23 August 2014

DPMM FC salvage draw

Friday, August 22, 2014

DPMM FC came back from two goals down to salvage a point following their 3-3 draw against Balestier Khalsa FC in the Singapore League (S-League) last night.
Rodrigo Tosi bagged a brace, which brings his tally to 18 goals in the league, and Adi Said scored in his second successive game for his third in the competition.
Goran Ljubojevic found the back of the net twice for Balestier with Kim Min-ho the other to get on the scoresheet.
The hosts had the best of starts after Kim gave them the lead in the third minute at the Toa Payoh Stadium in Singapore.
They doubled their lead through Ljubojevic in the 21st minute.
DPMM FC made a double change by bringing on the duo of Adi and Helmi Zambin at halftime for the pair of Maududi Hilmi Kasmi and Ak Fakhrazzi Pg Hassan.
It paid dividends almost immediately with Adi, who notched six goals for Brunei in the 5th Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy, finding the back of the net just five minutes after entering the game.
The game was tied at 2-2 after Tosi scored his first of the game in the 65th minute.
The Tigers regained the lead in the 70th minute with Ljubojevic scoring his second of the encounter.
However, it was shortlived as Tosi replied just three minutes later to notch things up at 3-3 to see the teams share the spoils.
Both teams finished the game with 10 men after DPMM FC’s Joe Gamble and Balestier’s Syed Thaha were sent off just before the final whistle
The draw, which was the second straight for Brunei’s only professional team, sees them lead the 12-team table two points.
The other game saw Home United FC triumph 4-2 over Albirex Niigata FC at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore.
Kazuya Okazaki gave Albirex the lead in the second minute via a freekick before two goals by Lee Kwan Woo and a goal each by Fazrul Nawaz and Fazli Ayoha put the Protectors four up at halftime.
Kazuki Sakamoto found the back the net in the 72nd minute but it proved to be a mere consolation for Albirex.
Home United are now in third place with 37 points due to a better goal difference over Warriors FC.
Albirex are a point behind the duo.
Second-placed Tampines Rovers can displace DPMM FC at the top should they defeat Tanjong Pagar United FC at the Clementi Stadium in Singapore today.
The other match will see Woodlands Wellington FC go up against Geylang International FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
Kick off is at 7.30pm.

The Brunei Times

19 August 2014

Battling Brunei crash out

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
BRUNEI’S 2-1 win over Malaysia was ultimately insufficient as they bowed out of the 5th Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy last night.
The defending champions needed a win with a two goal margin to qualify, and the 2-1 victory only secured third place for Brunei, on 10 points together with Vietnam and Malaysia, but behind on goal difference.

Mohd Nor Azam Azih gave Malaysia the lead early in the 18th minutes at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
Centre-back Mohd Reduan Hj Petara equalised in the first-half before Najib Hj Tarif converted a penalty in the second-half to clinch a bittersweet victory for the defending champions.
Brunei lined-up with midfielder Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris back in the team, partnering Mohd Nurikhwan Othman and Ak Mohd Yura Indera Putera Pg Yunos in midfield.
Both wingers Mohd Asnawi Syazni Abdul Aziz and Mohd Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir assisted lone striker Adi Said up front in attack.
Abdul Khair Hj Basri made his first appearance in the tournament playing in Mohd Nur Azees Ali’s place who got red carded in a game against Vietnam on Friday.
Both teams started slowly, with most of the ball being played in midfield.
Malaysia's Mohd Asri Mardzuki tested Brunei with a shot from 30 metres out, while Mohd Hendra Azam's sent a free-kick from the left that went straight into Malaysia goalkeeper’s arms.
The two shots were the only actions worth mentioning in the first 15 minutes of the game.
Malaysia finally broke the deadlock in the 18th minute when Mohd Nor Azam fired from outside the penalty box, beating goalkeeper Abdul Hafiz Abdul Rahim.
Brunei equalised just seven minutes later when Mohd Syawal Nordin fouled Aminuddin outside the penalty area to give Brunei a free-kick.
Malaysia’s goalkeeper Md Ilham Amirullah Razali got a touch on Adi’s free-kick before the ball bounced off the post in front of centre back Reduan Hj Petara, who was at the right place at the right time to tap the ball home.
Brunei should have been leading a few minutes later when Ak Mohd Yura Indera Putera made a run into the penalty box.
The Bruneian threaded in a through ball meant for Adi but Mohd Syawal made a vital interception to keep the score level at 1-1.
Mohd Hendra Azam should also have scored when he was set by Mohd Nurikhwan from the right just five minutes after the restart but the former would send his low shot a few inches wide off the post.
Adi was stretchered out injured in the 63rd minute following a tackle by Malaysian defender and the striker was replaced by Abdul Azim Abdul Rashid.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Abdul Hafiz Rahim made way for Azman Ilham Hj Mohd Noor just seconds later.
Mohd Najib made his second appearance of the tournament, replacing Mohd Hendra Azam in the 70th minute.
Brunei continued to dominate the game as they are pressing for the two-goal winning margin, and Reduan almost found the net after connecting with a cross from Mohd Asnawi Syazni in the 75th minute but goalkeeper Md Ilham Amirullah would make a brilliant save keeping the ball out.
Brunei eventually found the net in the 82nd minute when Mohd Najib converted the penalty sending goalkeeper Md Ilham Amirullah the wrong way.
Brunei at this point was launching wave after wave of attacks, with Mohd Najib and Mohd Asnawi Syazni making dangerous runs into the penalty area in the final few minutes.
The Malaysians defended bravely by making timely clearances and tackles to stop the attacks, and at the final whistle, Brunei was left to rue what could have been if they had taken one of the many chances presented to them.

The Brunei Times

16 August 2014

Adi keeps hopes alive

Saturday, August 16, 2014
BRUNEI withstood a dominant Vietnam side and came from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw in Group B of the 5th Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy last night.
The two teams are still within reach of the semi-finals as the draw puts both teams on seven points from four games together with Malaysia, who will only play Singapore today.
Adi Said notched a brace for Brunei to bring his tally to a tournament-leading six goals, surpassing his five-goal tally from the previous edition two years ago.
Nguyen Phong Hong Duy and Hoang Thanh Tung got on the scoresheet for Vietnam at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
Vietnam got off to a quick start and almost found a breakthrough as early as the fourth minute.
Nguyen Van Toan got the ball around Brunei goalkeeper Azman Ilham Hj Md Noor before centreback Reduan Hj Petara made a crucial tackle to prevent the shot.
Vietnam broke the deadlock four minutes later after Van Toan picked out Phong Hong Duy, who drilled a left-footed shot from the right edge of the box through the legs of defender Md Asri Hj Sapar into the bottom right corner.
Brunei were struggling to maintain ball possession as their opponents read their passes well.
In contrast, Vietnam were patient and moved the ball fluidly, leading up to their next goal-scoring chance in the 29th minute.
Nguyen Tuan Ang chipped the ball over the Brunei backline for Van Toan to chase but Azman Ilham did well to rush out and collect the ball.
Brunei finally got their first shot on target via a freekick from 25 yards out in the 34th minute and it proved to be the equaliser.
Adi struck it well over the wall and despite Vietnam keeper Tran Minh Toan going the correct direction, the ball took a dip and bounced into the empty net.
Vietnam responded almost immediately with Van Toan making another run behind the defence but Azman Ilham did well again to get off his line to grab the ball.
Brunei threatened in the 38th minute after Tran fumbled a Mohd Asnawi Syazni Hj Aziz cross from the left but he managed to gather the ball despite Md Aminuddin Zakwan Md Tahir chasing it down.
Vietnam took only three minutes after the interval to get back in front after captain Nguyen Cong Phuong picked out Hoang in the middle to easily fire past Azman Ilham to bring the scores to 2-1.
The Sultanate brought on Abdul Azim Abdul Rashid, who scored two goals against Singapore on Wednesday, to provide more firepower in the 55th minute.
Vietnam continued to dominate and were looking more likely to score again.
In the 61st minute, Cong Phuong picked out Van Toan on the left but the latter’s shot took a crucial deflection to see it go wide off the left post.
They threatened again five minutes later through Pham Trum Tinh but he failed to find the target.
The defending champions only managed their second shot of the encounter in the 71st minute after Adi got the ball to substitute Md Zulkhairy Hady Razali inside the box but the latter fired at the wrong side of the net.
The hosts equalised after a good one-two by Adi and Abdul Azim, allowing the former to slot the ball past the Vietnamese custodian in the 75th minute.
Brunei were down to 10 men in the 86th minute after Mohammad Nur Azees Awang Ali received his second booking for a tackle on Phong Hong Duy.
Vietnam almost took advantage two minutes later but Van Toan could only see his shot in a one-on-one situation against Azman Ilham fly inches off the right post.

The Brunei Times

12 August 2014

Brunei manager hails ‘magical’ Adi

Tuesday, August 12, 2014
BRUNEI manager Hj Feisal Hj Eusoff was full of praise for Adi Said who inspired Brunei to a 3-1 victory over Indonesia in the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) last night.
The striker scored a hat-trick at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas as Brunei moved up to fourth in Group A with three points, behind third-placed Vietnam on goal difference.
Cambodia lead the group with six points, followed by second-placed Malaysia with four.
“I think Adi was fantastic, an excellent player, he played very well in the game, even the first game against Cambodia he played very good and he is now very valuable to us, the magic was there tonight for Adi,” said Hj Feisal during the post conference interview.
“But as we all know, we are one team, all the players worked very hard and they all worked well together in the game.”
The manager also praised goalkeeper Azman Ilham Hj Md Noor who made a number of crucial saves throughout the game.
“Goalkeeper had a very good game too, he made a number of good saves.”
“As we all understand Indonesia is one of the strongest team in the tournament, the finalist in 2012, and they have work together for two to three years now, the way they passed the ball and keeping their possession…I admire them,” continued Hj Feisal.
“But of course we cannot be complacent with this first win, I hope that all players will be able to recover before the next game, it is very important for them to recover as we only have one day rest before our next game,” he added.
Brunei made a number of changes in their first-eleven from their first game against Cambodia.
Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris and Mohd Zulkhairy Hady Razali were the most notable absentees in the game.
Muhd Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir and Ak Yura Indera Putera Pg Yunus both started in the midfield for Brunei instead.
“The players played very well and I trusted them to last the 90 minutes and for me that lead to the victory,” said head coach Kwon Oh-son.
“Indonesia weak point is when they are coming back to defend from attacking and they were a bit slow to defend, seeing this we tried to counter attack.”
“Credit to the fans they were very wonderful tonight and thank you for their support,” he added.
Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah, minister of Culture, Youth and Sports also lauded the performance of the Brunei players.
“Our players have shown an amazing performance and make the supporters as well as the country proud,” YB Pehin Dato Hj Hazair told The Brunei Times soon after the match.
He expressed hope that such performance will be continued and InsyaAllah the team will move forward.
He said the presence of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam greatly boosted the spirit of the players. “The players have stronger drive to emerge victorious,” he said.

The Brunei Times

Brunei bounce back to beat Indonesia 3-1

Tuesday, August 12, 2014
BRUNEI bounced back from their opening day defeat to Cambodia on Saturday by defeating Indonesia 3-1 in Group B of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) last night.
Adi Said produced a heroic performance as a lone striker, bagging a hat-trick at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
[PHOTO: His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam joins the crowd at HBT Brunei-Indonesia match]
[Related story: Malaysia prevail 2-0 against Vietnam]
[Related story: Steady Cambodia down S'pore 3-1]
“I did not expect to score all the goals tonight, but I keep on trying and pushing myself forward to score,” said Adi in an interview with The Bunei Times after game.
“I knew that we were trying to make it solid defensively and I need to work extra hard as I am the only striker playing upfront.
“To score three goals against Indonesia is something very special for me,” he added.
Brunei fielded Adi alone upfront, in a 4-5-1 formation with two natural wingers Mohd Asnawi Syazni Abdul Aziz and Mohd Asri Hj Aspar on both flanks.
They started with Mohd Nurikhwan Othman, Ak Yura Indera Putera Pg Yunus and Mohd Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir in midfield.
Muhd Nurikhwan played a deeper role than Ak Yura Indera Putera and Mohd Aminuddin Zakwan, but the partnerships were fluid, and frequently switched around.
All four players are experienced and intelligent enough to make the fluidity work, and took advantage of the freedom to drift around the Indonesian penalty area.
Muhd Nurikhwan, who sat deep in midfield, got more and more time on the ball as Indonesia midfielders were caught too high up the pitch trying to support their striker.
The midfielder exploited this space by taking a bit of time before knocking some incredible long-range passes out wide, but also making a surprising number of forward runs to link up with the forwards.
Brunei started reasonably well closing down the midfield, getting into the faces of Indonesia midfielders, captain Evan Dimas Darmono and Paulo Oktavianus Sitanggang, early on.
The most notable system about Brunei’s attacks were the two wide players, Mohd Asri and Mohd Asnawi, making direct runs down the flanks with striker Adi making his diagonal run behind Indonesian defenders.
The key man however was Adi, who constantly made threatening runs between Indonesia's centre-backs.
His displayed superb control for his first goal in the ninth minute, latching on to a pass from midfield with his right foot, lifted the ball over an Indonesian's defender, before making his way into the penalty box and firing the ball past Indonesia goalkeeper Ravi Mudianto.
Adi doubled Brunei’s goal tally in the 40th minute. This time, he made a strong run at the Indonesian left flank to connect to a long ball.
As he skipped past Indonesian left-back Muhammad Fatchu Rochman, Adi sensed the Indonesian goalkeeper was off his line and chipped the ball over the goalkeeper from the edge of the penalty box in the 40th minute.
With his confidence sky high, Adi made it 3-0 just three minutes later with a wonderful long range dipping shot from 30 metres out to beat the Indonesia’s goalkeeper.
Despite Adi being the hero for the team, the performance of his teammate, goalkeeper Azman Ilham Hj Mohd Noor, should not be overlooked as the goalkeeper made a number of stunning saves throughout the game to protect Brunei’s lead.
The goalkeeper was forced to make a brilliant one-handed save in the 71st minute when Indonesia’s Ilham Udin Armaiyn took a shot from outside of the penalty box.
Ilham however managed to find the back of the net just a minute later when he easily tapped in Evan’s cross from the left to beat helpless Azman Ilham in goal.
Substitute Mohd Zulkhairy Hady Razali, who came on in the 80th minute for Mohd Asnawi Syazni, should have scored Brunei’s fourth after being set up by Adi.
A swift counter attack initiated by Adi saw Mohd Zulkhairy going one-on-one with the Indonesian goalkeeper, but the striker squandered the chance by firing wide.

The Brunei Times

06 August 2014

Thailand set sights on final

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
FOOTBALL fans in the Sultanate will be treated to a very technical Thailand side at this week’s Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy.

“We will be using a number of tactics and our players are also very technical and very good with their movement... it will be very technical,” said Somsa Pobpasert in an interview with The Brunei Times at the arrival hall of the Brunei International Airport in Berakas yesterday.

“We were excellent when we played against the other teams in Thailand, but I want to see how do we fare against teams from outside the country and we will try our best.”

The two-time champions beat Myanmar to lift the 2005 edition of the trophy.

They beat Myanmar 5-4 on penalties to lift the crown but sat out the 2012 competition which Brunei won.

Indonesia won the inaugural competition in 2002.

Asked about their chances, the head coach replied: “We still have a chance to win this tournament, even though the training session is not enough, we are targetting the final.”

“We only managed to train for two months but not every day as most of the players are from the national league in Thailand and they have to return to their club every time they are needed,” he said.

“The players are still young, their average age is just 18 to 19 years old and we are looking to build these players for future tournaments.”

According to Somsa this tournament also serves as preparation for their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Championship in October.

Thailand is drawn in Group A alongside Timor Leste, Laos, Philippines and Myanmar.

They will kick-off their campaign on Friday against Myanmar at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas before facing the Philippines at the same venue on Sunday.

They will play Timor Leste on Tuesday at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadum before finishing their group stage campaign against Laos three days later at the Balapan Track and Field.

“Brunei are good, their curve of football development is a little bit higher now. They try to put on a good performance every time and I think in five years, Brunei will be among the top teams in ASEAN,” said Somsa.

Hosts Brunei are in Group B with Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.
They will start their campaign against Cambodia on Saturday at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The Brunei Times

AFF Suzuki Cup groups revealed after draw in Hanoi

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
FEATURING eight of the last nine winners, Group B at the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup will be hard to get out of.
Brunei, though, need to worry about qualifying for the event first.
The draw for the Nov 22-Dec 20 tournament was held in Hanoi yesterday, with defending champions and four-time winners Singapore, three-time champions Thailand and 2010 winners Malaysia drawn in Group B.
Group A will have Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines battling it out for a place in the last four of the tournament to be co-hosted by Singapore and Vietnam.
To even get to the biennial competition, though, Brunei must first get past the single round-robin qualifying competition from Oct 12-20 in Laos – a feat they failed to do so the last time around in 2012.
This year’s qualifiers will see the Sultanate join favourites Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Timor Leste – with the winner moving on to Group B and the runners-up earning a spot in Group A.
The last qualifiers in Myanmar saw Brunei start their campaign with a 1-0 loss to hosts Myanmar before beating Cambodia 3-2.
A 3-1 loss to Laos dented Brunei’s chances of making it through the tournament co-hosted by Malaysia and Thailand, but the team would end on a high after defeating Timor Leste 2-1.
Myanmar progressed to the tournament after topping the five-team qualifiers in Yangon, with Laos also advancing as runners-up.
The last time Brunei played at the tournament was the 1996 edition in Singapore, where the country lost three games and won one.
Competing in Group B, Brunei lost to Singapore (3-0), Thailand (6-0) and Malaysia (6-0), their only saving grace coming after a 1-0 win over the Philippines.
Singapore are the most successful team in the tournament after winning it for the fourth time two years ago in what was the ninth edition of the event.
They beat Thailand 3-1 in the first leg in Singapore and despite losing the second leg 1-0, held on to clinch the cup – with coach Radojko Avramović becoming the tournament’s most successful coach after previous wins in 2004 and 2007.
While Group B is seen as the “Group of Death”, Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin has a different view describing it as “reasonable”.

“In my opinion, there is no group of death in this tournament,” said Hamidin who was in Vietnam for the ceremony.

“I thought the draw was reasonable and in fact we prefer to play in Singapore. Playing in Singapore is something we can take advantage of, logistically in particular, as it’s nearby.

“It should also serve as good news for our fans too. It’s easier for them to travel down south... I’m sure our team will have strong support.”



The Brunei Times, The Star/ANN