31 August 2018

Minister urges national team to make impact at AFF Suzuki Cup qualifier

By James Kon   

NATIONAL football players must stay focussed in a display of team dynamics when they take on Timor Leste in the two-leg qualification match for the AFF Suzuki Cup on September 1.
This was said by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin in a motivational speech to the national football team at the Brunei International Airport yesterday.
“This advice has been reiterated by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, on many occasions.
“We believe that the national team have trained hard and shown high commitment. During the game, be confident that as a team, we can defeat Timor Leste. It is not impossible to beat Timor Leste, as our national squad did in 2012, when we managed to lift the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) in the same year.”
The minister also welcomed the inclusion of players from DPMM FC, while thanking His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office who is also the Chairman of DPMM FC, for allowing these players to join the national team.
“We wish the squad all the best in Malaysia, in the hope that they will do us proud,” the minister said.
Led by coach Kwon Oh Son and manager Kamarul Arifin bin Mohammad Harif, the national squad headed for the AFF Suzuki Cup qualification match comprise players selected from the DST league: Mohammad Tarmizi bin Haji Mat Johan, Muhammad Arif bin Ali Rahman, Muhammad Ali bin Aminuddin, Hazwan bin Hamzah, Mohammad Khairil Shahme bin Suhaimi, Mohd Aminuddin Zakwan bin Mohd Tahir, Muhammad Razimie bin Ramli, Mohammed Zulkhairy Hady bin Razali and Hamizan Aziz bin Sulaiman.
The DPMM FC players absorbed in the national team are: Md Wardun Yussof, Haimie anak Nyaring, Mohammad Helmi bin Haji Zambin, Reduan bin Haji Petra, Abdul Mu’iz Sisa, Mohammad Najib bin Haji Tarif, Awangku Mohd Fakharrazi bin Pengiran Haji Hassan, Mohammad Shafir bin Haji Mohd Efenddy, Awangku Yura Indera Putera bin Pengiran Yunos, Mohammad Nurikhwan bin Othman, Muhammad Azwan bin Ali Rahman, Mohammad Shahrazen bin Said and Adi bin Said.
Faiq Jefri Bolkiah, who led the national youth team in the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy this year, will not be joining the national squad in Malaysia, but is expected to play in the second leg on September 8 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.
In an interview, coach Kwon said, “Group training for the local players started in early June, and on July 24, the team underwent centralised training. Thirteen DPMM FC players joined the team in the last phase, which is all right, because as professional players, they easily adapted to the team.
“There was no problem in the team preparation; the players got along well together. They are mentally strong and ready to win against Timor Leste.”
The first leg of the match will take place at the Cheras Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, after the original venue in Dili, Timor Leste, was plagued with concerns over floodlighting, despite being close to match readiness.
Changing the venue, said Kwon, “is a huge advantage for us, because flying to Dili is a really long journey, with a transit through Bali or Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia is close and is looked upon as our second home, so I hope that the players can adapt well to the venue.”
On the Timor Leste team, he said, “They have players with good attacking skills, but if we can dominate in the midfield, we can build up our attacking chances. Our players are hungry for success. They want to show the best of Brunei football to local fans, by winning both legs of the qualification matches and proceeding to the group stage of the AFF Suzuki Cup. We will take every game as the finals.”
Kwon also conveyed his gratitude to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince for allowing DPMM FC players to join the national squad and to His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah for supporting the team.

ASC2018 QR: Timor bank on youth; Brunei aim for full points

PETALING JAYA (31 Aug 2018) – While Timor Leste will be banking on their youth for the qualifying round of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018, Brunei DS are aiming for the full points when the two sides clash.
The first leg of the qualifying round of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 will be held at the KLFA Stadium tomorrow night with the return tie to be played a week later in Bandar Seri Begawan.
At the pre-match Press Conference this afternoon at Wisma FAM in Petaling Jaya, Norio Tsukitate the head coach of Timor Leste felt that the youth will be the key to his team’s campaign.
“A handful of our players played at the Asian Games in 2018 in Jakarta and they have earned a lot of valuable experiences,” said Norio.
“Their fitness will also be at a good level which means that they will be invaluable to our team’s strength as they will provide the power alongside the experienced players we have in the team.
“The team has been together for the last four months with the intense preparation being in the last month. So I would say that we are quite well prepared to win our place in the final rounds of the AFF Suzuki Cup.
n the meantime, Brunei DS will be relying on the tried and tested to carry them through as they aspire to make the finals rounds of the meet.
“The team is basically the same team from the last few years where this time, we trained for about two months together,” said Brunei DS head coach Kwon Oh Son, who has been the on and off tactician for the Sultanate side for the last several years.
“The important factor here is cohesion and I believe that we have the strength to win here in Kuala Lumpur so as to be prepared for the second leg.
“We have been training very hard for the past month and we are excited to play this game. We played some local friendlies but no internationals , so we hope that it will be enough.”
Following a change in format for the 2018 edition, only two teams as against four in the 2016 edition will play in the qualifiers.
The winner of the two-legged qualifiers will earn a spot to the final rounds of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 where they will be place in Group B against Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore.
Group A Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.


24 August 2018

DPMM FC come back to draw against Warriors

by Fadhil Yunus  

DPMM FC recovered from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Warriors FC in the quarter-final first leg of the Singapore Cup at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore last night.
The visitors took the lead through 18-goal forward Jonathan Behe who struck a sublime free-kick in the eighth minute.
DPMM FC head coach Rene Weber has identified the lethal striker as a main threat ahead of the game and he asserted their claim with an early strike.
Ignatius Ang doubled the lead for the Warriors through a stunner from outside the box in the 35th minute after being picked up by a team-mate on the flanks.
However, the Gegar Gegar men pulled one back with Brian McLean steering the ball home after it rebounded off the goalpost in the 65th minute.
Azwan Ali prevented the ball from going out the by-line and found Volodymyr Pryimov who knocked the ball into goal but his effort was denied by Warriors goalkeeper Mukundan Maran with a fine stop.
But there was little that he could do when the ball brushed against the post as McLean pounced to get DPMM FC on the board.
DPMM FC forward Volodymyr Pryimov restored parity for the designated hosts following a show of good teamwork in the 84th minute.
DPMM FC in-form forward Adi Said brilliantly skipped his marker before releasing the ball to the Ukrainian who fired with aplomb to rescue his team from a deficit.

Weber praises hat-trick hero Azizi

By Fadhil Yunus 

DPMM FC head coach Rene Weber heaped praise on hat-trick hero Abdul Azizi Rahman during the 3-1 victory over Hougang United in the Singapore Premier League at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium recently.
“Azizi is a good player. I think he should have been here earlier than this season. He has speed, he has good aerial ability and he has a good fighting spirit,” said Weber during a post-match interview.
“At Jalan Besar Stadium (in Singapore), he did well and Azizi deserved to score. He is a good guy, train every day and keep his level of training very high,” he added.
The head coach has seen a recurring theme of missed opportunities which prevented his team climbing high up the table.
“The main point is today we created a lot of chances. I count that in the first half we had six chances to score but anyway, we scored three.
“I am happy with the three points but I am not happy with how we lost chances. In the last five games, we lost at least 12 chances to score.
The Brazilian admitted that his charges, who are now five points adrift of second-placed Tampines Rovers and Home United, could have been in a better position in the table had they converted their chances.
But the coach expressed his satisfaction of returning to winning ways as they look to close the gap on their rivals.
“We are happy to be coming back with a victory and I hope we can beat Warriors in the RHB Singapore Cup. It is our target now to be second or third. We fight for that,” said the former Atletico Mineiro assistant manager.
Asked how he rates his team’s chances of snatching second place in the final stretch of the league, “If you look in the table, you have one opponent which is direct in the chase, Tampines Rovers. That can be the game to decide our position.
“We must win against Tampines and Young Lions at home and away against Warriors and Balestier Khalsa.
“We lost some points because we could not score. But we create chances. All coaches around the world are unhappy when the team do not create,” he added.
The Gegar Gegar men will be engaged in cup duties against Warriors in a first-leg tie on Thursday and will only be returning to league action on September 15 against their cup opponents.

Brunei’s AFF venue changed to neutral ground

by Fadhil Yunus

THE venue for Brunei Darussalam national football team’s much-anticipated first leg match against Timor Leste in the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup Qualification Round has been changed to Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium in Cheras, Malaysia on September 1 which was confirmed by organisers, according to a report from the AFF website.
The first leg was originally scheduled at the National Stadium in Dili, Timor Leste but the venue has been plagued with concerns over floodlighting despite being close to match readiness.
The second leg of the qualification round will be held at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on September 8 with the winning team over the two-legged qualification round matches earning a berth in the group stage of the tournament in November.
They will join the defending champions in ‘Group B’ along with Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore.
Group ‘A’ is made up of Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.
The opening round of the group matches will be held on November 8 with the final on December 15.
The tournament will officially start with Cambodia taking on Malaysia while Laos will meet Vietnam on November 8.
Brunei Darussalam’s first appearance in the tournament came in 1996 where they registered one win against the Philippines 1-0 courtesy of Irwan.