FourFourTwo's Five Finds: Mayhem in Singapore

FourFourTwo looks at another weekend of football in South-east Asia and finds five things to talk about... 

Disgraceful scenes in Singapore

While most attention has been on the goings at the top of the S-League, a Football Association cup match between amateur sides Singapore Armed Forces Sports Association (SAFSA) and Balestier United Recreation Club made headlines of the unwanted kind.

Reports suggested that SAFSA skipper Syafiq Siraj, who missed the game, was chased around the stands by a group of people, some of which were wearing Balestier shirts.

It all happened after Balestier had a player ejected. The game was then abandoned with five minutes remaining thanks to the brawl.

“After (Masnashzreen) was red carded for punching my team-mate Fuad Ramli in the face, he suddenly chased me. His team-mates, for whatever reason, decided to chase me as well. I was running for my life,” Mr Syafiq wrote on social media.

“ I was on the floor. They were beating me on the floor. My mother came and shielded me ... they hit my mother for goodness sake.”

There will be investigations and punishments.

'The Impossible Job?' It's Malaysia, not England

Photo: FAM

It's not easy coaching England's national team but what about Malaysia?

Whatever your opinion of Malaysia coach Ong Kim Swee, some of the attacks on his coaching abilities have been a little unfair.

The owner of Johor Darul Ta'zim, Malaysia's leading club and then some, Ismail Sultan Ibrahim has made no secret of his disdain for OKS.

Four of the Southern Tigers' stars recently retired from the international game. Then last week, players from JDT II were recalled from a national team training camp.

“Even if the players trained for four months in the national team, they will still continue to play with that same style. If there is a foreign coach with records of success, I will allow my players to train with him because I know my players would learn under him,” said Tunku Ismail.

It's hard for OKS. As a national team coach, he is not in a position to get involved in a public slanging match. He is being attacked when he can't answer back.

He will have to do his talking on the pitch but it's not easy when you are deprived of the services of some of your best players.

Still much for Selangor to do in Malaysia Cup

Selangor only have the Malaysia Cup to play for this season and took a step towards the final on Saturday with a 2-1 win over T-Team in the first leg of the semi-final. It was only a small step however as the Red Giants only have a slender lead to defend when they head east in mid-October.

If they are to repeat last year's success and lift the trophy for a 34th time then the men from the Shah Alam will have to improve in the second leg.

The first-half display was mixed with the hosts looking short of ideas going forward and vulnerable at the back. Matters improved after as Selangor moved up a couple of gears and in the end, picked up a late winner.

The return match in Terengganu will be tough. T-Team are still very much in this tie.

Tampines Rovers only have themselves to blame

Photo: S.League

Warriors FC may have had a season that they will want to forget but they came up trumps, at least for the neutrals, by defeating the runaway leaders Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 on Friday.

A win would have put the White Swans ten points clear with Tampines Rovers in second having just four games left.

Yet the Warriors kept the leaders and their much-vaunted attack at bay. The goals both came from set-pieces that were converted by Ridhuan Muhamad and Jonathan Behe. The Warriors did their duty for the S-league and kept the door open for Tampines.

The Mighty Stags had a tough game the following night, at home to defending champions DPMM FC. The boys from Brunei have just started of late to show the kind of form that took them to the title last season.

Tampines lost 1-0, a third defeat in a row despite having plenty of chances to get something.

With three games remaining, Albirex are seven points clear of the Rovers.

Just to think, the final game of the season was Tampines travelling to the home of the leaders. It could have been a showdown to remember, the Stags could have been contenders. But they have blown it.

Days of destiny coming for Thailand

Thailand are flying the flag for Southeast Asia in the final round of qualification for the 2018 World Cup and have already done the region proud.

The first two games against Saudi Arabia and Japan both ended in defeat. The first was close and unlucky and the second was not. Now come games at the United Arab Emirates and Iraq.

These five days in October will determine what kind of qualification campaign this will become for the War Elephants.

Is it going to be a case of defeat after defeat? A long drawn out nightmare that could threaten to undo the good work and the optimism that has been evident in Thai football in recent years?

Or is it going to be a case of Thailand picking up points, plaudits and pointers for the future?

It is a little unfair to put it in such terms but the important thing is that Zico and his merry men get something from their adventures in the Middle East ahead of the November visit from the Asian champions Australia.

Main Photo: FAS