30 April 2014

Indera extend lead to five points

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
TEN-MAN Indera Sports Club put up a dominant performance for a 2-0 victory over Najip FC in the DST Super League last night.
Indera now move five points clear at the top of the 10-team table with 23 points from nine games followed by the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) and Royal Brunei Police Force Sports Council (MS PDB), who are both tied on 18 points.
League leaders Indera were left to play with a man down for an hour after a careless tackle by goalkeeper Mohd Fakhrul Zulhamzi Yussof on Mohd Azri Zahari after a counter attack at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
It didn’t bother their confidence, though, as they continued to see plenty of the ball.
Indera head coach Hj Omar Hj Jamil was proud of his charges, especially after they kept their composure when being a man down.
“I’m very happy with the way the boys played and it was a very good win,” said Hj Omar in an interview with The Brunei Times after the win.
“The strategy in the second half was to play like normal as if we got all 11 on the pitch.
“We didn’t feel like we had a disadvantage. We didn’t use any long passes and stuck with the short passes which worked,” he added.
“Najip are a good team and are well-organised in both their midfield and defence, but I felt that tonight their finishing was off,” he concluded.
Najip had a chance after a free kick just outside the box in the 39th minute, but Mohd Faiz Fakhrul Razi Muhd Rashid’s attempt went straight to the hands of substitute goalkeeper Mohd Norul Zulhilmi Mustapa.
Indera took the lead after Najip failed to deal with a free kick from a similar position during the next possession.
They could only head away the ball to as far as Mohd Hanafizal Helman Hanafiah, who dribbled the ball down the left and delivered a perfect cross for Mohd Khayrun Salleh to slide home from point blank range in the 42nd minute.
Indera dominated ball possession and were dangerous pushing up front.
They had a chance in the 56th minute after captain Sahrin Momin delivered a cross for Mohd Khayrun to head just wide off the post.
They had another opportunity three minutes later with Mohd Zulkhairy Razali getting at the end of Md Khairul Anwar Abd Rahim’s cross - only to see his shot go over the crossbar.
Mohd Zulkhairy was put through in the 67th minute but Ron Junior Philip did well to deny him in the ensuing one-on-one situation.
It was 2-0 in the 69th minute after Hamizan Aziz Sulaiman was put through on goal as he skipped past the Najip keeper to fire into an empty net.
Najip almost got a lifeline in the 80th minute but Abang Norsilmy Abang Hj Taha could only watch his header bounce off the crossbar.
Indera’s Hj Khairol Anwar Hj Md Yaakub squandered a chance in the 89th minute after a miskick right in front of goal.
A scramble inside the Indera box late into injury time saw the referee point to the spot kick.
Abang Norsilmy took the spot kick but fired wide off the left post to sum up their disappointing evening.

The Brunei Times

Azri Zahari , Brunei in ASEAN All Star team

Azri Zahari will represent Brunei in ASEAN All-Star team when they take on Indonesia in a friendly to raise funds for victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

The friendly will be played on May 11 in Jakarta.

aseanfootball.org link

27 April 2014

Tosi: Our 12th man helped us win the game

Saturday, April 26, 2014

RODRIGO Tosi praised DPMM FC’s supporters after a healthy crowd at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas helped propel them to a 4-1 win over Balestier Khalsa FC last night.
Speaking to the media after the match, the Brazilian said that playing at home with the local fans cheering them on is a blessing as it gave the hosts – who now lead the Singapore League – an edge over their opponents.
“Playing at home is always great, especially when we win,” smiled Tosi.
“We have great fans and they provide a great atmosphere. When the fans start cheering, it gives us that extra motivation to play better,” added the 30-year-old who now has a team high of nine goals for DPMM FC.
DPMM FC have been on a good run as of late, scoring a total of 15 goals in their last three home games – they beat Young Lions (Singaporean national Under-23 team) 6-1 and thrashed Harimau Muda B (Malaysian national Under-21 team) 5-0.
Despite controlling last night’s match, Brunei’s only professional team let in a goal when Kim Minho tapped in an 85th minute equaliser.
The hosts were in the driver’s seat for the most game though, and speaking to the media, Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic felt that luck just wasn’t on their side.
“A lot of chances did come our way and we wasted some of them,” said Kraljevic.
“We were off our form tonight and we paid for it. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose – that’s football,” he added.
Steve Kean, though, was more than satisfied with his side’s display and said he respected Balestier for their fortitude.
However, the DPMM FC coach said that the win would have been better if they had kept a clean sheet.
“Honestly, I’m impressed by tonight’s performance,” said Kean.
“We played a great passing game, played well overall and we scored quality goals.
“The opposition’s single goal did annoy me because our defenders slipped up for that moment when they shouldn’t have and allowed the opposition to score an easy goal.
“We work hard to keep a clean sheet in our matches, so yes, it bothers me.
“If it was a world-class goal, I wouldn’t have mind.”

The Brunei Times

DPMM FC strike force crush Balestier Khalsa

Saturday, April 26, 2014
DPMM FC shot back to the top of the Singapore League (S-League) after a 4-1 thumping of Balestier Khalsa FC last night.
A brace each by forwards Rodrigo Tosi and Roy O’Donovan at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas paved the way for the club’s fourth straight win.
The home side came out storming and were in full attack mode despite starting the match without the services of Rosmin Hj Md Kamis and Sairol Hj Sahari.
O’Donovan had his first chance of the game in the sixth minute but his shot from inside the box was saved by Balestier keeper Zaiful Nizam.
DPMM FC got another opportunity in the 21st minute after a display of good individual skill by Tosi to skip his defender down the left only to see his shot denied by Zaiful.
Balestier couldn’t push the ball forward but looked dangerous on set pieces.
The Tigers had their first chance in the 26th minute through captain Paul Cunningham after he fired a freekick from the edge of the box over the wall but DPMM FC custodian Wardun Yussof did well to gather his attempt.
O’Donovan should have scored in the 35th minute after connecting on a Joe Gamble cross but the Irishman miskicked the ball.
The DPMM FC marquee signing was causing havoc for the Balestier backline with his timely runs.
Zaiful came to the rescue for Balestier to deny him in the 38th minute.
The former Sunderland striker was downed in the box by Syed Thaha four minutes later but his appeals for a penalty were waved off by referee Jansen Foo.
O’Donovan finally broke the deadlock for DPMM FC just before the halftime whistle.
It started from a long goal kick by Wardun which landed in front of Azwan Ali Rahman who pulled it back for Tosi.
The Brazilian would lob it over the defence for O’Donovan to chest it down and fire it past Zaiful.
The Brunei side started the second half where they left off and continued to push forward.
O’Donovan won a penalty for DPMM FC in the 59th minute after he was pushed down by Tajeli Salamat inside the box after receiving a cross from Roberto Alviz.
Tosi calmly slotted home the ensuing spot kick to double the lead for the home side.
Cunningham had a chance for the Tigers four minutes later but could only skyrocket his shot from inside the box.
DPMM FC made it 3-0 in the 69th minute off a set piece and a scramble in the box.
Defender Abdul Aziz Tamit got on the end of an Azwan Salleh corner to put it into the box for Tosi who easily tapped in his ninth goal of the season.
Azwan Ali was put through on goal in the 75th minute but the Balestier keeper did well to get off his line to collect the ball.
Tosi almost scored his hat-trick four minutes later but his header off an Azwan Ali freekick went straight into Zaiful’s hands.
O’Donovan got his eighth goal of the season in the 81st minute after finding the back of the net from inside the box.
The almost perfect night was marred with DPMM FC failing to keep a cleansheet after a defensive error allowed Goran Ljubojevic to set up Kim Minho to bulge the net in the 86th minute.
DPMM FC looked disorganised and were sloppy in the final minutes of the game and were fortunate not to concede more.
DPMM FC are now on 22 points, followed by the Warriors in second spot with 20 points.
Tampines sit in third after a 1-1 draw against Tanjong Pagar United at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

The Brunei Times

10-man MS ABDB edge Majra

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
THE Royal Brunei Armed Force Sports Council (MS ABDB) are second in the DST Super League mid-way through the season.
The army men, who played with 10 men for 50 minutes, edged Majra United FC 1-0 last night at the Berakas Sports Complex.
They are tied on 18 points with the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS PDB) but have a superior goal difference compared to the policemen. Majra remain ninth with five points but still have a game in hand.
The army men dominated the proceedings in the first half and were pushing forward on each possession.
They were more physical and aggressive as opposed to their younger opponents, who fielded seven Under-21 players in their starting 11.
MS ABDB were reduced to 10 men in the 40th minute after goalkeeper SLD Muhd Suhandi Hj Mahali handled the ball outside the box during a Majra counterattack.
It didn’t seem to deter the confidence of the army men as they almost got in front just before the break through captain Lkpl Ak Mohd Safri Pg Othman, who saw his shot sail just wide of the post.
MS ABDB continued to dominate ball possession despite their numerical disadvantage but couldn’t seem to break the deadlock.
They got their first chance in the second half through Lkpl Suhaimi Hj Md Yussof, but he could only fire his free-kick from the edge of the box just over the crossbar in the 54th minute.
Majra responded immediately but MS ABDB’s substitute goalkeeper Sld Zulfadhli Pehin Khatib Hj Matasan did well to parry Ak Muhd Asri Pg Azahari’s shot from inside the box.

Lkpl Suhaimi had another opportunity in the 66th minute down the left but could only hit the side netting.
MS ABDB were awarded a penalty in the 76th minute after Sld Mohd Safari Wahit was judged to have been fouled inside the box off a corner.
Lkpl Suhaimi calmly slotted the ball down the middle while Majra custodian Mohd Sahan Mumtazali dived to his right.
The army men could have doubled their advantage in the 82nd minute but Sld Mohd Baharin Hamidon saw his attempt blocked off the line.
Mohd Abd Azim Said almost equalised for Majra two minutes later with his free-kick on target, but Sld Zulfadhli did well to keep the ball out for a corner.
Sld Zulfadhli once again came to the rescue of MS ABDB with another save to deny Suhaimi Anak Sulau for the victory.
MS ABDB manager Major (U) Pg Muhd Mufid Pg Hj Umar Ariffin was relieved to take all three points.
“We dominated the game despite being down to 10 men, but I’m disappointed with our finishing as we created a lot of chances,” he said in an interview with The Brunei Times after the triumph.
“I’m proud of the team as they had a good mindset in the second half.
“Alhamdullilah, we managed to break the draw as the most important thing for us were the three points,” concluded the MS ABDB manager.
Meanwhile, the matchup between leaders Indera SC and Jerudong FC at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas was postponed.

The Brunei Times

18 April 2014

Kean pleased with Hougang win

Friday, April 18, 2014
DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean has lifted his team back to their winning ways in the Singapore League (S-Leauge) after their two-game hiccup in March.

Kean started the season taking three straight wins before S-League champions Tampines Rovers edged DPMM FC 2-1, after which Geylang International secured a 1-1 draw against Brunei’s only professional team.

DPMM FC have managed get themselves back on track again after picking up three consecutive wins in the last two weeks, and they now lead the 12-team table.

They first annihilated Young Lions (Singapore national Under-23 football team) 6-1 before handing a 5-0 thrashing to Harimau Muda B (Malaysia national Under-21 football team).

DPMM FC then defeated Hougang United FC 1-0 to put them at the summit of the 12-team league with 19 points, ahead of Tampines Rovers who sit on 18 with one game in hand.

Kean acknowledged that Hougang United were the stronger side in the first half through sending in a number of crosses which caused problems for DPMM FC, and the Scotsman felt that they were fortunate to go the break without seeing a ball hit the back of their net.

The former Blackburn Rovers manager told his players to boost their performance in the second half as he felt they were playing below par.

“I thought we were better in the second half, but I thought Hougang can consider themselves unfortunate not to get something from the game,” Kean told the S-League website.

Azwan Ali Rahman scored with a header after connecting on a cross from Najib Hj Tarif at the Hougang Stadium in Singapore during the 77th minute, the lone goal eventually turning out to be the winner.

Despite Kean feeling that DPMM FC didn’t put up a good show, he was still satisfied with the outcome.

“You are always pleased with the results when you win, especially when you win away from home - but I don’t think we played very well,” said Kean.

Kean did confess that he wouldn’t have been happy if they had to leave Singapore with just one point, going on to say that DPMM FC have to try and win all their games because one point would not be something to be happy about if they want to try and win the championship.

Hougang United coach Amin Nasri shared that his team couldn’t secure the point due to suspensions and injuries, according the same report on the S-League website.

Despite the loss, Amin was still proud of his players as he felt they performed well.

“We created many chances. Overall I am so pleased with their character (and) that we bounced back (after the 3-2 loss to Geylang United the week before).

“Yes we lost, but the performance tonight against Brunei, a good side, it was brilliant,” added Amin.

DPMM FC’s next match will see them take on Balestier Khalsa FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on Friday.

Balestier are currently eighth in the table with nine points from eight games.

The Brunei Times

DPMM FC get a-headAzwan Ali header puts DPMM FC back on top

Thursday, April 17, 2014
DPMM FC are back to the summit of the Singapore League (S-League) following their 1-0 win against Hougang United FC last night.
Azwan Ali Rahman fired Brunei’s only professional team to their third straight victory after his second half goal proved to be the difference in the match.
The duo of Azwan Salleh and Mohd Hendra Azam Md Idris got their first starts of the season playing in place of the injured pair of captain Rosmin Hj Md Kamis (tight calves) and leftback Sairol Hj Sahari (left hip).
Hougang United were the better team in the opening exchanges and dominated much of the possession at the Hougang Stadium in Singapore.
The visitors should have taken the lead in the 42nd minute off a counter attack through Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi but saw his header cleared by the Hougang United backline.
Najib Hj Tarif made an immediate impact having only subbed into the game in place of Hendra Azam two minutes before breaking the deadlock.
Azwan Ali headed home Najib’s cross to beat Nazri Sabri in between the Hougang United sticks in the 77th minute to snatch all three points for DPMM FC.
The goal was the 22-year-old’s third in as many games this season.
Azwan Ali was ectastic with the goal especially because it was a header and that it was supplied by his 2012 Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy teammate.
“It was an unbelievable goal to me because I have never scored a header goal,” said Azwan Ali in an interview with The Brunei Times when contacted after the triumph.
“It was a fantastic cross from Najib and it feels great to score three games in a row,” he said.
Stand-in captain Hj Mohd Subhi Abdillah Hj Bakir felt that the adjustments made at halftime were key in helping them notch the victory.
“The first half was a bit difficult due to the conditions of the pitch because of heavy rain prior to kickoff,” said Subhi.
“It was a very tough game as well. During halftime, coach (Steve Kean) changed the strategy on how we should play for the second half,” added the midfielder.
“It worked and we dominated the second half. We created a lot of chances then and credit to all players as we played hard till the final whistle,” he continued.
DPMM FC are now on 19 points after eight games while three-time defending champions Tampines Rovers are a point back and have a game in hand.
Hougang United are sixth in the 12-team table with 11 points after slipping to their second straight defeat.
In the other game of the day, Argentinean Nicholas Velez scored all the goals to lead Warriors FC to a 4-0 rout of Albirex Niigata at the Jurong East Stadium.
The Warriors remain in third with 17 points while Albirex are in fifth with 13 points.
The competition continues today with Balestier Khalsa FC going up against Geylang International FC at the Toa Payoh Stadium.
The second match pits Home United FC against Tanjong Pagar United FC at the Bishan Stadium.
Kick off is at 7.30pm.

The Brunei Times

NFABD to organise nation-wide Grassroots Football Month in May

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
THE National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) will be organising the Grassroots Football Month in May.
Children will be separated into two categories: A (6-8 years old) and B (9-11 years old).
The festival is set to be held in all four districts beginning with the Brunei-Muara district on May 4 at the Jerudong International School, said NFABD in a press release yesterday.
The second session will be held in the Belait district at the Arena Field in Seria on May 11 followed by the Tutong district at the Tutong Sports Complex on May 18.
The festival will culminate at the Temburong Sports Complex in the Temburong district.
All sessions will run from 7.30am to 12pm.
NFABD held the first national grassroots festival back in November at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
The event which was held in conjunction with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Grassroots Year saw 200 students take part.
NFABD President His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah and his son YAM Pg Muda Abdul ‘Aleem graced the event.
A range of football activities was conducted by the coaches from NFABD as well as the Sports Coaching and Development Unit at the Department of Youth and Sports.
AFC’s website states that through the AFC Grassroots Year and also AFC Grassroots Day - which fell on May 15 - the AFC is encouraging member associations to organise activities to promote and emphasise that football is accessible and socially beneficial to everyone.
“This is a very good event for the young students who are interested in football,” said Mohammad Nadzif Hilmi Hj Ta’in, a physical education teacher from the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (YSHHB) Primary School in a previous article in The Brunei Times.

“This is the first time that we have been involved in this kind of event where the students mingle together without having to compete.

“With the great support and response today, I hope that this event can be organised every year.”

The Brunei Times

Indera stay perfect

Sunday, April 13, 2014
INDERA SC tightened their grip on the lead of the DST Super League yesterday, defeating Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB ) 2-0 at the Berakas Sports Complex.

Indera remain the only undefeated side in the 10-team table, currently sitting on 19 points but head coach Hj Omar Hj Jamil is still not satisfied with his team.

“Winning tonight was 50-50. We were lucky and didn’t miss our chances in front of goal,” he said, reminding his players to stay humble and focused.

Tactically, he instructed his team to play short passes since he expected MS ABDB to play long balls into the box.

Going into the final rounds of the games, he said that the team still need to improve as more chances fell to the other team as the game went on.

In terms of outstanding performers on the field, the coach singled out goalkeeper Mohd Fakrul Yussof.

The game kicked off at a blistering pace with MS ABDB hoping to climb to second should they secure a win.

Early chances fell to Indera as Mohd Khayrun Salleh’s shot was saved by MS ABDB keeper Sld Zulfahdil Pehin Khatib Hj Matasan in the fifth minute.

MS ABDB only had a handful of chances in the first half but their attacks were swiftly dealt with by an effective Indera back line.

A solid performance by Indera defender Muhd’Afi Aminuddin was tainted in the 34th minute when he was given a yellow card for dissent against the referee.
He was contesting a free kick which was awarded after the Indera keeper handled the ball outside the box.

The second half continued like the first with fast passing by Indera.
A yellow card was shown to MS ABDB’s Sld Mohd Safari Wahit for breaking up a quick move by Indera shortly after the restart.

MS ABDB’s crosses into the box from the wings were more decisive in the second half, but none found the target.

Their first shot on target came in the 53rd minute from LKPL Suhaimi Hj Md Yussof, but the attempt failed to trouble the keeper.

Indera finally got their team on the scoreboard in the 58th minute when Mohd Asri Hj Aspar capitalised on a poor clearance, firing his shot into the back of the net from inside the box.

MS ABDB tried to change their fortunes with a timely substitution.

Sld Budiman Jumat was brought in for Sld Abd Azizi Ali Rahman in the 65th minute but the player change did little to stop the league’s leading scorer, Mohd Zulkhairy Razali, from scoring in the 75th minute to bring his goal tally to seven.

The 17-year-old used his quick feet in the box and slotted the ball pass the keeper from the right to make it 2-0.

In the other match, Wijaya FC defeated Royal Brunei Police Forces Sports Council (MS PDB) 2-1 at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
MS PDB led the game in the 15th minute from a goal by Jasriman Hj Johari.

The equaliser came in the 33th minute from Ak Anaqi Sufi Pg Omar Baqi.
A last minute winner in the 93rd minute by Abang Md Fakhri Abang Jaludin meant that they keep up with the league leaders only a point behind.

The Brunei Times

12 April 2014

DPMM FC back on top

DPMM FC are back to the summit of the Singapore League (S-League) after a five-star performance last night.
Brunei’s only professional team dominated and demolished 10-man Harimau Muda B (Malaysia national under-21 football team) 5-0 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas to leapfrog Warriors FC and Tampines Rovers to the top of the 12-team table.
DPMM FC are now on 16 points from seven games but the Stags, who are just one point adrift, can regain the lead should they beat Balestier Khalsa at the Clementi Stadium in Singapore today.
Unlike their previous match against the Young Lions (Singapore national under-23 football team), DPMM FC got off to a ferocious start.
Marquee signing Roy O’Donovan almost put them in front after 30 seconds but blasted his shot into the side netting.
Two minutes later, Azwan Ali Rahman broke down the left and fired past Harimau Muda B keeper Ilham Amirullah for the lead.
It was his second goal in as many games
O’Donovan was brought down in the box in the 10th minute but referee Sukhbir Singh turned a blind eye to his appeals.
The home side were playing a much different game by going with long balls instead of their usual short passes.
They doubled their lead in the 23rd minute when Sairol Hj Sahari found the back of the net with his left foot after a weak punch out by Ilham.

Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi should have gotten his name on the scoresheet in the 31st minute but saw his attempt gathered by Ilham.
O’Donovan made it 3-0 in the 36th minute after getting at the end of a Rosmin Hj Md Kamis freekick from their own half.
Nurshamil Abd Ghani had a chance to reply immediately but couldn’t keep his shot down to test Wardun Yussof in between the DPMM FC sticks.
The home side were close to adding another goal in first half in injury time but Tosi‘s attempt flew over the goal.
Harimau Muda B came out of the interval a different side and were pressing forward.
Wardun got in on the action to deny a Nor Azam Azih freekick just four minutes after the restart.
Substitute Faris Shah had a chance but his freekick from the edge of the box in the 53rd minute flew over the cross bar.
The game took a turn for the worse for Harimau Muda after Azrul Nizam Muhammad was shown a straight red for falling O’Donovan just outside the box in the 55th minute.
He was unhappy with the decision and debated the call before being advised by his teammates to leave the pitch.
Tosi made no mistake with the ensuing freekick as he blasted the ball beyond a hapless Ilham to make it 4-0. The goal brings his tally to seven goals for DPMM FC this season so far.
O’Donovan got on the scoresheet again in the 71st minute after chipping the ball over an onrushing Iham to complete the rout.
DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean was pleased with the performance, especially in keeping a cleansheet.
“We pressed high up the pitch and got that early goal. The players did very well and got that cleansheet,” said Kean in a post match interview.
“We were going with the 40-50-metre passes but I told the boys at halftime to go for short passes of higher percentage.
“Many chances came from that and we were unfortunate not to get more goals,” he added.
“They (Harimau Muda B) have to be disappointed with the sending off but decisions sometimes don’t go your way.
“We know that losing a man makes it more difficult so what we did was switch sides (the ball) to tire the opposition,” he continued.
Over at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore, Geylang International FC came back from two goals down to steal all three points from Hougang United FC.
Geison Moura gave Hougang the lead in the 21st minute and despite having Azhar Sairudin sent off the 34th minute, doubled their advantage tough Fairoz Hasan in the 69th minute.
Geylang flipped the script in the last 10 minutes, starting with an own goal by Igor Cerina in the 80th minute.
A brace by Leo Felice in the 85th and 90th minute stole the game for Geylang.

The Brunei Times

06 April 2014

DPMM FC out to tame Young Lions

Sunday, April 6, 2014
DPMM FC will not take anything for granted against the visiting Young Lions (the Singapore Under-23 squad) in their Singapore League (S-League) match tonight.

Brunei’s only professional team have never lost to their opponents - winning four times and drawing once - in five meetings.

DPMM FC are currently in fourth place with 10 points while their opponents are second from the basement in the 12-team table with only one point to their name.

Despite the disparity in the standings, DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean feels that these are the kind of matches which prove to be more challenging.

“I always think that these games are in a strange way just as difficult… if not, more difficult than playing against teams at the top of league,” said Kean in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

“We may be better on paper but we all know that games are not won on paper. We will respect the other team and make sure we give them that,” he said.

“They are a team filled with young players who will be eager to impress and try to get results

“We must try to grab control of the game as early as we can. If we play anywhere near like against Tampines then I’m sure we will do very well,” continued the former Blackburn Rovers coach.

Having won their opening three games without conceding, DPMM FC are in a minor slump after a 2-1 loss at home against Tampines Rovers and a 1-1 draw against Geylang International respectively.

Asked if there were any defensive concerns, Kean replied: “I think the beauty of the first three games is that not only the back four were playing as defenders.

“We were stopping the ball before it got to the back four. Defence starts from strikers and we need to get back to pressing the ball high up the pitch.

“We have not allowed many shots at goal. Last match (against Geylang) we only allowed one shot on target but it went in. Those stats show that we are defending well as a team,” he added.

“I actually thought there was a foul on Wardun (Yussof) and normally we would get it but unfortunately we didn’t,” continued Kean.

DPMM FC have shown that they have got plenty of firepower upfront with Rodrigo Tosi, who have four to his name, and marquee signing Roy O’Donovan.

However, Kean believes that there is plenty of work left to be done.

“We have been working on our finishing all week. I think we get a little bit excited in front of goal.

“We have been practicing on being composed in front of goal. We keep creating and we should be scoring more than we have,” added Kean.

Midfielder Hj Md Subhi Abdilah Hj Bakir is the only player unavailable for DPMM FC with a minor knee injury.

On the other hand, Young Lions head coach Aide Iskandar feel that his charges have nothing to lose against the Brunei-side.

“We are the underdogs but we will go out to do our best. We know that they are a strong team and this will be a good test for the Young Lions to go up against a quality team,” said Aide.

“They have got a good strike force with Tosi and Roy upfront as well as a good midfield.

“I challenge my boys for a strong performance. They will need to stay focus and compete throughout the whole match,” he added.

“Getting one point out of the game is already a good result considering we are playing away in Brunei. Getting three would definitely be a bonus,” concluded Aide.

Spectators stand a chance to win return air tickets to Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur sponsored by Royal Brunei.

There will also be eight consolation prizes in terms of t-shirts.

Kick off is at 8.15pm.

Brunei Times