Monday, April 29, 2013

We will come back

Tanjong Pagar coach Patrick Vallee believes his team did not merit a win from Bedok Stadium.

They had lost 1-2 against Bottom 3 Geylang International and lost their second spot in the league.

“We scored one today and we conceded two [and] I have to admit that the first goal was our very own mistake," he admitted.

"No one was marking Kaplan and he took upon that opportunity to score. Having said that, I don’t think we deserved a win tonight and I will have to analyze what happened.

“Everybody outside the club was only talking about our upcoming game with Tampines [Rovers] but I was telling my boys we have Geylang to play first. And see, today we lost.

“But that’s not the end of the world or S.League, we still have to move on and improve on our game. I’m not angry and I am not blaming my players. We will come back."

Better things to come

Geylang International coach Vedhamuthu Kanan felt that his side played one of their best games this season.

The Eagles walked away with maximum points from their game against Tanjong Pagar United after successfully carrying out a first-half comeback at the Bedok Stadium.

First half goals from Yasir Hanapi and Jozef Kaplan settled a 2-1 win for the Eagles, after Kamel Ramdani first opened the scoring for Tanjong Pagar. The match concluded with an exciting finish, as Tanjong Pagar continued an assault against the Eagles defence up to the final whistle.

Although Geylang coach Vedhamuthu Kanan was delighted with the win, he felt that the goal they conceded could have been better defended.

“Before the game, I told the boys that Tanjong Pagar are set-piece specialists," he lamented.

"How he [Ramdani] could have scored from a blindside puzzles me.

“But the boys took it well. They worked hard and continued to make chances that led to us scoring two tonight."

Kanan did eventually express delight with the three points against an opponent that was on a five-game unbeaten run.

“Overall, I think it was an excellent performance against a good team like Tanjong Pagar," he said.

"They have quality foreigners and also experienced local players. We, on the other hand, have inexperienced players. Six of my players were playing their first S.League match tonight."

Skipper Kaplan, who scored the equalizer, also came in for praise, and Kanan also expects his side to offer more as the season progresses.

“He [Kaplan] is a good leader; he leads the team well, week in and week out," he remarked with a smile.

"He is a good role model and the young players look up to him. He is hardworking during training and inspires the team.

“I have said before that we will start slow, given our lack of experience. Now after 10 games, it is time for us to push to the next level. At the way the boys are playing, I can only expect better things to come!”

Geylang shock Jaguars as Albirex go back to second

Albirex Niigata (S) return back to second spot in the S-league as Tanjong Pagar falter in their match against Geylang International.

Having captured second spot last week after their thrashing against Courts Young Lions, the Jaguars were looking to keep it against bottom 3 Geylang International but nobody told the Eagles the script as the Bedok side beat Tanjong Pagar 2-1 in Bedok.

The Jaguars took the lead through Kamel Ramdani but the Eagles came back through Norihiro Kawakami and skipper Jozef Kaplan before half-time.

In the second half, the Jaguars was as bad as they never knocked on the door and the home side should have increased the lead further.

Albirex Niigata (S) took full advantage as they defeated Balestier Khalsa 1-0 at Toa Poyah.

Shingo Suzuki got the goal 10 minutes before the end as the Tigers pay for their wastefulness with them missing chance after chance to take the lead before that.

In another match, Home United defeated Courts Young Lions 2-0 with goals from Hafiz Rahim and Lee Kwan-woo.

Geylang International
Takuma Ito (GK), Khairulnizam Jumahat, Khayrulhayat Jumat, Delwinder Singh, Norihiro Kawakami, Yasir Hanapi (Jala 79'), Fabian Kwok, Jozef Kaplan (C), Nurhazwan Norasikin (Andrew Tan 82'), Taufiq Ghani, Wahyudi Abd Wahid (Basil Teo 88')

Tanjong Pagar United
Aurelien Herisson (GK), Azhar Ahmad, Walid Lounis (C), Zahid Ahmad, Asraf Rashid (Hazzuwan Halim 78'), Ahmad Latiff, Kamel Ramdani, Hafiz Nor, Sazali Salleh, Ismael Benahmed, Monsef Zerka


Balestier Khalsa
Zaiful Nizam (GK), Yusiskandar Yusop, Obadin Aikhena, Jaslee Hatta (Ridwan Jamil 87'), Syed Thaha, Tengku Mushadad, Kim Min-ho, Park Kang-jin, Ruhaizad Ismail (Patrick Paran 66'), Zulkiffli Hassim (Jung Hee-bong 82'), Qiu Li


Courts Young Lions
Rudy Khairullah (GK), Afiq Yunos (C), Tajeli Salamat (Afiq Noor 37'), Sheikh Abdul Hadi, M Anumanthan, Shamil Sharif (Faiz Salleh 83'), Raihan Rahman, Farhan Rahmat, Sherif El-Masri, Iqbal Hussain, Fareez Farhan (Nur Ridho 72')

Home United
Shahril Jantan (GK), Juma'at Jantan (Sofiyan Abdul Hamid 62'), Noh Rahman (C), Sirina Camara, Masrezwan Masturi, Song Ui-young, Hafiz Rahim, Lee Kwan-woo (Masato Fukui 36'), Firdaus Idros, Jordan Webb, Indra Sahdan Daud (Aliff Shafaein 75')

Friday, April 26, 2013

End of V.Selvaraj as Mirko Grabovac offered Warriors job

Axrosstheline has reported former Warriors legend, Mirko Grabovac has been offered the job of Warriors FC head coach.

However it seem the Warriors management still want to come out of this situation as 'good guys' as they want to wait for Selvaraj to quit and is not willing to sack him.

“Someone actually recommended (former Warriors FC player) Mirko Grabovac to us. But so long as V Selvaraj is still the head Coach of Warriors FC, we will respect every decision that he makes being the head Coach. We will wait to see how things go, and I think it is only right for us to do that,” Warriors FC’s General Manager Chong Wei Chiang told axrosstheline.

Will it be too late as Selvaraj seem determined to last it out until July and surely the June transfer window when Grabovac can bring in his own men will be wasted.

The Warriors management need to show they are in charge, not following.

Afterall they already offered a job to someone else, this is a vote of no confidence and they should take action now.

Worst AFC Cup ever as Warriors also crashed out

Singapore sides suffered their worst AFC Cup ever as both Tampines Rovers and Warriors FC lost the fight to play in the competition in the group stage.

Until this year, S-league have always send 1 representative into the knockout stage but now that record is gone.

The Warriors had to win against Semen Padang or it was bust and that was what it was.

They just could not get going against the Indonesia and fell 0-2 at Jalan Besar.

With that, their dream of progressing any further in the AFC Cup was over and history was rewritten with no Singapore sides reaching the AFC Cup knockout stage for the first ever.

But more unwanted history could be on the way as in the match against Saigon, Tampines Rovers forwards Sead Hadzibulic and Khairul Amri both got on the scoresheet but it was not enough to earn their first win as they played to a 2-2 draw.

If the Stags still do not win against Selangor next week then they will enter the history book alongside Geylang International as the other Singapore team not to won any games in the AFC Cup group stage since it inception in 2004.

Surely it is something the Champions do not want even if pride is left.

Tampines Rovers
Sasa Dreven (GK), Jufri Taha, Mustafic Fahrudin (C), Khairul Amri, Ahmed Fhamie (Imran Sahib), Shahdan Sulaiman, Alesandar Duric, Anaz Hadee, Firdaus Kasman, Martin Wagner (Jamil Ali), Sead Hadzibulic (Shannon Stephen)


Warriors FC
Hassan Sunny (GK), Zulfadli Abidin, Abdil Qaiyyim, Tatsuro Inui, Mislav Karoglan (Matthew Abraham), Sufian Anuar, Marin Vidosevic (Dharham Aziz), Ruzaini Zainal, Shukor Zailan, Daniel Bennett (C), Shi Jia Yi (Prakash Manikam)

League Cup Playoff

League Cup Qualifiers Semi Finals  - 5 May

1700hrs: SRC (2012 NFL 1 Champions) vs Sporting Westlake (2012 NFL 2 Runners Up)

1945hrs: SCC (2012 NFL 2 Runners up) vs Admiralty FC (2012 NFL 2 Champions)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lee delighted with his men

Home United collected three points from Pasir Gudang on a hot Saturday afternoon, after a penalty from Lee Kwan Woo settled their game against Harimau Muda in a 1-0 victory.

Speaking to the media after the match, coach Lee Lim Saeng could not hide his delight at the win.

"I am definitely happy with the three points," he proclaimed.

"Sometimes in football, you play well but you don't get three points. Of course today the result was in our favour, and I can't be anything but happy with it.

"It is the first time that we are playing here [in Pasir Gudang] and the weather and temperature was definitely a factor, especially against an energetic young side like Harimau Muda; they run a lot and close down fast."

The three points did however come at a cost, as striker Masato Fukui and Lee, both of whom are key players, were forcibly removed from the game due to injuries.

"Masato had a problem with his ankle and possibly knee, while Kwan Woo's hamstring will need to be checked upon,' Lee revealed.

"It will definitely be a headache for me for the next game as they are important part of my plans.

"As you would notice, we did well in the first half but after the injuries came, we struggled and found it difficult to keep with our gameplan."

Home and Warriors post win

After a dreadful season so far, both Home United and Warriors FC are appearing to have gel and hit form.

Home United defeated Harimau Muda 1-0 to record their second win in 3 matches and climb up to the top half of the table while Warriors won 4-2 against Hougang United to get out of the bottom 3.

Home United sole goal came from former Korean international Lee Kwan Woo.

As for Warriors goals, it came from Shi Jiayi, Erwan Gunawan as well as a brace from Mislav Karoglan.

Mamadou Diallo and Azhar Sairudin had reply for the Hougang side.

Home United
Shahril Jantan (GK), Noh Rahman (C), Sirina Camara, Hafiz Rahim, Firdaus Idros (Juma'at Jantan 76'), Lee Kwan Woo (Aliff Shafaein 70'), Masrezwan Masturi, Nor Azli Yusoff, Fukui Masato (Sofiyan Abdul Hamid 41'), Indra Sahdan, Song Ui Young


Warriors FC
Hassan Sunny (GK), Daniel Bennett (C), Abdil Qaiyyim, Marin Vidosevic, Zulfadli Zainal Abidin, Ruzaini Zainal (Prakash Manikam 77'), Shi Jiayi, Shukor Zailan (Shimpei Sakurada 67'), Tatsuro Inui, Sufian Anuar (Erwan Gunawan 67'), Mislav Karoglan

Hougang United
Fadhil Salim (GK), Faizal Amir, Shahir Hamzah, Syaqir Sulaiman, Lau Meng Meng (C), Jerome Baker (Fazli Jaffar 38'), Fairoz Hasan (Basit Hamid 86'), Azhar Sairudin, Nurhilmi Jasni, Mamadou Diallo, Liam Shotton (Jeremy Chiang 46')

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Stephen Appiah linked with DPMM

Brunei DPMM FC are set to hand a trial to former Juventus midfielder Stephen Appiah when transfer window opens in June, according to Brunei Times.

The 32-year-old has been a free agent since leaving Serbian Side FKVojvodina in October where he helped them into the Europa League play-off last season.

The captain of Ghana's 2006 World Cup and 2010 World Cup teams have told that Vojvodina were struggling to meet his salary expectation.

DPMM FC have been linked with a move for the midfielder, as the club is reportedly looking for a replacement for the Guadeloupean import.

Auvray has already attracted criticisms from DPMM FC coach VjeranSimunic, as well as fans, on his poor performances and has not has not seen action for the team since their 4-2 win over Geylang International on April 3.

The midfielder was blamed for both Geylang's goals in the game.

Should the deal go through, Appiah, who has 69 senior caps for his country would provide much needed muscle in DPMM FC's midfield with his strong and impressive attributes.

The former Fenerbahce man is also currently a transfer target of clubs in Qatar and China.

"We cannot say much at the moment... we will see how it goes... we need to look at the player... look at his fitness and stuff," DPMM FC goalkeeping coach Hj Zainol Ariffin Hj Jumat told The Brunei Times.

Cubs lose forward

Courts Young Lions have lost their striker to LionsXII.

With only 2 goals scored to-date by the Cubs, the situation will only get worse as Fazli Ayob have been moved to LionsXII.

While Fazli have yet to play a match this season and did not even hit a goal last season, he did hit 5, 4 and 2 goals back in 2010, 2009 and 2008.

This move come after 3 players - Raihan Rahman, Faris Azienuddin and Iqbal Hamid - have been transferred to the Courts Young Lions.

The 23-year-old is one of the player fighting to be in the SEA Games squad for December.

Another forward Randy Pay also join the LionsXII from Warriors FC Prime League squad

Talk of new foreigner at Tampines

A new Argentinean forward has started training with Tampines Rovers, raising questions over the future of marquee signing Martin Wagner.

Eyebrows were raised at the Clementi Stadium on Wednesday when an unrecognisable player lined up for the Stags' Prime League side in a friendly against National Football League (NFL) Division 1 side Singapore Cricket Club, and showed glimpses of quality throughout the game.

He is believed to be Nicolas Ramirez, a 25-year-old who began his career with Argentine Primera Division side Lanus and was last on the books of Uruguayan giants Penarol.

Ramirez was recently in Southeast Asia having trials with big-spending Malaysia Super League outfit Darul Takzim, although a prospective move to the Johor-based club fell through as they decided to sign Argentinean striker Leonel Nunez instead.

When questioned about a potential new import, Tampines coach Nenad Bacina confirmed there was a foreigner joining his team for training, but played down suggestions he could be signed when the transfer window reopens in June.

"Have you seen him today [Thursday]?" the Croat replied with a wry smile, when asked about a possible new player.

"He asked if he can join us for training so we allowed him to. It's still too early to consider any changes."

Nonetheless, the presence of a new foreigner at Tampines will add more question marks to the already uncertain future of Wagner, given he has failed to have to impact he was expected to make when announced as the club's marquee signing for the 2013 season.

Although he has briefly displayed his playmaking ability so far in the campaign, the 27-year-old central midfielder is said to be struggling with acclimatising to the weather and style of football in Singapore, as well as communication problems.

Just last month, after a 2-1 win over Balestier Khalsa in the league, Bacina revealed he was looking to give Wagner as much time as possible to assimilate himself into the team.

"I am giving Martin time to settle down," he explained. "The main problem right now is communication, whereby he's having difficulties communicating with me and the rest of the players.

"This can be slightly problematic because he plays in midfield, where it is very vital to communicate. I believe he's a good player and I want to alleviate the pressure on him."

In the 11 competitive games Tampines have played so far, Wagner has started only five and only played a full 90 minutes once; a 2-0 win over Courts Young Lions that was eventually awarded as a 3-0 victory after the opponents were ruled to have fielded ineligible players.

In the six games where he has started as a substitute, the ex-Racing Club man was twice left on the bench even though Tampines only made two substitutions in games against Balestier and Home United.

The fact that Wagner's failure to make the starting XI is no longer remarkable exemplifies just how disappointing his Stags career has been so far, and it seems a long time ago now that he was unveiled as their big-name signing with plenty of fanfare before the start of the season.

"We tried various means to find a suitable marquee player," Tampines chairman Teo Hock Seng said at the player's unveiling back in January.

"When the announcement about the [S-league's new] marquee player rule was made, Tampines weren't just looking for a player in any position.

"Most of our players are very comfortable in their own position, but our technical committee advised that it would be good for us to get a classy attacking midfielder.

"We concluded Martin Wagner would fit our bill in terms of technical ability and we believe he will fit into the team."

Wagner himself revealed back then that he was happy at receiving the opportunity to ply his trade in Singapore's top flight.

"I'm pleased to join a club like Tampines," he said. "I've already met very good people and received good support from my colleagues in the team.

"I will do my best to achieve good results for the team and fulfil the expectations we have."

Given the S-league transfer window only opens at the start of June, Wagner will have at least nine more games to prove his worth at the club.

Title race not over yet

The Tampines Rovers coach insists that the S-league title race is far from over even after his side opened up a four point lead at the top of the 2013 Great Eastern-Yeo’s S-League.

The Croatian said after the Stags’ 2-1 win over Albirex Niigata on Friday, “Football is not like Playstation where all you have to do is press the buttons.

“The season is still early and who says we will beat the other teams? Anything can happen.”

With defender Seiji Kaneko expected to be out of action for at least a few weeks after picking up a bad injury against Albirex, Nenad hopes the depth in his squad will help his team cope with injuries.

He added, “I’m happy to have a strong squad as we are reaching a stage where players start picking up injuries.

“We are in two competitions this year and games are coming thick and fast."

Not worry yet

Albirex Niigata (S) may be in the top 3 but are falling off the pace at the top after suffering their second defeat this season and are now winless in their last four matches.

But coach Koichi Sugiyama is not concerned about his side’s dip in form and believes they will close the gap at the top.

He said, “The season is still early. But we want to get closer to Tampines and beat them in our next game against them.

“It’s fine that we lost against them today but we must beat the other weaker teams.”

“We have to beat Balestier Khalsa next Tuesday but it’s going to be another physical game as they have big players too,” he added

Tampines take giant step

Tampines Rovers have taken a giant step towards their fifth S-league title even at this early stage of the season as they defeated third-placed Albirex Niigata (S) to open up a four-point gap.

The Champions also have a game in hand over their rivals.

With the Stags having dropped their first points in their last game, they were in mood to repeat it as Sead Hadzibulic gave them the lead before Albirex forward Bruno Castanheira grabbed the equaliser before half-time.

On the hour mark, Khairul Amri, who was the hero in the last game as he rescued a point, did it again ashe gave the Stags back the lead again and this time, the Champions did not lose it.

With that, it extended Albirex win-less streak to 4 games and gave the Champions a healthy lead at the top now.

In other matches, Woodlands Wellington drew 0-0 with Geylang International while DPMM Brunei secured a 1-0 win over Balestier Khalsa.

The Brunei side coach Vjeran Simunic who had an outburst in their last game, appeared to have won the physiological battle with at least a assistant referee who flagged the Balestier side time and time again

And it proved crucial as he ruled out a good goal by Qiu Li late in the game that have won the Toa Poyah side a point after an own goal in the first half.

Indeed even the referee over ruled that assistant in the end as he allowed the Tigers a throw in which the assistant gave away.

What Stewart would have say if FAS allowed the same freedom of expression to local clubs coaches.

Woodlands Wellington
Yazid Yasin (GK), Cho Sung-hwan, Shariff Samat, Shahril Alias, Ang Zhiwei (Goh Swee Swee 79'), Armanizam Dolah, Atsushi Shimono, Hidhir Hasbiallah (Taufiq Rahmat 61'), Chang Jo-yoon, Moon Soon-ho, Khalid Hamdaoui (Ridhwan Osman 90')

Geylang International
Takuma Ito (GK), Khairulnizam Jumahat (Stefan Milojevic 64'), Khayrulhayat Jumat, Norihiro Kawakami, Jalal, Yasir Hanapi (Delwinder Singh 76'), Fabian Kwok, Taufiq Ghani, Andrew Tan (Nurhazwan Norasikin 46'), Wahyudi Wahid, Jozef Kaplan


Balestier Khalsa
Zaiful Nizam (GK), Poh Yi Feng (Yusiskandar Yusop 81'), Obadin Aikhena, Tengku Mushadad, Syed Thaha, Kim Min-ho (Zulkiffli Hassim 46'), Ridwan Jamil, Park Kang-jin, Hamqaamal Shah (Patrick Paran 46'), Jung Hee-bong, Qiu Li


Tampines Rovers
Sasa Dreven (GK), Jufri Taha, Shaiful Esah, Seiji Kaneko (Anaz Hadee 62'), Fahrudin Mustafic, Imran Sahib, Firdaus Kasman, Aleksandar Duric, Sead Hadzibulic, Khairul Amri (Shahdan Sulaiman 88'), Martin Wagner

Bacina: We are still top

Nenad Bacina was content with his Tampines Rovers side's 1-1 draw with DPMM FC despite it ending their 100% start to the 2013 Great Eastern-YEO's S.League season.

Although it meant that Tampines had to settle for a share of the spoils for the first time in the campaign, Bacina believes it was not the worst result they could have gotten.

"We expected a tough match because we know DPMM always bring a very physical game," he said. "They sat back and defended quite well.

"They tried to play on the counterattack and it was on one such occasion that they scored the first goal. But we stayed positive, especially in the second half and put them under pressure and finally we equalised.

"We are still the only unbeaten team in the league and we have to stay positive. We're looking forward to the next game against Albirex [Niigata (S)].

"I don't see any reason why we should panic; we are still on top of the table and everything is in our hands. The pressure should be on the other clubs."

Nonetheless, the Croat did lament his side's inability to take the many chances they created as he believes they deserved all three points based on their overall display.

"I think we deserved more than a point, definitely," Bacina added. "I believe we controlled the game and put them under pressure.

"We introduced three strikers up front and that paid off in the end with Amri's equaliser [but] we could have scored more.

"We hit the post once and there were a few occasions we had chances inside the box and came very close to scoring, but in the end we have to be satisfied."

The game did have a moment of controversy in the 66th minute when DPMM striker Adi Said appeared to be tripped by Jufri Taha inside the area, only for referee Yazeen Buhari to award the decision the other way and book the Bruneian for diving.

The call infuriated the DPMM camp and coach Vjeran Simunic called the refereeing 'shameful' and 'a scandal' in his post-match press conference, but Bacina believes Yazeen had made the right decision.

"I think it was a good decision by the referee," he said. "I'm very happy the referee did not get cheated."

Simunic: We played against 14

Brunei DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic was unable to hide his anger at the referee following the 1-1 draw with Tampines Rovers in the Great Eastern-YEO's S-league.

The Bruneian outfit were leading 1-0 at the Clementi Stadium thanks to Joao Moreira's 35th-minute strike when they had an ironclad penalty claim six minutes after the hour mark, when substitute Adi Said raced through before appearing to be tripped inside the area by Jufri Taha.

But instead of pointing to the spot and handing the visitors a perfect chance to double their lead, referee Yazeen Buhari awarded a freekick to the Stags and booked Adi for diving, much to the bewilderment of
Simunic, who protested furiously shortly after.

And the decision proved vital in the 90th minute when Khairul Amri fired home the equaliser to earn Tampines a share of the spoils and keep alive their unbeaten start to the 2013 campaign.

Having never been afraid to speak his mind, Simunic was scathing in his assessment of Yazeen's decision and
labelled the officiating as 'shameful'.

"This was a big scandal by the referee," he said. "I have seen many mistakes in the S-League but this is horrible.

"I trust him [the referee] but I don't know why he didn't put on a yellow [Tampines' colours] dress tonight [Tuesday]. We gave a footballing lesson and played a fantastic game - we could have had many goals and many penalties.

"It's impossible how Shahrazen gets fouled twice but we get nothing, then Adi gets a yellow card when he's fouled in the box. It's just stupid - shameful football.

"Absolutely no [I don't think Tampines deserved a point] - I think they deserved the referee. We played against 14 players.

"This is not just my opinion; all my management agree as well. I even joked with Adi, asking him why he dived and got a yellow card.

"Everyone saw what happened. I looked at the fans from Tampines - they like me - and they were smiling as well."

Once he had calmed down slightly, Simunic did manage to focus on the positives as his side became the first team in the league to avoid defeat against the defending champions this season, reiterating his stance that Bruneian football is firmly on the rise.

"I'm sorry about this happening because Tampines are really the best team in the league," he added. "If we didn't hold them to a draw tonight [Tuesday], I think the competition would have become boring.

"Now we have shown the other teams that you can play [against Tampines]. Even though maybe the possession was 85% to 15% in Tampines' favour, I think we played the better football with our 15%.

"I'm very proud with the way my Bruneian team played against [Tampines' many] AFF Suzuki Cup winners. Some of my players used to watch Mustafic [Fahrudin] and [Aleksandar] Duric on television and viewed them as heroes.

"They were very motivated to play against them. It [Brunei] may be a small country but the people always dream of showing the rest that they can play football."

Champions drop points

Tampines Rovers dropped points for the first time this season as they were held to a 1-1 draw with last season runner-up DPMM Brunei.

But it could have been much worse as the Brunei side took the lead in the first half through Joao Moreira and held up almost to the end.

But in the final minute of regulation time, Khairul Amri, who came off the bench, latched onto a flick-on header by Aleksandar Duric and drilled the ball into the bottom corner to salvage a share of the spoils for his side.

While the champions dropped for the first time they still extended their lead at the top to two points with a game in hand.

In other matches, Courts Young Lions lost both their matches in played over 5 days losing first to Harimau Muda 2-1 and then was crushed by Tanjong Pagar 4-0 while in another match in between the Protectors and Warriors drew their first Derby this season 1-1.

Fareez Farhan had got the Cubs goal while the Malaysian side goals came from Ridzuan Abdunloh and Akhir Bahari.

For the Jaguars win, it was a hat-trick from Ismael Benahmed and Monsef Zerka got the other.

As for the Uniform Derby goals, Masrezwan Masturi got the goal for the Proectors with the Warriors goal coming from Ruzaini Zainal.

Courts Young Lions
Rudy Khairullah (GK), Eddie Chang, Al-Qaasimy Rahman (C), Raihan Rahman, Emmeric Ong (Sheikh Abdul Hadi 40') , Anumanthan Kumar (Afiq Noor 76'), Shamil Sharif (Tajeli Salamat 68'), Fareez Farhan, Iqbal Hamid Hussain, Sufianto Salleh, Sherif El-Masri


Home United
Shahril Jantan (GK), Masrezwan Masturi, Noh Rahman (C), Sirina Camara, Nor Azli Yusoff, Hafiz Rahim, Song Ui-young, Aliff Shafaein (Mustaqim Manzur 46', Justin Khiang 90'), Lee Kwan-woo, Masato Fukui, Indra Sahdan Daud (Sofiyan Abdul Hamid 80')

Warriors FC
Hassan Sunny (GK), Daniel Bennett (C), Abdil Qaiyyim, Marin Vidosevic, Zulfadli Zainal Abidin, Shukor Zailan (Matthew Abraham 73'), Ruzaini Zainal (Erwan Gunawan 75'), Shi Jiayi, Shimpei Sakurada, Tatsuro Inui, Mislav Karoglan (Sufian Anuar 87')


Tampines Rovers
Sasa Dreven (GK), Jufri Taha (Anaz Hadee 85'), Kunihiro Yamashita, Seiji Kaneko, Shaiful Esah, Firdaus Kasman (Martin Wagner 76'), Mustafic Fahrudin (C), Shahdan Sulaiman, Jamil Ali (Khairul Amri 67'), Sead Hadzibulic, Aleksandar Duric


Courts Young Lions
Rudy Khairullah (Zulfairuuz Rudy 77') (GK), Firman Hanif, Tajeli Salamat (Farhan Rahmat 50'), Eddie Chang, M Anumanthan, Shamil Sharif (Ignatius Ang 62'), Raihan Rahman (C), Sherif El-Masri, Iqbal Hussain, Sufianto Salleh

Tanjong Pagar United
Aurelien Herisson (GK), Azhar Ahmad, Walid Lounis (C), Zahid Ahmad, Asraf Rashid, Kamel Ramdani, Hafiz Nor (K. Vikraman 84'), Sazali Salleh, Ahmad Latiff (Hanafi Salleh 77'), Monsef Zerka, Ismael Benahmed (Rizawan Abdullah 80')

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

SNOC to FAS: No SEA Games

SPH TNP has reported Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) will reject FAS application for the Under-23 team to go to the SEA Games.

Reason is LionsXII is not Under-23 as half the starting team is overage and one cannot form any consensus from that.

SNOC chief Chris Chan noted one cannot say if one take half a team here and half a team there and combined them together, the results will come as this is not realistic for no such team exist and the team has never played together to prove it.

They want results to be based on international games the Under-23 play and at this point FAS has not played a single Under-23 game.

So there is no Under-23 team.

SNOC also reminded the public it was not a new rule and previous Under-23 teams had followed it with no sports exempted.

Courts Young Lions get 3 new players

3 players - Raihan Rahman, Faris Azienuddin and Iqbal Hamid - have been transferred to the Courts Young Lions.

This is due to the fact they have only played 1 match in total all season with the LionsXII which ironically have been labelled as youth development by FAS.

At an age they should be playing some matches to develop, it is clear as day and night youth development is not the appropriate tag to give to LionsXII for if it was the case, these 3 players, who have been labelled as great potential, will not be sitting on their bum for every match.

Youth development will never happen until FAS give something up.

Ismail training with the Prime League team

Axrosstheline have reported defender Ismail Yunos is training with the Prime League team instead of the S-league team.

The Prime League team is meant for players who are Under-21 with only 5  Under-23 players so it is a surprise a senior player like Ismail will be training with them.

After all how can he gel with the senior team and ' impressed' the head coach if he is not training alongside them.

It could be the end of Ismail with Home. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New National Football League for 2014

Footballopod has reported changes for the National Football League (NFL) for 2014.

From next season, the three-tier NFL will become two-tier with Division 3 absorbed into the Islandwide League.

There will be a number of playoff at the end of the season due to the restructuring.

The last-placed team for Division 1 will be relegated to Division 2, with the top three sides from that Division moving up in the opposite direction.

There will also be a playoff between the seventh-placed Division 1 team and the fourth-placed Division 2 side to determine the tenth team in Division 1.

As for Division 2, the bottom two teams will be part of the restructured Islandwide League with the top three from Division 3 staying in the NFL as part of Division 2.

Along with that, the Islandwide champions will be promoted to Division Two.

To make up Division 2, there will be a four-team playoff series between the fourth to sixth-placed teams from Division 3 and the runners-up of the Islandwide League to determine the last slot for a 10-team 2014 Division Two.

Only the winner will remain in NFL with the rest all demoted to the 2014 Islandwide League.

RHB Singapore Cup 2013 draw

Pool A
Woodlands Wellington vs Geylang International
Hougang United vs Tampines Rovers
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Home United
Courts Young Lions vs Balestier Khalsa

Pool B
Loyola Meralco Sparks vs Harimau Muda
Tanjong Pagar United vs Boeung Ket Rubber Field
Lao Police Club vs DPMM FC
Warriors FC vs Global

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hougang new coach blast players

Johana Johari first outing as Hougang against Balestier saw his men produce a lacklustre performance as the away side dominated proceedings for much of the game.
Only Liam Shotton, one of four new foreign signings, produced anything of note as he came off the bench and converted a cross by Canadian Jerome Baker in the 81st minute to net a late consolation.

However, Johana admitted that the Cheetahs' foreign imports have largely failed to produce the impact desired although he insisted that there were positives to take away from the game.

"This competition is all about the foreigners and if they do not lift us up then we can suffer. We do not have fantastic local players and we need foreigners to lift us up in the game," he told reporters after the defeat.

"We have a good squad of twenty players but so far our foreigners are not clicking well.

"Sometimes, foreign players take some time to adapt and we cannot blame them for not playing well.

"It takes some time for them to show their potential and I can see improvement, especially with Jerome [Baker] which is a positive thing.

"If Jerome and Liam can perform as today [Tuesday] alongside [Mamadou] Diallo and Robert [Eziakor], with Tom [Beattie] back, then we can have five good foreigners for the next game."

The former Prime League coach stated that his players struggled to maintain possession in the midfield and need to improve on that front for their upcoming fixture against league leaders Tampines Rovers.

"We lost control in the midfield, lost possession and made a lot of careless mistakes," he continued.
"We gave away a lot of fouls outside the penalty box and they got two goals at the near post from corners which is uncalled for.

"My players didn't close down the incoming corners and that cost us. All in all, it was a matter of concentration and we lacked focus.  If only we realise that the more we hold the ball, the more chances we can have then we can do better.

"We lost out in height as well and we have to deal with it. Thank goodness, Tom [Beattie] should be back for the next game and help provide some height.

"When I put in Liam Shotton, we had that height advantage in attack."

Balestier beat Hougang to get back on track

Hougang United fall to another defeat even as they change coach with interim Hougang coach Johana Johari witnessing his side go down 1-3 to Balestier Khalsa.

The Hougang side never stood a chance once Park Kang-jin give the Tigers the lead in the first half.

Two more goals came in the second half from Obadin Aikhena and Park, who got his brace, killoff the game before Liam Shotton, who came on as a substitute, score a consolation goal

In other matches, Tanjong Pagar United and Woodlands Wellington drew 1-1 and it was the case as well with Geylang International and Albirex Niigata (S) who drew 2-2.

Rams got their goal from Chang Jo-yoon while the Jaguars goal came once again from their marquee signing Monsef Zerka.

As for Geylang International, they will be disappointed they did not get the win as they nearly achieve the impossible dream with them still down 1-0 four minute from time due to Kazuki Sakamoto goal but former White Swans captain Kazuki Sakamoto scored to pull the match level.

After that, on the stroke of 90 minute the centre back hit his second as he push up during a counter attack to give the Eagles the lead and they looked to have won the game.

However Albirex refused to give up and with the last attack of the game, they forced Khayrulhayat Jumat into an own-goal as he try to cut out a cross.

Both sides have to be contend to share the point.

Hougang United
Fadhil Salim (GK), Hasree Zais, Lau Meng Meng, Syaqir Sulaiman, Faizal Amir (Liam Shotton 77'), Fazly Hasan (Jeremy Chiang 52'), Azhar Sairudin, Jerome Baker, Nurhilmi Jasni, Robert Eziakor, Mamadou Diallo

Balestier Khalsa
Zaiful Nizamn (GK), Hamqaamal Shah, Syed Thaha, Obadin Aikhena, Poh Yifeng, Tengku Mushadad, Ridwan Jamil, Park Kang-jin (Shafuan Sutohmoh 89'), Kim Min-ho (Ruhaizad Ismail 57'), Qiu Li (Patrick Paran 86'), Jung Hee-bong


Tanjong Pagar United
Aurelien Herisson (GK), Ahmad Latiff, Walid Lounis, Zahid Ahmad, Azhar Ahmad, Hafiz Nor (Hazzuwan Halim 78'), K. Vikraman, Hanafi Salleh, Kamel Ramdani, Ismael Benahmed, Monsef Zerka

Woodlands Wellington
Ahmadulhaq Che Omar (Fearghus Lyle 46') (GK), Ang Zhiwei, Shahril Alias, Cho Sung-hwan, Rosman Sulaiman, Atsushi Shimono, Armanizam Dolah (Ridhwan Osman 69'), Chang Jo-yoong (Goh Swee Swee 87'), Khalid Hamdaoui, Shariff Samat, Moon Soon-ho


Geylang International
Takuma Ito (GK), Delwinder Singh, Khayrulhayat Jumat, Norihiro Kawakami, Duncan Elias (Andrew Tan 59'), Fabian Kwok, Yasir Hanapi (Khairulnizam Jumahat 86'), Nurhazwan Norasikin (Shotaro Ihata 63'), Jalal, Wahyudi Wahid, Jozef Kaplan

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ismail Yunos frozen out?

Former Home United midfielder John Wilkinson has tweeted Ismail Yunos is currently facing tough time at Home and have been 'poorly treated'.

One wonder if it is because he had a fall out with coach Paul Lee.

The 27-year-old has not play for the Protectors since the loss against Woodlands Wellington way back in 5th March.

At the same time, John Wilkinson is coming back to S-league as he tweeted he will depart I-league and he is coming back to Singapore.

Other than Home, one still think he will find another club easily.

Own goal give Warriors chance while Stags dream are over

Warriors FC are still in the AFC Cup thanks to an own goal as they defeated Churchill Brothers 1-0 at Jalan Besar.

With second placed Kitchee FC losing their second match in a row, the Warriors can get back into the race for the knockout stage but it will not be easy.

The Choa Chu Kang side still need a perfect ending and also for Kitchee not to win their encounter in two weeks time against Churchill Brother.

The things going for them is Kitchee and Churchill Brothers are both involved in title fight in their domestic league so need to be at full strength for it and this may wiped them out.

A draw between them with a win against Semen Padang will be the best result situation for Warriors but for now the Warriors will just be happy to be still in the race.

Especially as Tampines are virtually out no matter how one looked at it as second placed Saigon just need one more point and it will be out of the reach of the Stags.

But they have nobody to blame as they lost yet again with them going 1-2 down against East Bengal in India.

Shaiful Esah got their goal.

Tampines Rovers
Sasa Dreven (GK), Jufri Taha, Mustafic Fahrudin (C) (Khairul Amri), Yamashita Kunihiro, Shahdan Sulaiman, Alesandar Duric, Imran Sahib (Firdaus Kasman), Anaz Hadee, Shaiful Esah, Firdaus Kasman (Martin Wagner), Jamil Ali (Sead Hadzibulic)


Warriors FC
Hassan Sunny (GK), Zulfadli Abidin, Abdil Qaiyyim, Tatsuro Inui, Mislav Karoglan, Marin Vidosevic, Ruzaini Zainal (Dharham Aziz), Erwan Gunawan (Prakash S Manikam), Shukor Zailan (Matthew Abraham), Daniel Bennett (C), Shi Jiayi

Hougang move Alex Weaver sideway

Hougang United has moved Head coach Alex Weaver to the stand according to the media.

It seem the players have not adapted to his coaching method he has introduced this season and with results not coming the way of the Hougang side, the management have acted

Assistant Coach Johana Bin Johari will take over the team while Weaver will be learning as 'adviser' during this period.

Monday, April 8, 2013

People now know Tanjong Pagar

Patrick Vallee, Tanjong Pagar United coach, instilled in his side the belief that they could beat Brunei DPMM on home soil prior to the game, as counterpart Vjeran Simunic looked shell-shocked.

Monsef Zerka sixth goal of the season helped Tanjong Pagar United to a shock 1-0 win at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Sunday night, but star striker Monsef Zerka refused to get carried away after the game.

"We won, and our focus tomorrow is now on the other games," the Jaguars’ marquee signing remarked.

"We are doing our best to bring more fans to the stadium, and I think the people will now know the name ‘Tanjong Pagar’."

Remarkably, the win was Tanjong Pagar's fourth of the season, just one shy of their total for the entirety of 2012. The club’s dramatic change in fortunes can be attributed largely to the arrival of French tactician Patrick Vallee, who felt that in spite of a few hiccups, his battle plan for the game proved to be successful.

"The plan was to be quiet when we started the game," the 51-year-old revealed.

"We know that [Brunei] DPMM like to put pressure in the opening 30 minutes, and we thought maybe if we can do something, we will.

"I wanted my team to be compact and not give DPMM any space, and I think they did that very well."

It was a busy night for referee Leow Thiam Hoe, who booked five Tanjong Pagar players, excluding the sending off of Asraf Rashid. However, Vallee insisted that they are not a dirty team by nature.

"My team are not bandits [and] we are not aggressive, but I do not want to talk about cards tonight,” he said.

"We had a heroic goalkeeper, a fantastic striker and nine formidable players in between them.

"I told my team that they could be the first team to win in Brunei. I wrote 'we are here to do it' on the board in the dressing room before the game, and after [the match], my players wrote 'we did it!’.”

They did not deserve to win

Tanjong Pagar United defeated DPMM Brunei 1-0 but opposite number Vjeran Simunic believed the Queenstown side did not deserve to win as he felt his side dominate proceeding.

"They are a good team, but didn't deserve to win," Simunic managed to muster after a momentary pause to collect his thoughts.

"If you look back at the game, DPMM had six or seven chances and apart from the goal, Tanjong Pagar had none.

The Croatian explained that his decision to bring off Najib Tarif early on in the first half was purely tactical, adding that Tales dos Santos brought a different dimension to the game.

"They have three very experienced strikers, so with [Dos] Santos, we brought more aggression to the game," the 57-year-old said.

"Santos stopped Zerka, [Kamel] Ramdani and [Ismael] Benahmed and in the second half, with Santos up front, we were more attacking.

"Tanjong Pagar looked good in the opening 10 minutes, and I think we stumbled after we conceded the opening goal."

Jaguars halt DPMM run

Tanjong Pagar United defeated League Cup champions DPMM Brunei 1-0 to halt their charge since their return from international break.

The Brunei side had won their last 2 games and were looking to add Tanjong Pagar to their scalp but the Queenstown side was not about to accept that story line.

Despite playing with 10 men after Asraf Rashid was send off with 30 minutes more to play, the Jaguars held onto the lead given to them by in the first half. 

In other matches, Home United crushed Balestier Khalsa 4-0, Woodlands Wellington defeated Courts Young Lions 3-1 and Hairmau Muda defeated Warriors FC 2-1.

Song Ui Young, Lee Kwan Woo, Jordan Webb and Hafiz Rahim got the goals for the Protectors.

For the Cubs, Sherif EL-Masri got their first official goal after their last two goals, also scored by EL-Masri, was cancelled but it was not enough for the Jalan Besar side to collect any point as the Rams staged a second half comeback.

An own goal was followed by late goals from Moon Soon Ho and Goh Swee Swee. 

Finally, Syazwan Tajudin and Ridzuan Abdunloh scored for the Malaysians while Mislav Karoglan reply for the Warriors.

Balestier Khalsa
Zaiful Nizam (GK), Yusiskandar Yusop, Obadin Aikhena, Jaslee Hatta, Syed Thaha, Kim Min-ho (Zulkiffli Hassim 28'), Tengku Mushadad, Park Kang-jin, Shafuan Sutohmoh (Patrick Paran 45'), Qiu Li, Jung Hee-bong (Poh Yi Feng 64')

Home United
Shahril Jantan (GK), Nor Azli Yusoff, Noh Rahman, Sirina Camara, Masrezwan Masturi, Song Ui-young (Aliff Shafaein 75'), Hafiz Rahim, Lee Kwan-woo (Sofiyan Abdul Hamid 80'), Masato Fukui (Mustaqim Manzur 79'), Jordan Webb, Indra Sahdan Daud


Courts Young Lions
Rudy Khairullah (GK), Tajeli Salamat, Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Emmeric Ong, Sufianto Salleh, Anumanthan Mohan Kumar, Shamil Sharif, Fareez Farhan, Afiq Noor (Nur Ridho 71'), Faiz Salleh (Farhan Rahmat 76'), Sherif El-Masri (Stanely Ng 85')

Woodlands Wellington
Yazid Yasin (Ahmadulhaq Che Omar 90') (GK), Ang Zhiwei, Shahril Alias, Cho Sung-hwan, Rosman Sulaiman, Atsushi Shimono, Armanizam Dolah, Chang Jo-yoong, Khalid Hamdaoui, Taufiq Rahmat (Fadhil Noh 56', Goh Swee Swee 85'), Moon Soon-ho


Warriors FC
Hassan Sunny (GK), Zulfadli Zainal Abidin, Abdil Qaiyyim (Daniel Bennett 66'), Tatsuro Inui, Shimpei Sakurada, Ruzaini Zainal, Shukor Zailan (Matthew Abraham 76'), Mislav Karoglan, Sufian Anuar, Marin Vidosevic, Erwan Gunawan (Prakash Manikam 74')


Tanjong Pagar United
Aurelien Herisson (GK), Azhar Ahmad, Walid Lounis, Asraf Rashid, Ahmad Latiff, Kamel Ramdani, Hafiz Nor, Saz,ali Salleh, K Vikraman, Ismael Benahmed, Monsef Zerka

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Choose a path first before anything else (Edited)

The recent Home United performances have fans admiring it technical style of play even if results have not been as forthcoming. Of course, with that admiration will come the question why such a style cannot be adopted by the national side as it done by a Singapore team that is filled with half who are Singaporean .

For me, it is a good question to ask as it will answer a number of other questions as well like the recent poor results in AFC Cup and the quarrel between Terry Pathmanathan and FAS.

First of all, one will ask how is it linked together and the example of German football will be a good explanation for until recent season German clubs had a torrid time in European competition; especially the elite UEFA Champions League (UCL) where, barred Bayern Munich, they struggled to get into the knockout stages for nearly a decade.

Yet one can see the Germans were still producing good players wanted by Europe. And now they are reaping the reward as the Bundesliga has four slot in the UCL and not just Bayern but all their teams are now consider decent challengers.

What does this show?

Results are important but if your system is capable of producing good players then you will reap the benefit in time.

After all, Greece may have won the European championship back in 2004 but yet it was German players who were scoured during the off-season transfers for clubs will only look for talented players, not limited ones.

In a way, it is much the same for Singapore who may have won the Suzuki Cup for a record fourth time but in term of players movement - even if I count the failed one of Shahril Ishak and Baihakki as successful - it can only be counted as limited.

But who can one blamed as Singapore is too affixed on the kick and rush as well as long ball philosophy of the English system.

Just as Europe see no point getting such players, the rest of ASEAN if not the world see no point hiring that type of players.

After that come the part why local coaches had anything to link with this.

This one is simple to answer for if local coaches are seem to be capable of only producing such players, what is the market value for such coaches. Clubs management and fans valued coaches who are not only capable of producing winning teams but also good players.

Is it any wonder why Richard Bok, who was one of the most successful coach, had no offers from aboard.

I do not want to be brutal but the current situation where local coaches only depend on the local market is unsustainable as every decade we have players retiring and if Terry Pathmanathan think local football coaches do not need Raddy as mentor then what can he offer.

Just depending on the name is not enough for it is no secret your type of football is the problem and we have seem famous name doing too much damages to local football reputation.

Indeed Fandi Ahmad may have caused more harm to whatever reputation local coaches had in the first place for his record is simply not good enough.

In Singapore, despite winning two S-league crown, it paled when one see Richard Bok who, at the start of his reign, was not given the same financial support as Fandi but won more titles and he did something the famous one never did; which was win in Asia.

Fandi when faced against other Asian teams had ended with only two draw and five defeats.

After that in Indonesia, he nearly brought his team to div 1 before he was moved upstairs and now in Malaysia, Johor, despite being the biggest spender in the league, has disappointed and he show his inability to control his marquee players.

For Sundram, he may as well be Singapore Sam Allardyce for his defend of his style of football just enhance the reputation that Singaporean can only play the kick and rush as well as long ball of the English game.

That is not what local coaches need as advertisement.

Thus at this point, for their own sake if not Singapore football how can one say they have nothing to learn for why should the world bother about us when we cannot offer them anything.

Indeed that is why the Home United project of following Korean football is of importance but just as Arsenal did not change the English game despite their passing style of football, it is asking too much of Home to think others will fall in line.

For that we need the upcoming FAS President (I have no hope for the current one as it is too late) for Japanese football is an example.

When JFA decided to start J-league in the 1990s they also changed the way their football developed as they reformed their philosophy and adopted the South American approach. They brought in all the locks and barrels from that region and stick to it even as there was opposition to the change.

Now 20 years later, we can see the results as the like of Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa etc who are chase by European teams showcase the type of players they had developed is similar to South American.

Look at Singapore now, FAS claim to want to change the philosophy of local football but it is a mess for whose philosophy is adopted.

At the youth level, there are Japanese, Serbian and Singaporean coaches and each one has a different approach for Japanese like to play possession and control the tempo while Serbian play a passing game with a physical side. (No need to talk about Singapore one as talk about it already)

The approach by each side is different so how can players develop and that is why like Home it is time to ask what path they want to take as we need all the youngsters to take that route and not half here and half there.

Home has chosen the Korean path and frankly I do not want to say we must adopt it for this is not about whose path we should take.

German, Korean, Japanese, South American, French, Spanish and lot more systems etc all encourage technical game but have different approaches and mixing them together will only make a difficult job of changing the local game more complex without any results.

That is why I hope the upcoming President, whoever he or she may be, should choose a path first before anything else

Successful and attractive football attract offers and at this point Singapore has neither.

AFF Awards

National Team of the Year - Singapore
Coach of the Year - Radojko Avramovic
Player of the Year - Shahril Ishak
Referee of the Year - Abdul Malik
Assistant Referee of the Year - Tang Yew Mun

Three Singapore players, Baihakki Khaizan, Mustafic Fahrudin and Shahril Ishak, are also named in the AFF’s First XI

Albirex and Jaguars play to a draw

Albirex Niigata (S) and Tanjong Pagar United play to a 1-1 draw at Jurong East Stadium as second face third.

It meant both sides kept their place in the table with only Tampines benefiting as the champions now have a game in hand over their rivals.

Zerka Monsef scored for the Jaguars but the White Swans hit back almost immediately with a goal from Kazuki Sakamoto

In another match, DPMM Brunei defeated Geylang International 4-2.

The Brunei had taken a four goal lead through Helmi Zambin, Joao Moreira (2) and Awangku Fakharazzi before letting it slipped before the end.

Yasir Hanapi and Jozef Kaplan scored for the Eagles.

Tanjong Pagar United
Aurelien Herisson (GK), Azhar Ahmad, Walid Lounis (C), Asraf Rashid, Ahmad Latiff, Kamel Ramdani, Hafiz Nor, Sazali Salleh, Ismael Benahmed, Zahid Ahmad


Geylang International
Joey Sim (GK), Khayrulhayat Jumat, Delwinder Singh (Khairulnizam Jumahat 75'), Norihiro Kawakami, Jalal, Yasir Hanapi, Fabian Kwok, Jozef Kaplan (C), Nurhazwan Norasikin, Taufiq Ghani (Andrew Tan 55'), Shotaro Ihata (Wahyudi Abd Wahid 53')

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tampines and Warriors face exit

Both Warriors FC and Tampines Rovers are looking at the exit door in the AFC Cup.

With the Warriors suffering their 3rd defeat after going down 0-3 at Churchill Brothers in India, they are more or less out even if it is mathematically possible to get into the knockout stage.

But first they have to do something that have not done in the AFC Cup which is win and considering how badly they are doing in the league as well it is asking for the sky.

As for Tampines Rovers, they also fall behind the top 2 in the group as they suffered their second defeat in 3 games after losing 4-2 to East Bengal.

Sead Hadzibulic and Khairul Amri scored for the Stags but a defence which has leaked 6 goals in the past 2 games continued to leak another 4 goals in this game.

They are now 6 points behind the top 2 and need a win against East Bengal next week.

Warriors FC
Hassan Sunny (GK), Zulfadli Zainal Abidin (Syaiful Iskandar), Abdil Qaiyyim, Inui Tatsuro, Mislav Karoglan, Marin Vidosevic, Ruzaini Zainal, Erwan Gunawan, Shukor Zailan (Matthew Abraham) , Daniel Bennett (C), Prakash Manikam (Sufian Anuar)


Tampines Rovers
Sasa Dreven (GK), Ismadi Mukthar, Jufri Taha, Yamashita Kunihiro, Shahdan Sulaiman (C), Sead Hadzibulic (Alesandar Duric), Imran Sahib (Firdaus Kasman), Anaz Hadee, Shaiful Esah, Khairul Amri, Martin Wagner (Jamil Ali)

Top 2 Philippines sides for RHB Singapore Cup

It is believed the top 2 sides in Philippines football have been invited for the RHB Singapore Cup.

They are United Football League champions (Philippines top league) Global FC and Loyola Meralco Sparks.

Both sides are packed with Philippines national teams players with Global FC just capturing three Philippines internationals - Joshua Beloya, Jason de Jong and Eduard Sacapano - from Kaya, Stallion Sta. Lucia and Philippine Army respectively.

Loyola have the famous Younghusbands brothers in their ranks.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Alam Shah become PSS Sleman highest paid player

GOAL website has reported Noh Alam Shah is to become Indonesia second tier club PSS Sleman highest paid player.

It is claimed the players total wage bill for a month is about Rp340 million (USD34,979).

US$35000 divided by 22 is US$1590 per player and while Noh Alam Shah is the highest-paid player there are surely other players who are paid decently for the club must have other foreigners and highly-regarded locals as well.

Still as NAS is highest paid player, think he can collect three time that amount meaning he can earn around US$4800 which make it around S$6k.

A decent wage as it is a second division club and considering Indonesia lower standard of living.

Unhappiness expressed over LWS

Unhappiness is growing over the Lightning Warning System (LWS) that have been installed this season

Here is comments from AJAJAJAJ
I think the SSC and S-league should find a better lightning management system other than the one currently in place. 
Tonight's match of the week game was delayed for so long at JBS. I find it puzzling that a decision was only made at 8.40pm whether the game should go ahead. For me I didn't notice any effects from an approaching storm or inclement weather with lightning coming around. Indeed the majority of the fans felt very frustrated waiting for something that turned out to be a no show rain or lightning focus.
The game eventually started at 9.15am after having the players warmed up.
In the history of Sleague matches played (although a Sinchi player died during training), I do not recall a system like this so deterrent. Is the management overplaying the whole issue?
Why couldn't a decision be made much earlier to play the game or postpone it instead at 8.40pm? What are the benefits of such a system, which I think makes a complete joke of the whole situation.
At Adventure Cove Sentosa, many thousands of people take to the waters everyday. Yet the risk of stopping all activities only arise when an imminent lightning strike is measured. I have witnessed mostly along these times when such calls are made at AC. Strong blustery winds are felt and seen. Dark clouds are very closed by with evidence of approaching risk.
Could Sleague study how AC does this right.
For tonight's game, the red alarm was ringing even without any form of danger in sight. This system must be a very sophisticated one. As Singapore is quite prone to lightning attacks throughout the whole year, the chances of the system triggering would be almost a common feature. However that does not mean that lightning will strike ever so close but could be say 8 to 10 km away. Would a match be halted at jbs if rain and lightning persist in Bedok?
Is the system so hyper sensitive that even in such a scenario, the effect at jbs could be nil but still play is stopped.
The delay will cause a lot of unnecessary displeasure to many many supporters and this is something we do not want to see at this point of time. The precautions taken are good but need some adjustment perhaps.
Sometimes, a little bit of common sense will prevail rather that a preventive measure that looks downright stupid!

The Lightning Warning System (LWS) is based on the inputs from the National Environment Agency (NEA). For the guys who have gone through NS, this is similar to let's say, the CAT 1 that we are very familiar with.
Unfortunately, this system is being installed by the Singapore Sports Council (SSC). The FAS and S.League do not have the power to control it. The two organisations just do not seem to be able to work with each other. Even if all Club Chairmen were to sign a petition against the LWS it will not make any difference as the SSC will not be doing away with it, at least not anytime soon. In fact, i don't think that SSC will remove it, simply because the management just want to cover their arses 'in case' anything happens. Their mentality is always 'Safety First'.
I am just waiting to see an MSL game being affectedby the LWS. Wonder what the Malaysian teams and FAM will have to say about it.
Oh yes. Need i mention that I think we are the only countryin the world to have football matches being controlled by a 'red light'? Uniquely Singapore indeed..!!

Champions' mentality

Nenad Bacina believes the qualities his Tampines Rovers players showed in Friday's gritty 1-0 triumph over Home United were the hallmark of a championship side

"Definitely," he replied, when asked if the gritty win was a mark of champions. "It's not just in Singapore; you see it everywhere in the world and in the big European leagues.

"You can't always play pretty football. All of us want to play good football but you only have to look at top teams like [Barclays Premier League giants] Chelsea a few years back.

"Of course, I'm not saying Tampines are Chelsea or comparing myself to [ex-Chelsea manager Jose] Mourinho, but games like this happen.

"Home United played very well and that's no surprise - they are one of the biggest clubs in the S.League and still a very good side. We expected a tough game.

"But to be under pressure in a difficult game and still be able to survive and get a point or maybe three - that's how you do it at a big team. It's something you expect from all the top teams; getting points even when you don't play well against an equally good side."

And although the Stags are now the only team still with a 100% record in 2013, after Albirex Niigata (S) lost 2-1 to Woodlands Wellington on Tuesday, the Croat was quick to state it has not been as simple as some might have made it out to be.

"As the defending champions, perhaps everyone expected us to win our opening six games," Bacina added. "But it has not been easy.

"Of course, I have to be happy that we have managed to win all six games but we must keep our feet on the ground.

"On paper, people expect us to have 100 chances and score 90 goals in each game but playing in the S.League is not easy. There are strong teams and in every game you face good opponents."

Proud in defeat

Home United Paul Lee refused to get overly disappointed by the 1-0m defeat against Tampines Rovers and believes Home had been the better side, even when they were down to ten men.

"I'm actually very happy with the performance!" he said to open his post-match press conference.

"My players did their best and I cannot blame them. The final result is my fault.

"Even when we were playing with ten men, I thought we were the better side. I don't think anyone who watched the game would disagree."

The ex-Korea Republic international, who played at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, also refused to blame either Firdaus or referee Abdul Malik Bashir for the former's sending-off.

"As always in football, many things can happen on the pitch," Lee added.

"But as a coach, I should respect the referee's decision."

A recurring theme in Lee's post-match press conferences last season was his constant referring to his 'homework', the term he used to refer to areas his side needed to work on in training.

Throughout 2012, the main problem stemmed from Home's defensive inadequacies but despite their shaky start to the current campaign, the fact he had not mentioned his 'homework' at all was a clear sign that there have been many positives so far.

Nonetheless, it emerged again on Friday as Lee admitted he needs to find a way to get the best out of new striker Masato Fukui, who has struggled to impress since moving from Japan.

"He [Fukui] played as a striker in the first three games but couldn't score," he explained. "I think his confidence went down as a result but I try to give him encouragement.

"He has soft emotions but he has to be strong on the pitch. This is my homework - to improve his level of performance.

"He may be a foreign player but I think he has to show more respect to the opposition defenders. Also, he didn't play the last two games [through suspension] and maybe he needed to get used to the pace of the game again."

Tampines go six for six

Tampines Rovers go six for six as they defeated Home United 1-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Despite the result, it was Home who was the more impressive side throughout the game and they should have collected the 3 points but forward Indra was guilty of missing at least 5 golden chances to open the account.

Indeed the champions make the Protectors pay for it as they won a penalty and skipper Mustafic Fahrudin go on to convert the spotkick.

It was yet another result the champions had grind out but as the saying go; champions grind out results and they are looking like 5-time champions at this point.

In another match, DPMM Brunei defeat Woodlands Wellington 1-0 at Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium with Joao Moreira scoring the only goal of the game

Home United
Shahril Jantan (GK), Firdaus Idros, Noh Rahman (C), Sirina Camara, Masrezwan Masturi (Justin Khiang 90'), Song Ui-young, Hafiz Rahim, Lee Kwan-woo (Aliff Shafaein 82'), Masato Fukui (Mustaqim Manzur 69'), Jordan Webb, Indra Sahdan Daud

Tampines Rovers
Sasa Dreven (GK), Jufri Taha, Kunihiro Yamashita, Seiji Kaneko, Shaiful Esah, Imran Sahib (Ahmed Fahmie 90'), Mustafic Fahrudin (C), Shahdan Sulaiman, Ismadi Mukhtar, Sead Hadzibulic (Aleksandar Duric 85'), Khairul Amri


Woodlands Wellington
Ahmadulhaq Che Omar (GK), Cho Sung Hwan, Shahril Alias, Rosman Sulaiman, Armanizam Dolah (C), Taufiq Rahmat (Moon Soon Ho 46'), Ridhwan Osman (Oswind Suriya 55'), Ang Zhiwei, Khalid Hamdaoui, Chang Jo-yoon, Goh Swee Swee (Farizal Basri 66')

Bosjnak set for return

DPMM FC striker Ivan Bosjnak is expected to make his competitive return against Woodlands Wellington FC in the S-League at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The striker has been out with head injury since early March, but was able to begin training in the past few weeks and has increased his workload since.

He is now training with the squad. He is doing what the other players are doing except he is not encouraged to head the ball during the training. He is doing very well," said coach Vjeran Simunic.

"In medicinal aspect he is recovering very well. But is up to (Bosjnak), if he thinks he is ready to play then he will play," said Simunic.

"We will see in these few days if he is going to play... then we will need to look for a special mask for him because if he gets hit it might get worse."

Six consecutive wins difficult to achieve

Albirex Niigata (S) coach Koichi Sugiyama cut a stoic figure after the 1-2 defeat to Woodlands Wellington defeat but took consolation from the fact that his men would remain in second place.

"Six consecutive wins was always very difficult to achieve." he remarked. "We're still in a good position near the top of the table. We don't need to change our objectives for the season after just one defeat."

"I think Woodlands did a good job tonight [Tuesday] even if the pitch was a bit slippery so we couldn't play our usual style of play.

"Through the season, we will lose certain games but now we must bounce back and look forward to the next game."

A great many of Albirex's goals this term have come from long-range efforts but the White Swans found that they might need to carve out more opportunities from close range in future games. Sugiyama remains confident, though, that his players will not be bogged down by the defensive-minded tactics of their opponents and find the goals needed to win subsequent fixtures.

"There are many ways to score and in the future, I'm sure we can score from within the box as well," he continued.

"I don't think it's a problem that a lot of our goals came from distance.

"I'm a bit unhappy that we couldn't play like we usually do but I think the players still put in a good shift."

Albirex fall to first defeat

Albirex Niigata (S) fall to their first defeat of the season as they went down 1-2 to Woodlands Wellington at the Woodlands Stadium.

Khalid Hamdaoui had fired the home side into the lead in the first half when he managed to send a precise shot into the top right corner from the edge of the box.

The visitors struggled to find a way back as a resilient backline kept out the Japanese players at every opportunity and it took until the last 20 minutes for Kento Nagasaki to level the scoreline with a well-placed shot from just outside the box.

The Rams were not to be denied as Chang Jo-yoon gave them the lead again and the three points were staying at Woodlands.

In other matches, Geylang International beat Hougang United 2-0 while Balestier Khalsa and Harimau Muda played to a 0-0 draw and Warriors FC crushed Courts Young Lions 3-0.

The hero for the Eagles were once again skipper Jozef Kaplan as he gave them the lead before adding an assist for Khairulnizam Jumahat.

For the Warriors it was Erwan Gunawan brace as well as a goal from Tatsuro Inui that gave the comfortable 3 points on offer.

Woodlands Wellington
Yazid Yasin(GK), Cho Sung Hwan, Shahril Alias(C), Rosman Sulaiman, Atsushi Shimono, Taufiq Rahmat (Goh Swee Swee 85'), Ridhwan Osman (Armanizam Dolah 90'), Ang Zhiwei, Khalid Hamdaoui (Oswind Suriya 76'), Chang Jo-yoon, Soon Ho Moon


Geylang International
Joey Sim (GK), Delwinder Singh, Khayrulhayat Jumat, Norihiro Kawakami, Jalal, Nurhazwan Norasikin, Taufiq Ghani (Khairulnizam Jumahat 88'), Yasir Hanapi, Jozef Kaplan (C), Andrew Tan (Duncan Elias 64'), Shotaro Ihata (Wahyudi Wahid 69')

Hougang United
Fadhil Salim (GK) (C), Jeremy Chiang, Hasree Zais, Syaqir Sulaiman, Fazly Hasan (Lau Meng Meng 67'), Jerome Baker, Faizal Amir, Azhar Sairudin, Fazli Jaffar (Basit Hamid 71'), Robert Eziakor, Mamadou Diallo.


Balestier Khalsa
Zaiful Nizam (GK), Yusiskandar Yusop, Tengku Mushadad, Jaslee Hatta (C), Park Kang Jin, Syed Thaha, Obadin Aikhena, Kim Minho (Hamqaamal Shah 28' (Qiu Li 85')), Jung Hee Bong, Zulkiffli Hassim, Patrick Paran (Ruhaizad Ismail 65')


Warriors FC
Hassan Sunny (GK), Ruzaini Zainal, Abdil Qaiyyim, Daniel Bennett (C), Syaiful Iskandar, Erwan Gunawan (Hafsyar Farkhan 76'), Shukor Zailan, Shimpei Sakurada, Tatsuro Inui (Prakash Manikam 66'), Sufian Anuar (Dharham Aziz 85'), Mislav Karoglan.

Courts Young Lions
Rudy Khairullah (GK), Al-Qaasimy Rahman (C), Eddie Chang (Emmeric Ong 60'), Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Sufianto Salleh, Tajeli Salamat, Afiq Noor, Faiz Salleh (Ignatius Ang 69'), Shamil Sharif, Nur Ridho (Fareez Farhan 46'), Sherif El-Masri