19 February 2012

S-League: Can DPMM FC gun down SAF FC?

Yee Chun Leong

Sunday, February 19, 2012

OLD foes are set for battle at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore today.

DPMM FC will be looking to extend their unbeaten run against the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) FC when they meet today in the Singapore League (S-League).

Brunei's only professional football team have played the S-League giants five times and won four of those ties. The other result was a draw.

Their biggest victory was the 4-3 penalty shoot-out win which allowed DPMM FC to become the first foreign side to win the Singapore League Cup back in 2009.

Today's match, however, is going to be a tough trip for DPMM FC especially since this is their first away game for over two years.

But DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic is hopeful of another good performance just like in their previous match against defending champions, Tampines Rovers, last Sunday which ended in a 2-2 draw at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

"We will need to repeat the same performance that we showed last weekend against Tampines. We had a good game and it is important that we do it again (this weekend)," said Simunic during an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.

"It is the wrong time to play against them as we are still missing six key players, but I do hope that it will be no problem," he added

"It is definitely better to have a full lineup, but we will go out there and do our best against them," continued the Croatian.

The head coach said that key players like Yussof Salleh, Pg Sallehuddin Pg Hj Damit and Abang Norsilmy Abang Hj Taha, who are still not match fit, were vital at the defensive end.

SAF FC found the back of the net 74 times last season and their Croatian hitman Mislav Karoglan scored 33 of them. Their local striker Farzul Nawaz contributed 15 to the tally.

Hence, DPMM FC's back line will have to work extra hard and Simunic is expecting their opponents to go all out against them today.

"We expect a lot from Sunday's match because we have always come up with good results against SAF FC," said Simunic.

"But, that could also lead to bigger motivation for them to seek revenge ... and they could be under pressure to get it done," he added.

The coach is also hoping that his side can pick up quickly and get back to their old pace.

"The problem is that we missed friendly games and during the early stages of the season the matches are being treated as preparations (for the entire season)," explained Simunic.

"Our bench needs more experience and we should be at the level that we want to be in the next three months," he added.

"I do hope that we can get back to the level that we were two years ago and I believe that we are on the right track. We need to be patient and we have to trust in ourselves to be where we want to be," he concluded.

The match will kick off at 7.45pm.The Brunei Times

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