league managed to stay put. Persiraja defeated PSMS
in Banda Aceh but the fans don’t seem to have to enthused with just 2,000 bothering to turn up.

One team that don’t have any trouble with fans turning up are one of several sleeping giants in Central 
Java, Persis. They hosted PPSM at Manahan Stadium and were held to a 2-2 draw in front of 13,470.

In another Central Java game, PSIS defeated Persipur 3-1 in front of 8,725...not that bad a crowd 
considering the season started on the first day of the national school exams.

New team Pusamania Borneo defeated Perseta 2-0 in their first ever game after buying out 
Perseba Super Balangkan. Formed by fans annoyed by the politics of the game here, just 250 attended 
the birth of the new team with the experienced Danilo Fernando scoring the first goal from the penalty
spot on 16 minutes. Febri Hamzah scored the second on 23 minutes to get the club off to a flying start.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Indonesia & Justice For The 96

So today is the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster when 96 football fans went to a game and never returned.

Many fans who are old enough will remember where they were when they heard the news of what happpened at the FA Cup semi final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

Me, I was on the train home after a piss up in London. We were sat opposite a Forest fan, a rare sight down our way, and he wasn't the most communicative chap in the world. Hardly surprising given what he had witnessed but given our drunken state and 'knowledge' we nodded among ourselves and said 'fucking scousers at it again.'

It wasn't until we got home and saw the awful images from Sheffield that we realised our first impressions were way off the mark. You didn't need to be a genius or even a South Yorkshire cop or tory politician to realise what had taken place was nothing to do with hooligans.

Fences and shitty policing were par for the course in the 1980s, the first images we saw proved what we had long suspected...they were a death trap.

Been there, done that, lived to tell the tale. Luton, Southampton, Coventry, Oxford...grounds with lousy away endings and a local plod who hated your guts and made that hatred clear were par for the course.

They weren't just Liverpool fans who died on the Leppings Lane terrace. They were Arsenal fans, Rochdale fans, Walsall fans. They were football fans and they could have been us.

While football fans knew what had happened, the government lied and said it was the fault of the fans. Football fans then were the bearded mullahs of the 20th century. It's taken 25 bloody years and we are only just having inquests. Justice eh?

There is a large Liverpool following in Indonesia of course. Seduced by the glamour of Keegan and the Kop, You'll Never Walk Alone and all the other stuff, despite the lack of success, they remain a massive club.

The last few years have seen a few Indonesian football fans go to games and not come back but they remain largely forgotten.

Does anyone recall the names of the Persib fans who died after being beaten up at Bung Karno Stadium. Or the Persija fan who was set upon and beaten to death near an upmarket hotel and shopping mall? Anyone remember their names or the anniversaries of their deaths?

Is anyone here demanding justice for them and the others who die on their way to or from football in Indonesia?

On the 25th anniversary of Hillsborough, the silence is deafening over dead Indonesians. Why should that be? Why do people find it easier to remember and honour people who died in a city they couldn't find on a map before they were even born? Is an English person's life worth more than an Indonesian's life?

The West is not the best and the East is not the least.

I guess we seeing globalisation at work here. The globalisation of grief. Let's forget about the local fans who die at football and jump on board the latest trends on twitter?

English football in the 1980s in many ways is like Indonesian football today. 'Polite society' loathes it. The pitches are crap, stadiums are falling to pieces and of course there may even be the odd outbreak of violence at games here.

Following on from Bradford, Heysel and greedy club owners, Hillsborough fundamentally changed the game of football in England and how it is experienced.

Perhaps those fans here who would like to remember the 96, perhaps they can try and bring about change in the football experience in this country by working to make sure no more fans die while doing what they love. By making sure the fans who have died receive some kind of justice? Surely that would be something tangible and worthwhile? Surely that would be a good way of honouring the 96?

It's not only charity that begins at home. So does justice.

Monday, April 14, 2014


SLeague Top Scorers

  • 7 - Rodrigo Antonio Tosi (DPMM), Geison Moura (Hougang United, Miroslav Pejic (Warriors)
  • 6 - Roy O'Donovan (DPMM). Miljan Mrdakaovic (Tampines Rovers)
  • 5 - Kazuki Sakamoto (Albirex Niigata),Goran Ljubojevic (Balestier Khalsa) 
  • 4 - Leo Felice (Geylang International), Diego Oliviera (Hougang United)
Note the Singaporeans in that list!


Woodlands Lose Second Straight Game

Woodlands Wellington coach Darren Stewart recently turned down a move to ALeague side Newcastle Jets, preferring to finish the job he had started in North Singapore.

Yesterday they lost 3-0 at home to Home United...a defeat that to all intents and purposes leaves the Rams bottom of the SLeague with seven points from their opening seven games.

OK, to be precise, they are comfortably above development sides Young Lions and Hariman Muda who seem to be outdoing themselves as the national team with a worse record at the moment.

Thing is, tables can be misleading. Woodlands have lost just two games which is better than the teams above them so there.

You can't imagine Stewart being happy with his defence...until last night's reverse, Woodlands had conceded less than champions Tampines. But two defeats on the spin, they lost a few days ago against Warriors, will have the Rams heirarchy looking for an immediate improvement.

Talking Tampines, I was honest, check the last paragraph, they beat Balestier Khalsa 3-1 to leapfrog DPMM at the top of the SLeague. Goals from Noh Alam Shah, great to see him back playing regularly again, and two from Closa gave the Stags a 3-0 half time lead.


Persib Overcome Leaders Arema In Thriller

The Indonesian office is a funny place. Mind you, it has been so bloody long since I stepped into a British office I would probably have some kind of culture shock there as well.

Yesterday, anyways, was a case in point. The match of the season would have been the English media hype as Persib hosted Arema.

It certainly proved to be a game and a half...what ever that may mean.

Arema went in at half time 2 up thanks to goals from Samsul Arif and Gustavo Lopez.

Persib however fought back and in some style. Djibril Coulabily,  who was courted, signed, released and re-signed pre season, scored on 53 minutes to give Persib a role in the match.

Firman Utina made it 2-2 on 78 minutes and if there is a Bobotoh heaven they found in a few minutes later when Konate Makan finished the remarkable come back, ending Arema's 1005 record and propelling the Bandung outfit to the top of the western division.

As for the office. No one it seemed gave a raspberry cripple. Not until Liverpool against Manchester City came on did anyone show any interest in football.

Odd, eh?!


Persija v Ajax

As I mentioned the other day, Ajax, their Amsterdam Arena pictured left, will be coming to Jakarta next month and it has been announced they will play Persija in a friendly at the Bung Karno stadium 11 May.

This won't be Ajax's first visit here of course. They were also here in 1975 along with Manchester United for a few games...check out my report here.

The site I based my story on is no longer there...for some reason, that story said the game ended 4-1 to the visiting Dutch side but this link looks more credible eh?!

Ticket prices...

VVIP : Rp. 1.500.000,-
West VIP : Rp. 540.000,-
East VIP : Rp. 340.000,-
Cat I : Rp. 160.000,-
Cat 2 : Rp. 80.000,-
Exc.Ticket Fee Rp 10.000

What with PSV and the Dutch national team visiting in recent months it's getting to be like Batavia in the 1920s!


Sunday, April 13, 2014


The Curious Case Of Pusamania Borneo

After I had been leaving on South East Asia a few years I decided to cut back on some of my personal belongings. A few books and some clsothes got lost by the wayside.

And I made the heart wrenching decision to leave my logic locked in a left luggage locker at Heathrow Airport. It was for the best. Things just took too long to explain and it would never understand it anyway.

Here is another example. It is hilarious but it defies logic.

Some fans of Pusam, formerly known as Persisam, decided they wanted to form their own football club. One guy told me they weren't happy about all the politics in the game. I also understand with Persisam moving to a new stadium in or around Samarinda, some who unhappy with the expense and longer journey times.

So they did a Manchester United and formed their own club, called Pusamania Borneo. The name encapsulates the traditions, heritage and origins of the original club so fair enough.

Rather than work their way up through the leagues though as most new clubs have to they scouted around to buy an existing club. I know what you are fans!

They found one...Perseba Super Bangkalan from the island of Madura.

They duly bought the club and changed the name to reflect its new owners, at the same time I guess consigning the old club to history.

With the release of the Divisi Utama fixtures, there we see the new team drawn alongside their opponents for the upcoming campaign...alongside Persida, Persekap, Persepar, Deltras, Martapura, PSMP, Perseta...a neat mixture of teams from East Java and the island of Borneo.

Just one thing though...the same official fixture list shows Pusamania Borneo playing their home games in ...Bangkalan!

So the club that was formed by fans in a city in East Kalimantan could well be playing their home games on a totally different island on a totally different province...while keeping their name and roots!

Explain that one...logically!

UPDATE - Now it seems they are playing their home games in Samarinda!


Results 11-12/04

Indonesia Super League

Persijap v Semen Padang 1-2 (Claudio Sobrinho; Esteban, Hendra Adi Bayaw) 3,500

Patience it seems is in short supply in Jepara, Central Java. As the ISL returned after a break for the election, Persijap showed no signs of returning to winning ways, going 2-0 against the visitors in half an hour.

The defeat is Persijap's fifth of the campaign and leaves them just one place off the relegation places.

Interestingly, coach Raja Isa wasn't at the game. He was back in Malaysia. After the game some Persijap fans called for Isa to be replaced.

The three points for Semen Padang sees them move up to third in the ISL, level on points with Persib who meet Arema today in a top of the table clash at Jalak Harupat Stadium, Soreang.


Geylang International v Hougang United 3-2 (Felice Ezequiel 2, OG; Geison Carvalho, Fairoz Hasan)

Geylang's revival under new coach Jorg Steinbrunner gathered apace with this remarkable result against fancied Hougang.

With 10 minutes on the clock and trailing 2-0, the Eagles fought back to win the game 3-2 in a pulsating climax that also saw Felice and skipper M Ridwan yellow carded.

It's funny you, there are still people out there willing to stay up all hours to watch pretty poor Arsenal and Manchester United fans play mediocre still who won't accept there is good football in their own backyard.

Don't forget, it was only a few days ago Hougang inflicted champions Tampines first defeat of the season.

DPMM v Harimau Muda 5-0 (Azwan Rahman, Sairol Sahari, Roy O'Donovan 2, Rodrigo Tosi)

Brunei's DPMM moved to the top of Singapore's SLeague after effortlessly brushing aside Malaysia's Harimau Muda.

That's 11 goals in the last two games for Steve Kean's team as they steamrollered first Young Lions and now Malaysia's own development side leaving both of them rooted firmly at the bottom of the table.

Getting thrashed big time is of course par for the course for young players and is one reason why these teams exist. What the coaches will focus on is less the result and more how the young players react to the result. That is what will ultimately sort the wheat from the chaff.

Of course it is also possible for a team filled with internationals boasting more than 500 caps coached by a manager with 30 years experience to get thrashed eh Arsenal?!

11 - Young Lions 7 0 01 6 8-21 1
12 - Harimau Muda 7 0 0 7 3-22 0

Malaysia Super League

Johor Darul Takzim v PKNS 1-0
Terengganu v Sarawak 1-2
LionsXII v Sime Darby 0-1
Pahang v T Team 2-0
Selangor v Perak 1-0
ATM v Kelantan 0-2

1 - Pahang 12 8 1 3 22-11 25
2 - Selangor 12 7 3 2 16-11 24
3 - Terengganu 11 6 2 3 17-9 20
4 - Kelantan 12 6 2 4 17-12 20

With all the upheaval going on at JDT you can imagine the sigh of relief that greeted their narrow win over PKNS. Still, for all the investment in the Southern Tigers, five wins from their opening 12 games is being seen as a poor return...perhaps one day someone will realise aging big name players on big salaries may not always what they are cracked up to be!

A shock for champions LionsXII, going down at home to Sime Darby. They sit one place and one point behind JDT and retaining their title is going to be a big ask for coach Fandi Ahmad and his team.

Before the game, Fandhi had said the next four games were vitally important...

Another defeat for Perak crowned a pretty poor week after they were also docked a point by the FAM for playing an illegible player.

Friday, April 11, 2014


VLeague Side Withdraws From AFC Cup After Match Fixing Suspicions

Ha Noi  — V-League side Vissai Ninh Binh have sought permission from the Viet Nam Football Federation and the Viet Nam Professional Football Joint Stock Company to stay away from play this season.

In an official document sent to the two organisations last night, Ninh Binh said this was in order to investigate allegations of match-fixing by their footballers.

Pham Van Le, chairman of the club, confirmed it and said, "We suspect that our players are involved in match-fixing. Over the past few months, we have received information related to the team's results in both Asia's second tier Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup and the V-League. The team's boss Hoang Manh Truong got furious and decided to stop all activities of the team to investigate the matter. We have requested the police to make things clear."

The matches over which Truong had doubts are the ones in which Ninh Binh lost to Quang Ninh 1-3 and to Binh Duong 2-5 in the national premier league, and won against Malaysia's Kelatan 3-2 in the AFC event.

Yesterday, coach Nguyen Van Sy also told all players that they would not be playing any matches in the AFC and domestic tournaments anymore.

The team has had three wins at the AFC Cup and has won a berth in the second round. They would have made it to the event's quarter-finals or semi-finals.

In the V-League, Ninh Binh is ranked No 11 out of 13 teams and has seven points after eight matches. The match between the team and Hoang Anh Gia Lai tomorrow won't be taken place.

According to Pham Ngoc Vien, VPF's general director, this is unprecedented in Viet Nam's football history. It means the team will stop playing in football events.

Today, the VPF will hold a meeting to resolve the issue.

More coverage from Goal Singapore 

COMMENT - Isn't it lucky we don't have any pf this kind of nonsense on Indonesia!?


Football In North Sulawesi

What the hell has happened to football in North Sulawesi? My first watching the game in Indonesia there were Persimin Minhasa, Persma Manado and Persibom Bolaang Mongadow.

Then the Indonesia Premier League came along and according to this post from 2010, the above three teams to become Manado United.

According to players who played their, the crowds were pretty large and animated.

Now there is nothing again. There is Persigo Gorontalo which is next to North Sulawesi but that is about it.

Even Division One, which I published yesterday, the names from above are strangely missing. Instead, we have PSKT Tomohon!

So, what has happened to football in North Sulawesi?

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Improve Your Geography With Indonesian Football!

These are the groups for Division One, the third tier of football in the country. Games kick off at the end of April...good luck finding a fixture list!
Som interesting names lining up. Persikota are returning after taking a gap year. I have no idea where they will play their home games; a fatwa prevented them using Benteng Stadium in Tangerang a while back and their rivals, Persita, are playing their home games in Karawang.
In my first season covering Indonesian football, Persekabpas had a prety decent season, reaching the play offs. In their ranks that year was agentleman named Zah Rahan who of course went on to play for Sriwijaya and Persipura with such success before heading to Malaysia and Felda United.
Bontang of course were relegated after upsetting the PSSI for some now forgotten reason and must start from scratch.
They are the lucky ones of course. Persibo and Persema must start from Division Three!
Group 11. Aceh Utara FC
2. PS Pidie Jaya
3. Persidi IDI
4. PSAB Aceh Besar
5. Persal Aceh Selatan
6. PSGL Gayo Lues
Group 21. PSSA Asahan
2. Medan United
3. PS TGM Medan
4. Medan Jaya
5. PSTS Tanjung Balai
6. PS Siak
Group 31. Rumbai FC
2. Persiks Kuantan Singingi
3. Persiju sijunjung
4. PSP Padang
5. PS Pasaman Barat
6. Persepak Payakumbuh
Group 41. PS Bungo Jambi
2. PS PLN Jambi
3. PSBL Bandar Lampung
4. Persilat Lampung Tengah
5. Persibabar Bangka Barat
6. Cilegon United FC
Group 51. Perserang Kab Serang
2. Markuban Matador FC
3. Jakarta Timur FC
4. Persikasi Bekasi
5. PSB Bogor
6. PS Kab. Tapin
7. Persikota Tangerang
Group 61. PS. Maung Bandung
2. Persista Sintang
3. PS Uni Bandung
4. Pesik Kuningan
5. Persekap Pekalongan
6. Persibat Batang
Group 71. Persik Kendal
2. Persibas Banyumas
3. ISP Purworejo
4. Persebi Boyolali
5. PSISra Sragen
6. Persipa Pati
7. Tunas Jogja
Group 81. Persatu Tuban
2. Surabaya Muda
3. Persesa Sampang
4. Persikoba Kota Batu
5. Persekabpas Pasuruan
6. Persisum Sumbawa
Group 91. PSID Jombang
2. Persikapro Probolinggo
3. PSIL Lumajang
4. Jember United FC
5. PS. Badung Bali
Group 101. Persikutim
2. Penajam Paser Utara
3. Persipas Paser
4. PS Nunukan
5. Bontang Mitra United FC
6. Persekap Kapuas
7. Bontang FC
Group 111. Persikos Kota Sorong
2. Persisos Sorong Selatan
3. Persinab Nabire
4. Nusa INA FC
5. PSKT Tomohon
Group 12:1. Persitoli Tolikara
2. Persipani Paniai
3. Persewar Waropen
4. Persias Asmat
5. Persiyali Yalimor


Persipura Reach AFC Knock Out Stage

A goal by Boas Solossa in the 75th minute set Persipura on the way to the group stage of the AFC Cup last night in India. The home team pulled one back within 10 minutes by Singh but Persipura had kept their unbeaten run intact.

It is easy to describe the role Solossa plays in the Persipura team. Think Steven Gerrard. He is the local boy done good and with four goals in five group games he is as talismanic as Liverpool's captain.

They play Home United in their final group stage game with the Singapore team knowing they must win to stand a chance of reaching the next stage.

They defeated New Radiant last night 2-0 but remain in 3rd place with a poorer goal difference than Churchill Brothers who travel to the Maldives to take on New Radiant in their final game.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014


ISL Games Rescheduled

The league has stopped for the election. The election has finished and still the league can not start again.

Persik were scheduled to play Persija this Saturday after a lengthy break but that game has been postponed. Why? I really don't know. The police have not released a security clearance which all games need.

And there is more.

Gresik United's game with Pelita Bandung Raya slated for Sunday has been called off which means I imagine PBR's trip to East Java has been called off...their ga,e with Arema next Thursday had alray been moved to accomodate Arema's AFC Cup tie with Selangor.

And Monday;s game between Sriwijaya and Barito Putera has also fallen victim to the trend.

12/04 Persik v Persija 21/04
13/04 Gresik United v PBR 23/04
13/04 Sriwijaya v Barito Putra 04/05


Franchise FC Win First Game In CLeague

OK, so it was 30 March but hey, my internet is pretty slow!

Albirex Niigata have been spreading their presence through South East Asia; first in Singapore's SLeague and this season making their debut in Cambodia's CLeague.

It hasn't been the best of starts for the Japanese side. They lost their first six games, only reversing the trend at the end of March.

25/01 - Boueng Ket 1-4
02/02 - Svar Rieng 2-6
08/02 - Tri Asia 2-8
16/02 - Police Commissary 0-5
23/02 - Naga Corp 0-2
01/03 - Phnom Penh Crown 1-4
30/03 - Western University 2-1

No surprise they are bottom of the 12 team CLeague.

Often many payers from Albirex Niigata have made their back to the mother ship in Japan and made careers there?


Hong Kong, Myanmar Sides Too Much For Tampines, Kelantan

Kitchee v Tampines Rovers 4-0

Something is going on in Hong Kong football that seems to be passing insular South East Asia by. A couple of things of late have made me sit up and take notice...first was Pakistan international Zesh Rehman leaving the 'popular' Thai Premier League's Muang Thong United for a two year stint at Kitchee.

The next was Hong Kong side South China breezing past Tampines Rovers earlier in the year at Jalan Besar Stadium.

Then we had the sight of Kitchee thumping Singapore's finest 5-0 also in Singapore.

I went to Hong Kong and took in a couple of games, check out the pictures on Asian Football Pictures, and came away impressed with what I had seen. Not the biggest teams in the territory but good, footballing sides, committed to attack and playing the ball on the ground.

There must be something in the water up there, or perhaps, even a reasonable, professional management structure in place that is allowing coaches to coach and players to play.

So it was no surprise then to see Kitchee knock Tampines aside last night in the AFC Cup. Yet the Stags need just a draw in their final group stage game at home to Nay Pyi Taw to go through to the next round.

Worryingly, Nay Pyi Taw come from Myanmar

Kelantan v Yangon United 2-3

In their defence, you could argue Kelantan are running on empty as they are in the middle of 14 games in 42 days; a gruelling schedule that would have Jose Mourinho with a stack of excuses up his leave for a tame media yet has the Malaysian journos having a pop at coach Steve Darby.

Yangon, coached by Eric Williams, secured their spot in the next round of the AFC Cup with a hard fought 3-2 at a sparsely stadium in Kota Bahru while Kelantan will be faced with one last battle against South China to avoid bottom place.


Persiraja Withdraw From Divisi Utama

With just days to go before the 2014, Persiraja have decided to withdraw from the competition siting a lack of support from the lcoal government.

Apparently, the local authority had closed the players mess and the club offices. Why? I are better asking me if intelligent life lives on Pluto.

Announcing the decision, the club said the actions of the local government were proof they did not support the local football club.

Of course, the sooner we can get rid of politics from football the better. This week is election week here and the last few months in Aceh have seen plenty of political violence with politicians and party supporters targeted.

If only those people could show as much passion in carrying out their public duties as they do in resolving their personal feuds...

Tuesday, April 08, 2014


Hougang, DPMM On Fire

Hougang United v Tampines Rovers 4-2

I don't think many saw this coming. Saturday night in deepest Hougang, the home town heroes raced into a three goal lead within 12 minutes against SLeague champions Tampines Rovers.

Geison De Carvalho netted twice with the third coming from Diego Gama De Oliviera before half the crowd had finished munching on their free snack designed to attract more fans to the ground as well as rot their teeth.

Aleksander Duric pulled one back for the Stags on the hour mark but Diego restored the three goal advantage just 13 minutes later.

And in a kick in the teeth for those who think Singaporeans don't score enough goals in their own league, Shahdan Sulaiman scored for Tampines with 10 minutes left on the clock but the damage had been done in those opening few minutes and the champions fell to their first defeat of the season.

Home United v Balestier Khalsa 2-1 (Suzukicastanheira Brunojunichi, Li Qiu; Goran Ljubjevic)

Nothing else to add but got to love what Bruno has done to his name!

DPMM v Young Lions 6-1

Young Lions' remit is not to win the SLeague. And they can't get relegate. Their sole purpose in life is to prepare players for the SEA Games and ultimately the national team. Does it work? Well, Singapore won the ASEAN Cup in 2012 if national team success is the yardstick.

Doesn't matter to DPMM who or what the Young Lions are for, they were blown out of the water in Brunei by Steve Kean's side. And it was Young Lions who had the cheek, nay the gall, to take the ead on 23 minutes from Sherif El-Masri.

Red rag, bull and all that. Roy O'Donovan, twice, Rodrigo Antonio Tosi, twice, Roberto Alviz and Azwan Rahman made them pay big time for their affront.

1 - Tampines 6 5 01 14-9 15
2 - DPMM 6 4 1 1 14-4 13
3 - Warriors 6 4 1 1 10-5 13
4 - Hougang 6 3 2 1 13-10 11

Monday, April 07, 2014


T Team Sign Ex Glass Bunny Leandro

Brazilian striker Leandro Dos Santos has joined Malaysian Super League side T Team. He formerly played for Army United, Police United and Bangkok Glass and will be remembered for his first season with Army when he scored a lot of goals.

Mind, you would never know it was Leandro who T Team had signed. The Malaysian papers don't seem to have done any fact checking so they are all spelling his name wrong.

Saturday, April 05, 2014


Ajax Heading to Indonesia

Ajax Amsterdam have announced they will be visiting Indonesia in May and Jakarta Casual can exclusively reveal Dennis Bergkamp will not be part of the travelling party so there!

The club announced the tour on their website but no more details were forthcoming.

Rather worryingly, the secretary general of the PSSI had this to say about the tour.

'PSSI have not yet had a report about Ajax's planned tour. We appreciate their plan to come here. But, if it is true they are coming in May, the chance they can play the national team is very slim because they will be preparing for the Asean Cup later this year. Probably they will play either Indonesia U23 of an Indonesia Select,' said Joko Driyono.


Why not get creative. Why not have Ajax play a couple of club sides? Stop this nonsense of Select this or All Star that...bloody awful constructs.


Rebranding Familiar Names

Back in 2011 Persema and Persibo are two of the Indonesia Super League clubs who hitched their cart to the wrong pony when they withdrew from the ISL to join the Premier League, remember, the one that was going to change the game?

Memories seem to be long in football about certain matters here and this coming season will not see Persema or Persibo in either the ISL or Divisi Utama. Instead, they have to work their up from the very bottom.

Well, now both clubs from East Java are starting the long, lonely road back to the top hoping a rebranding can help extinguish some of the bad vibes hanging around them.

Persema, who went retro last year with a crest and kit reverting back to their early days, are now calling themselves Persema 1953 while Persibo are also calling on their history by rebranding themselves Persibo 1949.

Persibo, now matter what they call themselves, may have a tougher task of rehabilitating themselves after a humiliating AFC Cup campaign that saw them losing 8-0 away to Hong Kong side Sunray Cave JC Sun Hei after 65 minutes only for the ref to call the game off because Persibo were only left with six players after a series of injuries.

Their record in that campaign is worth recalling.

Yangon United v Persibo 3-0
Persibo v New Radiant 0-7
Persibo v Sun Hei 3-3
Sun Hei v Persibo 8-0
Persibo v Yangon United 1-7
New Radiant v Persibo 6-1

They finished fourth, no shit, with one point, scoring five goals and conceding 34.

The club patently had no money and it seems like everyone just left them out to dry and sod the reputation of Indonesian football.

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Persida Coach Slams 'Verification' Process

I don't think I have ever written about Persida Sidoarjo before.

This will be their first season in Divisi Utama for bloody ages if indeed at all and their preparations aren't going too well if the stories circulating today are to be believed.

Apparently, coach Freddy Muli has been talking about the state of the club with less than two weeks before the season begins.

The players have yet to sign contracts with the club and have been receiving Rp 50,000 a day training expenses! That is just over three quid in English money.

Freddy too is waiting his cash and his words would be making a splash if they were uttered by a Mourinho or Wenger.

'This is what our football is like,' he is quoted as saying. 'I don't understand how this can be called a professional league and,' in a dig at the people who run the game 'I don't understand how (the club) can pass the verification stage.'

'It is very difficult for the players who have families to take care of but I am sure Persida are not the only club to be in this situation.'

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Friday, April 04, 2014


Warriors Edge Woodlands As Stewart Linked With Newcastle Jets

This used to be quite a fesity affair. Back in the day when Warriors were known as SAFFC and won the SLeague as if by right and Woodlands were always at the bottom, the Woodlands fans took no crap from their illustrious neighbours.

I recall one game at Woodlands Stadium where the PA at the end of the game advised the travelling SAFFC support to stay inside the ground for a bit while security waited for the angry home fans to go home! Ahh, happy days.

Certainly, the SLeague needs a crunch match and not the corporate monstrosity East Coast Derby or the one time Uniform Derby. The sooner the Singapore authorities realise football culture spreads from the bottom up and is not imposed from on high, think free ice cream, dancers, clappers and the bloody awful PA at games, the better.

Anyway, I digress dear reader.

Miroslav Pejic, no relation to Mike or Mel I guess, scored the only goal of the game for the Warriors on 34 minutes from the penalty spot, keeping up his goal a game average.

The win moved Warriors to second in the table while inflicting Woodlands first defeat of the season

2 - Warriors 6 4 1 1 10-5 13
8 - Woodlands 6 1 4 1 7-7 7

Before the game came news that Woodlands coach Darren Stewart was being eyed as a possible candidate for Newcastle Jets in next season's ALeague.

47 year old Stewart, who led Balestier Khalsa to the League Cup last season before being released, was born in Newcastle and had three spells with Newcastle Breakers during a career that also saw him play for APIA, Johor and Balestier Central.

This is not the first time Stewart's name has come up. Late last year there were rumours Newcastle, sorry I cannot call a football team Jets, were considering the former Socceroo as a replacement for Gary van Egmond

Thursday, April 03, 2014


Rampant Stags Claw Back Into AFC Cup Contention

There may have been people out there ready to write off Tampines Rovers chances in the AFC Cup after Kitchee went to Jalan Besar and hit them 5-0 in the first group stage game.

After they travelled to Myanmar and were beaten 3-1 by Nay Pyi Taw they were ready for the last rites out in eastern Singapore for the team that plays in western Singapore.

But credit to the team, they have fought back in impressive style.

A pair from Miljan and one from Closa Gonzales saw Tampines defeat Pune 3-1 and just to show that was no fluke, the Stags went to India and done a better job, defeating them 5-2!

Miljan gave the SLeague champions the lead on five minutes but within 14 minutes they were 2-1 down but an equaliser by Jamil Ali just before half time sent the sides into the break at 2-2.

Second half saw experienced campaigners Alex Duric, with a brace, and Mustafic Fahruddin score to give the Stags an impressive 5-2 away win against bottom placed Pune.

The fixtures don't get any easier with Kitchee in Hong Kong on 8 April likely to be a tough trip if that first game is anything to go by, followed by Nay Pyi Taw at home on 22 April.

Getting anything from unbeaten Kitchee will be a tough ask but with the Myanmar team hosting cellar dweller Pune on the same evening that is what the Stags must aim for if they are to remain alive in the competition.

Defeat in Hong Kong and victory for Nay Pyi Taw will see the Myanmar men go second with a better goal difference leaving everything to play for in the final group game between the two teams.

An exciting campaign but perhaps Tampines will be ruing the first two ties that ended in defeat. But they have turned things would be a shame to see it crumble at the final hurdle.

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Persikad Add Familiar Names

Persikad Depok are back in the big time. Well, the Divisi Utama at least.

And for the new season they have signed two of the most experienced foreign players around.

Chilean central defender Patricio Jiminez has been in Indonesia since before independence from the Dutch* and the list of clubs he has played for looks like a Persi... reunion.

Deep breath...  Semen Padang, Sriwijaya, Persib, PSMS, Persisam, Bontang, PSIS, Persitara and most recently Persip.

The we have Jean Paul Boumsong, recently released by Persik after a few games.

Since he arrived in Indonesia in 2005 he has worn the colours of Persitara, PSIS, Persisam, Persikad, Persipasi, Persikabo, PSSB, Persiram, Persebaya and of course Persik.

The Cameroon born striker is now looking forward to his second spell in Depok.

*This is of course bullshit!

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