24 April 2016

Singapore Cup draw

SINGAPORE - The draw for the RHB Singapore Cup 2016, one of two local cup tournaments in Singapore football, was held on Sunday morning at Connaught Drive, as part of the third Car-Free Sunday SG in the Civic District.
Last year's runners-up Home United will face Hougang United, while Geylang International FC will play Warriors FC in what are set to be the two most intriguing ties in the preliminary round. 
Defending champions Albirex Niigata, one of the four seeded S-League teams, will face the winner of the Geylang-Warriors match-up in the quarter-finals, while Balestier Khalsa will face either Home or Hougang.
The preliminary round will take place from May 22-29, while the quarter-final round is slated to take place in September.
Invited foreign teams Nagaworld FC from Cambodia and Global FC from the Philippines will face off on the other side of the draw, with the winner meeting Tampines Rovers in the last eight.
Another Filipino side, Ceres-La Salle, who beat the Stags in their AFC Cup group stage match on April 12, will play against the Garena Young Lions, with the winners facing defending S-League champions Brunei DPMM next. 
Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim attended Sunday's event as the Guest of Honour, along with Football Association of Singapore president Zainudin Nordin. 
Both took part in the opening game of the RHB Singapore Cup Kid's Tournament, where 15 teams from the various club academies faced off in a series of matches after the draw.

MS ABDB clinch 6-1 win, continue domination

Sunday, April 24, 2016

THE Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) found top form after hammering Jerudong FC 6-1 in a rain-soaked DST Super League match at the Berakas Sports Complex last night.
The match was stopped by match referee in the 80th minute due to a thunderous storm. However, after a mutual understanding between two teams, the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) officials and match referees, the match was awarded to MS ABDB.
The win lifted the army men at the summit of the 10-team table with a maximum points of 15 out of five matches played.
The army men broke the deadlock in the fifth minute after Sld Razimie Ramlli eased his shot in after receiving a cross from Sld Abd Azizi Ali Rahman.
Jerudong FC’s Mohd Bazli Mohd Said equalised in the 33rd minute.
Sld Abd Azizi scored a hattrick - opening his goal of the night in the 44th minute before scoring his second a minute later, making it 3-1 for MS ABDB at the end of the first half. The second half saw Sld Abd Azizi scoring his last goal of the night in the 47th minute.
The army men had total control of the match and in the 59th minute, Sld Mohd Fadhli Hj Awg Salleh made it 5-1 from a counter attack.
Sgt Md Haizul Rani Metussin sealed the 6-1 win in the 67th minute after scoring from a freekick just outside Jerudong FC’s box.
MS ABDB’s manager Major (A) Razanol Hardi Abd Razak was satisfied with the win, but remains wary of this season’s title contenders.
“The win was great, but we cannot let that swell up our heads,” said Major (A) Razanol in a post-match interview.
“Any team right now can be title contenders, because we are still very early in the season.
“The biggest worry for any team right now are player injuries that can cost a team’s season, so we want to focus on that during our training sessions.
“The duo of strikers, Sld Abd Azizi and Sld Razimie - who have amazing chemistry on the pitch can make them prime targets to be marked in our upcoming matches.
“So, we want to rotate them - which we have done in our earlier matches this season in order to not over-used or exhaust them.
“After all, players’ fitness is very important,” Major (A) Razanol added.
MS ABDB have conceded for the first time this season, however Major (A) Razanol insisted that he is not worried.
“Having a clean sheet is nice, but that is not our biggest concern at the moment,” he said.
“As long as we secure three points – thats all that matters at the end of the day,” he concluded.
The DST Super League matches will continue today with newly promoted Kota Ranger face Lun Bawang at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas and Tabuan Under-21 (national Under-21 football team) take on Najip I-Team at the Berakas Sports Complex. Both matches are scheduled for 4pm.

The Brunei Times

DPMM FC fall to Albirex

Saturday, April 23, 2016

DPMM FC slumped to their third defeat of the Singapore League (S-League) season after leaders Albirex Niigata (S) FC came from behind to win 2-1 last night.

The hosts took the lead through Azwan Ali Rahman before a double by league-leading scorer Atsushi Kawata helped Albirex to gain maximum points and their second win against the Brunei side this season.
DPMM FC remain fourth in the nine-team table on 14 points while the Japanese outfit are now on 20 points from nine matches after the game at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
Tampines Rovers FC are second with 17 points while Hougang United FC are a point behind.
DPMM FC coach Steve Kean was disappointed to let the game slip away despite being on top most of the way.
“This is our own doing. It wasn’t as if Albirex opened us up at all… They expected us to push in and leave a lot of space, but we didn’t and dropped off to protect the space,” said Kean in the post match interview.
“They (Albirex) kind of ran out of ideas. They never really had any penetration and never got behind us too much, and two poor goals see us coming out of the game with no points,” he added.
DPMM FC got a good chance to open the scoring in the eighth minute after Shahrazen Said – playing in the place of suspended Paulo Sergio – chested down the ball and shot on the turn, only to see it finish at the wrong side of the post.
The hosts produced the first shot on goal in the 18th minute after Rafael Ramazotti headed Shahrazen’s cross from the right but only straight to Albirex custodian and skipper Yosuke Nozawa.
They came close again the next minute after Azwan Salleh dribbled into space before shooting from 25 yards out, but he was denied by the upright.
Albirex were playing the ball through their back-five and were patient with their build up play.
DPMM FC got another opportunity in the 32nd minute with Maududi Hilmi Kasmi firing on the turn from the edge of the box only to watch it go over.
Azwan Ali was given time and space six minutes later, but he couldn’t keep his shot down.
Ramazotti was cleared to shoot from inside the box the next minute but Naofumi Tanaka came across to block his attempt.
Azwan Ali did all the work to get past three markers four minutes after the interval before pulling back for Maududi at the edge of the box, but the latter blasted over.
Shuto Inaba produced a good cross from the left to the far post two minutes later but Naofumi Tanaka couldn’t get a good touch to trouble DPMM FC goalkeeper Wardun Yussof.
Albirex pushed forward again in the 56th minute after Kento Nagasaki broke down the left before putting in a cross but no one was in the middle to connect on it.
DPMM FC broke the deadlock the next minute with Shahrazen launching a cross from the left and was headed down by Ramazotti and poked past Nozawa by Azwan Ali.
The Brunei side should have doubled the advantage in the 65th minute after Azwan Ali found Ramazotti at the edge of the box but his effort was off the mark.
Albirex pulled one in the 72nd minute after Kawata headed Nagasaki’s corner for their first shot on target as it slipped off the gloves of goalkeeper Wardun and into the net.
Kawata almost added another two minutes later but his shot from inside the box brushed the post on the way out.
Albirex were awarded a penalty in the 86th minute after Ak Yura Indera Putera Pg Yunos pulled down Kawata inside the box.
The latter stepped up and fired into the top corner for his ninth goal of the season.
DPMM FC had one final chance to get something out of the match in added time but Azwan Salleh’s free-kick from 25 yards out was caught by Nozawa.
DPMM FC will complete their six-game home stretch with a meeting against Geylang International FC next Saturday.
Meanwhile, last night’s other match saw Home United FC defeat Warriors FC 2-1 at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

The Brunei Times

NFABD, FAM to discuss possible M-League return

Thursday, April 21, 2016
THE National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) hope that this week’s working visit to the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) will be the start of Brunei’s return to Malaysia’s football leagues.
The sultanate has a rich history of involvement in Malaysian football, culminating in Brunei’s 1999 Malaysia Cup win – long seen as one of the country’s most important achievements in the sport.
However, a Brunei representative – including DPMM FC – has not competed in Malaysia since the 2007/08 season, when DPMM FC finished 10th in the 13-team Malaysian Super League after a third-place finish the season before.
Speaking to media prior to their departure for Kuala Lumpur yesterday, NFABD acting deputy president Hj Madli Mohamad Yusuf confirmed that Brunei’s possible reintroduction in Malaysia football will be on the agenda.
“We chose FAM as the destination for our visit because as we all know, Brunei and Malaysia have cooperated in the sport for a very long time,” said Hj Madli, who is leading the 11-man delegation.
“Brunei used to play in the Malaysian League and Cup and we also used to play in the Borneo Cup in the 1970s to 1980s… So we are hoping we can meet with FAM and plan for clubs from Brunei to compete in Malaysia again.
“Malaysia are one of the strongest teams in the region and they have a number of football clubs that have competed in prestigious tournaments, so I hope we all can learn from them and help our local clubs to administer and manage themselves in the right way,” he added at the Brunei International Airport in Berakas.
Brunei’s involvement in Malaysian football started in 1989 when it entered the M-League, which was then known as the Semi-Pro League.
The possibility of a Bruneian team playing in the M-League again is not a new one.
Speaking to Malaysian news agency Bernama in January 2012, Malaysia’s former Minister of Youth and Sports, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said that FAM and NFABD could create a mechanism towards Brunei’s participation in the M-League.
When contacted by The Brunei Times then, FAM’s competitions committee chairman Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin - who is the current secretary general - did not rule the idea out.
“I saw the reports... Discussions might be going on,” Datuk Hamidin said.
“I think anything is possible. Definitely,” he said, adding that Brunei must follow the necessary procedures to gain entry into the league.
Among the other objectives of NFABD’s visit to FAM this week are to strengthen relations between the two associations and examine and study the operations of FAM.
NFABD also aims to exchange ideas and introduce their newly appointed executive committee members.
“The main objectives are to organise discussions as well as to promote relationships between the two associations,” said Hj Madli.
“And while we are there, we hope to exchange information and share experiences in the area of management and administration.
InsyaAllah, with this visit we are also planning a future collaboration in terms of organising a study or course concerning the management of human resources, clubs, players, and facilities in the future.”

The Brunei Times

17 April 2016

Substitutes were excellent: Kean

Sunday, April 17, 2016

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean heaped praise on his substitutes for making an impact in a 3-1 victory over Balestier Khalsa FC in the Singapore League (S-League) on Friday night.
Rafael Ramazotti and Azwan Ali Rahman had given the Brunei side a 2-0 lead at halftime but Hazzuwan Halim gave the Tigers a lifeline in the 66th minute.
But substitute Shahrazen Said found the back of the net in the 74th minute having only been on the field for six minutes to secure all three points for the Brunei side at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
“We gave Balestier a sniff and a little bit of hope. We really needed a third goal and that’s why I brought Shahrazen (Said) on because he is always a threat,” said Kean after the triumph.
“He will be a threat at the back post against their smaller leftback. It wasn’t a header he scored but he managed to get in on the back post and got a good goal.
“They (Substitutes) were excellent. Shahrazen came on and almost scored two. Najib (Hj Tarif) came on and showed good determination in defending,” he added.
“The squad is very competitive. Substitutes who come on are making a real impact and even the guys who are not on the bench.
“It is so difficult to pick the side at the moment because everybody is performing so well,” continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
Kean also felt that his charges should have added more goals to the scoreline but is hoping to keep clean sheets.
“We should have had more goals. Azwan Ali and Ramazotti should have had a couple more goals,” said Kean.
“The thing is with Balestier, they throw things at it and they get blocks. Even when you saw Azwan Ali had a chance in the first half and think it is easy, the players were screaming out to get a block out and influenced him,” he added.
“Ramazotti had a great header and hit the post twice. We just need to keep making the chances. More importantly we need to make sure we get some more clean sheets,” continued Kean.
On the other hand, Balestier coach Marko Krajevic was disappointed not to get the second goal before Shahrazen killed off the match.
“I was confident and it was coming very nicely. After the goal, confidence came back to the team and I was hoping for a second goal,” said Kraljevic.
“We were trying but there was one good save by the goalkeeper (Wardun Yussof) and after they scored the third goal it was difficult to come back,” he concluded.
The biggest blemish for DPMM FC was the sending off of Paulo Sergio late into added time that will see him miss the matchup against Albirex Niigata (S) FC on Friday.

The Brunei Times

09 April 2016

‘Team responded well in 2nd half’

Sunday, April 10, 2016

GARENA Young Lions (Singapore national under-21 football team) coach Patrick Hesse felt that DPMM FC were simply the better team in their 4-1 defeat in the Singapore League (S-League) on Friday night.
Maududi Hilmi Kasmi had given the hosts a brilliant start before Fareez Farhan responded for the Young Lions just before halftime.
But DPMM FC dominated the second half at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on their way to their third win of the season.
“We didn’t have a very good first half. We wanted to win the second ball and we didn’t but at halftime it was 1-1,” said Hesse.
“I said to the players that I’m sure you can play better in the second half. I made a mistake as Brunei played better than us.
“But what is good is that game after game we are getting more opportunities to score. At the beginning of the season we only had one or two then last week against Tampines (Rovers FC) we had five or six,” added the Frenchman.
“Tonight (Friday night) we had several good opportunities to score and I said to (DPMM FC) coach (Steve) Kean that the score could have been 8-4.
“Twelve goals would have been good but Brunei were the better team,” he continued.
Hesse also felt that failing to capitalise on their opportunities in front of goal hurt them.
“Fareez had two good chances. When he couldn’t score, immediately DPMM FC scored from the corner,” said the Young Lions coach.
“It was a missed opportunity and just after Brunei made it 3-1, he had a very big opportunity against the goalkeeper with three other players but instead he (Fareez) put too much on the ball.
“If it was 3-2 perhaps it wouldn’t be the same game but Brunei could have scored several times. In the end, tonight is a logical result,” he added.
On the other hand, Kean felt that his charges took their foot off the pedal after the opening goal but responded well after the interval.
“I think for the fans it was a very open game with the amount of chances for both sides.
“I felt that after we got a fantastic start, some thing we haven’t been doing in the past few games, for some reason we just stopped,” said Kean.
“We started slowing the game down and played too many passes sideways and not going forward. But credit to the players at halftime I told them to give more service to the front guys,” he added.
“We played really well in the second half and probably could have got three or four more goals.
“Considering the way we finished the first half. We are delighted with the way we completed the whole second half,” concluded the Scotsman.
DPMM FC will play their fourth of a six-game home stretch with a meeting against Balestier Khalsa FC on Friday.

The Brunei Times

Jerudong fight back to draw with Tabuan U-21

Sunday, April 10, 2016

JERUDONG FC came back from two goals down at the break to draw 2-2 against Tabuan Under-21 (National under-21 football team) in the DST Super League last night.
Tabuan U-21 took the lead at the Berakas Sports Complex in the 20th minute after Md Hanif Hamir struck a freekick past Jerudong goalkeeper Abd Hafiq Hj Mursadi/Mursidi.
The under-21 side doubled their lead in the 45th minute after a good through ball by skipper Abd Khair Hj Basri.
Abd Hafiq came off his line to try and gather the ball but Nurul Hadi Yusof got to it first to slot it into an empty net.
Tabuan U-21 could have added another to the scoresheet just moments later but Abd Hafiq denied Md Shafie Hj Md Effendy at the near post.
Jerudong looked a different side after the interval and almost pulled one back in the 52nd minute but Sufri Mohaimin’s shot went just wide of the post.
They deservingly cut the deficit four minutes later after Muhd Hardyman Abd Lamit produced a superb strike from 25 yards out past the outstretched arm of Md Ishyra Asmin Mohd Jabidi in between the Tabuan-U21 sticks.
Md Shafie was on target again in the 62nd minute but Abd Hafiq was to his equal for a save. Jerudong equalised six minutes later with skipper Muhd Arif Ali Rahman striking another from 25 yards out leaving Md Ishyra no chance.
Muhd Hardyman was on target in the 74th minute after a freekick from the right bounced past everyone towards goal and required Md Ishyra to tip over.
Both sides were chasing the winner and Tabuan U-21 could have stolen all three points in the 89th minute.
Abang Nurhilman Abang Norhilmi was through on goal but Abd Hafiq produced a good stop to ensure both teams take a point out of the encounter.
Jerudong manager Hj Md Jalaluddin Hj Ghazali was pleased to finally get a point on the board after four matches.
They are off to a rough start with three straight losses as most of his players walked out of the team just before the start of the season.
“Most of the players have left and we only got to form the team a week before the competition. The players have put in a lot of commitment into training. A draw is a satisfactory result as we finally get a point,” said Hj Md Jalaluddin in an interview with The Brunei Times after the match.
“We were dribbling the ball too much in the first half and changed to one-two touches in the second half that improved our game,” he added.
The other match saw Najip I-Team beat Kota Ranger 4-2 at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex.
The competition continues today with Lun Bawang up against defending champions Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) at the Batu Apoi Sports Complex in Temburong at 3pm.

The Brunei Times

03 April 2016

Najip hold MS PDB; Wijaya win

Sunday, April 3, 2016

NAJIP I-Team held The Royal Brunei Police Force Sports Council (MS PDB) to a 1-1 draw in a DST Super League match at the Berakas Sport Complex last night.

Both MS PDB and Najip dished out quality play, though the policemen held a slight edge majority in the first half.

Najip I-Team however, pushed hard in the midfield, and the game could’ve gone either way in the 30th minute.

The policemen carried out impressive attacks, but Najip’s goalkeeper Ron Junior Philip denied MS PDB’s strikers just as the half-time whistle blew.

The second half saw a more confident MS PDB and the policemen broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute after defender Ak Md Amiruddin Pg Jamaludin’s shot eased through Najip’s defenders.

The goal gave a boost of confidence for the policemen as they pushed for another goal in the 70th minute, but was denied further by Najib’s goalkeeper.

The last 10 minutes belonged to Najip and in the 86th minute, a last-gasped header from Muhd Faiz Farhan earned Najip’s point for the night. MS PDB’s assistant coach Hj Eddy Asmadi Abd Malek was satisfied with the draw and praised Najip for giving them a good match.

“We were expecting a draw from the beginning because the current MS PDB team are mostly new recruits,” said Hj Eddy Asmadi in a post-match interview with The Brunei Times.

“Najip was a tough team and they played fantastic tonight.

“We drew 1-1, but I stressed that it could’ve been anyone’s game tonight (last night).

“We didn’t want to drop any points, so one point for tonight was enough,” he added.

Hj Eddy Asmadi expects his team to finish top four in the 10-team table for the season.

“We are aiming for top four, but after watching a lot of the matches in this season so far, it will be tough,” said Hj Eddy Asmadi.

“We can only do our best, but we certainly hope we can finish better than we did last year,” he added.

MS PDB concluded their league in seventh place while Najip I-Team finished third last season.

Meanwhile, the other DST Super League match saw Wijaya FC edge new boys Kota Ranger FC 3-2 at the Tutong Sports Complex. Early goals from Kota Ranger’s Md Hairun Ikhwan Kusno in the 16th minute and team skipper Abang Nor Sillmy Abang Taha in the 38th minute suggested a win for the former DST Premier League champions. However, Wijaya bagged three in the second half after Jamrin Hj Johari scored in the 64th minute, and two minutes later from Abd Hapiz Azmin.

19 year-old Abd Azim Abd Rasid sealed the three points for Wijaya after he scored in the 71st minute.

The Brunei Times

MS ABDB top table

Saturday, April 2, 2016

DEFENDING champions MS ABDB (the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council) extended their perfect start in the DST Super League to three matches after a 4-0 victory over Tabuan Under-21 (the national under-21 football team) last night.
The win at the Tutong Sports Complex pushes them to the summit of the 10-team table with a maximum nine points, displacing Tabuan Under-21 to third and three points back.
The armymen broke the deadlock in the 26th minute with Mohd Yusri Suhaili getting his name on the scoresheet.
The lead was doubled in the 35th minute after Mohd Mazazizi Mazlan converted from the penalty spot.
He bagged his second of the game in the 74th minute before Abd Azizi Ali Rahman completed the triumph in added time.
The competition continues tonight with two more matches at 8.15pm.
Wijaya FC and Kota Ranger FC will face off at the Tutong Sports Complex while the other match pits MS PDB (Royal Brunei Police Force Sports Council) against Najip I-Team at the Berakas Sports Complex.
Meanwhile, Tabuan Under-17 moved to the top of the DST Premier League after picking up their second win in three matches with a 1-0 triumph over Rimba Star FC. Abd Hariz Herman’s 77th minute goal separated the two sides at the Berakas Sports Complex.
They are now on six points and are joined by Al-Idrus Jr with the same number of points after they edging basement dwellers Panchor Murai FC 3-2 at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.

The Brunei Times