28 August 2012

Harimau Muda too good FOOTBALL for DPMM FC

Monday, August 27, 2012
OUTCLASSED and outplayed, DPMM FC fell to their second straight Singapore League (S-League) home defeat last night when they lost 2-1 to a slick and suave Harimau Muda side.

The game marked DPMM FC's first match since they captured the Singapore League Cup for the second time on Aug 11 but it was the Malaysian national Under-23s who were riding a wave of confidence, dominating their hosts with their captivating one-touch passing and intelligent off-the-ball movement.

Though the game was dubbed DPMM FC's "Hari Raya Open House", their midfield simply failed to show up and entertain their guests at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas, and unable to keep possession or string any number of passes together, equally as inept at moving the ball forward or linking up on the offense when it mattered the most.

Denied time and space, DPMM FC's poor marking and positioning also made it an uncharacteristic performance from Brunei's only professional side who at least can be lucky that they have Friday's game against Gombak United FC to make amends for their mistakes.

With their main rivals all dropping points last week, DPMM FC who remain third in the table will be gutted to have been unable to capitalise on their opponents' slip-up.

Harimau Muda, meanwhile, moved from sixth to fifth.

The impressive Wan Zack Haikal gave the visitors a deserved 26th minute lead after shooting from a tight angle and beating Wardun Yussof at his near post, and though Shahrazen Said would even the scores seconds after the restart when latching onto an Ivan Jerkovic pass, DPMM FC weren't able to sustain the kind of attacking momentum they are capable of.

Towering centre-back Tales Ricarte dos Santos was forced to leave the game in the 80th minute after an injury and his presence was sorely missed when Wan Zaharulnizam powered home a 87th minute winner after some static defendinginside the box.

"We deserved a draw with the chances we created," claimed DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic, who saw his side lose their first home game of the season 2-1 to Singapore Armed Forces FC on June 23.

"Maybe it was because of Hari Raya ...Open houses ... But Harimau Muda are an excellent team. They were fresh, they were hungry. They can be champions," noted the Croatian grimly.
His counterpart was understandably happier.
"We lost our last two games so it's good to have three points back," said Ong Kim Swee.
"We showed our calibre today despite not having some key players. I'd win the league if I had all my players fit," said the coach, who agreed that dos Santos' injury contributed to the win.
Setting the tone for the rest of the tie, Wardun had to come off his line to clear a threat from D Saarvindran after just one minute.
Wan Zaharulnizam hit the side netting in the seventh minute and DPMM FC's Azwan Salleh had a free-kick that was easily saved by Harimau Muda custodian Izham Tarmizi in the 13th minute, the goalkeeper effectively dealing with any crosses and corners throughout the game.
Though the hosts enjoyed a spell of pressure after the 15-minute mark, a through ball to Wan Zack Haikal who was creating all sorts of trouble on the right flank saw the unmarked midfielder rifle home a shot past Wardun.
Simunic had seen enough and threw on Shahrazen's brother Adi for Ghanian striker Osman Basiru who was already on one yellow card and had committed at least three fouls.
DPMM FC skipper Rosmin Kamis shot straight at Izham in the 43rd minute and dos Santos's header which hit the side netting two minutes later was all the DPMM FC fans had to savour as first half highlights.
They were still finding their seats when Shahrazen netted straight after the kick-off, Jerkovic laying off a long-ball to the striker for his team-leading ninth S-League goal of the season.
Making his home debut, striker Patrick Roberto Daniel Da Silva's best chance came off a 51st minute header from an Adi cross though the crowd was more animated when Shahrazen produced a diving save from Izham after stealing the ball off Wan Zack Haikal and pulling the trigger ten minutes later.
More slick passing opened space for substitute Thamil Arasu in the 65th minute, and though his shot was wide off the left post, it proved that Harimau Muda could strike at any time.
Hj Mohd Subhi Abdillah Hj Bakir was through on goal in the 71st minute but took one touch too many, with Da Silva shooting straight at Izham six minutes later.
They were made to pay when Wan Zack Haikal beat his marker on the right, put in a cross that was met by Syahul Azwari, who then moved it along to Wan Zaharulnizam who would not miss from hardly two yards out, with the referee dismissing accusations of off-side.
Though da Silva had a 89th minute free-kick which Izham saved at the top right-corner, and Shahrazen came close to scoring from inside the box but had his shot stopped before colliding with the glovesman, a draw would have been too big a Hari Raya gift to ask.

The Brunei Times

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