27 August 2016

DPMM FC hopeful of second-place finish

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean is not throwing in the towel just yet on a second place finish in the Singapore League (S-League).
A quick second half double by Rafael Ramazotti lifted the Brunei side to a 2-1 comeback victory over Hougang United FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore on Friday night.
The win extends their best run of the season having only lost one of their last 10 games in all competitions – a 2-0 loss to Albirex Niigata (S) FC in the Singapore League Cup final in late July.
DPMM FC remain in third position with 32 points and now open a four-point gap from both Geylang International FC and the Cheetahs, who have a game in hand, in the nine-team standings.
Albirex are at the summit on 44 points while Tampines Rovers FC are four points back. Both have played a game fewer than DPMM FC, who have four matches left on the schedule. “We haven’t given up on finishing second,” said Kean in a post match interview as quoted on the S-League website.
“If Albirex win the next couple of games, Tampines might start focusing on other competitions. We want to keep this winning run going,” added the Scotsman.
The Stags are in the quarter-finals of the AFC Cup where they will face India's Bengaluru FC and also made it into the final of the Singapore Cup after beating Ceres-La Salle FC of the Philippines 5-3 on aggregate on Wednesday.
Having performed below par in the opening half, Kean praised his charges for switching gears after the interval to land all three points.
“The players deserve all the credit. They need to take in the tactical information at halftime and they have done that very well,” said Kean.
“I’m sure Hougang will agree that they found it was much more difficult to play against us in the second half than they did the first.
“The first half was dreadful and Hougang were miles better than us. We were too deep, not passing the ball enough, no width and did not make any crosses,” he added.
“It was a total contrast in the second half. We got much higher up the pitch, wider and got the early goals.
“I also have to give credit to my captain Rosmin (Kamis) as he did a man-to-man marking job on Hougang’s best player (Fumiya Kogure). Once we took him out, it became easier for us,” continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
On the other hand, Hougang coach K Balagumaran was disappointed to let the game slip away.
“Delwinder (Singh)’s injury (late in the first half) was key. We were a little disorganised at the start of the second half, with both goals coming from individual mistakes,” said Balagumaran.
“For the first goal, Fairoz (Hasan) should have put the ball out and there was no communication. For the second goal, my goalkeeper (Ridhuan Barudin) was out of position.
“The team fought hard till the last minute and we created enough chances. If we had taken them, we could have won the game. Now it’s anybody’s game for the top three,” he concluded.

The Brunei Times

20 August 2016

DPMM FC beat Warriors

DPMM FC picked up a resounding 3-0 victory over the free-falling Warriors FC to move back up to third in the Singapore League (S-League) last night.
The hosts grabbed the lead after an own goal by Warriors skipper Zulfadli Zainal Abidin in the opening half at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
Rafael Ramazotti doubled the advantage after the break before Paulo Sergio put the icing on the cake late into added time.
DPMM FC are now on 29 points, just one point ahead of fourth place Hougang United FC - who have a game in hand.
In contrast, the Warriors have now lost seven straight in all competitions — three in the S-League — to sit seventh on 18 points with only five games left.
The night’s other game saw Albirex Niigata (S) FC open up a four-point gap at the top of the nine-team standings after edging Balestier Khalsa FC 1-0 thanks to a 14th minute Rui Kumada goal at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
DPMM FC coach Steve Kean credited his charges for a job well done — especially in the first half.
“Credit has to go to them. They worked ever so hard in the second half and got in behind the Warriors defence much more,” said Kean in a post match conference after the win.
“Obviously they had to once the first goal got in and pushed the fullbacks on a little bit.
“Azwan Ali (Rahman) and Sergio got behind fullbacks much better, and really, Wardun didn’t have that much to do,” he added.
“It was mostly us in the second half and it was good to have a young Amin (Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir) to come on with a good penetrating run and cut it back for Paulo to score.
“Overall it was a nice steady performance,” continued the Scotsman.

The Warriors came out with intent but it was DPMM FC who came closer to opening the scoring in the eighth minute after Ramazotti nodded down for Sergio to split two defenders — but Kento Fukuda made a timely challenge to put the ball out.
The Brunei side went forward again in the 11th minute after Azwan Ali got into the box before pulling back for Maududi Hilmi Kasmi, but the latter couldn’t put enough on his shot to trouble Warriors goalkeeper Yazid Yasin.
The visitors were on target in the 19th minute with Hafiz Nor firing from inside the box but only straight to DPMM FC custodian Wardun Yussof.

DPMM FC broke the deadlock in the 26th minute off a counter attack after Azwan Ali’s shot was poked home by Zulfadli.
Wardun was given his first test three minutes later with Shaiful Esah blasting his free-kick on goal, but the former was to his equal.
Azwan Ali delivered a free-kick from the right to the far post but Brian McLean headed just wide in the 33rd minute.
Warriors really only threatened on set pieces as they were not getting good runs at the back with French striker Jonathan Behe missing through injury and Croatian forward Nikola Rak serving a one game suspension.

Shaiful Esah came close and just missed the target in the 43rd minute as his free-kick from the edge of the box sailed inches over the bar.

DPMM FC should have doubled their lead just before the half-time whistle.
Azwan Ali was sent through on goal on the left but he unselfishly passed the ball to Sergio in the middle, instead of firing at goal, resulting in Yazid coming out to close down the shot.
The Warriors let an opportunity slip in the 53rd minute after Marijan Suto got a free header off a Shaiful Esah free-kick but he couldn’t place it on target.
Hafiz Rahim made a good run down the right three minutes but could only fire at the side netting.
It was all DPMM FC after that as Sergio fired a free-kick from 20 yards on goal on the hour mark but was punched away by Yazid.
The Portuguese forward came close again two minutes later but he blasted his effort from inside the box against the right post.

DPMM FC finally doubled their lead the next minute after Ramazotti headed home Azwan Ali’s corner.
The Warriors simply couldn’t piece things together as Wardun was left with not much to do in between the DPMM FC sticks.
Azwan Ali continued to torment the Warriors back line as he made his way into the box before shooting at goal in the 83rd minute but his effort was kept out by Yazid.
Ramazotti should have got his second of the game in added time but his attempt from 12 yards out was denied by 37-year-old veteran Yazid — the only remaining player from the S-League’s debut season in 1996 who is still lacing up in the competition.
Substitute Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir then made a good penetrating run against the Warriors defence before cutting it back for Sergio in the middle to fire home to complete the convincing victory.
The Brunei Times

11 August 2016

DPMM FC can’t be complacent

THERE is no room for complacency when DPMM FC face Geylang International FC in the Singapore League (S-League) at the Bedok Stadium in Singapore tonight.
The Brunei side are riding high after dispatching leaders Albirex Niigata (S) FC 2-1 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on Friday.
The reigning champions are enjoying their best spell of the season with six wins in their last seven games in all competitions, and DPMM FC coach Steve Kean hopes that they can keep up their good form against Geylang.
DPMM FC are currently fourth in the nine-team table on 25 points, tied with Home United FC but on a poorer goal difference.
On the other hand, Geylang are four points behind and are two spots below.
“It is tricky (tie),” said Kean after a training session on Tuesday.
“We are playing well and our form is good. The task now is to maintain that but sometimes it is easy to get a bit complacent.
“To think, ‘Look at table to see where Geylang are and Albirex are. Now that we have beaten Albirex means we will automatically beat Geylang’… That is never the case,” added the Scotsman.
“We always have to maintain our standard. If we drop them, we will drop points against Geylang.
“If we maintain the form that we are in, application and work rate put in past few games, we will be confident. We can never be complacent or take our foot off the gas,” continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
Kean has been busy making tweaks to his side and he hopes that his players will be able to carry out his training ground instructions on the pitch tonight.
“We have been working on moving the ball quicker because I felt that at times we struggled to do so, especially in the two ties against Albirex is when they pressed us,” said Kean when met at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.
“Sometimes we took two touches when there is only time for one… Or we took three when there is only time for two.
“The main focus this week has been to try and move the ball before the opponent gets a chance to get a block in.
“We have been working on one-touch passing movements, and on the flipside, we worked on our pressing.
“We can do that better and it was a positive aspect against Albirex. If we can maintain that we will make it difficult for any team to string passes and beat us on possession.
“We beat Albirex on possession and it shows that our pressing is good. We have been maintaining that and what we had to work on is to move it faster,” continued the 48-year-old.
The Eagles went on a three-game winning streak to claim the Singapore League Cup Plate before falling to the Stags 2-1 in the S-League last Thursday.
One of the key reasons for their good performances has been the signing of Filipino Mark Hartmann late June.
He has found the back of the net in five of the eight appearances so far, including in three straight games.
Kean knows of the forward, who previously laced up for Global FC, but says DPMM FC will have to watch out for other players too.
“I’ve seen him and the thing is with Geylang is they’ve got lots of good personnel,” said Kean.
“It is tough going there because the pitch is normally hard. It is not conducive to passing the ball on the ground and we have to be more direct and get to the front.
“Geylang are a good team and we won’t take them lightly. But it is about us to keep the winning run going,” he concluded.
Portuguese forward Paulo Sergio will be serving his second of a two-game suspension.
Meanwhile, tonight’s other game will see Albirex take on the Garena Young Lions (Singapore national Under-21 football team) at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore.
The Brunei Times

Wijaya FC edge past Najip I-Team in DST Super League

WIJAYA FC secured a narrow 1-0 win over Najip I-Team in their first match in the second round of the DST Super League at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas yesterday.
An own goal from Najip’s team captain Mushiready Chuchu in the 60th minute helped secure three points for Wijaya FC, cementing their position in second place with 15 points behind reigning champions, The Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) who sit at the summit of the 10-team table with 19 points.
Wijaya started off strongly in the first half, though missed several chances, notably in the 36th minute after Wijaya skipper, Marhazif Ahad was awarded a free-kick, though his shot was saved by Najip’s goalkeeper, Ron Junior Philip.
Wijaya continued to push on for a goal in the second half and a vital goal resulted from a technical error off Najip’s defence line and allowed Mushiready struck an own goal into their net, rendering Philip helpless to save the shot.
The goal boosted Wijaya’s confidence and they began to attack further. However, Najip’s Philip refused to falter and continued to deny Wijaya’s attackers.
Wijaya’s Mohd Shah Azahar could’ve made it 2-0 in the 67th minute, before his shot went past left of the goal post.
Wijaya continued to dominate possession in the second half though failed to find Najip’s back net. Mohd Shah Hafiz had a shot for Wijaya in the last 10 minutes of the second half though his shot went off the top of the goal bar.
Wijaya’s head coach and interim team manager, Mahdini Hj Mohamad told The Brunei Times: “We missed a lot of crucial chances - especially in the second half. “We had a three month break, so I had expected a bit of a slow start in our first game… so hopefully we’ll be better in our next match.
Meanwhile the match between Jerudong FC and Kasuka FC ended in a 2-2 draw at the Tutong Sports Complex last night.
The Brunei Times

02 August 2016

Nozawa’s save turning point: DPMM coach


 DPMM FC coach Steve Kean was disappointed to let the Singapore League Cup title slip away after falling 2-0 to Albirex Niigata (S) FC in the final on Saturday night.Rui Kumada had given the Japanese outfits the lead late in the first half — the only goal that DPMM FC conceded in open play in the competition — and Kean felt that a good save by the Nosuke Nozawa on Adi Said’s effort in the 68th minute was the turning point of the game.In turn, Atsushi Kawata headed home at the far post off a corner in the 80th minute to seal the White Swans’ third title in the competition at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.“We are disappointed because we had the better chances in the first half until they scored their first goal,” said Kean in a post match interview as quoted on the S-League.“With 20 minutes to go, we put in an attacking player to chase the game but credit to the goalkeeper as he made a great save to deny Adi,” he added.“If we had scored that, it would have been 1-1 and we would have been on the ascendency and pushed them a little extra,” continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.DPMM FC had their best run of the season with five straight wins — including four in the tournament with three clean sheets– prior to the final.Kean hopes that they will be able to carry it over into the final round of the Singapore League (S-League) starting with a meeting against Albirex this Friday at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.“Up until tonight (Saturday night) we have won the last five games. We have been in a good place,” said Kean.“I think every neutral who was watching the game would say by looking at the result and think 2-0 must have been easy. I think Albirex would agree that it was far from easy for them.“We had enough chances but they are a quality side if they get into rhythm which they did after we missed that chance. They are hard to get the ball off,” he added.“Obviously we changed from five defenders to four so there is a little bit more space. I felt we had to do that at that stage.“But now we can then go into the last eight games with confidence. “We have performed in this tournament but unfortunately we didn’t win. We came very close,” continued the Scotsman.On the other hand, Albirex coach Naoki Naruo agreed that it was a tough game and felt that the opening goal was key to the win.“It was a very tough game because it was the final. The first goal was very important for us because DPMM FC were playing better till then,” said Naruo.“We allowed them to create chances, so I wasn’t very impressed with our defending eventhough we managed to deal with the high balls as Kazuki (Mine) was winning everything in the air,” he concluded.The Brunei Times -

See more at: http://www.bt.com.bn/sports-national/2016/08/01/nozawa%E2%80%99s-save-turning-point-dpmm-coach#sthash.bjPUG8k0.dpuf