Friday, September 01, 2006

PKNS Selangor - Johor FC (august 2004)

En route to Australia I planned a few days in Kuala Lumpur (KL) to see some football. As the dates of the games of the Super League had been changed suddenly, I could only see a Premier League (i.e. second division) game on Sunday. The cloests game was Selangor PKNS against Johor FC, which was played in the MPPJ Stadium in Petaling Jaya, a suburb of KL.

After different negotiations over the price with a number of taxi drivers, none of whom knew there was a football game on, one finally took me to the stadium. After a 30 minute drive we arrived around 20.00 at the stadium. To my delight the lights were on and some players were doing their warm-up. I bought a ticket for 10 Ringgit (ca. 2.50 euro) and took my seat at the main stand. There wasn't m,uch happening in the stadium and it also remained remakably empty. When the game finally started, at 20.45, there were some 500 spectators in the stadium that holds 25.000. As would soon turn out, almost half of them were away supporters, despite the fact that the town of Johor is at the border with Singapore (there were also three white tourists).

This was the first time in my life that I visited a professional football game that started without any applause. This notwithstanding, there was some atmosphere, courtsey of some (home) supporters with all kind of drums (see below).

Already after 3 minutes they could cheer as PKNS scored 1-0. Only 5 minutes later Johor FC equalized: 1-1. In the 30th minute the visitors scored the deserved scoorde 1-2. Not much later the bus with the away supporters finally arrived and some 35 fans in orange shirts (the color of Johor FC) entered the stadium, which directly strengthened the atmosphere. In the end Johor scored the 1-3 to great delight of the orange army.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be extremely difficult to get back after the game. There was no taxi in sight and the stadium was in a remote area, so I walked onto a desolate industrial area, where I was lucky to find some people in a shop who gave me a ride to a taxi stop outside of town. In the end I still made it back to my hotel around 23.30. Definitely a difficult, but interesting groundhop. Truly exotic. ;-)

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