14 May 2014

DPMM FC host Albirex tonight

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
DPMM FC are in search of their seventh straight win and looking to extend their lead at the top of the Singapore League (S-League).
Brunei’s only professional team are set to kick off the second half of the season against Albirex Niigata FC today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
DPMM FC are currently enjoying a seven-point lead at the top of the 12-team table with 28 points while their closest rivals Warriors FC and three-time defending champions Tampines Rovers are both on 21 points.
More impressive is that DPMM FC have netted 30 goals, with 22 at home, and conceded just five in 11 games.
The Brunei side had beaten the Japanese outfits 1-0 in their season opener, courtesy of a Rodrigo Tosi penalty in the first half at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore back in February.
Having notched a winning debut then, DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean knows what to expect from their opponents and is hoping things will run accordingly.
“Our (recent) performances have been better than the (early games) as there was no flow to the start of the (earlier) games. Our challenge is for us to play well for the whole game against a team like Albirex,” Kean told The Brunei Times when met during a training session yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.
“We cannot afford a slow start. We need to be at a good pace early and get hold of game.
“If we can put all the bits we have been working on all week together then we should put up another good performance,” added the former Blackburn Rovers coach.
“Albirex are a good football side and built to play from the back. I don’t expect them to play direct football as they are a team that like to pass the ball and work their way up the pitch.
“They have got good players. They are technically very good and it is a challenge for us to get enough ball possession to create more chances,” continued the Scotsman.
The trio of Tosi (calf), Roberto Alviz (knee) and Azwan Salleh (groin) are deemed fit having recovered from their injuries.
The only concern for Kean is that Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic is suspended for the encounter, having picked up his fourth yellow card of the season in the last game against Tanjong Pagar United FC.
“It is always a concern when you lose a defender considering we have had many cleansheets,” said Kean.
“It is unfortunate for Boris but this is part of the game. Good thing is that we only have one player suspended,” he added.
Albirex head coach Okuyama Tatsuyuki believes they can give the home side a strong challenge.
“DPMM FC are a strong team and we will have to prevent them from playing their usual game,” said Tatsuyuki.
“I’m satisfied with the result despite losing 1-0 at that point but we can challenge them tomorrow (Wednesday). Our players have gotten better after the first meeting.
“We have been preparing ourselves and we need to stop their key player Rodrigo Tosi from scoring. This year all their players are good and we are not focused on only one or two of them,” he added.
“It is interesting to watch them play and we are excited to play against them as well,” he concluded.
Kick off is at 8.15pm.

The Brunei Times

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