21 February 2013

DST Super League heats up

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
INDERA Sports Club will be hoping for an unlikely scenario when DST Super League title rivals Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) take on Kilanas FC on March 3 - dropped points.

The country's top-tier football competition takes a break this week for the 29th National Day celebrations, but when it resumes next Tuesday, local football fans can expect the action to come raining down thick and fast.

A side brimming with national players, Indera's consistent showing over the past nine weeks has set them up as the only team capable of challenging MS ABDB for this year's trophy.

Indera trail the soldiers by three points heading into the final two weeks, and with MS ABDB collecting 19 points out of a possible 21 so far, their only blemish a 2-2 draw against Majra FC, it might be too much to ask for ninth-placed Kilanas to take more points off the army men.

Majra are currently third in the 10-team table, equal on points with Indera but with one game less to play.

Majra will close out their campaign with a tie against QAF FC on March 2, but even if they pick up all three points in that match, their poor goal difference means the DST Super League is out of their sight this season.

A win for fifth-placed QAF, on the other hand, will see them pull level on points with Majra, though their goal difference will not allow them to rise any higher than fourth.

QAF will need to beat Majra by at least six goals for them to climb to third, an unlikely outcome considering the form QAF have been in lately.

Fourth-placed Royal Brunei Police Force Sports Council (MS PDB) also have a chance at displacing Majra when they face Jerudong FC in the first Week 10 match next Tuesday, both teams enjoying the same goal difference and the policemen only three points adrift of Majra.

Another tie to look out for on Week 10 will be the March 3 match between Wijaya FC and Najip FC, the latter looking to pick up their first points of the season.

Wins for Indera, Majra and QAF in last week's ninth round were crucial in their bid to end the season on a high, Indera beating Kilanas 4-0 on Friday, Majra edging Liang Lumut Recreation Club Football Team 1-0 on Saturday and QAF going past Wijaya FC 4-1 on Sunday.

A strong showing from their forwards helped QAF beat Wijaya, the latter's poor form in front of goal contributing to their fifth loss of the season.

Majra's Mohd Syarafuddin Ahmad sealed them all three points against the Belait-based LLRC, the substitute's 47th minute curler proving to be the only goal of the night.

And not for the first time, Mohammad Azwan Ali Rahman was the difference for Indera after the national midfielder scored a brace in the 4-0 result against Kilanas.

Indera's captain wasn't the only one who stood out on Friday night though, with goalkeeper Ak Omar Nur Aqammadin Pg Salehuddin, who saved a penalty and made a number of key saves, also shining.

Indera know that they can't keep their foot off the gas though, and their match against the MS PDB on March 5 will be vital in ensuring they keep hot on the heels of MS ABDB.

MS ABDB and Indera are favourites in their ties against Kilanas and MS PDB, and if the table-toppers win their respective matches, March 10 will be the date to mark on calendars.

In a tie that was scheduled months ago, MS ABDB face Indera in the last game of the season - and one that is now looking to be a title-decider.

The Brunei Times 

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