25 October 2014

DPMM FC out to break rut

Saturday, October 25, 2014

DPMM FC are looking to return to winning ways when they host Balestier Khalsa FC in the Singapore League (S-League) today.
Brunei’s only professional team have not won a game since the end of August and now trail leaders Warriors FC by four points.
The latter are currently on 50 points after ending Tampines Rovers chances of retaining the title with a 2-1 victory on Thursday night at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore.
Despite having two games in hand, DPMM FC will require a triumph today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas to ensure they stick to the chase.
DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean is in a confident mood despite the rut and believes that they can deliver on all three points.
“We only can control our own game. We may have a couple of games in hand, but the focus is on three points (today) to put us in a good position,” Kean told the media on Thursday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.
“Balestier are a dangerous and direct team. They can score from set plays and are a team on form.
“I’m always positive. It is easier for me as I can see the lads train everyday. What we got to do now is to not give ourselves mountains to climb,” he said.
“We can’t have moments where we concede sloppy goals. If the opponents score a wonderful goal then great but we have to make sure we don’t gift goals.
“If we can get that cleansheet mentality back then I’m sure it will be a positive result,” continued the Scotsman.
Asked if there was any added pressure now that they are no longer at the top of the table, Kean replied: “Sometimes it is easier to chase. We are in a place where someone else can feel the pressure. We have been up there for lots of weeks.
“But the games in hand are no good if we don’t get points. We have to make sure against Balestier, we get a good strong positive performance,” he added.
“They are in a good spell since the split where they made it to the top half in the last game. If we can perform like we normally do at home then we should be able to get a result,” continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
DPMM FC will welcome back topscorer Rodrigo Tosi after serving a one-game suspension.
Forward Shahrazen Said is doubtful for the matchup after sustaining a hamstring strain during their final ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup qualifiers matchup against Cambodia in Laos on Monday.
DPMM FC and Balestier have faced off thrice so far this season with the former winning one encounter and the other two ending in draws.
The Brunei side defeated the Tigers 4-1 in their first meeting back on April 25.
They played out to a 2-2 draw in the group stage of the Singapore League Cup on July 11 and DPMM FC came back from a two-goal deficit to draw 3-3 in their meeting at the Toa Payoh Stadium in Singapore on August 21.
Admission for the final home game of the season is free and kickoff is at 8.15pm.
DPMM FC will then face off against contenders Albirex Niigata (S) FC on Tuesday before ending the S-League season against Tampines next Friday.

The Brunei Times

Kean focusing on positives

Friday, October 24, 2014
DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean is looking at the positives from the recently concluded ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup qualifiers in Laos.

The national football team returned home early yesterday morning after failing to notch a single point at the Oct 12-20 competition.

The Wasps started out with a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Timor Leste on Oct 12 at the National Sports Complex in Vientiane before falling to hosts Laos by the same scoreline two days later.

Brunei were down and out of contention after losing 3-1 to favourites Myanmar last Thursday.
They were then edged 1-0 by Cambodia at the Chao Anouvong Stadium on Monday to finish their outing empty handed.

“It is never great when you lose a game. But to put things in context, we went out to Laos as a group,” said Kean when met at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

“We got three very young players (Muhd Nurikhwan Othman, Reduan Hj Petara and Ak Yura Indera Putera Pg Yunos) and they played the last couple of matches. That is a positive.

“We also played (Ak Md) Fakhrazzi Pg Hj Hassan) as full back in the last two games and he was excellent when he played there. That is a positive.

“Eventhough we didn’t manage to get victories, I felt we played well. A lot of the games... we were in position, where at key times, it could have gone either way,” added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

“We came back with the confidence at the international level as the lads played well.

“We will now change the focus to the S-League (Singapore League) and hopefully we are going to be in a position to claim the title in a week’s time,” continued Kean.

DPMM FC had 17 players represent the Sultanate and this was the first stint for Kean in handling a national team.

Asked on the differences compared to the club level, the Scotsman replied: “I felt we came up against a lot of good players. There is a lot of talent from other countries.

“It is always good for us as a country to stretch ourselves. You learn more about yourself when you play against some really good opposition,” he added.

That experience is always positive eventhough we didn’t manage win.

“The positives we take out from each match in the tournament is a learning experience as a country.

“We have also found some excellent young players that we can add to squad next season,” concluded the DPMM FC head coach.

Kean will now set his focus on the S-League title race as they have a tight schedule ahead.

They will host Balestier Khalsa FC in their final home game tomorrow before facing off against Albirex Niigata (S) FC next Tuesday. They close out the season against Tampines Rovers three days later.


The Brunei Times

18 October 2014

Wasps fail to take flight against Myanmar




Friday, October 17, 2014
BRUNEI are down and out of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup 2014 after falling 3-1 to favourites Myanmar in the qualifiers last night.
The defeat was the third straight for the Wasps and it killed off their chances of making the tournament proper.
After a goalless first half, the trio of Min Min Thu, Kyaw Ko Ko and Kyi Lin found the back of the net for Myanmar at the National Sports Complex in Vientiane.
Adi Said was the Bruneian that got his name on the scoresheet in the loss.
Head coach Steve Kean (pic) made several changes to the side that lost 4-2 to hosts Laos on Tuesday.
The trio of Md Nurikhwan Othman, stand in captain Hj Md Subhi Abdilah Hj Bakir and Ak Yura Indera Putera Pg Yunus were given their first starts.
The squad also welcomed the return of Azwan Ali Rahman from injury.
The Wasps came out with a good sense of urgency and were looking sharp on both ends of the field.
Adi Said had a good chance in the sixth minute after getting behind the backline but stumbled just outside the box.
He got another opportunity after getting at the end of a long ball over the top in the 12th minute, putting him through on goal.
He did well to chip the ball over the onrushing Myanmar goalkeeper Thina Si Thu but watched his shot soar inches over the crossbar.
Brunei got another chance in the 22nd minute after Azwan Ali dribbled into the box but his shot went straight into the arms of Myanmar’s keeper.
Myanmar forward Kyaw, who was the topscorer of the 4th Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy two years ago, was a constant threat for his team.
He skipped past Reduan Hj Petara in the 28th minute but could only shoot wide of the right post.
He threatened again in the next minute but this time the ball ended on the wrong side of the left post.
He was on target with a freekick from 25 yards out in the 30th minute but Azman Ilham did well to punch out his effort.
Myanmar were stringing short passes together, looking to break the Brunei defence but to no avail.
The favourites brought on Min Min after the break and it paid dividends immediately.
Kyaw brought the ball down on the right and, instead of waiting for support, went past Reduan before firing at the near post in the 48th minute.
Azman Ilham did well to produce a save but Min Min was the first to the ball to tap in the rebound for the lead.
The advantage was doubled in the 53rd minute after Min Min flicked on a freekick from their own half for Kyaw in the box.
The latter then overpowered Ak Yura to fire past Azman Ilham to make it 2-0 from an identical position as the first goal.
The Wasps were shaken up as Myanmar dominated the proceedings.
Soe Min Oo almost added a third on the hour mark but his powerful shot from just inside the box went inches off the right post.
The crossbar came to the rescue of Brunei in the 69th minute with Kyaw firing a shot from just outside the box.
The Wasps were given a lifeline in the 78th minute with Adi bulging the net from inside the box.
Any hopes of a comeback was, however, shortlived with Myanmar adding to the scoresheet just four minutes later.
The flag had stayed down for substitute Kyi Lin as he raced past Ak Yura before beating Azman Ilham one-on-one to make it 3-1.
Myanmar could have added another in the 88th minute but Kyaw failed to connect on a cross from the left by Kyi Lin before Min Min missed from point blank range the next minute.
Brunei will contest their final group game against Cambodia on Monday.
The competition is still wide open for the other teams after Cambodia come back from two goals down to edge Timor Leste 3-2 in the earlier match.
Laos currently lead the five-team standings with a maximum six points from two matches.
Timor Leste and Myanmar are tied on four points but the latter have played a game less.
Cambodia are fourth with three points from two matches while Brunei are rooted at the bottom with none.

The Brunei Times

15 October 2014

Tough loss for Brunei

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

THE national football team’s hopes of qualifying for the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup took a huge dent after losing 4-2 to hosts Laos yesterday.
It was the second straight defeat for the Sultanate after losing by the same scoreline to Timor Leste in their opener on Sunday, and Brunei are now at the bottom of the five-team table without a point to their name.
With a game against favourites Myanmar tomorrow, anything but a win will surely send them packing.
Soukaphone Vongchiengkham bagged a hat-trick while Khampheng Sayavutthi was the other Laotian name on the scoresheet at the National Sports Complex in Vientiane yesterday, where Ak Md Fakhrazzi Pg Hassan and Shahrazen Said found the back of the net for the Wasps.
The Sultanate made two changes to their opening game by giving defender Reduan Hj Petara the start in place of Abdul Aziz Tamit and starting Azman Ilham Hj Md Noor in between the sticks instead of Wardun Yussof.
Brunei got off to a disastrous start after an error by centreback Shahrulrizal Hj Abdul Rahman gifted the ball to Khampheng.
The latter fired from just inside the box but Azman Ilham did well for a save only for Soukaphone to score on the rebound for an early third minute lead.
The advantage was doubled three minutes later after Soukaphone created space to blast his attempt from just inside the box into the top left corner.
Laos got another chance in the 17th minute but Phoutdavy Phommasane watched his shot from 35 yards out end at the wrong side of the right post.
The Wasps picked up their game after that and kept plenty of ball possession.
Shahrulrizal almost made amends for his mistake but his header off a Md Najib Hj Tarif corner in the 26th minute bounced wide off the target.
Brunei got back in the game in the 33rd minute after Ak Md Fakharazzi received the ball off a throw in on the right.
The midfielder was left open to curl the ball, which looked like a cross, past the outstretched arm of Laos goalkeeper Soukthavy Soundala for his second goal in as many games.
Ak Md Fakhrazzi almost levelled the score two minutes later after Adi Said put him through on goal, but Soukthavy did well to keep the ball out at the near post.
Laos threatened again in the 42nd minute after a good one-two between Soukaphone and Khonesavanh Sihavong put the former through on goal.
However, Soukaphone couldn’t put enough power on his shot, allowing Azman to easily collect the ball.
It didn’t take long for Laos to get on the scoresheet again as they found the back of the net three minutes after the interval.
Khampheng got the better of his defender on the left and rounded an onrushing Azman Ilham to put the ball into an empty net to make it 3-1.
Hendra Azam Md Idris almost cut the deficit in the 62nd minute but saw his attempt cleared off the line.
Immediately at the other end, Azman had to deny Soukaphone from inside the box.
Laos continued to attack the Brunei goal and it paid off in the 70th minute.
Khonesavanh did most of the work on the left side and got into the box before the ball fell for substitute Tiny BounMalay.
The latter didn’t shoot, and instead, laid it off for Soukaphone to slot it down the middle for his hat-trick.
Brunei made a triple change by sending on Abdul Aziz, Nur Ikhwan Othman and Hj Md Subhi Abdilah Hj Bakir the next minute looking to salvage something out of the match.
Laos continued to dominate the game and launched waves of attacks in front of the Brunei sticks.
Shahrazen got his name on the scoresheet in the final minute of regulation after heading home Azwan Salleh’s freekick, but it proved to be a mere consolation.
Myanmar and Timor Leste played out a 0-0 draw in yesterday’s other game.

The Brunei Times

13 October 2014

No dream start for Wasps

Monday, October 13, 2014

THE national football team got their ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup 2014 Qualifiers campaign off on the wrong foot after falling 4-2 to Timor Leste in the opener yesterday.
The victory at the National Sports Complex in Vientiane was the first for Timor Leste over the Wasps in four meetings.
Murilo de Almeida was the star of the match, bagging a hat-trick for Timor Leste before Patrick Luz put the game to bed late on.
The duo of Adi Said and Ak Md Fakhrazzi Pg Hj Hassan got on the scoresheet for Brunei in the loss.
De Almeida gave Timor Leste the best of starts after finding the back of the net in the sixth minute.
Brunei looked lost and were struggling to piece their passes together to pose a threat in front of the Timor Leste goal.
Luz almost doubled Timor Leste’s advantage in the 28th minute but couldn’t put enough power on his shot from inside the box.
The Wasps equalised in the 35th minute after an unmarked Adi Said headed home a Najib Hj Tarif corner.
Brunei gained momentum after the goal and took the lead just five minutes later.
Adi got the better of his defender on the right before sending a cross into the box. Older brother Shahrazen missed on the header but the ball got only to Najib on the left.
The midfielder then whipped the ball back into the box and it took a bounce off Shahrazen before landing for Ak Md Fakhrazzi Pg Hj Hassan to easily fire home from close range for the lead.
Timor Leste almost leveled just three minutes after the restart but Wardun put up a good save to push the freekick from 25 yards out over the bar.
The Brunei custodian came to the rescue of the Wasps again, denying De Almeida in a one-on-one situation on the hour mark.
Timor Leste finally got on the scoresheet again in the 72nd minute after a freekick from their own half was sent behind the Brunei backline.
De Almeida outpaced and overpowered two Brunei defenders to slot the ball past Wardun from the left to make it 2-2.
It was all Timor Leste from then on and they should have gotten in front in the 79th minute but Wardun once again kept out De Almeida’s shot.
Antonio Sousa got on the rebound but couldn’t keep his shot on target.
Timor Leste regained the lead just two minutes later after Sousa cleared the ball from midfield against two Brunei players, putting De Almeida through on goal.
The Timor Leste forward made no mistake to beat Wardun one-on-one to make it 3-2.
Luz then killed off the match in the 89th minute after outpacing two Bruneian defenders on left to fire past Wardun.
The Wasps will contest their next game against hosts Laos tomorrow at the same venue.
Laos edged Cambodia 3-2 in the second match.
The winner of the five-team qualifiers –  with Myanmar being the other - will progress to Group B of the tournament proper, where they will face off against defending champions and co-hosts Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia at the Nov 22-Dec 20 tournament.
The runners-up will take on co-hosts Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines in Group A.

The Brunei Times

08 October 2014

Kean to lead Brunei in AFF Qualifiers

by Gary Koh
Steve Kean will take charge of Brunei Darussalam as they attempt to reach only their second Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup finals this month.
The qualifying assignment marks the former Blackburn Rovers’ manager first foray into international football coaching since his arrival late last year to helm the country’s sole professional club Duli Pengiran Muda Mahkota (DPMM) in Singapore’s professional S.League.
Under the Scot’s tutelage, DPMM have been a revelation as they won the League Cup for the third time, reached the semi-finals of the Singapore Cup and are still leading the league as the season comes to a close.
17 players out of the 20-strong Brunei squad will come from DPMM, with the remaining three promoted from the national Under-21 squad that narrowly failed to reach the semi-finals of the ASEAN Under-21 Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy semi-finals on home soil in August.
Kean will have his work cut out in leading the Tebuan as the qualifiers mark their first official international fixtures in more than a year since the conclusion of the 2012 AFF qualifiers in Myanmar when they narrowly failed to reach the finals.
The last time they made the finals of the biennial regional tournament was way back in the inaugural edition in 1996 in Singapore when they finished fourth in the five-team Group A with a win and three losses.
Subsequent editions saw the regional minnows fail to qualify or participate in the tournament.
An interesting battles of tactical wits loom for him as he is set to come up against Serbian tactician Radjoko Avramovic, who is now helming Myanmar after masterminding Singapore’s three AFF triumphs during a decade-long reign.
Brunei will depart for Laos on Friday 10 October and commence their qualifying campaign against Timor-Leste two days later.
They will subsequently take on qualifying hosts Laos (14 October), Myanmar (16 October) and Cambodia (20 October).
The top two finishers will advance into the final rounds of the tournament which will be played in late November. The qualifying runners-up will be pooled in Group A with co-hosts Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.
A place in Group B alongside defending champions and co-hosts Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia awaits the qualifying winners, with games held at the Singapore Sports Hub.

Read more at http://www.fourfourtwo.com/sg/news/kean-lead-brunei-aff-qualifiers#OGlOo6Gy6G7PCf8t.99

Kean: I thought those two freekicks were dubious

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean felt that two bogus decisions was the reason they lost their Singapore League (S-League) game against Warriors FC last night.
The visitors were awarded free-kicks in the 47th and 62nd minutes when Nicholas Velez was judged to have been fouled, and they scored from both of them - changing the complexion of the game at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
The first free-kick gave the Warriors a 2-1 lead and the second made it 3-1, with Kean telling the media after the game that he felt the two decisions were “dubious”.


“I thought the two free-kicks were ‘given’,” said Kean after the game.
“The player (Velez) who was supposedly fouled came over to me at the end and said ‘coach, that wasn’t a foul’.
“I didn’t think it was and he didn’t. Sometimes we get decisions that go our way and sometimes we don’t.
“I thought those two freekicks were dubious, but they were great technical finishes.
“Take nothing away from the Warriors as they finished their ch ances very well.
“They didn’t have many chances until we opened up to chase the game.
“They took their chances and maybe on another day those are not free-kicks,” continued Kean.
The Scotsman also felt that they started strongly before the decisions saw the momentum shift.
Kean also expressed his disappointment in the final minutes of the game after Shahrazen Said scored in the 90th minute to cut the deficit to one goal.
“I felt we were excellent in the first 35 minutes before conceding a poor goal at the end of the half,” said Kean.
“Having a decision go against us and from a strong position to going down 2-1, it is difficult to get the momentum going again.
“I thought we stuck at it and kept going but the biggest frustration came with five minutes to go,” he added.
“We tried to play very long diagonal balls from our fullbacks into a very good goalkeeper (Hassan Sunny) instead of the extra pass to get to wider areas and get crosses in from final third.
“I’m most disappointed with that then any other part of the game,” continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
Warriors head coach Alex Weaver was all smiles after claiming three points from the encounter to get themselves back in the title race.
“I think we found it difficult to adjust to all the break ups and the play (in the first half) as the DPMM FC players were throwing themselves on the ground easily and winning free-kicks,” said Weaver.
“It disrupted the plays and we switched off a bit after the goal. But we have good characters in the team.
“When things aren’t exactly going our way, it takes a strong team and personality to force our way into game,” he added.
“Credit to DPMM FC to start the game well but we dealt with it well and came back. I’m very pleased with the result and with the performance as Brunei is a difficult place to come to play.
“We kept to the things that we rehearsed in training.
“There is no man of the match as everybody contributed just as much,” he concluded.


The Brunei Times