28 April 2023

DPMM FC lose to Tampines 2-0

 Fadhil Yunus

DPMM FC suffered their fifth defeat of the campaign in the Singapore Premier League after losing to Tampines Rovers 2-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore on Thursday.

The hosts sent a signal of intent early in the game as Japanese forward Kyoga Nakamura rolled his shot straight into DPMM FC shot-stopper Haimie anak Nyaring.

It marked a century of shots in the league this season highlighted by the offensive threat of clubs.

Tampines Rovers forward Boris Kopitovic had nowhere to go with three defenders marking him closely but his crucial pass to Ong Yu En proved a major development in the game.

The under-21 talent took a massive deflection off a DPMM FC defender to gift his side the opening goal in the seventh minute.

Within a couple of minutes, the Stags doubled their lead as captain Yasir Hanapi’s shot slipped past Haimie in the near post.

Tampines quickly broke on the counter with Faris Ramli driving forward with purpose to set up Kopitovic whose shot was blocked by DPMM FC’s Najib Tarif.

The Gegar Gegar men had their best opportunity of the game as a header from Josip Balic came off the woodwork after Hakeme Yazid Said had put the ball back into the box.

The Brunei outfit showed attacking vigour as Andrei Varankou headed straight a Hakeme Yazid’s delivery at Tampines Rovers goalkeeper Ridhuan Barudin.

The visitors were awarded a penalty and an opportunity to reduce arrears following a handball from substitute Syed Firdaus Hassan but Varankou somehow blasted his shot wide.

DPMM FC missed the chance to leapfrog Tanjong Pagar into sixth while Tampines Rovers moved within a point off league leaders Albirex Niigata (S).


17 March 2023

Bangladesh to play two friendlies with Seychelles after Brunei withdrawal

 Football Association of Brunei Darussalam has withdrawn from playing Fifa friendly with Bangladesh which forced the Bangladesh Football Federation to cancel the tri-nation series, scheduled for later this month.

“All the preparation was taken to organize the Tri Nations Cup 2023 during March 22 to 28. Brunei will not come due to unavoidable circumstances. National team committee decided to hold two Fifa international matches against Seychelles,” said a press release from the BFF Tuesday.

Earlier, it was announced that Bangladesh, Brunei and Seychelles would play one match apiece with each other during March's Fifa international window in Sylhet.

After Brunei's refusal, Bangladesh will now play two friendlies against Seychelles on March 25 and March 28 at Sylhet District Stadium.


23 January 2023

2019 SPL champions Brunei DPMM to return after 3-year hiatus

 After a three-year hiatus, two-time champions Brunei DPMM will make their much-anticipated return to the Singapore Premier League (SPL) in 2023.

The 2015 and 2019 league winners have sat out of the SPL in the last three campaigns because of Covid-19 travel restrictions.

DPMM general manager Ali Haji Momin told The Straits Times on Wednesday that he has received confirmation from Football Association of Singapore that they will be competing in the upcoming season, which is expected to kick off in mid-February.

He said: “We look forward to making our return and our target is of course to be champions again. The quality in the SPL has gone up in the last few years and we hope to add to that quality this season.”

On Wednesday, DPMM announced their four foreign players for the 2023 SPL season on their website.

Heading the list is 2019 SPL top scorer and former Belarus international Andrei Varankou, who plundered 21 goals in 22 games for the title winners. Former Spanish youth international Angel Martinez, Uzbekistani goalkeeper Akmal Tursunbaev and Croat midfielder Josip Balic are the other three foreigners in the squad.

DPMM will host home matches at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Bandar Seri Begawan, said Ali, which will give SPL teams the full away experience for the first time in three years.

The team’s return will boost the quality of the league as they will come up against defending champions Albirex Niigata, 2021 champions Lion City Sailors, Hougang United and Tampines Rovers in the battle for the championship.

Hougang head coach Firdaus Kassim said: “Although the composition of the DPMM squad is unknown, over their past seasons in the SPL, they have traditionally competed for top spots.

“I am expecting the same in the upcoming season from them. Especially after they won the league in their last participation so I am very sure they are keen to (win) the league title.”

Tampines Rovers head coach Gavin Lee also welcomed DPMM’s return and previously told ST: “The travel over there is always a nice change for local teams, and most importantly DPMM are always a good side, and have good quality.”

The FAS has yet to officially announce DPMM’s return and details of the 2023 season have not been revealed. Last Thursday, the SPL’s official Facebook page uploaded a poster of the logos of all nine clubs for the 2023 season, including DPMM, only to take down the photo later. 

A provisional date of Feb 19 has been set for the Singapore Community Shield, the traditional curtain-raiser to the football season here, with the SPL to kick off on the 26th.

DPMM first joined Singapore’s domestic competition, known then as the S-League, in 2009. But, midway through that season, the team were expelled by Fifa for government interference in the affairs of the Brunei Football Association. However, they managed to win the League Cup before the suspension.

They returned to the S-League in 2012 after the ban was lifted and competed till 2020 as the club went on to win three more League Cups in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

In March 2020, DPMM started their SPL title defence with a 2-0 win over Tampines – a result that was eventually voided as the club could not return to complete the season. 

ST has contacted the FAS for comment on DPMM’s return and details on the 2023 SPL season.