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Monday, May 30, 2016

 

Jakarta Football Chat Match Day 5 Review


 

Biggest Crowds In ASEAN

22,500 Sriwijaya v Mitra Kukar
20,092 Persib v Madura United
13,125 Persis v PSCS
12,041 Buriram United v Nakorn Ratchasima
9,976   PSIM v PPSM

No games being played in Vietnam or Malaysia last weekend. The Persib attendance is awaiting confirmation.

You would expect Buriram's game against local rivals NR would have attracted a larger crowd, indeed the largest of the weekend in the region but it appears the fans, like the owner if rumours are to be believed, are losing interest in their one time invincible team.

Impressive that two second tier sides make the top five but again no action in VLeague and MSL

 

Mitra Kukar's Shahar Ginanjar Earns Valuable Point

Sriwijaya v Mitra Kukar 0-0 22,500

What a game. As 0-0s go this was bloody awesome and on another day there could have been goals aplenty. Siwijaya may be filled with old buggers but god can they run and at times they tore Mitra Kukar's defence ragged but Sahar Ginajar put in a world class performance between the sticks to save his side a point.

How good a game was this? You could see the mutual respect between both sets of players at the end of the match and even the match officials seemed to be saying well done!

Sriwijaya 
12 Teja Paku Alam; 26 Fachrudin Wahyudi Aryanto, 4 Mauricio Leal, 2 Supardi, 11 Zalnando; 8 Eka Ramdani, 24 Ichsan Kurniawan, 23 Muhammad Ridwan, 6 Yu Hyun Koo; 10 Hilton Moreira, 9 Alberto Goncalves
Subs: 21 Yogi Triyana, 28 A.A Ngurah Wahyu Trisnajaya, 13 Achmad Jufriyanto, 22 Wildansyah, 15 Firman Utina, 7 Airlangga Sucipto, 91 Yohanis Nabar

Mitra Kukar
12 Shahar Ginanjar; 4 Arthur Cunha Da Rocha, 16 Saepuloh Maulana, 27 Zikri Akbar, 6 Zulchrizal Abdul Gamal; 13 Bayu Pradana, 10 Rodrigo Ost Dos Santos, 29 Septian David Maulana; 88 Alan Leandro, 23 Hendra Bayauw, 9 Marlon Da Silva
Subs: 47 Gerri Mandagi, 19 Joko Sidik, 33 Syahrizal, 8 Dian Irawan, 21 Anindito Wahyu Erminarno, 17 Ronal Setmot, 99 Yogi Rahadian
PS TNI v PSM 1-1 (Tambun Naibaho; Rasyid Bakri) 8,860
PS TNI's first game at their new Pakansari Stadium in Cibinong and they claimed their first home point of the season despite ending the game with 10 men. PSM will feel they had done enough to win the game and now are sitting pretty on seven points after sacking coach Luciano Leandro. The new gaffer when he arrives will inherit a side high on confidence...
PS TNI18 Dhika Bayangkara; 5 Syaiful Ramadhan, 26 Wanda Syahputra, 3 Wiganda Pradika; 94 Iman Fathurohman, 24 Legimin Raharjo, 55 Manahati Lestusen, 10 Muhammad Guntur Triaji; 19 Aldino Herdianto, 99 Pandi Ahmad Lestaluhu, 22 Tambun Naibaho
Subs: 95 Ravi Murdianto, 66 Ganjar Mukti Muhardiyana, 17 Muhammad Abduh Lestaluhu, 12 Erwin Ramdani, 21 Irfandy Zein AlZubeidy, 16 Tri Hardiyansyah, 23 Wawan Febrianto
PSM Makassar92 Dimas Galih Pratama; 5 Boman Bi Irie Aime, 45 Erik Setiawan, 13 Achmad Sumardi, 32 Paulo Cesar Da Silva Martins; 10 Alex Da Silva De Souza, 17 Rasyid Assahid Bakri, 19 Rizky Pellu, 8 Syamsul Bachri Haeruddin; 20 Lamine Diarrassouba, 3 Ferdinand Alfred Sinaga
Subs: 33 Davit Ariyanto, 22 Ardan Aras, 86 Hasan Basri Lohy, 27 Maldini Pali, 16 Ridwan Tawainela, 11 M. Rahmat, 37 Muchlis Hadi Ning Syaifulloh
Barito Putera v Persija 1-0 (Rizky Pora) 4,965
Barito Putera
20 Adhitya Harlan; 14 Fathul Rachman, 35 Mohammadou Al Hadji Adamou, 3 Muhamad Roby; 18 Adam Alis Setyano, 8 Amirul Mukminin, 32 Hansamu Yama Pranata, 5 Ibrahim Conteh, 13 Lucky Wahyu, 17 Paulo Oktavianus Sitanggang; 10 Luis Carlos Junior
Subs: 30 Imam Arief Fadilah, 31 Arie Sandy, 16 Muhammad Khusen, 26 Rizky Rizaldi Pora, 21 Agi Pratama, 11 Ichsan Pratama, 7 Yongky Aribowo
Persija 
26 Andritany Ardhiyasa; 4 Andik Rendika Rama, 14 Ismed Sofyan, 28 M. Rezaldi Hehanusa, Maman Abdul Rahman, 32 Novri Setiawan, 33 Willian Pachecho; 17 Ambrizal Umanailo, 21 Amarzukih, 22 Hong Soon Hak; 18 Jose Adolfo Guerra
Subs: 31 Reky Rahayu, 13 Gunawan Dwi Cahyo, 36 Vava Mario Yagalo, 19 Ade Jantra Lukmana, 7 Ramdani Lestaluhu, 20 Bambang Pamungkas, 8 Sutanto Tan 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

 

We Three Coaches Of Minang Are

Semen Padang - Nil Maizar was born in Payakumbah, West Sumatra in 1970
Bali United - Indra Sjafri was born in Pesisir Selatan, West Sumatra in 1963
Persipura - Jafri Sastra was born in Payakumbah, West Sumatra in 1965

The people from West Sumatra are known as Minangkabau and are famous for food. Their restaurants with their distinctively buffalo horn shaped roofs are a familiar sight across the length and breadth of Indonesia. They are also famous for their hard work and their willingness to travel. For such a relatively small ethnic group they have had a massive impact not just on Indonesia but on other countries in the region.

It is estimated half the population of the Malaysian city of Seremban are of Minang descent. The strong tradition of Minang migration may be in part explained by a local proverb which says 

Ka ratau madang di hulu, babuah babungo balun, marantau bujang dahulu, di rumah paguno balun

Which translates roughly as 'better to wander because to stay home is not useful. Whatever the reasons Minangs have been wandering for centuries and their impact has been massive. Post independent Malaysia's first head of state was Minang as was the first president of Singapore! Singapore's national anthem was penned by a Minang.

We should not be surprised then when three of the most highly rated young coaches in Indonesia come from the lands of the Minang. 

Indra Sjafri is the grandaddy of the trio if you like. As a player his career was one of underachievement I guess you could say, playing for PS Padang, definitely the younger sibling in the city that boasts Semen Padang as the top side. He then did this and that before being catapaulted on to the national stage when he guided the Under 19s to success initially in the AFF Under 19 Championships in Sidoarjo and then through the AFC Under 19 Championships Qualifying in Jakarta.

H Agus Salim stadium, Padang
Under Indra an Indonesian team won trophies and he was being heralded as a magic worker. Hardly. He was just a hard worker who took his profession seriously and travelled the country watching games and players who had fallen under the radar of more established clubs. Evan Dimas? Owes a lot to Indra...

Jafri Sastra helped guide Semen Padang to the quarter finals of the AFC Cup back in 2013, narrowly losing to East Bengal after losing Edward Wilson Junior halfway through the second leg in Padang. 

His reputation earned, he moved on to Mitra Kukar and is now coaching Persipura, undoubtedly one of the top jobs in Indonesian football. After a shaky start that saw two draws and a loss in their first three games, that loss ironically coming at Semen Padang, they have won two straight games and after defeating Perseru yesterday Sastra says his team have awoken from their early season slumber.

As an Indonesian Under 23 international, Nil Maizar had a short stint with Sparta Prague in the Czech Republic before returning home literally with Semen Padang and later PS Padang. Once retired he slipped into the coaching staff at SP and worked his way up through the ranks eventually winning the Premier League, the competition that run in tandem with the ISL for three years, in 2012.

He was rewarded for his efforts by being appointed national team coach but was soon replaced as the bitch fest that had produced those two leagues and the new mob brought in their own people.

He was all set to coach Putra Samarinda in the 2015 Indonesia Super League but the club changed name, owners and city and was replaced by Indra Sjafri. Maizer instead returned to Semen Padang where he replaced Jafri Sastra!

Three influential coaches with their origins in the Minang highlands, it would be great to sit down and have rendang with them one day...

Saturday, May 28, 2016

 

Bobotoh Ire After Persib Fire Blanks

Persipura v Perseru 1-0 (Bio Paulin) 2,500

Persipura picked up their second win of the season. narrowly edging Papuan neighbours Perseru 1-0 though it took a goal from defender Bio 21 minutes from the end to secure the points. It was also Perseru's first loss of the campaign and ended their proud boast of being the top team in the province.

In an effort to shake things up Persipura coach Jafri Sastra started with Pahabol, dropping Eddy Foday Boakay to the bench but as I said it needed a defender to break the deadlock. 

After the game Sastra was quick to suggest Persipura had overcome their slow start to the season. 'Yesterday,' he said 'the players were still sleeping. Now they are awake.' In a weekend of crap crowds this was another...2,500 for a local derby suggesting the fans don't think the Black Pearls are fully awake. Their first home game of the season v Persija saw 21,000...where have all the fans gone?

Meanwhile Perseru Agus Setiyono coach blamed the ref for the loss...come back when you lose a few home games pal.

Persipura: Yoo Jae Hoon; Bio Paulin, Yustinus Pae, Ricardo Salampessy, Rony Beroperay, Izaac Wanggai (Mandowen 46'), Nelson Alom, Thiago Fernandez (Tahir 59'), Ferinando Pahabol, Boaz Solossa, James Koko Lomell (Kayame 69').
Subs: Dede Sulaiman; Andri Ibo, Dominggus Fakdawer, Muhammad Tahir, Ricky Kayame, Eddy Foday Boakay, Lukas Mandowen.
Perseru: Sukasto Effendi; Tony Ayomi (Yesaya 25'), Henry Njobi Elad, Bilibig Dian Mahrus, Sugiono Sihombing, Dembele Siaka (Mote 84'), Sepetinus Alua, Arthur Bonai, Yoksan Ama (Boas 71'), Paulus Hisage, Amadou Gakou.
Subs: Choirun Nasirin; Yesaya Desnam, Yance Youwey, Franklin Rumbiak, Ferdinando Mote, Boas Atururi, Irfan Mofu.
Persib v Madura United 0-0 20,092
Persib's fourth draw of the season. They are unbeaten and sit just three points off the leaders Arema after five games. Only Sriwijaya have conceded less than Persib's two goals. And what is trending on Twitter right now? #DejanOut. The knives have been out for coach Dejan Antonic pretty much since the first game of the season when Persib needed an injury time equaliser to earn a point against Sriwijaya. 
Persib started with Belencoso up front but again he failed to find the net and Antonic replaced him with new signing Sergio van Dijk early in the second half and despite creating plenty of chances yet again Persib failed to find the net. Four goals in five games is poor return for a team dripping with talent like Persib and the fans feel it.
For such a strong side Persib are undoubtedly underperforming but they are still unbeaten and not far off the pace. Antonic deserves a bit of time, we have already seen PSM and Persela sack their coaches with no evidence of a bounce. Question is, will he get that time?
For Madura United they could go some way to erasing the sour taste of the 5-0 hiding they got at Sriwijaya a couple of weeks back. And with coach Gomes putting Slamet Nurchayo and Bayu Gatra in the bench the team and giving a debut to Eric Weeks Lewis they are starting to look a bit like a side with some depth about them.
Persib‎: I Made Wirawan; Dias Angga Putra, Purwaka Yudhi, Tony Sucipto, Vladimir Vujovic, David Laly, Hariono, Kim Jeffrey Kurniawan, Robertino Pugliara (Atep 70'), Samsul Arif (Tantan 55'), Juan Carlos Belencoso (Sergio 55').
Subs: Muhammad Ridwan; Yanto Basna, Atep, Febri Hariyadi, Taufiq, Sergio Van Dijk, Tantan.
Madura United: Hery Prasetyo; Ahmad Maulana Putra, Asep Berlian, Fabiano Beltrame, Guntur Ariyadi (Gilang 71'), Munhar, Dane Milovanovic (Slamet 56'), Eric Weeks Lewis, Engelberd Sani (Bayu (65'), Rendy Siregar, Pablo Rodrigues.
Subs: Joko Ribowo; Gilang Ginarsa, Rishadi Fauzi, Fajar Handika, Slamet Nurcahyo, Bayu Gatra, Elthon Maran.
Semen Padang v Persela 4-0 (Irsyad Maulana 2, Marcel Sacremento, Vendry Mofu) 5,200
Another impressive home performance by Semen Padang, putting Persela to the sword with a convincing win to keep them in touch with leaders Arema. But in keeping with the theme this weekend another pants crowd.
Semen Padang: Jandia Eka Putra; Cassio De Jessus, Novan Setya, Hengky Ardiles, Agung Prasetyo, Vendry Mofu (Mekan 83'), Diego Santos (Rudi 66'), Irsyad Maulana, Rico Simanjuntak (Defri 74'), Marcel Sacramento, M Nur Iskandar.
Subs: Reza Pratama; Fandry Imbiri, Defri Rizki, Mekan Nasyrov, Rudi, Adi Nugroho, Christover Sibi.
Persela: Choirul Huda (Andi 67'); Taufik Kasrun, Kristian Adelmund, Djayusman Triasdi, Eky Taufik Febriyanto, Zainal Arifin, Tamsil Sinjaya, Galan, Herman Dzumafo (Edy 58'), Shane Malcolm, Dendi Sulistyawan (Zulvin 75').
Subs: Andi Setiawan; Ramadhan Saputra, Edy Gunawan, M Zaenal Haq, Samsul Arifin, Zulvin Zamrun, Jusmadi.


 

Arema In Cruise Control Against Gresik

Arema v Gresik United 3-1 (Raphael Maitimo, Hamka Hazah, Gustavo Marulanda; Ghozali Siregar) 5,877

Disappointing crowd for the East Java derby but Arema showed again why they are serious contenders for the ISC as they turned on the style at a sodden Kanjuruhan Stadium to defeat Gresik United 3-1. And don't forget they still have Cristian Gonzales and Dendi Santoso to return!

Arema go back to the top of the ISC after suffering their first loss of the season last weekend away to Mitra Kukar but the team from East Kalimantan could leap frog them if they get a result against Sriwijaya this weekend.

Hamka Hamzah joint top scorer in Indonesia anyone?! He now has three in five games...

Arema 
1 Kurnia Meiga; 7 Beny Wahyudi, 87 Johan Ahmat farizi, 23 Hamka Hamzah, Goran Ganchev; 94 Ferry Aman Saragih, 8 Raphael Maitimo, 22 Srdjan Lopicic, 11 Esteban Vizcarra, 71 Ahmad Nufiandani; 9 Gustavo Giron Marulanda
Subs: 21 I Made Wardhana, 6 Ryuji Utomo, 4 Syaiful Indra Cahya, 77 Juan Revi, 14 Arif Suyono, 15 Sunarto, 25 Febri Setiadi Hamzah
Gresik United86 M. Sandy Firmansyah; 42 Riyandi Ramadhana, 6 Romy Agustiawan, 4 FX Yanuar Wahyu, 29 Ambrizal, 5 Muhammad Rifqi, 81 Supriyono Salimin; 10 Oh Inkyun, 26 Muhamad Kamri, 77 Hendri Satriadi; 99 Patrick Roberto Daniel Da Silva
Subs: 88 Satria Tama, 18 Achmad Faris Ardiansyah, 9 Yusuf Effendi, 50 Reza Mustofa, 27 Ghozali Muharam Siregar, 19 Eduardo Maceil, 15 Daniel Junaedi   
Pusamania Borneo v Bhayangkara Surabaya United 1-1 (OG; Evan Dimas) 5,423
Another disappointing crowd saw Evan Dimas, the latest poster child for Indonesian football, score his first goal of the season to earn BS United a late point at Samarinda. As for Pusamania, they have scored four goals this season...half have been own goals!
Pusamania 
33 Dian Agus Prasetyo; 27 Gerald Pangkali, 16 Aang Suparman, 4 Jad Noureddine, 24 Diego Michiels; 6 Tarik Boschetti, 11 Ponaryo Astaman, 28 Terens Owang Puhiri, 77 Jefri Kurniawan; 10 Edilson Tavares; 9 Pedro Javier Velazquez
Subs: 97 Nadeo Argawinata, 46 Firly Apriansyah, 21 Sandi Darma Sute, 7 Gavin Kwan Adsit, 5 Hendra Ridwan, 22 Sultan Samma, 12 Lerby Eliandry Pong Baru
Bhayangkara Surabaya United
1 Wahyu Tri Nugroho; 21 M. Fatchu Rochman, 5 Otavio Dutra, 27 Indra Kahfi Ardhiyasa, 2 I Putu Gede Juni Antara; 81 Muhammad Hargianto, 6 Evan Dimas Darmono, 86 Khairallah Abdelkbir; 20 Ilham Udin Armaiyn, 22 Fandi Eko Utomo, 99 Thiago Furtuoso Dos Santos
Subs: 30 Thomas Rian Bayu, 3 Dany Saputra, 4 Suroso, 34 M. Sahrul Kurniawan, 17 Fitra Ridwan, 10 Rudi Widodo, 13 Bijahil Chalwa


Friday, May 27, 2016

 

PSSI Don't Recognise PS TNI

PS TNI have only been a professional club for a few months but their arrival in Indonesian football has certainly been eventful.  They took over Persiram back in March and took their place in the Indonesia Soccer Championship, a competition put together by football authorities to fill the void while FIFA dealt with the PSSI suspension.

Source
While PS TNI were entering what were in effect friendly competitions, like the military backed General Sudirman Cup, no one was really too fussed but now it appears the guys in uniform have taken a shine to football. They took over Persiram and now a guy with many medals wants to run PSSI.

Last week PS TNI fans were involved in serious crowd disturbances when they played away to Gresik United. The game was held up for more than 20 minutes and some reports said more than 50 Gresik fans needed hospital treatment. The military at first said they were not sure if those involved were their people or not but pictures showing men in crew cut fly kicking home fans were pretty explicit.

PS TNI have since come out and apologied for their actions of some of their fans and there was a widely publicised 'kiss and make up session' between the two sets of fans but the trouble came at an embarrassing time for the newly formed club. The president director is in the running for the top job at the PSSI!

Further embarrassment followed when investigations into the Gresik disturbances found only 483 fans had purchased tickets for the away fan enclosure yet more than 1,500 were there. Meaning a thousand or so got in without paying!

With the sports minister having his say the pressure has been mounting on the ISC organisers to act quickly and punish the offenders. The sports minister has said it doesn't matter whether the trouble makers were soldiers or police they should be punished, a clear signal of intent from the government at least.  The ISC have announced they will hold a meeting about the violence next week and fans have been drawing parallels between the fines dished out for flares inside stadiums and the rampage in Gresik. Will ISC take action?

Now PSSI have declared they don't recognise PS TNI as their takeover of Persiram happened while they were suspended. Which in the context of the ISC it doesn't mean much. They are officially not involved in the running of the ISC, that is being done by an outfit called GTS. While it may seem like strong language to say the club are illegal the PSSI have left the door open saying if PS TNI are to apply for PSSI membership through the normal channels they are welcome to do so.

For now PS TNI have more mundane things on their mind. They have lost two and drawn two of their opening four games and this weekend they host their first home game at Pakansari Stadium in Cibinong against PSM looking for their first win.

 

Jakarta Football Chat - Match Day 5 Preview


Thursday, May 26, 2016

 

Penang Break The Mould, Appoint Football CEO

My back hurts. Seriously I almost fell off my bloody chair on reading the Penang FA will no longer be involved in the running of the football club. They have appointed Bojan Hodak as CEO and Nenand Bacina as coach and just have a read of this quote from FA president Datuk Seri Nazir Ariff.

'Bojan and Nenad will manage the team according to their own style. FAP have given them 100% authority to improve the team’s performance. From now on, we want the team to be run by football professionals ... not politicians, half-baked professionals or amateurs.'

A turkey has just voted for Christmas! Massive respect to Penang for making this choice and I hope it works for them. They certainly have appointed a couple of wise old heads to take charge of things but oh how must other coaches around the region be feeling!

Penang recently 'rested' coach jacksen F Tiago after fans got a bit pissy at a bad result.. The supporters hung around after the game ojecting to the coach and some of the players and the FA members eventually called in a couple of representatives to thrash things out. The result? Jacksen was gone to all intents and purposes. An amateur way of dealing with a professional matter and it is to their credit the FA have seen the error of their ways and taken action accordingly.

This is such a good story. On paper it is revolutionary in this part of the world. We need only look at Kelantan to see how a once mighty football club is being run in such a cack handed way. Too often clubs are seen as an extension of the owner or chief's ego and when they lose, as clubs must do in football, it's in the rules, they throw a hissy fit and blame everyone. When the club wins there they are soaking up the glory the players have earned, taking the plaudits and the credit as if they had netted a 90 second hat trick themselves to win the game.

Penang are taking the first steps towards a professional football club being run like a professional football club. No doubt there will be teething problems along the way and fans must be patient but this is the way forward for Malaysian football. 



 

Sriwijaya Hike Ticket Prices For Mitra Kukar Clash

Sriwijaya's fine start to the season has seen they share top spot of the ISC with Mitra Kukar and Persija. This weekend Widodo Cahyo Putro's men go toe to toe with Mitra Kukar and the club are hoping to cash in at the gate by increasing ticket prices.

Their last last home against Madura United, which Laskar Wong Kito won 5-0, was seen by 14,555 and Sriwijaya are expecting more than 20,000 for this weekend's game.

VVIP - Rp 100,000 increase to Rp 120,000
VIP - Rp 50,000 increase to Rp 75,000
West - Rp 40,000 increase to Rp 50,000
East - Rp 25,000 increase to Rp 30,000

I hope the club know what they are doing! They have started the season well but they have won nothing yet.

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ASEAN Average Attendances 2016

The whole football world these days seems to be obsessed by statistics. Number of passes, number of chewing, gum, number of sideways tackles by left footed players. The only numbers that count in football are the goals scored, that is what history recalls, and the only other stats I have an interest in are the attendance figures for clubs.

A couple of tweets recently have prompted me to sit down and compile the teams with the largest average crowds in South East Asia. There are a few difficulties with this of course. Numbers released by clubs or leagues may not always be that accurate due to what ever reason is the main one of course. Still for ball park figures they do make interesting reading.

Now if you think I am going to sit down and calculate every damned club across the region you really are in la la land. Instead I have selected the largest I have come across in my research. Apologies to Singapore, I didn't even bother!

Average League Attendances

1 - Persija 45,188
2 - Arema 23,557
3 - Persib 21,848
4 - PSS 20,660
5 - Buriram United 19,122
6 - Johor Darul Ta'zim 18,095
7 - Haiphong 17,500
8 - Persipura 16,682

Largest League Attendances

50,117 -  Persija v Semen Padang
40,260 -  Persija v Persela
32,600 -  Buriram United v Chonburi
32,391 -  Buriram United v Muang Thong United
32,159 -  Nakhorn Ratchasima v Muang Thong United
29,650 -  Arema v BS United
28,000 -  Haiphong v Becemax Binh Duoung
26,800 -  Johor Darul Ta'zim v Selangor
25,125 -  Persib v Persiba
21,000 -  PSS v Persiba Bantul

Notes

Persija played their first two home games at Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta. That venue will now be closed for renovations ahead of 22018 Asian Games and Persija must play their home games elsewhere. Solo is the most likely option so expect their average crowd to drop substantially.
Persib played their first two home games at Si Jalak Harupat, Soreang. That venue will now be closed for renovations ahead of National Games and Persib must play their home games elsewhere. Cikarang and Bandung are likely options.
I am not entirely convinced PSS slip in at number 10 and am willing to be dissuaded. Any other crowds in Thailand or Malaysia top 20,000?



Wednesday, May 25, 2016

 

Lok's Journey From Eastbourne to Malaysia

Two years ago Darren Lok was signing a new contract with Eastbourne Borough, scoring goals for them at the weekend and earning his bread working as a support worker for psychiatric patients. Now he appears to be on the verge of a call up by the Malaysian national team. It sounds like a story straight from the Jamie Vardy Book of What the Fuck Happened In My Career.

Lok came through the ranks at Eastbourne, a club based in a town more famous as a destination for old buggers looking to tinkle their tootsies in the freezing waters of the English Channel before heading to the Bingo. He played his last game for the club away to Ebbsfleet United, you really do need Google Maps to understand English non league, where his team lost 4-2. In front of 1400 fans! Lok however apparently played a blinder, if the match report can be believed.

The guy writing said report named Lok man of the match, adding ' – this week as every week, a man with Borough in his bones. Best of luck, Darren!'

In a 2014 local newspaper article (it is worth pointing out to people in South East Asia England has thousands of football clubs across the country, not just four or five, and they all receive column inches in the local media) Lok was described as At under 6ft tall, Lok might not strike you as your archetypal non-league centre forward but he was busy last season carving out a reputation as an energetic, lively striker, who makes up for what he lacks in physique with a presence beyond his stature.

The article says nothing about his Malaysian heritage but early 2015 Lok was 'discovered' and featured in the local Four Four Two where he said he loved Chinese food, loved Malaysia but couldn't speak the language! When asked whether he would like to play there he replied 'I would love to play for Malaysia one day. Giving up my English citizenship is something that I would have to give great consideration, but if the chance ever came up to represent Malaysia, I would jump at it.'

Last September national team coach Ong Kim Swee said he was aware of Lok and was open to having more mixed heritage players in the squad...subject to their ability of course. Others who have made an impact in recent times include Brendan Gan, Matthew Davies and Junior Eldstal. 

One time St George legend Scott Ollerenshaw has known about Lok for a while and he is impressed saying 'Darren is potentially the diamond of the lot. He's powerfully built and can score goals.'

Now it appears his chance has come. Lok is currently trialling with Malaysia Super League champions Johor Darul Ta'zim and their feeder side Johor Darul Ta'zim II and he could be called up by the national side for their AFC Asian Cup qualifiers against Timor Leste early in June...if he receives his Malaysian passport in time.

OKS is more cautious. 'Darren still has to prove himself ... no one’s guaranteed a place in the national team. I will have to assess his condition first,' he said on Tuesday. 'I won’t need long to see if he's good enough for the national team ... maybe one or two days. I’ve also received good feedback from JDT.'

If Lok doesn't make the Timor Leste squad it is likely he will be heading to Oceania for friendlies against Papua new Guinea, Fiji and New Caledonia later in the month where he will be enjoying beaches far different from the pebbles of Eastbourne.

Forget Jamie Vardy having a party, this is Malaysia and Darren Lok could be stirring the wok!

God knows Malaysia need strikers. From the squad that was called up for the Myanmar friendly later this week only Amri Yahyah (10 goals) and Safiq Rahim (15) had reached double figures...and Amri is 35 years old! That squad didn't include Norhsahrul Idlan who has six goals or 32 year old Safee Sali who has scored 23 or Indra Putra Mahayuddin (17). And they were held 0-0 by Macau in their last friendly. 

A coach can only draw on what is available to him and with absolutely no disrespect to Lok who is only taking the opportunity that has been offered to him the mere fact a player from Eastbourne Borough could even be considered for the national team says much about the quality of young players coming through and, I guess by implication, the failure of the Harimau Muda projects of recent years but that is another story.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

 

Arema's New Aussie Loving Life In Malang

There is something special about Arema. Despite only being founded in 1987 they have become one of the biggest football clubs in the country and while their exploits on the pitch may not always earn top billing their fans, the Aremania, are always there to provide some of the most passionate support around. 

Sign for Arema and you sign up for a football culture unlike many other. St Pauli perhaps. Newcastle United. Clubs where the badge isn't just a measure of support, it is a mirror into your soul. Satu jiwa sing the Arema fans, One soul. Arema is more than a club, they become part of your soul. 

It is so appropriate that when one time Singapore wild child Noh Alam Shah moved to Indonesia it was to Arema. The Crazy Lions were a perfect match for Ah Long. Their attitudes suited each other to a tea.

The fans exploits are legion. The day 60,000 filled Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta to see the team win the Indonesia Super League for the first time in 2010. The riots and pitch invasion that halted a play off against Persiwa in nearby Kediri. And the movie, Conductors, where a humble water seller is compared to the conductor of a large orchestra. 

Malang is a small town nestled in the foothills a couple of hours south of Surabaya. Go somewhere and people will know about it. Do something and people will know about it. Persema may be the oldest club in Malang but everyone supports Arema.

Into this world has stepped Gustavo Giron Marulanda. Colombian born the striker started his career in his native land. 'I played for Once Caldas in Colombia for their U17s U20s then moved to Deportivo Pereira for a couple of seasons only playing for their reserves tea,' he told me.

Without really making much of an impact at home when someone asked him if he would like to play in Australia he jumped at the opportunity and signed for Bayswater SC in the Western Australia National Premier League. His performances made people sit up and take notice. 'Playing for Bayswater made me a name in Australia, despite being a second tier or just semi-pro football i got noticed by a few pro teams and also Budi who was the agent who contacted me and told me about Arema intentions, I was also contacted by Bali United at the time but I thought Arema would of (sic) been the right move because I liked the way they play and the fan base! I watched a few videos before I came here and really liked the style of soccer we play.'

Indonesia is never far from the news and the news is rarely positive but when Giron made the move it seems he wasn't aware of the PSSI suspension by the government and FIFA. 'Before coming to Indonesia i knew very little about their football, not even that they were banned by FIFA at that time.. I only found out while here, but it didn't change the perspective of things, because Arema always looked to be a serious and (promising) club, the league started (ISC) as such and this club is always striving for glory, now that we are back on FIFA things will only be better.'

Ok, the bags are packed and Giron is know in Indonesia. How has he found settling in? The game can be, what's the word, unrelenting at times. Brutal at others. His first ISC outing came against Persiba on the opening day of the season when the visitor's alleged rough house tactics saw Dendi Santoso and Cristian Gonzales injured early on. Giron started the game on the bench but came on at  the start of the second half to replace Gonzales.

'I played a friendly against Persija and though they were really honest and clean, the game went really "smooth" not many problems or hard tackles so that was my impression of football here, then 1st league game was a bit brutal, they came to clean everyone up and the referee really allowed that to happen..  Have the referee made better decisions at the right time I guess he would of prevent this situations to happen, but that's the game and it looks like that's the only way they thought they could beat us, in the end we are strong and good with the ball so that always gives you rewards!!!'

That was a home game. Next up was Madura United and nothing he had seen in Colombia and Australia could have prepared him for his first away game. 'When we were gonna play Madura, I got told by some of my team mates that fans were told not to come over due to the rivalry with the people from Surabaya and that two people had died recently due to fights between each other.'

'At that time I started to realise how serious the fans take the game, and then later in the afternoon looked out of my window to find out we were travelling in the Army's armoured personnel carrier so it was really impressive for me. I have never experienced something like it before and I can assure that no many people have. 

'Once we were on the road it was all about banter and laughs, we took it the good way, take pics with the army-man, and relaxed while traveling on the ferry, but can't deny that it was an impressive night. 

'Madura fans were also unreal, they sang for the whole game and really made it a special night. I thought Madura played a good game, they were really strong and didn't allow us to play our game. It's one of those games were you just gotta shake it off and carry on.. I was quite frustrated because didn't have much contact with the ball, but it was a really intense game where we had ... to chase them for long periods of the game!!'

After two tough games Giron finally broke his duck, scoring as Arema comfortably defeated Bhayangkara Surabaya United 3-0 at the Kanjuruhan Stadium to go top of the ISC. They lost t heir next game, 2-1 away to Mitra Kukar but remain handily placed sharing second spot and just a point off the pace.

With the football being a bit of an eye opener initially Giron is now settling down to life in malang and is enjoying his new surroundings. 'Arema and its people really know how to make you feel welcome and comfortable, they have rally looked after mean my family. I am really enjoying this beautiful experience here in Malang, its such a nice city with so much to explore, its full of coffee shops, restaurants, and a few good shopping malls. I keep calling myself lucky because I have come to a great place and club, i wouldn't have it any other way i am happy here Malang is really nice, the weather is perfect! And its people are so kind and sociable.'

From Bayswater to Malang, the last few months have been quite a footballing journey for the Colombian born striker. It seems clear he is settling down nicely to life in Malang with his family and his first goal and all round performance against BS United were an indicator of what he is capable of in his day job. 

Arema fans like their strikers. In recent years they have seen Keith Kayamba Gumbs, Alberto Goncalves, Noh Alam Shah and more latterly Gonzales himself. Time will tell whether Giron will carve out his own piece of Arema history.


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New Kelantan Coach Blames Players

Kelantan. The footballing soap opera that keeps giving.  Malaysia has given us BoBoiBoy and Upin & Lupin in recent years but none of their story lines come close to the tales that emanate from the north eastern state.

Suffice for a recap, they have Skin Cream Lady threatening to withdraw her sponsorship and TSAM challenging the FAM to take action because the club he oversees owes money to players.

Against this backdrop a new coach has come in to replace K Devan who stepped down recently. Bulgarian Velizar Popov is the latest to try his luck with the Red Warriors who have struggled this season as the two aforementioned figures compete for headlines to the detriment of the team.

But Popov has shown he is well suited for the job. After Kelantan lost 5-2 at home to Selangor in the Malaysia Super League he let loose with both barrels.

'There is something unusual going on here. It is definitely not normal to pick up two red cards in two matches in the space of three days. It is unprofessional because we are forced to play with ten men against a strong team.'*

Fair enough. There is something unusual going on at Kelantan. From the outside it looks like a club low on morale for pretty obvious reasons.

'To those without the heart to play for Kelantan, you are free to leave the team at your will.'

Yep, contractual obligations aside. But then he really puts his size 10s into the players with a comment of immense crassness and insensitivity.

'In Europe, when something like this happens, I would not hesitate to cut the players’ salaries. Everyone has to realize that no single person is bigger than the entire team.'

Oh yes, perfect for the job. Can you see things improving for Kelantan anytime soon? A shame cos it should be one of the biggest clubs in the country. 17,000 saw the Selangor game, thousands travelled to the previous game.

*SOURCE - Fourth Official

'

 

ISC Match Day 4 In Numbers

Match Day 4

Madura United v Pusamania 2-1 (Engelberd Sani, Pablo Rodrigues; Pedro Javier) 3,720 
Mitra Kukar v Arema 2-1 (Alan Leandro, Arthur Cunna; Hamka Hamzah) 7,231
PSM v Barito Putera 1-0 (Ardan Aras) 8,511 
Bali United v Semen Padang 2-1 (Byung-Gun Ahn, M. Novianto; Vendry Mofu) 10,003
Persiba v Persib 1-1 (Shohei Matsunaga; Vladimir Vujovic) 4,000 
Gresik United v PS TNI 0-0 12,300
Perseru v Persija 0-0 4,650
Bhayangkara Surabaya United v Sriwijaya 0-1 (Mauricio Leal) 5,504
Persela v Persipura 0-1 (Lukas Mandowen) 7,826

8 goals were scored by foreign players
6 goals were scored by Indonesian players
Biggest Crowd - Gresik United v PS TNI 12,300
Lowest Crowd - Persiba v Persib 4,000

Top Scorer - 3 goals by Alan Leandro (Mitra Kukar), 
Average Crowd - 7,082
Biggest winning margin - 2-1 Mitra Kukar v Arema, Bali United v Semen Padang
Biggest attendance season to date - Persija v Semen Padang 50,117
Lowest attendance season to date - Pusamania v Persiba 2,541

1 - Sriwijaya 4 2 2 0 7-1 8
2 - Mitra Kukar 4 2 2 0 7-3 8
3 - Persija 4 2 2 0 4-2 8

Persija - 45,188
Arema - 23,557
Persib - 21,938 

 

Persipura Earn First Win Of Season

Persela v Persipura 0-1 (Lukas Mandowen) 7,826

Three points for Jafri Sastra's Persipura gives them five for the season, just three off the joint leaders Sriwijaya, Persija and Mitra Kukar. Not an unsurmountable number this early in the campaign and it is fair to say he can breathe a little easier now after this win rounded off Match Day 4.

No cuch luck for Persela's Stafan Hansson. Pointless from four games you wonder how much longer he can hang on.

Persela: Choirul Huda; Eki Taufik, Kristian Adelmund, Djayusman Triasdi (Zainal Haq 71'), Taufiq, Jose Pedro Galan, Jusmadi, Victor Pae (Edy 32'), Shane Malcolm (Zaenal Arifin 61'), Dendy Sulistyawan, Herman Dzumafo.
Subs: Andi Setiawan; Edy Gunawan, Zainal Haq, Samsul Arifin, Zulvin Zamrun, Tamsil sijaya, Zaenal Arifin.
Persipura: Yoo Jae Hoon; Ricardo Salampessy, Dominggus Fakdawer, Yustinus Pae, Rony Beroperay, Izaac Wanggai, Nelsom Alom, Ian Louis Kabes (Thiago 77'), Ferinando Pahabol (Lukas 62'), James Koko Lomel, Eddy Foday Boakay (Boaz 53').
Subs: Ferdiansyah; Andri Ibo, Yohanis Tjoe, Fernandes Thiago, Boaz Solossa, Lukas Mandowen, Ricky Kayame.

 

PSS Remember Death Of A Fan


Footballers around the world are known for the ostentatious celebrations whenever they score a goal. Hell, some of the even practise them in training hoping they will get the opportunity to try them in front of their adoring legions of fans.

When PSS scored a goal against Persiba Bantul in their local derby yesterday afternoon their celebration was more subdued and more respectful.

They picked up a piece of A4 with a few hand written words showing a message of support for football fans in general who have died in recent days watching football and of course for the PSS fan who was killed in a brawl on the early hours of Sunday morning.

The message was simple and to the point. And all the more meaningful because it has not gone through the grubby mitts of a slick football club PR machine as it would do in England. Nay, scratch that. You would never see players in England do this. Clubs would not allow such an individual display of expression or sympathy.

Bill Shankly famously said football is more important than life or death. That was before Heysel and Hillsborough. Were he around today he would be quick to qualify those words.

'If football is more expensive than our soul then we choose to live without football #RIPFANSINDONESIA

Fans too showed their respect for the memory of their colleague with an impressive terrace display.



In an emotionally charged derby PSS won 2-1 in front of more than 21,000...the largest crowd in Indonesia. 

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Group 8 Fate To Be Decided Soon

With the Indonesia Soccer Championship up and running for a few weeks now there has been relative silence over Group 8. Comprising teams spread around a number of different islands I guess there have been issues over the expenses involved in reaching so many out of the way places.

The six teams which make up Group 8 are:

Kalteng Putra Palangkarya - Kalimantan
Yahukimo - Papua
Persigo Gorontalo - Sulawesi
Persbul Buol - Sulawesi
Persigubin - Papua
Celebest Palu - Sulawesi

While life would have been fairly easy for the Sulawesi based clubs pity poor Kalteng. Their away day costs would have been astronomical and journey times would have eaten up several days.

It make sense there fore to have this particular group based on one one venue to help reduce the costs and the ISC organisers are currently deciding whether to award the hosting rights to either Celebest Palu or Kalteng Putra.

Monday, May 23, 2016

 

Jakarta Football Chat - Match Day 4 Review


 

Sriwijaya, Persija Pick Up Valuable Away Points

Gresik United v PS TNI 0-0 12,300

Unfortunately this game was marred by a pitch invasion that held up proceedings for almost 20 minutes and left 50 fans needing treatment as marauding PS TNI fans went on the rampage.

The game itself wasn't too bad. In the first half especially South Korean Oh In Kyun was the wayang master for Gresik United but all too often the final delivery was woeful. 

As for PS TNI they remain winless after four games and have just two points to show for their efforts. Their attempt to build a team around young Indonesian players is laudable but unless they do something to reign in their support they will soon become associated with something other than football. 


Gresik United86 M Sandi Firmansyah; 29 Ambrizal, 15 Junaidi, 4 FX Yanuar, 5 M. Rifki; 10 Oh In Kyun, 27 Ghozali Siregar, 26 M. Kamri, 9 Yusuf Effendi, 19 Eduardo Maciel; 99 Patrick Da Silva
Subs: 42 R. Ramadhan, 77 H. Satriadi, 87 Suheri Daud, 88 S. Tama, 18 A. Ardiansyah, 50 Reza Mustofa, 7 David Faristian
PS TNI18 Dika Bhayangkara; 3 Wiganda Pradika, 26 Wanda Syahputra, 55 Manahati Lestusen, S. Rahmadan; 10 Guntur Triaji, 24 Legimin Raharjo, 94 Iman Faturrahman, 21 Irfandy Zein, 99 Pandi Lestaluhu; 22 Tambun Naibaho
Subs: 19 A. Herdianto, 12 Erwin Ramdani, 17 M. Lestaluhu, 23 Wawan Febrianto, 69 Hardiantono, 95 Ravi Murdianto, 11 Frets Listanto Butuan  
Perseru v Persija 0-0 4,650
Perseru 
20 Sukasto Effendi; 18 Bilibig Dian Mahrus, 5 Henry Njobi Elad, 16 Sugiono, 38 Tonny Rooy Ayomi; 22 Arthur Barrios Bonai, 7 Paulus Hisage, 14 Ronaldo Meosido, 26 Septinus Alua; 10 Gakou Amadou, 11 Yoksan Ama
Subs: 89 M.Choirun Nasirin, 12 Boas Atururi, 29 Yance Youwey, 19 Fred Ferdinando Mote, 25 Yesaya Nickhanor Desnam, 6 Dembele Siaka, 17 Irvan Yunus Mofu
Persija 
26 Andritany Ardhiyasa; 4 Andik Rendika Rama, 28 Rezaldi Hehanusa, 6 Maman Abdul Rahman, 32 Novri Setiawan, 36 Vava Mario Yagalo, 33 Willian Pachecho; 17 Ambrizal Umanailo, 21 Amarzukih; 22 Hong Soon Hak, 18 Jose Adolfo Guerra
Subs: 31 Reky Rahayu, 13 Gunawan Dwi Cahyo, 14 Ismed Sofyan, 7 Ramdani Lestaluhu, 10 Aldi Al Achya, 20 Bambang Pamungkas, 8 Sutanto Tan
Bhayangkara Surabaya United v Sriwijaya 0-1 (Mauricio Leal) 5,504
Bhayangkara Surabaya United1 Wahyu Tri Nugroho; 34 M. Sahrul Kurniawan, 21 M. Fatchu Rochman, 5 Otavio Dutra, 4 Suroso; 6 Evan Dimas Darmono, 22 Fandi Eko Utomo, 86 Khairallah Abdelkbir, 81 Muhamad Hargianto; 20 Ilham Udin Armaiyn, 99 Thiago Furtuoso Dos Santos
Subs: 30 Thomas Rian Bayu Hermawan, 3 Dani Saputra, 2 I Putu Gede Juni Antara, 27 Indra Kahfi Ardhiyasa, 18 Paulo Helber, 10 Rudi Widodo, 12 Wahyu Subo Seto
Sriwijaya 
12 Teja Paku Alam; 26 Fachrudin Wahyudi Aryanto, 4 Mauricio Aparecido Maciel Leal, 2 Supardi, 11 Zalnando; 8 Eka Ramdani, 24 Ichsan Kurniawan, 6 Yu Hyun Koo; 10 Hilton Moreira, 29 Talaohu Abdul Mushafry, 9 Alberto Goncalves
Subs  21 Yogi Triyana, 28 A.A Ngurah Wahyu Trisnajaya, 22 Wildansyah, 44 Achmad Hisyam, 15 Firman Utina, 23 Muhammad Ridwan, 91 Yohanis Nabar

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Crowd Trouble Mars Gresik United v PS TNI Clash

In the days after FIFA readmitted the PSSI there has been little for Indonesian football to celebrate. First there was the death of a young Persija fan outside the Bung Karno Stadium at their home game against Persela. Witnesses blame the police, the police say it was an accident after supporters were fighting among themselves trying to get inside the stadium.

Then in the early hours of Sunday morning PSIM fans returning their game in Semarang against PSIS stopped off in the wrong part of town and things kicked off, leaving one PSS Sleman fan dead. Another teenager.

On Sunday afternoon, Gresik United's home game was held up after three minutes after visiting PS TNI fans invaded the pitch to get at the home fans.
Photo Source

Apparently it all started when some Gresik fans tried to nick a PS TNI banner. Not a good idea at most games but especially when their fans are drawn from the military. Some PS TNI fans retaliated by charging across the terrace to get at the home fans while others took a short cut and invaded the pitch.

The game was being shown live on TV and viewers were subjected to the sight of Gresik fans scrambling to get away from the invaders. With play halted both teams stood in front of the main stand watching the action, occasionally intervening to help a fleeing Gresik fan while chasing away fans ignored military cops to rain down punches on their enemy.

The trouble flared for 20 minutes before officials were able to get things under control. Meanwhile it was reported more than 50 Gresik fans had been ferried to local hospitals to receive treatment.

Despite PS TNI not existing as a professional football club before 2016, they took over Persiram, the club have managed to attract a number of supporters with their two home games at Siliwangi Stadium attracting an average of around 7,500. (Their next home games will be moved to Pakansari Stadium in Cibinong). However most of that support is being drawn from the ranks of the military and images from the incident yesterday show crew cut young men dressed similarly heavily involved.

The military have since come out with a statement saying; 'We can not yet confirm those involved in the incident are serving military personnel or from the normal community'.

How the events were recorded in Jawa Pos 

The crowd trouble has only added to fans fears across the country they are easy targets for security officials and certainly there does appear to be a marked difference in the way they are treated and the more kid glove approach officials take towards mass organizations founded upon ethnicity or religion. And while we often see smiling politicians rushing for photo opportunities at election time cozying up to fans they seem to have gone AWOL at the moment.

In Thailand Army United have a number of foreign fans who have adopted them as their favourite local team while in Malaysia ATM have seen their support melt away since their team has been so pants. It is hard to see PS TNI being adopted by many Indonesians outside of serving members and their families so for the time being they will be drawing heavily on the local men in baracks being let out for the game.

It will be interesting to see what repercussions there will be for PS TNI. Indonesia Soccer Championship officials have been quick to fine clubs when their supporters have been guilty of heinous offences like letting off flares inside the stadium. What action will they take against the military over this incident?

Two deaths. 50 plus injured. Pitch invasion. Indonesian football is back.

The game? Oh yeah, it ended 0-0 and you should have seen the relief evident on the face of the ref when he blew the final whistle!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

 

Mitra Kukar End Arema's Run Of Clean Sheets

Madura United v Pusamania 2-1 (Engelberd Sani, Pablo Rodrigues; Pedro Javier) 3,720 

Pusamania's new coach Dragan Djukanovic complained about the ref after seeing his side go down 2-1 against Madura United who bounced back after their thumping last week in Palembang.

Madura United: Hery Prasetyo; Asep Berlian, Fabiano Beltrame, Guntur Ariyadi, Munhar, Dane Milovanovic, Rosi Noprihanis (Engelberd 46'), Slamet Nurcahyo (Elthon 66'), Bayu Gatra, Rendy Siregar (Jeki 79'), Pablo Rodrigues Aracil.

Subs: Joko Ribowo; Gilang Ginarsa, Jeki Arisandi, Rishadi Fauzi, Fajar Handika, Elthon Maran, Engelberd Sani.

Pusamania: Dian Agus Prasetyo; Diego Michiels (Gavin 64'), Jad Noureddin, Zulkifli Syukur (Jefri 14'), Firli Apriyansyah, Gerald Rudolf Pangkali, Edilson Tavares (Lerby 77'), Terens Puhiri, Ponaryo Astaman, Tarik Boschetti, Pedro Javier.

Subs: Nadeo Argawinata; Gavin Kwan Adsit, Hendra Ridwan, Jefri Kurniawan, Sandi Darma Sute, Lerby Eliandri, Sultan Samma.

Mitra Kukar v Arema 2-1 (Alan Leandro, Arthur Cunna; Hamka Hamzah) 7,231

Unfancied Mitra Kukar top the ISC for at least 24 hours after inflicting Arema's first defeat of the season. Leandro's third of the season made him the competition's top scorer .

Mitra Kukar: Shahar Ginanjar, Michael Orah, Saepuloh Maulana, Arthur Cunna, Abdul Gamal, Bayu Pradana, Rodrigo Dos Santos, Septian David Maulana, Hendra Adi Bayauw, Marlon Da Silva, Alan Leandro

Arema: Kurnia Meiga, Ahmad Alfarizi, Hamka Hamzah, Goran Gancev, Beny Wahyudi, Hendro Siswanto, Ferry Aman Saragih, Raphael Maitimo, Srdjan Lopicic, Esteban Vizcarra, Gustavo Giron Marulanda

PSM v Barito Putera 1-0 (Ardan Aras) 8,511 

PSM sacked their coach, or he quit, midweek after supposedly a poor run of results. They had won one and lost two of their opening three games of the season. With Luciano Leandro gone it was Tony Ho who took the helm for this home game and hey presto they won.

The competition to replace Leandro seems to be hotting up but on the field the three points for PSM moves them to within two points of leaders Mitra Kukar...but hey. Let's sack the coach anyway.

PSM  Dimas Galih Pratama; Boman Irie Aime,  Erik Setiawan, Achmad Sumardi;  Ardan Aras, Maldini Pali,  Rizky Pellu,  Syamsul Chaeruddin;  Lamine Diarrassouba,  Ferdinand Sinaga,  Muchlis Hadi Ning Syaifulloh

Subs:  Davit Ariyanto,  Daniel Tata,  Wasyiat Hasbullah, Alex Da Silva De Souza,  Hasan Basri Lohy, Rasyid Assahid Bakri,  M. Rahmat

Barito Putera Adhitya Harlan;  Fathul Rachman,  M. Aswar Syamsuddin,  Mohammadou Al Hadji Adamou,  Muhamad Roby;  Amirul Mukminin,  Hansamu Yama Pranata,  Ibrahim Conteh,  Lucky Wahyu,  Paulo Oktavianus Sitanggang;  Luis Junior

Subs:  Imam Arief Fadilah,  Adam Alis Setyano,  Agi Pratama,  Ichsan Pratama,  Yongky Aribowo

Bali United v Semen Padang 2-1 (Byung-Gun Ahn, M. Novianto; Vendry Mofu) 10,003

Bali United  Rully Desrian;  Ahn Byung Keon,  Bobby Satria,  Kiko Insa,  Hasim Kipuw,  Ricky Fajrin;  Fadhil Sausu,  Hendra Sandi Gunawan,  Lucas Patinho;  I Nyoman Sukarja,  Yabes Roni Malaifani

Subs:  Ngurah Komang Arya Perdana,  Felisianus Junius R. Bate, I Nyoman Adi Parwa,  Loudry Meilana Setiawan,  Syakir Sulaiman,  I Made Adi Wirahadi,  Martinus Novianto Ardhi

Semen Padang Jandia Eka Putra;  Agung Prasetyo,  Handi Ramdhan,  Hengki Ardiles,  Satrio Syam; Vendry Mofu,  Paulo Diego Messias, Irsyad Maulana;  Marcel Silva Sacramento,  Muhammad Nur Iskandar,  Riko Simanjuntak

Subs:  Rivky Mokodompit,  Fandry Imbiri,  Novan Setya Sasongko,  Novrianto,  Defri Rizki, Mekan Nasyrov,  Rudi

Persiba v Persib 1-1 (Shohei Matsunaga; Vladimir Vujovic) 4,000 

Bima Sakti showed where is priorities lay. While some of his colleagues who trained in Italy 20 odd years back were going through their paces against a bunch of retired ex Serie A players in Jakarta Bima made his first appearance of the season for Persiba as he and coach Jaino Matos jiggled things about after a shot shy start to the season. Out went Okta Maniani and Rehel and in came Vincius for his first start of the season.

 After 306 minutes Persiba celebrated their first goal of the season, a penalty by Matsunaga. Vujovic nicked a late point for Persib, his second of the season to leave Persib fans to pour out their rage and scorn on social media. Six points from four games, two points behind leaders Mitra Kukar, things could be much worse.

And they may get worse before they get better for Belencoso. Just one goal since he arrived in Indonesia packing a big reputation he will be looking nervously at new signing Sergio van Dijk when they meet in training next week.

As for Persiba. Another game, another opponent sent to hospital. This time Robertino is checking out the medical services and falling foul of Persibas alleged hard tactics. He follows Aang Supraman, Cristian Gonales and Dendi Santoso who have received serious injuries after playing the Honey bears. The nickname may be cuddly but the play ain't! Still, let's keep fining clubs 'cos fans set off flares inside stadiums eh? Let's not worry too much about career threatening tackles.

Persiba  Alfonsius Kelvan;  Abdul Aziz Lutfi Akbar,  Abdul Rahman, Absor Fauzi,  Dirkir Kohn Glay,  Iqbal Samad;  Bima Sakti,  Kurniawan Karman,  Shohei Matsunaga;  Heri Susanto,  Vinicius Dos Santos Ries

Subs: Yoewanto Stya Beny,  Asep Budi Santoso,  Fengky Turnando,  Gidion Victor Way,  Oktovianus Maniani,  Siswanto, Ahmad Ihwan

Persib  I Made Wirawan;  Dias Angga Putra,  Purwoko Yudi,  Tony Sucipto,  Vladimir Vujovic; David Laly,  Hariono,  Kim Jeffrey Kurniawan,  Robertino Pugliara;  Juan Belencoso,  Tantan

Subs: M. Natshir Fadhil Mahbuby,  Hermawan,  Muhammad Agung Pribadi,  Atep,  Taufiq, Samsul Arif Munip,  Yandi Sopyan Munawar

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