30 September 2016

DPMM FC eyeing second

STEVE Kean stressed the importance of DPMM FC finishing second in the Singapore League (S-League) ahead of tonight’s game against Tampines Rovers FC.
DPMM FC are currently third with 38 points, two points behind Tampines — who are ahead by four goals and have two games in hand — going into tonight’s clash at the Jurong West Stadium in Singapore.
DPMM FC won the S-League title for the first time last season but relinquished their crown after Albirex Niigata (S) FC’s 1-0 win over Geylang International FC last Thursday.
“It is very important for us to finish second this season because you want to always keep progressing,” DPMM FC coach Kean told The Brunei Times prior to their departure for Singapore yesterday for their second-last game of the season.
“It has been a disappointment for us this season in cup competitions, so if we still can finish second this season, then it is an indication that we are still moving forward,” he added.
DPMM FC lost 2-0 to Albirex in the League Cup final in July and were knocked out in the quarter-final of the Singapore Cup 5-3 on aggregate to Ceres La Salle from the Philippines the same month.
“Everybody knows we have been playing very well at the moment. We have won 11 of our last 13 games now,” continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
“Tomorrow’s (tonight’s) game is going to be very important for us if we want to finish second.
“I don’t know why but in the past, we always had a psychological block playing Tampines thinking that we cannot beat them… But I am sure they will be worried because we are currently a team in form,” he added.
Tampines won 4-3 the last time both sides met in June in Singapore. DPMM FC lost at home to the Stags in March, falling 2-1.
Midfielders Paulo Sergio and Azwan Ali Rahman will be back after missing the 5-3 win over the Young Lions (Singapore national Under-21 football team) on Monday night due to minor injuries, but the club will be without the service of captain Rosmin Hj Md Kamis (pic) and Maududi Hilmi Kasmi tonight due to suspension.
“Paulo and Azwan Ali will be back and obviously we will miss Bobby (Rosmin) and Maududi… But this gives the opportunity for the others to step up,” added the Scotsman.
The Brunei Times

MS ABDB crowned DST Super League champions

THE Royal Brunei Armed Sports Council (MS ABDB) were crowned champions of the DST Super League at the Berakas Sports Complex last night.
MS ABDB now equal Indera Sports Club as the most successful team in the history of the DST Super League with two championship titles each.
The army men clinched their first DST Super League title last year while Indera won the title in the 2012/2013 and 2014 season.
The armymen claimed the title on September 4 when their closest challengers Indera were held to a 2-2 draw by Tabuan Under 21, a result that enabled them to create an unassailable lead at the top of the 10-team league table with 23 points.
The league came to close last night with Indera securing second to finish with 20 points after beating Najip I-Team 3-0, who finished fourth with 11 points.
Wijaya FC end the season third with 20 points behind Indera on goal difference while Tabuan Under 21 are fifth with 11 points to their name.
“We feel very honoured to win the title this year and we have waited until today to celebrate," said MS ABDB’s manager Major (A) Razanol Hardi Abdul Razak in an interview with The Brunei Times last night.
“I have to say that the wait makes the achievement feel more special.
“The key to our victory has always been football discipline, especially discipline during training and during matches.
“This victory is for the players, coaches and the management. They deserved it, and if it wasn’t for their dedication and professionalism, this victory would not be possible.
“This season has been great. We have players who got injured but that is normal. For me, the most important thing is to find new talent for the next season to replace retiring players.
“Our future plan will include hunting for new hidden young talent from the (Royal Brunei Armed Forces) RBAF so that we can give them the opportunity to contribute to our organisation and, indirectly, to football in our country,” he added.
MS ABDB finished the league unbeaten with seven wins and two draws, a result which the manager described as humbling.
“It hasn’t been an easy season,” he said.
“This year’s league had its own unique challenges, and it was tough. There were some unforeseen outside influences that affected our training and management this year, but overall we all feel humbled to finish unbeaten this season.
“The best players for us this season would be Abdul Azizi Ali Rahman, our top scorer, and our goalie Mohammad Tarmizi Hj Mat Johari. Both have been impressive at both ends for the club this season,” he added.
Abdul Azizi and Mohammad Tarmizi won the top scorer and best player of the tournament awards for MS ABDB.
Present as the guest of honour to award the prizes to the winners last night was DST Board of Directors member Abdul Latif Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Hj Md Yusuf.
Champions MS ABDB walked away with a cash prize of $14,000, the championship trophy and medals. Second-placed Indera won $10,000, a trophy and medals while third-placed Wijaya brought home $6,000 and medals.
The Brunei Times

Friendly : Malaysia U22 vs Brunei

25 September 2016

DPMM FC confident in last home battle

DPMM FC will continue their chase for a second place finish in the Singapore League (S-League) when they host the Garena Young Lions in their final home game of the season today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

DPMM FC, who relinquished their S-League crown after Albirex Niigata (S) FC’s 1-0 win over Geylang International FC on Thursday night, haven’t had much rest coming off a 3-1 win over Home United FC on Friday night
The Brunei side are now on 35 points and have moved to within five of second-placed Tampines Rovers FC, who have a game in hand.
DPMM FC coach Steve Kean felt that there is no problem having to play another game so close.
“There are two ways to look at it. You can say there is not enough time to recover but when you are winning it gives you that little bit more energy,” said Kean after a training session yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.
“We have had two really good recovery sessions and now we are ready to go again. We got to look at physical aspect as we are a very fit and well conditioned side,” he added.
“It shouldn’t give us too many problems in the first 75 minutes except maybe later on in the game.
“But we can freshen up like we did the other night as we got a strong bench. We are looking forward to get another three points,” continued Kean.
On paper, it might seem like an easy win for DPMM FC as they are currently in their best run of the season having only lost once in their last 11 matches in all competitions while the Young Lions are rooted at the bottom of the nine-team standings having only managed two wins and three draws over 21 games played.
DPMM FC won 4-1 the last time the two teams met in the sultanate on April 8 while the Young Lions fared much better and held the Brunei side to a 1-1 draw in their latest meeting at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore on June 19.
Kean remains wary against the Singapore development side despite the record.
“Like I always said they don’t really care. They come and play open football. Even when losing they don’t really get depressed and just keep playing,” said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
“As a development team, each player is trying to show they are developing. It is not really about the results and scores. It is about whether they are getting better as individuals to progress to the next level. That is always dangerous. We need to approach like we’re playing Albirex, Home United or Tampines. We never disrespect teams and always do our tactical work. If we play at our maximum we will be too strong for them,” he added.
“More importantly, we need to keep ball better than we did in the second half (of the last game). We gave the ball away too cheaply that allowed Home United to come back,” continued Kean.
The DPMM FC coach also hopes they will be able to give their fans a treat in their final game at the venue this season.
“Hopefully, we can continue our good run and give the fans more to cheer about. I thought the other night in the first half we were exceptional even though we only scored one goal,” said Kean.
“We should have been four up (at halftime). Hopefully, we can play like that but be more ruthless and give fans in our last home game a good three points and some goals to cheer about,” he concluded.
The Scotsman will be shuffling his squad which will see left-back Abd Mu’iz Sisa make his debut after joining the side in June to replace the injured Sairol Hj Sahari.
Maududi Hilmi Kasmi and Shahrazen Said have also been given the nod to start with the latter replacing the injured Paulo Sergio, who is out with back spasms.

The Brunei Times

17 September 2016

DPMM FC’s Ramazotti eyeing topscorer award

DPMM FC’s Rafael Ramazotti has set his sights on the Singapore League (S-League) topscorer award for the second straight season.
The 28-year-old bagged the award after tallying 21 goals in their title winning season last year.
The Brazilian forward is currently leading the charts with 16 goals to his name followed by the trio of Jonathan Behe (Warriors FC), Ken Ilso (Home United FC) and Stipe Plazibat (Hougang United FC) with two goals fewer.
“I always give it a fight to do my best when I play for DPMM FC. I want to score because it will help the team,” said Ramazotti in an interview with The Brunei Times after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium on Tuesday.
“My teammates help me a lot too and I couldn’t have done it without them. I didn’t score 16 goals alone.
“Since we can’t win the title, I want to be the topscorer again. This will be a good finish if I can win,” he added.
DPMM FC will finish without any silverware this season having lost in the final of the League Cup and were dumped out in the quarter-finals of the Singapore Cup.
Mathematically, they still have an opportunity to retain the S-League title as they are 12 points back from leaders Albirex Niigata (S) FC.
However, they will have to win their remaining four fixtures combined with a meltdown by the Japanese outfits to drop their next five games and for second-placed Tampines Rovers FC to drop points.
DPMM FC coach Steve Kean is aiming to finish second as they are only eight points adrift from the Stags.
The Brunei side are currently on their best run of the season having only lost once in their last 10 games — a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Albirex in the final of the Singapore League Cup on July 30 — in all competitions.
They last saw action on August 26 where they came from behind to edge Hougang United FC 2-1 after a Ramazotti double at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
DPMM FC will resume their campaign against Home United FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas next Friday.
They will then host the Garena Young Lions (Singapore national under-21 football team) three days later before travelling to Singapore to face Tampines on October 1.
Ramazotti felt that the break came at a wrong time but hopes they will be able to complete their campaign strongly.
“At the start of the season we were fighting to win the title and that was the most important for us,” said the striker.
“If we could have played like how we did in the last 12 games earlier in the season, we would have had a chance. But we lost it and now it will be good if we can finish in second place,” he added. “The break is not good for us because we played really well having won eight, drawn one and lost one in the last 10 games. It is amazing statistics.
“The league stopped and then after three matches we have to stop again. Everybody knows it is hard. We will just play because there is nothing that we can change,” he concluded.

The Brunei Times

08 September 2016

2016 AFC Solidarity Cup . Brunei in Group A

Kuala Lumpur: The official draw for the inaugural edition of the AFC Solidarity Cup took place on Thursday at AFC House in the Malaysian capital.
A total of eight or nine teams will participate in the AFC Solidarity Cup Malaysia 2016 – six of them being Brunei Darussalam, Macau, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – who were all eliminated from the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1. Two or three teams – Laos or the Maldives, Chinese Taipei or Timor-Leste and Bangladesh – who will be eliminated from the 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers Play-off 2, will also participate. These will be decided after the completion of Play-off 2 on October 11.
The pairings for the currently ongoing 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers Play-off 2 are: Pairing 1: Maldives v Laos - Pairing 2: Bangladesh v Bhutan - Pairing 3: Timor-Leste v Chinese Taipei
However, if Bhutan are the losing team in the pairing above, only losers from Pairings 1 and 3 will take part in the AFC Solidarity Cup, as Bhutan have not expressed interest to participate.
If Bhutan are the losing team in Pairing 2, there will be eight teams taking part – six from the Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1 and two from the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers Play-off 2. There will be two centralised groups of four teams and the winner and runner-up (total four teams) will advance to the semi-finals. The two winners in the semi-finals will battle it out in the final match.
If Bhutan are not the losing team in Pairing 2, three teams from the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers Play-off 2 and six from the Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1 will form the competition. The teams will be drawn into two groups (of four and five teams), and the two group winners will play in the final.
Teams from Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1 were seeded based on the last FIFA Rankings released on August 11 and will be drawn from the following pots: Pot 1: Nepal (seeded 1st), Sri Lanka (seeded 2nd) - Pot 2: Pakistan (seeded 3rd), Macau (seeded 4th) - Pot 3: Brunei Darussalam (seeded 5th), Mongolia (seeded 6th)
There will be no rankings for the teams from the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers Playoff 2 and they will be seeded into a single pot, Pot 4.
Group A: Teams Nepal, Pakistan, Brunei Darussalam, Timor-Leste / Chinese Taipei, Bangladesh / Bhutan
Group B: Teams Sri Lanka, Macau, Mongolia, Maldives / Laos
The new competition will kick off on November 2 with the final set to take place on November 15.