Fish Out of Water

-Sengkang Punggol FC Fans' Perspective-

S.League 2010 Match 3

Opponent: Etoile FC
Date: 17th Feb, 1930hrs
Venue: Jalan Besar Stadium
Final Score: 2 -2 (Frederic Mendy 58″, Matthias Verschave 90″ – Moussa Keita 36″, Jordan Webb 78″)

A smash-and-grab job executed to near perfection, if not for some unconvincing officiating. They may hold the edge in technical ability but no way do they come anywhere near your tenacity and grit.
Bravo boys!

Debut of the away strip

A defence young but no pushovers

Overawed Sobrie looks lost at times

Speaking of looking lost...

Equaliser from an individual slip. A good goal though.

Starting lineup

Starting lineup

Wreckidigidy’s thoughts

Daylight Robbery!! That was what I felt as buffoon referee Abas Daud robbed us of 2 precious points but perhaps it was a conspiracy theory within the organization to ensure their golden boys from France which they had hyped up with their deliverance can never lose to a club which many deemed logical to end up at the bottom end of the league table week in week out.

Anyway it was not the first time my poor team was at the brunt of some slipshod refereeing, so it was just another day in the office for us long suffering fans of Sengkang Punggol FC.

The result truly undermined the fact that the team played with the same self-belief inculcated by our budding head coach Aide Iskandar.
Shone of our inspirational skipper Nor Azli who was still carrying that serious knock from the Gombak game and was enthusiastically passing instructions from the stands, just in front of us as well as midfield dynamo Abdoulaye Diallo, Aide bravely put on Prime League boy Sim Li Ming for perhaps his first start at this level in his sprawling career.

In truth Sim and defensive partner Shahir Hamzah had some uncomfortable time against Etoile’s strike force of Mendy and Verschave who delivered the goals for Les Bleus.
There was no one vocal in the middle directing play with Meng Meng trying his best to be the beacon but he was more suitable to do his job quietly and effectively.

The French side predictably dictated play for the first 20 minutes or so with rightback Nna and winger Bagnost proving a handful for our left-hand tandem of Duncan and Sobrie to a stage that the latter looked beleaguered, earned an unnecessary yellow card and was understandably taken off before the half is up.
By then we took the lead against the run of play with Guinean forward Moussa Keita nipping past the defensive pairing Boudjema and Lakehal from an unpredictable dink from at least 40 yards before calmly putting it past former Lille custodian Yohann Lacroix to open his account for his new team.
The crowd was delirious and the “home team” was stunned.

Aide played his trump card close to his heart and Mamadou Diallo was indeed our secret weapon, drawing fouls from Etoile players in succession that Abas could not deny us by showing the French players the yellow card.

Second half had me on the edge of my seat as the French starting to pepper crosses and through balls into our defensive quarter, I just prayed we do not shoot ourselves at own feet as we did so many times in the past.
When Frederic Mendy latched on a poor tackle from Sim due to a horrendous lost ball from Faizal to curve a sweet equalizer past Fadhil, my heart sunk but it was a beauty of a goal to behold no less.

Once again Fadhil could not be faulted for the goal. In fact the 27 year old was the real hero for the Dolphins with several match-salvaging saves including a world class dive and then a reflex clearance in the first half before denying Mendy with a clear one on one close to half time.
It was definitely unfair for him to be beaten for the second time in this game but sadly it came under such acrimonious situation.

Fadhil’s opposite number Lacroix looked less assuring and could be blamed for Jordan Webb’s cheeky goal though for us Dolphins fanatics it was a special effort from the young Canadian winger.
The fact that he ran past the fans with his celebratory lap of honor bodes well with us fans and surely he is increasingly becoming a fan favorite with just 3 weeks into his career here.

Lacroix was pivotal though to deny us further goals, first with a top brass save from Shahir’s glancing header off a wondrous curling setpiece from Duncan Elias before diving to deny Farizal Basri a 25 yard goal from his first touch of the game.

Ultimately 2-2 is a fabulous scoreline for us despite many would be sore to have 2 points drop at the dead end.
No one gave us a chance going into the season and now we had amassed 4 points and Sengkang Punggol is slowly becoming a team the neutrals will root for , drawing evidence from the live attendance tonight.
Let’s hope the boys will continue to entertain throughout the season and gather more supporters along the way.

February 17, 2010 - Posted by | Matches, S League 2010


  1. Excellent display by dolphins…Fluid football by them…Jordan webb is a real gem we have uncovered! Fadhil salim has also done very well, if not, Sengkang would have been at the losing end….

    Comment by Leo | February 17, 2010 | Reply

  2. Tough Luck to concede a goal ininjury time else we would have gone to second place(behind tampines).
    But really a superb performance by the guys even with fringe player like Sim Li Ming.

    Comment by dolphin fan | February 17, 2010 | Reply

    • Echoed on ZaoBao:

      “  传统弱旅盛港榜鹅昨晚在惹兰勿刹体育场举行的新联赛,遭新客埃图瓦勒以2比2逼和,痛失跃升联赛积分榜第二名的难得机会。”

      “  盛港本赛季来势汹汹,似乎有意摆脱“弱旅”的标签。


      Comment by henryo | February 19, 2010 | Reply

      • For the benefit of our non-Chinese readers, here’s the translation:

        “Perennial struggler Sengkang Punggol missed the golden opportunity to climb up to second position after drawing 2-2 with newcomer Etoile FC at Jalan Besar Stadium last night.”

        “Sengkang Punggol has been going all guns blazing this season, seemingly intent to shake off their loser tag.

        Even against opponents with French league experience, they did not cave in and attacked from the get-go.”

        Comment by wretchedguy | February 19, 2010 | Reply

  3. Absolutely GUTTED for Aide’s boys, as a slip in the 6-yard box denied the Dolphins all THREE points and settled for ONE!! Were Etoile plainly lucky to capitalize on that slip in the 6-yard box OR plainly carelessness by Sengkang?

    Comment by Pohui | February 17, 2010 | Reply

  4. good job guys!

    Comment by dolphin | February 17, 2010 | Reply

  5. good job! i’m very pleased(:

    Comment by spfc fan | February 17, 2010 | Reply

  6. good job sengkang! pleased with the young players performance!

    Comment by dinosaur | February 17, 2010 | Reply

  7. […] S.League 2010 Match 3 « Fish Out of Water This post was written by TechLad on February 17, 2010 Posted Under: Trends SleagueS.League 2010 Match 3. Opponent: Etoile FC … Kennerve on Etoile vs Sengkang Punggol :… Tee Ngah Eng on 2010 Pre-season Analysis · Tee Ngah Eng on S.League Season 2009 – M… Blogroll. BoLASEPaKO · Dream Team Steam · Jakarta Casual …Read MoreS.League 2010 Match 3 « Fish Out of Water. […]

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  8. […] Sengkang Punggol 2010 S.League 2010 Match 3 Fish Out of Water […]

    Pingback by Sengkang Punggol 2010 - Page 4 - | February 18, 2010 | Reply

  9. I am totally gutted by performance of the referee. I was cursing and shouting at him during the last 20 minutes of the game.

    If anyone noticed, he was letting out a smile of relieve when he blew the final whistle and walking to the dressing room with his linesmen and 4th official.

    In truth, the goal that was scored was in the 90+6 minute whilst the 4th official indicated 4 minutes of added time. The injury to Li Ming only shaved off 39 seconds off the injury time.

    I could not help but laugh when I heard on the radio this morning that “if these bunch of French players were really that good, they would not be playing in the S-League”.

    Mahmadou Diallo did himself plenty of favour and so did Jordan Webb but I see that the opposing goalie seemed uncomfortable with grounders. A slip by the SP No.4 was also costly and the fact that it neeeded 2 slips for Etoile to score their 2 equaliser shows how tight the defence of the Dolphins are becoming.

    Comment by The Slingerbloggers | February 18, 2010 | Reply

    • Dear Slingerbloggers,

      Referee Abas Daud had a well documented history of poor officiating and bad calls. He was the one that sent off Noh Alam Shah so many times against SAFFC that forced Noh Alam’s exile to Indonesia.

      Seriously refereeing in Singapore is at a pathetic state but seriously nothing could be done with that respect.

      Anyway noticed you had a Singapore Slingers blog, gratifying to see someone in such supportive spirits of local sports, regardless it’s basketball or soccer

      Comment by wreckidigidy | February 18, 2010 | Reply

      • Yeah, am a fan of local sports. Had been watching the S-League untill I really gave up on it and now, I am doing basketball-related stuff.

        Still catch the odd game of football though. The problem with local football is that they do not want to rectify the problems that are wrecking them.

        Let me give you an example:
        Young Lions is a team that is supposed to develop local youth player and to give them more playing time. But what is happening now?

        Not only do we have a Luka Movic, we have another 2 Koreans on the roster (due to KSR defunct). This is very bad.

        If you had seen the SEA Games squad, because they were without Obadin, the team did not know how to defend and were at a loss. The only cleansheet was done at the expense of the host’s willingness to play out a 0-0 draw.

        If the team is a development team, it does not matter if they lose or win right? It’s the playing time and bonding that matters, aint it?

        As for the referee issues, I had even written in (though not published) to the media. Abbas Daud made so many bad calls, I thought he was Kalimuthu in disguise. The only good referee is not even Abdul Malik, in my opinion. Look at how Malik was being pawned by the Koreans in the ACL Semi-Finals game that he officiated.

        I was at the VIP Lounge of JW Stadium 2 seasons ago and saw a Tang Yew Mun sucking up to Jefferey Beh, agreeing with everything that the latter says. Really a disgrace.

        As I say, our linesman are the only one who cannot decide who gets the throw in, but they can disallow goal (or allow them in the case of Albirex) and award penalties.

        Amazing! Dolphins, you were robbed off the 2 points by the Delifrance and Abbas Daud!

        Comment by The Slingerbloggers | February 18, 2010 | Reply

        • Great insight Slingerbloggers!

          Jeffery Beh and his minions will continue to do what they preach and being staunchly rigid to change sadly.
          It is disrupting our local football, even Sasikumar is agreeing to it on national TV.

          As for the Young Lions, I would say Terry Pathmanathan has to take almost 99% of the blame.
          He is a clueless coach who get the job because of the usual connections within the FA.
          The class of 2009 was not a brilliant bunch but at least they are still young and under the right tutelage, can maybe produce a few good national team players in the future. Afterall Shahir Hamzah, our prized young defender had a stint with the Young Lions.

          Try to catch more games for the S League, I believe this season might not be that awful, that is if SAFFC kept running away with the title and poor Balestier and Sengkang still occupying the bottom two.

          Comment by wreckidigidy | February 18, 2010 | Reply

  10. Good job by Sengkang. Playing way better than last season. This is what the hougang faithful need, grit and hard work. Good job boys

    Comment by Sengkang Fan | February 18, 2010 | Reply

  11. nice webbie~… good to see that there are still sleague fans around~ well din manage to catch the game last nite, but totally agree with the comment that refereeing standard in singapore is really poor. anyway tough luck dolphin, guess this is going 2 be an interesting season for the dolphins if they can continue this run of good form. 🙂

    Comment by Markey | February 18, 2010 | Reply

    • Hi Markey,

      Thanks for your compliments.
      Yah despite being rather premature with barely 3 matches into the new season, somehow I knew this Sengkang Punggol squad is just abit different from their predecessors.

      Crossing my fingers for a fruitful season!

      Comment by wreckidigidy | February 18, 2010 | Reply

  12. very good game Sengkang,well done,just a few more things to be ironed out such as concentration in game,defensive qualities and also when to control possession and to slow down the game…good game dolphins,well done..

    Comment by pgj | February 18, 2010 | Reply

  13. The ref sucked. I was rooting for that 2-1 scoreline. The ref must be a friend of Alex Ferguson. Because when Man U is losing there’s bound to be atleast 7mins of extra time. Good job Dolphins. U actually made me smile at my Soccer Bet Ticket until that dreaded last goal. Damn U ref!

    Comment by Lamouchi | February 18, 2010 | Reply

    • Hi Lamouchi,

      Although I dun encourage betting on football, I actually wish you had won on the expense of a Sengkang Punggol’s victory.
      Let’s hope the Dolphins will continue to prove the pundits wrong this season

      Comment by wreckidigidy | February 18, 2010 | Reply

  14. I have seen an entertaining and very exciting game last night and thanks to Aide’s excellent work with this young team, Sengkang will be much stronger this season. Keep the spirit up and continue the good work!!!

    Comment by Frank | February 18, 2010 | Reply

  15. “We need to learn how to be more intelligent. We must know when to slow the game down and how to frustrate our opponents” Said Aide.

    You are obsolutely right Coach.

    Both times when we are in the lead yesterday, our boys failed to hold on to the ball and maintain posesesion. They gave away the ball too cheaply. Work on it and this team will be a force to reckon with.

    The past three games have shown that this Sengkang team is willing to fight and work hard together. They will run their hearts out and are not afraid to make challenges. Those to me are signs that the club could be in for a different kind of season in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S-League this year..

    Kudos to all the players that played in yesterday’s match. My friends and I will be rooting for you this season.

    Comment by Sengkang fans | February 18, 2010 | Reply

  16. i have to agree that it was a little bitter to swallow, esp with the poor refereeing. there was a clear penalty turned downed when jordan was hacked down in the first half. and the linesman on the side nearer to the crowd was even worst. he couldnt even decide on the throw-ins, and only raised his flag after abas has indicated. -_-”

    anw, on the bright side, it was really a good performance once again by the dolphins. great debut by li ming, although the centre pairing of him and shahir looked vulnerable at times, they still managed to do a pretty good job. i do not know if it was aide’s instructions to the both of them to tag close to mendy whenever he gets the ball with his back to goal, but it backfired on several occasions with the striker managing to turn while our centrebacks had no alternative but to pull him down.

    next, meng meng was his usual self. quiet worker who is steady and reliable. also, i’m getting more and more impressed with duncan. he has definitely improved alot and looks like a promising player. together with his set pieces capabilities, i believe he can make the left back slot his own. (the cross that led to shahir’s header in the second half was somewhat similar to what i saw during pre-season…so kudos to the team and duncan!)

    to the midfield, i think faizal amir and jalal are proving to be good acquisitions this season. they remind me of the suriyandi naib-firdaus salleh pairing a few seasons ago. the two of them fought hard in the middle of the park and displayed great ball control that brought them the extra inch in the packed middle. sobrie had a not-so-good game, but i hope he would not get disheartened and try harder the next time(i believe he can do it after what i saw in the gombak game) murphy is doing a good job at playing the passes as it was his through pass that got jordan his goal. however, he needs to keep things simple and protect the ball better. kudos to jordan! three goals in three games! he is proving to be the deal. but i hope he can play the early and simple pass more…he is like the nani now, but definitely with the potential to improve into the c.ronaldo mould(of our own)

    to the strikers, moussa looks good when he runs with the ball. but like what i’ve mentioned, i think he needs to improve on his back-to-goal game and communication with the rest of the team. but congrats to him on getting the goal! and to mamadou, i think he is just brilliant. he is definitely a class above the french and got them really frustrated with his trickery. however, i think he can improve on his goals return. its interesting, but i believe that if mamadou and jordan can exchange and share their positive points, then they are going to be unstoppable. example, mamadou getting jordan’s goals ratio, while jordan getting mamadou’s play and earning of fouls outside/near the box.

    not forgetting fadhil! he made several good saves throughout the game, with two world class saves. one, he dived low to keep out a header while another a reflex save! it was unfortunate for him to concede the second equaliser and i dont blame him at all. keep it up fadhil!

    Comment by spfc fan | February 18, 2010 | Reply

  17. I guess this surprise result from the Dolphins has everyone attention judging by the amount of comments here. I think this game certainly show how much this young team has improved from last season under Aide. Just hope that they can maintain this type of performance throughout the season.

    Im finally optismistic whenever the Dolphins play now. Just waiting for the games against SAF, Tampines and Home to see how we fared against the bigger boys.

    Let us all look forward to the season for once! Haha.

    Comment by y a p | February 19, 2010 | Reply

  18. I also think team is going well and agree with the above.I think we should change abdoulaye and moussa keita.Mamadou jordan and murphy deserve to stay and show great potential.Hopefully we can get a good foreign defender and new striker and we will make top 4 I think.

    Comment by dolphin | February 22, 2010 | Reply

    • Wo…I think it is way too premature to talk about axing any players or any conquest to the top 4.

      The objective this season is to give young players a chance to prove themselves with the mid table the final destination.
      Kudos to Aide for blooding untested young talents and I think he had faith in the team he handpicked by himself unlike last year.

      Comment by wreckidigidy | February 22, 2010 | Reply

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