24 December 2009

BPL I: QAF FC go four clear

QAF FC extended their lead at the DSTGroup Brunei Premier League I (BPL I) summit when they edged Wijaya FC 1-0 last night.

Arch-rivals and third-placed MS ABDB, meanwhile, could only draw 1-1 with Jerudong FC, fourth in the table.

A victory for ABDB, who now have 27 points from 12 games, would have moved them back into second place.

AM Gunners, who beat Majra FC 4-1 on Monday, are now second with 28 points four points behind leaders QAF FC.

The first few minutes of play at the Balapan Track and Field in Berakas saw Wijaya control the proceedings, and QAF FC found themselves limited to playing within their own half.

However, Wijaya were unable to find any clear cut chances on goal.

Khairul Fitri almost got them the lead when he broke through the left but fired straight at QAF FC's goalkeeper Mohd Sahan.

QAF FC had their chance when midfielder Ratano Tuah stole the ball from defender Jamrin Hj Johari, ran down the left flank and delivered a wonderful cross into the box, but only to find the goalkeeper catching comfortably as no teammates were in sight.

Fifteen minutes into play and there were no signs that the deadlock would be broken any time soon even though both sides continued to create chances but that proved to be a false dawn.

Wijayas' defence once again proved to be their undoing and gifted QAF FC the lead.

After a superb team play by QAF FC, the ball fell to Md Aqmal Hakeem, who blitzed down the right and took a shot that beat Wijaya's goalkeeper Ak Muhd Naqib at the near-post.

Md Aqmal's job was made easy as Wijaya's defenders failed to close him down.

The goal proved to be fatal for Wijaya, as QAF FC's confidence grew along with proceedings.

The league leaders looked more menacing going forward, hoping to extend their lead.

Ratano again played a beautiful pass to Md Azri Sabirin, who beat the offside trap down the left, and crossed invitingly for Adie Arsham, who has the simplest of task to just head the ball into the net, but failed to make connection.

QAF FC created other chances but couldn't find the net as the first half ended with the lone goal.

The second half began with QAF FC's Hendra Azam playing a brilliant through ball onto the feet of goalscorer Md Aqmal, who then crossed the ball into Adie's path, who only had to tap it in, but failed to connect.

The tempo of the match slowed down with the defence tightened, as both teams resorting to long shots which never came close to troubling either goalkeepers.

Substitutions were made by both teams to bring fresh legs into the match.

This almost proved fruitful for QAF FC when substitute Nurul Aleshahnezan dribbled past two defenders on the right, but was denied by the alert Wijaya goalkeeper Naqib, who suffered a minor injury making the save.

QAF FC almost conceded in stoppage time from a corner. Jamrin Hj Johari floated the ball goalwards, only for Sahan to parry away.

Rahim Hj Daud, the manager of QAF FC, was happy with the win even though he felt that the team did not play well.

"The important thing is that we won the match,"he said. "The next few games that we are going to play will be tough. There are still improvements to be done and the players need to play better than this." he added.

At Tutong, MS ABDB were held to a 1-1 draw against Jerudong at Penanjong.

Azam Dato Salleh, the manager of Jerudong FC, was happy with the result. He said: "We made a few mistakes in the first half of the match which led to a goal.

"We changed our tactics in the second half, brought on fresh legs, and it was a good decision as it produced the equaliser."The Brunei Times

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