06 April 2012

DPMM FC wary of wounded Lions

Jason Thomas

Friday, April 6, 2012

DPMM FC believe the Young Lions still have a lot of roar in them despite being tied to the foot of the Singapore League (S-League).

Table-toppers DPMM FC face the Singaporean national Under-23 side at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas tonight in what DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic has billed as a battle between two nations.

Brunei's only professional football club have not suffered a home loss stretching back to August, 2009, but Simunic is aware of the threat that the wounded Young Lions can pose.

And with Singapore head coach and Simunic's close friend Raddy Avramovic overseeing the team's last three games, and in town for tonight's tie, the Croatian knows the Young Lions mean business.

"For me, Singapore are one of the best teams in the region," insisted Simunic during yesterday's pre-match Press conference.

"The Young Lions are a good team and with Canadian Sherif El-Masri a former Home United player in the side, they are even better.

"We want to continue our good performances and ... I think we can pick up a good result.

"Eight teams can be champions now. And the Young Lions have played two games less, so I know the battle for the Top 5 spots will be very tight," he added.

The Young Lions are on two games less because after their opening two matches, most of the squad came to Brunei for last month's Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT).

Young Lions head coach Robin Chitrakar, who was also in charge during the HBT, didn't feel his team deserved to be stuck to the bottom of the 13-team table and was adamant his team will be fighting for all three points tonight.

"We're a young team but we're no pushovers," he declared. "It's possible to beat them but it will be very tough ... They have a good coach, a well organised team and some very talented players. It's going to be an uphill task."

DPMM FC have a full squad to choose from though the Young Lions will be without injured striker Navin Nigel Vanu and midfielder Iqbal Hamid Hussain.

Meanwhile, Moon Soon Ho's brace for Woodlands Wellington FC held Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) FC to a 2-2 draw last night. Mislav Karoglan and Ruzaini Zainal netted for SAF FC, who remain in eighth while Woodlands maintain ninth tied on points with the army men but trailing on goal difference.The Brunei Times

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