10 April 2011

MS ABDB gun down Majra to move top

THE Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB) edged Majra FC 1-0 to move back to the summit of the DST Group Brunei Premier League I (BPL I) last night.

Arch-rivals QAF FC earlier kicked MS ABDB down to second after their 5-3 victory over Jerudong FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

But Md Hardi Hj Matassan made sure QAF FC's reign only lasted over two hours scoring the winner for the army men in the 40th minute at the Penanjong Camp in Tutong to lift MS ABDB back to the top.

Goalless for 30 minutes, BPL I defending champions QAF FC were left on the backfoot when Sufri Mohaimin beat their goalkeeper Junaidi Akim in the 31st minute.

However, Md Mardi Mirza Bujang Abdullah levelled the scores three minutes after the break, before Riwandi Wahit and Adie Arsham Muhd Salleh hit a brace each to solidify QAF FC's victory.

Late goals from Jerudong FC's Faizul Jefry and Muhd Safwan Hj Md Safri failed to trouble the champions, who triumphed 5-3 to take all three points.

Despite the goal feast, both teams got off to a slow start.

QAF FC enjoyed more possession of the ball early in the match, but were unable to make any meaningful threats on Jerudong FC's goal.

Md Hendra Azam Md Idris provided QAF FC their first real chance with a lob into the opponents' box. Md Mardi sneaked past the defenders for a one-on-one with Jerudong FC goalkeeper Md Arib Hj Umar, but the latter rushed off the posts to save before the midfielder could pull the trigger.

Next Ak Md Kamarul Ariffin Pg Ramlee delivered a cross from the left flank, but Md Hardyman Abdul Lamit was not able to direct his header goalwards.

Adie Arsham could have given his team the lead when Md Mardi's through ball sliced through the Jerudong FC defence. The forward hesitated to pounce, believing himself to be in an offside position.

Once Adie Arsham realised the linesman had kept his flag down, he rushed for the shot but was denied by goalkeeper Md Arib, who was quicker to the ball for the save.

Jerudong FC also had chances in between and the best came from Mazran Hj Md Jamin's corner kick. Amidst the cluster of players crowding QAF FC's box, Md Esmendy Brahim got on the receiving end but wasted the chance by firing over the crossbar from pointblank.

Soon after, Jerudong FC's Sufri did not make the same mistake as the forward drilled a header in at the far post to give his side a surprise lead in the 31st minute.

Jerudong FC almost lost the advantage when the defence failed to stop Md Hardyman's burst on the right flank, but Md Arib denied the forward with an excellent sliding tackle to keep his side in front at the break.

Md Mardi sounded the alarm that signalled QAF FC's comeback with a beautiful freekick that beat the Jerudong FC goalkeeper in the 48th minute.

QAF FC then took the lead when Ak Md Kamarul Ariffin's corner kick was volleyed goalwards by skipper Riwandi in the 60th minute.

Four minutes later, Adie Arsham doubled QAF FC's advantage when he had the defenders beaten to cannon the ball into the bottom corner of Jerudong FC's net.

From then on, QAF FC were in total control of the match. Riwandi's header widened the gap in the 73rd minute and Adie Arsham's goal three minutes later guaranteed QAF FC the victory.

However, Jerudong FC were almost set for a miraculous comeback when Md Faizul Azmi Mohd Jalani was felled in the box. Though it seemed like QAF FC goalkeeper Junaidi had got the ball first, the referee did not hesitate to award Jerudong FC a penalty kick which Faizul buried into the back of the net in the 85th minute.

QAF FC failed to recover in time and Muhd Safwan trimmed the goal difference with a shot that beat the QAF FC goalkeeper again a minute later to make it 5-3.

But, it was just a little too late for a comeback and, even with two minutes of stoppage time, Jerudong FC had to succumb to the defeat.

The BPL II also saw action yesterday with the Brunei Youth Team held 2-2 by Lun Bawang at the Berakas Sports Complex.

Action resumes tonight with AM Gunners FC taking on LLRC FT at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Meanwhile, over at the Berakas Sports Complex, the BPL II match between Rimba Star FC and Menglait FC will take place.

Kickoff is at 8.15pm for both matches.The Brunei Times

04 April 2011

QAF FC ride their 'Tuah' to victory

QAF FC do not need luck when they already have Ratano Tuah in the squad. The 35-year-old leftback whose father's name Tuah translates to 'luck' in English scored the winning goal in their DST Group Brunei Premier League I match against the Prisons Department at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas yesterday.

Prisons Department Md Hanafizal Helman Hanafiah's brace was not enough to help his team as Muhd Hafiz Mahari, Adie Arsham Muhd Salleh and Ratano were on target for the defending BPL I champions to win by a 3-2 scoreline.

Though QAF FC were in control early in the match, they were unable to pose any real threat as the jailers kept their perimeter in check.

The closest QAF FC got on goal was when Md Mardi Mirza Bujang Abdullah sliced his free kick over the defence but it sailed wide off the mark.

Meanwhile, the Prisons Department, who admirably were able to fend off QAF FC's barrage of attacks for so long, had yet to find a shot on goal 20 minutes into the match.

The jailers were given a wake-up call a minute after QAF FC substitute Muhd Hafiz stepped onto the field to take the place of Md Aqmal Hakeem Abdul Hamid, who picked up an injury.

A low cross from the right flank penetrated into Prisons Department's box and the 19-year-old Muhd Hafiz was left unmarked to easily tap the ball in to give QAF FC the edge in the 22nd minute.

It sparked Prisons Department's charge into the opponents' territory and Md Shaeruddin Suhaile could have easily restored parity after the opener.

Shahrum Anik unleashed the forward through on goal but Md Shaeruddin blasted the ball wide with only QAF FC goalkeeper Junaidi Akim left standing.

The Prisons Department finally caught the much needed break when Md Mandudi Helmi Kasmi won a freekick at the edge of QAF FC's box. Teammate Md Hanafizal fired a missile to Junaidi's top right corner to score the equaliser in the 35th minute.

However, the jailers' were made to pay soon after when they failed to clear another low cross. Adie Arsham only had to direct the ball past goalkeeper Azman Ilham Hj Md Noor to restore QAF FC's advantage in the 39th minute.

Md Mardi Mirza also buried the ball into the back of the jailers' net but the midfielder was flagged offside just before the break.

QAF FC wasted no time to try and widen the gap after the break. Prisons Department's goalkeeper Azman Ilham had to stretch twice to deny Sabri Abdullah and Adie Arsham.

Yet there was nothing the goalkeeper could do when leftback Ratano rifled in from close range to make it 3-1 in the 51st minute.

With the Prisons Department left on the backfoot, tempers started to flare when rough tackles were exchanged.

QAF FC's Adie Arsham was lucky to only receive a yellow card after a blatant backhand slap to Adizam Jaludin's face. It was a response to the latter's subtle elbow to the forward's chest.

Md Shaeruddin made his last contribution to the team, before being substituted, by playing Md Mandudi clear on goal with only the QAF FC goalkeeper to beat. Yet Junaidi dived excellently to keep QAF FC's two-goal advantage.

QAF FC might have won the game, but the goal of the match went to Prisons Department's Md Hanafizal. The midfielder jinked past two QAF FC players before pulling the trigger from outside the box with the ball curling beyond Junaidi's reach in the 70th minute.

The lower-tier league, the BPL II, also saw action yesterday.

Organisers Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam's pet project the Brunei Youth Team (BYT) jumped to second after a 6-1 victory over Menglait FC earlier in the day.

Md Khairil Shahme scored a brace, while BYT teammates Md Wardy, Md Nur Ikhwan, Fakrul Tamimi, Ak Abd Halim added to the tally with a goal each.

Meanwhile, Muara Vella FC soared to third after outgunning Perkasa 6-2. Muara Vella's goals came from Aimmil, who fired a double, and teammates Yahya, Muqaddem and Faizal also found the net in the goalfest. The victors were also aided by Perkasa's Basri who scored an own goal.The Brunei Times

FFBD: We're just following Fifa's rules

THE Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam (FFBD) has issued a statement to clarify their import ban rule for the 2010/11 DST Group Brunei Premier League (BPL), stating that they were only following the rules.

The import ban rule, which was confirmed in late February, states that "this season no import players will be allowed, including those that hold green identification cards".

This has led to former Projek Ikan Pusu striker, Nelson Fitzgerald, being denied a spot to play for a BPL I side as he currently holds a green identification card.

He had sent in an appeal to have the ruling overturned earlier this month but was informed that it was unsuccessful.

The FFBD issued a statement to The Brunei Times yesterday and elaborated that they were just following the Fifa (the Federation of International Football Associations) ruling, whilst the international ban on Brunei Darussalam is still in force.

"The rule banning import players was introduced by FFBD this season only and the rule was always meant to be further reviewed at the end of the season," said the statement

"The rule was introduced to ensure a more level playing field amongst the participating teams, since other clubs are not able to employ imports due to financial constraints as well as the current ban of Brunei Darussalam from international competitions imposed by Fifa," it added.

"This Fifa rule means that no foreign players holding International Transfer Certificates (ITC) will be allowed to play in the DST Group Brunei Premier League," continued the statement.

The statement also included the reasoning behind Nelson's appeal being turned down to play for a BPL I side.

"The FFBD Competitions Committee did meet to discuss the merits of the appeal. However, the committee unanimously dismissed the said appeal, hence upholding the rule imposed earlier," said the statement.

"The Competitions Committee in its deliberations also noted that Nelson Fitzgerald wanted to play for Jerudong FC, where FFBD Exco members are also represented. Hence the committee also wanted to preserve the integrity of the rule to avoid allegations of favouritism towards any particular team.

"In its official reply to the appeal dated 21st March, however, the FFBD through its Secretary General made it clear that the non-import player rule only applies to the DST Group Brunei Premier League (being the official national football league in the country) and not to other age group leagues organised by FFBD," continued the statement.

"Hence, Nelson Fitzgerald will be able to play in any U-18 or U-19 leagues which FFBD also intends to organise later this year, time and venue considerations permitting," concluded the statement.

Regarding the above matter, Nelson's father, Ken Fitzgerald, had separately taken action by seeking support of State and National Football Authorities in Australia. However, it proved there was nothing that Football Federation Australia (FFA) could do in their reply.

"I am sorry to hear of your son's situation it is always a shame when administrative issues prevent participation in football. Unfortunately, I must advise that Football Federation Australia is unable to make any correspondence with the local governing body (FFBD) at this time," said the reply.

"Brunei is currently suspended from Fifa and accordingly FFA is prevented by Fifa from communicating with Football Federation Brunei Darussalam. I can also confirm that FFA has had to withdraw its approval to school tours planning on visiting this country as a result of the Fifa ban," it added.

The Brunei Times