25 August 2013

DPMM FC prepare for Tampines test tonight

Sunday, August 25, 2013
DPMM FC will face arguably their toughest home test of the season when they take on Singapore League (S-League) leaders and defending champions Tampines Rovers FC tonight.

Brunei's only professional club have yet to beat the Stags in three tries, and in each of those instances, Tampines came up with 90th minute goals to salvage the games with two of them ending in draws and the other in a DPMM FC loss.

When DPMM FC faced Tampines in last season's second S-League meeting, they were at the summit of the 13-team table with 29 points from 12 games and were in contention for the title.

But it will be a different situation come tonight with DPMM FC who were expected to challenge the Stags for the title they lost out on by one point currently lying ninth in the table with only 24 points after 19 games, while Tampines are sitting pretty at the summit with 44 points and look almost certain to win the league again.

With the Stags ability to produce a dying-minute goal in each of their previous games, DPMM FC's coach Vjeran Simunic believes that tonight's clash will promise to be another exciting encounter.

"They are now at the top of the league and a lot of people will say they are favourites to win the match," said the Croatian.

"But if you look at our previous record against them (Tampines) we were always very close to winning the games.

"We are now 24 points behind Tampines in the league, so I will be crazy to say that we are going to win the match for certain," added the reigning S-League Coach of the Year.

One thing Simunic would have done for certain, though, would be to remind his players of how deadly Tampines have proved to be against them in the closing stages.

Khairul Amri Mohammad Kamal's 90th minute strike cancelled out Portuguese Joao Moreira's goal in the first of their two S-League games on April 16, a match which ended 1-1 at the Clementi Stadium in Singapore.

The same away tie last season saw a defensive lapse let in Gligor Gligorov at the back, the midfielder scoring a 90th minute goal in their 1-0 win on June 15.

Just as heartbreaking was last season's home game, which marked DPMM FC's return to the S-League after two years but had the party spoiled when Tampines staged a late comeback to bag a 90th minute goal and force a 2-2 draw on Feb 12.

Apart from changing imports mid-way through the season, injuries have also played a large part in DPMM FC's poor 2012/2013 campaign, with left-back Sairol Hj Sahari the latest causality after suffering a meniscus tear.

"We are very unlucky this season with injuries... Sairol is now out for three months," said Simunic.

"Rosmin (captain Rosmin Hj Mohd Kamis) only played 15 minutes on Wednesday (against Balestier Khalsa) and he will start on Sunday, and I hope Shahrazen (straiker Shahrazen Said) can step up his game too.

"Subhi (midfielder Hj Subhi Hj Abdillah Bakir) will be back soon from injury and I am also happy with how Azwan (Azwan Ali Rahman) has improved over the months (after also being injured).

"But once again, I would like the fans to come and support us and to get behind the team on Sunday," he added.

DPMM FC managed to salvage a 1-1 draw on Wednesday against Balestier when Tales Ricarte dos Santos' emerged as the hero after scoring a stunning volley nine minutes from time after Qiu Li put the visitors ahead with a 15th minute penalty which Simunic still feels sore about.

"I respect Qiu Li, he is a fantastic player, but it was clear that he dived to get the penalty," said the coach.

"We could have won and get all the three points."The Brunei Times

Australia hammer Brunei 19-0

Sunday, August 25, 2013
THE nightmare continues for the national Under-16 football team at the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Under-16 Championship 2013 in Napyidaw, Myanmar.

Brunei were hammered 19-0 by Australia yesterday in Group A at the Wunna Theikdi Stadium.

Kosta Petratos opened the floodgates for Australia in the 9th minute before Riley McGree netted two more in the 11th and 19th minutes.

It was 4-0 after Jackson Bandiera found the back of the net in the 23rd minute. Caio de Godoy got his name on the scoresheet three minutes later.

Jamie Dimitroff added to tally in the 33rd minute before Cameron Joice scored his first of the match in the 38th minute to see his team up 7-0 at halftime.

The Aussies did not slow down after the interval as they added to their tally through Joice (51st, 57th, 78th, 83rd and 90th minutes), Gian Mendez (65th, 79th and 73rd minutes), McGree (82nd minute), Pedratos (88th and 89th minutes) and Christian Verbi (90th minute).

The Bruneians have conceded a staggering 27 goals and have yet to find the back of the net in two games.

National U-16 coach Ali Hj Ismail had set his eyes on a semi-finals spot and that aim was quickly erased after their opener.

Brunei's return to youth football saw them start out their campaign with an 8-0 thrashing at the hands of Cambodia on Thursday.

It was always a daunting task for Brunei as they have had only one month of preparations for the August 22 - September 2 event .

"We must set a target when competing in tournaments, and as a coach I will try... to get the best out of the players and I hope we can at least reach the semi-finals," said Ali prior to leaving on August 18.

"We have prepared well for this tournament and we've organised a number of friendly games," he added.

It was evident that Brunei had all sorts of problems on the pitch and they have to regroup quickly if they want to at least gain a consolation.

"Our positioning was all wrong," said Morni Zakaria, Brunei team manager, as quoted on the AFF website after the loss to Cambodia.

"We knew fitness was always going to be a problem and having just a month to prepare for this tournament was not good enough. But we are learning," he added.

Vietnam, meanwhile, beat Cambodia 6-0 in their match last night.

The Sultanate will play their next game tomorrow against hosts Myanmar.

The Brunei Times

22 August 2013

Sam's boys thrash Brunei

Head coach Sam Schweingruber ended his team talk earlier today with the words, "let's make Cambodia proud." And it seems to have resonated with his Cambodia U-16s national team, who then went out and thrashed their U-16 opponents from Brunei 8-0 in their AFF U-16 Youth Championship tie. These results don't come around often in international football and despite the Brunei coach telling his local news media that he was confident of a semi-final place at least, his team were never in the hunt after Cambodia took the lead in the third minute through Chhuot Senteang, who went onto have a match to remember with 4 goals to his name. It was Senteang who had a shot deflected for an own goal to put Cambodia's further ahead on 32 minutes. The young Phnom Penh Crown striker was at it again a minute before the half-time break and then Svay Rieng's Kunthea Ravan wrapped up a 4-goal interval lead in injury time. Two minutes after the restart, Senteang collected his hat-trick. Ten minutes later Ravan scored his second and within twenty minutes, substitute Long Phearath extended it to seven. In the final minute there was no stopping Cambodia and in particular Senteang who collected his fourth and Cambodia's eighth. A fantastic day for Cambodia, who now meet one of the favourites, Vietnam on Saturday with a later 7.15pm kick-off, with their confidence sky-high.

Kingdom of Football

Santos rescues DPMM FC

Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
Thursday, August 22, 2013
TALES Ricarte dos Santos' stunning 81st minute volley helped DPMM FC to rescue a 1-1 draw in their Singapore League match against Balestier Khalsa last night.

The ball from the DPMM FC half was met by Adi Said, who flicked a header to Santos who chested the ball down, turned and hit it from outside the box.

"When I saw the ball got off Adi I controlled it with my chest and volleyed it with my right foot. It was the best goal of my career!" said the Brazilian.

"It was a very important goal and I am very happy to help the team get a point tonight.

"We cannot lose anymore, especially playing at home. We need to save the season and if we want to finish in the top six, we must win games," added the centre-back.

DPMM FC remain eight in the table with only 24 points after 19 games while Balestier are still fourth.

Tampines Rovers FC, who had Aleksandar Duric score an 88th minute equaliser in their 3-3 game against second-placed Albirex Niigata FC (S) in last night's other game, still lead the table.

The first 10 minutes of DPMM FC's match at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium saw both teams create a fair share of chances.

Balestier forward Qiu Li tested DPMM FC's defence early in the second minute with a shot from outside the penalty box, only to see it go over the bar.

DPMM FC replied a few minutes later when Rodrigo Tosi made a brilliant run down the left flank and skipped past three defenders, but the Brazilian midfielder would send his shot wide.

Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris's free kick went straight to Balestier Khalsa's goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam before Shahrazen Said's fired his just wide a minute later.

Balestier Khalsa were awarded a penalty in the 15th minute when Qiu was brought down by captain Pg Sallehuddin Pg Hj Damit inside the penalty box, and the 32-year-old Qiu converted after sending goalkeeper Mohd Wardun Yusoff the wrong direction.

Balestier should have doubled their lead five minutes later when captain Jaslee Hatta picked Obadin Aikhena inside the penalty box from the right, but the centre-back would waste the chance with his weak header.

Qiu was a constant threat for the hosts' backline throughout the first half with his strong presence upfront, and the China-born Singaporean international almost turned provider when he played Ruhaizad Ismail through in the 32nd minute, but the midfielder would blast the ball straight to the Wardun.

Portuguese Joao Moreira headed Shahrazen's cross from the right wide, while Helmi Zambin's powerful shot from 10 metres out also sailed wide just before the half-time whistle.

DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic brought in midfielder Azwan Ali Rahman for striker Arturas Rimkevicius at the start of the second-half and Azwan helped to open Balestier's defence.

Azwan Salleh forced Zaiful into a brilliant save five minutes into the second-half when the midfielder fired a thunderous free-kick from 30 metres out.

Adi came on for his brother Shahrazen in the 60th minute as DPMM FC pushed hard for an equaliser, while defender Santos was also pressed forward as emergency striker to help out in the attack.

DPMM FC were the better team in the second-half with Balestier limited to only a few chances.

DPMM FC continued to create more chances in the remaining minutes, and with 15 minutes left to go, Simunic brought in captain Rosmin Hj Mohd Kamis to replace Mohd Hendra in midfield, and six minutes later, Santos would score that spectacular volley from outside the penalty box.

Azwan Ali Rahman should have scored the winner two minutes before time when he was left with only the goalkeeper to beat, but captain Jaslee would make a heroic dive to block the shot.

"I think DPMM FC played with guts and determination tonight," said Balestier coach Darren Stewart.

"They deserved the point and there is nothing that we could have done with the goal, it was a world class goal.

"It was a proper away game for us and we were rock solid in our game but it is always difficult to play DPMM FC at their home ground," he added.

DPMM FC's next game is against Tampines on Sunday.

The Brunei Times

19 August 2013

Nat'l U16 aiming for semis

Monday, August 19, 2013
THE National Under-16 team are aiming for a top four finish at Thursday's ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Under-16 Championship in Napyidaw, Myanmar.

"We must set a target when competing in tournaments, and as a coach I will try my best to get the best out of the players and I hope we can at least reach the semi-finals," said the team's coach Ali Hj Ismail in an interview with The Brunei Times prior to the team's departure at the Brunei International Airport in Berakas yesterday.

According to AFF's official website, the 10 competing countries will be divided into two group of five at the August 22 to September 2 tournament.

Brunei, who only started training last month, have been drawn in Group A alongside two-time champions Vietnam, Myanmar, Australia and Cambodia.

Meanwhile, Singapore, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines have been pooled in Group B.

Brunei will kick off their campaign against Cambodia on Thursday before playing Australia on Saturday.

The national team will face hosts Myanmar next Monday before finishing their group stage campaign against Vietnam next Wednesday.

"We are aware that we will be in the same group with teams like Australia and Vietnam so we must really try hard to get the best results during the tournament," noted Ali.

"We have prepared well for this tournament and we've organised a number of friendly games.

"We held player selections in June in all the four districts and the team is a mixture of players from all over the country.

"I think that Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia will be the favourites to win the tournament," continued Ali, who was only announced as the team's coach by the National Football Association of BruneiDarussalam (NFABD) on Friday.

Morni Hj Zakaria was appointed the team manager, Hj Ya'akub Haji Mohammad assistant team manager and Mertilu Hj Mohammad assistant coach.

"I would like to thank NFABD for giving me the opportunity to coach the national team, and as a former national player, I am very glad and happy that I am able to share my knowledge, skill, and experience with the young players," said Ali.

Next for the Under-16 team is the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-16 tournament in Laos next month.

The national Under-19 team will also see action at next month's AFF Under-19 Youth Championships in Indonesia as well as the AFC Under-19 tournament in Thailand in October.

Present at the Brunei International Airport to bid farewell to the team were NFABD vice-president PehinDatu Indera Sugara Brigadier General (RtdDato Paduka Hj Mohammad Yusof Abu Bakar, and secretary general Mohd Noor Hj Abdullah.

The Brunei Times

NFABD names managers and coaches

Sunday, August 18, 2013
THE National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) yesterday revealed the appointment of managers and coaches for the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) tournaments.

"NFABD wishes to announce the appointment of Morni Hj Zakaria as the team manager of the national Under-16 team for the upcoming AFF and AFC Under-16 tournaments," said the national football body in a press release sent to The Brunei Times.

Brunei will see action at the AFF Under-16 Youth Championships in Myanmar on Tuesday and the AFC Under-16 qualifying round in Laos in September.

Joining the team as the assistant manager is Hj Ya'akub Haji Mohammad.

Meanwhile, Ali Hj Ismail is appointed as the coach and assisting him will be Mertilu Hj Mohammad.

The national football governing body also announced the appointment of Hj Mohd Noor Hj Hamid as the manager for next month's AFF Under-19 Youth Championships in Indonesia and the AFC Under-19 tournament in Thailand in October.

NFABD announced earlier this month that Dayem Hj Ali will be coaching the national Under-19 team in the two tournaments and the coach will be assisted by Haji Yussof Abd Rashid.

Dayem was also the head coach of the national Under-23 team at the 2011 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.-Ak Fauzi Pg SallehThe Brunei Times

'Loss to Indonesia a confidence boost'

Sunday, August 18, 2013
NATIONAL Under-23 head coach Kwon Oh-son believes that the international friendly against Indonesia Under-23 on Thursday helped boost his players' confidence and team's spirit.

"I think the players' confidence is increasing after the Indonesia game... and I hope that we will be able to play in a number of friendly games before the tournament (SEA Games) starts," said Kwon in an interview with The Brunei Times upon the team's arrival at the Brunei International Airport in Berakas yesterday.

"We defended very well during the game and the players' stamina levels are also improving. Another positive thing is the squad looked very united and the team spirit is there," he said.

The national team lost 1-0 to the Indonesian side. Andi Inbo scored the only goal for the host five minutes into the second-half at the Yogyakarta's Maguwoharjo Stadium in Indonesia.

"Four of our players were injured after the friendly game, most of the players are not 100 per cent physically match ready, but they are getting there. After all it was their first international friendly match, so we need to go back to train and work very hard," added the South-Korean.

"Our team and the Indonesian team are currently (preparing) for the SEA Games in December. I think we have improved remarkably against a stronger opposition such as Indonesia.

"I also think that the addition of the three players from the DPMM FC helped us in many ways. The mood of the team was very harmonious and the players were becoming more and more confident. Being the senior players, the three players were very helpful to the rest of the team," said the coach.

"I would like to thank team manager Hj Feisal Hj Eusoff, the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) and the committee members for their help in setting up the friendly match," he added.

NFABD secretary Mohd Noor Hj Abdullah, who travelled with the national team to the friendly match, was also happy with the performance of the players in Indonesia.

"I am very proud with the performance of the players during the friendly game against Indonesia. The players put on a very good performance against the Indonesian side despite some of the players only joining the national squad days ago," he said.

"Playing away from home, in front of the 30, 000 supporters was never going to be easy for any of the players or any football team in the world, but I have to say our young footballers fought very well in the game."The Brunei Times

Manager happy with Brunei's display2013

Saturday, August 17, 2013
NATIONAL Under-23 team manager Hj Feisal Hj Eusoff was happy with his side's display in a friendly against the Indonesia U-23 team on Thursday, despite a 1-0 defeat.

Andi Inbo scored the only goal for the host five minutes into the second-half at the Yogyakarta's Maguwoharjo Stadium in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

"I salute all the players, they all did very well in the game," said the manager in a phone interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.

"There are so many positives coming from this friendly game, and one of it is the players' spirit and commitment during the game.

"They were very disciplined and hard working, some of the players were injured but still wanted to play a part in the game," he said.

"I think we played very well and we gave Indonesia a hard time during the game," he added.

"We defended very well and were very unfortunate to concede the goal... But we still need to work hard as there are so many areas that we need to work on," continued the manager who guided the team to the top of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Trophy (HBT) last year.

The manager also voiced his approval of striker Adi Said's performance.

"Adi did very well in the game and he was very unfortunate to not score," said Hj Feisal.

"The three DPMM players just joined us for training last week and I am very happy that they blended with the rest of the team quite well."

All the three players striker Adi, midfielder Azwan Ali Rahman and goalkeeper Muhd Fakhrul ZulhazmiYussof also featured in the national team's 2-1 loss to DPMM FC in a friendly at the Hassanal BolkiahNational Stadium in Berakas on Monday.

Indonesia, meanwhile, were coming off a 1-1 draw against Singapore in Solo and a 1-0 loss to the same opponents in the city state.

"I would like to thank His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, once again for releasing the three players to be with us," said the manager.

"I would also like to thank National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) President His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah for his help and support for the friendly match.

"Indonesia is a great country, the fans are fantastic and they stayed until the final whistle to support their team and they are very passionate. I hope that our Bruneian fans will be able to do the same in our games in the future."

The national team are also set to compete at next month's Borneo Games in Sabah and October's Inter-City Football tournament in Sarawak.
The Brunei Times

Brunei go down to Indonesia in friendly


Friday, August 16, 2013
THE national Under-23 team played out a 1-0 loss to their Indonesian counterparts last night in a friendly match which was dominated largely by the hosts.

The game at Yogyakarta's Maguwoharjo Stadium saw some fierce backing from the Indonesian crowd, but despite the charged atmosphere punctuated by flares and football chants, the national team who were playing in their first international friendly since being formed in March held out for a goalless draw at the break.

Goalkeeper Muhd Fakhrul Zulhazmi Yussof kept Brunei in the game with three key saves in the first half of the match that both sides were using as preparation for December's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, with AdiSaid the most potent attacking threat up front for the visitors in alivestream broadcasted by Indonesian channel RCTI.

Playing as the lone striker up front, Adi's best chance came in the 25thminute with a header that was easily saved.

Indonesia controlled possession and territory throughout the match, with Brunei forced to attack on the counter with quick passes to Adi.

The hosts got in front five minutes after the restart after Andri Ibo'scannon from inside the box that left Muhd Fakhrul Zulhazmi rooted to the spot.

Though Indonesia would threaten Muhd Fakhrul Zulhazmi's goal several times again, the Bruneian defence and a lack of cohesiveness by Indonesia, partly due to their numerous second-half substitutions meant that Ibo and gang had to settle for the slimmest of victories.

Indonesia were coming off a 1-1 draw against Singapore in Solo and a 1-0 loss to the same opponents in the city state.

The national Under-23 team, meanwhile, lost 2-1 to DPMM FC in a friendly at the Hassanal BolkiahNational Stadium in Berakas on Monday.

The team are also set to compete at next month's Borneo Games in Sabah and October's Inter-City Football tournament in Sarawak.

The Brunei Times