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."

Monday, May 18, 2009

AFC Cup Group H: Home United 3-1 PEA FC (Thailand)

PREVIEW
Home United's fate in the AFC Cup will be determined by the outcome of this fixture after their away defeat to Vietnamese club Binh Duong.

However, Mr PN Sivaji's men should take some comfort for the fact they had not lost their last two games since that lost in Vietnam, but there's no room for complacency as the club jolly well know that further participation in this continental tournament means a victory at all costs against this Thai side.

If not, they will have to redefine their direction after this.

PICTURES OF THE DAY & THE SHORT TAKE of THE GAME

To be fair though, I snapped this before the game.

Is “pathetic” the best word to describe what I saw at Jalan Besar Stadium?

I got a creepy feeling that it would be a poor turnout for this crucial AFC Cup tie.

After all, the news was all about Liverpool coming to town in July and the back pages were splashed with news of that “$88 to rest your bums on the benches” at the National Stadium, so much so that this match was given “ two lines” in the Straits Times and nothing on the other papers.

PEA warming up before the game.

A check with two fans at the ground and both feedback that they got to know this game from the Straits Times and one went on saying he was “here to support local soccer and hope to see Home United to the next round (of the AFC Cup).”

So the game went ahead and played in front a near empty ground (the word “near-empty” remember the last ACL games' attendance? Perhaps because the AFC Cup isn't as glamorous as compared to ACL).

In the end, the game ended with a 3-1 victory to the Protectors who are through to the next round, while the PEA suffered another setback in their continental adventure after they were knocked out of the ACL play-off earlier of the year to SAFFC that saw they relegated to this second-tier club tournament in Asian football.

POST-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE...

PEA coach Sampahangsit Thongsuk (above on right, with his translator) said,"It was a good game, good plays and many of our players are injured that we had to make some changes and positioning in our lineup.

"Also, the playing field is not to our favour because my players had to run more and get tired easily and for the fact that Home United got better players than us."

"Like I said before the game PEA are a good side" said Home United's coach Mr P N Sivaji (above right) after the match.

"Of course, I'm delighted with the win because at some points of the game they were controlling the game.

"And I guess it was a psychological boast when we took the lead in the 45th minute when Peres (de Oliveira) scored that free kick" he added.

"It will be injuries and illness that I fear the most" said the former national coach when I asked what will be his fear now with the fixtures pilling up.

"Players tend to get weaker after the game with a weaker immune system, that's why the club have been very good in providing rehabilitation facilities like spa and the (players) rotation system in place has been an important factor as well."

4 comments:

  1. This current squad of Home United is good enough to pass the quarter finals stage, and into the semis. However, they must buck up in the league as they are a little far behind. Hopefully Sivaji practiced more on squad rotation so that the players will have drive to succeed in both AFC Cup & the league, hopefully the league cup.

    Regards,
    abdrazak84 (Kallangroar.com)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes Razak,

    Only one know how to apply the rotation system properly will be appreciated by all parties.

    Also element of luck is also important that let's hope more players be like Firdaus Idros who made his mark on that game by scoring two goals and in Mr Sivaji's word, "hopefully this boy'll be in the SEA Games squad."

    ReplyDelete
  3. PEA are not one of Thailand's best teams this year, they are sitting in 10th position. Thai league football is improving far faster than the Singapore league. Chonburi should go far in the AFC Cup, but I think next year is when Thai league football will make its mark in Asia.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi "Anonymous",

    I'm not sure if this year's Singapore Cup should be used as a gauge to justify what you claimed, as we have several guest teams making through to the next round.

    But we all know that Thai teams have always long dominate the football in this region only till recently Singapore are on level term with Thailand.

    Thanks for your comment...

    ReplyDelete

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