17 October 2015

Sergio boost for DPMM FC

Saturday, October 17, 2015

PAULO Sergio has been cleared to play when leaders DPMM FC face off against Home United FC in the Singapore League (S-League) at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas at 8.15pm tonight.
The Portuguese forward has been bogged down by a recurring hamstring injury which he suffered in August and had to be substituted at half-time in the first leg of the Singapore Cup semi-final against Home on Oct 2.
DPMM FC coach Steve Kean is glad to have Sergio, who found the back of the net four times in the past six games in all competitions, back in the lineup ahead of the match against the Protectors.
“All credit to him (Sergio) and especially the medical staff who have worked very hard over the past 10 days to get his hamstring recovered,” said Kean in an interview with The Brunei Times after a training session yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.
“He is at 100 per cent but he might not be able to play the whole game as he will need to be careful near the end. He is looking sharp and it’s always good to have him back.
“What he brings is real energy in the front line and it is where we start to defend from. He always puts the defenders under pressure and makes them rush the passes,” he added.
“When we get the ball, he is so dynamic and explosive to cause problems in behind the defence. It is definitely nice to have him back on the pitch and he is the main provider for Rafa(Rafael Ramazotti),” continued the Scotsman.
DPMM FC, who are on 39 points from 20 games, only have a two-point gap but two games in hand from second placed Balestier Khalsa FC after Robert Pericic netted in the 87th minute to give the Tigers a 1-0 victory over Albirex Niigata (S) FC last night at the Toa Payoh Stadium.
It will not be an easy task against Home as the last two S-League encounters this season ended with both teams sharing the spoils – a 2-2 draw at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on March 21 followed by a 0-0 stalemate at the Yishun Stadium on July 22.
DPMM FC did get the better of the Protectors with a 3-2 result at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore on Oct 2, ending a 10-game unbeaten run for the Protectors in all competitions dating back to June 22.
However, Home dominated ball possession and had the bulk of the chances in the match – something that is uncommon for DPMM FC.
“We have to make sure we get more possession. In the previous game we surrendered possession quite easily,” said Kean.
“We didn’t hold on the ball like our normal quality. We were trying to force the game a little bit we were trying to get in with one pass. Against a team like Home you need to secure the first few passes then push them back.
“Psychologically, playing at home we want to get the ball and get the crowd behind us,” added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
“Home are a good side on the counter attack but our defending, as a team not just the defensive unit, has been very good.
“It isn’t something we focused too much on and we try to be us who will have the ball more.
“We will work really hard to get it back high up the pitch,” continued Kean.
On the other hand, Home are in sixth position and 13 points away from the leaders.
Home coach Philippe Aw is glad to be playing the Brunei side once again so soon and is looking to prevent them from running away further at the top of the table.
“In a way, it’s good we are playing them again so fast,” he told DPMM FC Matchday Magazine. “The team are all very disappointed as we knew that was a game we should not have lost because of our performance. The boys know it.
“So it’s good that we’re playing DPMM FC again.
“They are trying to run away with the league but we’re not giving up on it and we’re going to Brunei to grab three points,” he added.
The Protectors will be without the suspended Sirina Camara for the encounter.
Meanwhile, Warriors FC watched their chance on retaining the title take a hit after slipping to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Young Lions (Singapore national under-23 football team) at the Jalan Besar Stadium lat night.
The other match saw Harimau Muda (Malaysia national under-22 football team) defeat Geylang International FC 2-0 at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Malacca.

The Brunei Times

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