26 December 2014

Najip FC march into final

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Set up title decider against MS ABDB
NAJIP FC took down Indera SC 2-1 to book their berth in the DST FA Cup final last night.
They will play defending champions the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) next Sunday.
MS ABDB secured their final spot after defeating QAF FC 3-1 on Tuesday.
This is Najip’s first experience in the final in the tournament, having first joined the competition in 2012.
Last night’s result was also a reversal of their previous meeting where Indera cruised to a 5-1 win on Sept 7 in the DST Super League.
Najip kicked off the match on the right foot, Mohd Azri Zahari putting the team ahead in the 12th minute after he pounced on Abd Azim Abd Rahman’s cross from the left at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
Azri almost doubled the lead five minutes later after he created space just outside the penalty box but his strike flew wide.
Indera’s Md Khairul Anwar Abd Rahim could have equalised in the 18th minute after he lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper from the edge of the box but his effort glided inches wide of the crossbar.
Najip were also impressive on the defensive end and managed to quell Indera’s relentless charge in search of an equaliser.
Indera would finally get their breakthrough in the 37th minute when Mohd Asri Hj Aspar eluded his defender to volley home the ball from close range.
It didn’t take long for Najip to respond; Muhd Hanif Hamir fired a screamer from the left in the final minute of the half to restore his team’s one-goal lead.
The second half saw both sides struggle to exert their dominance over the other. There were few attempts at goal and none seriously troubled the keepers.
The only true threat in the half was when Najip were awarded a spot kick in injury time after Noor Raimi Karim was brought down in the penalty area.
Raimi, however, squandered the opportunity as Indera’s goalkeeper managed to parry away his penalty kick to conclude the 2-1 score-line.
“It is a memorable moment for us because this will be our first time competing in the final,” said Najip’s coach Johari Hj Bungsu.
“The players displayed superb teamwork on the field and I am impressed with their fighting spirit during the match.
“As for the final against MS ABDB, we are still the underdogs given the opponent’s good record in the competition where they are the defending champion.
“What we can do is to keep this winning momentum and do our best against MS ABDB,” he said.
Indera coach Hj Omar HJ Md Jamil said that he was pleased with his team’s performance despite them failing to repeat making the final this year.
MS ABDB clinched the championship title after beating Indera 1-0 on Dec 10, 2012.
“The players gave their best performance and played well throughout the game,” he said.
“The only problem we had was that we were not clinical enough in front of the goal.”

The Brunei Times

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