25 April 2013

'Signing a midfielder is our priority'

Thursday, April 25, 2013
DPMM FC striker Shahrazen Said has said that signing an experienced midfielder will be the club's priority when the Singapore League (S-League) mid-season transfer window opens in June.

Former Arsenal and Fulham winger Luis Boa Morte is the latest name to be on trial with DPMM FC.

The Portuguese international is in the country and was on the field with the DPMM FC players during training at the Jerudong Mini Stadium on Monday. Speaking to The Brunei Times yesterday, Shahrazen said, "Boa Morte is a good striker and he is very creative."

"He trained with us for the past two days and he is playing as a striker now," said Shahrazen.

"However, I think for now, we need a midfielder who can really control the midfield area," said the striker.

Guadeloupe international Stephane Auvray is on the top of the list to be replaced as the club is set to make some changes in June.

Auvray came with an impressive resume having played in the 'Major League Soccer' in the US with Sporting Kansas and New York Red Bulls but has been a target of criticisms by both the management and fans for his poor performances, particularly in DPMM FC's 4-2 win over Geylang International on April 3.

Auvrey came on for Adi Said in the 61st minute and was blamed for the two goals conceded by the team late in the match.

The midfielder has not featured for the team since then.

The club has also been linked with several high profile names including former Juventus and Fenerbahce playmaker Stephen Appiah, Brazilian Rodrigo Lombardo Tosi and former Messina and Ascoli player Domenico Giampa over the past weeks.

The S-League Cup champions now sit fourth in the 12-team league table after defeating Balestier Khalsa FC 1-0 courtesy of an own goal by captain Tengku Mushadad in the 35th minute at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore on Friday.

They are scheduled to play Malaysians Harimau Muda at Pasir Gudang, in Johor, Malaysia on Wednesday.

The Brunei Times

21 April 2013

Will Tosi return to DPMM FC?

Sunday, April 21, 2013
DPMM FC are set to re-sign midfielder Rodrigo Antonio Lombardo Tosi when the Singapore League (S-League) transfer window opens in June, according to the club's website on Thursday.

The Brazilian-Italian midfielder is the second name linked with a move to the club after they announced a trial for former Juventus and Fenerbahce midfielder Stephen Appiah last week.

In an interview with The Brunei Times last night, DPMM FC striker Shahrazen Said said that he would welcome the midfielder with open arms.

"It would be very nice to have him (Tosi) back in the team. He was a very good player for us," he said.

"Tosi is a complete player. We used to play in the 2005 and 2006 Malaysian League together. Tosi is a good provider of a ball... a very good passer.

"He was a play-maker for us, with his crosses and good individual skills. He also helped score goals for us, and moreover he was a DPMM FC fan favourite,"

"He would be a very good signing for us. If the deal goes through, it will be very interesting," added Shahrazen.

DPMM FC are reportedly looking to replace Guadeloupean import, midfielder Stephane Auvray after he came under heavy criticisms from DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic as well as fans following poor performances.

Auvray has not seen action for the team since their 4-2 win over Geylang International on April 3 in which he was blamed for both Geylang's goals in the game.

Simunic has, instead, opted to use the young and inexperienced Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris to partner captain Rosmin Hj Kamis in middle of the park.

DPMM FC however need to consider that Tosi has been struggling to make an impact for Iran Pro League side Esteghlal FC last season and first team football has been something of a rare commodity for the 30-year-old midfielder.

He has featured in only nine of Esteghlal FC's 19 Iran Pro League fixtures and has only started four games, failing to notch a single goal in the tournament.

One wonders if DPMM FC would consider such a risky move or opt for the pursuit of an alternative 'enforcer' signing, a position that the DPMM FC certainly need to fill.

The Brunei Times

Balestier Khalsa gift DPMM FC win

Saturday, April 20, 2013
DPMM FC snatched all three points after holding on to defeat Balestier Khalsa FC 1-0 in their Singapore League (S-League) match last night.

An own goal by Balestier Khalsa captain Tengku Mushadad in the 35th minute was the difference in the encounter at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

Balestier Khalsa keeper Zaiful Nizam had failed to clear a corner kick which conveniently landed for DPMM FC Portuguese striker Joao Moreira to pounce.

The latter's effort was blocked by Syed Thaha at the near post but the clearance ricocheted off Tengku to find its way to the back of the net.

DPMM FC head coach, Vjeran Simunic, was delighted to claim a total of four points in the span of four days.

"I'm very proud of my boys because Balestier are a very good team. We respect each other and they are a very disciplined team," said Simunic.

"I think we deserved the win after fighting for the whole 90 minutes. It was a tough game and whoever scored first would have the advantage and momentum," he added.

"Every 1-0 victory is sweet and tough. At the same time I think luck and fortune followed us," continued the Croatian.

Brunei's only professional football team were the better side in the opening half but things turned around after the interval with the introduction of the duo of Zulkiffli Hassim and Patrick Paranjody into the Balestier Khalsa lineup.

DPMM FC seemed tired and were put under pressure with Baslestier Khalsa pushing forward in search for an equaliser.

Their first good chance came after a quick freekick in the 57th minute put Zulkiffli through but DPMM FC keeper Wardun Yussof stood his ground to deny him near the post.

DPMM FC responded three minutes later with Sairol Hj Sahari delivering a cross from the left but Moreira was just inches away from connecting to double the visitors lead.

They had another chance in the 65th minute with captain Rosmin Hj Mohd Kamis on target with a freekick at the edge of the box.

Moreira didn't have enough power on his shot after going one-on-one with Zaiful another three minutes later.

The ball was mostly in the DPMM FC half and Qiu Li finally found the back of the net for Balestier Khalsa in the 78th minute but was ruled offside.

Korean Bong Jung-hee had a chance two minutes later but could only skyrocket his shot.

Moreira was a bit adventurous five minutes from time, firing one from midfield after catching Zaiful off his line. However, his effort ended up in the stands.

The intensity of the match heightened towards the end with four minutes added time but DPMM FC were calm and collected as they cleared away the danger that saw them hold on for the triumph.

DPMM FC leapfrogged their opponents and are now up to fourth spot in the 12-team table with 15 points.

Balestier Khalsa are in sixth with 13 points while Woodlands Wellington are fifth with a better goal difference.

In the other match, Tampines Rovers remain unbeaten after beating Albirex Niigata 2-1 at the Jurong East Stadium.

Sead Hadzibulic opened the scoring for Tampines in the 39th minute before Bruno Castanheira equalised for Albirex four minutes later.

Khairul Amri's goal in the 58th minute secured all three points for the Stags.

Tampines extend their lead at the top of the table with 22 points despite a game in hand.

Tanjong Pagar United FC are second with 18 while Albirex are third with 17 points.

The Brunei Times

17 April 2013

Stags escape with late draw

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
DPMM FC were left kicking themselves once again after letting in a 90th minute goal to undefeated league leaders Tampines Rovers FC in their Singapore League match which ended 1-1 last night.

Their previous two meetings saw the Stags escape with a 90th minute goal, and last night's encounter at the Clementi Stadium in Singapore was no different with DPMM FC yet to beat Tampines in three tries.

Portuguese striker Joao Moreira opened the scoring in the 35th minute after latching onto a rebound from a Shahrazen Said shot, but the Stags broke DPMM FC's hearts once again when Khairul Amri netted in the dying seconds after an attempt which found its way past a multitude of players in the box, according to DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic.

The strike was Moreira's fifth goal in the S-League and he now leads the goal scoring charts at DPMM FC, with Shahrazen who ended last season as the team's best marksman after bagging 13 S-League goals on four goals this campaign.

The S-League runners-up can also take some consolation in the fact that the result was the first time any team has taken points away from the defending champions, who have won all six of their games leading up to last night's clash.

The draw also moves DPMM FC up two spots to fifth, though their early form is hardly that of a team that many were expecting to challenge for the title.

The same tie last season saw a defensive lapse let in Gligor Gligorov at the back, the Macedonian sneak in at the back to score a late winner on June 15.

Last year's game at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas, which marked DPMM FC's return to the S-League after two years, saw the Stags stage a late comeback to bag a 90th minute goal and force a 2-2 draw on Feb 12.

Though he was asked about the team's inability to get a win against Tampines, and the fact that the Stags always seem to be able to score a late goal, Simunic refused to draw any parallels with past results.

"Last night's game was different," insisted the coach in a telephone interview.

"Our players were fantastic and we had many chances to score a second goal.

"The refereeing was also bad and there were many mistakes which went unpunished," added last season's S-League Coach of the Year.

The Croatian said both Moreira and Adi Said suffered tackles which went unnoticed by the referee, going on to call the result "a big robbery".

"They way they tackled Adi... It was like rugby. And Joao is now injured after some bad tackles," he added.

Bad tackles or not, the team will have to pick themselves up from what would have been a much-needed boost in time for their next match against Balestier Khalsa FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore on Friday.

Young Lions (Singapore national Under-23 team) go up against Tanjong Pagar United FC in tonight's game at the Jalan Besar Stadium, with the Young Lions winless in nine games.

The team had results of their first four games overturned by the S-League last month after it was found they fielded ineligible players, awarding their opponents 3-0 wins in each instance.

The Brunei Times

15 April 2013

DPMM FC to face Lao Police FC

Monday, April 15, 2013
DPMM FC will be up against Laotian champions Lao Police FC in their first game of this year's Singapore Cup.

Lao Police emerged as champions last season's Lao League by beating runners-up Yotha FC by one point, the victory booking them a place in the 2013 edition of the AFC Presidents Cup.

The date of their match has yet to be fixed.

The preliminary round draw for the tournament was held in Singapore yesterday, and Goal.com Singapore reported that teams this year would be drawn on a round-by-round basis, unlike previous editions where teams were drawn with a clear route to the final.

At the end of each round, clubs will be drawn in pairs, which will decide their next opponent.

"This adds suspense and excitement to the whole competition," explained Singapore League CEO Lim Chin.

The prize money for the 2013 Singapore Cup has also seen an increase from last year.

The champions will receive $100,000 while the runners-up and second runners-up will receive $60,000 and $40,000 respectively an increase of $20,000 for each podium-finisher when compared to 2012.

Though DPMM FC have won the Singapore League Cup twice and ended last season with Singapore League runners-up medals, they have failed to progress past the quarter-finals of the Singapore Cup in both previous attempts.

Their debut in 2009 saw them beat Indonesian side Pelita Jaya 1-0 in the first round (round of 16) but were then kicked out of the last-eight after going down 7-3 on aggregate to Thai outfit TTM Samut Sakhon.

Last year's edition saw them fail to pass the first hurdle after bogey-side Home United beat them 1-0 despite playing with 10-men for most of the second half.

The then titleholders, Home got in front after John Wilkinson scored a 40th minute goal, and the hosts would maintain their lead at the Yishun Stadium in Singapore despite having Masrezwan Masturi sent off for elbowing striker Shahrazen Said in the 54th minute.

Warriors FC (formerly known as Singapore Armed Forces FC) are the reigning Singapore Cup titleholders after downing S-League champions Tampines Rovers 2-1 for their fifth triumph in the competition.

The Brunei Times

14 April 2013

Singapore Cup draw : DPMM Fc vs Lao Police Club

Singapore Cup draw today

DPMM FC will play against Lao Police Club , Laos league champions.

Singapore Cup is scheduled for late May

07 April 2013

DPMM FC to battle for third tonight

Sunday, April 7, 2013
DPMM FC face Tanjong Pagar United FC in a fight for third in the Singapore League tonight.

Third-placed Tanjong Pagar lead last season's S-League runners up on goal difference, and a win will guarantee that the hosts end the match at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas ahead of the Jaguars in the 12-team table.

DPMM FC, who are playing their third game in the space of a week after their 1-0 win over Woodlands Wellington FC last Sunday and their 4-2 result against Geylang International FC on Tuesday, admit that the hectic schedule will play a part in tonight's proceedings.

Though DPMM FC have won all of their three past encounters against Tanjong Pagar, the hosts know they can't rest on their laurels.

"We need to be clever because it's not easy to recover after playing three games in a week," noted DPMM FC left-back Sairol Hj Sahari (pic).

"We should just play our game and keep the momentum going," he added.

Striker Shahrazen Said, who has scored three times in the team's last three encounters with Tanjong Pagar, mirrored Sairol's comments.

"Like in the previous matches, we must keep our focus and concentrate (on maintaining) our stamina and fitness because we will be playing three games in almost one week," said Shahrazen.

DPMM FC's top scorer with 13 goals last season, Shahrazen netted a brace in their 3-2 home win in the S-League on April 13 and opened the scoring in their 3-0 victory at the Queeenstown Stadium in Singapore on Sept 23.

Hj Muhd Subhi Abdillah Hj Bakir scored the only goal when the two teams met in the group stage of last year's Singapore League Cup on July 29, a competition DPMM FC would go on to win for the second time after beating Geylang 2-0.

Despite Shahrazen's consistently strong showing over the years, it has been Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira stealing the limelight as of late the Portuguese striker finally coming good after a slow start to the season by scoring three goals in the last two matches, bringing his season tally to four.

Moreira scored the winner against Woodlands and a brace against Geylang, but he is not the only foreign striker making an impact in the league this season.

Tanjong Pagar have ex-Morocco international Monsef Zerka, a veteran of the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 with AS Nancy and FC Nantes, who currently shares the lead atop the S-League goals chart with Geylang's Jozef Kaplan both who have five.

Frenchmen Ishmael Benahmed and Kamel Ramdani will add to the attacking threat, as will former Singaporean international Ahmad Latiff Khamaruddin a veteran forward the DPMM FC team know all too well about.

French defender Anthony Aymard is an injury concern heading into the match, and with captain Hafiz Osman out with a left tendon injury for the whole season, vice-captain Walid Lounis will once again deputise in his place the Tunisian-born Singaporean sure to be a steadying presence in defence for the visitors.

Despite tonight's game being billed as a battle for third, Tanjong Pagar's coach insists he is not placing any additional importance on it.

"For me each game is a big game and I don't care about the league position," claimed Patrick Vallee, who guided French side Etoile FC to the S-League title and League Cup in their debut in 2010.

"I know it will be a tough game because Brunei haven't lost at home this season, so any point we get out of this will be good.

"They're a better team than us... They're fighting for the title, we aren't. We have to be humble.

"It's difficult to pick one player but they have two good strikers in Moreira and Shahrazen," he said when pressed on who his team would be watching out for.

"They're a good team and we must watch out for all 11 players... Maybe 12 if you include their coach (Vjeran Simunic)... And 13 if you include the crowd," joked the Frenchman.

The Brunei Times

04 April 2013

Singapore, Vietnam to co-host Suzuki Cup

, April 4, 2013
SINGAPORE and Vietnam will jointly host the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup, the ASEAN Football Federation said yesterday.

Singapore, who claimed a record fourth title when they beat Thailand over two legs in the final in December, will host group matches at their new Sports Hub stadium, which is expected to be completed in 12 months time.

Vietnam will host games at the MyDinh National Stadium, where they won their only title in 2008.

The decision was taken by the AFF Council during their meeting in Malaysia yesterday.

The biennial Suzuki Cup features eight Southeast Asia teams split in two groups, with the top two from each contesting home and away leg semi-finals and finals.

DPMM FC fire into 4th

Thursday, April 4, 2013
DPMM FC produced a superb second-half to beat Geylang International 4-2 in their Singapore League (S-League) match last night at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira scored a brace for DPMM FC with Helmi Zambin and Ak Fakharazzi Pg Hj Hassan scoring a goal each to help propel Vjeran Simunic's squad into fourth place in the 12-team table with 11 points.

Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris who got the nod ahead of Guadeloupe national team captain Stephane Auvray forged a formidable partnership with skipper Rosmin Hj Khamis in the middle of the park.

Striker Adi Said who started in place of injured Ivan Bosjnak also put on an impressive performance last night.

The game did not disappoint with both sides committed to leave the match with maximum points.

DPMM FC came out firing on all cylinders, Azwan Salleh the first to threaten after his strike went straight into the arms of Geylang goalkeeper Joey Sim.

Adi ran away from his defenders on the ensuing two posessions but poor finishing let him down.

Helmi, who is enjoying a recent run of good games, also looked highly dangerous down DPMM FC's right.

Geylang, meanwhile, were starved of possession and failed to register a single shot on target in the opening period.

Their only real chance in the first-half came in the 35th minute when defender Khayrulhayat Jumat's header went wide following a corner from the right.

Moreira and Shahrazen Said imposed themselves as the men of danger for Geylang after the restart.

However it was Helmi who made the breakthrough in the 49th minute, the wing-back making a brilliant run behind two Geylang defenders from the right before latching onto a Moreira pass to squeeze the ball at the near post.

DPMM FC took advantage of a shell shocked Geylang to extend their lead just two minutes later, courtesy of a Moreira header off Hj Subhi Hj Abdillah Bakir's cross from the middle of the field.

Geylang continued to struggle as the second-half wore on.

Both Moreira and Shahrazen spurned opportunities to build DPMM FC's lead while the visitors' chances were kept to a minimum

Norihiro Kawakami should have done better in a scramble infront of DPMM FC's goal when his weak attempt was easily intercepted by skipper Rosmin.

Substitute Ak Fakharazzi made it 3-0 in the 78th minute, curling the ball from the right side of the midfield, leaving Geylang's goalkeeper with no chance.

Moreira scored his brace four two minutes later with a low shot from outside of the penalty box.

DPMM FC's hopes of keeping a clean sheet was however ruined following two quick poor decisions by Auvray.

Geylang's Muhammad Yasir Hanap took advantage of the midfielders's sloppy back pass in the 87th minutes to pull one goal back for the visitors.

The Guadeloupe national was also blamed for Geylang's second goal when he fouled Kawakami inside the penalty box in injury time.

Jozef Kaplan converted the penalty to make it 4-2.

The game also marked the debut of Azwan Ali Rahman, signed from Indera Sports Club (SC) last month.

Even without injured striker Bosjnak, Simunic's team were simply too good for their visitors.

"At the start of the game, I was scared that this would be a boring game because we just had a game on Sunday," said Simunic.

"Even great teams cannot play after three days But as you can see tonight, our young local players were fantastic," he told The Brunei Times.

"Fakha was great (Ak Fakharazzi), I am very happy that a lot of the local players played tonight. It is good for Bruneian football," he said.
The Brunei Times

02 April 2013

Mohd Hendra gets ready to be counted

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
DPMM FC midfielder Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris (pic) is aiming to stake his claim in the starting-11 after an encouraging performance in his side's 1-0 win over Woodland Wellington in the Singapore League (S-League) on Sunday.

The 25-year-old provided the assist for Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira and later was named the man of the match by coach Vjeran Simunic.

Hendra featured twice for the Sultanate's only professional football club in their last S-League campaign but has already managed two appearances this time around, the first coming during their 2-1 loss against Albirex Niigata (S) FC on March 11.

He has slowly been gaining Simunic's trust after being an unused substitute in their first two games against Home United FC (Feb 21) and Hougang United FC (March 1) but coming off the bench to replace Guadeloupe national team captain St├ęphane Auvray during their March 7 match against Young Lions (Singapore Under-23 national team) which saw the team earn their first win of the season.

Though he started the game against Japanese side Albirex, he would be replaced by striker Adi Said in the second half.

Sunday's result against Woodlands was DPMM FC's second win of the season and puts them fifth in the league table after picking up eight points from five games.

"I just want to do well for the club, work hard and keep improving," said Hendra in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.

"I hope that I will be able to play more games this season (because) no one likes to be on the bench. I enjoyed being in the first-11 and it is my target for this year.

"I only played twice last season. I was in a starting line-up against Gombak (United FC) and came on as a sub during our match against Geylang (International FC)," he added. DPMM FC will face Geylang International at home tomorrow and Tanjong Pagar United away on Sunday. A former QAF FC and Majra United FC midfielder, Hendra believes he has grown a lot during his time at DPMM FC.

DPMM FC picked up Hendra, Adi, midfielder Md Najib Hj Tarif, defender Reduan Hj Petara and goalkeeper Md Fakhrul Zulhazmi Yussof last April after they were part of the team which won the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) a regional competition for national Under-21 teams.

Asked about his performance during Sunday's game, Hendra replied: "I was surprised that the coach picked me as the man of the match because the other players played very well too."

"But you know it feels great to get the win, especially when you know you have contributed something," added Hendra, who laced up for the country at the 2012 ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup qualifiers in Myanmar last October.

Hendra also represented Brunei at the 2011 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Jakarta and Simunic believes Hendra has taken his game to another level now that he is at DPMM FC.

"He did very well in the recent games and he deserves his position," said Simunic when met after the team's training session at Mini Stadium in Jerudong yesterday. "He is a great player but he didn't play a lot last year because of fitness problems," said the coach.

"This year, though, I think he is ready." 

The Brunei Times