28 November 2015

Kean praises players

Saturday, November 28, 2015

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean heaped praised on his players for a job well done after they finished off their best season to date.
The team defeated the Philippines’ Global FC 3-1 in the Singapore Cup third-place playoff yesterday after capturing their maiden Singapore League (S-League) title last Saturday.
“I’m very pleased because it is always a long off season. It is always nice to finish on a high and find some energy from somewhere,” said Kean in a post match interview.
“It has been a long season for us and the lads really need a good rest. I think emotionally as well from the last league game, where we had the biggest crowd in the club’s history... It saps the energy,” he added.
“But the players have been absolutely fantastic and gave every single ounce of energy. They have improved and it has been a good season for us,” continued the Scotsman.
The former Blackburn Rovers manager also felt that the bar has been set high for them and expects a tougher season ahead with new rules set to be implemented.
“Like I said to the boys, sometimes it is not about who you play against, it is about playing to your standards and we have set them high,” said the DPMM FC coach.
“We will continue to try and improve. It is going to be difficult as the league will be much more competitive with more players available for the clubs in Singapore to snap up,” added Kean in reference to the LionsXII being out of the Malaysian Super League next season.
“The quota of the foreign players reducing will see everybody become more competitive, but I think in the long run it will be good for the league,” he continued.

The Brunei Times

DPMM FC finish third

Saturday, November 28, 2015

DPMM FC equalled their best finish in the Singapore Cup with a 3-1 victory over the Philippines’ Global FC in the third-place playoff yesterday.
The win concludes the best season to date for Brunei’s only professional team after they claimed their first Singapore League (S-League) title last Saturday.
Md Hendra Azam Md Idris and Paulo Sergio gave DPMM FC, who also finished third last year, a two-goal lead in the first half before Dennis Villanueva pulled one back early after the restart.
Boris Raspudic then got his name on the scoresheet to seal the win at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
DPMM FC had a chance to grab the lead in the seventh minute after good pressure by Sergio to dispossess a Global defender.
The Portuguese forward fired at goal after getting in the box, but his attempt was denied by goalkeeper Patrick Deyto.
Another opportunity came begging in the 13th minute after a clearance by Deyto went straight to Rafael Ramazotti, but the latter’s shot was just inches wide.
A good one-two by Mark Hartmann and Mario Clarino in the 16th minute allowed the latter a shot at goal but DPMM FC custodian Wardun Yussof pulled off a good stop.
Hartmann tried one from range five minutes later but Wardun was to his equal for a save.
Global skipper Misagh Bahadoran released Hartmann in the 24th minute but he couldn’t place his attempt on target.
DPMM FC grabbed the lead fours minute later with Md Hendra Azam scoring off a - from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Global could have equalised in the 34th minute after Villanueva got at the end of a Hartmann free-kick, but his effort was just wide.
The Brunei side had a good chance to double their advantage in the 40th minute with Sergio through on goal, but he couldn’t get the better of Deyto.
DPMM FC were awarded a penalty two minutes later after Boris Raspudic’s header was kept out by Deyto before Daisuke Sato cleared using his hand.
Sergio stepped up and made no mistake from 12 yards out to make it 2-0.
Global pulled one back just four minutes after the interval with Sato getting past two markers on the left before sending a cross for Villanueva to head home at the near post.
The Filipino side had the momentum and Villanueva found the back of the net again in the 63rd minute again only to be flagged offside.
DPMM FC restored their two-goal cushion two minutes later after Global failed to clear a set-piece.
Deyto had kept out a Brian McLean effort from inside the box but Ramazotti gave chase and put the ball to the middle for Boris Raspudic to poke home from close range. Hartmann tried one from a tight angle in the 75th minute but his shot was deflected wide.
The Global forward had another chance in the 85th minute but his header went straight at Wardun - summing up their game.

The Brunei Times

22 November 2015

DPMM FC triumph

Sunday, November 22, 2015

THIRD time's the charm for DPMM FC as they clinched their maiden Singapore League (S-League) title with a 4-0 victory over Balestier Khalsa FC last night.
Having finished runners-up in 2012 and last year, DPMM FC became only the second foreign side - with Etoile FC of France being the other - to win the competition.
The Brunei side ended their campaign with 52 points while Tampines Rovers FC, who were held to a 1-1 draw against Harimau Muda (Malaysia national under-22 football team) at the Jurong West Stadium in Singapore, will finish second four points back.
Paulo Sergio netted a hat-trick in the first half before Rafael Ramazotti netted one late on, to finish as the league’s topscorer with 21 goals to his name, in the victory at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas. DPMM FC coach Steve Kean felt that it was one of the best performances from his charges all season and hailed Sergio for his showing.
“I do (think that is one of the best performances). It is always nice to leave that to the one that really matters,” said Kean after the triumph.
“Not only is he (Sergio) a difference maker, it is his work off the ball. He was absolutely outstanding.
“When you got a player in your team with that quality and got everything, I’m delighted he finished off the season like this,” added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
When asked on how he summed up the season, Kean replied: “I think we’ve matured a lot as a team. “We are the fittest team, showed tactically and technically we can keep the ball and cause teams problems no matter what they do whether they are physical or they play on the counter attack,” he added.
“We are beginning to understand all of that and we have improved as a club over the past couple of seasons,” continued the Scotsman.
DPMM FC came out firing on all cylinders and grabbed the lead in the 13th minute with Sergio's shot from inside the box deflected off Emir Lotinac past Balestier goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam.
The advantage was doubled five minutes later with Ramazotti sending Sergio through and the Portuguese forward cleverly chipped Zaiful.
Balestier almost pulled one back in the 30th minute with Ignatius Ang firing from 12 yards out but DPMM FC custodian Wardun Yussof was to his equal for a good save.
Ramazotti was sent through on goal in first half injury time and the Brazilian rounded Zailful but Sergio got to the ball first to blast it home to complete his hat-trick.
Sergio had a chance to add to his tally two minutes after the interval but his shot from outside the box went straight to Zaiful.
Skipper Rosmin Hj Md Kamis chipped the ball to send Ramazotti through on goal in the 56th minute but the ball was cleared away by a Balestier defender just before firing from close range.
The Tigers were completely taken out of their stride by the DPMM FC defence and were unable to play their usual long ball tactics.
The hosts held the ball well and completed the rout in the 86th minute with Sergio putting the ball in the middle to see Ramazotti slot home from inside the box.
On the other hand, Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic felt DPMM FC were simply the better team.
“Congratulations to DPMM FC for winning the championship. They deserved it and I think they were the best team in the league this year,” said Kraljevic.
“They were hungrier and had more fighting spirit. They worked really hard and we conceded one goal. We needed to win to finish top three and we opened the game a little which allowed them to get behind us,” he added.
“We lost the ball in the danger area and they scored the second goal. The third goal in the last minute of the first half killed the game.
“We tried passing the ball but it wasn’t working. DPMM FC were sharper and faster than us. They were just the better team,” concluded the Croatian.
DPMM FC will now shift their focus to their Singapore Cup semi-final second leg against Home United FC at the Yishun Stadium in Singapore on Tuesday.

The Brunei Times


S- League Champions

21 November 2015

Indera, Tabuan Muda replay confirmed

Saturday, November 21, 2015

TWO-time DST Super League champions Indera Sports Club (SC) have been successfully granted a replay against Tabuan Muda (the national Under-23 team).
The match last month was called off after 61 minutes when Indera captain Shahrin Hj Momin was sent off for a second yellow card, leaving the team with just eight players.
The referee stopped the game and told both teams the match could not continue if one side has only eight players in the team – which is against FIFA’s ‘Laws of the Game 2015/2016’.
In the rule book, Law 3 states that “A match is played by two teams, each consisting of not more than eleven players, one of whom is the goalkeeper. A match may not start if either team consists of fewer than seven players.”
National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) have confirmed in a press yesterday that the match will now be played tomorrow at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas at 4pm tomorrow.
Indera coach Hj Omar Hj Jamil was delighted with the decision made by the governing body and felt that NFABD made the right move.
“NFABD are fantastic for giving us the rematch and we feel that the decision is fair to both teams,” he said in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
“We had a lengthy appeal and we understand why it takes time for NFABD to decide - though we wished they had given us more than two days to play.
“We now have to focus on these last two games - we want to finish the season second. We can only hope that we win against Tabuan Muda, and hopefully we can have a good season-ending match against MS ABDB (the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council),” added Hj Omar.
Indera are second with 38 points - 10 points behind the newly crowned DST Super League champions MS ABDB – while Najip I-Team are third with 36 points.
Meanwhile, Tabuan Muda coach Stephen Ng Heng Seng declined to comment on the decision.
The team beat the Royal Brunei Police Force Sports Council (MS PDB) 5-1 at the Balapan Track and Field yesterday – and remain fifth with 27 points.
Wijaya FC defeated Najip I-Team 5-4 at the Berakas Sports Complex in yesterday’s other game and remain fourth with 28 points.

NFABD confirm IKLS FC pull out
Meanwhile, the press release also confirmed IKLS FC’s withdrawal from the DST Super League and DST FA Cup competitions.
There were no reasons stated behind IKLS’s withdrawal, and the newly promoted team’s representative could not be reached for a comment.
IKLS are ninth with nine points from three wins and 12 losses since the season started in April. NFABD also stated that all points IKLS have earned during the campaign are nullified.
IKLS FC were due to face eighth-placed Lun Bawang tomorrow.
The Brunei Times

DPMM FC eyeing first S-League title tonight

Saturday, November 21, 2015

DPMM FC are using last season’s heartbreak as the extra push to win the Singapore League (S-League) title for the first time when they host Balestier Khalsa FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas at 8.15pm in their season-ender tonight.
The side suffered the biggest slip up the league has ever seen last year after they were unable to take advantage of their eight-point lead at the top of the table going into the final round.
They finished runners-up after losing five of their last seven games - including a 2-0 loss to Tampines Rovers FC in a must-win match on the final day, allowing Warriors FC to claim the title.
Title contenders Tampines Rovers FC, who are only two points behind DPMM FC, will kick off against Harimau Muda (Malaysia national Under-22 football team) at the same time at the Jurong West Stadium in Singapore, and only victory will suffice for the five-time S-League champions if they are to make it title number six tonight.
Winning by a two-goal margin will see them lift the trophy should DPMM FC be held to a draw.
“When you have been so disappointed, you have to carry that the whole close season. It is a horrible feeling,” said DPMM FC coach Steve Kean after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.
“I hope that provides the extra little bit of motivation to make sure that this year we finish and enjoy the close season.
“We are hungry and ready. There is a real appetite to win this game,” continued Kean.
The 2012 title race went down the wire as well – and there was disappointment for DPMM FC who ended second to Tampines after dropping 2-0 to Balestier in a must-win game for them on home soil, with the Stags winning the trophy after skipper Fahrudin Mustafic converted a panelty to give them a 1-0 win over Harimau Muda.
DPMM FC are up for a difficult task tonight as Balestier are the only side to have beaten DPMM FC both home and away so far this season. The Tigers inflicted the first defeat on DPMM FC with a 2-1 victory on May 1 and won by the same scoreline in their second encounter on August 29.
DPMM FC last defeated the Tigers in April last year when they won 4-1 on home soil. DPMM FC are coming off a two-week break with their last match on Nov 6 - a 3-1 victory over Warriors.
Kean knows what to expect from Balestier and hopes his charges can deliver.
“It is not a case where Balestier will come here to play any different to what has been successful for them,” said the Scotsman.
“We know they are going to be direct, aggressive and physical - but what we must focus on is to be patient with the ball.
“We want to dominate possession and make sure that for the majority of each half, we have more possession - which means we deal with fewer long ball and set plays,” added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
“It is about us that we can play at our maximum… Pass the ball, keep the ball and create chances.
“When our front three of (Rafael) Ramazotti, (Paulo) Sergio and Azwan Ali (Rahman), I don’t think there is more a potent threat in the league. It is about getting the ball to them with quality, and not just smashing it so that they can finish,” continued the 48-year-old.
On the other hand, Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic is aiming for a top-three finish ahead of Albirex Niigata (S) FC.
“Our main priority is a top-three finish. It is a good achievement if we can do it,” Kraljevic told The Brunei Times yesterday.
“If before the season started I knew I we would finish in the top-three, I would be very happy. We’re close to it.
“There is a good chance for us as the boys are in good fighting spirit. Teamwork has also been a big part of our success and that ifs what has got us to where we are.
“We have to watch out for Azwan Ali, Paulo and Rafa… their key players in attacking.

“They are also dangerous in their set pieces with (Boris) Raspudic and (Brian) McLean coming forward. We will have to be careful against them.
“We have beaten them two times this season and they are within their first title. There is a lot of pressure on them.
“But no team can come here being confident. DPMM FC are top of the table and they have got the advantage,” added the Croatian.
Kick off is at 8.15pm and entrance is free of charge. Free t-shirts will also be handed out on a first come, first serve basis while stocks last.
The Brunei Times

No charge to watch DPMM FC’s last game

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

SINGAPORE-League (S-League) leaders DPMM FC yesterday announced that Saturday’s season-ender against Balestier Khalsa FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas will be free of charge.
Kick-off is at 8.15pm, and DPMM FC are favourites to win the S-League for the first time as they have a two-point lead over second-placed Tampines Rovers FC, who face Harimau Muda (Malaysian national Under-22 football team) at the Jurong West Stadium in Singapore at the same time.
Nothing will stop DPMM FC from clinching the title should they defeat Balestier, but Tampines will need to win by a two-goal margin should the match in Brunei end in a draw for DPMM FC.
T-shirts will be handed out to spectators on a first come first serve basis, and there are also 25 lucky draw prizes up for grabs including three return tickets – with the destination yet to be determined – sponsored by Royal Brunei (RB).
DPMM FC are looking to avoid history repeating itself as the 2012 title race went down the wire as well – and there was heartbreak for the club.
Brunei’s only professional team ended second to Tampines after dropping 2-0 to Balestier in a must-win game for them on home soil, with the Stags winning the trophy after skipper Fahrudin Mustafic converted a penalty to give them a 1-0 win over Harimau Muda.

The Brunei Times