Fish Out of Water

-Sengkang Punggol FC Fans' Perspective-

League Cup 2010 Preliminary Round

Opponent: Beijing Guo’An Talent
Date: 23rd Feb, 1945hrs
Venue: Yishun Stadium
Final Score: 1 – 3 (a.e.t.) (Zheng Ye 46′ – Mamadou Diallo 90 + 2′, 104′, Farizal Basri 119′)

Not the prettiest match to watch in a competition very much redundant on the football calendar. Nonetheless a win’s a win and victory’s always good for morale. Plus another solid display of hard work and determination from the team. How’s that any bad right?

Wait a min!

Best piece of real estate for free football viewing

Aide puts the starting eleven through their paces

Not the most common sight - two goalkeeper captains

Strange that the Beijing team remains on the field for their half time talk

Farizal waits to come on for the second half

Punishment for losing focus

Marching order for Meng Yang while Murphy looks to goal

Cramps, cramps, cramps

Cramps, cramps, cramps

Cramps, cramps, cramps

Farizal puts the nail in the coffin...

... crushing the resilient Chinese boys

Another good day at the office

Starting Eleven

Wreckidigidy’s Thoughts

To add to the stadium rant, I was pretty crossed at the arrangement of Yishun Stadium’s ticket booth which got me making the beeline at various entrances with no avail.

Enough of ranting, as predicted Aide gave a few fringe players a run out with Ashley Ow, Darrel Tan and Amos Boon displacing Faizal Amir, Duncan Elias and Fadhil Salim from the starting line-up respectively.
Mamadou Diallo finally earned his first start of the season for Sobrie Mazelan.

The change in personnel saw the team understandably adjusting to their usual style of play.
The pitch at Yishun Stadium look very bumpy at the start as the ball failed to roll around as intented. Nevertheless our players looked to exert themselves against the home side which seem to play a conventional 4-4-2.
Murphy truly bossed the middle while Mamadou and Jordan gave their fullbacks a torrid time.
The best chance came at the death of the first half with Jordan dexterously went past the generic Chinese rightback and sent a deft ball across the mouth of the goal but Moussa Keita would be the culprit to miss the sitter.

That would be the Guinean’s last involvement as he came off straight to the terrace, all cleaned up and Farizal Basri came on in the attack.

Then came the lapse of concentration within one minute of the restart when Farizal’s first touch saw him giving the ball back to the team in white and green and the defense was non-existent as generic Chinese player by the name of Zheng Ye placed a soft header past Amos.
In truth Amos had been a axis of jittery for the young defense with some choppy handling, fortunately he had barely been tasted the entire night except the goal conceded.

Aide immediately sent on Faizal Amir for the ineffective Ashley who had failed to impose himself in the midfield, passing waywardly and not in sync with his team mates.
It began a prolonged spell of dominance in the home team’s half which truly intensified with the sending off of generic Chinese leftback on a crunching lunge on Jordan which gave referee Muhd Taqi little choice but to show him a second yellow and an early shower.

Beijing then was determined to park a bus in front of custodian Su Boyang and seemingly successfully fending off waves and waves of Sengkang Punggol’s attack.
A combination of hesistant execution, woeful finishing, brave goalkeeping and instinctive defending ensured the equalizing goal never come despite the restless clamoring from the Sengkang Punggol supporters.

Then we saw the generic talents from Beijing falling like bowling pins with cramps which shrouded their play since weeks ago.
The team obviously lacked fitness and it was appalling to see them overworking the stretcher team.

5 minutes of added time were warmly applauded but the goal just failed to arrive until a fateful corner from Jalal saw Mamadou leaping the highest to knock the ball in for the well deserved equalizer.

Extra time ensued for the 3rd preliminary round game out of the 4 ties and the idea was to nick a goal fast and let the boys with cramps that put ladies at that time of the month in shame, to chase the game.
A foul on the fringe of the 18 yard box saw Muhd Taqi awarding us the freekick and up stepped Mamadou who curl a brilliant ball which hit the upright and befuddled Su and into the oppsite side-netting.
The goal saw the fans on their feet as the 20 year old Guinean ran towards the delirious crowd who showered him with applause and admiration.
The sweet goal was missed by almost half of the attendance who left after 90 minute in order to catch the news on TV.

The goal surely deflated the home side as their coach Zheng Xiaotan beckoned the team for some team talk like he was in the midst of a basketball game.
The game was far from over as the home team looked to come out of their own shells and some of the crosses gave Amos some nervous moments.

Second half of extra time saw end to end action with Jordan Webb the main instigator to run the Beijing defense amok though some of the one-two with Mamadou should be better timed.
With 10 minutes to go, a sumptous pass from the young Diallo found Jordan free on the right and Su Boyang felt he needed to intervene.This allowed the Canadian winger to lay a beauty of a pass for compatriot Murphy Wiredu who should have open his account for the season but lost his footing.
The ball bobbled precariously and found a player in the black and red strip who whacked the ball as hard as he could at the gapping goalmouth.
It came off the upright but eventually bulged the netting to seal the affair.

The player was Farizal Basri who was a pedestrian until that moment which signify his importance with just a goal.

It was heartening to see the director of football to instruct the players to acknowledge the fans’ persistent support despite the extended game.

SK’s Verdict: The reserve certainly do not seem to be able to step up when it matters but they still have a big part to play in such a long season especially with our continual participartion in this cup competition. Jordan failed to make it 4 goals out of 4 despite having a clear cut chance in the second half. He is still my man of the match together with goal scorer Mamadou.
It is pleasing to see Mamadou and Farizal scoring the goals which showed they are truly worth to be retain from last season.

Beijing’s Verdict: A team with poor fitness and could not string passes continually. It could be fatigue and what not but to replace Super Reds , a side which can guarantee eye-pleasing football to a team which at this juncture might not be able to hold a candle to Dalian Shide, it was no wonder many spectators were pelting them with calls to make their exits , Our team ought to get some results in the league games against these bunch of “talents”.

The exhaustive victory saw us booking a date with SAFFC at Choa Chu Kang on Monday. Just give the Warriors a  good fight is all I ask for. Great play by the Dolphins once again, well done.

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February 23, 2010 - Posted by | Matches, Singapore Cup and League Cup

13 Comments »

  1. this was very close… CONGRATULATIONS to the team and Aide!

    Comment by Frank | February 23, 2010 | Reply

  2. 3-1 OWNAGE wow!

    Comment by dolphins4eva | February 23, 2010 | Reply

  3. wished i was there. great job guys! SAF next!

    Comment by dolphin | February 24, 2010 | Reply

  4. Great game. What spirit shown by the guys. Sengkang teams from years gone by would never have managed to fight to the end and get something like we did with the equalizer.

    The first 11 did well I thought but the subs made by Aide changed the game.

    Farizal in for Moussa. Moussa had been ineffective for the whole first half and the chance he had at the end of the first half summed up his night as it looked like a simple tap in where I was. Farizal looked hungry to prove a point and got his goal at the end.

    Faizal in for Ashley. Ashley, as mentioned, had a poor game and didnt influence the game at all and seemed to be playing his own game. Faizal added energy to the midfield and upped the tempo.

    Duncan in for Darrel. The substitution that changed the game for me. By all accounts, Darrel had a decent game but Duncan, who looks to be a complete different player from before, really put the Beijing defence under pressure with some fantastic delivery especially from where I was opposite the grandstand. It was his cross, not Jalal’s, that led to the equalizer and he put in several other decent balls leading up to that moment.

    I just can’t believe the transformation of this Sengkang side. Performances as a team never seen before. Never-say-die attitude never seen before. Results never seen before. I’m proud of this team. To everyone associated with SPFC, well done and keep up the good work.

    Comment by Vincent | February 24, 2010 | Reply

  5. well done sengkang…

    Comment by pgj | February 24, 2010 | Reply

  6. Great game, way to go my DOLPHINS!!!!

    Was wondering, where did Anthony Bahadur go?

    Comment by spfc4life | February 24, 2010 | Reply

    • who cares where anthony went hopefully back to canada.I think the team is quite strong especially if can replace moussa and abdoulaye diallo for stronger foreigners.Well played boys.

      Comment by dolphin | February 24, 2010 | Reply

      • Actually thought young Anthony did quite ok and might be a powerful striker if he managed to sharpen his instinct.
        Anyway heard he might be plying trade in Israel.

        As for Moussa and Abdoulaye, I strongly believe both will be crucial to our cause when time beckons.
        Moussa’s goal against Etoile showed his goalscoring ability, and it is not easy to play up front by himself and I think he would fancy playing off a targetman.
        Judgment for Abdoul is still pending though I think he would be more useful in the midfield than in defense

        Comment by wreckidigidy | February 24, 2010 | Reply

  7. Good win for the lads. A pity i cant be there to witness it coz of work commitments. This game shows that the Dolphins do have to ability to dig deep and perserve till the end for the equaliser.

    But reading that they missed a host of chances had me hoping that they will sharpen up in this aspect. We simply cannot afford to waste golden opportunities in front of goal especially playing against a good team.

    Hope the Dolphins put up a good show against a severely weakened warriors side. Who knows, we might be surprised yet again…

    Comment by y a p | February 24, 2010 | Reply

    • Just to share my views on the match, though the two of us are pretty much in sync with our observations.

      Similar to the Balestier match, the Dolphins virtually camped in the opposition half after the sending off (that’s three in four matches where the red card swung in our favor). A combination of wasteful finishing and stout defending kept Beijing’s lead right up to the end.

      So to their credit, they did hold their line well though it’s an embarrassment to keep seeing these young and supposed fit players falling like flies due to cramps. When Mamadou headed in the equaliser in injury time against the outnumbered and fatigued Chinese, there was always going to be one winner.

      Every League Cup game from now on is already a bonus. Give SAFFC a good fight and we’ll be happy.

      Comment by wretchedguy | February 24, 2010 | Reply

  8. good job! just enjoy the game against saffc, no pressure(:

    Comment by spfc fan | February 24, 2010 | Reply

  9. Something related to the Super Reds picture…

    Their legacy on SLeague.Com: Its official e-Store still carry their merchandise… 🙂
    http://www.sleague.com/Web/main.aspx?ID=7377d228-ec4f-4371-bc5b-aa94cb1a9ba3,,&TargetPageID=

    Comment by henryo | February 26, 2010 | Reply

  10. We can do well against the SAFFC if the team improve on certain areas that i think will be crucial in the overall effectiveness of the Dolphins.

    In my opinion, we are doing well this season because this team is fitter and the players are willing to run their hearts out and fight for one another. We closed down team very fast and doesn’t give them space to play. However during the last game i saw some lazy players in the team. I’m sure the coach recognizes this weaknesses.

    1) Ashley, as mentioned, had a poor game and didnt influence the game at all and seemed to be tired after only 30 minutes. In my opinion Ashley is a much better player then what he shows during the match but he need to improve his fitness and increase his work rate. Our midfield players have been working very hard closing down our opponents and this give that extra cover for our defense. If a player is not fit enough he can’t play in the midfield.

    2) Farizal Basri when he came looks lazy and infact the Beijing goal was due to his the lapse of concentration. His first touch saw him giving the ball back to the Chinese team and his refusal to win the ball back after that resulted in the goal. As a substitute he is fresh and need to work harder when he comes in but he did otherwise.

    If we are able to correct all this weaknesses, doing well in Chua Chu Kang this coming Monday will not be a problem.

    Comment by Dolphin fan | February 28, 2010 | Reply


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