11 December 2012


Tuesday, December 11, 2012
MOHAMMAD Hardi Hj Matassan's 115th minute header handed the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) the DST FA Cup last night after edging Indera Sports Club 1-0 in a game that was destined for penalties until the dramatic winner.

It was the third time in four years MS ABDB have won the tournament after successes in the 2009 and 2010 editions of the competition.

Both teams had their chances to seal the game at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas, with Indera — who were in their first DST FA Cup final — dominating the first half but on the back foot for the latter stages of the second.

Mohammad Arif Hj Zulkifli should have scored the winner for Indera when he was put through on goal in the 99th minute, but his lob was well off the target.

They were made to pay when MS ABDB's Budiman Jumat — who helped shape the game after coming on as a second-half substitute — delivered a cross from the left that Mohammad Hardi latched on to with a powerful header five minutes from the final whistle.

Indera were forced to clear off the line twice in the game, and speaking to the media about the goal-line clearances, MS ABDB coach felt they were robbed.

"I thought both of them were goals," said Saiful Rizal Awang, who failed to mention that MS ABDB scored when Indera's Hamizan Aziz Sulaiman was on the touchline receiving treatment. "We won because we were patient and worked hard. We had a lot of chances, we were unlucky not to take it."

MS ABDB had said the game would be decided in the 90 minutes and Ishak found consolation in the fact they made the army men swallow their words.

"I'm very proud of the team for bringing the game to extra-time," said Ishak, adding they lost out on stamina.

MS ABDB's Md Baharin Hamidon could have settled the tie in regulation time but skied a 90th minute chance.

The soldiers controlled the last 15 minutes of the game, with Budiman watching a 73rd minute free-kick bounce off the post before another one was saved by Indera goalkeeper Ak Omar Nur Aqammadin Pg Hj Sallehuddin.

Indera's Muhd Nur Ikwan Othman should have opened the scoring in the 69th minute when through on goal, but his shot was easily saved by MS ABDB shotstopper Muhammad Suhandi Hj Awg Mahali, who also pulled off a superb save from an attempt by Reduan Hj Petara in the 44th minute.

Mohammad Nazirul Nazreen Abdullah created the best chance of the first half after stealing the ball off a MS ABDB defender and wafting an inch-perfect cross-field pass to Mohammad Khayrun Salleh, whose tame attempt was easily saved by Muhammad Suhandi.

With a team filled with national players, there was no doubt Indera were on top in the first half — their quick passes and off the ball movement set a tempo MS ABDB were unable to match.The Brunei Times

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