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, October 31, 2011

"Matchpix" - October 2011

(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)

  • 2011 Sultan of Selangor Cup - (Match Day and Balik Kampong)
Malay rock legend Amy Search (pictured above) wowed the 65,000 at the Shah Alam Stadium in this annual event initiated by the Sultan of Selangor with motive in fostering relationship between Singapore and Selangor whom both shared an unique rivalry in the Malayan football history.

The Selangor veterans retained their title for second time in running, while the Singapore selection (made up of the Lions) beat Selangor Selection 1-0 to keep the honour for the third successive time.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES.
  • S.League Match - Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Courts Young Lions(6/10/11)
The match was delayed for good 45 minutes or so before referee decided to go ahead on a water-logged pitch amid drizzling throughout the night.

I opt not to "sharpen" the shots as it will make them looked "grainier" and sticked to the default 1/320, f 5.6 ISO6400.

The compilation of the washed-out match at Toa Payoh Stadium saw Balestier Khalsa registered their first win in eight games over Courts Young Lions.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES.
  • International Friendly: Singapore 1-0 The Philippines 7/10/11
The normally subtle JBS turned into "Mini Manila" in early October when thousands from the Filipinos expat community turned out to see the Philippines national team in action against the Lions.

However, the Lions were not in charitable mood with their mind solely focused on their preparation for the then upcoming match World Cup Qualifiers against Jordan and beat the Azkals 2-0.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES.
  • World Cup Qualifiers - Singapore vs Jordan (11/10/11)
The fact is we lost to a much superior team that improved leaps and bounds since we beat them 2 years ago at Kallang.

The artificial field is not as scary as it was made out to be to scare the visiting teams as the two Middle-Easterners had proven that as a myth, despite the grumbles from their coaches.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES.

  • Uniform Derby - SAFFC 0-4 HUFC (16/10/11)
It was such an anti climax when three goals were conceded in such a short space of time that did not fit the billing of this highly-anticipated match.

An early goal (a perceived back pass resulted a free-kick at edge of six yard of SAFFC) was enough to destabilize the Warriors due to a controversial decision inside the box and eventually saw the Protectors grabbed two more before the end of the first half.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES.
  • S.League - HUFC 2-1 Etoile FC (20/10/11)
The reflective nature of the blades of the pitch at Bishan always bothers me as it tends to make the pictures look exposed if the pitch occupied large part of the composition of the picture.

Etoile coach Arena ferociously protested that his side was denied a penalty at the dying moments of their 2-1 defeat to Home Utd at Bishan Stadium.

Although, the irony was the Stars was actually leading the game for less than a minute after Kamel Chaaouane gave the lead in 48th minute before Fred Mendy levelled the scores in 49th minute with skipper Shi Jiayi netted home the winner in 57th minute.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES.
  • S'pore Pools FA Cup Semi-Final: Tampines PL 3-1 SAFFC PL 23/10/11
Tampines Rovers Prime League squad defeated their SAFFC counterparts 3-1 in the semi-final of the Singapore Pools FA Cup at Tampines Stadium.

It wasn't not hard to see how bad the condition of the playing surface that was used the day before for a S.League game.

The lightning condition was good until the last 15 minutes of the match when the sky darken (good thing that it didn't gone into extra time).

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

[Event] SINGA CUP - Unleashing the Future Today

(This entry is formulated based on materials obtained via Singa Cup Official Website)

INTRODUCTION
Singa Cup is an international youth football tournament co-organized by Dynamique Konzepts Pte Ltd, an event management company with its partners Joji, a local based design and innovation consultancy.

The inaugural edition will kick off on 07th November 2011 in Singapore with the organizers confirmed this tournament is going to be an annual event to allow exciting raw talents from Asia and abroad a chance to pit against each other in a competitive environment.

CONCEIVING OF THE TOURNAMENT
"This is the first time we are deviating from our mainstream scope and breaking new grounds into sports with this international youth tournament – SingaCup." said Mr Ng Tiong Hian, Business Development Manager of Dynamique Konzepts, who drawn their clientele base mainly from the banking and aviation industries.

Taking a cue from renowned youth tournaments such as Goitha Cup, Danna Cup and Kanga Cup, Ng and his team decided that there's a lack of tournament of similar concept in the South East Asia region and so the conceiving of this tournament that had attracted teams from Australia, the Philippines, etc.

NO FRILLS BUT ENJOY FOOTBALL
"This is truly the place where you can see the hunger, passion and burning desire for the love of the game. No blings blings, no million dollar money draw – just one simple task – enjoy at what they do best – football." promised Ng, a self-proclaimed football fanatic since the age of seven.

All matches will be taking place at St Wilfrid Sports Complex and the tournament ends on 11th November with the crowning of the inaugural champions of both Under-18 and Under-14 teams.

For more information of the tournament, please log on to the following sites.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The least I can do for him... (a tribute to "Russian Tank")

It was only from my Facebook feed that I came to know today's significance.

Twelve years ago today, Singapore football mourned the loss of one of its best players - Borhan Abu Samah aka "Russian Tank".

Known for his tough and uncompromising tackles during his days, the former Lion, who once ply his professional trade with the great Pahang side in the Malaysian League that featured the likes of Fandi Ahmad, V Sundramoorthy, Dollah Salleh and Zainal Abidin Hassan, succumbed to liver cancer that ended his life at the age of 34.

Made his first debut for the Lions back in 1987 in the Olympics Qualifiers against Indonesia, Borhan scored his only international goal in a 4-1 win against Qatar in an international friendly in 1989.

In the least I can do for this great player is to pay my tribute to him for what he done for Singapore football through this blog entry...

RIP, Borhan

Friday, October 28, 2011

[Media Information] Singapore Pools FA Cup Final 2011‏

(Media Information from the Football Association of Singapore)

Former Lion Rafi Ali (with cap) is instrumental behind the success of the junior Stags
SINGAPORE, 27 October 2011: Tampines Rover Prime League side overcame a resolute Singapore Recreation Club 8-7 on penalties to win their third Singapore Pools FA Cup.

In front of 1414 fans at the Jalan Besar stadium, the young Stags took the lead in the first half through captain Fazli Zailani but Blessing Ughojo equalised for SRC late into the second half to send the match into extra time.

Both teams were unable to break the deadlock in extra time and the match went into a penalty shootout where Young Stags goalkeeper, Fariq Ghani denied his opposite number, SRC goalkeeper, Shamsudin Hashim, to send the Young Stags supporters into raptures.

Tampines Rovers team manager, Zulkarnaen Zainal gave full credit to his opponents.

“SRC played really well and pushed us all the way. Full credit to them as they showed that they deserved to be in the final.”

-End-

CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT
FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF SINGAPORE
27 OCT 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Firdaus earned his call-up FINALLY....

Firdaus Idros being called up to Lions
In a media release announced just hours ago by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), national coach Raddy Avaramovic added two more uncapped players into the 21-men squad that are due to face Jordan (away) and China (home) next month in their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

They are Home United's striker Firdaus Idros (who was once asked by a S.League coach why wasn't he being selected) and Tanjong Pagar Utd's Patrick Paran.

At the meantime, the list also saw some notable absentees such as Safuwan Baharudin, Hariss Harun, Shahdan Sulaiman and Izwan Mahbud who are being committed to the upcoming SEA Games in Indonesia.

However, the latest selection by coach Raddy did raise a few queries as why Qiu Li, who reported to be out of the season due to recurring injury, is still in the list and a perceived weaken goalkeeping department that is not strengthen with the departure of Izwan to the Cubs.

Probably, it could be the case of having a run out for the younger bloods, who knows?

The list as follows:

S/N NamePositionClubCapsGoals
1Shahril IshakMF~895
2Hamqaamal ShahDFGBFC20
3Ismail YunosDFGBFC150
4Hafiz RahimFWGUFC40
5Sevki Sha'banDFGUFC40
6Juma'at JantanDFHUFC250
7Lionel LewisGKHUFC710
8Isa HalimMFHUFC370
9Firdaus IdrosMFHUFC
10Qiu LiFWHUFC101
11Shi JiayiMFHUFC557
12Daniel BennettDFSAFFC1036
13Fazrul NawazFWSAFFC494
14Shaiful EsahDFSAFFC161
15Noh RahmanDFSAFFC760
16Delwinder SinghDFTPUFC10
17Ridhuan BarudinGKTPUFC
18Patrick ParanjodyFWTPUFC
19Aleksandar DuricFWTRFC3920
20Mustafic FahrudinMFTRFC597
21Shukor ZailanMFTRFC20

A test run online ...

Good day to all,

Just having a test blog from this neat application here using "BlogPress" ...



Here is a shot of me with the legendary Zico ...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Countdown to Singapore Pools FA Cup Final 2011

Long overshadowed by its more glamorous counterparts (i.e.: the S.League and the Singapore Cup), the FA Cup is the third major tournament organized by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) since 1995.

From 1999 onwards, the tournament had become a chance for a silverware for the NFL clubs after a decision was made that S.League clubs should not longer participate in this competition with Tanjong Pagar United being the last professional club to clinch the honour in 1998 after beating Sembawang Rangers at the demolished National Stadium.

However, the admission of Prime League squads of the S.League clubs in 2006 had end the monopoly of these NFL sides on this trophy with each year finalists since then having a side being the secondary squad of a professional setup with them walked away as winners on three occasions.

Picture obtained from the official Facebook page
Unfortunately, the last two editions of the Cup Final saw the part-timers triumphed over their much illustrious opponents with the two Padang-based clubs crowned as the winners of the tournament in 2009 (Singapore Cricket Club) and 2010 (Singapore Recreation Club, pictured above).

Tampines Rovers Prime League side set to avenge...
Come this coming Thursday at the Jalan Besar Stadium will see the reigning Cup holders SRC facing the challenge again from the Tampines Rovers Prime League team in the repeat of last year's final, would the young Stags able to avenge for their loss last year after defeated SAFFC? We know the answer this if you join us for the 7.30pm kick-off.

(P.S: Please click here to the match pictures of Tampines-SAFFC semi-final match)

PRIZES TO BE WON!!!
Not only fans will be treated with an exciting match lining up for the evening but also a chance to win some prizes (including an iPad2) for themselves.

More details of the upcoming match, please log on to the official facebook page of the tournament at http://www.facebook.com/SingaporePoolsFACup OR you may refer to attached poster for more details.

The official poster of the Singapore Pools FA Cup 2011
Rules and Regulations of the Lucky Draw and that of governing the usage of the tournament official Facebook group can be found here (courtesy of "LigaSingapura").

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stay Positive

Those three emicons at the end of the tweet message (prt-screen above) was my initiate reaction when the news confirmed that the National Under 23 squad or the Cubs are drawn into the "Group of DEATH" of the biennial games to be held in Indonesian capital Jakarta.

After all, we are up against the defending champions Malaysia and regional powerhouses Thailand (whom we defeated just weeks ago in a friendly), host nation Indonesia and Cambodia.

The fact that a chunk of squad deemed unavailable due to National Service (NS) had saddled onto the mammoth task ahead, both players and officials seems undaunted by the mountain ahead of them in spite not having the ideal preparation in the run up to the most prestigious medal of the regional meet-up.

“Yes, we have gotten the information that we are in Group A but I would like to focus on my team first and get them ready for the tournament where we will be up against quality sides in the group.” said coach Slobodan Pavkovic of the Cubs upon received the news.


Concurring the thoughts of the concurrent FAS's Technical Director, 'keeper Izwan Mahbud (pictured above) added:“I know it is not the easiest of groups but we should be ready to face whichever team comes along. I feel that we should believe in our own team and prepare ourselves for the tournament. That is the most important thing of all.”

Some online feedback had chosen to take a positive stance on the tough battle lining up with one member of this blog's FB group, 'Noh Ran Haru' posted "The tougher it is, the stronger they should be. Hopefully." in a follow up to the posted "prt-screen" above.

Hopefully, too, that's the case.. Good Luck, Cubs

The Cubs' SEA Games Fixtures
  • Singapore vs Malaysia (9 November)
  • Singapore vs Cambodia (11 November)
  • Singapore vs Indonesia (13 November)
  • Singapore vs Thailand (17 November)

(Quotes of those of Pavkovic and Izwan extracted from the FAS media release.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

SEA Games - TEKONG or JAKARTA?

How frustrated can it be again?

Despite all the hindrances facing the National Under-23 squad in their preparation for the upcoming SEA Games, the local game authority boldly set a "final" target for the Cubs.

Nothing wrong for being ambitious, as it departs from the usual modest target to settle for a "semi-final" in the biennial games even if we had our best squad in the past capable for the elusive gold.

Yet, the biggest bugbear facing the team to be led by FAS Technical Director Slobodan Pavkovic is the high number of players being enlisted for the mandatory National Service (NS).

Already several boys found themselves crippled by the ruling, notably being Hariss Harun (pictured above middle) and Safuwan Baharudin (pictured above right) - two of the star performers in the ongoing fading World Cup qualifiers.

As the result of the NS, Hariss was denied a chance to face China and Iraq, while Safuwan was reported having to use a chuck of his leave entitlement to play for the Lions.

All these after fruitless negotiating behind the scene between relevant parties to secure the release of the mentioned players.

While we know it's impossible to scrap the NS policy, yet it happened in a time when the government is talking about having a viable "sporting nation" concept for its people.

The lack of clear define direction to help any sportsman in this sticky mess would further raise more doubt on the whole concept, if relevant parties are committed to resolve this issue.

Just like a posting online by someone might be affected - "less than 20 days to go, TEKONG (NS) or JAKARTA (SEA Games)?" that sums up the prolonged waiting game for all.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Singapore's dream in tatters (and more than that)...

Isa Halim after the final whistle was blown
Things just don't look that good when we conceded a goal within the first 15-minute slot that saw Abdallah Deeb scored to give the Jordanian the lead, when the Lions barely find the momentum upfront with some misguided balls that strayed away needlessly.

Safuwan's (extremely right in red) header almost levelled the scores
Few chances that came across following that setback with defender Safuwan Baharudin's "out-of-nowhere" header from close range nearly leveled the scores in the 35th minute or so, but the scores stayed that way at the end of the first 45 minutes.

Like their Iraqis counterparts, the Jordanians show no awkwardness on plastic surface, despite the earlier grouse by their coach Adnan Hamad over the surface like Zico did earlier.

Ahmad Ibrahim (extremely right in white) scored the third for Jordanians in 63rd minute
It is clear that the Middle-Easterners being the more dynamic side and undeniable deserved the win more than we do.

With two more goals that came in the second half as the result of swift attacking plays from the visitors, it all but over for the Singapore dream in their World Cup quest.

Skipper Shahril Ishak had his chance to draw level too in this attempt
Yet this defeat at home is more than just a loss of chance to make it to the greatest show on earth, but it is a huge gamble that backfired in the expenses when we are trying to pick up the pieces at our own backyard.


Speaking at the post-match press conference, Assistant Coach V.Sundramoorthy (pictured above): “I think we did not take our chances and it is important at this level to convert chances when you have them. I think with time, with these young boys, we have a future. We have three games left and mathematically, if we get maximum points from the remaining games, we will still have a chance.”

Adding on, he said:“We are developing this team and they are a young team. We started the game positively and should have minimised our mistakes. The players fought till the end and they tried their best.”


Jordan’s Head Coach Hamad (pictured above) said: “I am very happy that the team played well and got a good result. And we are closer to the fourth round now. We respect the Singapore team and that’s why we played a good game. The players deserve the result.”

(Quotes extracted from the FAS media release shortly after the match)

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Just like a "WESTLIFE" concert (Singapore 2-0 The Philippines)

"MINI MANILA"
I'm not sure how that sentiment started in the first place, but judging by the posting plastered online and heard from the grapevine, it seems that JBS would turn out become a "mini Manila" for the friendly fixture between Singapore and The Philippines.

True enough that majority turned out for the game were the expat Filipinos.

Just like most of the matches played earlier that involving any foreign team in recent months, the Pinoys were all in unison rhythm and voice (most of the time) that rocked the normally subtle JBS.

THE MATCH
Honestly speaking from my perspective that both sides lacked the firepower upfront during the first half of the match.

Jason De Jong (21) in tussle with Hariss Harun (partially hidden)
While the Filipinos looked nippy at times on the flanks, but the combination of Daniel Bennett and Safuwan Baharudin did well to ward off the dangers, although the visitors did look one-dimensional in much of their offense (playing split defense passing that failed to unsettle the Lions backline).

Hariss (14): still has it despite away for NS obligation
However, much of credit much goes to Hariss Harun in adding that calmness in the middle in the park that was sorely missed in the last qualifiers against China and Iraq.

Duric and Isa Halim in a Lions' attacking play in second half.
The second half had the Lions kept status quo in remained as composed in quest of breaking the deadlock amid a resilient Azkal's defense that eventually came in the 51st minute when Shaiful Esah's deflected shot opened the account of the night.

Duric and skipper Shahril Ishak (left in red) celebrate the Lions' second goal.
Veteran striker Aleksandar Duric broke the hearts of the largely expat crowds when he outran his much younger marker to slot the ball past a hapless Neil Etheridge minutes later to seal the game for the hosts.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Lions' Coach Raddy Avramovic said: “I looked at this game as continuity from the two excellent matches against Malaysia, and I hoped that in this game, they will give us more confidence and belief in ourselves for the match against Jordan.’’

"In the first half, our attacks were cut from midfield and we couldn’t keep possession in the opponent’s half. And when you can’t do that, you cannot create chances, we then changed the positions of a few players during the break, and the team looked a lot better.” added the Serbian tactician

Shaiful Esah's (3) deflected effort opened the account of the evening
Azkals' coach Hans Weiss paid tribute his players who had to travel from Europe and other countries to play in this International Friendly. He added “They were tired and jet-lagged but they played well despite that fact. We were compact in the first half and played quite ok.”

“I warned my players of Singapore’s set pieces as they have a few variations and we were punished by Singapore’s No.3 Shaiful Esah. But we had a couple of chances in the second half but it was not enough.” said coach Weiss on thoughts of the first goal conceded by his team.

JUST LIKE 'WESTLIFE' CONCERT
Nonetheless, to the largely Filipinos crowds the result meant secondary when it was a chance to get up close to their sporting idols who flew in for this international friendly.

Resembled any scene of a pop concert, screams from adoring fans were deafening the moments of the Azkals made their way out of their dressing room to their waiting coach.

Just a friend who remarked,"Are we at a 'WESTLIFE' concert?"

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES.

(Quotes from the coaches extracted from the FAS media release issued after the game.)

Monday, October 03, 2011

Behind the Scene of the SOS Cup 2011

  • DAY ONE - Arrival from Singapore

Courts Young Lions' Ruzaini Zainal (pictured above) could consider taking up a sideline as a beverage stall operator eh? This was taken while at a half-way stop in Negri Sembilan before heading up to Shah Alam.

The mystical iconic Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Mosque or "Blue Mosque" (pictured above) as what it was seen as when the contingent arrived at the designated accommodation in the state capital of Selangor.

  • DAY TWO - Match Day
Datuk Santokh Singh (pictured above left), the legendary defender who sent shivers down the spines of many strikers back in the 1970s, greets the Sultan of Selangor, HRH Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah before the Veterans match.

"Ok guys, listen up this is the final instruction...."

  • DAY THREE - Balik Singapura
Having our meal break at this half-way stop at Ayer Keroh, Melaka and found an A&W restaurant within the premises.

Wow!! really "Old School" feeling when I saw that way how these titbits are being arranged in this makeshift stall out of a pick-up at Simpang Renggam, Johor.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ALBUM OF THE FIRST DAY OF THE TRIP.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ALBUM OF THE MATCH & "BALIK KAMPONG".

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Amy wowed the crowds!!!

That's Amy for you!!! 
I just could not recall when was the last time my hair actually STAND during a match, but when Malay rock legend Amy of Search fame wowed his audience of his classic - ISABELLA during the half time of the veterans match - it did!

Such an impact was that song that whole stadium actually sang it when it was performed by the legendary singer during the interval.

It's not just having such performance by those big name and whose who in the Malay entertainment scene, but the footballing atmosphere that is not often experienced back at home.

The Klang Valley supporters were out in full force!!
That's probably one of the reason why some of us are looking forward to the annual Sultan of Selangor Cup if it's being staged in Shah Alam.

You see, the only word to describe the whole atmosphere at Stadium Shah Alam was - ELECTRIFYING!

Just like once a senior figure in local football told me,"In REAL football, players cannot even hear among themselves, let alone the whistle blown by the referee!"

How true is it and it's only for one to come up and see for own self...

  • Selangor Veterans beat Singapore Veterans 3-1 to retain their title.
  • Singapore Selection beat Selangor Selection 1-0 to make this win three on a roll.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

"Matchpix" - September 2011

(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)

  • S.League Match - Hougang Utd 2-1 Etoile FC (4/9/11)

My setting at Hougang Stadium - 1/250, f5.6 (default), ISO3200 set another low in my S.League foto shoot -_-

Hougang Utd upstaged defending champions Etoile FC 2-1 at the Hougang Stadium.

In this rescheduled fixture, the Cheetahs took the lead through Vitor Borges in the first half before Selim Kaabi leveled in the half.

However, a well taken strike by Azhar Sairudin ended all hopes for the French as the hosts secured all three points.

The gallant display by the Cheetahs at home had prompted blogger Liga Singapura to laud their recent form in this entry of his.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES.

  • World Cup Qualifiers - Singapore vs Iraq (5-6/9/11)

The fact must be the Iraqi players must be less that worry as compared to their coach after those much critical comment on the playing surface by the one and only Zico that hogged the limelight in the run up to this showdown.

Young upstart Safuwan Baharudin gave himself another outstanding performance to captivate those at the ground and thousands of those watching at home, while the attacking front were blunt at large part of it and struggled further more when Qiu Li was replaced at half time.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES.

  • COE U16 match - Home Utd 3-0 Tanjong Pagar Utd (25/9/11)

I must admit I have not been giving much attention to COE football until that afternoon at the Old Police Academy.

Alerted by "Liga Singapura" that the title decider was going to be staged at the once Police training facilities, I decided to head down with my camera to snap some shots between Home United and Tanjong Pagar United, which I glad to snap the joy of the junior Protectors at the end of the day.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE REST OF THE MATCH PICTURES.


  • 2011 Sultan of Selangor Cup - Day One (Prep)

I thought I would want to have this album be placed under the "Oct" list but decided not to, after all this was shot on the LAST day of September.

The first day of the annual get-together of the indispensable part of Malayan football history with jam and wet weather along the way, however the highlight of the day was to see the Lions enjoyed a "warm"welcome to Shah Alam when their coach's air conditioning was faulty.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE REST OF THE PICTURES.

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