14 June 2015

DPMM FC get easy draw

Friday, June 12, 2015

DEFENDING Champions DPMM FC have been handed a favourable draw in the Singapore League Cup yesterday.
DPMM FC, three-time winners and the most successful team in the competition, are placed in Group A together with Hougang United FC, Geylang International FC and Singapore Recreational Club in the tournament, which will run from June 19 – July 12.
On the other hand, Group B is the “Group of Death” consisting of Balestier Khalsa FC, Warriors FC and Tampines Rovers FC.
Albirex Niigata (S) FC, Home United FC and Sporting Westlake FC make up Group C.
DPMM FC manager Ali Hj Momin felt that the draw is good and they will not underestimate any of their opponents.
“It is a good draw for us but the pressure is also on us as the defending champions,” said Ali in an interview with The Brunei Times after the draw at the Singapore Press Holdings Auditorium in Toa Payoh North.
“We are afraid that the players might take it easy because on paper we have a good chance but it is not easy to retain the cup since no team has ever done so.
“We will have to watch out especially for Geylang because they tend to always do well in the tournament,” he added.
“Singapore Recreational Club are a threat to us as well because we are unfamiliar with them,” continued Ali.
DPMM FC are currently third in the Singapore League (S-League) with 19 points from nine games – behind leaders Warriors FC and second-placed Albirex, who have played two and three matches more respectively.
The last game for the Brunei side was a 2-1 loss at the hands of Albirex on May 14 at the Jurong East Stadium.
When asked on how preparations are going, Ali replied: “We have been busy preparing like it is the pre-season. We do lose a bit of momentum after a month-long break.
“All we managed were three friendly matches against local clubs. We couldn’t arrange for foreign clubs as they were busy with their own league as well,” he added.
The top two teams of Group A will progress to the semi-finals of the competition while only the winners of Groups B and C will advance.
The winner of Group A will face off against the winner of Group C while the team top of Group D will contest against runner-up of Group A.
The champion will walk away with $30,000 while runners-up half the amount.
DPMM FC clinched the title last year with a 2-0 victory over Tanjong Pagar United FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

The Brunei Times

08 June 2015

Tabuan Muda face Malaysia

Monday, June 8, 2015

TABUAN Muda (the national under-23 football team) have one more chance to try and salvage something out of the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games when they take on 2009 and 2011 winners Malaysia in their final Group B match at the Bishan Stadium today.
The Sultanate are rooted at the bottom of the group with four straight losses - conceding a total of 15 goals and finding the back of the net twice.
Malaysia haven’t been in the best form as they are already out of contention for the semi-finals with losses to Thailand and Vietnam.
Brunei are coming off a 5-0 hammering at the hands of defending champions Thailand on Saturday night but national under-23 football coach Stephen Ng remains positive and is hoping that they can bounce back strongly.
“It is disappointing not to get any points in the last four games. The team is still kept in high spirit and players are determined to do well against Malaysia,” said Ng in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
“It was always tough and challenging to play Thailand. What is important is that we gave our best effort and we must now look at how to improve and raise our game.
“There were no differences in terms of physical presence between us and Thailand as our boys shown that we are able to compete,” he added.
“The difference is that the Thai players are better conditioned as they play in the professional league week in week out.
“Nonetheless, our players are prepared for tomorrow’s (Monday’s) game and we will do our best in the last game of this tournament. All players are also physically fit for selection,” continued the Singaporean.
Ng rested his key players - with the likes of Azwan Ali Rahman, Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir and Azri Zahari - by leaving them on the bench against the Thais.
Forward YAM Pg Muda Faiq HRH Prince Jefri Bolkiah was in the starting line up but was taken off at halftime. Kick off is at 8.30pm.

The Brunei Times

Second-string national team go down to Singapore

Sunday, June 7, 2015

A SECOND-STRING national football team went down 5-1 to Singapore in an international friendly yesterday, the first time the two sides had met since 1990.
Playing without any DPMM FC players, Brunei trailed 3-1 heading into the break at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore, where the gulf in class was evident for all to see in a game that offered valuable FIFA ranking points. The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) organised the friendly as part of the team's preparation for their World Cup qualifier against Cambodia (Thursday) and Japan (June 16). They will also face Afghanistan and Syria.
Most of the players who laced up yesterday afternoon for the hosts were from recently crowned Malaysian FA Cup champions Lions XII while the rest were made up of players from various Singapore and Malaysia league clubs.
The visitors, made up of players from the national league, could not match experience like that.
“These are the best club players in Brunei so it was a good opportunity for them to play and see how they compare to players at the international level,” said national coach Mike Wong, a Singaporean who coached many of yesterday's opponents during his time as a FAS youth coach.
“They (Singapore) are professionals and they play faster, think faster, make decisions faster, and were playing at a different intensity,” he explained. Indeed, Singapore were simply technically better, faster and more physical - and the scoreline indicated as much.
Brunei trailed after six minutes when Fazrul Nawaz sent in a cross from the right that was headed in by Khairul Amri.
It was 2-0 when Hariss Harun latched onto a ball Brunei's defence failed to clear and launched a shot from outside the box which found the back of the net in the 36th minute.
A mix-up in defence between Madhu Mohana and goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud allowed Abd Muiz Sisa to steal a pass from the glovesman to defender and make it 2-1 in the 41st minute, but Shaiful Esah restored Singapore's lead three minutes later after beating Mohamad Nazri Hj Hassan inside the box and shooting through the legs of Brunei goalkeeper Mohd Fakhrul Zulhazmi Yussof.
Although Fakhrul had an outstanding game and produced several key saves, most notably from substitute Gabriel Quak late in the game, there was little he could do to keep out a fierce free-kick from Khairul in the 55th minute. Fazrul netted again in the 64th minute after a lob inside the box when Hj Mohammad Yusof cleared a ball to his feet, and the hosts were largely on cruise control after that.
After beating Bangladesh 2-1 in another pre-World Cup friendly last month, Singapore head coach Bernd Stange declared his team are now ready for their next step in their bid to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
“All 22 players are ready, have no injuries and are in good spirits,” said Stange, who was assisted on the bench by Singapore football legends Fandi Ahmad and V Sundramoorthy – current head coaches of Lions XII and Tampines Rovers respectively.
“In the past we've had two or three new players every game, but now there is stability and consistency. It's good to see how we move the ball around but we need to work on our build up play... Start attacks from the goalkeeper and not use long balls,” he added.

The Brunei Times

06 June 2015

Tough Thai test for Brunei

Saturday, June 6, 2015

TABUAN Muda (the national Under-23 football team) face their toughest test yet at the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games when they take on titleholders Thailand in Group B at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore today.
The Sultanate are still in search of their first points and are ready out of contention after coming off three consecutive losses to Vietnam (6-0 last Friday), Laos (2-1 last Sunday) and Timor Leste (2-1 on Wednesday).
A draw against Brunei will be enough for Thailand to confirm their berth in the semi-finals of the competition.
Thailand have won three straight games in the tournament against Laos, Timor Leste and Malaysia – and are looking like every bit the defending champions they are.
The Thais started off with an emphatic 6-0 win over Laos last Friday and followed that up with 1-0 victories against Timor Leste (Monday) and Malaysia (Thursday).
National Under-23 football coach Stephen Ng knows the uphill battle they face but remains positive.
“As practised, we will need a lot of team work and strong commitment from all players taking to the field against Thailand tomorrow (Saturday),” said Ng in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
“Individually, the Thai players are technically and tactically superior compared to our players. We will work hard to keep the play tight and compact in defence.
“We are still very focused on putting up good performances in the last two games and working hard to pick up points at this SEA Games,” continued Ng.
When asked on how the players are handling having to play a tight schedule, the Singaporean replied: “It’s a bit tough for our players, especially as most of them do not play regularly at this intensity.
“We are working hard to help them recover between games,” added Ng, a former Singapore national goalkeeper.
All players are available for selection for Brunei including Mohd Syazni Asnawi Abd Aziz, who won a penalty for the Sultanate against Timor Leste in the second half on Wednesday but was stretchered off after the challenge from shotstopper Ramos Saozinho Ribeiro Maxanches
Over at the Jalan Besar Stadium, Indonesia will face off against Cambodia in Group A.
Kick off is at 8.30pm.

The Brunei Times

Brunei, Singapore face off in friendly

Saturday, June 6, 2015

BRUNEI are looking to gain some much needed international experience in a friendly match against Singapore today.
The Sultanate are fielding the best team possible - without any DPMM FC players in the squad - for the matchup at the Jurong East Stadium.
The Wasps’ last outing was the first round of the World Cup qualifiers against Chinese Taipei in March, and assistant coach Dayem Hj Ali said the team is ready for the encounter.
“We have been preparing the team since the World Cup qualifiers and the team has been training regularly thinking we will have an international friendly,” said Dayem in a press conference at the Village Hotel Albert Court.
“We don’t have players from DPMM FC and all players have been selected from clubs in the local leagues.
“We have some players who are new and will be experiencing their first international game, but the rest of the players have been in the World Cup qualifiers,” he added.
The national team played a friendly against DPMM FC on Thursday and lost 4-1, with the score tied at 1-1 until DPMM FC found the back of the net three times in the last 10 minutes.
Singapore are coming off their first win of the year with a 2-1 away victory at Bangladesh in an international friendly last Sunday, and Lions national coach Bernd Stange is expecting another win.
“We are very thankful to have Brunei here and able to field a team for the friendly game tomorrow (Saturday),” said Stange.
“We are going to make a good result and win the match.” Kick off is at 5pm.

The Brunei Times

04 June 2015

Brunei go down fighting

Thursday, June 4, 2015

TABUAN Muda (the national Under-23 football team) became the first side to get knocked out of the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games football competition after going down 2-1 to Timor Leste last night.
It was the team’s third loss in as many games while for Timor Leste, the three points were their first of the tournament and puts them third in the six-team Group B.
Jairo Pinheiro Palmeiro Neto gave Timor Leste the lead in the first half at the Bishan Stadium and YAM Pg Muda Faiq HRH Prince Jefri Bolkiah equalised for Brunei from the spot midway through the second half before Paulo Heiber Rosa Ribeiro scored the winner minutes later.
Among those watching the game was His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC) and President of the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD).
Also present were His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Raabi’atul ‘Adawiyyah Pengiran Haji Bolkiah.
Despite the loss, Tabuan Muda coach Stephen Ng was happy with his players’ gutsy performance.
“Firstly, I pay tribute to my players as they went out and fought tonight (Wednesday night). None of them held back and I think there were some good performances on a whole,” said Ng at the post-match press conference.
“Unfortunately, the part of our game that is not strong enough is our finishing. We created three chances in the opening 20 minutes but they were saved by the goalkeeper (Ramos Saozinho Ribeiro Maxcanches).
“I’m satisfied with performance but the result was just not there,” summed up the Singaporean.
YAM Pg Muda Faiq had a chance in the ninth minute but Maxcanches was up to the task.
Nataniel de Jesus Reis placed a shot on target off a corner in the 23rd minute but Brunei custodian Mohd Ahsanuddin Hj Mohd Dani dived down for the save.
Timor Leste broke the deadlock the next minute after Palmeira Neto was put through on goal and he made no mistake to slot it in between Mohd Ahsanuddin’s legs.
They could have doubled their advantage in the 31st minute after Palmeira Neto got a free header off a corner but Mohd Ahsanuddin got a hand to it. Filipe Oliveira tested Mohd Ahsanuddin from 30 yards out two minutes later but he was alert to catch his attempt.
Brunei were stringing some good passes going forward but couldn’t really threaten in front of goal. Timor Leste got another opportunity in the 43rd minute from another set piece, but skipper Anggisu Correia de Almeida Barbosa poked the ball wide off a corner.
YAM Pg Muda Faiq was on target again in the 53rd minute after he tried to curl one in from outside the box but Maxanches denied him. At the other end, Rosa Ribeiro and Palmeiro Nato played a good one-two in the box two minutes later but the former puts his attempt wide.
Tabuan Muda were awarded a penalty in the 66th minute after Mohd Asnawi Syazni Abd Aziz was brought down in the box by Maxanches – with the former having to be stretched off and replaced.
YAM Pg Muda Faiq stepped up and made no mistake to slot it past the Timor Leste goalkeeper, going on to kiss the national flag on his jersey.
Timor Leste came close to regaining the lead in the 72nd minute with De Almeida Barbosa firing a 25-yard free-kick at goal only to be punched out by Mohd Ahsanuddin.
They got back in front three minutes later after Rosa Ribeiro was given space inside the box to strike a shot down the middle.
The Sultanate saw plenty of the ball and tried to get up the field but were unable to really test Maxanches in between the sticks.
They had one final effort in injury time to salvage a point from the game, but Azwan Ali Rahman’s shot from inside the box was saved by Maxanches.
Brunei next face defending champions Thailand on Saturday at 8.30pm.

The Brunei Times