LLRC FT made a losing debut in the DST Group Brunei Premier League I (BPL I) yesterday falling 3-0 to Majra FC at the Brunei Shell Recreation Club in Seria yesterday.
Undefeated in the BPL II last season, the newcomers were left with a bitter taste of defeat in their first match in the top flight.
Md Faizal Mohammad, who was Majra FC's top scorer last season with 18 goals, proved that he had not lost his scoring touch by firing into LLRC FT's net in the 16th minute.
Younger brother of DPMM FC striker Shahrazen Hj Mohd Said, Adi Said, added to the tally with two goals, in the 23rd and 83rd minutes, to allow Majra FC to romp home with the victory.
Despite the loss, LLRC FT assistant manager Ahmad Sazarin Hj Ahmad Sabli is positive that the team just need time to get their legs settled in the BPL I.
"In actual fact, it was a 50-50 match. It's just that we lack match fitness, my players are still at 70 per cent," Ahmad Sazarin told The Brunei Times when contacted after the match yesterday.
The LLRC FT assistant manager also expressed his dissatisfaction with the mistakes that led to Majra FC's three goals.
"The defeat won't affect team morale in any way. We've already gotten a taste of the BPL I and for the next match against MS ABDB (the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council), I admit that it will be hard, but we just have to work harder," he said.
No doubt it will be an uphill battle for the Belait-based team, but Majra FC manager Hj Mahaddi Hj Mat Zain believes that LLRC FT have what it takes to put up a viable challenge in the BPL I.
"I praise them for giving such a spirited performance as the newcomers of the BPL I. They should not be looked down on for I think they have the potential to upset bigger teams," said Hj Mahaddi.
The Majra FC manager credited the victory to his players for performing as instructed, reading the match flow perfectly and making the most of the opponents' mistakes.
"Adi and Faizal scored as predicted and, though they wasted a lot opportunities, their goals were good enough to grab all three points," he said.
Contrary to our report "Time for fun and games is over, Majra FC mean business" published on March 10, Majra FC actually finished behind March United and not as stated.
Jerudong FC's battle to breakthrough into the Top 3 begins today when they take on Wijaya FC at the Berakas Sports Complex. Kick off is at 8.15pm.The Brunei Times