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

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