Monday, May 16, 2011

Stars Not to be Bulldozed

Fans who were present on 1st March 2011 at the Jurong West Stadium will remember 3 things from the Gombak United - Etoile FC clash:

(a) The referee on that day allowed a very dubious goal to stand although he had signalled for an indirect freekick. According to the rules of the football game, an indirect freekick would not stand if the ball was not played to a team-mate prior to shooting. Ruhaizad Ismail, thus, shot the ball directly, and while it was alleged that an Etoile FC player had touched the ball en route to the ball going into the net, it should had been a corner kick awarded. Johan Johari, on that occasion, gave a goal, and all 3 points to the host.

(b) The usually 'politically correct' Darren Stewart decided to use vulgarities on one of our players, Serge Souchon, during the course of the game. While the player did not want to press further on this issue, it remains to see if the same would occur again at Queenstown Stadium on Wednesday.

(c) Etoile Ultras were perhaps the first fan club ever to be escorted out of a stadium after an S-League game. One of the Ultras was also challenged to a fight, even though all the Ultras were cheering for the team as well as Pierre blowing the infamous horn, that is FIFA-approved.

We hope for better behaviour by players and fans alike in this upcoming encounter at our ground.

Back to the preview of this game, the Bulls will face the Stars without defender Walid Lounis and Korean playmaker Park Kang Jin due to suspension. The Korean received a straight red for some unkind words to the referee against Home United - despite the claimed limited English vocabulary that he possess - while Walid was lucky not to be sent off after a WWE move against Sufian Anuar in the same game. Etoile will be without Selim Kaabi following 4 yellow cards this term, but should be able to field an identical team that played Balestier Khalsa on Friday.

The Stars would have to be aware of the hard tackling that the Bulls possessed, and a glimpse of that could be seen from the encounter against the Tigers - although admittedly, a tad lighter. In addition, the Stars would do good to have able deputies to support Toto in attack - with Raymond, Belouet and Fougeroud his probable accomplice. Serge Souchon would also do good to ensure that he runs the defence ragged.

Against Home United, Gombak were beaten by 2 headers from Shi Jiayi, as well as quick runnings from Firdaus Idros. Etoile can also use the same tactics considering the pace that we have with Nlate, Camara, Souchon and Raymond.

Eventually, the team that manage to grab hold of the condition of the pitch on that evening, should stand out as clear winners. We can only hope that any team's win would not be marred by controversy.

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