Thursday, April 29, 2010
Results 29/04 - Bambang breaks drought
Persija v PSM 2-0 (OG, Bambang Pamungkas)
Thai Under 23 Squad
Kawin Thammasatchanon - Muang Thong United
Samuel Por Cunningham - TOT-CAT
Ukrit Wongmeena - Buriram P.E.A
Todsapon Sri-Rueng - TTM Phichit
Suttinan Phuk-hom - Chonburi
Polawat Wangkahart - TOT-CAT
Arthit Duangsawang - TOT-CAT
Teeratorn Boonamatan - Buriram P.E.A
Sujarit Jantakul - Sri Racha
Nawapol Tantraseni - Muangthong United
Kosawat Wongwailikit - Osotspa Saraburi
Polawat Pinkong - Bangkok United
Adulchai Sansook - TTM Phichit
Wichaya Dechmitr - Bangkok Glass
Surachet Ngamtip - Bangkok Glass
Anawin Jujeen - Bangkok Glass
Wannapon Buspakom - Bangkok Glass
Kabfah Boonmatoon - Osotspa Saraburi
Kriangkhai Pimrat - Chonburi
Attapong Nooprom - Chonburi
Phuritat Jarikanon - Chonburi
Ekkachai Sumrei - Thai Port
Alef Poh-ji - Thai Port
Jakkapan Keawprom - Muang Thong United
Jakkpan Poonsai - Police United
Polawut Donjui - Buriram P.E.A
Natarid Thammarodsapon - BEC Tero
Teerasil Dangda - Muang Thong United
Ronnachai Rangsiyo - Muang Thong United
Chayanan Pombuppha - Muang Thong United
Keerati Keawsombat - Buriram P.E.A
Issarapong Lilakorn - Thai Port
Sittipan Chumchuay - Samut Songkhram
Wantorn In-utane - TTM Phichit
The Thai squad for the Asian Games will be centred on many of these players...possibly.
Tantan to Persib?
He runs his socks off for the cause and is also a dab hand with set pieces. Yesterday he scored both goals to help Persitara defeat Persib 2-1 and afterwards admitted that he would be sorely tempted if Persib tried to sign him.
That's one thing about Persitara. They lack the budgets of other ISL clubs and their forward planning makes others look Soviet like. This means they are left picking up players no one else wanted and of they do the business for the North Jakarta side they will be picked up.
A couple of examples from last season include John Tarkpor, Mostapha Aji and Rachmat Rivai.
Going down - A look at the fight to avoid relegation
12 Persela 29 11 5 13 33-40 38
13 Persisam 30 10 7 13 32-37 37
14 Persijap 30 10 7 13 35-43 37
15 Persebaya 29 10 6 13 39-44 36
16 Persik 29 9 8 12 37-48 35
17 Pelita Jaya 31 7 9 15 32-48 30
18 Persitara 31 7 6 18 34-52 27
Despite winning games against Persib (2-1) and Sriwijaya (5-1) Persitara's ISL future is finely balanced. Persebaya need one more point and that would guarantee Persitara a play off spot at best. And this weekend Persebaya play Persik at neutral Yogyakarta in a crucial game people like to call a six pointer.
With a decision finally made regarding Persikabo, their three point deduction was reimposed, now Persisam are sweating. They too received a similar punishment handed down by FIFA but the Indonesian FA over ruled it. Now, will it be reimposed?
Of course it's all irrelevant if the powers that be exert those powers and change the league format one more time, doing away with pesky inconvenient things like relegation.
Sleman - Sports City
Sleman is small town just outside Yogyakarta in Indonesia. It boasts a spectacular San Siro type stadium and a football team currently in the Indonesia Premier League.
It's close to a number of tourist attractions, most notably Borobudur, one of the world's great temples, and nearby is a railway station and an airport.
The team are PSS and just about avoided relegation last season to the badlands of Division One but a look at their attendances suggest a passion on the terraces that surely puts them on a par with Singapore, if not Melbourne. An average attendance of 7,206 isn't such a bad return is it?
v Persiram 5,328
v Perseman 3,144
v PSBL 5,237
v Persipro 4,247
v PSIM 14,567
v Persigo 8,784
v Persibo 8,769
v PS Mojokerto Putra 6,743
v Persiku 6,143
v PSIR 8,998
This made me laugh
I mean London has football teams like Brentford and Millwall in the lower leagues that attract attendances of 7,000. Arsenal get 60,000. Chelsea get 40,000. Even a shit West Ham get about 35,000.
How the hell can Singapore be rated better? Oh, I see. Next year they are holding the World Netball Championship!
Woo bloody woo.
Melbourne has a similar population to Singapore but last weekend 94,000 turned out to watch Essendon play Collingwood in the AFL. Singapore struggles to attract 1,500 to its own domestic league games.
Even putting Singapore in the same sentence as sport and Melbourne does the Australian city a great disservice. Perhaps Singapore and Lightning Ridge but then the New South Wales town has never hosted a world netball event.
As ever it seems the people behind these bloody nonsense awards put political considerations above merit. I like Singapore but as a sporting destination it is purely Conference standard. One F1 Grand Prix a year does not great make.
AFC Cup Round of 16
Al Karamah (SYR) (A1) vs Nasaf (UZB) (C2)
Kazma (KUW) (C1) vs Shabab Al Ordon (JOR) (A2)
Al Rayyan (QAT) (E1) vs Muang Thong United (THA) (G2)
South China (HKG) (G1) vs Al Riffa (BAH) (E2)
Kuwait SC (KUW) (B1) vs Al Ittihad (SYR) (D2)
Sriwijaya (IDN) (F1) vs Thai Port (THA) (H2)
Shb Da Nang (VIE) (H1) vs Becamex Binh Duong (VIE) (F2)
Al Qadsia (KUW) (D1) vs Churchill Brothers (IND) (B2)
Indonesia Cup 2nd Round
Sriwijaya, PSMP, Persija, Persisam
Bandung or Surabaya
Persib, Persebaya, Persibo, Bontang
Arema, Persidafon, Pelita Jaya, Persela
Persipura, Persikabo, Persik, PSM
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Persipura v Changchan Yatai 2-0 (Eduard Ivakdalam, Yustinus Pae) 500
Without their first choice strike force of Boas Solossa and Alberto Goncalves Persipura still managed their first win of a hapless Champions League campaign against the team that beat them 9-0 earlier.
Selangor v Sriwijaya 0-4 (Keith Kayamba Gumbs 2, Richard Obiaora, Ponaryo Astaman) 2,200
Victory v Binh Duong 0-5 (Kelsey Alves 2, Lancelot 2, Ngyuen Anh Duc)1,350
Indonesia Super League
Persitara v Persib 2-1 (Tantan 2; Airlangga) 5,000
Bontang v Persijap 4-1 (Aldo Baretto 3, Kenji Adichihara; Pablo Frances) 7,500
Persisam v Persela 2-0 (Ronald Fagundez, Irsyad Aras) 10,275
There was only ever going to be one winner today and it wasn't the team from Bandung. A penalty given, hmm, a penalty not given, hmm. You just knew there was going to be a winner and Tantan's second attempt after his free kick hot the wall deflected past Markus Horison for a last gasp winner. Oh and Budi Sudarsono got red after slapping someone but he wasn't on the field long enough to spit out his gum.
Sengkang Punggol v Tampines Rovers 0-3 (Khairul Amri, Qiu Li)
I love the sound of breaking glass
With an annual budget that wouldn't cover the laundry expenses at an English Premier League club, Richard Bok's men have made their first, slight, dent on the greater Asian football map. But as things stand they can proceed no further.
The Singapore FA announced some plan a few weeks back to carry football forward but as with many big plans it was like a political manifesto; high on grandiose aims, low on strategies of how to reach them.
If Singapore wants to give it's SLeague champions a chance of having a real go in Asia it needs to give them the tools to do that. And it needs to lift the rules that prevent them from having a decent pop.
Salary caps work well in pointless sports in pointless countries who face no overseas rivals. They don't work in football. It's time for the FA to chuck those useless shackles and allow the Warriors to get out there and compete. For sponsorship, for players, the whole bloody nine yards.
And with a straight face
- Persiwa manager has been banned for two games from going into the dressing rooms, going on the field, sitting on the bench etc
- Persiwa officials have been fined 25 million rupiah for behaving badly in two home games against Pelita Jaya and Persiwa. Their home game against Persik must be played at a neutral venue.
- Persisam assistant manager has been banned for six games from going into the dressing rooms, going on the field, sitting on the bench etc
- Persisam captain has been fined 25 million for behaving badly
Other posts about this story here and here
$107 a minute!
The two players had breached Clause 8(i) of the FAS Code of Conduct & Professional Ethics for National Players by failing to be punctual for the departure of the team from the hotel at 1545hrs on Wednesday 3 March 2010 for the AFC Asian Cup Qualifier against Jordan in Amman by turning up to board the scheduled team bus at about seven (7) minutes late.
The fine of S$750 is to be paid within 30 days of being given notice of the Disciplinary Committee verdict.
Said Baihakki, “I would like apologise to coach Raddy and my team-mates as well as to all Singapore fans. As a National Team player, what happened was not acceptable and there can be no excuses. I’m proud to represent my country and I look forward to having the opportunity to fight for honours for Singapore for many years to come.”
Said Ridhuan, “I am very sorry about what happened and I want to put this episode behind and move on. If I am called up for the National Team, I will always give 100% and this will never happen again.”
The above is an official Football Association of Singapore press release. Below are just the words of some geezer with way too much free time
COMMENT - they have also been told to buy a new alarm clock and for future away trips will be kept on a leash. I understand a further sanction was considered, being locked in a room with no windows listening to Michael Bolton and Phil Collins non stop for three days but this was considered a tad unfair.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Suwon Bluewings v SAFFC 6-2 (;Frederico Martinez, Lovric)
Persiwa v Muang Thong United 2-2 (Eddie Boakay Foday, Eric Lewis Weeks; Datsakonr Thongla, Mohamed Kone) 400
Geylang United v Da Nang (Peter Tomko; Gaston Merlo) 1,076
Thai Port v Tai Po 2-0 (Isarapong, Niroot) 600
Selangor v Sriwijaya
Dear Football Club Owner
I think I am perfectly qualified for the job. I have a big body which I means I should get to feature prominently on the bench and I will get lots of TV coverage which will help the team.
I also have many mobile phones. This means I can look exceedingly busy when the camera is focusing on me and, perhaps more importantly, I can easily pass instructions to the coach while I am sat in the VIP stand with very important people. Obviously if I can tell the coach to make a substitution and we win the game this means I look big and powerful which also helps the club.
I also have many good friends in good jobs. For example I have a brother who owns hotels throughout the region and we can get good rates at his chain. For example if we have a game in Jakarta we could stay in Sukabumi, if we play in Bangkok we could stay in Saraburi and if we play in Singapore we could stay in Batam. See, we can save money on hotels which also helps the club.
I also know a bit about training methods because one of my girlfriends used to work at Gold's Gym. It is very important players spend as much time as possible doing stamina work and places like Sukabumi are perfect because they have lots of hills. Improving the players fitness levels also improves the club's health.
I am a firm believer in delegation and I would allow the coach to do whatever he wishes with the players I have given him. I know lots about football because I play Football Manager computer game and the coach should have enough experience to know when he needs extra advise from someone who knows more than him and this would also help the team.
I have an auntie who works for a newspaper so I can make sure we get good press all the time. We live in the information age so we need to tell people about the club on a regular basis and they would print what we tell them to print.
I also am a firm believer in IT and am keen to exploit the full potential of the internet. My six year old is a whizz with software and can do us an excellent, reasonably priced website complete with animations, scrolling text and flashing lights which would make the club look cool which would really help us.
I am also a team player and am ready to tell the coaching staff and players how to be successful.
I look forward to hearing from you
Blah Blah Brown Stripey Shirt
New club with big ambitions in Vietnam
The 24-man strong team was established by the Megastar United Football Development Co. Ltd. and was built from players which came in third in the national Under-19 competition.
Club president Le Van Toan said Megastar United plan to take part in in Vietnam’s second division football league with goals to develop a football training centre in co-ordination with foreign clubs.
The squad will be fitted out in mainly red and blue kit with yellow being the alternate colour.
COMMENT - truly a daft name and why does every team have to be a United when they most definitely are not united in heritage or origin?
Malaysia keep the focus on the national team
The team under the guidance of head coach K. Rajagobal has also drawn up matches several matches in Malaysia against teams from the Middle East and also Africa as part of their overall programme.
“We are always making an effort to hold talks with several countries in an effort to gain further exposure for this team,” said Datuk Azuddin Ahmad, the general secretary of the FA of Malaysia (FAM).
“We are still in the discussion stage and have not decided on the teams or the dates of these matches.
“Other than these two assignments, we are also planning to have a game against a team from the English Premier League in August. Which team that will be will be made known at a later date.”
COMMENT - Indonesia don't even have a coach. Talk of a tournament to celebrate 80 years of the FA was just that. Malaysia on the other hand have a team already in Slovakia and now this on the agenda. Things could look very interesting indeed in five years time if the Malaysians continue this investment.
Learning from the Thais
Contrasting Persiwa and Muang Thong would be pointless. That's like comparing a night on Jalan Jaksa with a night at the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok.
If I were Persiwa, or indeed any ISL team I would be hanging on to Muang Thong's every word and every utterance. I would be looking at their training, their professionalism and seeing what is needed to make a football club.
Forget Asia at the moment Indonesia makes no impression on South East Asia despite the ludicrous targets set automatically each year. This year they have to win the SAFF Cup even though they have no coach!
Indonesian football needs to recognise this and set out about rectifying it. One way they could do that is to send coaches and administrators to well run clubs in the region and see how they do things. OK, not the administrators who have enough free jaunts already.
Demanding players do extra stamina work, believe it or not, is not going to improve the team.
Pasoepati - Loyal Supporters
Their average attendance of 11,994 would have been much higher but for the Gresik United game. As it stands it is higher than Indonesia Super League sides like Persiwa, Persitara and Pelita Jaya. It is also higher than the ISL average in 2008/2009 and the VLeague in 2009.
And next season, despite boasting some of the best supporters in the league, despite boasting one of the best stadiums in the country Persis Solo will be as good as off the footballing map as they ply their trade in Indonesia's 3rd tier.
v Persikota 2-0 8,000
v Persikab 0-0 17,000
v Mitra Kukar 1-0 12,875
v Deltras 0-0 15,325
v Persiba 0-1 11,765
v Pro Duta 0-0 14,067
v PP Sakti Magelang 1-1 11,726
v PSIS 0-3 20,967
v Gresik United 0-0
v Persidafon 0-2 8,116
Results 25/26 April - Julius Chukwumeka hits five
Persija v Persiba 3-0 (serge Emelau 2, Aliyudin) 20,075
Woodlands Wellington v Albirex Niigata 1-2 (Abdelhadi Laakkad; Shota Matsuoka, Tatsuro Inui) 1,235
Woodlands stay bottom of the table.
Myanmar National League
Okkthar United v Kanbawza 0-2
Zeyar Shwe Myay v Nay Pyi Taw 0-0
Kanbawza lead the MNL with ZSM second on goal difference
Phnom Penh Crown v Khemara Kheila 2-2 (Mpoko Oscar, Uche Prince Justine; Sophal Udom 2)
Prek Pra Keila v Build Bright United 1-4 (Philip Ali; Chan Pech Chealy, Prum Puth Sethy 2,Phin Pheara)
Preah Khan Reach v Naga Corp 2-2 (Devide Njoku, Nzekwest Udorjia Anthony; Teab Vatanak, Joseph Oyewole)
Kirivong Sok Sen Chey v Chhma Khmao 8-0 (Julius Chukwumeka 5,Ndukwe Felix Obinna,Mich Sophasith, In Vichheka)
Is Devide Njoku brother of former Gombak United striker Kingsley? Is Julius related to former Persipura striker Ernest Jeremiah? I am really that sad that I've taken to looking for familial links in African footballers in South East Asia?!
AFF Cup Draw
The federation said it chose Hanoi because Vietnamese football fans are among the craziest in the world and Vietnam has successfully organized big regional football events in the past.
Vietnam and Indonesia will be co-hosts of the biennial regional event, formerly called the Tiger Cup. Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, East Timor and the Philippines will play the qualifying round in Laos from October 16-26.
The best two teams of the qualifying round will compete with reigning champions Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Singapore, who have byes to the contest.
The teams in Group A play on December 1, 4 and 7 while Group B matches will take place on December 2, 5 and 8.
The semifinal first leg matches will be on December 15 and 16 and the second leg games will be on December 18 and 19. The final first and second leg matches will take place on December 26 and 29.
New Warriors told to pull their weight
In a local newspaper today comes quotes from unnamed players questioning the effort of the new signings.
Singapore's most successful team aren't used to having their inner workings examined, it's a military thing, and the headlines won't be well received at Choa Chu Kang. But you don't win the SLeague year after year by being complacent and Richard Bok will have been watching videos of past games and, as he warns in the interview, if players aren't doing their thang he won't hesitate to make changes.
Monday, April 26, 2010
No one told me
I had assumed the game kicked off at 7pm. Persija games at the weekend normally do. Anyways, it was what the paper said.
5pm I get stuck in the mother of all traffic jams at the Jakarta Convention Centre, right next to the Bung Karno Stadium. Nothing is moving save for a few orange clad scamps heading away from the stadium.
Thinking the game had been cancelled at the last minute I called the top guy at the Jakmania, Danang who tells me the game has 15 minutes to go and Persija are winning 3-0. Oh, he adds helpfully, there's about 10,000 fans locked out the ground. And I'm in the middle of them.
The game had kicked off at 3.30 and obviously everyone knew about it except for me. So we sat in the traffic and didn't move. The game ended and more fans spilled out into the streets causing more congestion. Buses were trying to U turn, fans were crossing the road and the sun was setting.
It takes two hours to fly from Jakarta to Lombok or Kuala Lumpur. Or drive from JCC to Plaza Senayan!
Now despite what the English language media might have you believe here in Jakarta, wherever two or three football fans are gathered does not guarantee violence. Fans locked out the stadium were singing and dancing on the buses, sitting on the central reservation and generally waiting patiently to go home.
Contrast this with the middle class burghers of this here town who sit safely ensconsed in their air conditioned SUVs, playing with their latest mobile phones and tooting their horns angrily. I know which way I'd rather spend a traffic jam but hey! Percieved status means jack shit to me.
It's worth pointing out amid the stationary traffic there were a few hardy souls from the Persija Supporters Club who were doing their best to help the traffic at least inch forward as well as telling kids to get down off the roofs of their adopted traffic.
There's an idea. Why don't the 'pwoper' journalists, the ones that do it for a living, the ones who should be looking for stories and not just pandering to prejudices, why don't they spend a day with the Jakmania. Talk with the people at the top, see how the Korlaps and Korwils try to keep passions in check and focussed on their team. You know, I believe they used to call it 'investigative journalism' as opposed to the usual regurtitation.
Anyway if you wanna party your way through a traffic jam, here's how the Jakmania do it!
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Indonesia Super League Title Race
1 - Arema 29 19 3 7 43-14 60
2 - Persipura 29 15 11 3 56-29 56
Both teams end the season with three home games and two away. The away games, as ever in Indonesia, will be crucial. Persipura, distracted by an irrelevant AFC Champions League tie midweek, have to play Persib Bandung next weekend followed by Sriwijaya. Neither will be easy. Both teams are hurting after expensively assembled squads failed to make any real impact on the title race.
Neither concede much at home. Persib have won 11 and drawn one of their 12 home games, conceding a miserly six goals along the way. Sriwijaya have drawn three and lost one. Fans there expect to win and you can be sure they will not allow their teams to stumble.
Arema have to travel to Jakarta and Pekanbaru. Their last game of the season is at Bung Karno against Persija and if the title rests on that game they could have 10,000 fans travelling for the game. Persija have only pride to play for but if you ask their fans I think they would be quite happy to see Arema crowned champions.
Crucially ahead of their final game at home to Persiwa (?!) Persipura will have a 10 day break at home. No such luck for Arema who first have to travel to Pekanbaru to take on the meanest home defence in the league before their game against Persija.
A gentle home run then for Persipura against three teams with among the worst away records in the league; just one win each and Persiwa's was awarded to them after their game against Persija was cancelled at the last minute.
If Persipura get nothing from their last two away games the race could be over, assuming Arema collect maximum points at home.
It's proving to be a fascinating run in with uniquely Indonesian factors thrown in to the mix. Where's that fence?
02/05 Persib v Persipura
04/05 Arema v Persela
05/05 Sriwijaya v Persipura
16/05 Arema v Persisam, Persipura v Persebaya
19/05 Arema v Bontang, Persipura v Persik
26/05 PSPS v Arema
30/05 Persija v Arema, Persipura v Persiwa
Indonesia Premier League Play Offs
The Big 8 play offs featurning the top two in each Premier League Division and two best of the rest, have still not been finalised. Instead of going ahead next weekend in Sidoarjo (?) and Bone (!) the games have been put back a couple of weeks for the not alltogether unreasonable excuse that the teams haven't been finalised.
Now in most countries the final arbiter of who does what and goes where is the league table but this is Indonesia and sometimes the tables do lie.
I've covered it before but it's worth recapping. Persikabo missed out on a play off spot because they got dropped points by FIFA because they didn't pay one player what he was entitled to a few years ago. Instead PS Mojokerto Putra earned themselves a play off spot by that new fangled idea called merit.
Persikabo appealled. They said it wasn't fair and look at Persisam. Indeed, let's look at Persisam. They too got into trouble for not paying someone and they too got fined by FIFA and they too had points deducted. Except that the last sanction was over ruled locally. So Persikabo's appeal is based on the fact that it ain't fair that Persisam keep their points while they don't.
Initially it looked like the FA here decided to side with Persikabo. After all if they start punishing clubs who don't fulfill contracts we'd end up with a three team league. But the media took up the story with gutso and a decision that would normally be made in a smoky backroom far from prying eyes suddenly became a cause celebre and back page news on a daily basis.
While this was going on it was announced that Bone, a town in South Sulawesi bereft of any kind of top flight football team, would be one of the hosts of the play offs, whenever they happened and whoever played.
In their haste to select Bone it seems that a few minor points had been overlooked. Small things like the TV channel broadcasting the games had no facilities there. The company sponsoring the IPL had no branch there. Minor details easy to overlook I'm sure you agree.
The latest re the stadiums, I think, is that Sidoarjo and Makassar will host one group each. Why anyone should consider South Sulawesi is beyond me as they have no teams being represented though it maybe interesting for cynics to note that the FA head hails from there.
Back to who will actually compete. Semen Padang are there as are Persipasi, Persiba Bantul, Deltras, Persiram, Persidafon and Persibo. And either Persikabo or PS Mojokerto Putra.
Amid all this nonsense no one has explained yet why Persikabo, even if they do get their points back, are being considered at all. Because Persita will still finish above them anyone so even by stretching the rules they would still miss out.
And, yup, there's more, it could all be irrelevant anyway if the talk of no relegation and 10 teams being added to the Indonesia Super League has any truth in it. Guess what. The top three in each of the regional groupings would rise a division and guess who the next best team would be, assuming their points are returned?
Dostoevsky has nothing on this place.
UPDATE - and now this from today's Jakarta Globe. Are FIFA finally getting embarrassed by the antics here. And do the local FA care enough anyway?
FIFA Fair Play
And they won 4-1! Imagine what would have happened had their local heroes lost!
Actually it's not that hard to imagine. Remember last season's Copa Indonesia Final where a Persipura player headbutted the ref and the team walked off? Remember earlier in the season how they apparently trashed their dressing room after they lost to Arema? Remember how they threatened the Persema players when they lost at the Gajayana Stadium?
So while the Indonesian champions seem to be able to do what the hell they want in their own country when they get on the international stage they seem happy enough to roll over and have their bellies stroked, revelling in near minus temperatures and cricket score defeats.
What would an outsider make of it all?
SAFFC cashing in on historic win
You can now buy official replica shirts just like what the team wore that night. Buy the shirt and not only do you get the shirt, they will throw in a free bag as well!
I won't be rushing down to Choa Chu Kang Stadium to buy a shirt. That would be sad, flying all that way just for a shirt that won't fit me anyway. But that's not the reason. Nope, I won't be buying one 'cos it looks like a Sunday League shirt from the cricket!
Fair play to SAFFC for making the effort. Thai clubs are leading the way in this field of course but it's about time Singapore considered it.
Jakarta Casual TV
Firing blanks in Myanmar
Yadarnabon v Yangon United 0-0
Magway v Delta United 0-0
1 - Zeyar Shwe Myay 4 4 0 0 6-0 12
2 - Kanbawza 4 3 1 0 5-0 9
Champions held by Peter Butler's Yangon United. Leaders Zeyar Shwe Myay play Nay Pyi Taw while Kanbawza face Sivaji's Okkthar United. Both games today.
Johor win the Johor Derby
KL v Perak 2-1
KL PLUS v Kelantan 0-3
Pahang v Kedah 2-1
Terengganu v Perlis 4-0
Johor FC v Johor 3-0
1 - Selangor 12 9 2 1 30-8 29
2 - Terengganu 12 8 2 2 28-9 26
3 - Kelantan 12 7 4 1 20-4 25
4 - Johor FC 12 8 1 3 20-8 25
Roekito steps down
As it is the Persija curse strikes the Balikpapan boys again. Last season coach Peter Butler was fired just days before they were due to play the Kemayoran Tigers and now this...forget the ides of March it's Jakarta coaches need to be wary of.
Personally I would like to see Roekito at a bigger club. His teams play a cavalier, attacking football and this season, thanks to inheriting a defence featuring the likes of Mijo Dadic and keeper I Made Wirawan, he has a stronger spine than many of his past teams.
I will never forget the Persik team he led to Liga Indonesia title glory back in 2006 and their efforts in the subsequent Asian Champions League. Sexy football ala Roekito.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Results 24/04 - Persipura win top of table clash
Persipura v Arema 4-1 (Boaz Solossa, Ortisan Solossa, Steve Bonisapia; Pierre Njanka)
Persitara v Sriwijaya 5-1 (Prince Bello Kabir, Tantan; Rachmat Rivai)
Pelita Jaya v Persib 2-1 (Marwan,;) Images
Persisam v Persijap 5-0 (Pipat Thonkanya 2,)
Bontang v Persela 4-1 (Kenji Adichihara 2, Aldo Baretto 2; Dicky Firasat)
PSM v Persiwa 2-0 (Jung Hwan Park, Shin Hyu Joon)
Persipura are now just four points behind leaders Arema, both teams having five games remaining. Crucially the Papuans, who won the ISL last year, are at home for their last two games while Arema take to the road.
It was Persitara who had spent the best part of 20 hours on a train but you would never have believed it when they came up against Sriwijaya. The team known as Laskar Wong Kito, Our People's Army, won the championship and Copa Indonesia in 2008. In 2009 they won the Copa again. This season they are through to the next round of both the rebranded Indonesia Cup and the AFC Cup. Yet on today's showing you would think they're all but relegated. Woeful performance.
Crowd trouble marred the West Java derby between Pelita Jaya and Persib as the Bandung side fell again on the road. Wednesday they are due to play Persitara in Jakarta but will they be allowed to have their fans travel?
PSM made it four straight wins and are now 6th. So much for their relegation worries! Bontang's double act shared the goals against Persela with Kenji, in his first ISL season, now on 13 for the season.
Tampines Rovers v Geylang United 0-1 (Masrezwan Masturi) 1,536
Well, well, well. This has put the cat among the pigeons. Or the eagle among the stags. Instead of being four points clear Tampines, suffering their first defeat of the season, now just have a one point cushion ahead of Etoile
Thai Premier League
Samut Songkram v Raj Navy Rayong 1-0
Bangkok Glass v Muang Thong United 1-0
TOT v Thai Port 2-1
Army v Bangkok United
Well, well, well. Again. Strongly fancied Muang Thong United, like Tampines, suffered their first defeat of the season against the Glass Bunny (!) who had been slow starters.
Malaysia Super League
Negeri Sembilan v Penang 4-0
Friday, April 23, 2010
Results 23/04 - It's about the football, stupid!
Persebaya v Persema 1-0 (Andik Virmansyah)
Persema's dreams of cup success ended this afternoon when a side ravaged by injuries and suspensions were well beaten by Persebaya.
Persidafon v Persipro 2-0
Etoile v SAFFC 3-0 (Cyril Bagnost, Kevin Yann, Frederic Mendy)
French import side Etoile responded to a week of negativity by returning to form, beating champions SAFFC at Jalan Besar tonight. They move second behind leaders Tampines while SAFFC now look back on three defeats in their last five games.
TPL's first weekend casualty
Arsenal play in Thailand
Get real Thailand
Now though it seems to be fading into irrelevancy.
Putting aside the energy sapping pre season which lasted longer than a flight to Jupiter a series of events swirling round Thailand is buffeting the game leaving people confused and uncertain.
Back in 2008 Thaksin's puppets stormed Bangkok's airport for several days (sorry, been reliably informed I have got my reds and yellows arse around tit!) forcing the ASEAN Football Federation to move the AFF Cup group games, originally scheduled for Bangkok, south to the island resort of Phuket.
The Thai Premier League 2010 has been blighted by cancellations and venue changes as football authorities struggle to keep the game on an even keel while rival political camps, dressed in red and yellow and festooned with garlands 'cos Thais are friendly and avoid conflict, turn Bangkok into their own private battleground.
AFC Cup ties featuring Thai Port and Muang Thong United have also been relocated to the more peaceful Phuket - a slap in the face for Muang Thong who aren't even in Bangkok.
All this makes Worawi's claim, not for the first time, to bring England to Bangkok next June a bit disingenuous. In case the FA head hasn't noticed, people are dying on the streets of Bangkok.
You could say that, by bringing up the England question again, the FA are trying to give the impression business is normal but business sure ain't normal when grenades are being chucked around the business area and games are being shifted hundreds of miles south.
In case memories are short in Bangkok I would respectfully (!) remind them that last year Manchester United pulled a friendly game in Jakarta two or three days before it was due to be played after the hotel they were staying in was targetted by terrorists.
Insurance plays as much a part of these foreign jaunts as sponsorship, politics and football (in that order). If insurance companies slap a huge premium on a toruing English party or won't cover them at all then all the name dropping in the world will not bring them over.
UPDATE - this article suggests if a game goes ahead it would be for political reasons.
C League Standings & Scorers
2 - Naga Corp 3 2 1 0 8-2 7
3 - National Defence 3 2 1 0 8-3
5 goals - Uche Prince Justine (Phnom Penh Crown)
Fuller info on Cambodia Football
Results 22/04 - Balestier flying high
Young Lions v Beijing Guo'an 0-0 1,547
Balestier Khalsa v Sengkang Punggol 1-0 (Vikraman) 845
Balestier are in nose bleed territory, 6th in the league just five points behind the leaders Tampines Rovers. However nine goals in 10 games is the 2nd lowest, five come from Rivaldo Costa.
Felda United eye promotion
They are the leaders in the 12-team Premier League at the half-way mark with 28 points from nine wins, a draw and a defeat.
The squad under coach E. Elavarasan are five points clear of PKNS after they wrapped up their first-round fixtures on Monday with a thumping 10-0 win over newcomers Muar Municipal Council.
Hotshot: Felda United’s Fatrurazi Rozi is the top scorer in the Premier League with 14 goals
“We have played consistently well except for the slip-up against Armed Forces (0-1). We are on the right track and progressing according to plan,” said Elavarasan, who formerly led Public Bank and Malacca to win promotion to the Super League.
Felda are a team comprising mostly of former Public Bank and Malacca players, who had worked under Elavarasan. They are Mohd Fatrurazi Rozi, A. Zainal Rahim, Rashid Mahmud, Mohd Hardi Ahmad, Amir Shahreen Mubin and Chow Chee Weng.
There are also seasoned campaigners in former internationals Mohd Kaironissam Sahabuddin, Nazrul Erwan Makmur, Hasmawi Hassan and Mohd Arsyah Ayob.
Their leading marksman in the Premier League is Kelantanese Fatrurazi Rozi with 14 goals, including four in the rout of Muar MC.
“We should maintain the momentum in the second round and with the strong support of the management, Felda should be among the frontrunners to go up,” said Elavarasan.
The top two teams gain promotion to the Super League next season.
Felda are also set to make their debut in the 16-team Malaysia Cup competition this year. The top four in the Premier League join the top 12 in the Super League.
COMMENT - of course nothing is so straight forward in the wacky world of Malaysian football where a team's right to promotion can be withdrawn at the last minute with no reason offered. Much like Indonesia. Must be a cultural thing given their shared heritage, culture and language.
Thailand to host England?
The match will take place at Rajamangala stadium in June at a date yet to be determined. It will be part of the celebrations of His Majesty the King's 84th birthday, he said.
Worawi said English FA chairman Lord Triesman and English Premier League chairman Sir David Richards had told him that England would play Thailand in June.
"It will be a great honour for Thailand to play England. I am sure that it will be a great match for Thai fans," he said.
Worawi and FAT adviser Suwat Liptapanlop will be in England to watch the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Portsmouth next month and they will discuss details of the friendly with concerned parties.
COMMENT - we have of course been here before. Worawi has claimed in the past that England will visit Bangkok only for the FA to poo poo the idea. And while any possible game is still 12 months away given that Bangkok isn't considered safe for AFC Cup games, Tai Po have seen their game against Thai Port moved to Phuket, are the FA likely to give the go ahead? Still, it's a headline and it keeps Worawi in the news.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
So how has your April been?
01/04 - Persijap A
06/04 - Binh Duong A
10/04 - Persela A
14/04 - PSPS H
16/04 - Semen Padang H
18/04 - Persikabo H
21/04 - Victory H
24/04 - Persitara A
28/04 - Selangor A
Nine games in four weeks! And this weekend they are playing a Persitara side who are returning from Kediri after three Indonesia Cup games in six days. They are returning by train! A journey just shy of 20 hours...
Just two defeats in their last 11 games, and one of them away to Persipura, has seen the team climb away from the relegation zone, if there is to be one this year, and the goals have been flying in.
Osvaldo Moreno has led the way with eight while his striker partner Jung Hwan Park, who only managed two for Persiba in the first half of the season, has doubled that in the second half.
They now sit comfortably in 9th place and after that surprise win against Persiwa in the Indonesia Cup perhaps have their eye on some glory now that they are most definitely a side in form.
Etoile Red Carded?
They produced a snazzy website, set up a Facebook account with far more members than any other SLeague team and also went a twittering. Apparently you must have Facebook and Twitter these days. The buzz around the club was positive and there was of course a knock on effect to the league.
It helped of course that the team started brightly. They won the League Cup just weeks after landing and were unbeaten in their first seven SLeague games. All this was accompanied by unprecendated, by local standards, media coverage as the club gushed effusively about how they were here for the long term with talk of junior academies and the like.
One win in six games has seen talk of winning the title in their first season fade though they still sit 4th, four points behind leaders Tampines Rovers who have a game in hand.
Closely involved in the setting up of Etoile and the marketing was Sasikumar, one time Singapore international, through his sports marketing company Red Card.
No more. Red Card haven't been working with Etoile since the beginning of April saying it wasn't worth their while financially.
We've been here before of course. A foreign club arrives in Singapore with big talk and big plans before seeing everything go tits up. That hasn't happened to Etoile. Not yet. But their high profile owner has been strangely quiet recently, their website is down, their Twitter is short of twits and even their unofficial blog is looking tired with the guy behind it not even going to the games.
Like many I was disappointed they even entered the SLeague but as they cranked up the PR I changed my view thinking anything that raised the profile of the SLeague has to be a good thing.
But to sustain that early interest, and justify the highest ticket prices in the league, the club needed to maintain that high profile. Singaporeans had responded positively to the club and things looked rosey. Instead what has happened is Etoile have disappeared from the sports pages off the field while on it their results have not been that impressive.
Now comes the, belated, news that their PR people have quit and we start to wonder what's going on. Despite all the fine talk and hype are Etoile just another one season wonder? A Gallic flash in the pan? A group of aging footballers looking for a tropical kick around?
The club owners have never been backward in coming forward in the past. Now is the time for them to state clearly what is going on with the club or they will rapidly lose the goodwill of much of the Singaporean football community.
Except the punters who back them for a draw!
UPDATE - Less than an hour after I posted this the following story appeared in Today Online. I am intrigued. Etoile say they want a company with a larger international presence than Red Card. Yet a look at the Red Card site shows they are arranging events in Thailand and Bangladesh, neither of which, last I checked, are in Singapore.
Anyway true to form they, Etoile, are saying they have big plans on the horizon so we shall see what we shall see.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Results 21/04 - Sriwijaya reach knock out stage
Binh Duong v Selangor 4-0 (Kelsey Alves 3, Nguyen Vu Phong) 20,000
Sriwijaya v Victory 5-0 (Richard Obiora 3, Zah Rahan, Arif Suyono) 11,215
That's 11 goals in three games since last Friday for Sriwijaya as they progress to the next stages of both the Indonesia Cup and the AFC Cup
And how about this for a useless fact. Hat tricks were scored by imports Obiora and Alves while Selangor, who remain foreigner free, scored zilch.
Persib v Persipasi 4-0 (Cristian Gonzales 3, Budi Sudarsono)
Persita v Pelita Jaya 0-1 (Marwan)
Persitara v Persik 0-4 (Saktiawan Sinaga 3, Yongki Aribowo)
Persibo v PSBI 1-0
Persiram v Persipura 2-3 (Titus Bonai, Englebert Sani; Qu Cheng, Victor Igbenefo 2)
Persiwa v PSM 0-1 (Osvaldo Moreno)
Talk about blown away. Never in my widlest expectations did I think that Persiwa would be knocked out playing in Papua. Teams in italics go through. Saktiawan Sinaga hit his 3rd hat trick of the season to see off sorry Persitara
Gombak United v Home United 1-0 (Fazrul Nawaz) 1,879
The Bulls moved 2nd with this win over Home but they have played two games more than leaders Tampines and are two points behind while Home are 5th
Singapore turn to a familiar face
The 42-year-old was formerly coaching in his native Serbia with the youth teams of Rad FC and Red Star Belgrade as well as the National U-19 Women’s Team of Serbia & Montenegro. Prior to that, he was coaching in Canada with the senior team of New York Astros SC, the club where he finished his playing career.
A striker during his playing days, this will be Gluscevic’s second spell in Singapore, having played for Tanjong Pagar United in the 1998 and 1999 S.League seasons. His playing career started in Yugoslavia with European giants Red Star Belgrade and he went on to play in Greece, Indonesia (winning the Liga Indonesia with Bandung Raya) and Canada as well as Singapore.
11 down, five to go
Sriwijaya, Persikabo, Persija, Persela, Persib, Persik, Arema, PSMP, Persisam, Bontang, Persipura
The following are still chasing those elusive final spots
Pelita Jaya, Persita, Persipasi, Persibo, PSBI, Persebaya, Persidafon, Persema, Persiwa and PSM.
For what it's worth my money, if I had any, would be on Pelita Jaya, PSBI, Persebaya, Persidafon and Persiwa.
The Korean colony increases
He joins coach Lee Lim Saeng and striker Choi Chui Woo at Clementi Stadium though he will not be able to play for his new team until the transfer window in June.
Results 20/04 - It's raining goals!
VB v Persiwa 4-0
Muang Thong United v South China 0-1 6,000
Muang Thong and South China share top spot with 10 points while VB are on nine with everything going down to the last round of fixtures next week. Persiwa have been embarrassing but in their defence they are also busy in the Indonesia Super League and also are in the middle of Indonesia Cup action so resources are very thinly spread.
Da Nang v Thai Port 0-0 18,364
Tai Po v Geylang United 1-1 (;Hafiz Rahim) 474
Persebaya v Persidafon 3-2 (Jeon Byun Euk, Marcelo Cirello, Patricio Morales; Uston Nawai, Carlos Sciucatti)
Persija v Persikab 4-1 (Aliyudin 2, Ismed Sofyan, M Ilham; Mawansyah Agung)
Persela v Persiba 2-1 (Taufik Kasrun, Tomoaki Komorida; Roni Irawan)
Persijap v Deltras 2-1 (Johan Juansyah, Iswanto; Satyo Hosodo)
Arema v PSMP 2-0 (Sunarto, Tommy Pranaoto)
Bontang v Persiba 2-2 (Aldo Baretto, Kenji Adichihara; Julio Lopez, Robertinho)
Persisam v Persemalra 10-1 (Zaenal Arief 4, Pipat Thonkanya 4, Ahmad Sambiring, Suprayogi; John Pattikawa)
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Up for the cup
The Round of 32 (1st Round) is coming to a close this week and the following teams are assured f a place in the Round of 16 (2nd Round) to be played next month.
Sriwijaya (Winners 2008 & 2009), Arema (Winners 2005 & 2006), Persipura (Runners Up 2006, 2008, 2009), Persib, Persik, Persisam, Persikabo and PS Mojokerto Putra.
Final eight spots to be decided after ties being played today and tomorrow.
Three Indonesia Super League clubs have already been knocked out. They are Persitara, Persijap and PSPS
NOTE - There have been four Indonesian Cup competitions since it was introduced in 2005. The final in 2008 actually relates to the 2007 season which lasted about 14 months.
Indonesia Top Scorers
Cristian Gonzales (Persib) 15 + 4 = 19
Alberto Goncalves (Persipura) 18
Edward Wilson (Semen Padang) 15
Julio Lopez (Persiba), Erick Weeks Lewis (Persiwa), Titus Bonay (Persiram) 14
A story in today's tabloid, Top Skor, hints at a change in the structure in next season's Indonesian Super League.
Instead of the current single division 18 clubs it is thought a return to the old format of two regional divisions is on the cards featuring the present 18 plus the eight who qualified for the Premier League play offs and two more.
This restructuring, were it to happen, would mean no relegation of course and it would allow Persikabo to take their place in Indonesia's top flight despite the fact that FIFA had earlier imposed a points deduction on them over contract irregularities.
A couple of months back I suggested that certain clubs would not be allowed to be relegated. If there is any truth in this story then that would seem to be the case.
Monday, April 19, 2010
As far as Indonesian players go he is this complete package. As a defender he can tackle, he can jump and he can play with the ball on the ground. He can, and does, like to get forward at every opportunity which used to give former Persija keeper Evgeney Khmaruc kittens. Back then Hamkah was alongside Abanda Herman and they both fancy themselves as Ronald Koemans.
He can also do a job in the middle and has lined up in attack this season for his old club Persisam, netting a handful of goals along the way.
But a look at his resume won't exactly have clubs reaching for the phone. Once a full international, now overlooked. From Persija to Persik to Persisam to, umm, nowhere now.
Hamkah's talent is not and never has been in question. What is needed from him is stability at club level and a return to the form that brought him international honours in the not to distant past. Indonesia sees too many players not fulfil for their potential for non footballing reasons without seeing players implode on their own.
Pro Duta move again?
Now Pro Duta are looking to move yet again. Rumours earlier in the season linked them with a move to Cirebon on the north coast of West Java but the latest is they fancy the Wilis Stadium in Madiun, East Java.
Great. Just what East Java needs is another football club.
Madiun itself is no stranger to high profile football matches. Back in 2006 Persekabpas played many home games there.
But what about the bloody fans? Each time they move they literaly have to start all over again developing a fanbase...sorry, silly of me.
Pro Duta are like that other serial moving club Pelita Jaya. They are privately owned. So next time I go off on one about local governments and football club just prod me in the eye and remind me of Pelita Jaya and Pro Duta.
If they're not interested in developing a fan base, if they're not interested in becoming a community football club then by extension covering their costs, turning a profit doesn't really matter to them. So why bother? Football can be an expensive hobby.
Still, this ain't Kansas Toto*!
* - this does not relate to a couple of particularly dire bands from the mid 70s and if you don't get the connection...be grateful
The English are coming!
Former Mansfield Town midfielder Kevin Kent has apparently been appointed to run the brand spanking new Indonesia Football Academy while the Under 162 look like they will be led by Steve Brown who was last seen working at QPR with the youth team there.
Good lucks lads...
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Persiba v Persija 1-2 (;TA Mushafry, Mustafic Fahruddin)
First goal of the season for Fahruddin as he celebrated his birthday, yesterday, slipping home the winner after a sweet one-two with Bambang Pamungkas. Persiba Bantul won't be too upset at seeing their cup dreams end. Their focus is the Play Offs when they are aiming for the ISL.
Persiwa's busy schedule
19/04 - Persiram Indonesia Cup Jayapura
20/04 - VB AFC Cup Male, Maldives
21/04 - PSM Indonesia Cup Jayapura
24/04 - PSM Indonesia Super League Makassar
27/04 - Muang Thong United AFC Cup Malang
02/05 - Sriwijaya Indonesia Super League Palembang
Check it out on a map! Jayapura v Maldives in less than 24 hours of course ain't gonna happen. It took Persema about 20 hours just to get to Malang. Male is a lot bloody further. Instead Persiwa will be entering their Under 21s into the Indonesia Cup.
They may not be my favourite team in the world but you gotta say life would be interesting there...
Arema v Deltras 1-0 (Noh Alam Shah)
Pelita Jaya v Persipasi 2-1
Persib v Persita 4-1
Persik v PSBI 3-0
Persitara v Persibo 1-2
PSMP v Persijap 1-0
Persipura v Persiwa 3-1
PSM v Persiram 2-1
Thai Premier League
Police v BEC Tero 1-2
Muang Thong United v Bangkok United 5-1
Buriram PEA v TOT 0-0
Muang Thong stay top and keep their 100% record.
Malaysia Super League
Negeri Sembilan v Kelantan 1-3
KL v Kedah 0-1
KL PLUS v Perlis 1-2
Pahang v Johor 0-1
T Team v Penang 1-0
Johor FC v Terengganu 2-0
Johor FC made it five straight wins as they moved to within four points of leaders Selangor with a game in hand. Negeri Sembilan came down to earth with a bump. Last week they won the FA Cup on penalties but Kelantan were in no mood to let them party.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
To be fair in their Indonesian Cup tie against Persela the striker had enough chances to win two games but his efforts were too close to the keeper or just wide.
Bambang's blanks have coincided with Persija's disappearance from the title race. They now stand 23 points off leaders Arema and are just above the relegation zone.
Persija's problem has that no one has stepped up to compensate for Bambang's poor run of form. Aliyudin has got three as has Herman Abanda. Firman Utina has netted a couple while new signing Serge Emalue has one. TA Mushafry has also gone missing.
It's a point I've made before and it's one I will reitirate. Bambang Pamungkas needs to leave Persija. He is comfortable, he is loved and he is well paid. He needs a challenge to kick start the last few years of his career.
The problem is the answer whenever he plays is always Bambang. Give it to Bambang, let him do the rest.
The same thing happened last season when Persija, with a better team and a better chance of winning the title, fell apart in the second half of the season and Bambang became less and less influential.
To reinvent himself he needs new surroundings and I don't mean a new team in Indonesia or a return to Malaysia. He is better than that.