30 November 2011

DPMM FC players raring to go: coach

Jason Thomas

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

VJERAN Simunic (pic) has plenty to be happy about.

The DPMM FC coach finally has all his players in his squad, a luxury the Croatian was not afforded until last week.

What this means is that the club can resume their twice-a-day training just like they did in 2009. The result of all their hard work, as any DPMM FC fan will remember, is that Brunei's only professional club became the first foreign side to capture the Singapore League Cup.

Though Simunic has been training his men for the past two months, the Jerudong Mini Stadium only hosted the sessions in the evenings since many players hadn't received their releases from their employers but that is now a thing of the past.

"Now we train twice a day from Monday to Thursday, while Friday and Saturday just in the evenings and Sunday we rest," said Simunic yesterday.

"I now have my four players from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB) and four from the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. The only one I don't have is Adi Said who is in the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (an Asean competition for Under-21 countries which Brunei hosts biennially) team but I have been following his progress.

"I really want to thank my players for all the sacrifice they have put in before this ... Coming in from work and going straight to training.

"I am also happy that we were able to convince striker Abu Bakar Mahari who some have called the (Samuel) Eto'o of Tutong to get back playing football.

"He suffered a bad knee injury and he wanted to end his career, but he's now back in the team training slowly ... He will be training with the full team by next year.

"I think right now we are at 75 per cent, and we have the time to get to 100 per cent," Simunic added.

Though the club have yet to receive any official confirmation as to whether they will be able to rejoin the Singapore League next season which starts in February all signs are pointing towards it.

Simunic however warned that it wouldn't be easy for the team to enjoy the same kind of success they did in 2009.

Fifa's two-year suspension on Brunei, which was only lifted in May, meant DPMM FC have not played a competitive game since their 2-2 draw against Tampines Rovers FC on 29 Sept 2009.

Understandably, much has changed since then.

"As you know, football in Asia develops every month, so it won't be easy for us. We haven't played for two years," noted the former Bahrain coach,

"Even Barcelona would find it hard to be competitive if they hadn't played for two years! I am thankful that most of the players are not injured and I pray they will stay healthy and stay in good form.

"I dearly miss captain Pg Sallehuddin Pg Hj Damit. He is my right-hand man, along with assistant coach Norilham Hj Jais. Salleh is injured but he has been with us everyday.

"Like all my other players, he has been hungry to start playing again. He didn't do too much off-the-ball training and he injured his knee, but he should be fit soon."

Simunic might be happy with the club's recent progress but there's one thing that bugs him.

"All my players keep asking me when's the next friendly. They're like lions in a cage they want to get loose."The Brunei Times

28 November 2011

Super Saturday for Brunei football

Azamri Zainal

Monday, November 28, 2011

THIRTY-TWO teams divided into four groups will be competing in Saturday's long-awaited DST-National Football League 2011/2012.

Organised by the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD), a new format of play will be introduced whereby the winners and runners up of each group will gain automatic qualification to compete in the elite DST-National Super League, with the two best third-placed teams also gaining entry into the exclusive competition.

Each team will play each other once.

The opener at the Berakas Sports Complex at 8pm on Saturday will remain a mystery as NFABD will only conduct the draw after the opening ceremony which the association expects all 32 teams to attend.

The rest of the current registered teams, alongside the newly registered teams for the 2012/2013 season, will then be competing in the National League 1, National League 2, and National League 3 next year, according to a Press statement issued by NFABD yesterday.

According to Ali Hj Ismail, the chairman of NFABD competitions, the "new league format was modelled on the English football league system".

The English football system is made up of the Premier League the star at the top of the structure with its big-name clubs, players and managers and various lower tier leagues like the Coca-Cola Championships, League One, League Two and the Conference.

Another competition that will be introduced on the same date as the DST-National Super League which will tentatively start in April is the DST-FA Cup, which according to Ali is open to all local teams.

"The DST-FA Cup is open to any local team ... it is not restricted to any tiers of the league," Ali told The Brunei Times duringa recent interview.

"However, teams that wish to compete in the FA Cup must be registered under the NFABD," he added.

The DST-FA Cup will be played in a sudden-death format and at least 64 teams will be battling for glory.

Besides the Berakas Sports Complex, the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas, Balapan Track & Field, Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas and Brunei Shell Recreation Club in Seria will also play host to the games.

A new rule introduced by NFABD will ensure that each team have at least one Under-23 player in their starting line-up, a regulation meant to scout for players who have the calibre to represent the country in age-level football competitions organised by the Asean Football Federation (AFF), Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Fifa (International Federation of Association Football).

The leagues will make it easier for NFABD to identify and select players to represent the country.

In addition to the encouraging news for football players and fans alike, NFABD will be awarding cash prizes for the champions, as well as trophies and medals.

Also introduced will be the Fair Play award, best player award, top scorer and the best goalkeeper award.

The NFABD also expresses its gratitude and appreciation to DST as the title sponsor and the Department of Youth and Sports under the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.The Brunei Times

27 November 2011

DPMM FC - Latest news

New DPMM player, Osman Basiru returned to Ghana for his mother's burial and supposed to return to the club by the 12th November,but until now, no signs of him returning to the club,nor any response from him from the time he left the club.

Players coming for trials:

1/Hussein Fahmi(Egypt)-arrive 29th November

2/Semir Hadzibulic(Serbia)-arrive 8th December

3/Abdi Kassim Sadallah(Tanzania)

DPMM FC website

15 November 2011

YouTube - Brunei vs Philippines


LEBAK BULUS (15 Nov 2011) – Brunei avoided the wooden spoon tag from Group B of the men’s football event this year when they played perhaps their best game to beat the Philippines 2-1 at the Lebak Bulus Stadium this evening.

The Sultanate side who were embarrassed 8-0 by Vietnam in their previous game were a lot more determined this time round and they certainly were a lot more aggressive.

For the Philippines they seemed a little out of sorts, no doubt perhaps due to their humiliating 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Myanmar. But that did not stop them from taking the lead on nine minutes when Joshua Beloya ran in from the left before unleashing a swerving shot to beat Awangku Omar Sallehuddin.

Brunei were quick to regroup and in the 17th minute, striker Adi Said prised open the Philippines defence where despite slipping from a cross from the right, he still managed to get up in time to shoot past two defenders to beat keeper Roland Muller at the far post.

The game then fell into a lull at the centre of the park as neither teams were able to push forward far enough in numbers. That was until with three minutes left of the first half.

Off an Adi free kick right at the edge of the Philippines box, defender Reduan Petara was quick to finish the rebound to give Brunei the lead for the first time in the game.

Brunei had a golden chance in the 55th minute to finish the game off but after picking up from a defensive lapse, the shot from Awangku Mohammad Hassan went totally off target.

The closest the Philippines came to nailing the equalizer in the second half was in the 75th minute through Jeffrey Christaens but his shot was ably blocked by Awangku Omar.

And this time round, there was no way back for the Philippines as they had done earlier against Laos as Brunei stood with everything they had to protect their lead all the way to the finish.


Brunei playing for pride

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

BRUNEI only have pride to play for against the Philippines in their last Southeast Asian (SEA) Games match today, and Dayem Hj Ali has made sure his men know that.

The team are coming off a shocking 8-0 loss to Vietnam on Saturday which ended all hopes of a semi-final berth. The Philippines, meanwhile, lost 5-0 to Myanmar on Sunday and are also out of the running.

Bottom of the six-team Group B with only a point from four games, Brunei's head coach insists his side will be going all out to ensure a win which will see them end above the Philippines, who are on three points.

"We need to play seriously and we need to win," said Dayem yesterday.

"This is our pride on the line. I've already discussed this with the players.

"We need to play to our strengths like how we did in our first two matches against Timor Leste and Laos," added the coach.

Making their return to the Under-23 competition after 10 years, Brunei started the tournament brightly by taking a lead they would relinquish to Timor Leste in their opener on Nov 5, which they lost 2-1.

Though they were down to 10 men 15 minutes into their game against Laos two days later, they managed to take a 2-1 lead but tired legs would see them let in an equaliser.

A 4-0 loss to Myanmar last Wednesday meant they had to win against Vietnam to keep alive any chances of progressing to Saturday's last four, but after letting in four goals in the first 15 minutes, those slim hopes vanished.

The team may be injury-free but disciplinary woes mean strikers Hamizan Aziz Sulaiman and Mohamad Nazirul Nazreen Abdullah are ineligible to play at Lebak Bulus Stadium in Jakarta today both as result of cards picked up against Vietnam.

Brunei have seen three red cards in four matches, and combined with a host of yellow cards, have made the going tough here in the Indonesian capital. Hamizan was sent off 10 minutes from time while Mohamad Nazirul, who was substituted into the game in the 83rd minute, was shown his second yellow card of the tournament three minutes later.

With Adi Said who scored both goals against Laos the only real forward, Dayem acknowledges he needs to provide his best attacking option with some support.

"I think we will play midfielder Ak Mohammad Fakharrazi Pg Hj Hassan up front. He can actually play as both a midfielder and forward," said Dayem.

"Now that we push him up, we will replace him with Ak Nurrul Aleshahnezan Pg Metali," added the coach.

One piece of good news is that right-back Muhammad Arif Ali Rahman will be able to play after being sent off against Myanmar.The Brunei Times

14 November 2011


JAKARTA (14 Oct 2011) – HIS Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the Honorary President of the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD), has asked the Brunei team to shift their focus to the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT ) 2012 after what was felt as a largely disappointing performance at the SEA Games this year.

Brunei, who have not taken part at the SEA Games since 2001, took part at the biennial championship eager to show too that their two-year ban by FIFA which was lifted earlier this year has not affected their game.

But while Brunei have shown some quality through players like captain Azwan Salleh and striker Adi Said, still it was obvious they lacked international exposure and they also did not have the pace to last the full 90 minutes.

It also did not go down well with Prince Sufri who was at the last game when the Sultanate side went down 8-0 to Vietnam.

“I’m not really happy because to me, they were really careless in the first half (which ended 6-0),” said Prince Sufri, who is also the president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BNOC).

“The goalkeeper (Junaidi Akim) didn’t play well. For me, he should have been changed after the second goal instead of waiting until six. To me, what’s the use at that point? I’m not a footballer but I say they should have changed him at 2-0. Why wait until 6-0?

“I noticed that a few players are good but there is no teamwork. To me, they let in easy goals and passed the ball in defence when Vietnam were near. They should have just cleared the ball.”

Even though Brunei still have one game to play for when they take on the Philippines tomorrow, Prince Sufri said that it is better that they shift their focus to the HBT which the country will be hosting in early 2012.

This considering that a handful of the players from Brunei are still eligible to take part in the HBT 2012 which is for team under the age of 21-years-old.

“Work hard in preparation for the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy which we will host next February which we will have only three months to prepare,” he added.

Source : aseanfootball.org

Zayed set for Brunei trial

Eamon Zayed looks set to head to Brunei for a trial with recently reinstated Singapore S league side Brunei DPMM

Brunei are located in the Island of Borneo and prior to playing in the S League were members of the Malaysian Premier League.

In 2009 the club were banned from playing in overseas competitions after FIFA banned their football association for interfering in its affairs however that has now been lifted allowing the club to resume matters on the pitch.

The club recently added former Cork City and Ipswich midfielder George O’Callaghan to their ranks for the coming season and have now moved for Derry City striker Zayed.

The Irish born Libyan International has enjoyed his finest season to date in Ireland finishing top scorer with 23 goals as Derry finished third in the league and won the EA sports cup.

A notice on the club’s official website confirmed that the former Bray Wanderers striker would arrive on the 19th November for this trial.

sports news Ireland

12 November 2011

YouTube - Vietnam 8-0 Brunei

It's do or die for Brunei's football team


Saturday, November 12, 2011

DAYEM Hj Ali (pic) knows it's now or never for Brunei.

The national Under-23 football team face Vietnam in a must-win Group B tie at the 26th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games here today, where only all three points at the Lebak Bulus Stadium will be enough to keep them in the running for a spot in next Saturday's semi-finals.

Victory against 2009 runners-up Vietnam would arguably be the upset of the tournament, but Brunei's winless coach isn't ruling anything out especially with his talismanic captain Azwan Muhd Salleh back in the fray after serving a one-match ban after picking up yellow cards in two consecutive games.

Azwan's presence in the centre of midfield was sorely missed in a misfiring Brunei side that lost 4-0 to Myanmar on Wednesday, and Dayem hopes his addition will be just the elixir Brunei need.

The Philippines' 3-2 win over Laos yesterday their first of the competition means Brunei are now at the bottom of the six-team Group B.

Though they, like Laos, have one draw and two losses to their name, the Sultanate prop up the table because of poorer goal difference.

Vietnam are second in the table, tied on points with Myanmar with seven, but below them in the standings because of the same reason.

"They are a tough team," Dayem said when asked whether Vietnam were the strongest side in Group B.

"But our key player (Azwan) is back and we will do the best we can and play to our plan.

"We know there is not a big difference in the playing style of Vietnam and Myanmar just perhaps Vietnam are stronger up front and have quicker strikers.

"This is the game we need to get a result, and Azwan has been telling the players the same thing. Otherwise our supporters in Brunei ... they know we have had two good games but just didn't perform against Myanmar.

"So we have to show we are in a positive position. The players are positive and they are all out to win the game.

"We didn't create scoring chances against Myanmar and in training this (Friday) morning we looked at the mistakes we made and we will repair them ... We promise, no more silly mistakes," said the coach.

Discipline has been a problem for the team, and though noone was sent off in their 2-1 loss in the opener to Timor Leste last Saturday, the 2-2 draw against Laos on Monday and the defeat to Myanmar two days later both saw players forced to take an early shower.

Centre-back Reduan Petara is eligible to play today after being shown a red card after quarter of an hour into their game against Laos, though right-back Muhammad Arif Ali Rahman who was sent off against Myanmar will only be allowed to take to the field against the Philippines on Tuesday.

Md Enddy Zulyady Awang Sapar will replace Arif today, with Azwan's inclusion relegating striker Mohamad Nazirul Nazreen Abdullah who started against Myanamr to the bench. Dayem confirmed Nazirul will be used as the first substitute if needed.

The team will welcome the news that National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam honorary president His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah who is also the President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council is expected to watch the match.

"I think his presence will give us moral support ... That is something we have not had a lot of," said Dayem.

"As for food poisoning, we have had none of that," said the coach when asked to comment on reports that players from various countries were down with food poisoning.

Yesterday's other matches saw Indonesia beat Singapore 2-0 at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta to move to top of Group A with two wins, with the day's second game a 4-0 win for Thailand over Cambodia.

The Brunei Times

10 November 2011

Myanmar bring Brunei crashing down to earth

Jason Thomas

Thursday, November 10, 2011

BRUNEI need to win their next two games to progress to the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games semi-finals after a discouraging 4-0 loss to Myanmar yesterday.

The game was the second in a row that the Sultanate was forced to end with 10-men after Monday's 2-2 draw against Laos, and yesterday's result at the Lebak Bulus Stadium was enough to propel Myanmar from third to top of the six-team Group A.

Brunei remain fifth with a solitary point, with Vietnam staying in second after beating previous leaders Timor Leste 2-0 in yesterday's other Group A tie. Though they are tied on points with Myanmar, Vietnam are below their neighbours because of a poorer goal difference.

Timor Leste drop to third with six points, Laos are fourth on four points and the Philippines have yet to register their first point.

Meanwhile in Group A, Malaysia's substitute striker Izzaq Faris bagged the winning goal five minutes from time to give them a 2-1 win over rivals Thailand. The other match at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium saw Singapore come from behind to clinch a memorable 2-1 result against Cambodia, who have now lost both of their games the first a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of hosts Indonesia on Monday.

None of that will matter for Dayem Hj Ali though, who had other matters on his mind after witnessing the disjointed display his side put in.

"Our players can't be forgiven for their performance today," said Brunei's almost apologetic coach.

"They made many mistakes, especially in the first 10 to 15 minutes of the first half, and it cost us the game. It happened again in the second half and that's why we lost the game.

"Two of our players were ineligible to play since they were suspended captain Azwan Muhd Salleh and centre-back Reduan Petara. Azwan's loss affected our preparation and perhaps made us not as confident.

"I admit what he (Muhammad Arif Ali Rahman) did was too hard ... Rough," added Dayem of the straight red shown to the defender after he slid in on Aung Myint Aye in the 67th minute to hand Myanmar a numerical advantage which would make the game beyond reach.

Muhammad Arif was probably still seething after losing possession to Myint Aye two minutes earlier and allowing him to slip in a pass to Kyaw Ko Ko, the striker easily finishing off from outside the box to make it 3-0 with only Junaidi Akim in the Brunei goal to beat.

The Sultanate was trailing as early as the sixth minute when a free-kick from set-piece specialist Kyaw Zeyar Win found the back of the net, and the team would double their lead in the 32nd minute when Min Min Thu punished a static Brunei back-line by rising unchallenged to convert a corner-kick sent in by Zeyar.

Though they said they wouldn't, Brunei was sorely missing Azwan and the midfielder's ability to shield his defence was a big reason the team performed badly.

The team also needed someone with his calmness and composure on the ball, and no one was able to fill his boots.

Losing the midfield battle, it was up to Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris to pull the strings but he put in an erratic display.

Striker Adi Said, who scored both goals during Brunei's 2-2 stalemate with Laos, suffered from a lack of support and attacking midfielder Hamizan Aziz Sulaiman seemed to take too long with the ball.

But perhaps memories of their gritty draw against Laos, where they played for 10-men for 75 minutes after Reduan was sent to an early shower, still lingered.

Brunei fought for every ball though their passing game needed some polishing, they looked dangerous on the left flank through Mohd Najib Hj Tarif who scored the country's only goal in their 2-1 loss to Timor Leste in last Saturday's opener.

Adi would send in a tame attempt at goal seconds before the half-time whistle and forced a corner-kick on the hour-mark after receiving a delightful lob from Mohd Hendra, with striker Mohamad Nazirul Nazreen Abdullah blasting the ball wide after that.

It was all downhill after Myanmar made it 3-0 five minutes later, not to mention the effect Muhammad Arif's sending off had on the team.

If a leader like Azwan was on the field, Muhammad Arif would probably have thought twice about running half the length of the field to come barging in on his new nemesis a stupid piece of defending to say the least since Md Enddy Zulyady Awang Sapar already had Myint Aye marked.

The ineffective and tiring Mohd Hendra was substituted for Adi's brother Ahmad Hafiz on the 77th minute, but even the defender's fresh legs couldn't have prevented Myanmar from exploiting their advantage during a counter-attack in the 81st minute when a through ball to substitute Kyi Lin was cooly slotted home.

Surprisingly, left-winger Lin who along with Ko Ko was said to have been injured by Myanmar Football Federation's media director U Soe Moe Kyaw, so perhaps a last minute cure was concocted to revive the pair.

Myanmar didn't celebrate their fourth goal though their vocal band of supporters had no such problems.

Though Brunei are mathematically still in the running, Dayem said the disparaging loss was a harsh lesson for the team.

"Our chances of making it to the last four cannot be considered," he insisted.

"Also looking at the team's inconsistent play over the three games (including the 2-1 loss to Timor Leste in the opener) ... I think we have to face reality.

"But we will still try our best in our remaining two games," stressed the coach.

Group B action continues with the Philippines taking on Laos tomorrow, with the day's other games pitting Singapore against hosts Indonesia and Thailand against Cambodia in Group A.

The Brunei Times

09 November 2011

Brunei confident against Myanmar

Jason Thomas

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

THE LOSS of influential captain Azwan Muhd Salleh shouldn't be a problem for Brunei when they take on Myanmar in their Southeast Asian (SEA) Games tie here today.

Azwan picked up his second yellow card in as many matches when a valiant 10-man Brunei side held Laos to a 2-2 draw during their last Group B game on Monday, making the midfielder ineligible for today's match which will kick off at 5pm Brunei time at the Lebak Bulus Stadium.

In addition, centre-back Reduan Petara will be unavailable after being sent off against Laos in the 15th minute.

Dayem Hj Ali isn't worried though.

"We already have four players than can fill these slots," said Brunei's coach.

"We might play (striker) Mohamad Nazirul Nazreen Abdullah up front and maybe (striker) Hamizan Aziz Sulaiman as a midfielder.

"In defence we have Md Enddy Zulyady Awang Sapar and Ahmad Hafiz Said who can fill in.

"We tried them out in training today (yesterday) and I'm sure they can do well.

"We'll make sure that it will be Myanmar looking at us instead of us looking at them. If we play the same way we did against Laos, I'm sure we can get a result," insisted Dayem.

Starting on the bench against Laos, Mohamad Nazirul, Md Enddy Zulyady and Ahmad Hafiz all got some playing time against Laos so gelling with the team shouldn't be a problem.

Ahmad, whose brother Adi scored both goals against Laos, also started Brunei's first game against Timor Leste, a 2-1 loss last Saturday.

The third game for both teams will be crucial in deciding which countries will progress to next Saturday's semi-finals.

Brunei are currently fifth in the six-team Group B with one point while Myanmar are third with four. The Philippines are the only team yet to pick up a point.

Brunei's first match last Saturday saw them surrender a one-goal lead to lose 2-1 to current Group B leaders Timor Leste, who surprised critics by beating the Philippines on Monday.

A 10-man Myanmar edged Laos 3-2 in their first match last Thursday and held 2009 runners-up Vietnam to a 0-0 draw in their second game two days later.

Myanmar are not without problems of their own though, especially after the red card centre-back Moe Win was shown during their stalemate against Vietnam.

"We have two players injured, striker Kyaw Ko Ko and right winger Kyi Lin, so we will need to see the changes we should make," said Myanmar Football Federation's media director U Soe Moe Kyaw.

"Playing without these three players (including Moe Win) should be a bit of a problem for us but the others will be ready.

"In football anything can happen nobody can be sure of the match's result before the game.

"Look at Brunei's game against Laos. They played with 10-men but they got a result. We don't look down at any opponent.

"People in Myanmar are very crazy about football and it's the No 1 sport there.

"We came here to reach the semi-finals and then be champions.

"We have athletes competing in other sports here but for the public, the only gold medal they care about is in football," he added.

Vietnam take on Timor Leste in today's other game which is set for 8pm Brunei time.

The Brunei Times


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08 November 2011

Laos coach heaps praise on Adi

Jason Thomas

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

HANS Peter Schaller had nothing but praise for Adi Said after the striker frustrated his team by scoring both of Brunei's goals in their 2-2 draw last night.

"He's a very good player ... fantastic!," said the Laos coach yesterday after their Southeast Asian (SEA) Games Group B tie at the Lebak Bulus Stadium south of Jakarta.

"He created a lot of problems for our defenders. He's very skillful, fast and has speed. Everything is there.

"Adi is an advantage for Brunei," emphasised the Austrian.

Down to 10-men from the 15th minute after centre-back Reduan Petara was sent off for denying Laos captain Lamnao Singto a scoring opportunity on a counter-attack, not many would have fancied Brunei's chances.

But they rose to the occasion and came from 1-0 down to head into the break even.

Though Adi's brace handed the Sultanate the lead in the 56th minute, tired legs would come back to catch the Bruneians, who let in the equaliser in the 80th minute.

Nevertheless, Brunei's coach Dayem Hj Ali was happy about his 21-year-old striker's display.

"He is the one player in our team who can cause problems for opposing defenders," said Dayem.

"Watching him in training everyday, he has that striker's instinct," he added.

Though 2009 semi-finalists Laos enjoyed ample time in front of goal, Schaller said their inability to add to their tally ultimately cost them.

"I don't know how many chances we had, perhaps at least six. But that's football, if you don't score you draw or lose," he said.

The fact that Laos were odds-on favourites to win the match after playing with 11 men for 75 minutes was not lost on him. Incidentally, it was the second time in as many matches Laos failed to capitalise on a numerical advantage, falling 3-2 to 10-men Myanmar during their opener last Saturday.

Insisting over-confidence was not an issue, Schaller looked like he has a bigger problem on his hands a lack of focus.

"First of all, the match would have been better if it was 11 versus 11," he said.

"We can't be (over-confident). We don't have a team that can do that. We can't under-estimate any opponent.

"My players seemed to think that it is easier to beat 10 men (but) it was a matter of concentration.

"I don't know why, but at times, my players looked a bit confused ... That's why we let in the goals.

"We played well and had ball possession and chances, it was just the result that was disappointing," he added.

The Brunei Times

Brunei held against Laos

Jason Thomas

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

10-man Brunei scuppers a 2-1 lead in the 80th minute

Laos coach praises 'fantastic' Adis Said

ADI Said lifted 10-man Brunei on his shoulders last night, scoring a brace to ensure a 2-2 stalemate against Laos and their first point of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games football competition.

A striker who is probably worth his weight in gold for the Sultanate right now, Adi the younger brother of DPMM FC hitman Shahrazen netted a 30th minute equaliser and bagged his brace in the 56th minute to give Brunei a lead their fatigued legs would surrender in the 80th minute.

Brunei was down a man in the 15th minute when centre-back Reduan Petara was show a straight red for bringing down Lamnao Singto the Laos captain who was straight through on goal after a long ball from midfield.

But with Adi leading the team's attack, and the midfield slowly rising to the fore, Brunei did not quit believing.

"I didn't think we would lose," said Adi of playing with a man down.

"The most important thing is teamwork. If one man is off, we all raise our game. Individual play is not important. We played well despite being down one player. Our only problems were our finishing and fitness.

"I could have scored three or four but I tried my best," said the 21-year-old, who had two chances to bag his hat-trick and had certain fans in the stadium calling his name whenever he touched the ball.

With Timor Leste upsetting the Philippines 2-1 in yesterday's tie at the Lebak Bulus Stadium, Brunei's draw puts them fifth in the six-team Group B. Though they are even on points with Laos and have the same goal difference, the Laotians have scored a goal more.

Only the Philippines, who suffered two straight losses, have yet to earn a point. Brunei faced Timor Leste in their first game last Saturday, losing 2-1 after initially taking the lead.

Though Laos didn't score off the free-kick when Reduan was sent off, they did take the lead three minutes later through Lamnao, who capped off a superbly swift attacking move.

Sangvone Phimmasen stole the ball off Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris in midfield and passed it to Keoviengpheth Lithideth, who then laid it off to Lamnao. He unleashed a beautiful curler to Junaidi Akim's top-left corner.

But keeping their heads up and starting to string more passes together, Brunei got back into the game and a long ball from captain Azwan Muhd Salleh found Adi who cut past his two defenders and found the net from inside the box and celebrated with his trademark back-flips.

In the second half, Mohd Hendra Azam made up for his earlier mistake by delivering the free-kick into the box which made it 2-1 with a glancing header from Adi.

The substitute goalkeeper, Junaidi, took full use of the opportunity handed to him by the shoulder sprain Ak Omar Nur Aqammadin Pg Hj Sallehuddin picked up against Timor Leste to prove himself by keeping Brunei in the game with some key saves down the stretch.

In the end though, Brunei's tiring midfield wavered and their defenders were satisfied with simply booting the ball to safety.

A through ball to Sangvone on the left flank caught Brunei's back-line off guard, and the striker would square the ball to Sopha Saysana who netted past an open goal.

Through it all, Brunei's commitment to attacking football and their courage will be what most neutrals will take away from the match.

They face Myanmar tomorrow, who are third in the six-team Group B. Tomorrow's other game pits leaders Timor Leste against second-placed Vietnam.

After last night's stirring performance, all three points against Myanmar don't seem too much to ask.The Brunei Times

07 November 2011

YouTube - Brunei vs Laos


EBAK BULUS (7 Nov 2011) – Laos seem to find it difficult to play against teams with ten men and tonight, they were lucky not to concede a second loss in the competition when they held Brunei to a 2-2 draw at the Lebak Bulus Stadium.

On the first match day of Group B the Laotians, the 2009 semi-finalists failed to take advantage of Myanmar playing with ten men, when they succumbed to a 3-2 defeat.

And tonight, Brunei’s hopes of picking up their first win was stuttered as early as the 15th minute when defender Reduan Petara was red carded by Indonesian referee Oki Putra for a foul on Laos captain Lamnao Singto.

And while Laos’ Ketsada might have missed the upright with the ensuing freekick, there was no stopping them from clinching the lead when Lamnao after cutting in from the left, unleashed a well-placed shot in the 18th minute to punish the Brunei lackadaisical defence.

Laos then stepped up the pressure in search of the second goal but it was to be Brunei who found the back of the net when striker Adi Said, found the time and space for the equalizer in the 33rd minute.

The score at the end of the first half was 1-1.

It was Brunei who started brighter after the restart and in the 56th minute, they put their noses in front for the first time in the match – with Adi again on top of his game to punish some hesitant Laos defence.

Certainly, Brunei were not expecting such a score line when they were playing with ten men but not too long afterwards, the change for the nippy Manolom for Laos would change the pace and also the outcome of the game.

Ten minutes to the end, Manolom poked in a mad scramble inside the Brunei box when keeper Awangku Omar Sallehudin came off his line to put the score at 2-2.

Both teams then stepped on the gas after that looking for the winning goal but to no avail as the score stood for them to share the spoils.


06 November 2011

Brunei fall 1-2 to Timor Leste in opener

Jason Thomas

Sunday, November 6, 2011

BRUNEI blew a one-goal lead to lose 2-1 to Timor Leste in what was nevertheless an encouraging performance from the side in their Southeast Asian (SEA) Games football competition opener here yesterday.

Making a return to the tournament after 10 years, the Sultanate took a 1-0 advantage mid-way through the first half when Mohd Najib Hj Tarif slammed the ball home after a smart back-heel from striker Hamizan Sulaiman following a free kick which caused havoc in the box at the Lebak Bulus Stadium.

Though Timor Leste were toothless in the first half it was a different story in the second, where a brace from Murilo Ribeiro de Almeida helped them secure a comeback in what was the first game for both sides.

Pressing the Bruneians from the get-go, the second 45 minutes was a stark difference from the first where Brunei's nifty one-two passing game saw them on top.

De Almeida made it 1-1 after pouncing on a free-kick into the box in the 64th minute, bagging the winner eight minutes later after tapping in a square pass from strike partner Alan Leandro da Silva Pinheiro.

With 2009 silver-medalists Vietnam held to a 0-0 draw by Myanmar in yesterday's second game, the result means Brunei now sit fifth in the six-team Group B with Vietnam's 3-1 win over the Philippines keeping the Filipinos rooted at the bottom of the table.

The only other game of the tournament saw Myanmar edge Laos 3-2.

De Almeida's second strike was a frustrating goal for Brunei to let it, coming from a long-ball which caught the entire defense napping and creating a two-on-one situation which ultimately cost Brunei the match.

"We were careless and conceded through our own mistakes," admitted assistant coach Pg Serfuddin Pg Hj Mohd Salleh.

"Our defence worked hard to defend the line but .... It was hard luck. I think we will improve and learn from these mistakes.

"We had chances but at the end of the day we didn't convert enough of them. We played well in the first half with our short passing and we showed our skill," he added.

With fatigue taking its toll on the players, Brunei's passing game suffered in the second half and they failed to reproduce their fine form in the first half.

Timor Leste's relentless pressure right after the break gave Brunei the jitters, and their taller and more physical opponents also wore Brunei's players down.

Stray passes started creeping into Brunei's game as the match progressed, with their support play also found to be lacking.

In the end they were left thinking about what could have been, with captain Azwan Muhd Salleh testing Timor Leste custodian Emerson Carlos Cesario as early as the sixth minute and Hamizan, Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris and Adi Said also guilty of missing chances in what was a bright first half for Brunei.

Adi looked especially threatening in front of goal and could have won the game for Brunei had he been more clinical.

The team will enjoy a day of rest today before facing Laos tomorrow, the match set for the Lebak Bulus Stadium at 5pm Brunei time.The Brunei Times

05 November 2011


LEBAK BULUS (5 Nov 2011) – Timor Leste fought back from being a goal down to beat Brunei 2-1 on the second match day of the Group B of men’s football that was played at the Lebak Bulus Stadium this evening – courtesy of a double from Murilo de Almeida.

Both teams were playing in their first game of the competition following the first match day of the group two days earlier.

And this evening, Brunei showed none of the chink or the uncertainty of being absence from this competition which they last took part in 2001 when they took the game to the Timorese.

With Timor Leste choosing to play a more offense-minded game by opting to put in three forwards in Antonio Sousa, Alan Pinheiro and Murilo de Almeida, it was Brunei who actually created the early chances.

Captain Azwan Muhd Salleh’s tested Timor goalkeeper Emerson Cesario with a sixth minute shot before further attempts from Hamizan Sulaiman and Mohd Hendra Mohd Idris were both thwarted.

Timor then replied through de Almeida in the 25th minute but beating two defenders, he poorly shot the ball out. That failure to score saw Brunei taking the advantage where after a poor clearance; Mohd Najib Tarif slammed the ball in for the lead.

The score at the end of the first half was 1-0 to Brunei.

Timor Leste were more determined in the second half and they kept up the pressure on Brunei with a double from captain Jesse Pinto but both times, he was denied by the woodwork just before the hour mark.

But there was no stopping Timor from clinching the equaliser in the 64th minute when off a free kick, de Almeida sets off a grounder to beat Brunei custodian Awangku Omar Salehudin.

In the 72nd minute, de Almeida then gave Timor the lead for the first time in the match when he had made good on a cross from Pinheiro after beating the offside trap earlier.

Two minutes to the end, de Almeida was presented with the chance for a hat-trick but he totally muffed his attempt with only the goalkeeper to beat.

“The result was good but we need to tighten up our game if we want to make past the group stage,” offered Pinto after the match.


03 November 2011

Brunei football team set sights on semis

Jason Thomas

Thursday, November 3, 2011

CONFIDENCE is coursing through the Under-23 national football team which left for Jakarta to compete at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games yesterday and probably no one's more optimistic than Azwan Muhd Salleh.

"A medal might be hard but I want to make it to the second round (semi-finals) at least," said the captain.

"A good result in our first match against Timor Leste (on Saturday) will surely give us confidence ahead of our other games.

"The team has a good understanding among each other and our teamwork is strong. Compared to the other teams, we didn't have any friendly matches against international sides, so that might be a problem for the first game.

"Of course, I am proud to be selected as captain. This will be my second time leading the team after the 2006 Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Kedah," added the 23-year-old DPMM FC midfielder.

Brunei's only professional club, DPMM FC have three players in the 20-man squad which departed for the Indonesian capital for the biennial tournament striker Adi Said and midfielder Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris are the other two.

Making a return to the SEA Games football event after 10 years, the Sultanate's second Group B match is against Laos next Monday.

They take on Myanmar two days later and 2009 runners-up Vietnam are penned in for next Saturday.

Brunei meet the Philippines in their final group stage match on Nov 15, with the semi-finals set for Nov 19 and the final two days later.

It is arguably the country's biggest test in a decade, with Brunei's last appearance at the regional meet coming at the 2001 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

Pride is on the line and that's definitely what was on Ahmad Hafiz Said's mind when asked about what he felt heading into the competition especially after being told that Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) chairman Nguyen Trong Hy had said "Brunei is not a strong team".

"That's only going to motivate us more! I want us to show (people) that Brunei can play," smiled Adi's brother.

"We've had enough training, our teamwork is good, and I'm confident as well," chipped in Adi, who has been rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the most feared strikers in the land while playing for Majra.

Netting the winning goal in their 2-1 win over the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) in July's DST Group Brunei League Cup final, he earned the Man of the Match award for his heroics.

His eye for the goal is no surprise considering his brother Shahrazen who also plays for DPMM FC is just as deadly.

After all, Shahrazen led DPMM FC in scoring during their debut Singapore League season in 2008/2009 with nine goals and finished joint top scorer during the 2006/2007 Malaysian Super League campaign with 21.

Also in a positive mood was Adi's strike partner Mohd Nazirul Nazreen Abdullah, who along with Hamizan Sulaiman, make up the team's trio in attack.

"The three of us have a good understanding and have no problems communicating with each other. I'm sure we can work well together (in Jakarta)," he said.

"We will need some luck in our matches and when we are in Jakarta we will have to stay focused, be committed during training and get enough rest," added the 22-year-old.

Luck has already been on the team's side after they were handed an easier group during the draw held on Oct 19.

Group A pits titleholders Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Cambodia against each other in what will be an extremely tough pool to say the least. The two best teams from each group advance to the semi-finals.

Vietnam takes on the Philippines in today's tournament opener at 5pm (Brunei time) while Laos face Myanmar at 8pm.

Both games will be held at 88,083 capacity Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.

Only four of the Brunei team are first-timers to an international competition the rest enjoying playing time at the 2007 Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (a competition between national Under-21 teams from the Asean region), the 2008 Malaysia Games (Sukma) and Asean Schools Football Tournament.

Though the side which was formed in July was only able to call their 2-2 draw against DPMM as their sternest test ahead of the Games, the other countries have enjoyed a better build up to the event.

The Filipinos just returned from a week-long stay in Japan while Myanmar faced Malaysia, Uzbekistan and Vietnam at last month's Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) Cup in Vietnam, where they lost 2-1, 2-1 and 5-0 respectively.

Also in the VFF Cup, Malaysia held Vietnam to a 1-1 draw and lost 3-1 to Uzbekistan.

Semi-finalists at the SEA Games which they hosted in 2009, Laos lost 4-1 to Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur last week.

Indonesia held their senior counterparts 1-1 in a recent game and breezed past the Timor Leste Under-23 squad 5-0.

Brunei's tie against Timor Leste might seem the easiest but the players aren't taking anything for granted.

"Every team has its strengths we can't look down on any of them," insisted defender Md Enddy Zulyadi Awg Sapar.

With 13 wins to their name, Thailand are the most successful team in the competition. Malaysia and Myanmar have five titles to their name a statistic that stretches back to 1959 when the event was known as the Southeast Asian Peninsular Games.

Malaysia won gold at the last edition when they defeated Vietnam 1-0 in the final when Vietnam's Mai Xuan Hop put the ball into his own net to hand the Asean champions their first SEA Games title in 20 years.

Including the footballers, Brunei is set to send 62 athletes to the Nov 11-22 Games where they will compete in 10 other sports; 10-pin bowling, cue sports, fencing, karatedo, kempo, pencak silat, petanque, sepak takraw, taekwondo and wushu.

Co-hosted by Palembang and Jakarta, the Games officially kick off at the Jakabaring Stadium in Palembang, where according to Bernama, 6,000 athletes from 11 countries will be present at the ceremony.The Brunei Times

02 November 2011

'Fair' draw for Brunei in SEA games: coach

Jason Thomas

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

DAYEM Hj Ali (pic) said Brunei has a "fair" draw at this week's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Indonesia, which is arguably the country's biggest event in a decade.

Making their return to the Under-23 football competition after a 10-year-absence, the team's head coach was happy to have been drawn in Group B alongside Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, the Philippines and Timor Leste.

Group A consists of defending champions Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Cambodia so the Sultanate can breathe a sigh of relief after being handed an easier task.

"It's also good because we will be able to know how strong we are after not playing for 10 years we last played at the 2001 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur," he said on Monday, referring to the fact that potentially poor results against the stronger Group A opponents would not be a true test of the team's standard.

"The games against Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos will be tough ... Vietnam were runners-up in 2009 and Laos were semi-finalists. (But) we want to make sure we play our best and make the country proud," the coach insisted.

Brunei's 20-man squad, which will leave for Jakarta today, face Timor Leste in their opener on Saturday. They take on Laos next Monday, Myanmar next Wednesday and Vietnam next Saturday.

Brunei will meet the Philippines in their final group stage match on Nov 15, with the semi-finals set for Nov 19 and the final two days later. The two best teams from each group advance to the semis.

Brunei's match against Vietnam, which was penned in for a what would have been a historic 8am kick-off next Friday because of the Games' opening ceremony on the same day, has now been rescheduled to 7pm the next day.

Vietnam takes on the Philippines in tomorrow's tournament opener, with the SEA Games proper set for Nov 11-22.

Trials were held in July to select Brunei's footballers for the 26th edition of the biennial tournament. Their training sessions in the fasting month only ran from 9-11pm but the team has been at work twice a day since a four-day break for Hari Raya.

Only four of them are first-timers to an international competition the rest enjoying playing time at the 2007 Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (a competition between national Under-21 teams from the Asean region), the 2008 Malaysia Games (Sukma) and Asean Schools Football Tournament.

The team's captain, midfielder Azwan Muhd Salleh, is one of the three from DPMM FC with striker Adi Hj Md Said and midfielder Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris the other two.

Though the team might be physically ready, their lack of quality friendly matches might be their undoing in the Indonesian capital where the other countries have been preparing against some top-level opposition.

The Philippines squad just returned from a week-long stay in Japan while Laos gave Malaysia a run for their money after taking an early lead before falling 4-1 in a friendly in Kuala Lumpur last Sunday.

Malaysia also saw action at last month's Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) Cup, where they lost 3-1 to Uzbekistan, beat Myanmar 2-1 and held hosts Vietnam to a 1-1 draw. Myanmar were on the wrong end of a 5-0 scoreline against Vietnam in the same tournament, where they also lost 2-1 to Uzbekistan.

The Indonesians held their senior counterparts 1-1 in a recent game and breezed past the Timor Leste Under-23 squad 5-0.

Brunei, in comparison, have had to settle for DPMM FC.

Though Brunei's only professional club are the 2009 Singapore League Cup champions, DPMM FC are still in the process of getting their players fit and finalising imports for the upcoming season and matches against countries in the region would have been a better test.

"We have had friendly games against some local teams but they weren't really good gauges for us - except for our 2-2 draw against DPMM FC (on Oct 15)," said Dayem.

"Going up against their (DPMM FC's) imports, we were able to learn that we can not play long balls (to the forwards) because the defenders are tall.

"That's why we have been training a lot on our one-two passing ... That's one of our weapons," he added.

Thailand have won the SEA Games a record 13 times, followed by Malaysia and Myanmar with five a statistic that stretches back to 1959 when the event was then known as the Southeast Asian Peninsular Games.

Malaysia won the last edition in Laos when they defeated Vietnam 1-0 in the final, where an own goal by Vietnam's Mai Xuan Hop handed the Asean champions their first SEA Games title in 20 years.

The Brunei Times

01 November 2011

Fan favourite Jerkovic on his way back to DPMM FC

Jason Thomas

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

IVAN JERKOVIC would welcome a move back to DPMM FC.

The Croatian midfielder, who was highly respected during his time with Brunei's only professional club, currently plies his trade at the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) FC.

The 32-year-old was an integral cog in Vjeran Simunic's midfield during their time in the Singapore League (S-League) and was DPMM FC's leading scorer with four goals heading into their 2009 Singapore League Cup final win against his current employers.

With DPMM FC looking to return to the S-League, and still in search of their fourth import, Jerkovic whose contract expires on Nov 30 is keeping his options open.

"I don't see any problem coming back," he said in an exclusive interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.

"My contract expires on Nov 30 and the (SAF FC) management called me to their office a few days ago to ask about my plan for the next season. I said I won't go back to Croatia ... I want to stay in Asia.

"But we will start talks about a new deal soon so I need to know what to do.

"I enjoyed my time in Brunei. The people were very friendly and the players very good ... (midfielders) Hj Muhd Subhi Abdilah Hj Bakir, Sairol Hj Sahari, Rosmin Hj Md Kamis, (defender) Pg Sallehuddin Pg Hj Damit, (striker) Shahrazen Hj Md Said.

"I'm turning 33 on January but I've been the only player to play in every game this season. I've got no problems with injury I can still run.

"Look at Duric (Tampines Rovers FC striker Aleksandar Duric). He's 41 but he has 25 goals this season," he pointed out.

The midfielder said that though he would like to return to DPMM FC, it was not up to him to decide and contact with the club's management has yet to be made.

Though he admitted the club has yet to talk to the Croatian, Pg Waslimin PSJ Pg Hj Abd Momin sounded positive enough when asked about the matter.

"We (the management) must first sit down and talk about it," said the DPMM FC club manager yesterday.

A move back to the Sultanate will no doubt be enthusiastically met by both DPMM FC players and fans, who have long acknowledged his influence on and off the pitch. Having played with the team for the whole of their debut S-League season in 2009, Jerkovic would have no problem fitting back into the squad.

The fact that he currently plays in the S-League is also another advantage since he will not have to spend time adjusting to the style of play.

It's hardly surprising that Jerkovic was snapped up by SAF FC, who in 2009, became the first Singaporean team to feature in the Asian Champions League.

The eight-time S-League winners, who are the most successful club in the competition's 15-year history, surely knew that a player of Jerkovic's caliber would easily fit in.

The midfielder has always had an eye for the goal after all, he was DPMM FC's second best goal scorer in the league in 2009 with seven goals, a record he shared with Algerian striker Abdel Hamid Berguiga.

Striker Shahrazen Hj Md Said topped the team in scoring that season with eight.

He is also enjoying a rich vein of form at the moment, another encouraging sign if DPMM FC do choose to bring him back.

Grabbing the fourth goal during SAF FC's 6-3 win over Geylang United in last night's S-League match, the strike brought his tally for the season to 10.

He has found the net eight times in the league and bagged both goals during his team's 2-2 draw against Albirex Niigata FC (S) in the Singapore Cup quarter-finals on Aug 18.

Though he twice helped SAF FC come from behind to force the game into penalties Jerkovic converted his they would eventually lose 7-6 to the Japanese side.

The former Pelita Jaya FC star chipped in with one assist in their 4-1 win against Etoile FC in the S-League last Friday and netted twice during the 3-0 win over Courts Young Lions last Tuesday. More impressively, he played provider in all three goals when SAF FC beat Hougang United FC 3-1 on Oct 19.

"I don't know how many I've assisted this season ... Perhaps 15 or 20," he said.

Jerkovic has also been a threat in set-pieces, with three of the four goals he scored during DPMM FC's championship run in the 2009 Singapore League Cup coming from dead ball situations.

Defender Tales Ricarte dos Santos (Brazil), midfielder George O'Callaghan (Ireland) and striker Osman Basiru (Ghana) comprise the club's current stable of imports, though they have yet to make an impact in training.

The Brunei Times