SINGAPORE, 15 SEPTEMBER 2019 – Brunei DPMM FC clinched the 2019 AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) title on Sunday evening with two games to spare.
Adrian Pennock’s men sealed their second SPL crown after second-placed Hougang United’s 4-4 draw with Geylang International in their penultimate game earlier this evening. With Hougang having only one game left to play, this left DPMM with an unassailable four-point lead after 22 games.
The Bruneian side had picked up an important victory yesterday night at home, where Andrei Varankou’s hat-trick saw them defeat Warriors FC 3-0. The league’s leading scorer, Varankou’s 19 goals has accounted for over a third of DPMM’s 46-goal tally.
The triumph comes four years after DPMM’s first title win in 2015 and in Pennock’s debut season in charge of the club.
They will be presented with the trophy after the conclusion of their final game of the season against Hougang at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on 29 September.
The Football Association of Singapore congratulates DPMM on their title-winning achievement!
Brunei Darussalam under-16 football squad face an uphill battle as they have been drawn into Group G along with hosts Indonesia, People’s Republic of China, the Philippines and Northern Mariana Island for the 2020 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-16 Qualifiers in Jakarta, Indonesia held from tomorrow until September 23.
Despite the tough outings ahead, the team is vying to perform well and win as many matches as possible.
“I hope that the team can perform well and collect some points in the group,” head coach Mohd Ikhmarol Izzat bin Haji Omar said.
The national squad comprising 25 players and staff is led by Team Manager Ah Chua bin Bangau.
Asked on their preparations, the head coach said, “We did a good centralised training session at the National Service Programme (PKBN) Training Camp in Temburong recently. From the centralised training, the team has built their chemistry further and we are ready for the AFC qualifiers.
“The team has been together for two years and some of the players are from clubs in the youth league. There are some new faces in the squad and majority of the players are from Tabuan Muda and DPMM FC,” he added.
Their participation in the qualifiers will serve as a development plan for the youth squad.
“The players need to be nurtured further into better players by competing in more international games. This age group has competed two times in international competition. Previously, they went to the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Under-15 Youth Championship at the Chonburi Campus Stadium in Chonburi, Thailand and also joined the training camp in Jakarta in March,” he said.
“In the AFF Under-15 Youth Championship, we got one point out of five games. We managed to draw against Cambodia. I saw some improvements in the team as we progressed forward in the (previous) under-15 youth championship, so I also hope that there will be more improvement this time.”
Mohd Ikhmarol Izzat also shared that the most important thing is for the players to be brave when facing opponents on the field and to be themselves.
Present to send off the team yesterday was the Acting Deputy President of National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) Haji Abdul Razak bin Haji Ibrahim, Executive Committee members of NFABD Bujang and Matusin bin Sumpong, as well as other officials.
NFABD President reminded the players on the importance of playing as a team and interaction with one another on the pitch.
The under-16 squad will play their first match against People’s Republic of China tomorrow at the Madya Stadium.
DPMM FC’s pair of substitutes Razimie Ramlli and Adi Said made an instant impact to help their side return to the top of the AIA Singapore Premier League after a 2-0 victory against Albirex Niigata (S) at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night.
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, and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik attended to watch the match.
The win ensured they swapped places with title rivals Hougang United and carry a two-point lead over them with a game-in-hand in their favour.
The victory, which enhanced the Gegar Gegar’s men title prospects, also marked DPMM FC’s first victory over the Japanese satellite side for the first time in three years.
It also confirmed a new league champion since 2016 as title holders Albirex Niigata (S)’s defeat meant that they could not catch the newly-installed league leaders.
The visitors played a smart corner with a low pass and the recipient Yosuke Nakagawa saw his shot well handled by DPMM FC goalkeeper Wardun Yussof.
DPMM FC midfielder Azwan Ali Rahman showed vision to trouble the Albirex defence with a clever ball up top and Abdul Azizi Ali Rahman took a volley first time, which necessitated visiting goalkeeper Kengo Fukudome to stick a hand out to make the save.
The reigning holders threatened as Albirex captain Kyoga Nakamura pulled a decent shot from a long range, which was tipped away by Wardun for a corner.
Albirex defender Shoki Ohara found space and unleashed a shot from distance but his shot was deflected off a DPMM FC player away for a corner.
As Nakagawa brought the danger into the DPMM FC box with a cross, midfielder Hiroyoshi Kamata sized up for a shot but contrived to see the ball fly wide.
DPMM FC fullback Awangku Fakharrazi drove forward and escaped his marker Zamani Zamri with ease before swinging a low driven cross into the area.
The advancing Abdul Azizi stretched his legs out to get contact with the ball but unfortunately his shot brushed against the post.
The Brunei-based outfit averted danger as Wardun’s outstretched arms denied a curled effort from Kaishu Yamazaki.
Fakharrazi was a thorn for Albirex after he found a way to the box having brilliantly skipped past the Albirex defence, but inadvertently scuffed his shot wide in the critical moment.
The Gegar Gegar men enjoyed a promising move at the start of the second half as Blake Ricciuto sent the ball wide to Andrei Varankou, whose low cross was deprived off a telling touch from Abdul Azizi.
The hosts came close to break the deadlock as Azwan Ali was put through by Ricciuto but Fukudome emerged from a one-on-one situation with the local DPMM FC star unscathed.
The Gegar Gegar men took the lead in the 67th minute after a goalkeeping blunder led substitute Razimie Ramlli with an invitation to an open goal. Having kept his side in the game, it proved a cruel turn as Fukudome was culpable of a costly error after his attempted clearance went horribly wrong and was punished by Razimie, who steered the ball home into the empty net.
The visitors broke after DPMM FC midfielder Nurikhwan Othman could not deal with a long ball from Albirex but Daizo Horikoshi’s effort was thwarted by the excellent Wardun.
The Gegar Gegar men looked certain to move into the top of the league after Adi Said doubled his team’s lead with a stunning free-kick from distance in the 77th minute.
With Albirex looking for a lifeline, Nakagawa saw a wayward attempt hit Maiko Hatanaka who guided the ball across goal but Wardun was equal to the task.