AFTER a brief respite, QAF FC will lace up their boots for round two of the DST Group Brunei FA Cup against last year's finalist Wijaya FC.
The cup is the only piece of silverware that has eluded the reining DST Group Brunei Premier League I (BPL I) champions. But their first up mission won't be a walk over against an opponent which brings its own pedigree to the event.
The two teams became locked in their cup struggle when the draw was held at the function room of the Aneka Rasa Restaurant in Kiulap.
The three-time BPL I champions were the first pick of the draw and will kick start the second round of the FA Cup next week on Friday, Mar 26th.
Wijaya FC were pipped to the crown 1-0 last year by the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB).
The reigning FA Cup champions were handed the easiest draw of the lot yesterday, booked against Brunei Shell FT for Wednesday, Mar 31.
The armymen ended the BPL I season on a high, breaking QAF FC's 17-game undefeated streak in their final match with a 3-1 win.
Brunei Shell FT were also able to pull off a 2-1 win against Majra FC for their season-ender, yet it was only their second win of the season.
Third place AM Gunners FC will collide once more with AH United, a rematch for the respective clubs season ender.
AH United will hope to avoid the same result as last time when they were on the receiving end of a 6-0 pummeling at the Balapan Track and Field in Berakas on Feb 28.
Another interesting match-up features the first two teams that made it into the second round.
Having survived the first round blasting by 10-man Menglait FC 7-5 on Tuesday, Perkasa FC's next match will be against DST Group Brunei Premier League II (BPL II) rivals Kilanas FC.
Kilanas FC are hoping to record a double against Perkasa FC -- the last time the two teams met resulted in a tightly contested match that saw Perkasa walk away with a 4-3 win, with Kurmin Hj Bini scoring the winning goal in the 76th minute.
Kurmin scored the opener in the 4-2 win over Kota Ranger on Monday, booking them a ticket into the second round.
There is still another ranger fighting for survival in the FA Cup though, and that is one powered by none other than Shahrazen Hj Md Said.
Should non-league side Rangers emerge victorious over P Lun Bawang on Wednesday, Mar 24, then they will have another tough opponent, Jerudong FC, to beat in order to progress.
Rangers have been handed the toughest route to the top. Down to ten men against Rimba Star FC in the qualifying round, Shahrazen's assist and goal led the team to a 3-2 (AET) win.
Though he did not score against Sabli's FC, the ex-DPMM FC striker, who finished the 2006/2007 Malaysian Super League (MSL) season as the joint top scorer, was alert on the ball and helped the team with his vision and distribution to win 3-1.
The first round of the FA Cup will continue on Sunday, Mar 21, as BPL II-sides Prisons Department take on DST Group FT at the Berakas Sports Complex at 8.15pm.
The Brunei Times