Fish Out of Water

-Sengkang Punggol FC Fans' Perspective-

S.League 2010 Match 32

Opponent: Tampines Rovers
Date: 23rd Oct, 1945hrs
Venue: Hougang Stadium
Final Score: 1 – 3(Kenji Arai Pen 74″ : Aliff Shafaein 4″, Aleksandar Duric 79″, 90″)

So there is no spanner thrown in the title race but a seemingly well-spurred host playing their final home match in front of a boisterous home crowd.

Kenji Arai, a player who is surely well conditioned for a title race rather than fighting for points with his current employer nearly gave the Stags a scare with the penalty innocuously awarded for a handball in the box after some scramble.
But 40 year old sage by the name of Aleks got the brace to ensure Tampines Rovers still have the final say to the outcome of the league championship when one of former employers Home United fizzles out.
Unfortunately a postponed game between Etoile and a lackluster Young Lions did not deter the French side en route to be the first foreign side to win the S League.

Anyway back to Sengkang Punggol.
A lot fo lyricals had been waxed about how things had improved over the course of 12 months and the team still had a chance for 10th placing and a 30 points finish; but the results at home base in Hougang Stadium can surely be described as less than stellar in 2010.
Let us go through the results one by one:

1-2 (loss) Balestier Khalsa
2-1 (win) Gombak United
1-3 (loss) SAFFC
0-1 (loss) Albirex (S)
0-3 (loss) Tampines Rovers
0-1 (loss) Woodlands
0-1 (loss) Albirex (S) (Singapore Cup)
0-1 (loss) SAFFC
0-1 (loss) Home United
0-2 (loss) Geylang United
2-2 (draw) Young Lions
1-0 (win) Beijing Guoan
1-3 (loss) Tampines Rovers

2 wins & a draw in 12 league matches at Hougang Stadium pushed the team in the predicament they are facing now.
If they could do as good as they had been let’s say the astro-turf of Jalan Besar, it could had been a decent end to the season.

Hope the home form can be rectified in 2011.

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October 26, 2010 Posted by | Matches, S League 2010 | 9 Comments

S.League Match 31

Opponent: Young Lions
Date: 4th Oct, 1945hrs
Venue: Jalan Besar Stadium
Final Score: 0 -1(Kenji Arai 48″)
Completely unaware of this match being played due to the irregularities of the match fixtures of late with the Singapore Cup tournament and Young Lions’ recent matches postponement.

Once again whoever scheduled fixtures in the league has done brilliantly to alienate viewers again; just when the stone cold fact that we just aren’t the Top 10 league in Asia.
(Well no one in the right state of mind  is deceiving himself about the Top 10 accolade for a while now)

On the ground, they were humbled by Geylang United days before, the Dolphins bounced back with a nifty win to see them notching a record 27 points (in Sengkang Punggol era).
Perhaps in the past few seasons, Sengkang Punggol could be in 9th or 10th position now but due to the competitiveness innate in the league in the mid table region, they are still entrenched second from bottom.

With 2 games left to play (one against Tampines Rovers), 10th position in the final standings definitely look a yard too far now.
Of course Beijing with all their suspension problem could slide downhill by losing all their remaining matches including the final game of the season against Sengkang Punggol of course.

Against a weakened and well fatigued Young Lions, the Dolphins clinched the win from Kenji Arai’s second goal of the season.
The former Albirex & SAFFC man really had been a revelation for the team.
His calmness in defense coupled with his spot on instructions to his fellow defenders really beef the team up defensively.
His brace score in merely like 16 -17 games played showed the attacking facet to his game and outdid Abdoullaye Diallo who played twice as many game for us and not score once in the league.

An impressive tailend for coach Aide and his team who really outdid their predecessors (including the highly touted “all stars” class of 2009) and surely a platform to build upon for the next season.

October 5, 2010 Posted by | Matches, S League 2010 | 22 Comments

S.League 2010 Match 30

Opponent: Geylang United
Date: 29th Sep, 1930hrs
Venue: Jalan Besar Stadium
Final Score: 4 – 1(All four foreigners of Geylang scored – Mamadou Diallo 88″)
Alright, I know this is a week late but I was so tempted to leave this out of the record book. I was actually thinking Sengkang Punggol stood a chance in another televised game, but after starting strongly, it all went awfully wrong in the first half.

Against a team who failed to score like 300 minutes and shipped out 4 goals from shoddy goalkeeping and non-existent defending is a throw back to what Sengkang Punggol had been for years; which really do not give credit to the steel Aide added in the rear during the mid season.

For a goal-shy side like Geylang, they surely love to meet the Dolphins with a wonderful record of 3 wins in 3 plus 9 goals scored (around a third of their grand total of 30 in the league this year).
Kim Jae Hong is a wonderful player to have, regardless of his pacy run or delivery from the setpieces but instead we have a Korean of entirely different spectrum.

October 5, 2010 Posted by | Matches, S League 2010 | Leave a comment

S.League Match 29

Opponent: Albirex Niigata (S)
Date: 15th Sep, 1930hrs
Venue: Jalan Besar Stadium
Final Score: 0 – 1(Mitsuki Ichihara 37″)
A sore penalty miss by Mamadou Diallo (the same strike of the upright by Park Yo-Seb of Tampines last Friday) saw the Dolphins not netting a point though in truth it should be 3 the team to be aiming for.

The Japanese outfit certainly shown more hunger in the first 45 minutes and a decent delivery from the left saw Ichihara heading the winner as there had been signs of guard being letting down in the 18 yard box during setpieces.

The second half tells a whole different story as the resolute Sengkang Punggol squad of late came out of the break, showing the tenacity and eagerness to find the back of Matsushita’s goal, sadly it did not transpire even from a fortituous penalty call.
The team sorely miss the playmaker in the middle of the park to spray passes with the Korean An really looks ineffectual, as he plays a role almost replicate of Nor Azli.
The vocal fans who attended the match were also let down by the poor delivery from setpieces time and again which could prove vital.

Losing this game almost saw the quest to 9th placing to fizz out but the gaffer Aide had to psyche his side for the remaining 4 games to see whether 10th place is still within touch.

September 15, 2010 Posted by | Matches, Sengkang Punggol | 15 Comments

S.League Match 28

Opponent: Home United
Date: 6th Sep, 1945hrs
Venue: Clementi Stadium
Final Score: 2 – 2(Choi Chul Woo 52″, Shi Jiayi 63″ : Mamadou Diallo 35″, Jordan Webb 40″)

2 goals in 5 minutes of the first half surely rocked the Clementi Stadium as the Dolphins put on yet another sterling performance, days after nearly snitching a point at Choa Chu Kang.

Against lesser opponent, the halftime score might had been 3 or 4 and the game would be wrapped.
But a team of Home United caliber especially with the discipline gaffer Lee Lim Saeng instilled got the Protectors back into the fray and Shi Jiayi’s equalizer was sort of a sucker punch.
Nevertheless the team held on for a precious point unlike last season when they fell to Super Reds away and came off a similar 2 goal advantage during halftime only to self destruct to allow the Koreans steal the win.

From the report the team definitely was all gun blazing in the first half with Farizal and Sobrie playing their parts alongside the goalscorers.
Both played fleeting role in the early part of the season and was nice to see them gaining more foothold in the team especially Sobrie who was with the club for a while now.
Both Jordan and Mamadou are now touching distance to reaching double figures in goals which would be the first time someone in the marigold and skyblue hitting double digit since Farhan Farook done so in 2008.

Although conceding 4 goals against the 2 uniformed giants of the S League was not a poor statistic (considering last seasoon we had let in like 20 goals in total in 7 games against these teams), the Jerkovic’s winner and Shi’s leveler as according to coach Aide should had been avoided.
It might had seen the team dropping 4 points but not a bad effort to get one in the end.

Home United would be sore to miss the chance to soar to the summit and personally I just hope Tampines do a job against Etoile though a point in that fixture would be mighty interesting to the title race.

As for the Dolphins, no time to rest on the laurels with Woodlands stealing a win at Geylang United and the home game against Albirex is paramount if they want to climb out of the bottom two.

September 7, 2010 Posted by | Matches, S League 2010 | 1 Comment

S.League Match 27

Opponent: SAFFC
Date: 2nd Sep, 1945hrs
Venue: Choa Chu Kang Stadium
Final Score: 2 – 1(John Wilkinson 60″, Ivan Jerkovic 77″ : Jordan Webb 66″)
Facing a SAF side hungry for the 3 points, the Dolphins certainly gave the army men a good fight.
From the report, there was plenty of positive on the pitch which the lads could emulate in a much tougher tie at Clementi in a few days time.

September 3, 2010 Posted by | Matches, S League 2010 | 1 Comment

S.League Match 26

Opponent: Woodlands Wellington
Date: 8th Aug, 1945hrs
Venue: Woodlands Stadium
Final Score: 0 – 1(Jordan Webb 80″)
Jordan Webb finally vanquished his goal scoring drought at the ground he scored his very last back in March.

3 points for the good which stretched our advantage over the bottom dwelling Rams to 8 points and kept us within reach of Albirex and Balestier.
Hope the break would not disrupt the momentum as the next few ties would not be an easy task to meander about

August 9, 2010 Posted by | Matches, S League 2010 | 2 Comments

S.League Match 25

Opponent: Gombak United
Date: 4th Aug, 1930hrs
Venue: Jalan Besar Stadium
Final Score: 0 – 0
Once again having a decent goalkeeper makes a difference.

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August 5, 2010 Posted by | Matches, S League 2010 | 4 Comments

S.League 2010 Match 24

Opponent: Etoile FC
Date: 27th July, 1945hrs (started 11 minutes late)
Venue: Queenstown Stadium
Final Score: 0 – 1 (Frederic Mendy 31″)

Another slender defeat against an opposition who should had left the Dolphins high and dry with the ability they possessed.
Once again, if Sengkang Punggol’s forward had been more clinical, the story might be very different.

Traffic jam robbed the team’s preparation time on the UNESCO World Heritage relic of a pitch at Queenstown but the boys put on a gutsy displayed and ruffled the feathers of the home team (hey since they are the cockerels) both on and off pitch.

Comments from anyone who attended the game?

July 28, 2010 Posted by | Matches, S League 2010 | 5 Comments

S.League 2010 Match 23

Opponent: Balestier Khalsa
Date: 23rd Jul, 1930hrs
Venue: Jalan Besar Stadium
Final Score: 1- 0 (Kenji Arai 24′)

A back to back win since May last year. Winnable games were finally won.

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July 23, 2010 Posted by | Matches, S League 2010 | 5 Comments