Holders Home United's clash with S.League rivals DPMM FC emerged as the pick of the opening round ties at Sunday's draw for the 2012 RHB Singapore Cup.
The Protectors were paired with their Bruneian counterparts following a seeding process in which representatives from 12 of the 16 participating teams were classified according to their ball-juggling prowess.
Should Home, who beat Albirex Niigata to the Singapore Cup crown last season, beat DPMM, they will meet the winner of the mouthwatering Singapore Armed Forces versus Balestier Khalsa tussle in the quarter-finals.
2011 beaten finalists Albirex earned the right to be top seeds thanks to the skills of Yutaka Nishi, and are now scheduled to play Laos outfit Yotha FC, one of the four invited sides in the competition.
Elsewhere, Cambodia's Phnom Penh Crown will play reigning S.League champions Tampines Rovers, Philippines side Loyola Meralco Sparks will clash with Geylang United and KBZ FC from Myanmar will be up against Woodlands Wellington.
With Harimau Muda A - as well as the Courts Young Lions - opting not to take part due to international duties, Harimua Muda B were placed alongside Gombak United, while Tanjong Pagar United face Hougang United.
Speaking before the draw, Football Association of Singapore President Zainudin Nordin said: "There has always been romance associated to knockout competitions. The RHB Singapore Cup is no different, and fans can expect some thrilling and exciting football action in the months to come."
The Singapore Cup is scheduled to get underway on May 14.
RHB Singapore Cup Fixtures (first half of the draw):
RHB Singapore Cup 2012 returns with teams from 8 nations
4 renowned teams from Myanmar, Philippines, Cambodia and Laos will participate in the 15th edition of the Singapore Cup that will kick off in May
Apr 29, 2012 4:30:00 PM By Sugumaran Devaraja
Players from the 12 local teams faced off in an exciting juggling competition to determine their seedings in this year's RHB Singapore Cup 2012, at the Bugis Junction this afternoon.
A total of 16 teams will feature in the tournament to kick-off on 14th May 2012.
In this edition, Singapore football fans will witness the participation of representatives from Myanmmar (KBZ FC), Philippines (Loyola Meralco Sparks FC), Laos (Yotha FC) and Cambodia (Phnom Penh Crown FC). The Courts Young Lions and Harimau Muda A miss out as they will be taking part in the AFC U-22 Championships.
Players to look out for will include the former Chelsea players, the Younghusband brothers who currently ply their trade for Loyola Merlaco Sparks with the Hartmann brothers who have helped their club acheive success in the Philippines' United Football League. Former national team coach, PN Sivaji returns with KBZ FC of Myanmar.
The pick of the first round sees current S.League leaders Brunei DPMM take on defending champions and five-time winner Home United FC.
The RHB Singapore Cup has steadily progressed to become one of the region's top club knockout competitions and this year's edition promises to be an exciting and engaging experience for fans.
Full fixture list Brunei DPMM vs Home United SAFFC vs Balestier Khalsa Gombak United vs Harimau Muda B Tanjong Pagar United vs Hougang United
Yotha FC vs Albirex Niigata Phnom Penh FC vs Tampines Rovers Loyola Meralco FC vs Geylang United KBZ FC vs Woodlands Wellington
Will our game be held in Geylang's home field? If we will based on their ranking in S-League, we might have chance to get to quarter-finals. By the way, so YHS will be out during Azkals practice while Singapore Cup is underway?
I don't expect too much from them since this is the first time an UFL team will be playing foreign team in foreign lands. Who know we might upset them and achieve good results. I hope they play with cohesion and great teamwork
The great game to watch there is DPMM FC vs Home United.
Oh by the way, what are the dates of matches here in Singapore Cup? Do they have games during the FIFA match days?
Last Edit: Apr 30, 2012 0:12:51 GMT 8 by dingodile5
The RHB Singapore Cup 2012 draw was held at Bugis Junction on 29 April from 3pm onwards.
As with past editions, there will be a total of 16 sides featuring in the competition this year.
Eleven out of thirteen teams participating in the Great Eastern-YEOâ€™S S.League have been entered into the RHB Singapore Cup access list. These are, in alphabetical order: Albirex Niigata (Singapore) Balestier Khalsa DPMM FC Geylang United Gombak United Home United Hougang United Singapore Armed Forces FC Tampines Rovers Tanjong Pagar United Woodlands Wellington
The Courts Young Lions and Malaysiaâ€™s Harimau Muda, both of whom are Great Eastern-YEOâ€™S S.League participant teams, have requested and received permission to sit out of the RHB Singapore Cup, due to their respective preparations for the AFC Under-22 Asian Cup qualifiers in June.
Taking the Harimau Mudaâ€™s place in the draw are their juniors from the Malaysia Premier League. For the purposes of the competition, they will be regarded as a non-invitee side.
Rounding off the list of 16 are four invited clubs from outside Singapore. They are, in alphabetical order: Kanbawza FC (Myanmar) Loyola Meralco Sparks (Philippines) Phnom Penh Crown (Cambodia) Yotha FC (Laos)
The draw will place all 16 teams into a tree divided into two halves. In order to ensure the presence of at least one Great Eastern-YEOâ€™S S.League participant team in the Grand Final in November, all four invited foreign clubs will be placed in the same half of the draw tree.
Representatives from the eleven Great Eastern-YEOâ€™S S.League sides and the Harimau Muda junior side are seeded based on their performance at a ball-juggling competition. This competition has been completed, with Albirex finishing in top spot.
The four invitee sides are randomly drawn into their respective positions separately.
The results of the draw, based on the above procedures, are as follows: DPMM FC vs Home United Singapore Armed Forces FC vs Balestier Khalsa Gombak United vs Harimau Muda Tanjong Pagar United vs Hougang United Yotha FC vs Albirex Niigata (Singapore) Phnom Penh Crown vs Tampines Rovers Loyola Meralco Sparks vs Geylang United Kanbawza FC vs Woodlands Wellington
RHB Singapore Cup: Newcomers take bow, Home draw DPMM
Elwyn Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
Singapore Cup 2012 draw tree
Old rivalries will be renewed and new faces await their chance to take maiden bows in the preliminary round of the RHB Singapore Cup 2012 competition, after the draw was completed at Bugis Junction on a hot and bright Sunday afternoon.
A grand total of 16 sides will feature in this yearâ€™s tournament, including three foreign invitee outfits making their first appearances.
The inclusion of Loyola Meralco Sparks means that there will be a Filipino presence in Singaporeâ€™s premier football knockout cup tournament for the very first time, while Yotha FC become the first Laotian side to play in the tournament as well.
Also making their debut are Myanmar National League title contenders Kanbawza FC, following the lead of Okkthar United in last yearâ€™s competition.
Cambodian side Phnom Penh Crown continue their lengthy association with the competition as well, while Malaysiaâ€™s Harimau Muda will be represented by the junior side playing in their countryâ€™s Premier League, as their senior counterparts prepare for the AFC Under-22 Asian Cup qualifiers in June.
But the game of the first round will feature another foreign team already playing in the S.League â€“ current leaders DPMM FC of Brunei, who have been drawn against defending champions Home United.
The draw was based on how twelve players, representing eleven S.League clubs and the Harimau Muda junior side, fared at a juggling competition held amid cheers from teammates, supporters and other members of the public spending their afternoon at Bugis.
The competition sorted the twelve teams based on how long their representative players managed to keep the ball off the ground, with Albirex Niigata (Singapore)â€™s Yutaka Nishi finishing top by lasting the full regulation period of five minutes.
Finishing second was SAFFCâ€™s Erwan Gunawan, while Home fullback Jeremy Chiang had the misfortune of recording the shortest time, placing the Protectors at twelfth seed.
With the juggling competition split into three separate pools, spectators had little idea of the twelve teamsâ€™ exact placings, apart from knowing that Albirex were in top spot.
It was only when all the players had finished that the draw tree was unveiled, with each teamâ€™s name filled into the appropriate slots as ESPNStar host Colette Wong announced the results of the juggling competition.
Home coach Lee Lim Saeng was positive about the outcome of the draw, as he braced himself for a tough start against the Bruneians.
â€œI am looking forward to it,â€ he declared.
â€œIt doesnâ€™t matter whether we had drawn a local team or a foreign one. Of course our draw against the Brunei team is a tough one, but we are out to win the Singapore Cup, and if we overcome the strong teams first, it is an advantage in the later stages.
â€œI have no knowledge of the four foreign teams, but I hope they are good, strong teams. This will be good for the S.League.â€
Albirex, who were losing finalists last year, have been drawn against top-tier side Yotha, who feature numerous Laos internationals, including former Thai Premier League striker Lamnao Singto.
White Swans vice-chairman Koh Mui Tee was happy to face the newcomers, whom he felt will pose a refreshing challenge.
â€œThey are the Lao League champions, and they comprise a few national team players,â€ he said of Yotha.
â€œI understand they are one of the best teams in the country. But we will be out to go one better than how we did last year, and we will not take our opponents lightly, whoever they may be.â€
Also facing foreign opponents in the opening round are Geylang United, who won the RHB Singapore Cup as recently as 2009.
They meet Loyola, who play in the semi-professional United Football League in the Philippines and boast among their stars two pairs of brothers, the Chelsea-trained Younghusbands and the Portsmouth-trained Hartmanns.
While reigning S.League champions Tampines Rovers and Woodlands Wellington also feature in the same half of the draw as Geylang and Albirex, Kanan Vedhamuthu felt his Eagles were fortunate not to be pooled into the all-S.League half of the draw tree.
â€œFor Geylang, it seems an easier draw than the next group,â€ commented the 47-year-old.
â€œThe stronger teams from our group look to be Albirex and Tampines, although I am not too certain how strong the four invited teams are. That said, we are not doing so well in the league, so the Cup has become a priority.
â€œWe will respect the team we are drawn against in the first match, and we look to progress from there.
â€œI have only just come to know they have some key players of calibre and quality, so we will need to be prepared against this Philippine team. We should take nothing for granted.â€
Should Geylang beat the Sparks, their quarterfinals opponents will be either Woodlands or Kanbawza, while Tampines have to overcome Phnom Penh Crown if they are to book a slot in the last eight.
The winners of the Home-DPMM clash will face either SAFFC or Balestier Khalsa, while Tanjong Pagar United face Hougang United and Gombak United are paired with the Harimau Muda Under-19s coached by Ismail Ibrahim.
With the first of the preliminary matches scheduled to take place on 14 May, the adrenaline rush of the regionâ€™s premier knockout tourney is set to be upon us in another two weeks.
Loyola Meralco Sparks earn tough draw in Singapore Cup By Alder Almo | Updated April 30, 2012 03:14 PM
The Loyola Meralco Sparks have drawn the 2009 RHB Singapore Cup champions Geylang United Eagles in the Round of 16 knock-out stage. Photo courtesy of S.League.com
MANILA, Philippines – The Loyola Meralco Sparks are in for a tough ride in its first ever appearance in the 2012 RHB Singapore Cup with a former champion standing on their way.
In the draw held yesterday at Bugis Junction in Singapore, the Sparks have earned the 2009 RHB Singapore Cup champions Geylang United Eagles in the Round of 16 knock-out stage.
The Sparks, who were invited after topping the first round of the ongoing United Football League (UFL) season, will be bannered by AFC Challenge Cup golden boot awardee Phil Younghusband together with his brother James and Mark Hartmann.
Geyland, which is one of the top teams in Singapore’s premier professional football tournament S.League, is not taking Loyola Meralco lightly.
“We will respect the team we are drawn against in the first match, and we look to progress from there,” Kanan Vedhamuthu told S.League website.
“I have only just come to know they have some key players of caliber and quality, so we will need to be prepared against this Philippine team. We should take nothing for granted,” added Vedhamuthu, who took over from Mike Wong only last March.
The winner between the Sparks and the Eagles will move on to the quarterfinals where they will face the winner of S.League’s Woodlands Wellington FC and Myanmar National League title contender Kanbawza FC.
I just merged the thread I created yesterday in another section. I think it needs to be put in the UFL thread since Loyola is a UFL team.
I'm very confident Loyola will be a surprise package for the Singapore Cup, like the Philippine team did during the AFC Challenge Cup. If the YH brothers and Mark Hartmann keep their attacking form, I'm sure they can surprise Gelyang. I predict Kanbawza will win the other pair, so I'm thinking this will make things difficult for Loyola because of their less-than-stellar defense.
Last Edit: Apr 30, 2012 21:37:56 GMT 8 by stellarboy
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Good idea stellarboy. I didn't know there was a thread somewhere else. This should be interesting to follow. It sounds like Geylang United(12th in Singaporean league) is somewhat underestimating the foreign teams which come from the weaker ASEAN nations this year in general and Loyola in particular which should be good for us. Loyola should pull through if they can improve their defence, which has been somewhat leaky in the UFL lately.
Since there has been no news on the ASEAN Club Championship lately, especially with the uncertainty hanging over the Indonesian football federation, this Cup among some of the ASEAN nations should give the UFL its first taste of international football competition, and should be a good gauge of where we are at vis a vis our neighbors in ASEAN.
Agree with the guys that Meralco needs improvement on their back four. I also felt in IHMO the need for a better goalkeeper if they want to make a splash in this tournament. The question is whether or not they can still enlist a goalkeeper since the transfer window had ended. Will this be possible (experts' input pls)?