30 December 2012

Harry Kewell a right investment?

Sunday, December 30, 2012
THE Brunei football scene was abuzz with speculations of what would come to fruition, following a hotly circulated rumour of DPMM FC interested in the services of Australian football legend Harry Kewell.

Unverified rumours have suggested that the Australian will be paid $1.2 million but football fans in the Sultanate remain divided on whether or not this is the right decision for Brunei's only professional sports club.

"I heard from a friend that DPMM FC wants to import Harry Kewell, I think thats a good move since he is a free agent at the moment," said Mohd Jamil Rafi

Mohd Jamil, however, felt that the Australian would probably look at other clubs from other countries first, taking into account Brunei's recent suspension from FIFA.

Kewell has received 58 caps and scored 17 goals for the Australian national team.

Another DPMM FC supporter Hj Hadi Hj Zulkiffli felt that the $1.2 million price tag was just too expensive.

"$1.2 million to pay just one player is too heavy... with that kind of money you can bring in younger imports with more potential for the team," said the 34-year-old.

Yusri Hj Jamain echoed his sentiments. "I think it would be better to use the money to fix up our stadium or to put up a new roof so that the audience will be protected from the rain," said Yusri.

Other DPMM FC supporters, however, felt that the presence of an experienced world class player would be highly beneficial to the team. "In my opinion, he is quite cheap compared to other top level footballers and this will surely increase the attendance at the stadium," said Abdul Khalid Saiful.

Football enthusiast Khairul Yassin felt that Kewell would improve the Brunei side's chances in the Singapore League. "It's a great idea especially since the Singapore League looks to be getting tougher. DPMM FC needs to hold on to the high level of play and achievement from last season," he said.

Official representatives from DPMM FC have yet to report or comment on the rumours.

DPMM FC recently signed two new players, Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira and Guadeloupean midfielder Stephane Auvray.

The squad are looking forward to bettering their second place finish in this year's edition of the Singapore League after they lost their final game of the season to Balestier Khalsa FC 2-0 at home last month.

The Brunei Times 

DPMM FC eyeing Kewell?

Saturday, December 29, 2012
ALL talks but no official comments, rumours have been circulating on popular online social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that DPMM FC are interested in the services of Australian football legend Harry Kewell

Although official representatives from DPMM FC's camp declined to comment, the team's facebook page has been flooded with comments by the public, some even stating that the Australian will be paid $1.2 million.

DPMM FC recently signed two new players, Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira and Guadeloupean midfielder Stephane Auvray.

The squad are looking forward to bettering their second place finish in this year's edition of the Singapore League after they lost their final game of the season to Balestier Khalsa FC 2-0 at home last month.The Brunei Times 

26 December 2012

DPMM FC look forward to 2013

Wednesday, December 26, 2012
DPMM FC's manager, Ali Hj Momin (pic) has gone on to express his delight with the clubs new signings and feels that the team is bound to get better from last week's Governor Aceh Trophy campaign in Aceh provincial capital Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

Both Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira and Guadeloupean midfielder Stephane Auvray have shown promising signs during the tournament with the former finding the net for the club in their 4-2 defeat against Semen Padang.

The manager said last night in an interview with The Brunei Times that he is convinced all the signings they have made this time will be able to replace the top stars Ivan Jerkovic and Osman Basiru who have left the club and that they are now looking to land some silverware this season."The two new signings played very well in the game.

"They have proved throughout the tournament that they are the right players for us. Both of them did not start in the games, but they managed to make an impact when they were brought in," said the manager.

The DPMM manager feels that it is a good sign that one of their new players has started to score, since it shows how well the team has come together over the last couple of weeks.

"It is good to see our new import scored in the game. The aim of this tournament is to look and assess the performance of the new import players and how they can work together with the rest of the squad," he said.

"It was a very good outing for us. We got the chances to play against the Indonesia Premier League champions Semen Padang and Malaysians Champions Kelantan in the tournament.

"Now the players will need a good rest before we start our training in January," he added.

DPMM FC started out their campaign with a 4-2 loss to Indonesian Premier League (IPL) Champions Semen Padang FC before they were held to a 1-1 draw by Kelantan.

They progressed to the last four as group runners-up after a draw was carried out with Kelantan after both teams shared exactly the same points, goal difference, goals scored and win-loss record. However they were edged 3-2 by hosts Aceh United in the semi-finals and were denied any silverware in the tournament after losing to Selangor 3-2 on penalties.

The Brunei Times 

25 December 2012

Ten-man LLRC FT outdo Kilanas FC to top standing DST SUPER LEAGUE

Tuesday, December 25, 2012
A TEN-MAN Liang Lumut Recreational Club Football Team (LLRC FT) overcame a controversial second-half send-off to secure a 3-0 victory over Kilanas FC in the DST Super League at the Balapan Track and Field at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas last night.

LLRC FT, already without defender Mohd Hafizan Hasnal and playmaker Amy Amizan Gudang through injuries, looked in for a tough night after striker Mohd Shah Hafiz Kifli was shown a red card just 18 minutes into the second-half. Mohd Shah Hafiz was sent-off after appearing to elbow defender Ak Mohd Tajuddin Pg Sulaiman.

"Mohd Shah Hafiz is not that kind of player, he has never been yellow carded before and he is a very clean player with big potential. I do not want to comment on the red card as I am very happy with three points today," said LLRC FT head-coach Hj Affendi Hj Julaihi in an interview with The Brunei Times after the match.

"It was a great team effort, the players worked together to defend and looking for the second goal to finish the game. The midfield area is still a bit loose and we need to work on that as we will be facing one of the strongest team in the league, Indera SC, next. It is going to be tough, but we are up for the challenge," he added.

However, Kilanas FC failed to make their numerical advantage count after missing out several chances in the second-half.

Mohd Nurhidayatullah Hj Zaini fired a free-kick just wide and Naasiruddeen Abdul Wahab came nearest to score for Kilanas FC when his close range header was brilliantly tipped over the bar by LLRC FT goalkeeper Mohammad Faisal Hashim.

LLRC FT had gone close early in the first-half when Mohammad Amirul Jafrey Norshaney and Safuan Juhar combined to set up Mohammad Shah Hafiz shot that was cleared off the line by Kilanas FC's defender Abdul Qahar Ibrahim.

They finally found the net few minutes later in the 20th minute when LLRC FT's Ak Mohd Azrul Ariffin Pg Matussin slipping the ball to Safuan whose cross to the far post was easily tapped in by Mohd Hakeem Keri.

Second-half saw Kilanas FC struggling to get back on term as LLRC FT, who displayed a determination with an assured passing game, showed why they are now at the top of the table.

Kilanas FC found themselves 2-0 down in the 67th minute when Safuan scored from inside the penalty box latching onto a great pass from Mohammad Amirul Jafrey.

Nur Hazwan Khan Asmah Khan then went on to score the third by beating the offside trap before blasting the ball past the goalkeeper in 84th minute to seal the victory for LLRC FT.

LLRC FT are now sitting at the top of the table with six points. Second-placed Jerudong FC are level on four points with DST FA Cup runners-up Indera SC but ahead on goal difference. Meanwhile Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council sits on the fourth place with three points.

The Brunei Times

24 December 2012

Jerudong FC run riot in 6-0 victory over Najip FC

Monday, December 24, 2012
MOHAMMAD Abu Bakar Mahari hit a hat-trick and Mohd Esmendy Brahim scored twice as a rampant Jerudong FC demolished Najip FC 6-0 in the DST Super League at the Balapan Track and Field at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex yesterday.

Jerudong FC took an early lead with Mohd Abu Bakar Mahari scoring from 20 metres out to beat goalkeeper Mohd Amirul Rashid Mohd Yusuf in the 10th minute.

Jerudong FC's verve and invention overwhelmed Najip FC and Mohd Abu Bakar Mahari doubled his team's lead six minutes later.

Catching the opponent's defence napping, Mohd Abu Bakar did brilliantly to get to a rebound following Mohd Bazli Said's long-range shot in the 16th minute. Mohd Esmendy made it 3-0 in the 36th minute leaving Najip FC with an uphill battle after the break.

With manager Najip Moktal barking instructions from the touchline, Najip FC limited Jerudong FC to three in the first half. However it was only a matter of time before Jerudong FC added to their lead and three minutes after the restart, Mohammad Abu Bakar pounced at the near post to score Jerudong FC's fourth and his third.

Mohd Bazli poured further misery on the Najip FC, making it 5-0 a minute later with a goal engineered by Jerudong captain Mohammad Radzi Tamat.

Exploiting a gaping hole in the opponent's defence, Mohammad Radzi made a run into the penalty area, before he squared the ball to Mohd Bazli to find the back of the net with the easiest of finishes.

Captain Sumardi Aiadin struck the crossbar as Najip FC desperately looked for a route back into the game but, Mohd Esmendy would put the gloss on the win with Jerudong FC's sixth and his second in the game.

Collecting Mohd Bazli's cut- back from the right, the midfielder calmly struck his second goal from the edge of the box as Jerudong FC walk away with three precious points.

"Before the game, I told my players that this is a must win game following the 2-2 draw with Majra FC in our first game last Sunday. It is a three precious points for us. We cannot drop more points in the game as other teams are winning," said Jerudong FC manager, Hj Jalaluddin Hj Ghazali.

"I am very happy with the three points, even though we did not perform at our best today. It has been raining for the past few days and the pitch is not at its best condition. It was slippery and wet and it affects the flow of the game."

"However, credit to my boys, they still managed to score six goals today. I think our captain Radzi Tamat and midfielder Hanafizul Helmi Hanafiah were fantastic today. They controlled the game and created a lot of chances in the game," he added.

Meanwhile, Najip FC manager, Najip bemoaned the state of pitch after the defeat.

"I think the pitch is wet and it affects the movement of the ball. We have to resort to playing a long ball which was very difficult since we played with only one striker upfront after our key striker Huzaimi Hj Awg Tengah out with fever," said the manager.

The latter match at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas saw Indera SC thrash Wijaya FC 7-3.

The Brunei Times 

Underdogs Najip FC ready to pounce on Jerudong FC

Sunday, December 23, 2012
NAJIP FC are raring to face Jerudong FC in the DST Super League at the Balapan Track and Field at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas this afternoon.

Despite being labelled the underdogs, Najip FC manager Mohd Najip Moktal said that his team are looking to come away with maximum pooints from the match to improve on their overall rankings.

"After the careless loss we experienced last week in our match against LLRC FT, we need to win all three points in order to place better in the tournament and we will try to do so in our match (today)." he told The Brunei Times last night.

The manager's optimistic ambitions did not blind him however of Jerudong FC's prowess on the field.

"I have seen how they play and their superior field experience compared to us in terms of competitive play will serve them well." said Mohd Najip Moktal.

He added that despite alot of his team's best players falling ill, Najip FC are ready to move up the tournament ladder.

Jerudong FC coach Ali Rashid, on the other hand, is confident that their victory is in the bag.

"I think we can win and play better than our previous performance against Majra FC." he said.

"We understand that they (Najip FC) are also a team to be reckoned with, based on the information gathered from our old players, but I believe we can overcome them." he said.

Jerudong FC currently sit on fifth in the table with one point while Najip FC are ninth on zero points.

Asked if this impacted his team in any way, coach Ali Rashid replied that it was incentive for the team to do better.

"It motivates us, Najip FC are good but we have better knowledge and experience on the field and we are going to prove that in our match."

The Brunei Times

Selangor beat DPMM FC 3-2 on penalties in Aceh

Sunday, December 23, 2012

SELANGOR denied DPMM FC the silverware as they triumphed 3-2 on penalties in the Governor Aceh Trophy third-place playoff after both teams were locked to a 1-1 draw at regulation time.

Mohd Amalul Ariffin Shah Said, Rosmin Hj Khamis and Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris missed penalties for DPMM FC before Francis Forkey stepped up to convert the decisive spot-kick at the Harapan Bangsa Stadium in Aceh provincial capital Banda Aceh, Indonesia, yesterday.

DPMM FC have only themselves to blame for missing out on a chance to finish on the top of the podium in the tournament when they failed to hold on to their one goal lead, courtesy of Shahrazen in the 28th minute.

Brunei's only professional football team ended their campaign winless in the competition after losing three matches and one draw.

They started out their campaign last Saturday with a 4-2 loss to Indonesian Premier League (IPL) Champions Semen Padang FC. They were held to a 1-1 draw by Kelantan on the next day.

DPMM FC progressed to the last four as group runners-up after a draw was carried out with Kelantan since both teams share exactly the same statistics. However they were edged 3-2 by hosts Aceh United in the semi-finals on Wednesday. Shahrazen scored a double for DPMM FC in the defeat.

Selangor, meanwhile, opened their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Makassar United last Saturday. They fell to a 1-0 defeat to Aceh FC the next day but qualify to the semi-finals on goal difference.

The Malaysians then were denied a place in the final after losing to 3-1 to Semen Padang on Wednesday in the semifinals.

The Brunei Times

22 December 2012

FIFA World Ranking , Brunei up 5

FIFA World Ranking for December

Brunei up 5 to number 182


131 Vietnam +7
136 Thailand + 16
147 Philippines -4
154 Singapore + 9
156 Indonesia +9
158 Malaysia +5
162 Myanmar -6
171 Laos +6
182 Brunei +5
182 Timor-Leste +5
184 Cambodia +7

Source : fifa.com

AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers in Philippines

AFC Challenge Cup Group E in Philippines from 2. to 6. March

Cambodian football blog : Kingdom of Football has released match schedule for AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers in Philippines.

2. March : Philippines - Brunei , Turkmenistan - Cambodia

4. March : Philippines - Cambodia , Turkmenistan - Brunei

6. March : Philippines - Turkmenistan , Brunei - Cambodia

Shahrazen brace not enough for DPMM FC

Thursday, December 20, 2012
A BRACE by Shahrazen Said was not enough to save DPMM FC.

Brunei's only professional football team slipped to a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Aceh United yesterday in the semi-finals of the Governor Aceh Trophy in Indonesia.

Mahdi Senegal opened the scoring and gave Aceh United the lead in the 13th minute.

Shahrazen cancelled out the opening goal after he netted from the spot in the 36th minute.

It remained 1-1 at the break and it was only in the 78th minute that the hosts got back infront through Defri Rizky.

While DPMM FC were in search of an equaliser, Ismed Sofyan killed off all chances by netting a third for Aceh United in the 90th minute.

Shahrazen found the back of the net once again in injury time but it proved too late for the Bruneian side as they remain winless after three matches.

It will be an all Indonesian-final after Semen Padang defeated 10-man Selangor 3-1 in the other semi-final last night.

Edwar Wilson gave the Indonesian Premier League (IPL) champions the lead in the 10th minute and doubled the advantage 14 minutes later.

Afiq Azmi was the only one who got on the scoresheet for Selangor as he pulled one in the 29th minute.

Hendra Bayauw scored another in the 85th minute to ensure that Semen Padang will lace up in the final.

DPMM FC still have a chance to finish on the podium as they take to the field against Selangor in the third-place play off on Saturday.

They started out their campaign last Saturday with a 4-2 loss to Semen Padang and drew 1-1 against Kelantan on Sunday.

It was only through a draw that DPMM FC made it to the last-four after they finished the group stages with the same points as Kelantan. The other team that competed in the six-team competition was Makassar United.

The Brunei Times 

Super League promises more action

Thursday, December 20, 2012
THE DST Super League 2012/2013 promises to deliver more heart stopping football action after a first week filled with thrilling goals and exhilarating games.

The league kicked off with The Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) squad edging out a 2-1 win over the Royal Brunei Police Forces Sports Council (MS PDB) on Dec 14.

Tired from their win in the DST FA Cup final on Dec 10, the armymen had to rely on their fitness and strength to seal the game at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

Majra FC had to settle for a 2-2 draw against Jerudong FC on Dec 15 at the Balapan Track and Field at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.

Jerudong FC manager Hj Jalaluddin Hj Ghazali, in an interview after the match, said that he was not happy with the results as a lost in focus by their defenders cost them the win.

Majra FC, meanwhile, could have easily found themselves on the losing end but strikers Dannie Hendra Mohd Idris and Faizal Mohammad made sure they shared the spoils through timely equalisers.

Indera Sports Club and QAF FC also found themselves splitting points following a 2-2 draw at the Balapan Track and Field on Dec 17.

QAF FC looked destined to leave the match with maximum points but Indera's Mohammad Aqmal Hakeem Abdul Hamid emerged the hero of the night with an equaliser in the 94th minute.

The floodgates opened later in the night at the same venue wih Liang Lumut Recreation Club Football Team (LLRC FT) taking down Najip FC 7-5, the goal fest ensuring that they occupy the top of the table.

Right on LLRC FT's heels are Wijaya FC who shot down Kilanas FC 4-2 on Dec 18 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

At the moment, LLRC FT, Wijaya FC and MS ABDB share the top three spots of the table on equal points, with the rankings based only on goal difference.

A shake up, however, looks to be in order as the competition moves into its second week.

Majra United will face MS PDB at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Friday night.

MS ABDB will then take on local powerhouse QAF FC the next day at the Balapan Track and Field.

Sunday will feature two matches, Najip FC seeking their first win against Jerudong FC at the Balapan Track and Field at 4.15 pm.

Wijaya FC will look to start a winning streak when they face Indera Sports Club at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium at 8.15 pm.

The last match for the second weekwill be held on Dec 24 (Monday) with current league leaders LLRC FT taking on Kilanas FC at 8.15 pm.

The Brunei Times 

17 December 2012

Kingston set for Brunei DPMM deal

Hearts of Oak midfielder Laryea Kingston is on the verge of signing for Brunei side Brunei Duli Pengiran Muda Mahkota FC.

The 31-year-old left Accra last Monday to undergo trial and complete a medical in a deal reported to worth US$ 1 million.

He will be unavailable for Hearts when they play Heart of Lions in Kpando this Sunday in the Ghana Premier League.

Brunei DPMM play in the Singapore S.League and were runners-up in the 2012 campaign.

Kingston's last move abroad was with Israel side Hapoel Be'er Sheva in 2011 but had to terminate his contract in December, only three months into the deal. 

He then returned to the domestic league to play for his former side Hearts where he has made a huge impression.

Kingston has previously played for Heart of Midlothian, Vitesse Arnhem and a couple of Russian clubs.


DPMM FC stalemate in Kelantan test

Monday, December 17, 2012
ROCHA Romeiro netted DPMM FC's only goal in their 1-1 draw to Kelantan in last night's Governor Aceh Trophy match in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

The on-trial Portuguese striker was the first to react to a spilt shot by the Kelantan goalkeeper in the 66th minute, but the reigning Malaysia Super League champions would even the scores six minutes later through Australian national Under-23 striker Dimitri Petratos.

Romeiro also got on the scoresheet in DPMM FC's first game against Indonesian side Semen Padang FC on Saturday night, a 4-2 loss in which Indonesian national team striker Titus Bonai bagged a hat-trick.

Semen Padang will have to beat Kelantan by at least two goals in their match tonight if DPMM FC are to maintain any hopes of progressing to Wednesday's semi-finals.

A six-team tournament, Aceh United, Makassar United and Selangor are drawn in the other group. The final is scheduled for Saturday, Dec 22.The Brunei Times 

16 December 2012

Double header to light up DST Super League

Sunday, December 16, 2012
FOUR teams will be battling it out in today's DST Super League, Brunei's premier football tournament which officially kicked off on Friday.

Indera Sports Club and QAF FC will go head to head at the Balapan Track and Field at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas at 4.15pm while the 8:15pm match-up will see Liang Lumut Recreation Club Football Team (LLRC FT) face Najip FC at the same venue.

Despite progressing to the DST Super League after topping the DST National League's Group C a strong group which featured teams such as DST FA Cup champions Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) Indera's coach Ishak Hj Kabon does not underestimate the fight today's opponents will put up.

MS ABDB beat Indera in the DST FA Cup on Monday after Mohammad Hardi Hj Matassan's extra-time header earned the army-men a 1-0 result, a defeat which Ishak feels has been a learning experience for them.

"We have learnt and improved from our loss to MS ABDB during the DST FA Cup final so I feel confident that we can win against QAF FC, a team that has also been a dominating force in previous seasons," he said.

Like Ishak, LLRC FC and Najip FC's coaches are also keeping a level head.

"All the teams have come prepared and every match will be a tough one," said LLRC FC coach Hj Affandi Hj Julaihi.

"There is a 50/50 chance of winning and the victory will go to the team which puts in more effort and tries their best during the match," he said when asked how Najip FC will fare against his team.

Md Najip Moktal, meanwhile, said that he has been doing some homework in preparation for the league.

"All our players are new and inexperienced compared to the other teams, but we still qualified for the DST Super League," said the Najip coach.

"In order to compensate for our inexperience going up against tough opponents, we watched their previous games and studied their playing style."

The Brunei Times

Titus Bonai crushes DPMM FC

Sunday, December 16, 2012
DPMM FC went down 4-2 to Semen Padang FC in their Governor Aceh Trophy opener last night after a Titus Bonai hat-trick inspired the Indonesians to a comfortable win in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

According to Semen Padang FC's Twitter feed, the Indonesian national team striker put the Indonesian Premier League reigning champions 2-0 up after strikes in the fourth and 18th minute, but midfielder Azwan Salleh would pull one back for the visitors before the break at the Lhoong Raya Stadium.

Edward Junior Wilson made it 3-1 in the 53rd minute and DPMM FC on-trial player Rocha Romeiro cut the deficit back to one goal in the 65th minute before Titus bagged his third eight minutes from time.

DPMM FC face Kelantan who have won the Malaysia Super League the past two seasons in their next match of the three-team group.

The other group pits Aceh United, Makassar United and Selangor against each other, with the two best teams moving on to Wednesday's semi-finals.

Brunei's only professional club are using the Governor Aceh Trophy as warm-up for next season's Singapore League, which is set to start in February.

DPMM FC finished second in the S-League last season and also claimed the Singapore League Cup, a prize they won for the first time in 2009.

The Brunei Times 

14 December 2012

MS ABDB, MS PDB kick off DST Super League tonight

Friday, December 14, 2012
TONIGHT'S curtain raiser for the long awaited DST Super League at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium promises to be a shootout with Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) facing Royal Brunei Police Forces Sports Council (MS PDB) at 8.

MS ABDB manager Azaman Hj Husin is not taking his opponents lightly, especially with his players still tired from their DST FA Cup campaign.

Mohammad Hardi Hj Matassan's 115th minute header handed MS ABDB their third DST FA Cup trophy in four years on Monday night.

"My players are physically tired due to the tight schedule during the DST FA Cup. We were playing in extra time in the final and the players are still recovering. But we still continued our training for this tournament, because MS PDB are not a team that we can take lightly. Some of the players are still recovering from knock and minor injuries but they should be ready and fit for the game tomorrow. It is important to get all three points out of this game as it will help to further boost our confidence throughout the league," Azaman said.

The army men head into the tie as favourites after winning all their matches during the DST National League, in addition to their DST FA Cup triumph.

MS PDB coach Sahrin Hj Mohammad Jaya, however, said that he would be satisfied with a draw. MS PDB qualified into the tournament after finishing the DST National League as the best third-placed team.

"A point should be enough for us. We are playing against MS ABDB, one of the best football clubs in the country. But a win would be a bonus for us," said the coach. "All the players are in good condition. They are fit and ready after a disappointing defeat in DST FA Cup semi-final to Indera SC. We look forward to playing MS ABDB and we will adopt a more aggressive play style this time around."

Other teams participating are QAF FC, Indera Sports Club, Majra United, Liang Lumut Recreation Club Football Team (LLRC FT), Jerudong FC, Najip FC, Kilanas FC and Wijaya FC.

The Brunei Times

11 December 2012

Inaugural DST Super League 2012-2013 Begins Friday

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (11 Dec 2012) – The much anticipated DST Super League will begin on Friday. Organised by the National FA of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD), the league will have ten teams taking part.
The teams were selected based on their performance at the DST National League, which ran from last December to June this year with 112 matches being played by 32 teams divided into eight groups.

Indera Sports Club
Majra United
Liang Lumut Recreation Club Football Team (LLRC FT) 
Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB)
Jerudong FC
Najip FC
Kilanas FC
Royal Brunei Police Force Sports Council (MS PBD)
Wijaya FC


2014 AFC Challenge Cup draw : Brunei to Philippines !

2014 AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers in Philippines :



Tuesday, December 11, 2012
MOHAMMAD Hardi Hj Matassan's 115th minute header handed the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) the DST FA Cup last night after edging Indera Sports Club 1-0 in a game that was destined for penalties until the dramatic winner.

It was the third time in four years MS ABDB have won the tournament after successes in the 2009 and 2010 editions of the competition.

Both teams had their chances to seal the game at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas, with Indera — who were in their first DST FA Cup final — dominating the first half but on the back foot for the latter stages of the second.

Mohammad Arif Hj Zulkifli should have scored the winner for Indera when he was put through on goal in the 99th minute, but his lob was well off the target.

They were made to pay when MS ABDB's Budiman Jumat — who helped shape the game after coming on as a second-half substitute — delivered a cross from the left that Mohammad Hardi latched on to with a powerful header five minutes from the final whistle.

Indera were forced to clear off the line twice in the game, and speaking to the media about the goal-line clearances, MS ABDB coach felt they were robbed.

"I thought both of them were goals," said Saiful Rizal Awang, who failed to mention that MS ABDB scored when Indera's Hamizan Aziz Sulaiman was on the touchline receiving treatment. "We won because we were patient and worked hard. We had a lot of chances, we were unlucky not to take it."

MS ABDB had said the game would be decided in the 90 minutes and Ishak found consolation in the fact they made the army men swallow their words.

"I'm very proud of the team for bringing the game to extra-time," said Ishak, adding they lost out on stamina.

MS ABDB's Md Baharin Hamidon could have settled the tie in regulation time but skied a 90th minute chance.

The soldiers controlled the last 15 minutes of the game, with Budiman watching a 73rd minute free-kick bounce off the post before another one was saved by Indera goalkeeper Ak Omar Nur Aqammadin Pg Hj Sallehuddin.

Indera's Muhd Nur Ikwan Othman should have opened the scoring in the 69th minute when through on goal, but his shot was easily saved by MS ABDB shotstopper Muhammad Suhandi Hj Awg Mahali, who also pulled off a superb save from an attempt by Reduan Hj Petara in the 44th minute.

Mohammad Nazirul Nazreen Abdullah created the best chance of the first half after stealing the ball off a MS ABDB defender and wafting an inch-perfect cross-field pass to Mohammad Khayrun Salleh, whose tame attempt was easily saved by Muhammad Suhandi.

With a team filled with national players, there was no doubt Indera were on top in the first half — their quick passes and off the ball movement set a tempo MS ABDB were unable to match.The Brunei Times

FOOTBALL DPMM FC leave for Indonesia today

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
DPMM FC know that this week's Governor Aceh Trophy in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, will test their fitness and stamina to the limit.

DPMM FC take on Malaysian side Kelantan on Saturday and Indonesian outfit Semen Padang on Sunday.

Both champions of their respective leagues, they are just the kind of opponents DPMM FC will be looking to play as they prepare for next season's Singapore League.

The other group will see Malaysian giants Selangor face hosts Banda Aceh and fellow Indonesian side Makassar United, with the top-two teams in each group progressing to next Wednesday's semi-finals.

Brunei's only professional club finished last season's Singapore League (S-League) second despite not playing competitive football for two years, with their only quality pre-season coming against Thai Premier League side Chiangrai United FC, who they beat 2-1.

Leaving for Indonesia today, DPMM FC captain Rosmin Hj Mohd Kamis admitted that the Governor Aceh Trophy will prove to be a tougher assignment.

"It's very hard to play two games in two days ... Players need 48 hours to recover after every match," pointed out the skipper yesterday. "But pre-season warm up tournaments like these are important. I think training has been going well ... and the games in Aceh will give us the chance to better judge the four players who are on trial with us."

"I know Kelantan will be bringing some of their on-trial players as well, and I heard Keita Mandjou will be one of them," said Rosmin, referring to the former DPMM FC and Perak striker who ended the 2006/07 campaign as tied joint top-scorer with DPMM FC's Shahrazen Said on 21 goals.

It is understood DPMM FC will be bringing a striker, two midfielders and one defender with them to Indonesia.

Though DPMM FC had a two-week break after the S-League ended on Nov 2, Shahrazen feels the team is back to normal in terms of fitness.

However, he still thinks the games in Banda Aceh will be tough on the players — though he feels it is a challenge the team is up for.

"Playing two games in as many days is bound to take a toll on the players," said Shahrazen, who was the team's top-scorer in the S-League last season with 13 goals.

"It's very important for us to have warm-up games like these, because last time we only had one game against Chiangrai

"Personally, my target is for us to reach the semi-final. Once we get there, anything can happen. I don't know much about Semen Padang but I do know Kelantan are the Malaysian champions," he added.

Kelantan have been the most successful Malaysian team over the past few years, evident from their form in Malaysia's top-tier Malaysia Super League.

Kelantan are the reigning Malaysia Super League champions, successfully defending the title they won in 2011. They finished the 2010 season second.

The Red Warriors are also the defending champions in the Malaysia Cup — a trophy they won for the first time in 2010.

Semen Padang FC are no pushovers either, the team are the reigning champions of the country's top-tier tournament, the Indonesian Premier League.

But with Shahrazen around, DPMM FC know that they have a proven goal-scorer who will find the net if enough chances are created.

DPMM FC last took to Indonesia for a tournament in August 2008, when they lost 2-0 to Indonesia B and 5-1 to Libya Under-23 in the Pertamina Independence Cup — with Shahrazen scoring the team's only goal in the eight-day competition in Jakarta.

The Brunei Times 

06 December 2012

Indera FC set up title showdown with MS ABDB

Thursday, December 6, 2012
INDERA FC booked their berth in the final of the DST Brunei FA Cup after a pulsating 5-3 penalty shootout win over Royal Brunei Police Forces Sports Council (MS PDB) at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night.

Indera FC goalkeeper Ak Omar Nur Aqammadin saved Rokiman Kisut penalty after the semi-final had been locked at 2-2 in the extra time.

The victory set up Indera FC against the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (MS ABDB), who beat IKLS FC 3-1, at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on December 10.

"We were a bit lucky tonight. I was worried when the game went into a penalty shoot-out. MS PDB played very well tonight, they defended very well. We want to finish the game off within 90 minutes, there were a lot of chances but the players were very wasteful tonight," said Indera FC Manager Rosdin Hj Abdul Aziz after the victory.

"We made careless mistakes in the game. We should have protected the 2-0 lead in the game. The players' moods were down in the first half. We tried to give them some motivation during the half-time break.

"We will play MS ABDB in the final. The advantage is on them. They are very fit and they have the training facilities to train everyday while we are not. However, we will try our best to beat them in the final," he added.

Indera FC opened the scoring early in the first minute when Muhammad Hamizan Abdul Aziz scored from inside the penalty box in what was their first attack of the game. Mohammad Khayrun Salleh then made it 2-0 three minutes later.

MS PDB replied in the 15th minutes when Mohammad Zulkhairie scored from 30 metres out to beat Indera FC goalkeeper. Mohd Fazizul Hussin then equalised in the 33th minute for the policemen.

However, it was one-way traffic from then on as Indera FC pressed forward in search of the winning goal.

The best chance of the second-half fell to Azwan Ali Rahman in the 57th minute but his attempt was turned onto the post by an alert MS PDB goalkeeper Mohd Khairol Amin.

Indera FC missed a number goal-scoring chances in the second-half and the match ended 2-2 after 90 minutes.

In the extra time, both teams went at each other in pulsating end-to-end action with fierce tackles and plenty of goalmouth action before the penalty shoot-out.

Indera FC could have won the match in the last minute of extra time but defender Reduan Hj Petara sent the ball over the bar after a free header following a corner-kick.

The Brunei Times 

02 December 2012

Late goals shoot MS PBD into semis

Saturday, December 1, 2012
THE Royal Brunei Police Force Sports Council (MS PBD) produced a stunning display in extra-time to beat Kilanas FC 2-0 to qualify for the semi-finals of the Brunei FA Cup at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night.

MS PBD's clash with Kilanas FC for a place in the last four failed to produce any result in the regulation time.

Both teams had an equal number of chances to break the deadlock but somehow failed to find the back of the net.

However, with the match going into extra-time, MS PBD came out with renewed energy and vigour.

Six minutes into the restart, APO Md Syarafuddin Hamdi broke through the Kilanas defence after being fed a straight through ball pass into the penalty box.

The midfielder immediately blasted the ball into the left side of the net, making a spectator out of Kilanas goalkeeper Mohd Faisal Hashim.

Kilanas FC tried to respond and changed their strategy.

They resorted to long crosses but this tactic proved to be counter-productive as it paved the way for the second MS PBD goal that put the result beyond any doubt.

Latching onto a loose ball, a low cross from the right from MS PBD found an unmarked PC Mohd Huzairol Mohd Idris waiting inside the penalty box, who calmly tapped the ball into the net in the 120th minute.

MS PBD will face Indera SC on Wednesday in their semi-final match while IKLS FC will take on MS ABDB on Tuesday.

Both matches will start at 8pm at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The Brunei Times 

30 November 2012

Soto, Roberts On Trial in Brunei

By Wleh Bedell

Two of the country's brightest stars, James Soto Roberts and Dominic Jarteh, are currently on trial in the Asian state of Brunei with Duli Pengiran Muda Mahkota Foot Club (PPMFC). The pair arrived in that  country on Monday where they will undergo a two-week trial.

Soto who plies his trade with Premiership outfit LPRC Oilers is a typical winger with bursting pace and is one of the best local lads who has shown consistency in his game as he has regularly competed with the country's oversea based players for a place on the senior national team.

Jarteh who scored an unprecedented 20 goals to end as top scorer in the Liberian elite league last season, plies his trade with modest club Fatu FC and like the ex- Bassa Defenders and Liberia Black Star wide man Soto, was recently called on the local based squad for the duel with Mauritania on December 2, in the Local African Nations Cup qualifiers first leg first round tie at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS).

According to news from the club, the players were being monitored in the local league and were recommended by Sports Administrator Emmanuel Geeza Williams, the head of Sports to Develop Underprivileged (SDU).

Other notable players expected to move on trial at the club include ex-Arsenal and Westham winger Louis Boa Morte and former Wigan and Spurs defender Pascal Chibonda.

Also, former Brazil and Real Madrid full back Roberto Carlos is expected to visit the club shortly. The ex-bomber who is currently Sporting Director of Russian side Anzhi Makachkala, according to the report will be visiting the club to discuss ways in making them more viable.

Anzhi is in Brunie though, but, play in the top flight of Singapore.

26 November 2012

IKLS FC in semi-final

Monday, November 26, 2012

AK MD HALIM Pg Hj Hassan sent IKLS FC to the last four of the DST Brunei FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Tunas FC last night.

His 19th minute strike during the quarter-final tie at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas booked IKLS a semis date with the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB), the two teams meeting up on Dec 4.

MS ABDB advanced after beating Majra FC 3-1 on Nov 9.

Quarter-final action continues tomorrow (Tuesday) with Liang Lumut Recreation Club Football Team (LLRC FT) facing Indera Sports Club at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium at 8pm. The last quarter-final match pits the Royal Brunei Police Force Sports Council against Kilanas FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Friday.

The Brunei Times

23 November 2012

EPL's Chimbonda tries out for DPMM FC

Friday, November 23, 2012
POINTING his fingers to the heavens as he admired yesterday's orange skies over the Jerudong Mini Stadium at sunset, Pascal Chimbonda knew exactly why he has come to Brunei to tryout for DPMM FC and become possibly their biggest-ever signing.

"I don't need to explain anything ... This is a beautiful country," he grinned when asked why he chose to come to Brunei.

"I wanted a new challenge.

"I know DPMM FC finished second in the Singapore League last season and I heard a lot of good things about this country.

"I know about Brunei from the Sultan (His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam) and my agent told me to come here, try it out and stay for a bit ... So we'll see how it goes.

"I just arrived today (yesterday) so I think training will be better tomorrow (today)," added the versatile defender, whose contract at League One (English third-tier) side Doncaster Rovers expired in June.

The former Wigan and Tottenham defender is in the initial batch of three foreign players DPMM FC brought in for trials yesterday, with midfielders James Robinson and Maxime Belouet the other two.

The club are looking to sign four imports injured Brazilian centre-back Tales Ricarte dos Santos is still on their books in line with next season's S-League rules, which allow for five.

Though DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic admitted he did not know much about the ex-English Premier League player, Brunei football fans certainly need no introduction.

Part of France's 2006 World Cup squad, Chimbonda will no doubt have benefited from the experience of sharing the same dressing room with players the quality of Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira.

With the club having released veteran Croatian midfielder Ivan Jerkovic and strikers Osman Basiru and Patrick Roberto Daniel Da Silva after their S-League season ended on Nov 2, DPMM FC know that Chimbonda will bring years of experience playing at the highest-level.

Chimbonda's signing, if it does work out, follows the high-profile captures of Spanish striker Daniel Guiza La Liga's topscorer in 2008 and former Middlesbrough captain George Boateng by Malaysian clubs Johor and Terengganu.

Though he does not enjoy the same stature, Chimbonda's compatriot, Belouet, might be another good signing for DPMM FC since he has previous S-League experience.

The 26-year-old played for E{aac}toile FC, a team of European-born players which won the S-League and Singapore League Cup during their debut season in 2010.

He then went on to ply his trade at Indian side Salgaocar FC, which competes in the top-tier I-League and is coached by former Brunei handler David Booth.

Robinson, meanwhile, is in his second stint in DPMM FC after injury forced him to leave last year's trials.

The 30-year-old Englishman who described himself as a box-to-box midfielder started his career at League One outfit Crewe Alexandra before moving on to Iceland's IBV.

He spent the last five years playing at various levels in Australia.The Brunei Times

DPMM FC to play in Governor Acheh Trophy

Friday, November 23, 2012
DPMM FC will be playing in the Governor Acheh Trophy next month.

DPMM FC club manager Ali Hj Momin yesterday revealed that the club has received their official letter of invitation to join the December 9-16 tournament.

"We received the letter of the invitation to play in the tournament from the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) last week. I am not sure what teams will be playing in the tournament but Malaysia will be sending teams for the tournament too," said Ali yesterday.

"We have booked tickets to Indonesia for the tournament. I still do not know how many players will travel with us but now we are having trial for new players and current players are also required to attend the trial. We will see how they will perform first."

Former English Premier League Wigan Athletics and Tottenham Hotspur defender Pascal Chimbonda is currently on trial with the club.

Asked if Chimbonda will travel with the squad to Indonesia for the tournament, the manager said: "I don't know, it is up to the coach. If we want to see him more in action, we might bring him with us.

According to NFABD's assistant general secretary Hj Mohd Taha Hj Mohd Tahir, NFABD received the invitation from Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) for DPMM FC to participate in the tournament last week.

"We received the letter last week. Football teams from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia will be competing in the tournament. We here, in NFABD, will always give a green light for the local football teams to participate in the tournaments in the region," said Hj Taha.

The last time DPMM FC played in a tournament in Indonesia was in August 2008, in the Pertamina Independence Cup football tournament where they lost to Indonesia B 2-0 and Libya Under-23 5-1.

Shahrazen Said scored the only goal for DPMM FC in the eight-day tournament in Jakarta.

Indonesia A were crowned the champions of the Pertamina Independence Cup after defeating Libya Under-23 3-1 in the final.

The Brunei Times

19 November 2012

Where do DPMM FC go?

Saturday, November 17, 2012
DPMM FC have taken a huge gamble by deciding to field a changed line-up for next season's Singapore League (S-League).

Training resumes on Tuesday, but unlike last season, there will be a few familiar faces missing at the Jerudong Mini Stadium Croatian Ivan Jerkovic (pic) the most notable.

The highly-experienced central midfielder who was surprisingly released with two other imports was considered one of the team's elder statesmen alongside captain Rosmin Hj Mohd Kamis and vice-captain Pg Sallehuddin Pg Hj Damit.

Highly respected by players and fans alike, the club's decision to release the calm and composed Jerkovic who netted six goals and laid on 15 - is dumbfounding, especially since it does not look like they have a replacement lined up.

Strikers Osman Basiru and Patrick Roberto Daniel Da Silva could perhaps be faulted for not contributing enough to the team, and hence their return to Ghana and Brazil respectively.

But Jerkovic's symbiotic partnership in the middle of the field with Rosmin has been the foundation the team's two S-League seasons were built on seasons in which they won the Singapore League Cup twice and finished runners-up last term.

There has been talk of former English Premier League players Luis Boa Morte and Pascal Chimbonda joining the club, but the club have not gone on record to confirm their arrival yet.

DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic, who called the S-League Coach of the Year award he won last Sunday as the "crown" of his time at DPMM FC, knows just how important continuity is for success.

Despite not having played competitively for two years, the club have enhanced their reputation by finishing second last campaign and winning the Singapore League Cup for the second time and the pressure is definitely on the team to produce next season.

For that to happen though, they need experienced heads the like of Jerkovic, 33, and Pg Sallehuddin, 39, to lead by example.

13 November 2012

DPMM FC's Simunic named coach of the year

Monday, November 12, 2012
DPMM FC bench-boss Vjeran Simunic (pic) was named the Coach of the Year at last night's Singapore League (S-League) Awards Night.

This honour caps off a successful season for the Croatian tactician after guiding the club to second in the S-League and master-minding another Singapore League Cup triumph after two seasons without competitive football for the club.

Though he was disappointed to have come out second best to Tampines Rovers in the race for last season's S-League crown, Simunic will no doubt feel that his decision to return to the team which he was forced to leave in 2009 after FIFA's suspension on the Sultanate has been the right one.

The victory in the Singapore League Cup was the first time any team had won the competition twice, with the club's victory in 2009 marking the first time the trophy was lifted by a foreign side. Simunic beat off competition from Balestier Khalsa's Darren Stewart and Geylang United's V Kanan for last night's award.

Striker Shahrazen Said who ended the season as the DPMM FC's top scorer with 14 goals in all competition was also in the running for the Player of the Year Award but lost out to Tampines' Aleksandar Duric.

Home United's Frederic Mendy took home the Top Scorer award after scoring 20 S-League goals last term while Harimau Muda's (Malaysian national Under-23 team) Wan Zack Haikal won the Young Player of the Year Award and People's Choice Award.

The Brunei Times

11 November 2012

MS ABDB shoot through to semis

Saturday, November 10, 2012
THE Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) earned a place in the semi-finals of the DST Brunei FA Cup for the first time after beating Majra FC 3-1 yesterday.

Both teams pressured each other throughout the first half at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas, with Majra playing a fast-paced game and MS ABDB concentrating on quick one-two passes.

MS ABDB and Majra both had many opportunities to score, MS ABDB midfielder Mohd Isa Hj Bahar creating his team's best chance with a shot from outside the box in the 24th minute which Majra goalkeeper Abi Yazid Yussof did well to deal with.

Majra had their fair share of chances as well, striker Mohd Jurelmi Hj Zaini receiving the ball from a cross but heading just over the bar in the 35th minute.

MS ABDB finally broke the deadlock in the 55th minute when SLD Mohd Mazazizi scored after receiving a low cross from the right.

With a goal up, spirits were high within the MS ABDB team and midfielder SLD Mohd Baharin Hamidon scored the second goal just five minutes later with a thundering shot outside the penalty box — leaving Majra's helpless Abi Yazid watch the ball sail into the net.

Majra, however, did not lose hope, and they would get on the scoresheet in the 70th minute when Mohd Jurelmi received a pass from the right, sprinted into the penalty box, and blasted the ball past SLD Mohd Tarmizi's right.

Majra did not have much time to celebrate though, with MS ABDB scoring their third goal a minute later.

A right cornerkick awarded to the armymen found an unmarked SLD Affendy Hj Akub, who headed the ball into the far post.

Speaking to The Brunei Times MS ABDB's team manager Major (U) Suhaimi Jamali stated that there were no problems with the team's performance — though their first-half game needed improvement.

"From my observation, every first half that we have played in this tournament has shown that the players are just not psychologically confident," said Major Suhaimi.

"The team put too much pressure on themselves to be perfect but they came out shaky," he said, adding that the team needs a push in their self belief.

MS ABDB will face either IKLS FC or Tunas FC in the Dec 4 semi-final.

IKLS take on Tunas FC on Nov 25.

Last night's game saw the Royal Brunei Police Force Sports Council beat Muara Vella 3-1 in third round play.

Action continues tomorrow when Liang Lumut Recreation Club Football team (LLRC FT) take on Setia Perdana.

The third round tie will kick off at the Balapan Track and Field at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas at 8pm.

The Brunei Times

07 November 2012

DPMM Fc releases all foreigners !

In other S-League news, league runners-up Brunei DPMM FC have released its foreign quartet following the conclusion of a relatively successful season which saw the Bruneian outfit lift the StarHub League Cup as it did in 2009, its last season in the S-League before Fifa prevented Vjeran Simunic’s side from completing its season.

Basiru Osman, Ivan Jerkovic, Patrick Da Silva and Tales Dos Santos have been released by the club, and it is understood that the Bruneians are keen on bringing foreign players of better quality for the 2013 season.


06 November 2012

Ak Mohd Safri nets the winner for army

Tuesday, November 6, 2012
THE ROYAL Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) saw off Sporting FT at the third round of the Brunei FA Cup with a solitary goal from Ak Mohd Safri Pg Hj Othman at the Balapan Track and Field at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas last night.

"It was a very difficult game. Sporting FT put nine players behind and only one striker upfront. It was very hard to penetrate their defence in the first half. But in the second half we decided to bring in midfielders and attack from both sides and we finally managed to find the net," the MS ABDB assistant manager, Hj Mohd Sabri Hj Ahmad, said.

MS ABDB held the initiative from the beginning, repeatedly broke through from both sides, while Sporting FT failed to supply their lone striker Ak Muhd Marfadillah Al-Hadi with a single decent cross.

In the 59th minute, Abdul Azizi Ali Rahman header went over the bar from a left corner, while Ak Mohd Safri shot from close range was caught by the goalkeeper in the 67th minute.

Sensing the urgency the armymen started to put pressure on the Sporting FT defence in the final 20 minutes of the game, but a couple of long shots by midfielder Mohd Amir Ajmal and Mohd Baharin Mohd Hamidon failed to find the net.

Ak Safri once again found himself in the clear in the 71st minute but his sizzling shot went wide.

A decision by MS ABDB assistant manager Hj Mohd Sabri to bring in substitute Mohd Baharin in the second half paid dividends.

The winger set a brilliant pass for Ak Mohd Safri who only needed a simple tap in to send MS ABDB to the quarter-finals of the tournament. MS ABDB will face Majra FC in the quarter-final on Friday.

The other game at the Berakas Sports Complex saw Tunas FC defeat Rimba Star FC 3-2. Faiz Farhan, Mohammad Azril and Mohd Nazirul Hadi all got their names onto the scoresheet in the winning cause.

Tunas FC will either clash with Royal Brunei Police Force Sports Council (MS PDB) or Muara Vella FC in the quarter-finals.

The Brunei Times 

03 November 2012

DPMM FC finish 2nd best

Saturday, November 3, 2012
DPMM FC will have to settle for second in the Singapore League (S-League) after putting in a dull display to lose 2-0 to Balestier Khalsa FC in last night's title-decider the first time they were held goalless at home all season and snapping a five-game winning streak.

Failing to shift gears as the match wore on, DPMM FC found it tough to break down a resilient Balestier defence and eventually fell to their third home loss of the S-League campaign a result which combined with Tampines Rovers FC's 1-0 win against Malaysian national Under-23 team Harimau Muda in last night's other match, saw the Stags retain their crown.

DPMM FC's midfield had a hard time playing as a unit despite the sizable support at the soaked Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

They struggled to penetrate Balestier Khalsa's defence and found chances few and far in between in a game they had to win and hope for dropped points from Tampines.

The club can still look back at their first full S-League campaign their debut in 2009 was stopped with five games to go because of FIFA's suspension on Brunei as one filled with numerous positives though, becoming the only team to win the Singapore League Cup for the second time in August and blooding new talent the likes of striker Adi Said and defender Ampuan Mohd Nurul Azami Ampuan Hussin.

Add in the fact that the team were left out of competitive football for two years because of the suspension, finishing second was a huge achievement especially considering their target at the start was only a place in the top-5.

The 75th minute substitution of injured centre-back Ampuan Mohd Nurul Azami and right-back Hj Muhd Subhi Abdilah Hj Bakir changed the face of last night's game, and Balestier stunned the stadium when Zulkiffli Hassim headed in a 80th minute goal and Park Kang-jin produced an even bigger shocker by chipping goalkeeper Wardun Yussof seven minutes later both goals coming from fluid counter-attacks.

Balestier looked content to sit back with their five-man back-line and play on the break, a tactic which earned them their 12th clean sheet of the S-League campaign and proving just why they have the stingiest defence in the league after only letting in 20 goals all season.

Attributing the loss to bad luck, DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic said that Fahrudin Mustafic's 41st minute penalty for Tampines at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore demotivated the players once the news filtered down to the dressing room at half-time.

"When we went in at the break and heard that Tampines were ahead... The boys were down," admitted Simunic.

"I knew that it would be hard when Ampuan and Subhi were injured and I had to take them out.

"Like what I've said before, Balestier are a team with the best organisation.

"They waited for us to make a mistake, and we took risks to try and win the game but we lost," added the Croatian.

Balestier's Zdravko Dragicevic scuttled the first chance of the game with a weak attempt in the seventh minute, with Azwan Salleh's long-range attempt in the 16th minute DPMM FC's first shot of note.

Ivan Jerkovic had the best chance for the hosts after winning the ball in the middle of the park and forcing a save from Zakariah Nerani after a shot from outside the box on the half-hour mark.

Ruhaizad Ismail should have given the visitors the lead nine minutes later but blazed the shot wide despite only having Wardun to beat with both his and Dragicevic's chances coming from Park's crosses.

Perhaps sensing that DPMM FC were reeling from the news that Tampines were ahead, Balestier came out the hungrier side at the start of the second half, with their best chance coming in the 53rd minute when Ruhaizad hit the side netting.

The unmarked Patrick Roberto Daniel Da Silva had a golden opportunity to put DPMM FC in front but was unable to test Zakariah with a shot from outside the box after Balestier failed to clear their lines in the 70th minute.

Park forced Wardun into a double-save in the 76th minute, but Balestier wouldn't be denied four minutes later when the ever-reliable DPMM FC captain Rosmin Hj Mohd Kamis was robbed off the ball by three players after spending too long with it in midfield.

Flowing forward with intent, substitute Andrew Tan sent in a delightful cross from the left to Zulkiffli, who headed it home past a diving Wardun.

Though Rosmin would later apologise for the mistake, the damage was already done.

With momentum on their side, Balestier scored another goal against the run of play when their defence booted a DPMM FC corner-kick up the field and onto the onrushing Park.

He raced through to goal without a defender in sight and cooly chipped the onrushing Wardun for one of the best goals scored at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium all year with left-back Sairol Hj Sahari receiving his second yellow card for protesting.

With it also being the last S-League goal fans would see this campaign, it was only fitting that the match would end in such dramatic fashion.

The Brunei Times

01 November 2012

Shahrazen: Winning the S-League is the true goal

Thursday, November 1, 2012
SHAHRAZEN Said can end the Singapore League (S-League) season second in the goal-scoring charts but the striker insists it won't mean a thing unless DPMM FC beat Tampines Rovers FC for the title in tomorrow's season-ender.

The country's only professional club is gearing up for its biggest match in history, facing Balestier Khalsa FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas tomorrow night in a must-win match if they are to lift the S-League trophy for the first time.

Defending champions and league leaders Tampines take on Malaysian national Under-23 side Harimau Muda at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore in the night's other game, and a slip up from the Stags combined with a DPMM FC win will see the Great Eastern Yeo's S-League trophy travel across the South China Sea.

Shahrazen is currently third with 13 goals, with Geylang United FC's Jozef Kaplan and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) FC's Mislav Karoglan both on 14 and Home United FC's Frederic Mendy leading the table with 20.

Mendy has the chance to add to his tally when Home take on the Young Lions (Singaporean national Under-23 team) tonight in the final game for both sides. Kaplan and Karoglan also face off tonight in the last match of the season for both Geylang and SAF, where goals from either player will make Shahrazen's task all the more harder.

DPMM FC's top-scorer though, stressed that he has other matters on his mind.

"I'm not really thinking about it," said Shahrazen last week when asked what he felt about his goal-tally.

"The most important thing is that we beat Balestier and Tampines drop points... For me, anything more than that is just good luck.

"I'm just doing my job as a striker ... If I have the chance to score, I take it.

"Finishing second in the table is just a bonus for me.

"I never expected to score 13 goals... If you had asked me at the start of the season, I didn't even think I would score 10.

"I scored nine goals the last time we were in the S-League (in 2009), and two of them were in the Singapore League Cup," added Shahrazen, who finished joint top-scorer with Perak's Keita Mandjou during the 2006/07 Malaysian Super League (MSL) season with 21 goals.

Though the 26-year-old only netted once during DPMM FC's run to the Singapore League Cup crown in August, he couldn't have picked a better time than the final against Geylang, scoring the 36th minute opener before Azwan Salleh's 76th minute free-kick won the game.

The striker was in the midst of a drought leading up to the August 11 final against Geylang, his last goal coming on May 5 when he bagged a brace in the 5-1 win against Hougang United FC.

He hasn't had any problems finding the back of the net since then though, going on to score five goals in the team's seven S-League games leading up to tomorrow's title-decider.

Though he might lack the speed which was so pivotal to his rich vein of form during the 2006/07 MSL campaign, the striker remains just as clinical in front of goal and his ability to carve out space continues to mark him out as DPMM FC's most potent threat.

The Brunei Times