29 July 2014

Four DPMM FC players for HBT

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
DPMM FC yesterday confirmed goalkeeper Azman Ilham Hj Md Nor will be in the national Under-21 football squad for the upcoming Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy.
The team was hit with a dilemma after first choice goalkeeper Md Fakhrul Zulhazmi Yussof was dropped from the squad last week after he pleaded guilty to stealing three gas cylinders.
The DPMM FC trio of Adi Said, Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris and Najib Hj Tarif – who, like Md Fakhrul, won the 2012 HBT – were originally selected to lace up for the country at the August 8-23 biennial competition as overage players.
Azman’s only competitive game of the year came during DPMM FC’s first Singapore League (S-League) match of the season on Feb 23 against Albirex Niigata (S) FC.
Replacing first choice Wardun Yussof, who was carrying a suspension over from last season, Azman did well to keep a clean sheet in the 1-0 victory over the Japanese side.
DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean feels that the quartet’s loss is not the best situation for the club considering they will be without them for the next two S-League matches, but he understands the impact the players are capable of providing at the prestigious HBT – a regional tournament in which the country will be going up against the best players in Southeast Asia.
“They are the four allowed to play, and we hope they will go on to help the country get a positive result,” said Kean in an interview at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.
“It is not ideal to be totally honest, but we try to understand that we want a good team for the country and also utilise our squad.
“Others get the opportunity when we miss good players around the squad, and we have to try to juggle both so that we can continue to keep winning and that the national team can also do well,” continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
DPMM FC are coming off a 2-0 victory over Tanjong Pagar United FC in the final of the Singapore League Cup at the Jalan Besar Stadium last Friday, their third triumph in the competition after winning the trophy in 2009 and 2012.
The Sultanate’s only professional team are currently enjoying a short break for Hari Raya Aidil Fitri before returning to training on Thursday in preparation for their S-League match against Hougang United FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on Sunday, a key game for the S-League table toppers.
The Brunei side currently lead the 12-team table on 38 points from 18 matches, with three-time defending champions Tampines Rovers close behind on 35 points.
Warriors FC are a further point back while Albirex Niigata (S) FC are on 33 points, while Hougang complete the top-five just another point adrift.
Though Kean is more than happy to give his players some time off to celebrate Hari Raya with their loved ones, he knows how important it is for them not to “slip up on Sunday”.
“Now we have the trophy sitting in the room, we can leave that there and enjoy few days off,” said Kean.
“The boys will have a break and have some time with their family now. Obviously this is an important time, and I respect everybody’s culture.
“We’ve a very fit side shouldn’t have any problems when we start training again.”

The Brunei Times

26 July 2014

DPMM FC are champs

Saturday, July 26, 2014
DPMM FC were crowned champions of the Singapore League Cup after a 2-0 victory over Tanjong Pagar FC in the final last night.
A goal each by Roberto Alviz and Adi Said in each half cemented the win at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
The Cup was the third for Brunei’s only professional team and head coach Steve Kean’s maiden trophy.
DPMM FC kicked off the match on the right foot and got their first opportunity in the 12th minute after Azwan Salleh ran past his defender to put the ball through to Azwan Ali Rahman.
The latter fired a good shot but Tanjong Pagar goalkeeper Aurelien Herisson came up with a fine save.
Adi Said got the next chance for the Brunei side after he received a good pass from Azwan Ali but saw his shot cannon off a Tanjong Pagar defender in the 15th minute.
Tanjong Pagar had a golden opportunity in the 20th minute after going on the counterattack.
However, defender Boris Raspudic rushed back fast enough for a tackle on Etiemble to stop the danger.
The Jaguars should have broken the deadlock in the 22nd minute after Sebastien Etiemble delivered a good cross from the right but Monsef Zerka failed to get a touch on it at the far post despite at full stretch.
Roy O’Donovan responded the next minute after he was given space to shoot from just inside the box but saw his effort fly wide.
DPMM FC goalkeeper Wardun Yussof was not taking any chances in the 27th minute, pushing the ball over the bar after Tengku Mushadad fired a weary long freekick on goal.
DPMM FC were fortunate not to concede in the 33rd minute after Ahmad Latiff rose highest for a header on target but his attempt flew straight at Wardun.
DPMM FC finally broke the deadlock after Raspudic headed home a Md Hendra Azam Md Idris corner in the 35th minute.
Tengku once again struck a good freekick in the 43rd minute but his shot was just inches off the post for the last chance in the opening half.
DPMM FC came out strongly in the second half and added to the scoreline just two minutes in.
Azwan Ali did well to shake off his defender down the left and delivered a pin point cross into the box to Adi who calmly blasted the ball into the net.
O’Donovan got an opportunity two minutes later after skipping an onrushing Herisson but couldn’t fire past a Tanjong Pagar defender.
Tanjong Pagar played with a sense of urgency but DPMM FC were doing well, soaking up the pressure.
Asraf got a good shot off on the hour mark but the attempt went straight into the arms of Wardun.
Jaguars looked to have pulled one back in the 68th minute after substitute Firdaus Idros got the ball into the net but he was flagged for offside.
He got another chance in the 72nd minute with a powerful strike from inside the box but Wardun put up an acrobatic save to keep the ball out.
The DPMM FC custodian was up to the task again five minutes later to save an Asraf shot from inside the box.
Wardun was at his best and came to the rescue of DPMM FC twice in the 81st minute.
Etiemble struck a freekick from just outside the box but Wardun got his fingertips to it to see the ball bounce off the crossbar.
Ahmad headed the rebound but the DPMM FC goalkeeper scrambled to the other post to keep the ball out.
The keeper injured himself in the process but decided to stay in the game.
Adi almost scored a brace in the 88th minute but Herisson did well to parry the shot away.
Brunei’s only professional team would hold on to their lead to win the trophy, erasing memories of their heartbreaking 4-0 final loss to Balestier Khalsa last year.
O’Donovan was named the Most Valuable Player and DPMM FC were awarded S$30, 000 for winning the competition.
The squad will return to Brunei at 2.15pm at the Berakas International Airport today.

The Brunei Times

23 July 2014

Indonesia to send Under-19 squad

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
INDONESIA will be sending their Under-19 team for next month’s 5th Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) for ASEAN Youth Football Championship.
“We don’t have much information from Jakarta but I heard that Indonesia will be sending their national Under-19 team with some players from the Under-21 team,” said Deputy Ambassador of Indonesia to Brunei Pribadi Sutiono after the draw ceremony at the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) House along Jalan Persidangan in Berakas yesterday.
“I was told that the team is a good one and I am looking forward to the tournament,” he said.
“I think we are in a very challenging group but the countries in the other group (Group A) are just as strong… there are a lot of good teams.”

Brunei are in Group B alongside Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and now Indonesia.

Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Timor Leste and two-time champions Thailand are in Group A.

“We have always competed in this tournament since the beginning in 2002. We were champions at that time and that showed how important the tournament is to us,” said the deputy ambassador.
“This is a very good tournament and a very good one for the Indonesians living here,” he said.
In a previous report by The Brunei Times, national coach Kwon Oh-son said that Thailand and Myanmar are the top contenders in the tournament.
“Both groups are very tough but I think it is a very good draw for Brunei,” said Kwon.
“Vietnam and Singapore are strong and we have not heard much from Cambodia, but they can be a surprise too,” he said.
“I see Thailand and Myanmar as the top contenders in this tournament and it is good that they are in the other group.”

That could have very well changed with the inclusion of Indonesia – the finalist of the last edition of the tournament – in Brunei’s group.

Each country will be able to field five overage players, and DPMM FC have agreed to lend striker Adi Said, midfielders Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris and Mohd Najib Hj Tarif to assist the national team.
The two others are centreback Reduan Hj Petara and goalkeeper Md Fakhrul Zulhazmi Yussof.
All five players laced up for Brunei during the last edition as well.

Only three countries: Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei, have won the tournament since its introduction in 2002.
Brunei beat Indonesia 2-0 to win the last edition of the tournament in 2012.
Thailand, who sat out of the competition two years ago, won the tournament back in 2007 after beating Myanmar 5-4 on penalties.
Thailand beat Myanmar to win the 2005 edition while Indonesia won the inaugural competition in 2002.

The Brunei Times 

Indonesia drawn in Brunei’s group

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
INDONESIA will be competing against Brunei, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam in Group B at next month’s 5th Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy for ASEAN Youth Football Championship.

A draw was held for the 2002 champions yesterday after the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) confirmed Indonesia’s last-minute entry for the tournament on Sunday.

Brunei, as the hosts of the competition, were given the option of choosing which group to be drawn in during the draw ceremony held on July 12 and the defending champions chose to be in Group B.
Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Timor Leste and two-time champions Thailand are pooled in Group A.

NFABD Vice President Pehin Datu Indera Sugara Brigadier General (R) Dato Paduka Hj Mohammad Yusof Abu Bakar told The Brunei Times after the draw ceremony at the NFABD House along Jalan Persidangan in Berakas that Indonesia’s participation is one that is very exciting.
“Indonesia are a very important team in the tournament and one of the strongest team in ASEAN and we will always welcome them,” said the vice president.
“It is good to have all the countries competing in the tournament this year and in one way this showed the spirit of unity in ASEAN,” he said.
Thailand were the only team missing from the last edition of the tournament in 2012.
“We have consulted the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) for Indonesia to be included and they were very supportive of it,” he added.
Indonesia was represented by Deputy Ambassador of Indonesia to Brunei Pribadi Sutiono at the draw ceremony.
“The decision to join the tournament was made by PSSI (The Football Association of Indonesia),” said Sutiono.
“There was an internal arrangement made two days ago by them, but from our side at the Indonesia embassy, we just received the news only yesterday,” he said.
The inclusion of Indonesia will affect the fixture of the August 9-23 regional Under-21 tournament.
The tournament will now kick-off with three matches on August 8.
The Philippines are scheduled to play Laos at the Berakas Sports Complex at 8.15pm in Group A.
Myanmar will go up against Thailand at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex at 8.15pm in the other Group A match while Malaysia take on Indonesia at the same venue at 4pm in Group B.
Hosts Brunei will start their campaign against Cambodia at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on August 9 before playing Indonesia on August 11.
They will go up against Singapore two days later on August 13 and face Vietnam on August 16.
Brunei will end their group stage matches against Malaysia two days later.

The Brunei Times

DPMM FC into final

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
WARDUN Yussof saved two penalties to propel DPMM FC to their third straight Singapore League Cup final after defeating Geylang International FC 3-0 a penalty shootout last night.
After a goalless 120 minutes, Irish striker Roy O’Donovan converted the first spotkick before Wardun saved the first Geylang attempt by Leonel Felice.
Brazilian forward Rodrigo Tosi had his shot saved but Geylang failed to take advantage, with their second effort by Khairulnizam Jumahat denied by the crossbar.
Midfielder Roberto Alviz then made it 2-0 before DPMM FC glovesman Wardun put up another save from Hafiz Nor at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
Irish midfielder Joe Gamble then converted the next kick to send the two-time champions into the final.
Not only will Friday’s final against Tanjong Pagar United FC be the third consecutive Singapore League Cup final for Brunei’s only professional team, it will also be the fourth in as many years they have participated in the tournament.
Tanjong Pagar defeated Hougang United FC 4-2 on penalties at the Queenstown Stadium in Singapore in last night’s other semi-final.
The game also ended 0-0 after the end of extra-time.
When contacted by The Brunei Times, Wardun said he knew the importance of making the first save and credited his teammates for putting up a strong showing leading to the victory.
“I’ve seen the first penalty taker before in a previous game,” he told The Brunei Times after the triumph.
“I knew that the first save was important because it is a big confidence booster for the team.
“Overall I thought we played well.
“Geylang were very stubborn in defence and looked to go on counterattacks,” he added.
Including both meetings in the Singapore League (S-League), last night’s result was the third straight draw for the Brunei side against Geylang.
DPMM FC drew 1-1 against their opponents at the Bedok Stadium in Singapore on March 28 and their second encounter of the year saw them play out to a goalless draw at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium in Berakas on June 14.
Current Singapore League (S-League) leaders, DPMM FC won the Singapore League Cup in 2009 and 2012 and reached the final last year only to lose 4-0 to Balestier Khalsa FC.
According to Geylang International FC’s facebook page, O’Donovan had a good chance to break the deadlock in the 68th minute of last night’s semi-final but Geylang custodian Joey Sim got his hand to push the ball away.
DPMM FC substitute Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris had a good chance to put DPMM FC in front in the 77th minute but Sim was his equal and put up another save.
Hafiz Nor was put through on goal in the 84th minute but was brought down by Wardun just outside the box.
The latter was shown a yellow card for the challenge, which put Geylang in a dangerous position to score.
Felice took the ensuing deadball but saw his effort just over the crossbar.
The Argentine came close to breaking the deadlock in the 90th minute but saw his header saild off the crossbar, with the ball then being cleared away for a corner.
DPMM FC earned their spot in the last four after they outscored Woodlands Wellington FC 3-1 last Thursday.
Geylang booked their berth in the semi-final following a 3-1 win over Albirex Niigata (S) FC last Friday.
DPMM FC started out their Group D campaign in the Singapore League Cup with a 2-2 draw against Balestier Khalsa FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium on July 11.
They then defeated Hougang United 3-2 at the Hougang Stadium in Singapore last Monday to top the group.
The Brunei side scored three goals in the final 10 minutes to secure a 3-1 comeback win over Woodlands Wellington FC in the quarter-finals at the Jalan Besar Stadium last Thursday.
On the other hand, Tajong Pagar United FC kicked off their Group A campaign with a 4-0 victory over Albirex Niigata (S) FC at the Queenstown Stadium on July 7.
They finished top of the group with a 7-1 thrashing of the Police Sports Association at the same venue on July 13.
They advanced into the semi-finals after a 1-0 extra timer winner over Singapore League title contenders Warriors FC last Friday.

The Brunei Times

19 July 2014

DPMM FC to play Geylang in semis

Saturday, July 19, 2014

DPMM FC are set to face Geylang FC in the semi-final of the Singapore League Cup next week.
The other semi-final will see Tanjong Pagar United FC lock horns with Hougang United FC.
The Sultanate's only professional team earned their spot after they outscored Woodlands Wellington FC 3-1 on Thursday.
Geylang FC booked their berth following their own 3-1 win over Albirex Niigata (S) FC last night.
Kento Fukuda found the net in the 20th minute ahead of Leo Felice's penalty in the 54th.
Hafiz Nor scored their final goal in the 90th minute.
Albirex Niigata (S) FC sole goal came from Norihiro Kawakami in the 70th minute.
The other match of the night saw Tanjong Pagar beat Warriors FC through a Firdaus Idros extra-time goal in the 116th minute.
Hougang United FC secured their spot after knocking out Home United 2-1 on Thursday.

The Brunei Times

National team set to suit up in new kit

Friday, July 18, 2014
THE national football team received a timely boost ahead of next month's 5th Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) after the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Sport Partnership Pte Ltd yesterday.
Sport Partnership Pte Ltd is the Singapore and Brunei licensee and distributor of Italian sportswear manufacturer Lotto, and they are set to provide NFABD with attire and equipment for national and junior team players and officials not exceeding the amount of $50,000 per year.
Present as guest of honour at the event was NFABD President His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah and his son YAM Pg Muda 'Abdul 'Aleem.
Also present at the Multipurpose Hall of the NFABD House in Berakas for the ceremony was the Minister of Culture Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah and other officials from the ministry and NFABD.
“This is good news for the players and they were happy when they heard about it,” said national coach Kwon Oh-son in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
“Lotto is a well known brand and the quality of their equipment is very good. I am very grateful for the support,” added the South Korean.
National youth team goalkeeper Mohd Fakhrul Zulhazmi Yussof was equally impressed with the sponsored equipment.
“It feels very comfortable and the material of the jersey is quite good - and we are very happy with the sponsor,” said the 23-year-old.
“This is our first time trying out the jersey so we have not tested it for matches,” he added.
Signing on behalf of NFABD was its Vice-President Pehin Datu Indera Sugara Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Hj Mohammad Yusof Abu Bakar, while representing Sport Partnership Pte Ltd was its General Manager, Johar Jasman.
“I would like to note that this sponsorship is well-timed as the apparel will be worn by our national team for the HBT tournament next month,” said Pehin Datu Indera Sugara Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Hj Mohammad Yusof in a speech.
“I also hope that today will mark the beginning of what we hope will be long-term cooperation and commitment between the company and NFABD,” he added.
Also under the agreement, Sport Partnership Pte Ltd will at its own cost provide NFABD with negative photographic prints or camera-ready artwork of the company’s logo, and information about the correct use of the logo, in respect to the display of the company’s logo in accordance to their rights.
The company also agreed to sell to NFABD other products bearing Lotto trademark at a purchase price after 50 per cent discount.
Meanwhile, NFABD agreed to purchase from the company products bearing the Lotto trademark at a minimum amount of $15,000 per year, and they have also agreed to not to engage in anything that is prejudicial to the good image of the company.
NFABD is also to notify the company insofar as possible the dates and times of matches to be held in the football season, and they also need to let the company be aware of any rules and regulations imposed by authorities that could affect the grant of sponsorship rights.
According to its website, major sponsorships “have always been the keystones to success stories Lotto’s history”.
This tradition continues today with footballers such as World Cup winner Joan Capdevila and Luca Toni.
Among the more well-known football clubs it sponsors include Genoa in Italy, Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany, Queens Park Rangers in England and Sochaux in France - as well as the Panama and Costa Rica national teams and many others around the world.
Lotto has also been present in tennis since 1973, sponsoring players such as Boris Becker and Martina Navratilova.

The Brunei Times