06 May 2012

DPMM FC singing in rain

Sunday, May 6, 2012
DPMM FC gave their fans something to cheer about in the pouring rain last night.

The Sultanate's only professional football club extended their lead at the top of the Singapore League (S-League) standings with a 5-1 demolition of Hougang United FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night.

They now have 26 points from 11 games with Harimau Muda (the Malaysian national Under-23 team) in second place with 23 points.

Local boys Shahrazen Said and Azwan Saleh bagged a brace each in the victory. The former, who is the team's topscorer, took his tally to seven goals after the game.

DPMM FC enjoyed a lot of possession in the first half and were continuously on the attack. It finally paid off when Shahrazen broke the deadlock for the hosts in the 38th minute.

It started out with Hougang goalkeeper, Fadhil Salim, slipping on a goalkick gifting DPMM FC possession. The ensuing throw-in resulted in a cross from the left which beat the whole Hougang backline and allowed Shahrazen to easily head home from close range for the lead.

Set-piece specialist Azwan doubled the advantage just before halftime with a freekick from 45 metres out. His effort failed to meet anyone, but instead crossed the line to make it 2-0 at the break.

Hougang came out strong after the interval creating various chances. Mamadou Diallo had a good opportunity with a header, but was saved by Wardun Yussof in between the DPMM FC sticks.

However, the visitors were caught by surprise when Azwan struck again in the 54th minute with a long attempt that slipped under Fadhil to give DPMM FC a 3-0 cushion.

Brazilian forward Rodrigo Gral almost got his name on the scoresheet for DPMM FC in the 57th minute after curling a freekick over the wall, but it was dealt with by Fadhil.

Two minutes later Diallo struck a good freekick, but Azwan was at the right place at the right time to clear his effort off the line.

Shahrazen got his second of the night after Hougang failed to clear a corner allowing the DPMM FC hitman to easily slot it home from inside the box in the 65th minute.

DPMM FC were caught napping in the 74th minute and Diallo made them pay after receiving a good throughball from Jordan Webb to make it 4-1.

Diallo found the back of the net again two minutes later on a similar move, but was flagged for offside.

The fifth goal for the home side was courtesy of an own goal by Hougang captain Lau Meng Meng after he turned in a cross by Helmi Zambin in the 86th minute.

To add icing on the cake, Wardun saved a penalty by Webb in what was the last kick of the match.

DPMM FC head coach, Vjeran Simunic, was delighted and praised his players for the overwhelming performance.

"I'm happy that it was the locals that scored all the goals. This will show other countries that the country has got good players," said Simunic in an interview with The Brunei Times after the win.

"Everyone on the team is the man of the match. All played very good football and the whole team deserved it. We are already at the level where we were back in 2009, but the team are hungry and I know that we can be better," added the 57-year-old Croatian.

Simunic also had some words for fans who didn't turn up for the game. "People sitting at home should come over and support the team. It's like watching our very own Premier League here at the stadium instead of on TV."

Over at the Jurong West Stadium, the Singapore Armed Forces FC edged Gombak United FC 1-0 thanks to a goal by Shimpei Sakurada in the final minute.

A hat-trick by Frederic Mendy, meanwhile, secured Home United FC a 3-1 win over Woodlands Wellington at the Bishan Stadium.The Brunei Times

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