20 May 2012

DPMM FC's loss blessing in disguise?

Sunday, May 20, 2012
DPMM FC'S latest loss to Home United FC has left them with more time to focus on their main aim this season a Top-5 finish in the Singapore League (S-League).

Brunei's most dominant football club fell to their fourth loss in as many games to the Singapore Cup titleholders last Thursday, and the 1-0 first round (Round of 16) defeat means the Protectors have now established themselves as DPMM FC's bogey team.

But S-League table-toppers DPMM FC have already put the result behind them easy to do when they enjoy a five-point lead over second-place Home United and safe in the knowledge they have the best goal difference in the 13-team table.

They end the first round of 12 league games on top with 29 points from nine wins and two draws with the 1-0 loss against Home United on April 19 the only time they have failed to pick up a point in this season's S-League campaign.

"Now we must concentrate on the league," said Ivan Jerkovic yesterday, whose strong play in central midfield has been a big part of the team's success.

"There are just 12 games left (in the league) and we have to take it one game at a time and do our best.

"Against Home United, we had many chances but didn't take them. They scored from the chance they had but that's football," added the Croatian.

The team are set to enjoy a five-day break before training resumes next week, and with their next game only on June 15 against Tampines Rovers FC at the Clementi Stadium in Singapore the players cannot be faulted for wanting to put their legs up for a bit.

Though he welcomed the break, Jerkovic said that the team have to be going full-steam ahead once the second round starts.

"Now without a game for one month ... We have to continue where we left off," stated the midfield general, who was afraid the break would affect the team's momentum.

"When you stop, you have to start again ... Play the same way.

"All the teams know we are at the top and they like to beat us. Tampines, Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) FC, Home ... They're all hungry to win the title," he warned.

Agreeing that the team now have to focus on the league, Sairol Hj Sahri felt that the loss has given DPMM FC food for thought.

"We should use this as a lesson," said the left-back.

"I don't know why but ... we've played them four times and have never even drawn," he said, adding that DPMM FC have had no such problems against other S-League powerhouses such as SAF FC or Tampines.

Talking to Hj Muhd Subhi Abdilah Hj Bakir, it didn't take long for him to point out the lessons he learnt from Home United.

"They were just waiting for us," said the right-back.

"They played on the counter-attack. They usually play 4-4-2 but it was different ... They flooded more players in defence and midfield and just waited for us to make a mistake, and that one mistake cost us the game.

"We played well and followed coach's (Vjeran Simunic) strategies and we had a lot of chances, but we were probably unlucky.

"It was our game for 90 minutes I still think we were the better team."The Brunei Times

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