29 April 2012

A really happy birthday

Saturday, April 28, 2012
DPMM FC coach gets his birthday present

DPMM FC gave Vjeran Simunic the perfect birthday present last night, cruising to a 3-0 win over Woodlands Wellington FC to once again move to the top of the Singapore League (S-League).

The Croatian turned 57 yesterday and his players made sure it was a day to remember, with Rodrigo Gral scoring a brace after Shahrazen Said put the hosts in the driving seat with a fourth minute goal.

Enjoying large spells of possession and play, they also now enjoy a two-point lead over Balestier Khalsa FC.

The team would celebrate the final whistle by showering Simunic with water and portions of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas joined in the fun by singing him "Happy Birthday".

Though DPMM FC surrendered their unbeaten run in this season's S-League when they lost to Home United last week, Simunic was thrilled Woodlands who remain 10th in the 13-team table didn't steal another record from him.

"I have never lost on my birthday! Never," he proudly declared.

"This present is not only for me, but also for this beautiful country. I think this is one of the most beautiful games of the season and the fans really enjoyed it," he added.

The fans had every reason to enjoy DPMM FC's 10th game of the season after all, Shahrazen's fifth goal of the campaign gave Brunei's only professional football club added confidence to ride out their seventh win.

The Woodlands defence gave Shahrazen too much space on the right flank, and cutting past his defender, the striker unleashed a left-footed shot from inside the box which caught goalkeeper Ahmadulhaq Che Omar flat-footed.

Helmi Zambin got a rare start on the right-wing, with Hj Muhd Subhi Abdilah Hj Bakir moved to right-back in place of Shahrulrizal Hj Abd Rahman.

Helmi and Ghanaian striker Osman Basiru had attempts that sailed wide of the bar inside the first 10 minutes, and DPMM FC's 'shoot on sight' policy helped pen the visitors into their own half for the rest of the period.

Shahrazen, who is now the team's top scorer, proved he can provide assist as well when he created the second goal in the 28th minute his cross from the right was met by a delicate touch from the unmarked Gral to redirect it into goal.

Lacking composure on the ball, Woodlands only toubled DPMM FC goalkeeper Wardun Yussof in the 25th minute when he rushed out to close out the angles after Shamsurin Rahman was stringed a through ball from Farizal Basri.

Osman should have grabbed his fifth goal of the season seconds after the re-start, but with only Ahmadulhaq to beat, fired wide of the left post. DPMM FC lacked the same sort of urgency they played with in the first half, but Woodlands weren't able to capitalise on their opponents' lull in concentration.

They were made to pay for it in the 63rd minute when Gral easily converted a penalty after Helmi was felled inside the box by Edward Tan, and though the hosts created more chances Shahrazen alone had three the team were not able to find the net again.

Last night's other game saw Harimau Muda (Malaysian Under-23 team) beat Hougang United FC 3-1 at the Yishun Stadium in Singapore to jump to third and keep chase with leaders DPMM FC.The Brunei Times

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