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."

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

[Instant Reaction] Wonder if Coach Stange is happy with the 3-3?

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Screengrab off "Toggle"
The Singapore football team's hopes of staying behind after the official opening ceremony of the 17th Asian Games was given a minor boost after they scraped away with a 3-3 draw against a much superior Oman.

Knowing that another defeat after the loss to Tajikistan on Sunday would mean the Cubs will immediately have to pack their luggage home after the closing tie against Palestine.

I did not see the first three goals until the replay at half-time, although I thought it was a lapse in the defence that saw the Omanis headed home their third goal after the failure to close down on the flank to allow the ball to be floated for the routine rounding up from close range.

Safuwan saved the day (file picture)
Nonetheless, it was a great individual effort from winger Faris Ramli in the box to reduce the deficit before the interval and eventually saw Safuwan Baharudin saved the team from the skin of defeat with a header from nowhere to tie at three a piece.

Bravery and heroics aside, the fact cannot be hidden that if national coach Bernd Stange was there to see the match, I am wondering if he would be pleased to see the kind of game that was not what he has been preaching for?

On the contrary, it was the Middle-Easterners who were playing that kind of "passing-and-moving" type of football emphasized by the German and shown again how fragile the Singapore backline can be whenever they were being pressed against by the opponents who would try to thread a low grounder to unsettle the pack.

Coach Stange is on medical leave (file picture)
Furthermore, the lack of creativity upfront by the Cubs had barely troubled Oman with their static long passing game that was coupled with a number of possession lost during the process.

Rest Well, Guys and Coach Stange.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

[Asiad] In the name of development, Good Luck and Take Care...

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(This entry is formulated based on the media release issued by the Football Association of Singapore on 10th September at 2104hrs)

Hassan is going Incheon after all ...
It came not surprise after all when the list of players heading to the Asian Games (Asiad) was finally announced last evening with the national selectors finally got most of the men they wanted for the trip to Incheon.

Hassan Sunny, who in the first place wouldn't be released by his club Warriors amid the tight S.League title race, is named at the top of the 20-man list via a media release from the Football Association of Singapore after it was reported in the papers that measures were understood to be taken to ensure a "win-win situation" for both sides.

Joining the 30-year-old shot stopper from the Choa Chu Kang-based side will be the speedy Suria Prakash that alongside with Adam Swandi (of FC Metz) will the only players not from either Lions XII or Courts Young Lions that make it to the list.

Sahil Suhaimi (7) is ready for the next level?
With national coach Bernd Stange not taking charge for the regional meet on medical ground, Courts Young Lions coach Aide Iskandar, who covered the role of Stange in recent friendlies against Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong, will be tasked to lead the team in South Korea.

And the former Singapore skipper should more or less have some ideas at the back of his head having fielded a number of Asiad-eligible players over the last two games played in Hougang which were meant to be preparation for the AFF Suzuki Cup.

Aide Iskandar (right) will be leading the team to Asiad
Said Coach Aide in the same release:"We have had two good games against Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong in preparation for the Asian Games, and the boys are all hungry and raring to go. We hope to make Singapore proud in Korea,”

However, the team will not see the inclusion of midfield star Hariss Harun following the refusal by his Malaysian club Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT), citing the Asiad is an "age-group tournament" and also their ongoing Malaysia Cup campaign, despite allowing his involvement in the recent two Hougang fixtures.

In the name of development, Good Luck and Take Care...

THE ASIAD SQUAD LIST
S/N Full Name Position Age
1 Hassan Sunny GK 30
2 Rudy Khairullah GK 20
3 Shakir Hamzah DF 22
4 Fadli Kamis DF 22
5 Baihakki Khaizan DF 30
6 Afiq Yunos DF 24
7 Amirul Adli DF 18
8 Al-Qaasimy Rahman DF 22
9 Safuwan Baharudin DF 23
10 Anumanthan Mohan Kumar MF 20
11 Faris Ramli MF 22
12 Suria Prakash MF 21
13 Nazrul Nazari MF 23
14 Adam Swandi MF 18
15 Zulfahmi Arifin MF 23
16 Khairul Nizam FW 23
17 Sahil Suhaimi FW 22
18 Iqbal Hussain FW 21
19 Shahfiq Ghani FW 22
20 Shameer Aziq FW 19
(PS: Names in ORANGE are over-aged players )

THE ASIAD GROUP C FIXTURES FOR SINGAPORE
Date Time Opponent Venue
14 September 2014
Sunday
2.00pm (Incheon)
1.00pm (Singapore)
Tajikistan Ansan Wa Stadium
17 September 2014
Wednesday
8.00pm (Incheon)
7.00pm (Singapore)
Oman Hwaseong Sports Complex Main Stadium
21 September 2014
Sunday
5.00pm (Incheon)
4.00pm (Singapore)
Palestine Ansan Wa Stadium

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

[Media Information] SINGAPORE AND HONG KONG BATTLE TO GOALLESS DRAW

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(This entry is formulated based on the media release issued by the Football Association of Singapore which includes the images depicted on it)


Afiq Yunos (11) tussling for the ball (credit: FAS)
SINGAPORE, 9 SEPTEMBER 2014: The Singapore National Team played out a goalless draw with Hong Kong tonight at Hougang Stadium, with neither side doing enough to edge the game. It was the young Singapore squad’s final match before leaving for Incheon to take part in the Asian Games.

In a start reminiscent of Saturday’s match against Papua New Guinea, the home team began the game shakily with Hong Kong attacking several times early on before the hosts settled around 15 minutes in. The first meaningful Hong Kong attack came as early as the 5th minute when a pass meant for Hong Kong’s Christian Annan was intercepted just in time. Seven minutes later, Annan was again in the thick of action as he blazed a shot well over from a cut-back.

Singapore had to wait till the 21st minute for its first real chance, a speculative Shahfiq Ghani shot from 20 yards out that trickled out wide. Seven minutes later a fierce Shahfiq shot hit a Hong Kong defender and went out, but Singapore failed to capitalise on the resulting corner. It was to set the tone for a frustrating night in front of goal for Singapore.

An impressive Shahdan Sulaiman hit his first effort of the game on target in the 36th minute as he chested the ball down and attempted a half-volley that sailed into Yapp Hung Fai’s grateful arms. Shahdan then sent one of his many pinpoint free-kicks in this match onto the head of Safuwan Baharudin five minutes later, but the defender did not manage to keep his header down.

Coach Aide Iskandar, standing in for Head Coach, National Teams Bernd Stange who was still recovering from a fever, made a change at half time, replacing Shahfiq Ghani with M. Anumanthan and pushing Shahdan to a more advanced role. It paid dividends as the tenacious Anu paired well with Hariss Harun and helped Singapore to impose themselves in midfield.

Hariss almost scored in the 48th minute after releasing Faris Ramli down the right wing before galloping into space to take aim from Faris’ cross, but the shot was screwed off-target. Three minutes later, some clever interplay between Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Faris and Shahdan resulted in a shot from Sahil Suhaimi that went over the bar.

Safuwan Baharudin (21) up close in the air (credit: FAS)
Hong Kong then gave Singapore a couple of scares at the opposite end of the field in the 58th and 60th minute, with Hassan Sunny rushing out to foil Annan before substitute Kwok Kin Pong almost caught the Singapore defence napping with a header that bounced off the stanchion before Hassan claimed the rebound.

Singapore had a goal chalked off in the 64th minute as quick thinking saw the team take a swift free kick after Faris Ramli was brought down just outside the penalty area. Unfortunately for the Lions, the referee disallowed the goal, calling play back and insisting that the players had to wait for his whistle.

The teams then traded chances, with Baihakki Khaizan connecting well with a header from yet another Shahdan corner, but the experienced defender sent the ball wide. Just three minutes later, Annan again got away from his defender’s attention and sent a low shot in, but Hassan, alert to the danger, made himself big and turned the shot away for a corner.

Singapore created a few more chances in the final 10 minutes, but Hariss’ 82nd minute shot went off target after great team play saw Singapore fashion a chance after several players exchanged smart passes, and a minute later a ball deep in to the Hong Kong box caused chaos but no Singapore player could take advantage.

The last significant action of the game saw Hassan race out to claim a high ball and take out Hong Kong’s Bai He, who required medical attention and was substituted after eventually walking off the pitch groggily.

Starting Line-Ups:

Singapore: Hassan Sunny, Afiq Yunos, Safuwan Baharudin, Baihakki Khaizan, Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Fazrul Nawaz, Hariss Harun, Shahdan Sulaiman, Shahfiq Ghani, Faris Ramli, Sahil Suhaimi

Hong Kong: Yapp Hung Fai, Lee Chi Ho, Fofo Agbo, Bai He, Chan Siu Ki, Lam Ka Wai, Christian Annan, Lo Kwan Yee, Cheung Kin Fung, Chan Wai Ho, Ju Yingzhi

Sunday, September 07, 2014

"Singapore clearly underestimated PNG" said Rufer after gallant 2-1 loss to Lions

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Valentine Nelson (3) headed for safety
Some interesting pointers to take note from this "A-Lister" between Singapore and Papua New Guinea that was played this evening at Hougang and saw the hosts walked away victorious with a 2-1 scoreline.

There is this a new FIFA ruling that I was told, despite having four Singaporeans listed as the match officials for the game, it's considered an "A" international match that saw a few Lions debutants earning their first cap for the country in which a special procedure is needed to register that.

Sahil Suhaimi (7) - the first scorer of the night
However, not making his presence at the match was national coach Bernd Stange, who was reported down with fever that his role was covered by Courts Young Lions coach Aide Iskandar, his assistant for this series.

To be honest, not much information on Papua New Guinea prior to this match other than they are being coached by New Zealander Wynton Rufer who is a legend in his own right.

Suria Prakash earned his Lions cap
Fadli Kamis earned his first cap as a starter
Departed himself from the rest of those other national coaches during their post-match assessment after they played Singapore, the well-travelled Rufer was outright straight forward with his no-holds-barred comments when sharing his thoughts.

Commenting on the first goal conceded by his side in the 17th minute, the former Werder Bremen striker said:"I felt that the first goal we conceded was a soft one where I had three grandmothers stood there watching to allow your striker (Sahil Suhaimi) to score,

"Despite the loss, I am happy with the performance where we closed the spaces, knocked the ball down and it's very important to us for this build up to next July when we will be hosting the Pacific Games, result like tonight will help us to get additional funding for that."

"And I think the Singapore side clearly underestimated PNG tonight for maybe because they are to play against a much stronger Hong Kong side (on coming Tuesday) that I told my team to take advantage of that mentality to more aggressive in the match."

Another close shave for the Papuans in 2nd half
PNG deservingly earned their consolation in 61st
Certainly, no one could agree more with the assessment by the man named as the "Oceania Footballer of the Century" following the tepid display by the Lions in the first of the two-match series in this part of the island for the preparation for the November AFF Suzuki Cup, which Singapore are the defending champions for the regional tournament.

Also with a number of debutants that included the likes of Fadli Kamis, Suria Prakash and Amirul Adli marked their maiden Lions appearance, it's not a surprise to see this outing as a final test for the Asian Games squad that is yet to be announced.

PNG should be proud despite the loss
Yet, it was the Papuans who stole the limelight with their impressive showing, especially in the second half, by did well to restrict the Lions from gaining any further advantage after Fazrul Nawaz doubled the lead in the 24th minute with a shot supplied by Shafiq Ghani's cross and eventually well rewarded themselves a consolation in the 61st minute from a Raymond Gunemba strike that drove past replacement custodian Izwan Mahbud.

Coach Rufer gave a honest assessment
Apparently, the lack of clinical finishing in their attacking in the second half was the culprit from stretching the margin apart, in the opinion of Coach Aide at the end of the night.

Said the former Hougang United coach:"We tried to field the best team for tonight's game but it didn't seems to get it right in the first 15 minutes but then we did score two goals in the first half and if only we are more clinical in the second half where we started well that we made some changes which included a few debutants tonight."

Sunday, August 31, 2014

"Matchpix" - August 2014

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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)
  • "I Bianconeri" in Singapore
No Carlos Tevez after all ...
Juventus are in Singapore for their final leg of the #juvetour and be playing the very first match stage in the new National Stadium. There was a stadium tour earlier of the day before the Singapore Selection had their training on the new surface.

The "Grand Old Lady" of Italian football held their one-and-only public training session on the following day (15/8) in front of their adoring supporters.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THE PICTURES

  • Football Returns to Kallang... (16/8/2014)
The sandy surface was the main talking point
The much-awaited football match to be play in the new National Stadium took place on 16th of August when the Singapore Selection took on "I Bianconeri" - Juventus.

The defending Serie A champions wrapped up their Asian-Pacific Tour with a 5-0 win over their hosts and midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo becoming the first ever goal scorer in the new arena.

Not an easy task when one is inside a new environment with the settings have to keep tweaking and fine-tune to achieve the result (still in the process).

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES


  • S.League: Warriors 2-0 Tampines Rovers 29/8/2014
"Battle of Titans" in action
Tampines Rovers Football Club blown away their chances to topple DPMM from the top after a string of undesirable outcome that saw Warriors Football Club nicked them ahead to lead the local challenge against the Bruneians at the summit.

Anyway, the matters arising from the activation of the LWS should be looked into before we play in front of a white elephant sooner or later.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES

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