For The Record...
"In an interview with Yahoo! Singapore, Zainudin (Nordin, FAS President) reiterated that the S-league will not become a "poorer cousin" once the LionsXII start their Malaysia Cup campaign."

Sunday, March 01, 2015

APOLOGY TO MR KHAIRUL AMRI

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This entry is to serve as an apology to national and LionsXII striker, Mr Khairul Amri and his family for an online posting that was posted by me on BoLASEPaKO.com's Facebook Page earlier in the day.

I acknowledged the inconvenience caused by the said posting, which had been removed, to Mr Khairul Amri and his family. It was a bad judgement on my part for posting it up without realizing the grave consequences at that point of time.

I had called earlier and offered my sincere apology to Mr Khairul Amri, with this entry being served as a notice of apology.

I am sorry.

With Sincerity,
Ko Po Hui
(1st March 2015, Singapore)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

"Matchpix" - December 2014, January - February 2015

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(P.S: If you access this site via "come.to/matchpix", please click the "Facebook" icon after you click "HERE" when you want to view the album as that will redirect you to the album, thank you)
  • Friendly: Geylang In't 2-2 LionsXII 27/12/2014
One of them was wearing the "Johnson" jersey
Towards the end of the match, the lighting conditions were pretty bad as the floodlights were not on at all. This was only the second time I compiled shots featuring the Lions XII and do take note the name on the back of the jersey may not necessary refer to the players who wore (eg: 'Johnson')

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES


  • Friendly: CYL 1-3 JDT II 10/1/2015
Adam Swandi (front) scored the only goal
I forgot to "switch on my lights" as the floodlights during the match were not blast to full that I initially set at the usual lower ISO until I realized when it was too late.

Both Baihakki Khaizan and Shahril Ishak turned out for the visitors in this match with Adam Swandi scored the only consolation for the SEA Games prep squad.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES


  • Friendly: Lions Veterans vs Mercedes SEA 18/1/2015
"Mr Hock" got down fast to block a ball 
The group of former national players came together pretty often to have a game or two to maintain their involvement in the game.

In the match against a team called "Mercedes SEA", former SAFFC coach Richard Bok also played in the match and scored a couple.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES


  • Friendly: Project Vaults FC 1-5 JDT II 24/1/2015
Eyes on the ball 
Was informed of this fixture by the management of Project Vaults at the Serangoon Stadium, which is the first time I came to this stadium.

And realized that the turf that was once laid on JBS is laid on this stadium surface.

At the end of the day, the Johoreans claimed the victory and extended their fine form of run at the south side of the Causeway for their tuning up.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES


  • 7th SCC Soccer Sixes - Day One 31/1/15
You can see how glaring it was
Still need practice to shoot under the sun when the flickering rays and the passing clouds made the shooting an arduous task with the meddling of the settings ala "Edward Scissorhands".

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES


  • 7th SCC Soccer Sixes - Day Two 1/2/15
Tussling for the ball in the box
It wasn't easy to shoot under the sun with the fickling sunlight and the passing clouds constantly change the lighting conditions that I was advised by Mr Jaron Lee to switch to "Av" mode to free myself from all kinds of misery.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES


  • Friendly: Singapore U23 1-8 Japan U22 14/2/15
Shoya Nakajima outwits the Cubs 
When the Strategic Plan was first mooted, one of the aims is to be among the top of the continent with constant sparring matches against those at that top echelon.

While very often we are being drilled to believe things are on path, but this result has once again allowed the "missiles to launch again".

Honestly speaking, I can't think of anything positive from this game too.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES

  • AFC Cup - Warriors 1-3 Persipura Jayapura 24/2/15
Tom Beattie rose above the sea of heads
It was not a great outing for the reigning S.League champions who struggled to get things settled and lost to a much confident opponents in Persipura Jayapura. The irony being the Warriors lost to a side who yet to have a competitive match since the start of the year and whereas they just went through the grills of the ACL Playoffs.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Competitive Edge counts nothing in Warriors' AFC Cup opening defeat

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Nico Velez (right) looks on a Persipura's celebrations 
Unfortunately, having the competitive edge after went through grills offered by the Asian Champions League (ACL) playoffs in recent weeks did not give Warriors FC the necessary advantage, as perceived by many, during their AFC Cup Group E opener against Persipura Jayapura with the former succumbed to a 3-1 defeat at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

After all, the Indonesian side did not have the most ideal preparation prior to this fixture due to delay commencement of their domestic season that denied any serious match practice before coming to Singapore.

However, the last evening's result should more or less cast those doubts aside in the words of Metusalach Dwaramury, the assistant coach of the West Papua-based side.

Boaz Solossa (hands raised) scored the second goal
Speaking through a translator after the match, the bespectacled assistant to Brazilian Oswaldo Lessa opined:"While this is our first competitive match (of the year), but it is not the first time we are in this tournament and having played Home United last season, we know how Singapore clubs prepare for this competition too.

"And I felt that both Indonesian and Singaporean clubs level is similar, however, it's all about how we prepare ourselves for the AFC Cup."

Indeed, while both sides started the match on a shaky note, it was the away side that gradually took the control of the game by taking the lead in the half-hour mark through Ivorian Lancine Kone who tapped onto Marin Vidosevic's blunder to open the account of the night.

Dominggus Fakdawer (left) tussle with Velez for ball 
Vidosevic (right) had a bad day in office
The last year's semi-finalists upped the score four minutes later with a Boaz Solossa's loop over a hapless Neezam Aziz in goal to set the path right for the three points at stake.

Midfielder Nelson Alom made it three-nil in the 58th minute and only to see substitute Andy Ahmad, who came in for veteran Shi Jiayi in the 64th minute, to reduce the deficit to two with clinical finishing in the 69th minute.

"We didn't approach the game on a cautious note," replied a visibly disappointed Alex Weaver, the Warriors' coach, to a suggestion made by a reporter after losing the opener.

Hafiz Rahim (left) robbed of the possession by Ian Kabes
Andy Ahmad scored the consolation in 69th minute
Continued the Englishman when he stressed:"The reason we lost tonight is because we literally gave the (first) two goals away to Persipura,

"I had been disappointed with team performance or individual performance in the past, but this is the first time I am disappointed with a group of players,

"We just did not show the standard we have after we done so during our training and we need to move forward after this to prepare ourselves against Balestier this Sunday." he said in referring to the Charity Shield match-cum-league opener against the reigning Singapore Cup holders on the same ground.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

THE CUBS RIPPED APART 8-1 ....

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Cubs (in red) struggled against the Japanese 
Sometimes, one can't be faulted that skepticism aroused instantly when things don't deliver, especially when the subject are proclaimed for better things to come.

Fresh from their training trip to Turkey that saw them chalking up losses on margin against their peers from German side Hamburger SV, Spartak Moscow of Russian and Yemen U21 with a draw salvaged against Uzbekistan U21, things remain positive and was lauded as a good learning experience for the team's preparation for the upcoming SEA Games in June.

So literally, here came this match that the visiting Japanese U22 national side shown their class and gave their hosts - SINGAPORE NATIONAL U23 TEAM, a lesson that will etch in their minds that would not be easy to erase in the near future.

Down by five goals at half time against the Japanese Olympic squad, the Cubs found themselves barely able to make their way out of their fortress during the first 45 with their opponents completely dominated the possession with ease and confidence that the silenced home supporters who would only hope the men in red had shown half of that quality as well.

Nakajima (10) volleyed in the lead in 10th minute
Nakajima scored his second of the evening 
Barely ten minutes into the match, Shoya Nakajima capitalized on a defensive blooper in the box to open the account with a volley from close range before the FC Tokyo's striker doubled his tally eleven minutes later

"After the first two goals (by Nakajima), I think the Singapore side looked demoralized and didn't come as aggressively as expected," suggested Japanese coach Makoto Teguramori after the match when sharing his thoughts that were concurred by his Singaporean counterpart Aide Iskandar during his session.

Shakir Hamzah (2) foiled this attempt in box
"I agreed (with Coach Teguramori) that one can tell from the body languages that after the two goals, the team were demoralized that I think we could have done better," said Coach Aide in his briefing to the press.

Following that, Musashi Suzuki, with his distinctive blonde top, tripled the score in the 34th minute to allow two more goals from JEF United's Haruya Ide (in 42nd minute) and Ryota Oshima (45th minute) of Kawasaki Frontale before referee Mohd Farhan signalled the end of the first half to allow the shackled Singapore side to catch the much-needed breather.

Sahil Suhaimi (7) was struggling alone upfront
It was almost a similar story when the play resumed in the second half with the men in blue continued to strangle and nullify any attempt by the Singapore side to comb their way out of the doldrums that were marked by their poor passing and lack of ideas to make any breakthrough.

Crippled by the lack of support from the rest of the team, it wasn't hard to tell Sahil Suhaimi was a lone figure upfront with little attention was needed to mark him out when the ball wasn't there for him to inflict any visible damage on the Japanese backline.

Eventually, the LionsXII forward was replaced by Irfan Fandi in the early stages of the second half and shown the crowd of 3,458 the flashes of magic he inherited from his legendary father, it was remarked by a member from the media that "at least three Japanese defenders were needed to mark him." since he making his appearance amid the roars from the home crowds.

"Three defender and One Irfan" 
The young lad did not let them down and scored the only goal for the Singapore side to avoid an ugly shutout in the 78th minute after the visitors netted three more goals before that to make the score 8-1.

Impact shown by the 17-year-old drawn praises from Coach Teguramori when he lauded "Irfan had taught the Japanese defender how to defend better."

Nonetheless, the former midfielder is satisfied with the result tonight in spite of the short preparation he had for this game.

Japanese U22 shown their class in this match 
Coach Teguramori sharing his thoughts
Speaking through a translator, the ex-Vegalta Sendai coach said:"We managed to show our efforts in this game despite the short preparation we had, and although I am satisfied with the result, I told my players they must not to be satisfied with it,

"Today, we showed that we are able to overcome our problem in goal scoring, but none of our goals came from set-pieces and it's a challenge my team are facing." added the 47-year-old tactician.

"We learnt a lot today, even though it's a painful defeat and hope the boys are able to learn the gap between football in South East Asia and the rest of Asia, which I think this experience will help them to improve," concluded Cubs' coach Aide in his assessment of the day which he feted his opponents today as the "golden generation" of the Japanese football

"As for now, I will try to build the team morale back again and felt it's good that the players experience this (defeat) now, but I think playing against top teams like Japan will push them to perform to their limit and believe we have substance in this team that we need more time to peak at the right moment." said the former Lions defender.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

[Event] Recap the Sixes in the Urban Greenery...

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Into 2015, as SCC Soccer Sixes marked its seventh year
The past weekend saw a football tournament took place on the lush greens of the Padang amid the famed Singapore skyline that overlook the proceedings.

Into its seventh year since the competition begun back in 2009, the SCC Soccer Sixes had since established itself as a platform to showcase promising Asian football talent with category cater for the youth, while allowing players in the "Open" and "Masters" (over the age of 35) groups to pit their skills against one another with opponents from various countries.

Two pitches were demarcated on the greenery with two matches to play concurrently with a duration of 30 minutes (15 minutes each half) per game.

Making their presence as well on the field were some former S.League footballers such as Esad Sejdic who was joined by current Balestier Khalsa coach Marko Kraljevic and ex-national skipper Nazri Nasir for the "Weston All Stars" in the "Masters"'s Group C, while the like of another one-time Lions skipper Lim Tong Hai played for Club ITE in Group B in the same category.

Balestier's coach Kraljevic headed a clearance
Sharpe (left) and Duric (center) teamed up
At the end of the first day of "round-robin" competition saw top two teams emerged out of their respective pool of four to advance to the next stage of their campaign (i.e.: "Cup") with the bottom two sides of each pool being featured in the "Plate" event of the category they took part (with the exception of "Youth" category).

The second day witnessed the knockout phase of the tournament started nine o'clock on the Sunday morning with intensity heighten up when the stakes became higher.

Shasi Kumar in action for Club ITE
However, it wasn't all about winning honours in this tournament, but also to catch up with old acquaintances and making new ones as well over the past weekend, as Club ITE's Shasi Kumar explained.

"It was not only about the tournament, but also to catch up with old teammates, former coaches and meeting new friends as well," said the 39-year-old who is now a lecturer with ITE (Institute of Technical Education) since relinquished his coaching role with Woodlands Wellington in 2010.

Together with other former local professionals such as Ratna Suffian and Farhan Farook, the team from the education sector fought their way to "Masters" Cup final and only to see them edged out on penalties by defending champions, CLA All-Stars who were filled with the tournament "Guest Star Player" - former Manchester United midfielder Lee Sharpe and local legend Aleksandar Duric.

SCC Firsts won the "Open" on penalties
Nonetheless, the ex-Gombak United player, who debuted in this year's edition, was proud of what he and his team achieved in this competition.

Said Shasi:"I thought we did pretty well as underdogs by going all the way to the (Masters' Cup) final but it was tough to play under the scorching heat, although to be fair the (participating) teams did well under such conditions."

The following sides emerged as victors of their respective groups.

  • OPEN CATEGORY - SCC Firsts (Cup Winners), Hong Kong FC (Plate Winners)
  • MASTERS CATEGORY - CLA All Stars (Cup Winners), Hong Kong FC (Plate Winners)
  • YOUTH CATERGORY - Youth Football Home (Cup Winners)

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