Asian Soccer – A long way to go!

I watched one half of the Lions X11 (Singapore) versus Terengganu of Malaysia match and I can say both teams were equal on the pitch though I must admit that the Lions still have a long way to go! During the first half, the Terengganu team made more passes and held on to the ball longer than the Lions. They were playing away in Singapore in front of an unfriendly crowd.

The Lions looked, at times, overwhelmed by the sharp passes of the Terengganu team. The mid-field was shared between both sides and while the Singapore team played well with short passes, they lacked in accuracy in their long passes towards goal. I am still wondering why did the Lions practice very nice short passes from their goal upwards until the mid-field only to try longer passes or shots towards their forwards who were lingering dangerously near the Gannu penalty area? Would it not have been better if they strive a bit more with their short passes towards goal, placing their men inside the Gannu penalty area? As for the Gannu team, their long passes were always a 50-50 thing with their Liberian import playing havoc in the Singapore penalty area towards the end of the half.

Gannu’s shots on goal were off-target mostly though they did trouble the keeper on at least two occasions. The Lions did not really trouble the Gannu keeper who seemed unfazed by the pressure from the Lions forwards. The longest spell of passing in the first half goes to the Gannu team. They had spells in which they passed the ball at least 15 times before the last shot on goal went wide or a Singapore defender stopped their march forward. The Gannu players made more than 10 passes on at least 4 occasions in the first half and this for a team playing away. It was of little surprise that the Terengganu team won the game by a solitary goal from Forkey Doe.

The idea of a Super League in which the Lions of Singapore would play against an all Malaysian league is good for the Lions. It will benefit Singapore more in the long run and it will only be a hassle for the Malaysian teams. They will not benefit much from the addition of a Singaporean team in the Super League. The best solution would be to add at least 2 or 3 more Singapore based clubs in this league to enlarge it from 14 to 18. The more teams in the Super League, the better it will be for the teams from Malaysia.

Nevertheless, watching Asian football can be a dull affair. The standard of football has be raised in this part of the world. Asia has many good players but I feel it is the training and the mentality that has to change…

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