18 April 2014

DPMM FC get a-headAzwan Ali header puts DPMM FC back on top

Thursday, April 17, 2014
DPMM FC are back to the summit of the Singapore League (S-League) following their 1-0 win against Hougang United FC last night.
Azwan Ali Rahman fired Brunei’s only professional team to their third straight victory after his second half goal proved to be the difference in the match.
The duo of Azwan Salleh and Mohd Hendra Azam Md Idris got their first starts of the season playing in place of the injured pair of captain Rosmin Hj Md Kamis (tight calves) and leftback Sairol Hj Sahari (left hip).
Hougang United were the better team in the opening exchanges and dominated much of the possession at the Hougang Stadium in Singapore.
The visitors should have taken the lead in the 42nd minute off a counter attack through Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi but saw his header cleared by the Hougang United backline.
Najib Hj Tarif made an immediate impact having only subbed into the game in place of Hendra Azam two minutes before breaking the deadlock.
Azwan Ali headed home Najib’s cross to beat Nazri Sabri in between the Hougang United sticks in the 77th minute to snatch all three points for DPMM FC.
The goal was the 22-year-old’s third in as many games this season.
Azwan Ali was ectastic with the goal especially because it was a header and that it was supplied by his 2012 Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy teammate.
“It was an unbelievable goal to me because I have never scored a header goal,” said Azwan Ali in an interview with The Brunei Times when contacted after the triumph.
“It was a fantastic cross from Najib and it feels great to score three games in a row,” he said.
Stand-in captain Hj Mohd Subhi Abdillah Hj Bakir felt that the adjustments made at halftime were key in helping them notch the victory.
“The first half was a bit difficult due to the conditions of the pitch because of heavy rain prior to kickoff,” said Subhi.
“It was a very tough game as well. During halftime, coach (Steve Kean) changed the strategy on how we should play for the second half,” added the midfielder.
“It worked and we dominated the second half. We created a lot of chances then and credit to all players as we played hard till the final whistle,” he continued.
DPMM FC are now on 19 points after eight games while three-time defending champions Tampines Rovers are a point back and have a game in hand.
Hougang United are sixth in the 12-team table with 11 points after slipping to their second straight defeat.
In the other game of the day, Argentinean Nicholas Velez scored all the goals to lead Warriors FC to a 4-0 rout of Albirex Niigata at the Jurong East Stadium.
The Warriors remain in third with 17 points while Albirex are in fifth with 13 points.
The competition continues today with Balestier Khalsa FC going up against Geylang International FC at the Toa Payoh Stadium.
The second match pits Home United FC against Tanjong Pagar United FC at the Bishan Stadium.
Kick off is at 7.30pm.

The Brunei Times

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