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Showing posts with the label Instant Reaction

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

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 th

[Instant Reaction] Vietnam 0 -1 Singapore: Cubs rescued their SEA Games mission by skin of teeth

Sahil Suhaimi's (3) goal ensured Cubs' win (file picture) It was a hard fought win for the Singapore Under-23 in their 1-0 victory over their Vietnamese counterparts in their Group A SEA Games match. With this result, the Cubs propelled to the top of their Group on an undefeated record after this win and a draw earlier against Laos on Sunday . Once again, the Aide Iskandar's boys shown their bluntness in front of goal with just a goal registered on the record through their leading scorer Suhil Suhaimi's deflected strike that settled the difference in the injury time of the first half. Other than that, there wasn't much to crow about with the remaining of the match that seems far too familiar, except it was fair to acknowledge that Vietnam were by far the better side of the two with the intensiveness of their game coupled with some clever plays that threaten to punish the Singapore side in their box on several occasions. But football is such a cruel game

[Instant Reaction] When Cubs can't score, it's harder for a SEA Games glory...

Screengrab of Live streaming off Youtube If anything is a gauge from the last two matches played by the Singapore Under-23 against the Philippines last Sunday (6-0 win) and their SEA Games opener against Laos that ended 1-1 moments ago, I think it wouldn't be too surprising to those who tracking the Cubs preparation in recent weeks. Clearly, the writings are on the wall that Aide Iskandar's boys can't do one of the basic things in football - TO SCORE. If there's anything positive to gather from the match in Naypyidaw, it would be the passing, possession play that led more patient and systematic buildup of attacking moves without giving away the ball too easily with closing down of Laotians advancement swiftly in the match. Things were made easy right from the start when the Cubs were on a numerical advantage after the Laotian skipper was sent off for a violent play on Shafiq Ghani but that did not translate the much-needed boast for them. Instead, it became a

[Instant Reaction] The Sweetest Defeat...(as we won the Suzuki Cup)

Jubilation at Toa Payoh East CC after the defeat  I saw them sweat a bucket, I saw them toil under the heat in the obscure Geylang Field and amid all those uncertainties that led to the building up for the Suzuki Cup after the disastrous World Cup Qualifiers campaign that ended point-less and at the foot of their group. No one knows what to expect from them from the tournament they last won in 2007 on the same ground with uninspired friendly results before the real test began. It was only after the 3-0 win over the Malaysians that slowly regained that bit of confidence in those massive skeptics out there, but things took a sudden twist when they found themselves deprived of the services of key players like "Boy Wonder" Hariss Harun and Shi Jiayi due to unforeseen circumstance. It is either JBS or Geylang Field for Lions prep (file picture) It was then everyone on the team realized they had to grit their teeth to push themselves to the limit, they were aware o

[Instant Reaction] Singapore 1-0 Philippines - WE ARE BACK TO THE FINAL!!

"We are in the Final!" (screenshot from TV) What I really hope is the outcome of us heading to the AFF Suzuki Cup Final for the first time in five years is not being overshadowed by the "PalmerGate" that took place so suddenly this afternoon. The Lions kept their composure throughout the game and were unfortunately not able to add more to the tally after Khairul Amri's 25-yard shot from outside sent the mostly red-shirted supporters into a state of euphoria in the 19th minute. With midfield anchor Fahrudin Mustafic being replaced at halftime due to some knocks (apparently), it was thought that the Azkals could finally seize the opportunity and capitalize the Tampines Rovers' stalwart's absence to make inroads to Singapore's frail defence. Yet, unlike the vigour they showed in Manila, the Filipinos found themselves banging onto the stout midfield that was well coordinated by Isa Halim with Aleksandar Duric, dropping deep behind to disrupt the

[Instant Reaction] It's experience to make up for the shortfall of pace...

Watched the game with LATW at Ogopogo It's the experience that counted in a match such as a semi-final like the one we saw earlier on TV. A depleted strength saw Aleksandar Duric starting the game for the second time in the AFF Suzuki Cup campaign for that physical presence upfront with Isa Halim added the much-needed steel alongside with Fahrudin Mustafic in the middle of the park. The tactical switch proved to be working as it helped to stabilise and buffered the pressure on the Lions' back four of Shaiful Esah, Baihakki Khaizan, Safuwan Baharudin and Daniel Bennett in the first half. While the visiting Singapore side may have the better chances of the two, but the excellent showing by the Azkals' keeper Sacapano had once again proved to be stumbling block of the Lions like he did against them weeks ago in Cebu. Much better showing from the Filipinos in the second half by playing more ground passing style of play using their pace to penalize the Lions on thei

[Instant Reaction] A close shave win came with a heavy price

The travelling supporters celebrate another Lions victory (from TV) When I first saw the starting lineup against Laos, my first reaction was it was an attacking tactics with Farra (Fahrudin Mustafic) holding the middle alone with Baihakki Khaizan, Safuwan Baharudin and Daniel Bennett staying behind to man the fort with the likes of Aleksandar Duric, Fazrul Nawaz, Qiu Li, etc. prowling forward to search for those early goals to calm the nerves. While Fazrul almost had that first chance coming his way at the edge of the Laotian box that eventually had their 'keeper replaced due to injury sustained from that "50/50" ball with the former Gombak United striker, it was then all the Indo-Chinese dominated the play in the near-empty Stadium Shah Alam. Thus, not surprisingly that the fragile backline wasn't able to cope with the inroads by the Laotians and saw the Lions trailed by two goals in the first 45 until Shahril Ishak reduced the deficit at the injury period be

[Instant Reaction] A revenge that came 10 years later

After 3-0, Harimau fans started to exit (credit: Mr Milton Tan) For many Singapore fans, the date 18th December 2002 will always be remembered for the wrong reason. It was the day when the Lions lost 4-0 to Malaysia in front of a crowd of 40,000 in that year's Tiger Cup opener. Since then, despite an unbeaten run against its neighbours across the Causeway, which ended June this year in the Causeway Challenge, that remain the sore point in the recent years of Singapore football (notwithstanding the two Asean titles and reaching the highs in the World Cup qualifiers). So sweeter could it not be that at the same setting of a regional showdown like Suzuki Cup with the fearless Singapore side triumphed 3-0 (double from skipper Shahril Ishak and header from Aleksandar Duric) over the defending champions on their home turf to exorcise that ghost that haunted the Republic since 2002. Like they always said, the victory from the first match of any group stages ushered in an au

[Instant Reaction] Coach Simunic deserves it!

The colorful Croatian coach of DPMM - Vjeran Simunic Don't get me wrong by saying the following statement. While other have their merits on getting the nod for the nomination, but DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic is clearly one who truly deserve the accolade to be named the Coach of The Year. As what the flamboyant Croatian coach has been kept emphasizing since the start of the year, it is mammoth task for his team, who have not been playing competitive football for more than two years due to a ban imposed by FIFA, to compete against other teams in the S.League. Nonetheless, the Wasps did not show that lack of competitiveness and along the process walked away with the Starhub League Cup (which they last won in 2009 before being forced to pull out), and the late surge of form saw them pushed the league title race to the extreme. Although the Bruneians tripped at their last hurdle of the campaign, what they had shown us is the sheer determination displayed and overcome the odds

[Instant Reaction] Let's guess a riddle...

Picture tells a thousand words, as they always said. I shall not dwell on too long over the newly announced national team squad list in prep for the upcoming friendliest against Hong Kong and Malaysia. And I thought the depicted picture shall more or less tell a thing or two of my reaction to the announcement. Have a good time to decipher what the picture is trying to tell, but I am sorry that no prize is given if anyone guess what I mean. Happy Guessing ...

[Instant Reaction] Hamstrung (further) for the sake of ROMANCE II

(P.S: That's precisely why "Instant Reaction" is an essential tag in this blog for cases as such) The latest roll-out this morning by the league authority informed that fans who purchase two adult tickets at selected S.League matches with entitled a complimentary King George’s Stand ticket for the Malaysian Super League (MSL) match between LIONSXII and Perak, 10th April 2012. I am not very sure how well does it say for the whole situation, even though, the league authority in their statement stated "Fans of the S.League will now have a chance to combine their love for local football when they buy S.League match tickets." Although, I am not kind of opine in the same perspective when the S.League itself it trying get its house in order, and initiative as such would make one wonder if the earlier projection of that of the "spill-over" had failed to revive the scene? Rather than hoping the projected "spill-over" effect they longed for

[Instant Reaction] 0 point ... [edited]

Coach Raddy screen-grab off the live stream The nightmare is over in Qatar when Iraq handed the 7-1 scoreline to send our boys back home to conclude a World Cup Qualifiers that would be best not to mention in the near future. Despite the nature of being a "dead-rubber" for this fixture, the team with Brazilian legend Zico at helm did not allow any slip-up. With the floodgates opened in the fourth minute through Karrar Jasim, there was not look back for the Iraqis who took and executed their chances well right till the end with skipper Younis Mahmoud rounded up with a hat-trick before referee Abdullah Al Hilali of Oman signalled the end of a heart-wrecking match. Isa Halim's well-placed strike in the 28th minute was the only bright spark for the hapless Lions. I guess one of the hardest things to stomach is the fact that two teams that qualified for the next phrase were once defeated by us and had shown where our football is now - stagnant. Starting First XI

[Instant Reaction] The already known "Bugbears" of "Vision 2030"

Just a small scribe about my instant reaction after having heard the launch of the "Vision 2030" which I think the two usual suspects - "Paper Chase" and "National Service (NS)" could cause part of the project to hit the kerb if no solution are there to nail them down. "Serving the Nation" A tricky situation pertaining the NS issue that long dogged the various national teams that exemption were not granted in time to allow those affected ones a chance to bask for the nation glory. Harris Harun (foreground) is serving his NS now, while Delwinder Singh (behind Hariss) is studying for his diploma Nonetheless, the Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Chan Chun Sing remain upbeat when he revealed not long ago that "very positive" discussions are taking place with the relevant authorities to address this matter. "Paper Chase" (Picture credit SAFFC) Which is why I thought the recent joint collabor

[Instant Reaction] Left to fight for pride.... [edited]

Screen-grab from the livestreaming When asked after the loss to the Jordanians earlier in their first meeting of the qualifiers if we still stand a chance of making to the next round, assistant coach V Sundramoorthy said there's still "mathematical" chance of doing so if we could take "maximum points out of the remaining matches". So when referee Ben Williams of Australia blew to signal the end of the match at Amman where the hosts beating the visiting Lions 2-0, it's clear that we are left to fight for our pride for the remaining matches against China and Iraq. We were practically camped inside our own half since the start and the slip up on the left flank allow the Jordanians to score with an ease passed Lionel Lewis to see Jordan leading 1-0 at half time. Just like their juniors in Jakarta match against the Indonesians in the SEA Games , a much adventurous display saw the Lions making forays into the Jordanians' half in the second period and

[Instant Reaction] Much spirited performance from the Cubs...

Two contrasting emotions depicted in the picture snapped off the television after the game with a grim-looking Cambodian's Korean coach Lee Tae-Hoon (top half of the picture) pondering what could have gone wrong after two straight defeats in Jakarta. While his counterpart Sloban Pavkovic (below half) breathe a sight of relieve having see the Cubs came back from a goal deficit to beat the Khmers 2-1 in the near-empty Senayan with headers from Khairul Nizam and Nigel Vanu. Following the thumping loss against the Indonesia, the Khmers started off with a fluke goal in the first half that caught all by surprise, before having to see the game slipped away with the Cubs gaining more of the dominance in the second. Already under fire from the press back in Cambodia over his recent handling of the team's affairs, Lee's future with the Khmers certainly look shaky that even before the start of the tournament my fellow blogger, Phnom Pehn based Andy Brouwer of Kingdom of Footba

[Instant Reaction] I don't know man..... Singapore 0-0 Malaysia [edited]

Screen-grab off TV after the game was over... The just concluded match saw the Cubs walked away with a 0-0 draw against the defending SEA Games champions Malaysia at the Senanyan in Jakarta in this "Group of Death" opener. Due to work, I could only watched the second half of the match and therefore I am not in the best position to give an all-round review of the match. Based on the tweets I gathered while the first half was played it seemed that we had a good start until the Harimau Muda settled into the later stages of the first period to dominate the play with slight better percentage in holding the ball. Yet, it was the Cubs that had the chance of the match when a tweet suggested the following: - Fazli Ayob with the best chance of the day when he twisted and turned 3 Msia players before Khairul Fahmi saves his shot. While another tweet looked into a more tactical side of the match when he added - They should have a three man midfield with Hariss (Harun) anchor n

[Instant Reaction] The musical chair game just continue ...

The word "stability" is probably never exist in the dictionary of the league authority with the latest news that broke out this morning (screen-grab below) that suggested the possibility of 2009's League Cup winners DPMM of Brunei of rejoining the league. I guess we shouldn't be too surprise of this latest development. I am not referring to the application of the Brunians, but more of the fact that opaque selection criteria that seems to be flawed. After all, that perceived "stringent" procedure did result the admission of those Chinese "clubs" , Sporting Afrique , etc. with the fans scratching their heads over another round of "musical chairs" sequence.

[Instant Reaction] ROBBED!! [edited]

Watched the match at "Botak Jones" near SPH instead I think those who saw the match just now on TV would agree that bad decisions against us had cost us dearly at Kunming. Already handicapped by the climate that bogged both sides, the controversial call by the referee (Andre El Haddad of Lebanon) in the second half on several decisions must had fumed a lot of folks back here with two dubious penalty decisions that eventually paved the way to an unglamorous win for the hosts. But the defeat came with a heavy price with 'keeper Izwan Mahbud twisted his left ankle and several yellow card decisions accumulated in the process. It's definitely not a good start to the campaign, but not at the expenses of having a biased official calling all the shots! Speaking at the post-match press conference, Coach Raddy Avramovic said “I would like to thank all my players for putting in a great effort. We started and played well in the first half and could have scored more

[Instant Reaction] Thailand 0-0 Singapore - Hope no one is injury, please

Screen-grab of the livestreaming of the match As what Thailand's German coach Winfried Schaefer said before the game "Result doesn't matter" and so both his team and Singapore fought to a goal-less encounter in front a near empty gigantic Rajamangala Stadium. Singapore coach Raddy Avramovic surprised many by naming just recovered Fahrudin Mustafic in the starting eleven for this Bangkok friendly. Nonetheless, the Stags utility man was featured for the first 45 minutes before made way for Shukor Zailan before the start of the second half. While skipper Shahril Ishak was unfortunately to have his effort judged offside in the 54th minute, the hosts were guilty for not making full use of their chances created in the second half and could only kick themselves for making life a bit easier for Lionel Lewis, who also came on in the second half, at goal. The game looked pretty scrappy for large part of it, but the key now is avoid unnecessary injury and get thin

[Instant Reaction] Why I sometimes hate football

At the final whsitle (from TV screen) Just because it caused my irregular heart beat with the tempo of the match swing up and down. It was definitely a sign of relief to see the referee blew the final whistle to signal the end of the match amid a tense atmosphere at the 80,000 Bukit Jalil Stadium. Yet again, Hariss Harun had the game of his life following that "thumb-up" performance on Saturday at Jalan Besar with his flawless performance and combination with Fahrudin Mustafic in the middle of park that added the steel in front our backline , who were much under criticism over the last weekend's display, but redeemed themselves for a much better showing this time. Even though, the only glitch they had was ball watching that allowed Harimau's skipper of the night, Safee Sali to finish off easily after they thought the referee would have blew for a perceived infringement. But Jiayi's equalizer in the 72nd minute silenced the crowds, after he latched o