06 February 2012

Tampines send out early warning to DPMM FC

Jason Thomas
Monday, February 6, 2012

SINGAPORE League (S-League) titleholders Tampines Rovers sent out an early warning ahead of this season's start when they beat Home United 2-0 to win the 2012 Great Eastern Charity Shield last night.

The traditional curtain raiser to the S-League which kicks off on Thursday saw the Stags (Tampines' nickname) in dominant form at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore, a worrying sign for DPMM FC who face Tampines in their first match on Sunday.

DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic (pictured) was at the game to take notes ahead of Sunday's game at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas, describing the match as a "must-watch".

"I heard they have a new line-up and formation so its necessary for me to see them," he told The Brunei Times last week. "Then I will have a more clear understanding of their strengths."

According to ESPN, Home United who are the RHB Singapore Cup champions were second best all night long, with goals either side of half-time from Croatian Davor Piskor and Macedonian Gligor Gligorov enough for Tampines to take home the first piece of silverware.

After a neat one-two between Ahmed Fahmie and Jamil Ali, the former's shot from close range was parried by Nazri Sabri.

Amid the chaos, the predatory Piskor headed in Jamil's headed cross from close range.

With strikers Frederic Mendy and Shotara Ihata promising much but delivering little, Home simply could not find a way through an impressive Tampines defence, a backline which was superbly marshaled by captain and Singapore international Mustafic Fahrudin.

Jamil was to play a key part in the second goal as well.

His run and cross on the hour mark found an unmarked Gligorov who smashed the ball home, giving Tampines a deserved 2-0 lead.

DPMM FC's first meeting with the Stags on 3 April 2009 ended in a 1-1 draw at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore while the second on 10 July 2009 saw the hosts record a 2-1 win at the same venue. The third, which was their last game before they were forced to pull out of the S-League with just four games left in their debut season, was a 2-2 draw at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on 29 Sept 2009.

Brunei's only professional club will start the league playing three of their first four games at home.

They face powerhouses Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) FC in their second game on Feb 19 and meet Albirex Niigata on March 11.

The tie against SAF at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore will be a considered one of their toughest assignments. After all, SAF are the most successful club in the 16-year history of the S-League after having claimed the title a record eight times.

The Brunei Times

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