Dec 24, 2009


JAIHO wishes his fellow Christian bloggers, readers, friends a Blessed Christmas and Holy New Year. May Jesus Be Born in your hearts today and always. "She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. " Luke 2:7

Blessed Christmas.

Dec 18, 2009


Malaysia ended a 20-year gold drought when they edged Vietnam 1-0 in the football final at the 25th SEA Games held at the Main Stadium, National Sports Complex, here on Thursday.Malaysia's winning goal came from an own goal by Vietnam's defender, Mai Xuan Hop in the 83rd minute.

A cross by Safiq Rahim to substitute Mohamad Zaquan Adha Abd Razak in front of the Vietnam goalposts was deflected by Mai but the ball went straight into his own goal.The last time Malaysia won the gold in football was in Kuala Lumpur (1989) under the guidance of British coach, Trevor Hartley.

Playing in front of almost 17,000 Vietnamese supporters who were wearing the red t-shirt with a yellow star on the chest, Malaysia and Vietnam started cautiously with each side testing the opponents' defence.The cautious game adopted by both sides saw the ball moving in the centre of the pitch with the Vietnamese players, who are noted for their speed, occasionally testing the Malaysian goalie, Mohd Sharbinee Allawee with long shots.Malaysia's best chance at scoring came in the 29th minute, but S. Kunalan's header went over the crossbar.

Tied to a goalless draw at half-time, both teams increased the pressure on their opponents' defence to look for the elusive goal.Malaysia seemed to dominate the second half when they succeeded in warding off the opponents' attacks.The Malaysian defence led by Sabre Mat Abu deserved praise for blocking the opponents' raids and when the Malaysian strikers failed to break the deadlock, K. Rajagobal brought in Mohamad Zaquan Adha to replace Ahmad Fakri Saarani in the 69th minute.

Mohamad Zaquan Adha clearly gave a new inspiration to the Malaysian side but the attempts at goal had still not been able beat the Vietnamese goalkeeper.However, the own goal by Mai finally slowed down the opponents' pace before referee Pratap Singh blew the final whistle.Malaysia booked their berth for the final after beating host, Laos 3-1 while Vietnam trounced Singapore 4-1 in the semi-finals on Tuesday.

Since winning the goal in 1989 (Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia only managed to lift the silver at the 2001 edition (Kuala Lumpur) when the competition format for the biennial games was changed to Under-23 teams and later won the bronze in the 2003 edition (Vietnam) and 2005 (Philippines).In the 2007 SEA Games, Malaysia were shown the exit early in the group stage.

MALAYSIA: Mohd Sharbinee Allawee, Mohd Sabree Mat Abu, Mohd Nasriq Baharom, Mohamad Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak, Baddrol Bakhtiar, K.Gurusamy, S.Kunalan, Safiq Rahim, Ahmad Fakri Saarani (Mohamad Zaquan Adha Abd Radzak), Mohamad Muslim Mohamad (Mohamad Azmi Muslim), Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (Amar Rohidan).

VIETNAM: Bui Tan Truong, Nguyen Quy Suu, Vo Hoang Quang, Mai Tien Thanh, Mai Xuan Hop, Tran Dinh Dong, Phan Thanh Binh, Pham Thanh Luong, Nguyen Thanh Long Giang, Phan Thanh Hung (Tran Manh Dung), Nguyen Ngoc Anh (Nguyen Trong Hoang).REFEREE: Pratap Singh (India).-- BERNAMA

Dec 15, 2009


Malaysia's challenge in the badminton men's singles at the Laos SEA Games ended as early as in the first round when Muhammad Hafiz Hashim and Liew Daren lost their matches at Gymnasium 1, National Sports Complex, here.

Without the presence of world number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Malaysia had to forget about a gold medal in the men's singles.

However, Malaysia's men's doubles pairs of Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Mohd Fairuzizuan Tazari-Mohd Zakry Latif, and women's singles Wong Mew Choo and Lydia Cheah will be in the quarter-finals Tuesday.

So will the women's doubles pairs of Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui and Woon Khe Wei-Chong Sook Chin, and mixed double pairs of Koo Kien Keat-Wong Pei Tty and Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying.

Hafiz lost to Sony Dwi Kuncoro for the second time in a row in a three-set match with scores of 12-21, 21-19, 14-21.

The chance given to Liew Daren to fill the vacancy left by Chong Wei failed to bear fruit when the young player lost to an unknown, Vietnam's Nguyen Hoang Hai 9-21, 15-21.

In the women's singles, Mew Choo was given a bye in the opening round, but will face a still fight in a quarter-final match Tuesday Olympic bronze medallist, Maria Kristin from Indonesia.

Lydia beat Nhung Le Nguyen from Vietnam, 14-21, 21-12, 21-12, to face Zhang Beiwen from Singapore.

Malaysia's number one doubles Kien Keat-Boon Heong, however, had to go into the third set to defeat Bodin Isara-Maneepong Jongjit 14-21, 21-12, 23-21, while Mohd Fairuzizuan-Mohd Zakry had to fight hard to overcome Vietnam's Bui Bang Duc-Dao Manh Thang 21-15, 18-21, 21-10.

After Sunday's victory in the women's team event, Khe Wei returned to her original partner Chong Sook Chin and defeated Khonesanith Inthavanh-Manivone Meungchaleun 21-8, 21-11.

Pei Tty-Eei Hui, who received a bye in the first round, will face Frances Liu-Vanesa Neo from Singapore Tuesday.

Malaysia will also continue its challenge in the mixed doubles after Kien Keat-Pei Tty defeated Jeffrey Wong-Fu Mingtian from Singapore 21-17, 21-10, while Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying beat the Vietnames pair of Duong Bao Duc-Thai Thi Hong 21-15, 21-11.



While the Malaysian media were congratulating K. Rajagobal after his boys defeated hosts Laos to go into the football final of the 25th SEA Games, the coach's frowned expression suggested that he was thinking hard.

Perhaps he was thinking of ways to fire up the spirits of his squad who will meet Vietnam in the final on Thursday. Vietnam had beaten Malaysia 3-1 in the second match in Group A on Dec 6.

"Maybe I shouldn't be talking too much and let the players think for themselves how to boost their own spirits and win the final," he said after the Malaysia-Laos semi-final match at the Main Stadium, National Sports Complex, here, Monday night.

Vietnam were top in Group A and Malaysia the runners-up.

In another semi-final match at the Chaou Anouvong Stadium, here, Vietnam trounced Group B runners-up Singapore 4-1.

The Malaysian Under-23 squad, not expected to go into the final, beat the hosts 3-1, giving them a chance to win gold since Malaysia last did at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in 1989.

On Monday's match, Rajagobal said after Baddrol Bakhtiar scored the first goal in the 13th minute, there was a lapse of concentration and his boys allowed their opponents to control play.

But they got a wake-up call when Laos equalised in the 72nd minute through Kanlaya Sysomvang and then started to play more attacking football.

Rajagobal said not many people realised how difficult it was for the Malaysian squad playing against Laos as they were without their regular strikers.

"Mohamad Zaquan Abdul Radzak is still injured while Ahmad Fakri Saarani and Mohd Amirulhadi Zainal are suspended.

"I only had a midfielder of calibre, Safiq Rahim, and he proved his capability," said a relieved Rajagobal.

While controlling the midfield, Safiq also gave Malaysia's third goal in the match. Baddrol had earlier scored the second goal in the 79th minute.

Laos coach Alfred Riedl said Malaysia controlled the first-half and his charges the second.

"But lady luck was not on our side as Malaysia managed to find our net twice in the second-half," said the Austrian coach.

In their last meeting at the Jakarta SEA Games in 1997, Laos beat Malaysia 1-0.-Bernama

Dec 14, 2009


Liverpool suffered their second home embarrassment in five days as Arsenal grabbed the points in a game which was supposed to be a new beginning for the Anfield men.

Manager Rafael Benitez had insisted the season started again today after the midweek Champions League defeat to Fiorentina.

But he did not get his wish even though Liverpool led at the break through Dirk Kuyt and should have had a penalty when William Gallas felled Steven Gerrard.

Arsenal grabbed two quick goals through a Glen Johnson own goal and an outstanding winner from Andrey Arshavin to heap more misery on the men from Merseyside.

Arshavin hit four last season in a 4-4 draw, but this time one was enough.

Bill Shankly's first official day behind the manager's desk at Liverpool was 50 years ago tomorrow, and Benitez will sit uncomfortably in that same office after this.

Liverpool made six changes from the side dumped out of the Champions League in midweek, with Fernando Torres back in the starting line-up for the first time since early November. Fabio Aurelio was brought in at left-back against the pace of Theo Walcott.

Arsenal were unrecognisable from the side that lost to Olympiacos in Greece, only Walcott being retained by manager Arsene Wenger.

With Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Spurs all dropping points 24 hours earlier, both sides were desperate to take advantage.

And at last Anfield was treated to a pulsating clash after weeks of insipid displays.

The tempo and passion came from both sides and Liverpool could have had two goals in the opening 13 minutes.

First Torres broke away, fed Gerrard to his right and then took the return before failing to lift the ball over Almunia when clear.

Two minutes later referee Howard Webb controversially denied Liverpool a penalty when Gallas felled Gerrard.

The Liverpool skipper may have pushed the ball too far, but Gallas clearly took Gerrard's legs.

Denilson was booked for a high tackle on Mascherano as Liverpool poured forward.

Arsenal survived, at times with difficulty, but still sought to play their intelligent, passing football out of defence.

Samir Nasri fired wide and Cesc Fabregas tested Jose Reina as the threat on the break from the Gunners became increasingly apparent.

But four minutes from the break Arsenal finally cracked.

Aurelio lifted a free-kick into the six-yard box, where Almunia, under intense pressure in the air, managed only a weak punch and Kuyt fired home from 10 yards.

Arsenal were furious with a supposed aerial assault on their goalkeeper, Wenger making the point angrily to fourth official Andre Marriner.

The Gunners' chief was even more upset two minutes later when it looked like Aurelio stopped Walcott's run with an arm across his face. Only a booking ensured.

Arsenal came out after the break fired up for the challenge and were level after 50 minutes.

Nasri tore down the right and fired in a low cross that Johnson turned past Reina for an own goal with Walcott lurking behind him.

Mascherano was soon booked for a foul on Fabregas and it was soon to get worse for Liverpool, and especially Johnson.

Fabregas' cross after 58 minutes eluded Johnson, who then failed to stop Arshavin turning to fire in off the post from 18 yards.

Benitez finally turned to Aquilani with 25 minutes left, Mascherano making way, and with the watching Xabi Alonso applauding from the directors' box as the man bought to replace him trotted on.

But Aquilani made little impact and finished the game limping.

As much as the first half had been so positive for an aggressive Liverpool, the second was becoming deeply frustrating.

Passes started going astray, Liverpool were no longer in Arsenal's faces, rather chasing their heels.

The passion had gone from Liverpool and the accomplished young Gunners had a measure of control they were not going to lose.

Arshavin was booked for one too many late challenges on defenders clearing the ball, then Fabregas for kicking the ball away from a free-kick.

David Ngog coming on for Yossi Benayoun and then Philipp Degen for a flagging, disconsolate Johnson did little to change the flow of the match and Liverpool now have just three wins in their last 15 games.- soccernet

Dec 12, 2009


Malaysia erased Thailand's 36 years record of qualifying for the semi-finals of the SEA Games football tournament when its footballers defeated the Thai defending champions 2-1 in the last match of Group A played at the Main Stadium of the Laos National Sports Complex here on Friday.

While the Malaysian coach, K.Rajagobal, was cheerful, Thailand's under-23 squad coach Steve Darby was a picture of dejection.At a news conference after the match, Rajagobal credited goalkeeper, Mohd Sharbinee Allawee; substitute player, Mohamad Azmi Muslim; and S.Kunanlan as well as the rest of the team on their hard work, eventhough the team was down 0-1 in the 52nd minute due to a goal by Arthit Sunthorphit."

Although down, my boys strived to get the equaliser. We actually should have settled the match at half-time through three tries but had to wait till the 81st minute to equalise," Rajagobal told reporters.The equaliser was scored by Mohd Nasriq Baharom while the winning goal was scored by Ahmad Fakri Saarani in the 89th minute.

He said on paper Thailand had advantages in physique and in speed but the spirit of his charges was very high today.In the semi-final against Laos on Monday, Rajagobal said he hoped striker Mohamad Zaquan Adha Abdul Radzak, who has an eye problem, would have recovered to shore up the Malaysian attack."Tomorrow, I will have just light training and develope a strategy to take on the hosts, Laos, on Monday," he said.

Darby, meanwhile, said he was responsible for today's loss.Asked again by Thai media whether he took responsibility for the defeat which resulted in Thailand's exit after succesfully being the semi-finalist for 36 consecutive years since the 1973 edition, he said: "I take responsibility."He said his team controlled the match for 81 minutes until the equaliser from Mohd Nasriq killed his team's spirit."We're really dissappointed but I dont want to blame my players. There are no excuses," he said.

Dec 9, 2009


Malaysia beat Cambodia 4-0 in a SEA Games Group A match at Chao Anuvong Stadium here Tuesday night to keep its semi-final hopes alive.

The goals were scored by Abdul Manaf Mamat (34min), Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (76min), S.Kunanlal (81min) and Shafiq Rahim (84min).Malaysia has to beat SEA Games defending champion Thailand this Friday to book a ticket to the semi-final.


HEAD of FAM Competitions department Haji Ahmad Fuad Daud, and Head of International Affairs Kelly Sathiaraj(pic) has been apppointed as FAM deputy general secretary. Bot the appointments will take effect in January 2010.

It is learnt that FAM President Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah wanted a candidate who has international exposure and Kelly fitted well into the plan. Kelly was a part of AFC competitions department spent close to 8 years in AFC before joining FAM in 2006. Meanwhile Fuad was Pahang FA secretary before joining FAM in 2004.
To both Fuad and Kelly, Jaiho wishes you all the best.

* Thanks Razlan for the Photo.

Dec 8, 2009


Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah wants his players to be prepared for do-or-die missions during the Asia Cup and Commonwealth Games next year in efforts to earn a ticket to the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Tengku Abdullah said the MHF have placed high hopes on the players to perform well and earn a ticket to London especially after failing to make the cut for the World Cup."The team must do well in the Asia Cup in China and the Commonwealth Games in India.

That is the do-or-die mission for the team," he told reporters after handing contributions from three corporate bodies to the Majlis Ugama Islam Pahang at Istana Abdul Aziz here.He also urged the senior and junior players to train hard and be prepared physically and mentally to face the stiff challenges ahead during the two tournaments.

"We need experienced players to change their mindset and be disciplined, so that they can help strengthen the team and if we can gel the young and senior players together, it fill further strengthen the team," he said.- BERNAMA


FAM has done it again and this time around Pahang has been saved, and Harimau Muda sacrificed read here and here , make your analysis and judgements. To FAM I dedicate this music album. Enjoy Guys.


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that Malaysia will be hosting the prestigious golf competition, the PGA Tour, next year."It was my childhood ambition to see the PGA Tour brought to Malaysia and now it will become a reality...and today, I am proud to announce that next year Malaysia will be hosting the PGA Tour."

We will be the first nation in the South East Asian region to host such a prestigious golf competition. It is a great honour to be given the opportunity," said Najib in his speech at the official launch of the Asia Pacific Golf Classic Malaysia, here Monday.

The inaugural tournament will be held at the Mines Resort and Golf Club in Seri Kembangan, near here.At the ceremony, Najib also announced that the golf competition offers a total prize money of US$6 million and the winner of the competition will walk home with US$1 million."I was not quite sure then that it could happen and I didn't know what it takes to be able to host the PGA Tour event in Malaysia.

Because it certainly requires a full agreement of the PGA Tour. Fortunately, we have Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew, an entrepreneur who has the courage and vision to do things that are difficult or almost impossible to do."The competition (the Asia Pacific Golf Classic) will also be the largest prize purse tournament in South East Asia. And, there is a commitment in place to guarantee the growth of the purse," said Najib.

He noted that the competition would further boost Malaysia's revenue through tourism and enhancing the country's standing in the international sporting arena."It will be a boost and very positive. It will make the Mines golf course more popular as one of the major golf courses in the world. It will also make Malaysia as the favourite golfing destination," said Najib.

He said that over the four-day competition, over 400 million households and in 200 countries around the world would be watching the prestigious competition and this would be a good avenue not only for golf but also Malaysian tourism.The inaugural Asia Pacific Golf Classic Malaysia will feature an international field of 40 players competing.The top 25 players from the PGA Tour's final FedExCup standings will automatically qualify, as will the top-10 available players from the Asian Tour's Order of Merit and at least one Malaysian professional will be guaranteed a place in the field.Bernama


National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong described the action of the men's football team to manhandle match officials after their 1-3 loss to Vietnam, as a disgrace to the country.

He added that the reason offered by head coach K. Rajagobal that the incident was triggered by bias and controversial decisions made by the referee against Malaysia, cannot be accepted."To me, the referee was fair and indeed a number of decisions made by him favoured the Malaysian team," said Zolkples who was among those who watched the match on Sunday.

In the match held at the Main Stadium of the Laos National Sports Complex, Malaysia lost 1-3 to Vietnam, a result that put Malaysian semifinal hopes on tender hooks.When South Korean referee Kim Jong Hyeok blew the final whistle, some of the Malaysian players charged at the referee to register their protest after the South Korean had dismissed substitute Mohd Zaquan Adha Abd Radzak for a second bookable offence.

Players had also retorted to throwing water bottles aimlessly at the match official before security officials from Laos intervened and prevented the situation from getting out of hand.Zolkples also blamed all the Malaysian team officials for further provoking the players, with the exception of Tan Cheng Hoe (coach) who sat calm on the bench.

He added that Malaysia should have just accepted the result because the Vietnam players played better as they were fitter and faster."From my observation, our players played below their capabilities and paid too much respect to their opponent," he said.-- BERNAMA

Dec 6, 2009


Malaysia's hopes of making it to the semi-finals of the Laos SEA Games men's football competition, suffered a major setback after a 1-3 loss to Vietnam, at the Laos National Stadium here Sunday.

Malaysia who beat Timor Leste 11-0 on Wednesday, were not able to find their scoring boots today, in a match dominated by the fitter and faster Vietnamese and even the solitary goal was a result of an own goal by Vo Hoang Quang who headed the ball into his own net.

It was the second consecutive time Malaysia suffered a defeat at the hands of Vietnam in the SEA Games, since Vietnam scored a similar victory during the Korat SEA Games in Thailand two years ago, a result that doused Malaysia's hopes of winning a medal.

Vietnam scored their first goal through Nguyen Cong Minh in the 11th minute after South Korean referee Kim Jong Hyeok awarded a penalty for handball.

Jolted by the goal, K. Rajagobal's boys went on the offensive in search of an equaliser, leaving gapping holes in defence and Vietnam exploited the opportunity when Mai Tien Thanh set out on a solo run to beat Malaysian goalkeeper Mohd Farizal Marlias in the 24th minute.

A minute later, Malaysia were thrown a lifeline when an own goal by Hoang Quang, reduced the deficit to 1-2, but any hopes of a resurgence diminished when Nguyen Trong Hoang struck the third goal to restore a two goal advantage in the 43rd minute.

Rajagobal tried to inject fresh blood by introducing Mohamad Zaquan Adha Abd Radzak, K. Gurusamy and S. Kunalan for the non-effective Amar Rohidan, Abdul Manaf Mamat and Ahmad Fakri Saarani, but though the trio managed to mount a series of attacks, they were not able to penetrate a stout Vietnamese defence.

Meanwhile, Rajagobal attributed the loss to the inability of his young players to control their temper, due to a number of poor decisions made by the match officials.

"There were many questionable decisions by the referee and that resulted in the players losing their rhythm and focus. Zaquan may also be penalised further for his red card," he said after the match.

Even after the match, players who were unhappy with the match officials, surrounded them while some threw water bottles into the pitch, but Rajagobal managed to calm down his boys and restore order.

With the win, Vietnam top Group A with seven points from three matches while Thailand are second with four points from two matches and Malaysia has three.

Malaysia will now have to beat Thailand in their next match to have any chance of making it to the next stage.- Bernama

Dec 2, 2009


THE delay in flying to Laos did not stop K.Rajagopal's boys in thrashing Timor Leste in a 11-0 opening of the Group A match at the National Stadium in Vientiane.

Striker Ahmad Fakri Saarani scored a hat-trick, while Norshahrul Talaha scored a brace. Zaquan Adha Abdul Razak, Baddrol Baktiar, Amirulhadi Zainal, Amar Rohidan, Safiq Rahim and Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak contributed a goal each.

"The boys played well and we took the chances. It will be a good motivation for the players for the next match." said K.Rajagopal after the game.
Timor Leste ranked 198 in the world, surely are not a real test for the Malaysian side, who are more capable and have better team cordination. Timor Leste have hardly played in any international matches and the fact that they have withdrawn from many international matches goes to show the poor development of the game in the country.

FAM President Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah ordered the team to return with medal, but experienced coach K.Rajagopal has set his eye on a semi-finals berth.

Malaysia's second match will be against Vietnam on Sunday, Cambodia on Dec 8 and defending champions Thailand on Dec 11.

All matches will be played at the National Stadium except the match against Cambodia, which will be played at the Chao Anouvong Stadium.Group B comprises host Laos, Myanmar, Singapore and Indonesia.