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Brunei DPMM FC
Pg Waslimin bin Pg Momin
+(673)-2430000
Fax: +(673)-2431000
Suite 1, Level 1
Halimatul Sa'adiah Building, Gadong
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
BE4119
 
  My Site News  
 

Sunday, October 2
DPMM lies on 2nd place,but Tampines have 2 games in hand.

Tampines Rovers failed to close the gap with Albirex Niigata(S) at the top of the Great easter-Yeos' S.League table after they suffereda 1-0 loss to defending champions Brunei DPMM at the Jurong West Stadium on Saturday night.

Azwan Ali scored the all important goal to seal three points for Steve Kean charges and the win saw DPMM leapfrogged to second -spot in the standings with 41 points.

Tampines dropped a spot to third, a point behind DPMM but with two games in hand compared to the Brunei outfit.

DPMM started the match with an attacking mentality and took the lead just four minutes into the match.Rafael Ramazotti's low drive ball across goal found Azwan in the penlaty box and the latter connected with th ball to send it past the hapless Izwan Mahbud.

Down by a goal early in the match,Tampines restarted the game offensively and they almost came close to an equaliser twice soon after. 

First,Jordan Webb's attempt on goal was well saved by the DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof.Former Liverpool and Arsenal player Jermaine Pennant then tried his luck from distance but his stringing shot flew inches off the target.

With Akbar Nawas charges pouring forward in numbers, the visitors deployed most of their players in their own half to defend their lead and were restricted to pumping the ball upfield towards lone striker Rafael Ramazotti and relying on the counter-attacks.

Before the half-time interval,DPMM were awarded a freekick near the penalty box but Paulo Sergio's effort were deflected off the Tampines' wall.

Tampines continue the dominate proceedings after the interval but they were either met with a resolute DPMM defence or were denied by the bar.Yasir Hanapi was left frustrated in the 60th minute as he was denied a goal by the crossbar.

But it was not all the Stags as DPMM went on a counter a minute later. It was a goalmouth scramble but the hosts were fortunate to came away unscathed.

Ramazotti's effort was fisted away by Izwan but the loose ball fell to hendra Azam, who took a crack on gaol ball.Luckily for Tampines, Afiq Yunos was quick to react and headed the ball away to safety on the goal-line.

Although coach Akbar brought an experienced campaigners Fabian Kwok and Fahrudin Mustaficin the latter stages of the match in the hope of stregthening the midfield and to seek a way back into the match,DPMM held onto their lead to seal maximum points.

Tampines Rovers head coach Akbar Nawas:"We only have got ourselves to balme and we had kicked ourselves in the foot for not converting our cjances.We took things lightly,became complacent and made mistakes that we should not think we can get away from.

"In football, we don't get that luxury all the time and it is unacceptable to pass the ball in the middle and get caught.

"We have trained on how to work on the ball and even from the very first minute of the game,I have asked the players to concentrate and focus right from the start."

Brunei DPMM head coach Steve Kean:"The team defended really well especially in the end when Tampines had nothing to lose and had thrown everything forward.We showed the desire not to give up and another pleasing aspect was seeing my creative players from the front, coming back to defend,right from the start.

"When we came here,we hadsome psychological block , that we can't beat Tampines.But Isaid why not, when we are a good team.

"We know how Tampines was going to play, we know Jermaine Pennantand we know how he was going to have a touch on the ball and I felt our defenders had done really well tonight.

"We're still going to second, even though we have onr game left, and with the form we are in,I am sure we can go on and win our next game." 



Saturday, October 1
DPMM eyeing second.

Steve Kean stressed the importance of DPMM Fc finishing second in the S-League ahead of tonight's game against Tampines Rovers tonight.

DPMM are currently third on 38 points, two points behind Tampines - who are ahead by 4 goals and have two games in hand - going into tonight's clash at the Jurong West Stadium in Singapore.

"It is very important for us to finish second this season because you want to always keep progressing," DPMM FC coach Steve Kean told the Brunei Times prior to theit departure for Singapore yesterday for their second last game of the season.

"It has been a disappointment for us  this season in cup cmpetitions, so if we can finish second this season, then it is an indication that we are still moving forward," he added.

DPMM 2-0 to Albirex in the League Cup final in July and were knocked out in the quarterfinal of the Singapore Cup 5-3 n agrregate 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 ahd a phycological 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 lost at home to the Stags in March, falling 2-1.

Midfielders Paulo Sergiuo and Azwan Ali Rahman will be back after missing the Young Lions encounter on Monday night due to minor injuries, but the club will be without the service of captain Rosmin Hj Khamis and Maududi Hilmi Kasmi tonight due to suspension. 

Paulo and Azwan Ali will be back and obviously we will miss Bobby and Maududi...But this gives the opportunity for the others to step up," added the Scotsman. 



Wednesday, September 28
Kean rues missed opportunity

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean felt they miised a golden chance to better their goal difference in the S-League after a 5-3 victory over the Young Lions on Monday night.

The Brunei side looked to set to cruise to an easy win havinh opened up a four-goal lead just 30 minutes into the match.

However the Young Lions responded with three goals without repky in 15 minutes after the interval setting up a thrilling finish before Rafael Ramazotti put the game to bed with a spot kick - to complete his second hattrick of the season - in stoppage time.

DPMM are chasing a second placee finish in the competition and are now on 38 points.Thery are two points behind Tampines Rovers FC, are are now ahead by four goals and have two games in hand, going into their clash in Singapore on Saturday.

"Our overall play was excellent for the first 30 minutes and after that we were below par.It is a shame as our goal difference would have healthier," said Kean in a post match conference.

"Tonight that might coint as a point if we manage to beat Tampines and Balestier in our last game.

Their(Tampines) goal difference is betetr than us and that is missws opportunity tonight," added the Scotsman.

The Young Lions switched to playing three upfront after the break and we were applyuing pressure high up the pitch,resulting in three goals.

DPMM were taking one two many touches each time they had possession and were giving the ball away cheaply.

Kean felt they sorely missed the duo of Portuguese forward Paulo Sergio and Azwan Ali Rahman through injury.

"I felt we missed them,certainly in the second half, when we need people to get on the ball and dribble up the pitch," said Kean.

"We didn't seem to get orselves up the pitch.We found ourselves pinned to our own half and found it difficult to go up.

"They (Young Lions) had nothing to lose and were not going to let us dictate like play like we did ion the first 30 minutes.

"Their coach siad to them to press up higher,and when they did,we had difficulty releasing passes with quality.

"As a result, there werwe alot of transitions of possession then we found ourselves in a sticky situations," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Young Lions coach PAtrick Hesse felt that the change in strategy was necessary to prevent DPMM getting the ball up to their target man Ramazotti.

"We wanted to block the three defenders because all the long bals to ramazotti came from them," said Hesse.

"We decided to press and left space at the back, but it was not a problem since the have not time to play the ball to Ramazotti,"he added.

The Frenchman feklt that their second half comeback should have warranted them at least a point from the encounter and he heopes that his charges carry the momentum forward.

"DPMM were better in the half and I thought we made it interesting to play in the second half,"said Hesse.

"We had good opportunites and there was a possibility for a draw.It was good for the young players and they need to use this second half to continue the progress.

"They showed they can play good football and for me,that is very important," 

 



Tuesday, September 27
DPMM given a scare.

DPMM suffered a scare and were forced to work hard for a 5-3 victory over the Young Lions in their final home game of the Singapore League season last night.

The game looked over just half an hour in with DPMM Fcleading by a four-goal margin agains tthe basement dwellers at the HassanalHowever, the Brunei side took their foot off the pedal and Young Lions netted thrice without reply 15 minutes into the second half to set up a thrilling finish before Rafael Ramazotti put the game to bed from the penalty spot - completing his second hattrick of the season.

Last night's game was a tale of two halves and DPMM coach Steve Kean foresaw what was coming from the Singapore development side.

"It was a Jekyll and Hyde situation. We were exceptional in the first 30-35 minutes but way below our standard in the second half," said Kean in a post match interview.

"I smelt it coming to be honest. The lst five minutes in the first half we were a little lazy and we let the Young Lions get a grip.

"We never moved the ball as quick as we did.I said to the lads at half time to forget the score and to go out and win the second half.

"The Young Lions don't care if it is 4-0,5-0 or 6-0.They play with spirit and as soon as they got the first goal,their confidence came flooding back in.Suddenly we were on the back foot holding on," continued the Scotsman.

DPMM came out firing on all cylinders and found the opener in the fourth minute with Brian McLean noddinghome an Azwan Salleh freekick.

Ramazotti then netted a quick a double to give the hosts a three-goal cushion inside 10 minutes - heading home crosses from the left by Azwan and McLean.

The Brunei side scored the fourth goal at the half hour mark after Shahrazen Said put the ball into the box from the right and it was bundled home by Maududi Hilmi from close range.

The visitors did get opportunity in the opening half with substitute Syafeeq Faruk going for the lob from the edge of the box, but DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof tipped it over.

The Young Lions switched from playing one to three - skipper Khairul Amri,Jonathan Tan and Syafeeq - up front after the interval and it paid off immediately.

The Ypung Lons pulled one back just over 20 seconds in after Hami Syahin sent Shafeeq through on goal to slot past Wardun.

DPMM were struggling with the high pressing by their opponents and were giving the ball away cheaply, taking one too many touched each time they had possession.

Khairul volleyed home from inside the box minutes later before adding another on the hour mark with his attempt from inside the box to make it 4-3.

The DPMm backline was also getting outpaced and had difficulty dealing with the long balls by the Young Lions going forward.

The visitors were unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet again despite being on top for most of the second half before DPMM regained control in the final 5 minutes.

Ramazotti then scored the vital fifth goal after getting tripped by Christopher Van Huizen inside the box in stoppage time and converting the ensuing penalty.

The ball brought his tally to 20 goals, and he now has a five-goal lead over the duo of Jonathan Behe and Ken Ilso in the race for the top-scorer award. 

The  



Monday, September 26
DPMM confident in last home battle.

DPMM wil continue their chase for a second place finish in the league when they host the Garena Young Lions in their final home game of the season today at the Hassanal Bolkaih NAtional Stadium in Berakas.

DPMM haven't had much rest coming off a 3-1 win over Home Utd on Friday night.

DPMM 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 there is not enough time to recover but when you are winning it gives you that a little bit more energy," said Kean after a training session yesterday.

"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 3 points," continued Kean.

On paper, it might seem like an easy win for DPMM as they are currently in their best run of the season having lost only once in their last 11 matches in all competitions, while Young Lions are rooted at the bottom of the league.

DPMM 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 DPMM to a 1-1 draaw in their last meeting at the Jalan Besar.

Kean remains wary against the Singapore 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 whetehr 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 or Tampines.We never disrespect teams and always do our tactical work.If we play our maximum we will be too strong for them," he added.

"More importantly we need to keep the ball better than we did in the second half of the last game.We gave the ball too cheaply that allowed Home Utd to come back," continued Kean.

The DPMM coach also hopes they will eb able to give their fans a treat in their final gsme at the venue this season.

"Hopefully, we can continue out good run and give the fans more to cheer about.I thought the other night in the first half we were exceptional even thoigh we only score one goa," said Kean.

"We should have been four up at half time.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 reshuffling his squad which will see left-back Abd Muiz Sisa make his debut after joining his side in June to replace the injures Sairol Hj Sahari.

Maududi Hilmi Kasmi and Shaharazen Said have also been given the nod to start with the latter replacing the injured Paulo Sergio, who is out with a back spasms. 

 



Saturday, September 24
DPMM beat Home

DPMM maintained their chances of a second place finish in the Singapore League after a 3-1 victory over Home United last night.

the Bruneian side- who reliinquished their S-League crown after league leaders Albirex Niigata(S) 1-0 win over Geylang last few days-  are now on 35 points and are only 5 points adrift of second-placed Tampines Rovers who have a game in hand.

All three of DPMM's import players- Paulo Sergio,Rafael Ramazotti and Brian McLean- got on the scoresheet while Ken Ilso netted the consolation goal for Home United.

Despite trailong 1-0,Home Utd were in control for most of the second half until DPMM scored their second gosl when Ramazotti pounced on a mistake by goalkeeper Eko Pradana -who gave away a penalty which the Brazilian later converted to brung his tally to a league-high 17 goals.

DPMM are currently on the best run of the season having only lost once ---a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Albirex Niiigata(S) in the final of the Singapore League Cup on July 30 --in their last 11 matches in all competitions.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean felt that it was an unusual match but knew they had the 3 points in the bag after building a three-goal cushion thanks to a McLeah header.

"I thought it was a strange game.I felt we had most of the chances in the first half and I was disappointed to only to be up 1-0.It probably should have been three or four goals at halftime," said Kean during the post match press conference.

"Nornally we get much better in the second half but it was the flip side tonight.

"I felt that the points were ours after the third goal, even though we were neervy after they scored," continued the Scotsman.

It was mostly DPMM in the opening half and they almost broke the deadlock in the 10th minute after Azwan Salleh unleashed a powerful shot from 25 yards out only be denied by the right post.

Ramazotti got a good chance off a corner in the 31st minute but his header was just off the mark.

DPMM should have scored the opener in the 36 th minute but Ramazotti;s effort was cleared off the line by Shamil Sharif for a corner.

The Bruneian side then scored off the ensuing corner with Ramazottu putting the ball into the six-yard box for Sergio to poke home.

Ramazotti came close again in the 42nd minite but his header brushed the crossbar on the way out.

Home United came out of the tunnel a different side and almost equalised just a minute after the interval.

ilso made a deep run into the box before cutting back for Azhar Sairudin insode the six-yard box but Wardun was there to cover the shot.

Ilso was on target from inside the box in the 52nd minute but his effort was parried away by DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof.The bsll fell for Azhar but he put the rebound over.

The Danish forward sent a freekick from 25 yards out into the bottom right corner in the 62nd minute but it was kept out by Wardun.

DPMM were awarded a penalty in the 71st minute after Ramazotti dispossessed Home United custodian Eko on a back pass and was eventually brought down.

The Brazilain made no mistake from 12 yards out , and his striker eased the pressure on the hosts.

DPMM then confirned their eigth home win of the season after McLean headed in a MdHendra Azam corner in the 76th minute.

Mahathir Azeman, who was on the pitch for barely a minute, won a penalty after he was brought down by Reduan Petara in the 83rd minute.

Ilso converted from the spot for his 15th of the campaign to make it 3-1.

The Pretectors went forward again three minutes later but Wardun closed down Mahathir's attempt from inside the box.

Home United finished the game with 10 men having used all three substitutions after Ilso dislocated his right shoulder the next minute.

DPMM will be back in action on Monday in their final home game of the season against the Young Lions. 

 

 



Friday, September 23
DPMM FC host Home

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean said they have to win their next two games for a chance to finish second in the Singapore League.

The Brunei side, who have lstonce in their last ten games in all competitions, are oficially dethroned as S-League champions after Albirex edged Geylang International FC 1-0 at the Jurong East Stadium last night.

DPMM will host Home United at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium tonight followed by a meeting against the Young Lions at the same venue on Monday.

They will then travel to Singapore to take on Tampines at the Jurong West Stadium next Saturday and will enter the match two points apart from the Stags should they beat Home and the Young Lions. 

"For us to finish second, we must win these next two games before the Tampines game.If we don't,the gap will be too much," said Kean after yesterday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"It is a big game.If we can beat Home, they will find it difficult to catch us.

"It has been a long time coming and we are looking forward to it.We've got our energy back as we had a few days off after our last match on August 26.

"Now we have trained really hard and the boys justwant to play now.It is training, but it is nothing like the real things.We are really looking forward to tomorrow(Friday)," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM have the edge against the Protectors this season having won two and dropped the other in their first three meetings.

The Brunei side won the first encounter 2-1 on March 11 before falling to a 5-0 at the Bishan Stadium on May 19.

DPMM then knocked Home out of the League Cup with a 1-0 victory in the semis on July 26.

However, things have changed since thenas Aidil Shahrin - took over from Philipe Aw as the head coach at the end of July, with Aw taking charge of the club's youth team.

Despite the change,Kean expects yet another tough outing against the Protectors.

"It will eb slightly more difficult because they've got a new coach.I don't know if he will put a different slant on the game or tactically try to put his mark on it," said Kean.

"I won't imagine too much change...I'm surprised Philippe is back in youth development as he has done a great job.

"We always find it difficult to play Home because they are organised and have been well coached," he added.

The DPMM coach also pointed out that they will have to pointed out that they will have to watch out for their Home forward Ken Ilso and leftback Sirina Camara.

Home coach Aidil expects a difficult matchup but hopes to claim all three points to close in on third spot.

"Every game is crucial for us now but it is not going to be easy.Of course we want to bring back the three point," said Aidil in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

"Every team is pushing even harder than before because of the third spot.At the end of the day ,everyone wants the three points," he added.

The Protectors are on a high after coming away with a 1-0 victory over the Stags on Sept 10 - but Aidil said his charges will not be overconfident despite the win.

"Definitely confidence is a good thing, but not overconfidence.We know that DPMM are a strong team,especially when they are at home," said Aidil.

"You have to be careful of their strengths and too overconfident just because we won against Tampines last game," he concluded.

 



Thursday, September 15
Ramazotti eyeing topscorer award.

DPMM FC's Rafael Ramazotti has set his sights on the 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 followeed by the trio of Jonathan Behe,Ken Ilso and Stipe Plazibat with two goals fewer.

"I always give it a fight to do my best when I play for DPMM.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 will finish without any silverware this season having lost in the final of the League Cup and were dumped out in the quarters 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 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 to drop points.

DPMM coach Steve Kean is aining to finsih 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 when they came from behind to edge Hougang Utd 2-1 after a Ramazotti double at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

DPMM will resume their campaign against Home Utd at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium next Friday.

They will then host the Garena Young Lions 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 not 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.

"Thr league stopped and then after three matches we have to stop again. Everybody knows it is hard. We will jst play because there is nothing that we can change," he concluded. 



Saturday, August 27
Ramazotti double sinks Cheetahs as DPMM stay third.

Hougang United spurned an excellent opportunity to go third after defeat to Brunei DPMM in Friday night's televised game at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

It all looked good for the Cheetahs as they led 1-0 at halftime courtesy of Stipe Plazibat's 9th minute opener.

The Croatian forward's shot was deflected home by DPMM captain Rosmin Khamis from close range, after a neat cutback by Iqbal Hussain.

Plazibat almost scored again four minutes later wenrt he went through on goal via Iqbal's knock-on, but his his resulting shot crashed off the crossbar before going out of play.

DPMM then went close on 21 minutes,with azwan Ali's shot getting a deflection off Huzaifah Aziz before htting the angle of post and bar.

Hougang was then forced to make a defensive reshuffle just before the break, with Fairo Hasan replacing the injured Delwinder Singh.

Midfielder M.Anumanthan was pushed back into defence to partner Raihan Rahman as a result, but the duo was unable to stop DPMM from scoring the equaliser on 51 minutes.

Brazilian hotshot Rafael Ramazotti slotted home the rebound after seeing his initial shot was parried by Houhang goalkeeper Ridhuan Barudin.

The towering hit man was at it again just a minute later as he outjumped the onrushing Ridhuan to hea dhome Azwan Salleh's deep cross into an empty net and put his side ahead.

It was a lead that DPMM never relinquished,although Hougang had their chances in the final 30 minutes.

On the 64th minute,Fumiya Kogure blazed over from six yards out after Plazibat's miscued shot fell inadverntly into his path.

Then on 81 minutes,Iqbal went through on goal via Anumanthan's defence-splitting pass, but DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof pulled off a superb reflex save deny the former.

Two minuts later, the duo combined again with Anumanthan putting in a teasing ball into the six-yard box which captain Jozef Kaplan just failed to get the vital touch.

The Cheetahs would pay for their wastefulness as the final whistle soon sounded off to signal a DPMM victory.

Hougang United head coach K.Balagumaran:Delwinder's injury was key.We were a little disorganized at the start of the second half, with both goals coming from individual mistakes.

"For the first goal,Fairoz should have put the ball out and there was no communication.For the second goal, my goalkeeper was out of position.

"The team fought till the last minute and we created enough chances.If we had taken them, we could have won the game.Now its anybody's game for the top three."

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean: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.

"It was a total contrast in the second half.I also have to give credit to my captain Rosmin; he did a man-to-man marking job on Hougang's best player, their no.8 Kogure.Once we took him out,it became easier for us.

"We haven't given up on finishing second.If Albirex win the next couple of games,Tampines might start focusing on other competitions.We want to keep this winning run going." 



Friday, August 26
Key game for DPMM

DPMM FC will face Hougang United tonight in an match which might decide which team finishes third in this season's Singapore League.

S-League defending champions DPMM are on their best run of the season having only lost one of their last nine games in all competitions -  the Singapore League Cup final against Albirex late July.

Hougang are also in good formhaving won four and losing one of their last five games - including a 2-1 victory over Tampines last Wednesday.

Kean expects the match to be another gringer but is glad that they will be playing at the Jalan Besar Stadium - their favourite ground in Singapore.

"Hougang are on form and are creating problems.The Japanese player from Albirex,Kogure was excellent against Tampines," said Kean after Wednesday's training session.

"They've got good players and have a belief about them that they can win.Ther reaction after the Tampines game was as if they won the leaague.They have a good spirit about them.

"It will be a really tough match but we are glad it will be at the Jalan Besar Stadium...It has been like a second home for us over the last three years and there are very few gamesthat we have lost there.

"We enjoy playing there as the surface is always the same unless of a downpour.It allows us to play our passing game.

"It has been a good ground for us. Let us play our footballand I'm sure they will be wary and cautious of playing us with the form that we are in," continued the Scotsman.

Both sides have met a total of three times this season with the first a 0-0 stalemate on March 4.

DPMM won the last two meetings the latest a 2-0 victory in the group stage of the Singapore League Cup on July 17.

"It( the last win) seems a long time ago.They have picked up their form and are having a great season.They are up there on merit,"said Kean.

"We just need to treat this game like we are playing against Albirex,Tampines,Warriors or any of the bigger teams.

"No disrespect to them,but they will be happy to finish third," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Changes will have to be made to the DPMM starting line-upas centreback Ak Yura Indera Putera will be serving a one-game suspension.

The duo of Reduan Hj Petara and Aminuddin Zakwan will be given their first starts of the season alongside skipper Rosmin Khamis and Brian McLean in the backline.

Kean has complete faith in giving players the start if they train well.

"They give me a lot of good problems because during the week when they train well, if somebody injured or suspended,it is a fight to see who gets a place in the first team," he said. 



Saturday, August 20
DPMM beat Warriors

DPMM FC pickedup a resounding 3-0 victory over the free-falling Warriors FC to move back up to third in the S-League last night.

The hosts grabbed the lead after an own goal by Warriors skipper Zulfadli Zainal in the opening half at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Rafael Ramazotti doubled the advantage after the break before Paulo Sergio put the icing on the cake late into added time.

DPMM coach Steve Kean credited his charges for a wel job done - especially in the first half.

"Credit has to go to them. They worked ever so hard in the second half and got behind the Warriors defebce much more," said Kean in a post conference after the win.

"Obviously they had to once the first goal in and pushed the fullbacks on a little bit."Azwan Ali and Sergio got behind the 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 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 who came close to scoring in the eigth 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, but the later couldn't put enough on his shot to trouble Warriors goalkeepr Yazid Yasin.

The visitors were on target in the 19th minute with Hafiz Nor firing from inside the box but only straight to Wardun Yussof.

DPMM broke the deadlock in the 26th minute off a counterattack 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 jsut 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 supension.

Shaiful Esah came close and just miised the target in the 44th minute as his free-kick from the edge of the box sailed inches over the bar.

DPMM should have doubled their lead just before the half-time whiste.

Azwan Ali was sent on goal on the left but he unselfishly passes the ball to Sergio in the middle,instead of firing on goal, resulting in Yazid coming close to close down the shot.

The Warriors let an opportunityslip in the 53rd minute after Marijan Suto got on a free header off a Shaiful Esah freekick but he couldn't place it on target.

Hafiz Rahim made a good run down the right three minutes but only could fire on the side netting.

It was all DPMM 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 finally doubled the lead the next minute after Ramazottu headed home Azwan Ali's corner.

The Warrors simply couldn't pieces things together as Wardun was left with not much to do in between the DPMM 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 Yzid.

Ramazotti should have got his second of the game in added time but his attempt form 12 yards out was denied by Yazid.Substitute Aminuddin Zakwan 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. 



Friday, August 19
DPMM wary of Warriors.

DPMM are wary of the threat posed by a slumping Warriors FC in their S-League encounter tonight at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The Brunei side are in good formhaving only dropped one game - a 2-0 loss to Albirex Niigata in the final of the Singapore League Cup - in their last 8 matches.

In contrast, Warriors have lost 6 straight matches including 4 in the Singapore League Cup with their kast win coming on June 23 against Hougang United.

DPMM coach Steve Kean, though, believes the nine-time champions can still pounce at any time.

"This will be a tough game as they are coming off a bad run.They are a team at the back of five straight losses and they don't care how they end the sequence,"said Kean after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

"I've seen some of their games and they didn't deserve to lose all of them.It is a tricky game and it is always tough to play an opponent on a bad run just a swell as a team on a good run," he added.

"We got to take the form and confidence that we had over the last number of games.We've also got the advantage of having Paulo back and Azwan Ali is back in form," continued the Scotsman.

"They are a very good attacking side and are dangerous on setplays.You've got striker Jonathan Behe peeling around the backpost and he is good in the air," said Kean.

"They are attacking more and on the flipside they are more open at the back.If we can take care of the first attack,hopefully we can spring up on them with a counterattack," added the Scotsman.

The battlt to finish third in the nine-team competition is heating up as DPMm occupy fourth position with 26 points. 

 



Friday, August 12
DPMM selvedge a pint against the Eagles.

Defending champions Brunei DPMM remained in third spot after they were held to a 1-1 draw against Geylang International at Bedok Stadium on Thursday night.

Geylang had taken the lead in the first half through Roberto Camarasa, but DPMM produced a spirited fightback after the break and eventually get a share of the spoils through substitute Azwan Ali.

The home side settled into things preety quickly and opened the scoring after just five minutes, with Camarasa's header from Sahil Suhaimi's inswinging corner providing too hot for DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof to handle.

The Eagles almost doubled the lead seven minutes later with Shawal Anuar going through on goal, but Wardun did well to close down the former.

Geylang continued to create opportunities upfront, woth Sahil Suhaimi and Stanley Ng both going close before DPMM managed to find their first shot on target through Azwan Salleh. 

Trailing 1-0 at half time,DPMM coach Steve Kean swooped to bring on Azwan Ali and Ahahrazen Said for MAududi Hilmi and Adi Said for the second 45 minutes.

That gave DPMM more attacking impetus as they began to find more joy in the attacking thirs.

Rosmin Khamis - pushed up into midfield after playing as a centre-back in the first half - lashed just wide from the edge of the box, before Hendra  forced Geylang custodian Szaywan Buhari into a sprawling save.

The defending champions finally got the equaliser that they craved for 19 minutes before the end. Both substitutes were involved with Shaharazen skinning his marker before squaring across for Azwan Ali to fire home first-time pass a helpless Syazwan.

Kean's side almost stole all three points late on through a goalmouth scramble, but Danirl Bennett was on hand to stop the ball from going over the line.

Both sides eventually had to settle for the draw, which was perhaps a good reflection of how the game went.

Geylang International head coach Hasrin Jailani: "We played well in the first half and created few chances,which we should have put into the net.

"In the second half, we dipped and their goal came out of the blue.We could have defended better and cleared the ball away, instead of letting it bobble around.

"A top-three finish is still on target.Now we start to keep winning and we need maximum points from our last six games.Our next game is against Albirex Niigata and hopefully Mark Hartmann come back in time to play."

Brunei DPMM head coach Steve Kean:"We were very poor in the first half.Normally we are closer to the opposition but we made it quite easy for Geylang to play.

"We charged from a back five to a back four in the second half, bot an extra player in midfield to dictate play and had the better chances.The substitutes also made a big difference;Azwan Ali came back into form and Shahrazen is always a handful with his power."

"It was a good comeback and we were quite disappointed not to nick the three points at the end." 



Thursday, August 11
DPMM can't be complacent.

There is no room for complacency when DPMM face Geylang International FC in the 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  Stadium last Friday.

The reigning champions are enjoying their best spell of the season with sox wins in their last seven games in all competitions, and DPMm coach Steve Kean hopes that they can keep up their form against Geylang.

Geylang are four points behind DPMM in the league and are two spots below.

"It is tricky," said Kean after a trainign session on Tuesday.

"We are playing well and our form is good.The task now is to maintain that and sometimes it is easy to get a bit complacent.

"To think,Look at the table to see where Geylang are and where 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 aginst Geylang.

"If we maintain the form that we are in, aplication 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 eb able to carry out hsi training ground instructions on the pitch tonight.

"We have been busy working on moving the ball quicker because I felt that at times we struggled to do soespecially in the two ties aggainst Albirex is when they pressed us,"said Kean.

"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 ballbefore 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 on our pressing is good.We have been maintaining to move it faster," continued the 48-year old.

The Eagles went on a three-game winning streak th claim the Singapore League Cup Plate before falling to the Satgs 2-1 in the league last Thursday.

One of the key reasons for their good performances has been the siging 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 tDPMM 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.

"Its tough going there because the opitch 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 to keep the winning run going," he concluded. 



Saturday, August 6
DPMM beat Albirex

DPMM escaped with a 2-1 victory over Albirex Niigata(S) in the Singapore League last night to avoid a sweep for the season.

Rafael Ramazotti scored the opener from the spot in the opening half before Rui Kumada equalised early in the second half at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Ak Yura Indera Putra then netted his first goal of the season late on to snatch all three points.

"I think it is a long overdue this season gainst Albirex because we have played well in many of the games and not got anything,"said Kean in a post match interview.

"We deserved to get the three points tonight in the manner which we played," he added.

Albirex remains at the top on 38 points but Tampines Rovers are breathing down their necls just a point behind with only seven matches left to play.

The visitors produced the first shot on target in the fifth minute after Azwan Salleh gave the ball away in midfield.

Masaya Jitozono, who was suspended for the Singapore League Cup final,struck it well from almost 40 yards out but his effort was saved by DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof.

Wardun was called into action again two minutes later having to keep out Kumada's shot from going into the bottom right corner.

DPMM were on target in the nineth minute after Ramazotti hot a good shot from 20 yards out but it was kept out by by Albirex shotstopper and skipper Nosuke Nozawa.

Wardun was kept busy having to deal with Kento Nagasaki's shot in the 13th minute, after which Atsushi Kawata prodiced a good turn to get past two defenders the next minute but only fire straight at the veteran DPMM goalkeeper.

The hosts should have taken the lead in the 19th minute after Ramazotti connected on a Helmi Zambin cross from the right but his header was denied by the crossbar.

Kawata struck another effort from outside the box in the 24th minute but it went straight to Wardun.

DPMM were awarded a penalty in the 28th minute after Maududi Helmi Kasmi chased down a backpass before being brought down by Nozawa inside the box.

Ramazotti then stepped up to convert the ensuing spotkick for his 13th goal of the season to join top with Ken Ilso of Home Utd in the scoring charts.

Adi Said produced a freekick from  almost 25 yards out on target in the 37th minute but was caught by Nozawa.

Md Hendra Azam sent a tricky cross from the left six minutes after the interval and it almost finished at the top right corner sox.

Immediately at the other end,a good loover the DPMM sent Kumada through on goal to fire past an onrushing Wardun to level the score at 1-1.

The White Swans should have taken the lead in the 61st minute after substitute Tomaki Menda sent Kumada through on goal but his attempt crashed off the upright.

Menda crossed the ball from the right for Kawat in the 73rd minute but Wardun did well to come off his line and close down the shot.

DPMM regained the lead in the 90th minute after Md Hendra Azam's corner was nodded on to the far post and poked home by Ak Yura.

The hosts could have put more icing on the cake in added after a good piece of skill by Azwan Ali Rahman to split two defenders before pulling back for Ramazotti, who blasted it over.

 



Friday, August 5
DPMM face Albirex

DPMM are loking to avoid getting swept by Albirex Niigata(S) when the two sides meet for the final time this season in a S-League game at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium tonight.

The league champions have lost all three meetings against the S-League leaders this term- the latest a 2-0 loss in the Singapore Cup final at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday.

DPMM coach Steve Kean believes that they will have to find a way past Albirex goalkeeper Yosuke Nozawa for a chance of victory.

"We played well in the final.We had the best chances in the game and the difference eas that the goalkeeper made good saves," said Kean yesterday.

"When you get the chances, you need to take them...But I would say that to win this match we need to beat Nozawa- who in my opinion is the best goalie in the league.

"I think he is exceptional and he is the main reason why they best us in the last game.If you put virtually any other goalkeeper in,I think Adi's shot would have gone in to make it 1-1," he added referring to Saturday's final.

"He aslo come taking balls at the edge of the box in front of all the forwards.He is abig reason why they have done well this year," continued the Scotsman after DPMM's trainign session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

Kean felt that they were the better side against the current league leaders the last time out and hopes they can replicate the performance and improve on their finishing.

"If you take away the goals and just look on the actual game, I thought we played better than Albirex,"said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"One of the detials is the finishing. They finished and they are very ruthless.We never managed to finish our chances we had even though we had more than them.

"We just need to be sharper in front of goal and get back to the clean sheets. In the last tournament, except for the last game, Albirex were a different animal to the other teams.

"They are physically good, pressure well and move the ball quick and they've got good players all over the pitch.

"They don't ned a lot of opportunities to get on target as they showed that against Tampines, as they beat Tampines 4-0 in the semis of the League Cup," continued the 48-year old.

Another key player for Albirex is S-League joint topscorerAtsushi Kawata, who scored the second to kill off the Brunei's side chances to the Singapore League Cup final.

When asked how to contain him, Kean replied: "We need to be more aggressive and don't let him have two or three touches.

"As soon as he gets his first touch,we need to be right on top of him.If you don't then,he's got ability to manipulate the ball.When he turns and starts running at you it is all over," he added.

"He is too strong and technically he is too good.You need to engage himon the second touch.At times we were too loose on the marking with him and gave him too much space.The back three needs to be more aggressive with him."

Portuguese forward Paulo Sergio has been handed a two-game suspension for an off-the-ball incident after a straight red card against Hougang United in a Singapore League Cup Group A game last month. Md Hendra Azam is set to start in his place. 



Sunday, July 31
Albirex defeat DPMM to create history.

Holders Albirex Niigata (S) became the only side to attain back-to-back League Cup trophies in the history of the competition ater defeating Brunei DPMM 2-0 in the 2016 final at Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night.

The White Swans struggled to create a meaningful opportunity for much of the opening half as they failed to penetrate the well-drilled DPMMs' backline, but still headed into the break ahead through Rui Kumada's goal.

Atsushi Kawata then sealed victory for the visitors in the second period to help the Japanese side win their third League Cup, which is sponsored by the New Paper this year, and tie DPMM for the msot trophies won in the competition.

With playmaker Paulo Sergio restored to the starting lineup after serving his suspension,it was the designated hosts who took control early in the match, establishing their tempo and threatening occasionally on the counter-attack.

Their first opportunity arrived on 15 minutes when Helmi Zambin drifted in from the right and laid the ball to Azwan Salleh,who fired over from just outside the box, before Adi Said was played through on goalminutes later, but shot straight at Albirex custodian Yosuke Nozawa.

Ramazotti curved out space for himself on the edge of the 18-yard box on 21 minutes, but could only sent his effort into the arms og Nozawa.

Albirex almost break the deadlock against the run of play on 34 minutes when Tatsuro Inui played Kawata through on goal with a wonderful chip but the latter shot into the side-netting after rounding DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof.

Kumada then gave the visitors the lead before the interval when he slipped as he shaped to shoot, but recovered in time to blast the ball beyond the reach of Wardun and into the top corner of the net.

It was a different side that emerged after the break and they soon took control of proccedings,coming close to extending teir lead on 58 minutes when Inui stabbed his shot narrowly wide after meeting Kawata's cross.

Kawata volleyed wide soon after when stretching to meet Mikiya Yamada's cross on 62 minutes, before Wardun parried Kento Nagasaki's close-range effort and Najib Tarif cleared Naofumi Tanak's follow-up sihot off the line.

DPMM had a golden opportunity to equalise on 68 minutes when Adi was played through on goal, but Nozawa produced a top-drawer save to deny the forward.

There were further chances for DPMM to pull level subsequently, but the match drifted out of their reach on 80 minutes when Kawata dived to meet Nagasaki's corner-kick at the far post and headed the ball home to crush the DPMMs' hopes.

 

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean:We are disappointed because we had the better chances in the first half until they scored their first goal.

"With 20 minutes to go, we put in an attacking player to chase the game, but credit to the goalkeeper, we made a great save to deny Adi.

"If we had scored that, it would have been 1-1 ansd we would have been on the ascendency and pushed them a little extra." 

Albirex Niigata (S)ci coach Nozawa Naruo:"It was a very tough game becayse it was the final and the first goal it was very important for us because DPMM were playing better till then.

"We are allowed them to create chances, so it wasn't very impressed with our defending even though we managed to deal with the high balls as Kazuke was winning everything in the air." 



Saturday, July 30
DPMM and Albirex meet in the battle of champions.

Two champions will meet on Saturday night in the New Paper League Cup final at the Jalan Besar Stadium as holders Albirex Niigata (S) look to retain their ttle against cureent Eastern yeo's S-League holders Brunei DPMM.

It has beena perfect year for the White Swans on all fronts thus far,topping their League Cup group and qualifying for the sefinals with a game to spare.

The JApanese side are also currently leading the pack at the summit of the SLeague table and are also in the RHB Singapore Cup semifinals.

With a chance to win the trble this season at stake,Albirex coach Naoki Naruo is eager to achive that feat and has said that motivation is high at the club as they prepare to win the League Cup for the second straight year.

No clubs have managed to achive a back to back League Cup win in nine years history of the competition and if the White Swans retain the title on Saturday night, they will tie DPMM's record of three League Cups won.

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean has warned that the White Swans are a dangerous side,but is quietly confident that his charges can neutralise the Japanese side.

The League Cup is also the only trophy DPMM have a shot of winning this season,after seeing their hopes odf retaining the S-League title Evaporate and getting knocked of the Singapore Cup by Ceres La Salle.

Kean has also made decided to make a tactical switch mid-way through this season after watching his side shipping in tons of goals,going from an attacking 5-3-2 formation which DPMM won the title with, to a counter-attack attacking 3-5-2 formation.

That has allowed DPMM to keep three clean sheets in their last five matches and they are currently on a four-game winning run,which they are looking to extend with the return of playmaker Paulo Sergio from suspension.

They have a lot of players who can move the ball on the ground quickly and they have so much technical abilities that they can find a pass even in tight situations,"said the Scot.

"So we need to be tighter at the back and we have shown that we are now dangerous on the counter-attack.

"It is good that we have Paulo Sergio back now because it helps us in our attack and gives the opposition much more to think about."

Albirex will miss the services of influential midfielder Masaya Jitozono, while DPMM will be without Yura Indera Putra as both players serve their suspensions. 

 



Thursday, July 28
DPMM target record Cup win.

Brunei DPMM are just 90 minutes away from etching their names into the record books.

The Bruneian outift,who won the trophy previously in 2009, 2012 and 2014,booked their spot in the final of this year's The New Paper League Cup after they scraped past Home Utd 1-0 in the semifinal last night at the Jalan Besar Stadium last night.They are now one win from a record fourth triumph.

DPMM will square off against Albirex Niigata in the final on Saturday after the Japanese defeated Tampines Rovers 4-0 in the other semifinal played in Jurong West.

DPMM, the defending Great Eastern-Yeo's S-League champions,have had a season to forget up to this point,having crashed out of the RHB Singapore Cup and lying 16 points adrift of league leaders Albirex with eight games left.

But their performances in the League Cup have been encouraging and coach Steve Kean wants his charges to carry their good form into Saturday's final,and the remainder of the S-League season.

"Ironically, it was the game against Home Utd in May that made us change our style of play," the former Blackburn Rovers manager said.

"We got smashed by five and that was the turning point to how we approached games and credit to the players who have been working hard in training.

"I am sure Home would agree that we were hard to break down today and I am delighted we have made it into the final.

"Now, we expect to win games whenever we play and to keep clean sheets. We are confident that we can win this competition."

When asked which side were favourites, Akbar - whose side went down 2-1 to DPMM in a TNP Leaguie Cup group-stage game last Thursday - said: "Albirex, straight up."

"Form-wise, and also because their work ethic is fantastic.

"They defend as a team,attack as a team and they work very hard in transition.

"But DPMM have a very good coach in Steve Kean.

"They also have very good players like Paulo Sergio and Rafael Ramazotti, so Albirex will do well to take note of them."

Albirex coach Naoki Naruothanked his counterpart, and said: "of course, we are going out to win on Saturday.

"In football, you can't predict the result, but our players are in very good condition and I think we can get a good result."

 



Wednesday, July 27
DPMM grind out victory over Protectors to reach final.

Brunei DPMM will meet Albirex Niigata (S) in the New Paper League Cup 2016 final after overcoming Home Utd 1-0 at Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday night in the semi-final.

Having been thrashed 5-0 by the Pretectors in their previous meeting, the designated hosts came into the match with a game-plan to pack the 18-yard box every time they lost the ball and force Home to play on the wings.

It worked to great effect as DPMM nullify every attack by their opponents and it was only the poor finishing hy Home that prevented them for overturning Rafael Ramazotti's opener for the Bruneians.

Home coach Philippe Aw had promised before the game that the Protectors would continue playing their entertaining football as the club seeked to claim their first ever League Cup and true enough, the visotors did not disappoint.

It too just six minutes for the protectors to create an opening when Juma'at Jantan found Ken Ilso with his clearance and the Dane dribbled past two defenders to put in aa low cross for Sufianto Salleh, who was unbale to get a touch on the ball at full-stretch.

Home came close again five minutes later when Ilso and Shamil Sharof exchange a few quick passes outside the box before the latter met the Dane's return pass and curled a shot narrowly wide from eightyards out.

The hosts carved out an opportunity on 19 minutes when Helmi Zambin sold Sufianto the dummy on the right flank before drifting in and firing a shot at goal that was parried away by Home custodian Hyrulnizam Juma'at.

Another goal build-up play hy Home on the counter three minutes later nearly resulted on the opening goal when Aqhari Abdullah and Ilso combined to send Song Uiyoung through on goal, but the Korean could only shoot straight at DPMM custodian ardun Yussof.

DPMM then broke the deadlock on 27 minutes after Home failed to clear their lines when Adi Said's ferocious drive clattered off the crossbar.The ball dropped to Ak Fakharazzi, who laid it off for Ramazotti to clinically drill a shot into the bottom cornr from close range.

Home wasted a glorious chance to pull level after the break when Juma'at sent in a low cross for Sufianto on 58 minutes, but the latter stabbed the ball wide despite just being inches away from the goal.

The visitors continued to probe and nearly found the equaliseron 73 minutes when Aqhari found Shamil with a lofted pass into the 18-yard box but Wardun pulled off a brilliant save to deny the latter at close range before Najib Tarif cleared the ball off the line.

By now,DPMM were defending so well and preventing Home from making incisive runs nd passes into the box,that Ilso had to drop to the flanks to create space for himself and send in crosses for his teammates which were dealt with easily by DPMM.

DPMM could have doubled the leadin stoppage time when Adi sent in a tempting cross for Shahrazen Said,who met the ball first time with a powerful header, but Hyrulnizam made a good save

 

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean:We were hard to break down tonight and when you have Ken Ilso going out the flanks to get the ball because there were no space,you are doing right things.

We are normally very offensive, but after the 5-0 loss to Home, we have to change from five to three at the back as well as our approach to games.

"Credit to the players who worked hard on the training ground to carry out the game plan."

Home United coach Philippe Aw:"We created so many chances and we were just waiting for one to fall.If you don't score,you don't win games."We didn't play well in the first half because we played alot of long balls and we changed that in the second half and we created problems for them." 



Tuesday, July 26
DPMM eyeing final.

An In-Form DPMM FC will be eyeing a berth in the Singapore League Cup final when they face Home Utd in the semi-finals at the Jalan Besar Satdium in Singapore tonight.

the last time both sides met saw DPMM fall their worst defeat in the league with a 5-0 thrashing at the Bishan Stadium on May 19.

However, the Brunei side have turned things around and are enjoying their best runs of the season with four straight victories.

DPMM coach Steve Kean believes they ahve got what it takes to make it to Saturday's title decider.

"It was a long time ago (the loss to hoem Utd)and we have a lot of good performances since then," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium in Sunday.

"That is slightly at the back of the mind, but more in a motivational way in that they beat us beavily.

"I think we have changed since then.It was very obvious waht we had to do, and we spent a lot of hours on the trainign ground trying to make sure we are harder to break down.

We are in good form and we have won our last four matches.We haven't evne conceded a goal on open play in this competition.At this stage of the competition,teams will want to avoid us.

"The fact they (Home)beat us before,and we have beat them many time before...I don't see that as any major problem," continued the Scotsman.

DPMM have switched from playing a a back four to a back-five,with skipper Rosmin Khamis- who wil return froma one-game suspension moved to a central defensive role.

Home Utd haven't been as successful since last month-winning only one and drawing three of their last nine games.

Regardless Kean remains wary and believes god defence will settle the tie.

"This game is about who defends better -  and it is not just the defenders and goalkeeper," warned the fomrer Blackburn Rovers manager.

"When we don't have the ball,it is down to organisation and discipline to get into shape.

"Both teams have got quick players and can play on the break,so it is important for us to keep hold off the ball," said the 48-year old.

Kean also paid tribute to DPMM's former Under-19 captain Md Azim Izamuddin for his impact in the last match against Tampines.

Scoring the 86th minute winner after pouncing on a mistake from Tampines goalkeeper Joey Sim,Kean hopes that he will be a shining example to the rest of the youth.

"I've been talking to the team for months and that we have to give minutes to the players.We can't just say they've got potential,"said Kean.

"We put him (Azim)in at the right time.He plays with no fear and always want the ball.

"He played in a match with good players on the pitch and he took it on himself to charge the goalkeeper for the block and score the game winner.

"A year ago he as playing school football - and now he just scored a winner to bring us into the semis.

"I hope it inspirs the other young players, not only in the team but in the whole country," concluded Kean. 



Friday, July 22
DPMM top of the group and will play runners-up in Group B in the semis

Tampines Rovers eight-match winning streak came to an end on Thursday night as DPMM won 2-1 to finish top of Group A in the New Paper League Cup/

DPMM substitute Azim Izamuddin proved to the hero as he scored the winner in the 86th minute, after Tampines Billy Mehmet had cancelled Adi Said's first half opener. 

Tampines had started off the better side and almost scored on 16 minutes,with Gautam Selvamany raking the left hand post from close range after striding onto Mehmet's defece-splitting pass.

DPMM showed how it should be done eight minutes later, with Adi producing a stupendous bending free kick from 20 yards out that went in off the crossbar.

Steve Kean's charges could have gone into the halftime break 2-0 up, but Tampines goalkeeper Joey Sim puleed off a stunning save to deny Brian McLean's goal-bound header from point-blank range.

Tampines came flying out of the blocks in the second half, with Saifullah Akbar hitting a powerful volley from outside the area that DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof had to stretch to tip over.

The game was then disrupted for more than half an hour due to the Lightning Warning System (LWS), before resuming in the 60th minute the Stags refusing to cower.

Akbar's charges were eventually rewarded for their determination as they found the equaliser 15 minutes later.

When Jufri Taha was impeded by a clumsy Yura Indera Putera challenge inside the area, Mehmer stepped up to send Wardun the wrong way from 12 yards out to restore parity.

However, the Stags were unbale to hold out for a draw as they allowed DPMM to grab a fortuitous winner in the dying minutes.

Sim failed to adjust his feet in time to clear after receiving a back-pass from Noh Rahman, with Azim nipping the ball off him before prodding gleefully into an empty net for the match winner.

This result menat DPMM topped Group A and will meet the runners-up of Group B in the first semifinal, while Tampines finished second and will meet the winners of Group B in the other semi-final.

Brunei DPMM head coach Steve Kean: "I'm delighted with the result; we showed that there's more than one way to win a game.Tampines were setting the ball better; we were poor in that aspect and we just could not penetrate without Paulo.

"But we were dogged and tough to break down; we did what we had to do.Sometimes when you're playing badly, you can still win by earning that little bit of luck.After a very terrible spell at the start of the season, we have won four on the bounce now and we have to keep going."

Tampines Rovers head coach Akhbar Nawas:"I wasn't countng the number of games unbeaten because there's where you lose focus.Who doesn't want a history of unbeaten records?But I wanted them to play football.

"I told the players before the game that the result is for me to take;what I want to see is the performance.The younger players lose out a bit physically, but they played their hearts out and they gave DPMM a run for their money untl the second goal.

"I'm sure Joey will be disappointed with himself for that mistake, but the team and I will back him up." 



Thursday, July 21
DPMM aim to top group.

Short handed DPMM FC are looking to finish top of their group in the Singapore League Cup when they face Tampines Rovers FC tonight.

Both Group A teams have already booked their berths in the semifinals after two victories,with DPMM topping topping ahead of the Stags due to a better goal difference.

DPMM only require a draw from tonight's encounter at the Jalan Besar Stadium to finish as group winners.

However, the three-time champions will be contesting the match without influntial Portuguese forward Paulo Sergio after a red card in the previous fixture against Hougang United on Sunday - leaving him to dwell for a two-game suspensio.

Skipper Rosmin Khamis will also be suspended after he picked up his second yellow of the tournament in the same game.

Regardless DPMM coach Steve Kean is looking to field his strongest possible side against the Stags.

"We will field the strongest team we can and try to win the game," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times.

"We want to top the group.It is not about who we will playin the semis but is more about keeping our momentum.

We don't want to go into the semifinals with a defeat.Phychologically we want to go and win all our games,"added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Despite being shorthanded,Kean is confident the others can step-up.

He(Sergio) has been so good for us in the first two games and we really need to get to the final,"said the Scotsman.

"He has played out his skin and it is a big loss for us considering how good he has played.The good thing is that the others have been playing well too."We will miss Paulo but we've got others.Rafa(Ramazotti) has been excellent,Adi has been contributing and Joni(Shahrazen) has done well and even though he has a broken finger.

"Juan (Azwan Ali) was out for a couple of games so we will see if he can bounce back," continued Kean.

DPMM FC captain Rosmin will also definitely be missed as he has been playing as a central defender during the Singapore League Cup - leading to back-to-back cleansheets for the first time this season. 



Monday, July 18
Spot-on DPMM overcome Housing to reach semis.

Paulo Sergio and Rafael Ramazotti  both converted from the spot to help Brunei DPMM defeat Hougang 2-0 at the Hougang Stadium on Sunday night and seal their passage into the last four of the New Paper League Cup 2016.

In a rather equal first-half, both sides had chances to break the deadlock but were let down by their own wastefulness.

DPMM attacker Seegio sent a 20-yard free kick just over on five minutes, while Hougang's Iqbal Hussein fired over disappointingly from close range after being sut up by Fumiya Kogure in the 16th minute.

The home side had another two excellent chances to break the deadlock, but captain Jozef Kaplan could only fire straight at DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof and Wahyudi Wahid was unbale to adjust feet in time to convert Raihan Rahman's teasing cross.

DPMM rode their luck and went ahead on 43 minutes, with Sergio sending Hougang custodian Ridhuan Barudin the wrong way from the spot after Faliq Sudhir was adjudged to have handled from a corner.

Hougang top scorer Stipe Plazibat was then introduced shortly after the restart, but it was DPMM who went the closest on 64 minutes with Ramazotti's overhead flashing jsut wide on the left-hand post.

DPMM continued to dominate matters, with Ramazotti's first seeing his snapshot tipped over by Ridhuan, before having a 'goal' ruled out for offside.

It looked like the tide was about to turn on 77 minutes when DPMM went down to 10 men,with Sergio dismissed to what looked like a stamp on Raihan off-the-ball.

Houhang could have levelled things up 10 minutes later when Wahyudi's deep cross eluded everyone on the DMM box, but Iqbal was not decisive enough to convert.

DPMM duly sealed the 3 points a minute from time, with Ramazotti making no mistakes from 12 yards out after Fairoz Hasan was given a straihgt red for bringing down substitute Shahrazen Said in the area.

The reuslt meant Steve Kean's men joined Tampines Rovers in qualifying out of Group B with a game to spare,while Hougang and Warriors have the consolation of going through to the Plate semifinals.

 

Houagng Utd coach K..Balagumaran: Last game we conceded two penalties and it happened again today.Whatever decision, as a team we have to stay focused and not get distracted.

"We're still lacking a bit on that part;we were arguing with the referee and all.If after DPMM's sending off; we had stayed focus and took advantgae of the numerical advantage,we could have equalised.

"Overall we played quite well and gave players a chance to play.Ridhuan pulled off a brilliant save.Afiq did well at both left midfield and left back and Faliq did ok on his debut.We still have the Plate competition and we'l begoing for it."

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean: Sometimes when upi get a downpour before the game, the pitch can be really slippery.The players were losing their footing.In such conditions,sometimes you end up getting contact with challenges that usually we do not get.

"Paulo's re card took the shine off a good night for us because he;s not that type of player to stick his studs into someone's face or head.Its frustrating to lose him for two matches."

"Nonetheless its been good for us;we're scoring goals and we've kept two clean sheets.We're not going to rest anyone for the final group game against Tampines.There is a good break till Thursday for us to recover and we're going to fill our strongest side." 

 



Sunday, July 17
DPMM face Hougang.

DPMM FC captain Rosmin Khami is determined to win the Singapore LEague Cup this year.

The mist successful team in the competition , three time winners DPMM FC will face Hougang United at the Hougang Stadium in Group A tonight and a win could guarantte them a passage in the next round of the tournament.

In an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday, the club's skipper Rosmin Khamis said that the League Cup will be the DPMM FC only chance of silverware this season following their lacklustre camapaign in the Singapore Cup and the Singapore League.

"We really need to win this tournament after missing out on the Singapore Cup and but again we need to respect our opponent and focus on winning the game tonight,"said Rosmin.

All the players are in a good spirit after the win against Warriors and we have been doing a lot of recovery session since then.

"At the start of the season, we were aiming to win all the competitions,but again football is football...we need to work even harder in the future.

Everyone in the club is determined to win this tournament...everything going well at the moment and we just need to do our best," he added.

Azwan Ali Rahman, who missed the game on Wednesday following an ankle injury he sustained during last month's match against Young Lions, is hoping to make it back in time for the Singapore League next next match.

"I hope we will be able to win tonight and book a place in  the next round, because I really want to win this tournament for the fourth time," said Azwan Ali yesterday.

"I am recovering at the moment but I am still not 100 per cent fit to play but I am always ready to come on if needed.With Azwan Ali missing the game tonight,Adi will be playing in his place in the left flank assisting in the attack.

"Adi is a great player...he got the pace,skill and everything...he scored against Hougang and I am very happy for him,"continued Azwan.

"I hope he will be able to continue his good form and help us to win this tournament and at the same time keeping the club's standard high," he added. 



Friday, July 15
Kean lauds tactical change.

A good tactical change in the second half resulted in DPMM FC's 4-0 thumping of Warriors in their Singapore League Cup Group A opener on Wednesday night.

After a goaless opening half,DPMM coach Steve Kean moved an extra man to midfield to ensure more bsll movement allowing the three-time winners to open the floodgates at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

"There was no passing rhythm in the first half and we had till the 43rd minute to sting together five consecutive passes," said Kean at the post match conference.

"In the secong half, we changed tactically to put an extra in midfield and get the ball in wider,

"That worked with Paulo showing some good movement to score the first goal," added the Scotsman.

Knocked out of the Singapore Cup in the quarterfinals and 16 points adrift from the S-League leaders Albirex Niigata with eight matches left, the former Blackburn Rovers manager offers their only realistic chance of a trophy this season.

"Its been a tough season of transition for us but the team is improving as the season progresses,"said Kean who coached DPMM to their maiden S-League title last season.

"To be the first club to win this competition four times will be a bog boost for us," he added.

Sergio bagged the opener in the 62nd minute before Adi Said doubled the lead 6 minutes later.

Rafael Ramazotti added a brace late on to complete the comfortable win for the defending league champions.

Warriors caretaker,Razif Onn felt that the changes made by DPMM,coupled with fatigue on their side, led to their downfall.

"We managed to close down on Ramazotti and Sergio in the first half. As long as you can contain them, its quite safe," he explained.

But in the second half,DPMM changed their style of play and played more passes on the ground.

"That created a lot of confusion for my defence and that's how we conceded the first goal.

"Fatigue then set in to cause lapses in concentration so we ended up conceding more goals," he added. 

 



Thursday, July 14
DPMM FC a foot away to go through to the League Cup semifinals.

DPMM opened their Singapore League Cup campaign with a comfortable 4-0 win over Warriors FC in their Group A opener last night.

All the goal came in the second half for the three-time champions,with rafael Ramazotti netting a double while the duo of PAulo Sergio and Adi Said got their names on the scoresheet with one each at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

Sergio had the first chance of the game when he took out two defenders in the fifth minute with a neat sidestep but fired wide of the right post.

The defending S-Leaague champions came close again four minutes later after Maududi Hilmi KAsmi struck a volley from 30 yards out but it just went over the bar.

Sergio set up Ramazotti inside the box in the 16th minute but he couldn't get a touch to the ball.

The Brazilian forward then got his head on a Najib Tarif's cross on the half hour mark but it went wide.

The Brunei side had two more chances just before the half-time whistle to get their noses in front.

Sergio struck a free-kick from 25 yards which sailed over the bar and ramazotti then had a header saved by Warriors goalkeeper Yazid Yasin.

That was his last action of the match after being subbed off to make way for Zainol gulam at the start of the second half.

DPMM continued on the attack and Adi connected on a Sergio corner in the 55th minute but his effort from point-blank range was tipped over by Zainol.

They finally break the deadlock in the 62nd minute after a good one-two by Sergio and Ramazotti saw the former firing into the bottom right corner.

The lead was doubled six minutes later after Ramazotti teed up Adi for an easy finsih.

It was 3-0 in the 78th minute after Adi sent a cross for Ramazotti to flick home from close range.

Warriors had a chance to pull one back in the 89th minute after Nikola Rak delivered a cross, but MArijan Suto's shot was not enough to trouble DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof.

DPMM completed the win just before the final whistle with Adi the producer once again, resulting in Ramazotti rising the highest to head past Zainol for his second of the game. 

 



Wednesday, July 13
DPMM start Singapore League Cup tonight.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean is pinning all his hopes in the Singapore League Cup for a chance of a silverware this season.

The most successful team in the competition, three time winners DPMM will kick-off their Group A campaign against Warrors FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore tonight.

Left with only the Singapore League Cup,Kean believes that a win tonight against the Warriors will put them in a commanding competition in their four team group.

DPMM will face Hougang at the Hougang Stadium on Sunday before ending their group stage play with a meeting against Tampines on July 21.

"We are looking forward to this tournament and it a good chance to win something this year," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times on Monday.

"We take confidence in our last game as we played very well, especially in the second half when DPMM scored all the goals.Ceres basically has 8 imports.

"We have to win the first two gams because playing in a knockout phase competition like this,the first game is the first important.You have to go out and get a victory.If you can secure one win then you are almost there.

"If you lose the first game,then all the pressure is on you.I think this is the game we have to focus on and get all three points,"continued the Scotsman,who bagged his first piece of silverware in the same tournament two years ago.

DPMM have fared well against the Warriors in both their meetings in the S-LEague this season.

"I have watched them play.They are still a good side with good players.Warriors may have different coach with different outlook of the game, but its mostly the same players," he added.

The club will be staying in the Lions City for the duration of the competition,which Kean naturally feels will work in their favour.

It is a massive disadvantage with the number of flights we have to do. You get dehydrated and it takes energy out of you," said Kean.

The Brunei side have all their players available for selection while the Warriors are missing the duo of Madhu Mohana and Hafiz Nor due to national duty. 



Thursday, July 7
DPMM start League Cup next Wednesday.

DPMM FC will kick off their Singapore Cup Group A campaign against Warriors FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore next Wednesday.

The most successful team in the competition , three-time winners DPMM FC, will then play Hougang United at the Hougang Stadium four days later.

The side will complete the group stage with a meeting against Tampines Rovers at the Jalan Besar on July 21.

Holders Albirex Niigata (S),Balestier Khalsa,Home Utd and Geylang International FC make up Group B.

The top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals while the bottom two will move on to compete in the Plate competition.

The competition may be the only real chance of any silverware this season for the Singapore League defending champions after bowing out of the Singapore Cup on Sunday. 



Monday, July 4
Ceres hold off DPMM fightback to progress into semis.

Philippines invitee Ceres La Salle lost 3-2 to Brunei DPMM in the second leg of their quarter-final tie, but still won 5-3 on agreegate to progress into the last four of the 2016 RHB Singapore Cup.

After winning the first leg 3-0, Ceres pulled further ahead via golas in each half by Stephen Schrock and Bienvenido Morejon at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

DPMM fought back well with goals from Shahrazen Said, Rafael Ramazotti and Brian McLean to win the game on the night, but it was not enough to prevent them from crashing out of the competition.

Ceres stamped their authority early in the game and core just after 16 minutes, with Schrovk thumping home a brilliant first-time volley after Jeffrey Christaens had headed Jalsor Soriano's deep cross into the path.

The reigning United Football League (UFL) champons then extended their lead in the 53rd minute as Spanish wide man Morejon managed to spot DPMM goalie Wardun Yussof off the line ebfore producing a tunning chip that sailed into goal from 18 yards out.

Credit to DPMM, they did not let their heads down despite the five-goal deficit on agreegate and duly pulled one back just a minute later. Halftime substitute Shaharazen controlled Azwan Salleh's longball well in the box before firing Ceres custodian Louie Casas to hand his side a lifeline.

DPMM dre level on the night on 63 minutes,with Brazilian frontman Ramazotti heading home Adi Said's accurate right-wong cross.

Steve Kean's side kept pushing forward in the dying moments of the game and grabbed anither goal on the stroke of full time. Paulo Sergio's freekick picked out McLean, who rose the highest in the box to nod past the outstretched left arm of Casas.

However it was too late as the S-League champions' wait for a first-ever Singapore Cup continues. 



Sunday, July 3
Kean confident of DPMM comeback.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean believes his team can overturn a three-goal deficit as his side take on Ceres-La Salle FC of the Philippines in the second leg quarter-final tonight.

DPMM lost the first leg 3-0 to the Ceres on Thursday, and thet have a mountain to climl if they want to advance to the last four.

Kean refuses to give up hope and believes they can pull off a comeback in the second leg at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

"We found it difficult to get close to Ceres and get a grip on the game in the first half. We could not string three to four passes together," explained Kean.

The second half gave us some good encouragement though.We put more pressure in the middle and started to ask afew questions.

If we start the second leg in the same manner, then maybe we have a chance to come back," he added.

The S-League champions had a host of key players missing in the first leg,with both midfielders Hendra Azam and Paulo Sergio serving a one-match suspension. 

"We will get (Paulo) Sergio back (from suspension) on Sunday so it will be good for us," added the Scotsman. 



Friday, July 1
Three and easy for classy Ceres.

Philippines invitee Ceres La Salle showed a real statement of intent by thrashing S-League champions DPMM 3-0 in the first leg of their RHB Singapore Cup quarter-final tie at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Thursday night.

An early opener by Manuel Ott and a brace by star man Stephan Schrock saw the United Football League champions run out convincing winners,leaving DPMM with a mountain to climb for the second leg.

Ceres started on the front foot, creating a couple of promising openings before breaking the deadock on 15 minutes.

A clever Bienvenido Morejon through ball led to Ott advancing on goal and the latter wasted little time in riffling home a first-time finish from 15 yards out.

DPMM struggled to assert their authority on the game and duly went two behind 11 minutes later.

Former Hoffenheim man Schrock evaded a couple of defenders with some neat control,before lashing home a stunner from 20 yards out that left DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof grasping at thin air.

DPMM tried to hit back before the break,but Azwan Salleh's delightful voley was tiped wide by Ceres custodian Louie Casas,while Maududi showed somehow flashed his effort wide after going through on goal.

Steve Kean then thre the Said brothers,Shahrazen and Adi,for the second half to add more bite in attack, but the ceres defence held firm to repel their threat.

Captain rosmin Khamis went the closest on 65 minutes as his shot from outside the area almost dipped into goal before Casas bulled off a superb acrobatic save.

That paved the way for the cCeres to push forward and get the vital third goal seven minutes later. A superb right-wing cross by Patrick Reichelt laid it on a platter for Schrock to convert first-time from close range for his second goal for the night.

The game ended on a slightly low note for the Philippines outfit though, with Ott giving the marching orders late for an altercation with Rafael Ramazotti.

Nonetheless a three-goal margin means DPMM got it all to do in Sunday's second leg at the same venue.

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean: "In the first half, we found it difficult to get close to ceres and get a grip on the game.We could not sstring three to four passes together.

"The second half gave us some good encouragement though.We put more pressure in the middle and started to ask a few questions.

"If we start the second leg in the same manner, maybe we have a chance to come back.We will get Paulo back from suspension for that game too which will be good for us."

Ceres La Salle coach Ali Bernard: "The third goal's very important for us becuase it gives us some breathing space for thr second leg.I wasn't amused before that because the players were playing some exhibition football;I told them to concentrate on playing simple.

"A 3-0 lead is good but we have to remember DPMM is a very strong opponent.We have to hold them in the first 20-25 minutes of the second leg;hopefully they willl get frustrated by then." 



Thursday, June 30
Kean expects thought fight from Ceres.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean expects a tough challenge from United Football League(UFL) reigning champions Ceres-La Salle FC of the Philippines when the two team clash in the Singapore Cup quarter-final first leg tie at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore tonight.

DPMM finished third in the competition the past two seasons,winiing bronze last year after a 3-1 win over another Filipino side,Global FC, in the third-place playoff in November.

"We deserved that 4-1 league victory against Balestier last week, a convincing win and we are getting a little bit closer to Tampines and Albirex (S) in the table," said Kean on Tuesday, referring to the league game last Friday.

"But for now, we need to focus on another competition  -   the Singapore Cup.

"I have watched Ceres' 3-1 win over the Garena Young Lions- and I would expect a very tough test against them tomorrow night (tonight).

"They are a very technical side and I can tell out match against them will feel like matches against Albirex.

"Both teams will try to keep the ballbefore pasing it,so I will be expecting a good game against them.

"I am not particularly worried about their recent 16-0 win in their UFL match against Pasargad FC.

"Sure it gives them good confidence,but they were up against a team in their own domestic league that is at the bottom of the league."

"However, I do think the local players from the Philippines in general are good.

"I give them my respect and I think there could be a similarity in terms of gameplay between Ceres and Global FC.

"We have seen it in the on-going Euros that teams do not have to come from a strong football nation to go far.

"As long as there's determination, any team will pose a challenge," added the Scotsman.

The second leg will kick-off three days later at the same venue. 

 

 



Saturday, June 25
Ramazotti-inspired DPMM thrash Tigers.

Rafael Ramazotti grabbed his first hat-trick of the season to help S.League defending champions Brunei DPMM thrash Balestier Khalsa 4-1 on Friday night at Jalan Besar Stadium.

The emphatic victory was DPMM's first after three games and moved them to third place in the league table,which gives Steve Kean's charges a good chance of finishing in the top half of the table as their hopes of retaining the title have vanished.

The Tigers started brightly and found success attacking down DPMM left flank early in the game.One such foray almost produced a result in the eigth minute when Fadhil Noh broke free and clipped a dangerous cross into the six yard box, which Miroslav Kristic missed, but not Ho Wai Loon.

The left-back took his shot on the volley, but DPMm custodian Wardun Yussof got down well to push away the fierce drive.

DPMM on the other hand, struggled to create a meaningful opportunity for much of the opening half,but took the lead against the run of play in the 18th mnite when Ramazotti climbed above Nurullah Hussein to meet Azwan Salleh's cross and headed the ball into the top corner of the net.

The goal seemed to rejuvenate the visitors and they duly doubled the lead in the 30th minute when Paulo Sergio kept a loose ball alive before threading an eye of the needle pass to an unmarked Ramazotti , who skipped past Ho to calmly slot the ball past the Tigers custodian Zaiful Nizam.

Balestier conceded again just 4 minutes into the second period when they failed to deal with Azwan Ali's corner and Sergio stabbed the ball home to make it 3-0 to DPMM.

Azwan Salleh should have added a fourth in the 52nd minute when after being played through on goal by his namesake Azwan Ali as DPMM broke on the counter, but the former blasted his ball high and wide with only Zaiful to beat. 

The Tigers were thrown a lifeline when Kristic was brought down by Wardun after being sent through on goal and Emir Lotinac smashed the resulting spotkick into the bottom corner of the net.

A brilliant reactive save from Wardun in the 70th minute kept out Fadli Kamis's b

Brunei DPMM coach ullet header afetr the defender had rose the highest to meet substitute Jamil Ali's freelick as Balestier continued to findways to further reduced the deficit.

The match however,was well and truly over for the Tigers nine minutes later when they caught on the break again and Ramazotti tapped home the rebound after Zaiful had saved Maududi's initial shot.

Balestier Khalsa coach Marko Kraljevic: "I was a disappointing result for us because we were too slow and failed to apply pressure on them.

"We were doing well at the back at the beginning of the season, but now we have starting losing concentration and making some individual mistakes,which have cost us in losses, like this game."

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean: "The most pleasing thing about this game was that Balestier found it difficult to break us down.

"We limited them to very few chances in the box,obviously there were going to get a few chances, but we have worked on being hard to beat and it paid off today." 



Friday, June 24
DPMM look to end winless streak.

DPMM are looking to end their three-game winless run in the Singapore League when they face Balestier Khalsa FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore tonight.

DPMM are currently sixth in the nine-team table with 19 points and want to get back to winning ways, especially having to play the first leg of their Singapore Cup quarterfinal clash against the Philippine outfits Ceres La Slle next Thursday - a competition that DPMM coach Steve Kean has set his sights on.

"Sometimes you get spells like these in the season,"said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

"We don't want to put pressure on ourselves and say that this a must-won game.We just need to stick to the gameplan.

"This game is totally different from the Young Lions who don't care about the score,and they improved near the end of the game.

"In contrast,Balestier are direct and like to put the ball into the box. They will put crosses in and question our defenders.

"We have to make sure we don't get sucked into their way of playing.

"We are a side that like to pass while they don't care about possession.

"We just need to stick to our way of playing and we will do well," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager,

The club have found it hard to cope in defence this season with the departure of Bosnian Boris Raspudic due to the reduction in the S-League import quota from five to three.

Having let in 26 goals last season,they have already allowed 27 this term - a worrying statistic for the defending champions.

In addition,they have not kept a clean sheet in any of their previous 11 games.

DPMM are coming off a disappointing 1-1 draw against a bottom side Garena Young Lions on Sunday.

They had several chances to put the game away in the opening half but failed to do so.

Kean reiterated that they will need to finish off their chances when they come.

"The boys felt bad after the game,especially since we had enough chances in the first half to build a big lead," said the Scotsman.

"The thing is that a team like young Lions will get a head of steam and come at you.

"That happened and I told the boys after that game that we deserved something against Tampines,and it was the same for Young Lions.

"We just need to be more ruthless in front of goal,especially we=hen we are in control for vast periods of the game.

"We need to capitalise on our chances," he stressed.

DPMM stayed back in the Lion City after the encounter to ensure that they will be game ready for the Tigers.

"To do almost 6 hours of flight in 6 days is too much.It is the fasting month and the boys will feel dehydrated with no fluids in the days time,"explained Kean.

"They will have more tasks when they are back home.

"But now they get to concentrate on rest and recuperate to be physically better before the next game," he concluded.

Kick off is at 8pm. 



Thursday, June 23
DPMM drawn in Group A in the New Paper Cup 2016.

The New Paper League Cup 2016 draw was conducted on wednesday afternoon at the Singapore Press Holdings and saw eight teams split into two different groups in an open draw.

This year's edition will see the top two teams from each group progress to the semifinal stage of the competition,while the bottom two teams each group will compete against each other in the Plate semifinals.

Great Eastern Yeo's S.League defending champions Brunei DPMM, who won the competition in 2014, will have to get passt Warriors FC,Tampines Rovers and Hougang United in Group A if they intend to win the League Cup again.

In Group B, which many are calling the "Group of Death", defending chamions Albirex Niigata (S)'s journey to retain their title will start against the likes of Home Utd, Geylang International and 2013 winners Blaestier Khalsa.

Tigers coach Marko Kraljevic admitted after the draw that he was hoping to avoid Albirex, who are currently sitting at the top of the S.League table and a side they lost to in the League Cup final last year.

The Croatian however,is keen to make the finals again this year and continue Balestier's tradion of doing well in the competition.

"When you have Albirex in your group, it will be tough because they are currently the best team in the S.League,"Kralajevic told S.League.com

"I was hoping to avoid them, but hopefully,they will not be able to maintain their form when the competition starts.

"I think the three of us(Home,Geylang and Balestier) will fight for second position and hopefully,our good form in the competition will continue."

For Warrors, the League Cup represents a chance to win at least one trophy this year according to midfielder Emmeric Ong,even tough nine-times S.League champions have been struggling in the S.League so far this season.

"I think for this competition,it doesn't matter where our league stading is. This competition,everybody starts on a clean slate," said Ong.

"Even though we are in the same group as Tampines and DPMM,plus Hougang who have been performing well in the league this year,we all have an equal chance.

"Warriors have been histirically a big club and we have shown that we can produce results when it mattered and we will do our best in this competition."

The competition will be held from the 11th to 30th July and the fixtures will be announced at a later date. 



Wednesday, June 22
DPMM dismiss Ramazotti transfer rumour.

Singapore League defending champions DPMM FC insist Thai side Chainat FC have not contacted them about a deal for striker Rafael Ramazotti.

Football Channel Asia reported that Brazilian Ramazotti,the S-League's top-scorer last season with 21 goals, is set to join Thai outfit Chainat FC.

The stated that Chainat FC,who are second from the bottom in the Thai Premier League table, want to add more firepower to their attack in a bid to help them maintain their top-flight status.

According to the website, Football Channel Asia are the international editon of Football Channel - Japan's leading website for football analysis and insight.

In an interview with the Brunei Times,DPMM club manager Pg Hj Muhd Waslimin Hj Abd Momin dismissed the report.

"We do not know anything about this... We are currently in Singapore  and we have not received any iffers or information what-soever," he said.

"There have been no formal approaches made by anyone, so I think the report is just a rumour.

"Ramazotti is still with the team.There are matches to play and the team is foucused on training," added the club manager. 



Monday, June 20
Bullish Young Lions snatch a point of DPMM

A confident and dominant performance by the Garena Young Lions saw the youngest team in the Great Eastern Yeo's S.League come from behind to snatch a 1-1 draw against defending champions Brunei DPMM at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday night.

It was a remarkable showing by the Young Lions, as the hosts recovered from a 6-1 thrashing by Tampines Rovers in their last game to give DPMM a hard time with their high energy and possession-based style of play.

The visitors tested Benjamin Bertrand inside three minutes of the game when the French custodian hard to gwt down well to parry away Paulo Sergio's close-range shot.

The Young Lions carved out an opening themselves two minutes later when a nice mazy run by Kahirul Amri took him past a sea od defenders and into the 18-yard box, but the captain sent his effort striahgt into the arms of DPMM keeper Wardun Yussof.

Hazim Haiz could have given the hosts the lead in the 13th minute after being played through on goal by Shannon Stephen, but the striker's cheeky lob over Wardun from 20 yards out went wide.

The hosts came close range again three minute when Firdaus Kasman tried a long-range effort from 20-yards out after DPMM fai to clear their lines from an Amri free-kick,but Wardun saw the ball all the way and saved comfortably.

Adam Swandi seemed to certain to score in the 21st minute afterr Fareez Farhan's corner fell to him,but his first attempt was blocked at close-range by Wardun, before his follow-up was turned for another corner.

DPMM had struggled to create a meaningful oportunity after their early chance, made the Young Lions pay fr their profligacy in the 32nd minutre when Ramazotti and Azwan Ali exchanged a quick one-two on the edge of the areabefore the Brazilian volleyed the ball home.

The Bruneians could have doubled the lead four minutes later when Maududi Helmi met Najib's Tarif's cross at the near post, but was unable to direct his shot towards goal.

Maududi had another chance to put his side ahead a  minute before the interval after Najib's cross fell to him on the edge of the 18-yard box, but saw his pile driver pushed away by Bertrand.

The Young Lions continued to dominate after the break and registered their first sight at goal in the second period in the 47th minute when Amri made a neat turn in the box and receiving a pass from debutant Dhukilan Jeevamani,but shot straight at Wardun.

The hosts had another glorious opportunity to pull level in the 53rd minute nu Hazim's shot flashed wide of the far post after beating Najib for pace.

Hami Syahin, who had came on for Joshua Pereira at half time,then draw sharp save from Wardun a minute after the hour mark after being sent through on goal by Amri.

The substitute subsequently turned provider in the 67th minute, sending in a cross to the far post for Fareez,who squared the bal for Hazim to stab home from close-range to equlaise for the Young Lions.

DPMM were let off the hook in the 77th minute when Aminuddin Zakwan misjudged Stephen;s pass and allowed Muhaimin Suhaimi to run through on goal, but the Young Lions player shot straight at Wardun.

The Young Lions had a chance to steal all three points in stoppage time when Hazim picked out an unmarked Amri in the box with an exquisite pass, but the latter fired straight at Wardun after moving the ball to his right foot to shoot. 



Sunday, June 19
DPMM FC face Young Lions.

DPMM FC are looking to get back to winning ways when they face off against bottom side Garena Young Lions in the S-League at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore today.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean felt they have ironed out their issues and are approaching the match-up on a positive note.

"We have trained really well and have gone through a lot of good stuffs.Obvviously we have conceded nine goals but we can only get the positives out of each game," said Kean fater a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium on Friday night.

There was a dramatic improvement from the Home Utd game to the one against Tampines where we had enough chances.We didn't deserve to win but we also doesn't deserve to lose.

We conceded goals but the plus side is that we never crumbled.When we are behind we never felt sorry for ourselves and got back into the game.Those are positive signs and it is a much better team performace,"he added.

"The biggest reflection is that we need to work harder to score against.If it was Dmitri PAyet shot into the top corner or Luca Modric volley then fine.

"But the goals we conceding at the moment are basic straight forward mistakes.It is too easy to get through us and that is main aspect of training all week,"continued the fomrr Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM have enjoyed plenty of success against the Young Lions winning nine of their 11 meetings with the other two ending in draws.

Their last encounter saw DPMm FC cruise to a 4-1 win at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on April 8.

In addition the Young Lions are coming off a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Tampines on Tuesday but Kean is wary of how they will bounce back from such a result.

"They have been improving but they got a spanking the last time out and it shows how Tampines are right on their game,"said the Scotsman.

"We need to be careful when someone gets a beating because they got more motivation to get themselves going against.

"I'm confident with the work we put in that we can continue to make chances to win,"he added.

"More importantly we need to be much more stubborn on the defensive side of the game,I believe we can get a result,"concluded Kean.

Kick off is at 8 pm. 



Sunday, June 12
Stags edge seven-goal thriller as DPMM's see title hopes dissipate.

Title hopefuls Tampines Rovers cut the gap between themselves and Great Eastern Yeo's S-League leaders Albirex Niigata to seven points, after edging Brunei DPMM 4-3 at the Jurong West Stadium on Saturday night.

Former Liverpool player Jermaine Pennant scored the match-winning goal for the Stags 11 minutes from time, after DPMM had come from behind thrice to draw level in the game.

The floodgates opned in the 37th minute when Jordan Webb did well down the right byline to set up Fazrul Nawaz for an easy finish from close range to put themselves into the lead.

However, it took just six minutes for DPMM to respond, with the mercurial Hendr Azam bending a superb left-footed shot from just outside the six-yard box which left Tampines goalkeeper Joey Sim rooted to the spot.

Tampines ended the first half 2-1 up though,when Webb rose the highest to head home Pennant's freekick from the right.

DPMM showed a spirited response after the break and duly grabbed the equaliser again on 57 minutes.A neat set-piece played ino the area by Azwan Ali Laid it on a platter for Brazilian hotshot Rafael Ramazotti to head in off the right-hand post.

That joy proved to be short-lived as the Stags went ahead once again six minutes later when substitute Hafiz Sujad's superb low cross from the left found Billy Mehmet,who simply could not miss from two yards out.

The Stags were unable to keep their concentration at the back thereafter as they allowed DPMM to restore parity for the third time on the night on 70 minutes.

Some slack defending from Afiq Yunus allowed Paulo Sergio to steal the ball off him, before Ramazotti was left in acres of space to fire past a stranded Joey.

DPMM were unable to hold out for the point though,as Tampines found a fourth goal nine minutes later.

After playing a neat one-two with Hafiz, Pennant found himself free inside the DPMM area and needed no invitation to slot the ball beyond the onrushing Wardun to restore his side's lead.

Taht was enough to turn a point into three as Akbar Nawas got off to a winning start in his reign as Tampines coach.

Tampines coach Akbar Nawas" "It was nice to attack and score four goals, but as you can see,this was a really hard-fought won for us.I though this game could have gone either way.

"Credit has to go to DPMM for coming out to fight every ball and that put us on the back foot a few times.It was a positive result for us in the end, but we are still very much a work in progress.

"This win definitely took some load of pressure off me because there were so much said in the build-up being my first game in charge.Hopefully we can better some aspects of our game, but its important to recover now because we have four games in 13 days."

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean: "I'm disappointed because we did not deserve to lose on the chances we have created.After we lose 5-0 to Home, I told the lads they got to find the energy and motivation to get to the top again after going a goal down.

"Today we saw dramatic improvement in our attacking play and what we've been workjing on the past few weeks;getting the second balls and gaining possession back.Its just that we are not defending well as a team and thats our next challenge."

"To win the league is very difficult for us now, but we are hoping to start a clean slate and do well in the cup competitions." 



Saturday, June 11
DPMM face Tampines,

DPMM FC will resume their Singapore League campaign against a new-look Tampines Rovers today at the Jurong West Stadium in Singapore.

The encounter will  be the first for the Stags without V.Sundramoorthy in the dugout after hwe was unveiled as the caretaker head coach of the Singapore national team on May 27.

Akhbar Nawas,who was the assistant coach of Tampines since last year,has taken over the reins to lead the team.

DPMM coach Steve Kean doesn't know what to expect from the five time S-League champions this time around and reiterated that the focus is more on themselves.The Stags won their first encounter this season after a 2-1 victory at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on MArch 19.

"They got a new coach and new assistant so you never know. Maybe there will be a different style of play with a different sytem. We don't know," said Kean in an terview ith the Brunei Times at the Jeruding Mini Stadium on Thursday.

"It is always diffucult playing agaunst them because they are a top team.Therr may be more motivation for them with a new management team.

"But we are not even thinking about them. We are focused on ourselves after a poor performance," he added.

"We need to make sure we are back on track no matter if we play against Tampines,Albirex or a team near the bottom. 

It is about us improi=ving and things are looking good strangely(three weeks after the last game). Normally I would give them time off as I did last year and the year before.

"We have normally done well with the break coming up but we haven't.So we can't have any time off and we don't deserve time off.We needed to put things right on the training ground and have done that. Hopefully this will be a turnaround," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM have recorded five losses so far this season, the same number they had enroute to the title last year.

Their biggest factor was their defence then but they are unable to keep things tight having conceded a total of 22 goals so far.

"It is not about the defence or the goalkeeper.It is before it even gets to that," said Kean.

"We won the championship last year where it was hard to go to our defence. We were pressing from the front and were horrible in midfield when opposition had ball. That is what we got to get back to,:added the Scotsman.

Tampines, who will face I-League champions Bengaluru FC in the quarter-finals of the AFC Cup, are sitting in second position 10 points adrift from Albirex.

New coach Akbar will be looking to make changes by taking a more positve approach as opposed to his predecessor.

"The main thing I would like to achieve in the next 6 months is to increase our attacking mentality," as Akbar as quoted on TODAY

 "The statistics show that tampines are always in the lower ranks when it comes to attacking play while increasing the goal tally would be a bonus.I want us to create more chance and change our mentality as a whole," he added

Kick off is at 8pm. 



Friday, June 3
Kean denies Leeds rumours.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean yesterday dispelled rumours that he was posted to take over the Championship side Leeds United.

The Englisg second-tier club were without a manager after the sacking of Steve Evans on Wednesday, and it was reported on Italian website TuttoMercatoWeb  that former Blackburn Rovers boss Keaan was the favourite to succeed at Elland Road after holding talks with Leeds Italian owner Massimo Cellino.

Former Swansea manager Garry Monk was then appointed as Leeds manager yesterday - the cub's seventh in three years.

However Kean denied he has ever spoken to anyone at Leeds and stated he is happy staying in the Sultanate.

"Its that time of the year, isn't it? In Europe, clubs make changes and there is always speculation on who is moving," said Kean after training session yesterday at the Jeruding Mini Stadium.

"I've never spoken at the (Leeds United)owner...I don't even know if the Italin gentleman is still the owner.I have never spoken to anybody at Leeds in any capacity.

"At anytime when I ahve come in contact with football clubs I have always let the (DPMM) management know.I have not spoken to anybody at Leeds.

"I will be the first to let the club knows if I have any contact with other clubs. To be honest,there was contact last week from another club in Asia.

"The club asked me to take over next year.I immediately let the management know that I'm happy here and would like to stay next season.

"Maybe my name is on a list somewhere and it got out. But I certainly haven't spoken to anybody from the club.

"I'm under contract and I'm very happy here.I'm focused on us getting ahead for oue next game," continued the fomer Blackburn Rovers manager.

This is the second time that Kean has been linked with another club since his arrival in the sultanate in November 2013.

It was reported back in May 2014 that the Scotsman was on his way to Thai Premier League side PTT Rayong.

Kean then dismissed the claims and believed that that it was just a way to disrupt DPMM's performances.

DPMm will resume their S-League campaign with a meeting against Tampines Rovers at the Jurong West Stadium on June 11. 



Friday, May 20
Home Utd thrash DPMM 5-0

High-flying Home Utd cruised to their fourth victory on the trot as they dismantled defending champions Brunei DPMM with the scoreline of 5-0 at Bishan Stadium on Thursday night.

The contrast in performances was startling as the host played with confidence and swagger, entertaining the crowd with inventive passes amd flicks while DPMM looked like a shadow of themselves without the suspended Paulo Sergio.

With Azwan Ali stuttering in the middle of the park,Brunei DPMM found it difficult to navigate past Home United's Tight defense. 

The visotors had a brilliant chance to seize the lead right from kick off as a lapse in concentration by Home United defender Shahrin allowed Shahrazen to get his shot off inside the six-yard box, only to be denied by an alert Zulfairuz Rudy.

A brilliant solo effort by Azhar Sairudin gave Home Utd an early lead in the ninth minute. Picking the ball up near the halfway line, the nifty midfielder dribbled past a series of defenders before smashing the ball past Wardun Yussof from a tight angle.

Six minutes before half time,Home United struck again with the best team goal S-League have seen this season.The Protectors countered with razor sharp precision as Faris Ramli finished off the move through a first-time volley.

Although Home Utd looked shaky at the back during the early periods of second half, they recovered quickly to regain control of the game.

Danish hitman Ken Ilso puts up an exquisite performance in the second half with a brilliant brace on the counter while substitute Syahiran Miswan wrapped things up for the Bishan outfit with a goal six minutes from the final whistle.

 

Home United Coach Philippe Aw: " Credit to the boys, I think we sent out a signal of intent.Our season is on track and we can get better.

They gave us a run at the start but once we settled down,they found it difficult to match us.It could have been many more but we wil take five nil."

Brunei DPMM Coach Steve Kean:" Definitely disappointed. Probably the worst result but I am more concerned with the performance.

The performance of the players tonight do not deserve anything, they were second to everything.Basics which we usually do very well, we do not do any of it at all.

Fortunately we will have a long time to deal with it before our next match. The next time you see our team,we will be much better than that." 



Thursday, May 19
Steve Kean expects a tough test.

Steve Kean has warned his players that an in-form Home United will be a tough test for DPMM when the two sides clash in the Singapore League at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore tonight.

Defending champions DPMM have been struggling of late but are finally back to winning ways after snapping a three-game winless with a hard fought 3-2 victory over Hougang Utd at the Hassanl Bolkiah National Stadium last Saturday.

DPMM had to work hard for a 2-1 win in their first meeting of the season on home soil on March 11, and DPMM coach Steve Kean wants his men to punish Home if they slip up tonight.

"For me they blow hot and cold," said Kean after Tuesday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"Sometimes they are really good, and when you look at the results, sometimes they are not.

"I actually think they are a really good team and one of the best teams last year.They are in false position because they drew too many games.

"Like us, they have been together a long timeand have a lot of young players that came through from the Prime League.

"They are always a tough opponent.I like the way they play amd they hare hard to play against, but we have showed we have a lot more resilience now.

Even in the last half an hour when we are chasing the game against Hougang, we dug something out whivh we haven't seen this year - a little bit more desire to do whatever it takes to get the points.

"That was nice to see that back in our game. We certainly had it last year and haven't seen much of it this year," added the Scotsman.

The former Blackburn Rovers manager is also more focused on points instead of performance.

"Sometimes when you play not to your maximum and get a result,it brings confidence," aid Kean.

"We are training well and much rather this week not play as good but get the points.

"If we can do both,then great. We want to keep the mmentum," he added.

The reigning champions will be without the suspended Paulo Sergio after the Portuguese forward picked up a yellow card in the last game.

The Protectors will be banking on their top-scorer,Ken Ilso,who has seven goals to his name so far in the campaign. He is in fine form after finding back of the net in Home's last four matches.

Kean, however,doesn't want to place much emphasis on the Dane and ward theat Home's entire squad can be a threat.

"They've got good imports and it is important to stop them,but I'm equally impressed with the local players -who are just dangerous," said Kean.

Speaking to ESPN, Home coach Philippe Aw lauded Azhar, whom he hopes will soon get his first call-up for the Singapore national team.

The trio of Azhar, Ilso and Faris Ramli have helped the Protectors surge up the tablewith their smart attacking play , and Aw is hoping they will eb able to make it four wins on the tot against DPMM.

"I'm very happy for Azharbecause he's shown he can last 95 minutes while still tackling and running,"Aw was quoted as saying on ESPN.

"I hope he continues like this and I hope,going forward,people give him a chance in the national team because we don't have many players in Singapore football that have his technical ability in finding the final ball.

"It was a battling display from the team and we really wanted this win. Someone told me three days ago that Home Utd hasn't won three games in a row since 2014 so it was something we spoke about,and I'm glad we broke the statistic.

"Now we have another important game against DPMM next Thursday and we want to keep this mometum going."

Kick off is at 7.30pm. 

 



Sunday, May 15
DPMM gring out win over Hougang.
DPMM FC snapped their three-game winless streak in the S-League with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Hougang United FC last night. Paulo Sergio and Azwan Salleh had given the reigning champions a two-goal cushion at halftime at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium. Stipe Plazibat and Jazef Kaplan answered back for the Cheetahs in a span of five minutes after the break before substitute Shahrazen Said netted on to secure the hosts their first win of the second round campaign. DPMM got off to a bright start with Sergio on target with a striker from inside the box just 35 seconds in but his attempt was saved by Hougang goalkeeper Khairulhin Khalid. Plazibat had a chance for Hougang in the second minute at the other end but poked his effort wide inside the six-yard box. The hosts grabbed the lead in the ninth minute after Azwan Ali delivered a cross from the right to the far post and was headed home by Sergio. Rafael Ramazotti got at the end of an Azwan Salleh freekick on the right in the 15th minute but his header went past wide. Hougang skipper Kaplan drove a low shot from the edge of the box three minutes later but it ended at the wrong side of the post. DPMM doubled the lead in the 25th minute, after Sergio played a neat pass to send Azwan Salleh through on goal and the latter blasted it past Khairulhin to make it 2-0. The Brunei side continued to pour forward and got another opportunity in the 34th minute. Sergio launched a free-kick from 40 yards out into the box but Brian McLean couldn't keep his header on target. Sergio sent a cross from the left three minutes later but Ramazotti too couldn't put it on target. DPMM had another chance to add another in the 42nd minute but Azwan Salleh's effort from inside the box went straight to the Hougang custodian. The reigning champions had back-to-back chances in the 51st minute with Azwan Salleh striking the post and Ramazotti's header was saved by Khairulhin. In turn, Hougang pulled one back four minutes later after Plazibat placed his freekick from 25 yards out into the bottom corner. Substiture Iqbal Hussein should have done better two minutes later but he blasted form 12 yards out. Khairulhin pulled off another stop to dent Sergio in the 58th minute but at the other end Kaplan squeezed past two markers before putting the ball past Wardun for his first goal of the season to level matters. DPMM coach Steve Kean made two attacking changes by sending on both Shahrazen Said and Md Hendra Azam Md Noor in the 64th minute for Azwan Ali and Azwan Salleh respectively. The game could have gone either way but it was DPMM who went back in front in the 82nd minute with Sergio putting a good ball into the box from the right for Shahrazen to collect and fire past Khairulhin. Hougang pulled on the pressure and Kaplan tried to pick out Plazibat the next minute but McLean managed to intercept the pass to clear the danger. DPMM could have killed off the game in the 88th minute with Sergio crossing from the right for Ramazotti but the Brazilian somehow missed from point blank range.

Saturday, May 14
Kean eyeing unbeaten run.
DPMM FC coach Steve Kean believes they will have to go unbeaten run until the end of the Singapore League season if they are to stand a chance at retaining their title. The side are looking to snap a three-game run without a win, which includes two straight losses at home, when they host Hougang United at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium tonight. "We need to build up momentum, and I think we need to go unbeaten until the end of the season - starting this weekend at home," said Kean after a training session yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium. "We can't just be relaxed and think there are 13 games to go. In all honesty, we need to win 11 of them if we want to retain or go close to the title." We can't just think that we've still got the third round to make up points. Because we are so far off the top, we need to win starting - with this weekend," he added. DPMM have been playing well performance-wise, but failure to capitalise on their chances and keep up a clean sheet have come back to haunt them. Kean has been keeping his players game ready as they focus on the positives heading into the encounter against the Cheetahs. "I keep the players motivated by focusing on the performances. We haven't been picking up the points we deserve looking at the amount of chances," said Kean. "Through difficult times you have to focus on the positives and work on the reasons we are dropping points - which is obviously no clean sheets and too many chances and not scoring. "Sometimes you go through periods where you don't get what you deserve. We know now that we are running out of games if we want to retain the championship. "We put in another fantastic training week but there is no point training great during the week and not picking up maximum points. "We are football players and not trainers. I think we will get the points as we are really determined to start again," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager. Kean knows what to expect and has set out a game plan for this encounter. "Hougang are hard to break down and I think they were happy with a point in the last meeting. "We need to open up and be more explosive and expansive in the first part and get a head of steam to blast teams away certainly at home. "We need to intimidate them with lots of possession and lots of shots. That is the game plan for tomorrow," he added. Hougang coach K.Balahumaran has certainly turned the club's fortunes around after they finished at the bottom of the table last season. He is in a positive mood heading into the match after coming from behind for a 1-1 draw against Tampines Rovers last Wednesday. "We're doing alright in the league and we know where we stand last year and this year," said Balagumaran in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday. "The players are highly spirited after coming back with a 1-1 draw against Tampines despite going with a man down. "Hopefully our team can bring up the same performance, but we know DPMM are not an easy team. On their day, they can beat anybody. "We are not taking any chances. We still consider ourselves the underdogs against every team we play," he added. The Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium has ben an impenetrable fortress for Hougang as they have never taken maximum points out of Brunei. However, Balagumaran is not about records and believes they can upend their opponents. "We have never beat Balestier for five years and we have never beat Warriors on their home ground for five years - but we did so this year," said Balagumaran. "Things are changing and we are looking forward to a positive result," he concluded.

Saturday, May 7
Kean unhappy with attack.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean said that his team have "lost a bit of confidence"in attack after only picking up one point from their last three games.

The defending champions looked ready to win their first away game of the Singapore League season against Warriors only to see the record nine-time champions salvage a 1-1 draw with a 89th minute equaliser.

It was the third consecutive game the Brunei side let in a goal in the final five minutes after losing 2-1 at home to both Albirex and Geylang International coming into this encounter.

Once again,Kean was left singing the same tune after watching his players squander several chances to score.

"We have lost a bit of confidence in front of goal.We were nervous towards the end and invited pressure on when there was no need,"Kean told the media after the game at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium.

"We need to work through this and try from somewhere to get three points. The most important thing is to take chances when we get them.

"It is tough to take,it is not even the late goal...We had so many chances to bury the game, not even in the second half but long before we missed the very last chance.

"We had enough to secure the three points much earlier in the game.

"But it was a double blow to concede a late goal and also to have the visions of all the chances that we had...We never managed to capitalise on them," added the Scotsman.

Kean praised Suto for his impact on Warriors for their never-say-die attitude.

"When you get a young one(Suto) who is thrown in, you don't have a scouting report as detailed as the other playersand it sets a challenge to your own defence," said Kean.

"At that stage if the game,the Warriors had nothing to lose.They were just trying to get the ball into the box and make a half chance from anywhere.

"Credit to them as they stuck with it, the game should have been out of sight before that,"he added.

 



Friday, May 6
Warrior's late goal selvages a point.

Marijan Suto netted a last-gasp equaliser as Warriors drew 1-1 with DPMM at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Thursday evening.

The hosts were staring at a fourth straight defeat in the S-League, but the Warriors debutant struck with a minute left on the clock to steal a valuable point for his side after Paulo Sergio had opened the scoring for the defending champions. 

It was Warriors who dominated opening exchanges and they had a penalty call turned down after just seven minutes into the game.

Two minutes later,Suto set up Jonathan Behe nicely for a shot but the latter fired over from close range with only Wardun to beat.

The tide then swung in favour of the Bruneians as they peppered shots at the Warriors goal but were unable to find a way past Warriors' custodian Zainol Gulam who was deputising for the suspended Yazid Yasin.

An unmarked Sergio glanced a header wide in the 16th minute before his fierce drive on 23rd minute was parried by Zainol.

Barely a minute later, Zainol had to stretch to push away a shot from Azwan Ali before tipping away Rafael Ramazotti's header from a corner.

Zainol then produced arguably his best save of the game on the half-hour mark,excellently denying Azwan Salleh with his outstretched foot.

The hosts could have gotten the breakthrough just before the break had they been more clinical.

In the 39th minute,Hafiz Nor raced clear down the left before setting up Behe but the French forward somehow fired straight into the arms of Wardun instead.

The deadlock was finally broken 15 minutes after the restart when Ramazotti laid the ball perfectly for Sergio who rounded Zainol before slamming the ball home into an empty net.

The goal sparked the Warriors into life as they went in search of a response.

Prime League striker Suto could have made it 1-1 with a fierce shot on the turn, but saw his effort come off the bar in the 69th minute.

The woodwork then came to the rescue of DPMm again nine minutes from time as Poh Yi Feng hit the shot against the post from three yards out after Suto's shot was deflected into his path.

With the clock ticking down,DPMM thought they were on their way to celebrate their first away victory of the season, but the 19-year old Suto had other ideas as he got onto the end of superb cross from substitute Hafiz Rahim to send a header into the bottom right corner.

The visitors nearly stole a winner at the death but Ramazotti somehow prodded narrowly over after being picked out by Sergio as both sides settled for a point each.

Warriors FC coach Jorg Steinbrunner: "Overall I thought it was a good and entertaining game and both teams never took the foot off the pedal.The players looked engaged in the last couple of minutes and credit to the boys, they improved mentally.

I think its a decent debut for Marijan but of course there's always room for improvement."

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean:"It was a tough result to take.We had so many chances to kill the game, but we didn't take them and the game should have ended even before the equaliser.

"We were nervous towards the end and that invited unneeded pressure onto us." 

 

 



Thursday, May 5
Kean wants a clean sheet.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean wants his players to keep a clean sheet when they face Warriors FC in the Singapore League (S-League) today-theyr first away fixture in two months after six consecutive matches at home.

It is now 10 games into the season the the defending champions have only managed one clean sheet so far - a 0-0 draw against Hougang United on March 4.

DPMM picked up their first win of their campaign after beating Warriors 3-1 at home on February 27..

In fact,Brunei's only professional side has won five of the seven meetings against Warriors - three of the wins coming in similar 3-1 scorelines.

However, DPMM FC have yet to win an away game this season. 

Kean is confident that his side will find the back of the net at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore and believes they should get maximum points if they don't concede.

"I know we will make chances.Hopefully the unit work we will have done with the attacking side for thw game will score," said Kean after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium on Tursday.

"Furst and foremost, I would like to come back with a clean sheet.If we do that, we shoula havre all three points," added the Scotsman.

DPMM are coming off back-to-back defeats for the first time of the season after slumpong to a 2-1 loss at the hands of Geylang International at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last Saturday - the first time the Eagles have gotten the better of the Brunei side on their home soil.

Kean is unfazed by the current situation and believes they will be able to bounce back.

"We know we are a good team. Good team go through different phases at different times of the season," said Kean.

"I would be much more worried if we weren't creating chances and didn't have control of the games.We have got those elements right.We just need to make sure around the box we are more ruthless, and we are desperate for some more clean sheets.

"We ahave shown that we had some difficult periods already this season and we have put some good results together.

"The disappointing thins is that from the last game is the late goal...to get a wicked deflection near the end was disappointing.

"But if you analyse the game like we always do, we created enough chances to win three games," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM haven't had problems creating chances but their conversion rate has come back to haunt them in games.

Kean is set to make some changes and hopes that it will help improve their game up front at goal.

"What I'm going to do the next couple of games is to change the shape a little bit. I feel as though we need a different spark up front and maybe just change the angles of the attacking unit a little bit,"s aid Kean.

DPMM have the upper hand in the battle against Warriors, having won 10 of the 17 played against each other.

With first goalkeeper Yazid Yasin suspended after being sent against Tampines in their 4-2 loss last Saturday,back-up goalkeeper Zainol Gulam is expected to make his first-ever S-League start - as reported in FourFourTwo Singapore magazine.

DPMM FC forward Paulo Sergio currently leads in assists with five, and Japanese centreback Kento Kakuda will be charged in marking the Portuguese.

In attack, Warriors have a potent striker in Jonathan Behe - the Frechman currently second in the S-League goal-scoring charts with seven goals.

 

 



Sunday, May 1
Eagles shock DPMM to return to winning ways.

Geylang International FC shocked defending champions Brunei DPMM 2-1 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Saturday night to end a five game winless streak.

The visitors were on the back foot earky as the Brunei side were looking forward to bounce back from last week's defeat against the current S-League leader Albirex Niigata (S)FC

Paulo Sergio returned to Brunei DPMM following a one-match suspension and the striker created a number of chances but was denied each time by Geylang's goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari.

Brilliant play between Helmi Zambin and Sergio resulted in Maududi Helmi Kasmi being set free at the near post, but captain Faritz Hameed made a vital block to keep Geylang in the game.

The Brunei side created a lot of chances in the first twenty minutes, but they could not find way past Geylang custodian Syazwan.

Geylang occasionally hit DPMM with couter attacks and their first real chance came in the 19th minute when Gabriel Quak set Sahil Suhaimi into the penalty area but the latter fired his shot just wide.

Azwan made a beautiful run down Geylang right flank,skipping past few defenders but the winger fired the ball wastefully wide.

The visitors instead got ahead in the 29th minute as the Brunei side caught naping, allowing Shahril Anuar to out the ball past Wardun yussof after being given a plenty of space to shoot.

The host responded just a minute later through Sergio who struck the framework with his header following a cross from the left.

Brunei DPMM came out in the second half to look for an equalizer and Sergio came close to find the net when was given plenty of space to shoot from outside the penalty box but his attempt went wide.

Geylang were defending very well to keep their 1-0 lead and it prompted Brunei DPMM head coach Steve Kean to make a number of changes.

Striker Shahrazen Said was brought in for Azwan Ali,meanwhile, defender Najib tarif made way for midfielder Md Hendra Azam Md Idris as they look to bolster their attack.

The changes paid off almost immediately when they were awarded the penalty just a few minutes later when Sergio was brought down forcefully by Faritz inside the penalty box.

Ramazotti stepped up to convert the penalty to score his sixth goal of the season for DPMM.

DPMM went out to look for the winner in the final 20 minutes but it was geylang who found the back of the net, when Faritz's shot from distance deflected off defender before making its way into the net.

Brunei DPMM FC coach Steve Kean: "We created like eight to nine chances in the first half.And that has really the pattern that we repeated tonight from last week's game against Albirex where we have most if the chances but we found ourselves behind."

Geylang International FC head coach Hasrin Jailani:"It was hard to win for us.It was not easy to come to Brunei and play aginst a good team."

"I think they come at us in the first half in the first 20 minutes, but that was the plan, we made sure that we were able to hold them with our defensive organisation."



Saturday, April 30
DPMM to bounce back

DPMM FC are looking to get back to winning ways in the S-League  when they face Geylang International FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The reigning S-League champions fell 2-1 to current leaders Albirex Niigata (S)FC last week, but head coach Steve Kean believes there was nothing wrong with the team's performance in what was their third defeat of the season.

"It is very important to bounce back from last week's defeat,but the most important thing is to replicate the same performance,"said Kean after the team's training at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

"We limited Albirex,the strongest team in the league, to next to nothing.They ran out of ideas because we defended so well and picked up all the second balls.

"I think the game against Albirex last week...If we take out the result,it was probably our best performance of the season so far even though we didn't win.

"You're always got to pick the positives,and if we can repeat our performace against Geylang, I am sure it will be very difficult for Geylang.

"Geylang in the last couple of matches...Their results were not so good.But they have also got a lot of experience with likes of Daniel Bennett in defence. They are a good side so we need to treat them with respect," insisted the Scotsman.

Although the gap between DPMM and Albirex could become a double-digit one next week, Kean is not concerned with the current S-League table.

"I am not worried at all," he said.

"The gap is the gap, but the most important thing is to maintain our performance and get back to winning way tomorrow.

"If we can maintain last week's performace,I am very sure we will pick up more points than Albirex by the time they come back to Brunei.

"I will be much more concerned if the level of performance wasn't here,but anybody who was at the match can see the reaction of the Albirex staff after the match.

"They were ecstatic that they got the point because they thought that they would be very pleased with a point. The fact that they got all three -  they couldn't believe that.

"I think we were better than themand we limited them to the penalty, and their only chance is when they got the goal," he added.

DPMM will welcome back Paulo Sergio and serving his one-game suspension, and Najib Tarif will once again deputise in the left bac role - replacing Sairol Sahari who ruptured hs left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on Monday.

Sergio will be back after the one match suspension which is big positive for us, and Najib will come in place for Sairol who is nurisng an injury," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"It presents an opportunity for the others. Najib has been training very well and needs to grab the opportunity and try to establish himself.

"He has been playing left-back for the last four months because I need someone in that role.

"He hasn't been training as a winger at all this season, and I think he knows that his priority now is to defend," he added.

Geylang International have first-year coach Hasrin Jailani in the hot-seat, and the team have picked up 9 points and currently lie seventh.

The 2004 AFF Suzuki Cup winner said that he is relishing his position as coach but knows that his men have to pick up the pace if they are to achieve their target of bettering last season's eigth place finish.

"I'm enjoying coaching - and thats the most important thing.If I wasn't there there would be something wrong!," the former Singapore international told DPMM Matchday Magazine.

"Its a good challenge and a good experience for me... (But) there is a lot of work to do.

"Nine points is not enough after the first round of matches, and the players know we have to start collecting points every game," added the former Singapore international who was a member of Geylang's 2001 S-League winning side. 



Saturday, April 23
Albirex come from behind to beat DPMM.

Leaders Albirex Niigata (S) came from behind to stun defending champions Brunei DPMM 2-1 last night at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The Brunei side deservingly grabbed the lead through Azwan Ali Rahman before Atsushi Kawata netted twice to give the White Swans all three points. 

Brunei DPMM had the first chance of the match in the eigth minute after Shahrazen Said chested down the bal to shoot only to see it end at the wrong side of the post.

They produced the first shot on target 10 minutes later with Shahrazen sending a cross from the right into the box but Rafael ramazotti headed straight into the hands of Albirex goalkeeper and shotstopper Yosuke Nazawa,

The hosts should have grabbed the lead the next minute but Azwan Salleh's shot from 25 yards out bounced the post.

The Brunei side had another chance in the 32nd minute but Maududi Kasmi's effort from the edge of the box floated over.

Brunei DPMM were top on the entire opening half as Albirex were unable to find a way through despite being patient in their build up play from the back.

Another opportunity went begging for Brunei DPMM four minutes intto the second half with Azwan Ali making a dazzling run to get past three markers before squaring Maududi at the edge of the box but the latter couldn't find the target.

Albirex went on attack in the 56th minute after Kento NAgasaki went down the left flankbefore putting ther ball into the middle nut none of his teammates were there to send it hiome.

The hosts went in front the next minute after Shahrazen sent a cross from the left into the box.It was nodded down by Ramazotti and Azwan Ali poked past Nazawa from close range.

They should have doubled the lead in the 65th minute but Ramazotti blasted his attempt over the edge of the box.

Instead, the White Swans pulled one back off a setpiece in the 72nd minute.

Kawata headed Nagasaki's corner for their first attempt on target and it slipped past the gloves of DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof and into goal.

Kawata was close to adding a second just two minutes later but his shot from inside the 18-yard box hit the post.

The Japanese outfit were awarded a penalty in the 86th minute after Yura Indera pull down Kawata inside the box.

Kawata stepped up to score his ninth of the season from 12 yards out and ultimately put Albirex upfront.

The Brunei side had one final chance to salvage a point from the encounter in added time but Azwan Salleh's freekick from 25 yards out flaoted past the wall nut was dealt by Nazawa.

 

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean: "It wasn't as if Albirex opend us up at all.They didn't all night.They expected us to push and leave a lot of space but we didn't and dropped off to protect the space.They kind of ran of out ideas.

"They never really had any penetration and never got behind us too much and two poor goals see us coming out of the game with no points."

Albirex Niigata FC (S) coach Naoki Naruo: "I'm very satisfied with today (Friday night) even though we didn't play good football.We didn't have enough mobility and show our style of football but managed to come back for the win.It is a very good result for us." 



Friday, April 22
Tough test for DPMM.

DPMM FC  face a tough test when they host joint S-League table toppers Albirex Niigata in the first match of the league's second round tonight.

The reigning S-League champions lost 3-2 to Albirex on February's season opener, a result which also saw the Japanese outfit - which won the Singapore League Cup last season - claim the Community Shield.

Both teams have been on a good run of form, with Albirex leading the table with 17 points and DPMM three points behind on fourth.

Despite their opening day defeat to the White Swans, DPMM Fc head coach Steve Kean believes that his charges are more prepared for tonight's game.

"We are much better this time...I think we are on the right peak in the last couple of matches and we showed that we can keep our intensity in the game for the whole duration," said Kean after yesterday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"When you see in our first game against Albirex, especially in the first 45 minutes, we were very rusty, slow and very disjointed.

"What you see now, even in the last two matches, we were very much better, more sustained and we had more pressure and chances.

"This is what we need to do now as we know Albirex are a very good team.

"We need to be more clinical in front of goal, because you don't get many chances against Albirex.

"They are extremely quick on the counter-attack, so they are always dangerous.

We are probably dealing with the best counter-attacking side in the league.

"So we always need to be careful to close all the doors to prevent fast-breaks in case we lose the ball.

"This is areal football game where two teams are playing a similar style...Trying to keep the ball and control possession.

the team which is more patient and take their chances will obviously be the team that gets the three points," he added.

DPMM will be missing the services of striker Paulo Sergio due to suspension.

Shahrazen Said will provide to ssupport to Rafael Ramazotti and Azwan Ali upfront.

Kean also said that Najib Tarif will play a part in the match for tonight, replacing Sairol Sahri.

"We will be playing three forwards.He(Shahrazen) will be the one on the right but he will b playiing higher up, it will be more of a 4-3-3 with Juan and Rafael being the other strikers, so it is very offensive," said Kean.

"He(Shahrazen) gives the opposition something to think about with his power, and his strength is that he is very good attacking the back post.

"If we can get the cross from the left hand side and even if it misses Rafael, we will have Shahrazen coming at the back post and he offers more of aerial threat rather than Paulo who is smaller and more technical so we got good options hers,"

Sairol is still feeling his groin, he is not going to make it this game so Najib will come in his place.

"Najib has been training very well and he is very quick and has good crossing so I have no doubts about him...He has been excellent," continued the Scotsman. 

"It is also very good to know that MacLean is getting better from the knee injury.He spoke to me in the field and said that now is the best he felt in about a month since the injury,so it is very good," he added.

 



Saturday, April 16
DPMM beat Balestier.

Ten-man DPMM FC registered back-to-back wins for the first time in the Singapore League(S-League) this season after dispatching Balestier Khalsa 3-1 last night.

The result means DPMM FC end the first round of the competition third with 14 points after eight matches, tied on points with Albirex Niigata (S) and Tampines Rovers.

Rafael Ramazotti and Azwan Ali Rahman found the back of the net in the first half.

Hazzuwan Halim pulled one back for the Tigers before Shahrazen Said netted the third for the Brunei side to secure maximum points at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

It was a bittersweet feeling for DPMM FC coach Steve Kean with the dismissal of Paulo Sergio late into added time.

Referee G.Letchman booked the Portuguese forward after he ran through a Balestier goal-kick late on, and the former brandished a second yellow after Sergio contested the call to resulting in him seeing the red.

"We're really happy with the points but the disappointing thing is that we now find ourselves missing Sergio," said Kean after the triumph.

"I don't think that when he runs through there is anything in the yellow.He knew that in his mind that he will miss the Albirex game and then he gets frustrated.

"I can't undestand why it was a yellow card and I've been in the game a long time. I don't see why that is possibly a yekllow card.That has left a bad taste in our mionth," continued the Scotsman.

DPMM should have broken the deadlock in the 15th minute after a good work by Sergio on the left to deliver the ball into the box.

Ramazotti got at the end of it but his header was denied by the upright. Azwan Ali pounced on the rebound but fired just wide.

The hosts came close again in the 25th minute after Sergio found Azwan Ali through, but his shot was parried away by the Balestier custodian and skipper Zaiful Nizam.

Another chance came begging six minutes later after Ramazotti's back heel sent Sergio through.

The Portuguese forward had his shot deflected to the far poast, but Azwan Ali somehow missed the target from just outside the six-yard box.

DPMM FC deservingly grabbed the lead the next minute after Ramazotti chested down Azwan Ali's ball from the to fire past Zaiful.

The advantage was doubled four minutes later with Azwan Ali bulging the net from the edge of the box.

Azwan Salleh almost added to the scoreline in the 40th minute but his shot from just outside the box was deflected just inches wide of goal.

Ramazotti rose the highest in ensuing corner but powered his header just over the crossbar.

DPMM were closing to adding to their tally just three minutes after the interval but Maududi Hilmi Kasmi's header bounced off the woodwork.

Jamil ALi had a good chance to grab one back for Balestier in the 59th minute but his shot went across the face of goal.

The Tigers came close the next minute but Zulkiffli 'Hassim watched his shot rattled the crossbar.

Immediateky at the other end,fazli Ayob put the ball across goal on the left for Hazzuwan to tap past Wardun to make it 2-1.

The Brunei side had back-to-back chances in the 69 and the 70th minutes after Sergio curled one just off the mark and Shahrazen struck to woodwork respectively.

Wardun came up with a good save in the 72nd minute after Fazli drilled a low shot at goal.

Ramazotti should have added another goal two minutes later.Zaiful denied him but the rebound fell to Shahrazen to slot it home to ensure the hosts claim all three points. 

 



Friday, April 15
DPMM host Balestier.

DPMM are gunning for their first back-to-back vicotries in this year's S-League season when they host an out-of-form Balestier Khalsa at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium tonight.

The Brunei side are coming off their third win of the season after beating the Garena Young Lions 4-1 last Friday.

It brings the defending champions tally to 11 points, and DPMM coach steve Kean is hoping they can end the first round on a high.

"It is a slow start to the first round and we had a major setback losing to Tampines," said Kean after yesterday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"If we caan put back-to-back wins together, we will be able to see the confidence flooding back into the side.

i'm confident we will score, but we just have to make sure that we make it difficult fo Balestier to get any chances-never mind score!

"When you play against a team that stay in the box alot...It can cause problems.First and foremost, we have to defend properly," continued the Scotsman.

The Tigers are struggling with form to start the season and are still in search of their first triumph in the competition.

They are coming into the encounter with a five-game losing streak, including two in the AFC Cup - the latest a 3-0 setback to Kaya FC of the Philippines on Tuesday at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Kean remains cautious about the opponents and wants his charges not to slip-up against Balestier.

"We just have to make sure that we give Balestier the status and credit that they deserve," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"Everybody is waiting for them to kick start their season," said Kean.

"This is a potential banana skin if we don't approach it right.We have to be on our A game and I'm confident we can bring home the points.

"We have to put 90 minutes to gether and we know their style.We've been working a alot this week on picking up second balls and tighten our defensive organisation on set plays," added Kean.

On the other hand, Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic fekt that having to play so many matches in a short span of time is taking its toll on the team.

We are not having a good start and we have had some injuries.The AFCCup is also taking a lot of energy from us," said Kraljevic in an interview yesterday.

"This is the fourth game in 12 days for us.We don't have a team with a big squad and thats why it has been tough," he added.

Regardless, Kraljevic remains optimistic and is hoping that they can get in the win column despite trouble finding the back of the net.

"Hopefully tomorrow will be our first win.You never now.Everytime we lose 1-0 or finish the match in a draw, we could have won these games," said the Croatian.

"We had few chances and could have made it.We have lots of problems upfront and even Miro(slav Kristic) who had 16 last season hasn't scored yet.

"But everyday we work on our attacking third.So far it is getting better but there is still alot of work to be done." 

 



Saturday, April 9
DPMM beat Young Lions.

DPMM FC moved up to fourth in the S-League after a 4-1 win over the Garena Young Lions last night.

DPMM FC's Maud

"udi Helmi Kasmi scored the opener at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium before Fareez Faarahn netted the equaliser just before halftime.

Rafael Ramazotti and Paulo Sergi got their names on the score sheet in the second half while Amirul Adli recorded an own goal.

DPMM coach Steve Kean was pleased with the team's performace, especially after the interval.

"Paulo was excellent and Ramazotti is back to being a real handful and that is good to see," said Kean after the triumph. 

"I didn't like to single everybody out. It was a great team performance in the second half.

"We were back to our standards in the second half even though we let ourselves down the last 25 minutes of the first half.

"It was good to see us scoring again but it was too bad we couldn't keep a scoring sheet,"he added.

The hosts made one chage in the line-up from their previous match,leaving our Brian McLean to see Abd Aziz Tamit start alongside Ak Yura Indera  Yunos in the heart of defence.

Kean put plenty of emphasis on starting off aggressively and his charges responded stringly with a fourth minute opener.

Sergio whipped in a cross from the right to the far post and Ramazotti headed down for Maududi to score from point blank range.

The hosts almost doubled the lead in the 13th minute but Sergio's freekick from just outside the box was denied by the crossbar.

At the other end, Fareez took a ball down the left flaank but only could fire to the side netting in the 25th minute.

DPMM got another chance the next minute after Ramazotti rose the highest but bulleted his header just wide.

The Young Lions almost equalised in the 44th minute after a corner bounced off Ak Yura and just wide of his own net.

The Singapore Under-21 levelled the next minute after a ball was played forward to Shannon Stephens.

DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof came off his line to close down his shot but Stephen put the ball to his right for Fareez to fire into an empty net.

Fareez got a good chance to put the Young Lions in front three minutes after the interval but his shot from inside the box was denied by Wardun.

The rebound fell for Fareez again but he put it over,

Instead,DPMM regained the lead two minutes later woth Ramazotti heading home Azwan Ali Rahman's corner.

The hosts doubled their advantage in the 58th minute after a poor clearance by Benjamin Bertrand to give the ball to Ramazotti on the right.The Brazilian then played a cross to Sergio, but instead Amirul slid the ball in for an own goal to make it 3-1.

Bertrand produced a double save in the 61st and the 63rd minutes to deny Sergio and Ramazotti respectively.

The Brunei side were awarded a penalty after Amirul was judged to have brought down Paulo Sergio inside the box in the 81st minute, and the Portuguese forward then stepped up to put the icing of the cake from 12 yards out. 



Friday, April 8
DPMM face Young Lions.

DPMM FC spring back into action after a three-week league break when they host bottom side Garena Young Lions tonight.

Their last match was a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Tampines Rovers on MArch 19, leaving the none-team table with eight points from six matches.

DPMm coach Steve Kean felt that training has been excellent and emphasised the importance of getting off to fast starts.

"We want to be more aggressive in the early part of the game because in the last few games we have started slowly and allowed the opposition to get a foothold," said Kean after yesterday's training session at the Min Stadium.

"We want to start this game lke we did in our final game last season against Balestier Khalsa.We need to be very aggressive,press really high and get the ball back as quickly as possible.

"We need to impose our own momentum and intensity in the game from the first minute and not at halftime,"he added.

"It is too late when we wait to be one or two goals down like we did against Tampines.The second half was good,but we gave ourselves too much to do.The players know that.

"Now we're not thinkng about second half- but we are thinking about the first few minutes and starting the game really well,"continued the Scotsman.

The Young Lions head into the match with a six-game losing streak as their only positive result sa far was a 1-0 opening day win against Balestier Khalsa.

They put up a commendable performance on Sunday but fell 2-1 at the hands of Tampines at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

Kean watched the game and knows what to look out for.

"They are very good in the wide areas.They are very quick and switch play very well," said Kean.

"We need to be careful when their full-backs join n with ther wide men.Our wide players have to come back to make sure it is 2v2 and not 2v1.

"Against Tampines, they switched play a lot and got a lot of joy down the wide areas," he explained.

"That is the aspect of their game that they are very good at.We need to first of all pressure on the ball in midfield.

"Sometimes they are going to get out, but our wide men can help our fullbacks," continued the DPMM coach.

DPMM have had plenty of success against the youth team,wnning eight and drawing two of their 10 meetings.

Despite their good record,Kean remains wary of their opponents.

"They are a young team and even though they don't have many points at the moment.They will improve as the season goes on," noted the former Blachbirn Rovers manager.

"They've got lots of new players and we've got to make sure it is not tomororw night that they improve.

"It is about us and trying to get ourselves back to the top of the league," he concluded. 

 



Sunday, March 20
10-man Stags end DPMM's perfect home record.

Tampines Rovers ended Great Eastern Yeo's S.League defending champions Brunei DPMM perfect home record on Saturday nighr at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium, after handing the hosts a 2-1 defeat.

The DPMMS' two wins so far this season had been acheived on home soil and they were looking for  third consecutive home victory coming into the game, but two quick-fire goals from Billy Mehmet and Jordan Webb in the first-half meant that they spent the rest of the game trying to salvage a point.

Rafael Ramazotti grabbed one back for the hosts in the second period, but it proved to be mere consolation even though the Stags were made to defend for the final 20 minutes of the game after Afiq Yunos was sent off for his second booking of the night.

The visitors came out firing on all cylinders and broke the deadlock in the fourth minute after Mehmet headed home a cross from Christopher Van Huizen.

DPMM almost equalised four minutes later, but Ramazotti could only watch his header bounce just wide of the mark.

Instead, the Stags doubled their advantage in the 15th minute froom a set-piece.Van Huizen fired a free-kick from the left for Webb to head past DPMM shotstopper Wardun Yussof.

Paulo Sergio managed to split the Tampines defence with a good chip in the 25th minute to send Azwan Salleh through,but Izwan was there to deny him.

Brian McLean got on the end of the ensuing corner but the ball landed on top of the net.

Sergio almost made Tampines pay after gifting the ball away in their own half two minutes later, but the Portuguese forward fired just wide from the edge of the box.

Tampines should have added another goal to their tally in the 38th minute after Webb and Fazrul Nawaz played a neat one-two for the latter to pull back for Van Huizen,who was denied by Wardun.

The hosts could have gone into the break with only a goal down, but Azwan Ali couldn't place his shot at the far post on target on the 44th minute.

Shahrazen Said and Najib Tarif were sent on after half-time in place of Maududi Kasmi and Sairol Sahri respectively in search for more attacking options.

Ramazotti took a shot on the turn from inside the box in the 54th minute but the Brazilian's shot went straight to Izwan.

DPMM pulled one back five minutes later after Ramazotti headed home Sergio's freelick from the left.

Tampines were made to defend against the DPMM's onslaught and to make matters worse,Afiq were sent off for his second yellow card in the 71st minute after fouling Sergio during a counter-attack.

DPMM almost equalised in the 86th minute after a good ball by Nur Ikhwan Othman into the box was headed by Azwan Ali towards the bottom right corner, but Izwan dived down to keep the ball out.

Nukhwan tried one from range a minute later but Izwan did well to catch his effort, before Singapore No.1 goalkeeper ensured his side took home all three points by denying Azwan Ali inside the box in the 90th minute.

Tampines Rovers coach V. Sundramoorthy: "We had around 15 more minutes(after the red card).Tactically we needed to change something so I brought in Mustafic to stabilise with his experience behind as he can hold the fort.

"We removed one striker and played with only one.The boys have done well especially my goalkeeper. He made two great saves and that's the most important thing." 

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean: "We didn't perform, we didn't pass and we didn't have any tempo about our play in the first half.We made changes 9at halftime) but I could have taken anybody off.

"I would say the whole team was playing under par. On the flipside, we are a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde team where we were excellent in the second half.We took the game to Tampines and created chances.

"They were only holding on at the end and any team that is going to score, it was looking like us. I believe if we got a goal we would have gone to get a third goal." 



Saturday, March 19
DPMM FC host Tampines.

DPMM FC welcome title favourites Tampines Rovers in the second of their six-game home stretch in the Singapore League tonight.

The reigning champions are currently second in the nine-team league, tied on eight points with both leaders Albirex Niigata (S) and Warriors FC.

The Jaapanese outfit succumbed to their first defeat of the season after slumping to a 2-0 loss to the Warriors last night at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

Tampines, who were runners-up last season, have made big changes to their squad after picking up eight players from the disbanded Lions XII side - only keeping five players from last season's side.

Goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud, who helped Singapore to a 0-0 draw against Japan in the World Cup qualifiers in June last year, is between the Stags' sticks.

On Paper, they are the team to beat in the competition and DPMM FC coach Steve Kean knows what they are up against.

"Obviously their front unit is a big threat and they try to be solid ebhind the ball," said Kean after yesterday's training session at the Jeruding Mini Stadium.

"They are stubborn in defence and go for quick breaks. We know it will be difficult to break them down.

"They can be dangerous on the counter-attack and I don't see them coming to be open and expansive.

"At the moment it seems the way they are setting the stall up is working for them," continued the Scotsman.

The Brunei side are coming off a good week of training in preparation for the encounter and Kean feel they have finally reached their top fitness.

"Training has been good and it was very intense in the first part of the week with double sessions on Mnday and Wednesday," said Kean.

"I feel that our physical level is now at the peak. It was impossible to get to that in pre-season, but after a few  weeks into the season we are there now," said Kean.

Kean highlighted that the grass was an issue and hopes that it will be different this tim around.

"What happened in the first half of the last match was that we weren't moving the ball quickly enough. It is not excuse but fact that the grass was too long at the stadium," said Kean.

"It took the boys 45 minutes to adjust. We have mentioned to the grounds staff and have addressed them to cut the pitch shorter.

"The surface in Jerudong is fantastic and we like to move the ball quick. When we don't, we struggle to find any rhythm.

"We did it in the second half, and we finished the game strongly. We showsd that we can adapt and improve and is always better to finish the game strongly," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

On the other hand, Tampines have only played three S-League games so far - and are still unbeaten.

Tampines coach V.Sundramoorthy feels that his side is fully prepared despite having lesser time to recover.

"We have a big squad and I feel thet we can cope with this. We need to juggle these games. It is still early days and we will try to get some results under our belt,"said Sundram.

"DPMM are almost the same team as last season and we know their strengths and weaknesses. But it will be dependent on the day how my team performs.That is important.

"We are confident we can come here and try to win the game. We are preparaed and the boys are raring to go We got a lot of new players but hopefully we can pull off a good result," concluded Sundramoorthy. 

 

 

 



Saturday, March 12
DPMM up to second.

DPMM FC shrugged off a poor first half performance to secure a 2-1 comeback victory over Home Utd in the S-League to move second last night.

Ambroise Begue gave Home the lead before Rafael Ramazotti equalised from the penalty spotin the first half.

Azwan Ali netted the winner after the break to ensure DPMM kick-off their sig-game home stretch on a winning note.

The triumph propels the reigning champions from fourth to second in the nine-team table, tied on 8 points with leaders Albirex Niigata(S) FC but having played a game more. 

Home, meanwhile, are at the bottom of the table with two points from four games.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean felt they weren't at their best but was pleased to notch maximum points.

"The good thing is taht we managed to grind it out even though it wasn't an attractive second half display from us," said Kean in the post match interview.

"I felt that we played well in the first four games and should have more points.

"But tonight (Friday night) we didn't really play as well as we normally do and get the points.

 "That is a good signthat you can turn it on in the second half and do much better to get the points against a very good Home United team," concluded the Scotsman.

Both sides came out playing with a similar game plan - pressing high up on the pitch when without the ball an moving the ball to keep possession.

Azhar Sairuddin priduced the first shot on target from the edge of the box in the ninth minute but it went straight o DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof.

Sirina Camara delivered a dangerous ball into the box three minutes later but none of the Home players were there for a simple tap in.

Home grabbed the lead in the 19th minuteafter an initial shot by Azhar was blocked by Ak Yura Indera Putera, only to drop nice for Begue to score from close range.

It took the wind out of DPMM 's sails and Home could have added another just four minutes later.

A good through ball by Ken Ilso sent Khairul Nizam through, but the latter's effort - which was heading towards the bottom corner - was saved by Wardun.

Ilso picked out Aqhari Abdullah inside the six-yard box in the 26th minute  but somehow his shot was deflected over the bar.

Ilso had a shot saved by Wardun two minutes later and the Dane was on target again in the 31srt minute after he connected on a Begue cross, but his effort was denied by Wardun.

DPMM were awarded a penalty in the 33rd minute after Brian McLean was fouled by Camara while defending a set-piece.

Ramazotti stepped up and made no mistake from 12 yards out to make it 1-1.

Home skipper Juma'at Jantan sent a cross from the right two minutes after the interval but Azhar failed to capitalise inside the six-yard box.

The Protectors threatened again in the 55th minute with Khairul Nizam firing from inside the box but it was too weak to trouble Wardun.

Juma'at launched a pile-driver from 40 yards out four minutes later but it was caught by WArdun.

DPMM made a double chage by sending in Shahrazen Said and Md Najib Tarif in place of Maududi Hilmi and Sairol Sahari respectively in the 63rd minute.

It proved to be the fifference and the hosts grabbed the lead after Sergio found an unmarked Azwan Ali to head past Home custodian Zulfairuz Rudy in the 72nd minute.

Home almost responded immediately but substitute Irfan Fandi's effort was deflected over.

The visitors came forward again four minutes later but Aqhari fired just wide from 25 yards out.

At the other end, Sergio missed the mark from a deadball situation in the 77th minute.

Camara crossed for Irfan from the left five minutes later but he was off target.

Ilso unleashed a good shot at goal in the 84th minute but Wardun once again was to his equal.

DPMM could have killed off the match in the 87th minute after Sergio dribbled into the box from the left but only could fire to the side netting.

Home had a chance to grab a point out of the match two minutes later with Ilso firing a free-kick into the bottom right corner, but Wardun kept his effort out to seal all three points.

DPMM will next host Tampines Rovers next Saturday in the second of six straight home matches. 

 



Friday, March 11
Key run for DPMM FC.

DPMM FC will kick-off their six-game home stretch in the S-League against bogey team Home United at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas tonight.

The reigning S-League champions' title defence is off to a rocky start after notching only one win and two draws in four games.

The six-game home stretch may very well work to their benefit as their only victory so far came on home soil after a 3-1 triumph over Warriors FC on Feb 27.

It isn't that the side haven't been playing well, its just that they have been unable to kill off their chances.

On a positive note, they are coming off their first cleansheet of the season after a 0-0 stalemate against Hougang United at the Hougang Stadium last Saturday.

"In matches we played especially in the away fixtures, we created lots of chances but at times we were leaving the back door open," said Kean after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

"We are focused on getting a cleansheet but we have also to be little more ruthless in front of goal.

"All we've done this week is crossing and finishing. I feel that when we get our chances , we have to finish them off so that we can get the pressure off ourselves.

"We will try to be sharp and finish off our chances around the box and get or noses in front in this game," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM haven't got a good record against the Protectors, winning only two out of their 10 meetings since Kean's arrival in November 2013.

Kean expects yet another tough outing against the Protectors.

"This will be a tough game and we must give them respect. We don't have good record against them so we need to e our toes and make sure that we approach the game as if we are meeting Tampines or the Warriors," said Kean.

"We have to first of all know how they are going to play. They like to keep the ball, build up possession and play through each section of the pitch.

"If we don't get close to them in the middle third, they can really hurt us.This isgame we need to get really tight on them - especially in the middle third to prevent any penetrating passes," added Kean.

DPMM will welcome back centreback Brian McLean from a knee injury and skipper Rosmin Khamis is also deemed fit for the encounter.

On the other hand,Hoem United coach  Philippe Aw is expecting another exciting encounter between the two teams.

"I hope it'll be a good game for us, we go into every game wanting to play good football and entertain gans," said Aw in an interview yesterday.

"Tomorrow(Friday)will be no different ans we also want to win the game,"he added.

"We played three games and the performances were good enough to win but we didn't.Its not a true reflection of our ability," said Aw.

"We are confident because its not that we played badly. It's just that we have been playing well and creating more chances than our opponents but we couldn't finish.

"We firmly believe that we can create more chances and we need to finish them to win games," he concluded. 

 



Saturday, March 5
DPMM and Hougang to goalless stalemate

Hougang remained sixth-placed with 4 points after a goalless draw against Brunei DPMM at Hougang Stadium on Friday night.

Despite both sides having a plethora of chances to score throughout the game, tehy failed to convert them when it mattered.

The hosts started well when they created their first chance barely three mintes into the game when Faiz Salleh tried a shot from inside the box, but a DPMM defender was quick to volley the ball away.

Faiz had another chance to break the deadlock to the Cheetahs in the 21st minute, but he failed to convert a pass from Stipe Plazibat who had made a run from the left after being played through by Jozef Kaplan.

Azwan Ali them wasted a DPMM's second freekick of the night in the 22nd minute, sending his free-kick straight into the arms of Hougang's custodian Khairulhin Khalid.

The Cheetahs had another golden opportunity to open the scoring again minutes later when captain Kaplan made a quick turn from inside the box, but saw his snap-shot hit the woodwork instead.

DPMm subsequently wasted their own opportunity to draw first blood after Rafael Ramazotti's defence-splitting passs ent Paulo Sergio through on goal. However,Khairulhin was alert to the danger and collected the ball comfortably.

The visitors began the second-half the brighter of the two sides, when Ramazotti launced a ferocious shot from inside the box, but Nazrul Nazari was quick to volley away the ball.

Hougang United coach K.Balagumaran decide that the Cheetahs needed more spark upfront and made the first substitution of the game when he brought in midfielder Fumiya Kogure for Adi Hudzaifi in the 56th minute.

Instead, it was the visitors that continueto threaten as Azwan a good chance to break the deadlock with a pass from Sergio just in front of the goal 10 minutes from time, but saw his effort hacked away by substitute Delwinder Singh. 

Hougang United coach, K.Balagumaran: "DPMM probably come with a gameplan.They were sitting back deep  and they tried to counter attack.

"They probably they knew we will come at them so a point would be good for them but if you asked me, it's not fair for me to take a point from this game."

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean: "I thinkwe had the best chances to win the game, even though they thought that the goal was a goal but I've looked at it again and I think it was offisde and it was an early flag.

"We are slightly disappointed with a point, to think that we had enough chances to win the game." 

 



Friday, March 4
Kean: First goal vital.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean emphasised the importance of drawing first bolld in their away fixtures in the S-Leagueas they travel to face Hougang United tonight.

The S-League titleholders are currently fourth in the nine-team table while Hougang are fifth ahead of tonight's game at the Hougang Stadium.

Speaking to the media after Wednesday's trainign session, Kean stressed the need to maintain their focus even if they fall behind.

"We have got to make sure we are more positive on the road because after this game we've got six consecutive games in Brunei - which is great," said Kean at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

If you can score the first goal then you are in control. If you don't, especially away from home, you are chasing the game...

"The first goal is vitaland important away from home," he stressed.

"When we score the first goal, confidence floods into the team- but when we go a goal behind, we can lose our way for 10-15 minutes ansd look like we will concede again straight after.

"We need to make sure we work harder to get the first goal to get our noses in front and be more ruthless with the early chances that we get," continued the Scotsman.

The reigning champions are on a high after coming off their first home win of the season after a 3-1 victory over title contenders Warriors FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

For Kean, the win was more than just putting up three points on the board.

"We won our first game and we are playing well. There is no reason to have no confidence as we have played against some good sides," said Kean.

"We have played well from the start of the second half of the Albirex game.Every other minute we have played well.

"We should have more on the board but we can only take control of the next game," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM FC have couple of doubts for the game with Maududi Hilmi (dead leg), skipper Rosmin Khamis (hamstring), while Brian McLean will miss this gamethrough knee injury.

Regardless, Kean wants the mathces to come thick and fast.

On the other hand, Hougang are coming off a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Tampines Rovers last Friday.

Kean doesn't exactly knows what to expect from the opponents and is focused on his players.

"I've seen bits and pieces of them.Its weird this season because every side is different," said Kean.

"The match reports from last year,apart from individual player reports, we might as well scrap them.

"We can only just make sure we do what we do on the trainign ground.

"Our defensive side is much better last game and I know we will always score. We are at a good place at the moment."

 

 



Sunday, February 28
DPMM clinch first victory of the season.

Reigning Singapore League champions DPMM FC barged into the win column after a 3-1 victory over Warriors FC last night.

All the damage was done in the first half with the trio of Brian McLean,Maududi Helmi Kasmi and Azwan Salleh getting their names on the scoresheet in their first triumph in three matches - moving them up to fourth position on four points tied with Tampines Rovers, who have a game in hand , in the nine-team table.

On the other hand, Jonathan Behe netted early in the second half for the Warrors in a losing effort at the Hassanal Bolkiah NAtional Stadium.

DPMM got off the best of starts and grabbed the lead in the sixth minute.

Azwan Ali crled a tricky corner kick resulting in WArriors goalkeeper Yazid Yasin getting a hand to it only to fall nicely for McLean to tap in from close range.

Warriors did get the ball in the net in the 13th minute but Syaqir Sulaiman was flagged for offside,

DPMM FC almost doubled the lead four minutes later after Azwan Ali's from 40 yards out missed everyone but bounced inches wide off the post.

Another chance came begging in the 19th minute but Rafael Ramazotti headed just wide.

Warriors were on target on the 22nd minute with Faazli Jaffar firing form inside the box but DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof dived down to keep the ball out.

DPMM skipper Rosmin Khamis coonected on a header off a corner in the 25th minute but it was not enough to trouble Yazid.

The hosts doubled their advantage in the 27th minute with PAulo Sergio setting up Maududi Helmi to blast past Yazid Yasin from inside the box.

Ti was 3-0 two minutes later with Azwan Salleh unleashing a thunderbolt from over 20 yards out to bulge the net.

Warriors had back-to-back chances to get back into the tie in the 37th minute but Kento Fukuda's header was deflected just wide.

Jonathan Behe got a free header at the far post off the ensuing corner but couldn't place it on target.

DPMM were pressing high up the pitch and could have added to the scoresheet in the 39th minute but Azwan Ali's effort from over 20 yards bounced off the woodwork.

Warriors just got one back two minutes later after the interval with with good work to Behe down the left to fire off Wardun from close range.

Behe got ina similar position in the 58th minute but this time his effort met the side netting.

At the othetr end, Sergio get the better of Poh Yi Feng before curling his shot from the edge of the box over.

Things got a little hectic as things got physical with the whistle not getting blown.

DPMM manager Ali Hj Momin was even sent to the stands in the 69th minute for contesting with referee Sukhbir Singh foa a hand-ball incident.

Behe got another opportunity in the 75th minute after beating Sairol Sahari but his shot was off the mark.

DPMM almost added to the scoresheet the next minute with Sergio setting up Azwan Ali down the middle but the latter's shot was saved by Yazid.

Behe placed two shots on target in the 80th and the 82nd minutes but Wardun was to his equal to deny him twice.

Substitute Shaiful Esah struck a freeekick from 25 yards requiring Wardun to tip over in the 90th minute.

Warriors were awarded a penalty on the ensuing corner kick as Azwan Salleh was judged to have handled the ball inside the box.

Behe stepped up to take the spot kick but his attempt was saved by Wardun.

 

 



Saturday, February 27
Kean wants patient play.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean wants to see some patient play from his charges when they take on Warriors FC in their first home game of the Singapore League season tonight.

The Brunei side are without a win after a 3-2 loss to Albirex Niigata (S) and a 1-1 stalemate against 10-man Geylang International FC.

Kean felt that their performances warranted more and hopes they can keep up with a gppd showing at the Hassanl Bolkiah National Stadium.

"We need to focus on performances because I think we had good performances," said Kean after a training session yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"The points will come... You don't want to end upbuilding a monster that is not really thereand geta little anxious and uptight.

"Most teams that come to Brunei sit at the edge of the box and try to hit us on the break. We have to be conscious and not commit too many bodies forward to leave ourselves open at the back.

"Even though it might be difficult to break down, weneed to be patient to move the ball from wing to wing to try to stretch them.

"If we are patient and swing them around, the openings will come.

We've got quality players throughout the pitch that can open up any team. We are confident but not over-confident," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

The Warriors have only played one full game so far, a 2-2 draw against Home Utdon February 14.

Kean feels that this may be an advantage for his side.

"Now it is an advantage  for us because to improve our rhythm and tempo in our matches straight from the second half against Albirex," said Kean.

"In the first half we were not at match pace, but this is an advantage as we had more minutes under our belt," said Kean

On the other hand, Warriors coach Jorge Steinbrunner is infazed by the lack of matches and felt that it was in their favour with the return of defender Shaiful esah and midfielder Redhuan Muhammas from injury.

"It was a good intensive game against Home Utd and we got a few injuries then, but lookng sat the positives now, it gave us time to get those injured players back," said Steinbrunner in an interview yesterday.

"If the game against Tampines had gone ahead with the conditions, no one would have benefited out of it - with possibly more players getting injured.

"It is still early in the season and we didn't have a game for two weeks but, we've had two weeks of training sessions," added the German.

When you look a tthe league this year, at any stage one team will sit out for a week with a nine-team league," continued the former Geylang coach.

Steibrunner is also expecting a tight encounter against the hosts.

"Each time I've played against Steve Kean's team, the match has been entertaining nd the games are tight. It is good technical football and I don't expect anything else tomorrow.

"It is DPMM FC's first home game of the season and I'm sure they want to do well in front of home fans and get a good result," said Steinbrunner.

Kick off is at 8.15pm.

Meanwhile, the duo of Md Aminuddin Zakwan and Md Hendra Azam passed the S-League mandatory fitness test yesterday and will be available to play today.

However, defender Amalul Ariffin and goalkeeper Suhandi Mahali are set to be released by the club. 

 



Sunday, February 21
Ten-men Eagles frustrate DPMM in stalemate

10-men Geylang International held defending champions Brunei DPMM to 1-1 draw on Saturday night at Bedok Stadium.

Substitute Sahil Suhaimi opened the scoring for the hosts in the 76th minute, but the Eagles were unable to hold on their lead as the visitors equalised one minute later through Rafael Ramazotti.

The draw meant that both sides are still without a win in their Great eastern Yeo's S.League 2016 campaign and they would have felt that they should have won the game if not for their profligacy in front of goal.

The first 15 minutes of the game saw both sides struggled to get into the game as they failed to retain possession of the ball.

The match then saw its first clear-cut chance three minutes later when Maududi Hilmi Kasmi broke down the left flank and sent in a teasing cross for Azwan Ali, who sent his shot well wide of the mark.

Azwan was guilty of missing another gilt-edged chance in the 38th minute when he volleyed over another one of Maududi's cross.

The Eagles came out firing after the break rhrough, and could have opened the scoring through Gabriel Quak,who made a surging run down the left flank before unleashing a powerful shot that was punished away by DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof.

Geylang's hoped of getting any out of the match took a huge blow when Amy Recha received a second yellow card for a lte challenge that was deemed too reckless for the referee's liking.

Despit egoing down to ten-men, the hosts refused to let their heads drop and broke the deadlock when a quick free-throw by Branko Cubrilo caught the DPMM defence napping, Sahil then stole in behind the defence to stab the ball home and give Geylang the lead.

However, the Eagles' joy were shortlived when DPMM found the equaliser immediately after the restart.

This time, it was geylang's defence that were guilty of ball-watching as they allowed Ramazotti to nod the ball past Eagles custodian Syazwan Buhari from a cross.

The Eagles almost snatched all three points in stoppage time, but Wardun pulled off a spectacular save to deny Sahil's free-kick that looked destined for the top left hand corner. 

 

 



Saturday, February 20
DPMM face Geylang.

DPMM FC are looking to bonce back when they face Geylang International FC in the S-League tonight.

The reigning S-League champions slipped to a 3-2 opening defeat in the Community Shield at the hands of Albirex Niigata(S) FC last Saturday.

DPMM didn't look their usual selves in the opening half but pcked up in the second to set up a tense finale.

After a week of busy preparation, Kean feels that they have ironed out their problems abd are ready for their match at the Bedok Stadium in Singapore.

"It feels like we are still in a phase of pre-season as we had double sessions on Monday and Wednesday. But we are really well preopared,"Kean told the Times yesterday.

"Like I said before the start of the season, it is going to be really competitive.We can't go into any game thinking it will be easier than the last game... They will all be difficult.

"But if we can produce the same second half performance like we did against Albirex from the first minute,i'm really confident that we can not only put a result together this week but put a string of good results together.

"It is really coming together now as we're looking good on the training ground.

"We need to make sure that we learn from the first game of the season where after they scored we felt sorry for ourselves for half an hour.

"We've no time to do that and we have to get on with that," continued the 48-year old Scotsman when met before the team's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

Geylang managed to win two out of their four meetings last season, including a 4-2 victory in their group stage of the Singapore League Cup in July - which sent DPMM out. 

DPMM had problems keeping up with the Eagles counter-attacks last season, but Kean feels that tonight's game will be more about them capitalising on their change.

Their first thing is that we will have lots of attacking opportunities in this game because we are dynamic upfront," said the Scotsman.

"We showed that in the second half against Albirex, and now, we just need to make sure we had to punish our opponents when we are on top of our game.

"We also need to cut on individual mistakes and it wasn't as if there were fantastic team goals taht we conceded against Albirex," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM will welcome back Rosmin Khamis after serving his one-game suspension, and Kean is gakd to have his skipper available in midfield.

"We missed Rosmin because he is a good organiser and you can always hear him on the pitch,"said Kean. "His anticipation on where to ball is going to bounce... That is an aspect we struggled in the last stages of the first half against Albirex.

They(Albirex) seemed to pick up all the little scraps and that is one of his best attributes. He can pick up the second ball, play it simple and attacks normally start from his picking them up." 



Tuesday, February 16
Kean optimistic despite defeat.

Things only can get better for DPMM FC after losing their S-League opener on Saturday night.

The defending chanpions uncharacteristically suffered a 3-2 loss at the hands of Albirex Niigata in the Community Shield at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore, where the visitors were second best for most of the first half before coming alive after the interval to set-up a tense finish.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean felt that his charges were not form as they did not play in any pre-season games leading up to the opener.

"There was a bit of rustiness, but we had better intensity and we were much better in the second half," said Kean in an interview with the Times yesterday.

"We have to give credit to our opposition because they were excellent. We started quite well and got control of the game, but when they scored the opening goal, we lost our way until half time.

"We were really poor as we were second to all the scraps and balls bouncing around in midfield.

"They had rhythm and were getting up with goal passing sequences. In contrast, every time we got the ball, we force it and gave it back.

"We couldn't get a foothald of the game but things becaame much better after bringing in Ayol (Khairul Anwar) and moving Paulo off the front.

"We started to put our passes together and that helped the back four move up the pitch - making everything much more compact.

"I was really hapy with the second half and had Azwan Ali freekick gone in, the least we would get would be a draw as we had them rattled near the end of the match.

"We will go again now that we got the first game out of the way.

"The first game is always not easyand especially against Albirex,who are energetic and a new team trying to impress their new coach.

"I can see them winning a lot of games early on, but we will be much better prepared for Geylang Int'l on Saturday," continued the Scotsman when met at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

The match was the first time that the Brunei side have trailed by three goals since Kean's arrival in November,2013.

There has been plenty of talk on how the DPMM backline wil cope after Bosnian Boris Raspudic was released due to the foreign quota being reduced from five to three, and the load fell on centreback Abd Aziz Tamit to start.

It proved to be a rough outing for the Bruneian with the second and third goals coming off the player he was marking.

"We know Aziz is a great lad as far as his physical presence. He got caught out and lost his marker and he has to learn from that," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"He was ball watching and not the man.

"When you can't see the balland number of the shirt of who you are marking, then you're in the wrong position.

"We will continue to work on that but it is not only him as Brian McLean has only brrn back a few days.

"We need to get him tuned in.Its not that he made mistakes, but he will need the defensive repetitions to be mentally sharp again.

"We will do more defending and take care of the mistakes in the last match.We will put that to bed and work on a gameplan for Geylang," concluded Kean. 

DPMM will face Geylang at the Bedok Stadium on Saturday in Singapore. 



Sunday, February 14
Albirex signal title intent with emphatic win over champions DPMM.

Albirex Niigata (S) sent a very clear mesage to the rest of the Great Eastern Yeo's S.League clubs on Saturday night after they shocked defending champions Brunei DPMM 3-2 at Jalan Besar Stadium.

Winning the Great Eastern Community Shiled in the process, Albirex played with a very different style and system than the last year. Head coach Naoki Naruo set his team up in a 3-4-3 formation and clealy looked to attain more possesson from the team did in 2015.

The Japanese side began brighter and were first to threaten in the fourteenth minute froma a corner on the right side, but DPMM striker Ramazotti was aware enough at the near post to clear the danger.

Albirex continued to attack with their wingbacks at every opportunity, but it was forward KAmata who registered their first strike at goal. However, his effort flew wide of the mark.

However, DPMm stood firm and created an attack of their own in the sixth minute when Azwan Ali's good play out wide earned his side their first corner of the match.

But the 2015 Young Player of the Year delivered a poor cross which was cleared easily by the Albirex defence.

The Japanese side continued to dominate and finally found the breakthrough in the 16th minute when right-back Mikiya Yamada was left unmarked at the back post and he duly sent the ball into the back of the net.

The nippy Kento Nagasaki was a constant threat for Albirex, playing in a slightly deeper central midfiel role than last year.The Japanese number 10 always looked to advance and dominated the midfield alongside teammate Masaya Jitozono.

Albirex doubled their lead in the 36th minute when Nagasaki threaded a fantastic disguised pass into the feet of Kamata 12-yards out and the latter slotted the ball precisely past DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof.

DPMM almost pulled a goal back in the 38th minute after Paulo Sergio played Ramazotti thriugh on goal, but the lanky striker could only fire wide in what was quiet first half for last season top-scorer.

Needing a response from his side as they went into the break two goals down, DPMM head coach Steve Kean changed things around at half-time as he moved Sergio closer to Ramazotti in a change of system for the second half.

It looked to work to some degree as DPMM dominated possession aof the ball after the restart and had better build up play, with Sergio and Ramazotti finally combining well together.

In contrast, Albirex was more contented to sit back and defend their lead. But they showed their counter-attacking abilities in the 57th minute when a break led to acorner on the right side.

Nagasaki then whipeed in a curling cross and found defender Naohomo Tanaka, who flicked the ball on at the front post for Kento Fujihara to score from close range after the centre-back had made a storming run into the six-yard box.

Albirex goalkeeper Yosuke Nazawa subsequently gave DPMM a lifeline in the 65th minute when he completely missed the ball while attempting to clear a through pass.

The ball then found Azwan, who jumped easily over Nazawa's desperate sliding tackle to slot the ball into an empty net.

Tanak turned the ball into his own net in stoppage time after another failed clearance by Nazawa ricocheted into his path. However , the final whistle came shortly after, killing off DPMM's faint hopes of pulling level. 

 



Saturday, February 13
Albirex and DPMM out to send a message.

the naysayers have cast their doubts.

After sweeping all the domestic silverwareon offer last season, will Brunei DPMM and Albirex Niigata still rule local football again?

After all, both teams have undergone key changes in the closing season. 

As part of the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League's new ruling in cutting down the number of foreign players from five to three, league campions DPMM have been forced to part with Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic and Irish midfielder Joe Gamble. 

RHB Singapore Cup and the New Paper League Cup winners Albirex, meanwhile, have parted company with head coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama, and only seven players from last year's successful squad have ben retained.

Both teams have a chance to show they still mean business this season, when they kick-off the S-League season in the Great Eastern Community Shield Match - which will double up as a competitive fixture - at the Jalan Besar Stadium tonight.

DPMM coach Steve Kean told the New Paper that replacing Raspudic and Gamble would be difficult, but nsisted his side were still "the team to beat" this season.

And he is confident his team can see off the White Swans tonight.

"You always try to win in your first game, and its always tough playing against Albirex," said the Scot, who previously managed Balckburn Rovers in the Premier League.

"They are one of the teams in the S-League I have a lot of respect for, because of the way they try to play their football. 

But I'm sure they're more worried about us that we are about them.

"We'll just go and play the way we like to play. Like I said before, thei squad have been together for a while and we're a very tight-knit squad."

Despite the departure of Raspudic and Gamble, Kean can still count on the attacking trident of Portuguese attacker Paulo Sergio, local boy Azwan Ali and last term's top-scorer Brazilian Rafael Ramazotti.

The trio combined for 35 goals last season -  a tally that betters the total mustered by Albitres (27),Hougang(28),Harimau Muda (29) and the Young Lions (30).

Albirex's miserable record in the scoring stats is something that new head coach Naoki Naruo has tried to fix with a combination of J-League talent and S.League experience.

He has signed 1.90m-tall targetman Kazuki Mine from second-tier Japanese side Kyoto Sanga, and brought back winger Tatsuro Inui, who scored 20 goals over 2 seasons with Albirex in 2012 and 2013, but spent the last three years at S-League clubs Warriors and Geylang International.

Said NAruo: "My philisophy is to get the most out of the stregths of my individual players, and play possession football.

"I also want my players to show hard work everywhere on th field, be it defending or attacking."

The 41-year old, who coached Albirex to a seventh-placed S-League finish in 2009, is targeting a win tonight.

"We are a very young team, so confidence is a very important factor for us," said Naruo.

"Winning this tough game will put us in a good position confidence-wise. DPMM will be very tough opponents, but my message to my players is to jsut believe in ourselves, to do our best and we can get the result we want." 



Saturday, February 13
DPMM FC start season.

Two fewer foreign players and a couple of new local faces, but reigning champions DPMM FC are ready to strart their Singapore League season aaginst Albirex Niigata (S) FC tonight.

S-League titleholders DPMM start their title defence against Singapore Cup holders Albirex in the Community Shield at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore,and it is far from certain how DPMM will deal with their backline after the release of Bosnian backline Boris Raspudic and the late arrival of Brian McLean.

McLean only arrived back in the sultanate to join the team on Tuesday and he will have to adjust quickly as DPMM coach Steve Kean as entrusted Abdul Aziz Tamit to start alongside him in the season-opener which marks the first chance of the year for both teams to win silverware.

"We've had five really good weeks of work,"said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times after a training session on Thursday.

"Brian's wide delivered a baby girl early and he was in a different country and he only just made it back, but he is a very good pro as he was training everyday on his own.

"Even though he might not be 100 per cent match  fit, his experience will get him through with no problems," he added.

DPMM have promoted three Under-19 players-Md Na'im Hj Tarif,Md Azim Izamuddin Hj Suhaimi and Abd Hafiz Abd Rahim to the senior squad,but they will have to wait to get a taste of action.

Meanwhile, former Indera Sports Club player Md Nur Ikhwan Othman will be making his debut in DPMM colours as he will be given the start with skipper Rosmin Khamis suspended for the match.

"This gives Ikhwan an early opportunity in his first full season.He is a good player, has got good balance and can see a pass,"praised Kean.

"There is no hesitation to get him in because he has had a good pre-season," added the Scotsman.

Albirex - who also won the Singapore League Cup last season - are a revamped team with 16 new players on the roster as well as a new coach in Naoki Naruo - who was previously at the helm in 2009.

According to a report on the S-League website, the White Swans have retained key players like Atsushi Kawata,Kento Nagasaki and Rui Kamada.

The Japanese outfit have also welcomed back Tatsuro Inui, who will take over the vacant play-maker role after 2015 S-League Player of the Year Fumiya Kogure left for Hougang United.

Although Kean doesn't know what to expect , he believes his charges have got the edge.

"I have no idea how they will play but knowing the mentality of the club, I'm sure they won't move too far away from what they normally play," said Kean.

"They try to control the ball and they don't play direct football. They try and build it up through the back and middle leading to the front. I don't see that changing too much.

"It is a challenge because it is a new teamand it might take them a few weeks to gel.

"On the other hand, majority of our players have been together for two years so I think that is an advantage for us."

Kick-off is at 7.45pm and the full match will be telecasted live on RTB channel.

 



Sunday, February 7
No pressure at heart of defense:Kean.

DPMM FC's centre-half.Brian McLean will form a new partnership in the heart of defence after the end of Boris Raspudic's spell with the club and the associated pressure that comes with guiding the player beside him will be something he relished in the upcoming S-League season.

The local players who will now set to fill the gap vacated by Raspudic who currently plies his trade with Bosnia's Premier League outfit FK Borac Banja Luka, should be feeling less pressure in the fact that they have been in the squad for a couple of seasons and would be ready to start.

The loss of the influential Bosnian-Serb will give an opportunity to a local defender to stake a claim as a first-team regular with McLEan aptly positioned to ensure the replacement enjoys a smooth transition.

The defender will have no such problems sustaining the pressure that comes with the immediate need of being involved in the first team fold.

"One of the local players will play beside McLean. Its pressure that Brian wil enjoy because it lets him use his experience to help develop a young player.I don't think the lad will feel the pressure because he has been in the squad for a few years.Whoever selected to play there, will be ready," head coach Steve Kean said.

The release of the foreign players paved the way for the fringe players to step up the frame in already the highest standards that the team has set up following their title winning campaign.

"It gives an opportunity anytime that there is a suspension, injury and now a permanent move where Joe and Boris are no longer here," Kean said.

"We've been quite a settled  squad over the last two years and we hope that whoever is given the opportunity wil step up and make sure they can perform at high level because we've set very high standards for ourselves as a club," he added.

While Rosmin Khamis will retain the captaincy,the candidacy role is much in the air but there is no shortage of options with the leadership qualities that the senior players possess.

I've not decided this yet.We've got a lot of candidates for that and it is an important position becuae if Bobby is suspended or injured that person is very important,"he said.

"I will make that decision in the next few weeks,"added the Scotsman.

Kean hinted versatile player Azwan Alleh and Sairol Sahri as the strongest candidates to fill in case the absence of Rosmin from the side.

He described Azwan a 'very good talker' while Sairol, an experienced player 'a very good communicator'in the team. 

The title-chasing teams may have strengthened in the off-season with the dissolution of Lions XII from the Malaysian Super League giving clubs a glut of readily-available talents but there is no clear favourite of winning the 2016 title.

The arrival of many new players with the possibility of a newly assembled squad makes it a clean slate in the league and Kean added that it is not until the completion of the early rounds that couls serve any indication of the early pacesetters.

It is almost like new teams.Tampines have taken nine players from Lions XII and of course Jermaine Pennant.A lot of local players in Singapore have swapped clubs.Some of the import players have swapped clubs."

"A lof of the import players left.So at this stage it is really difficult to say who is going to be strong,"he said.

The Brunei-based outfit enters the final week of training ahead of their first competitive game of the season against Albirex Niigata (S) in the Community Shield on Saturday (Feb13) with the added incentive of three points in the S-League. 



Sunday, November 8
Kean happy pressure is off DPMM FC

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean was pleased with his players' ability to put the pressure back on Tampines Rovers in the S-League title race.

The Brunei side are on the brink of capturing their maiden title after shrugging off defending champions Warriors FC 3-1 at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore on Friday night.

The victory knocked both Balestier Khalsa and Albirex Niigata FC out of the title race while Tampines, who have two games in hand, will need three straight wins for a chance to lift the trophy.

DPMM are now on 49 points followed by Balestier with 44 points. Albirex, who have a game in hand,are third another two points back while the Stags are on 41 points.

Tampines will face off against Home Utd tonight before taking on the White Swans on Friday and completing their campaign on Nov 20 against Harimau Muda.

A single slip up in any of those fixtures will see the championship come to Brunei even before DPMM FC kick off their final match against Balestier Khalsa at the Hassanal Bolkiah NAtional Stadium on Nov 21.

"We played really well especially in the first half. We did what we could do, and that is to put the pressure back on Tampines," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday when contacted.

"It is a big step for us to win the title as Tampines will have to take maximum points from their remaining matches, and having to play with onyl a couple of days rest is tough," added the Scotsman.

Just like the Brunei side, the Protectors and Albirex are also semi-finalists in the Singapore Cup which will resume on Nov 24.

Kean is gald that they are the sides standing in the way of the five-time league champions.

"I'm glad Home and Albirex are the team playing these two games. From y point of view, the coaches wouldn't want to rest their players for too long(before the S-Cup second leg)," said Kean.

"I don't see it happening since the 24th is still a long way and they would want the players to maintain the fitness," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM will have a two-week break before their final league game, and Kean felt that it cam at the right time - especially since they have to play Home in the second leg of the Singapore Cup semi-finals three days later.

"We have played so many games and there are small injuries like Paulo with his hamstring, Sairol with a tight hamstring and Rosmin with a sore knee," said Kean.

"We need this time and make sure the players will be 100 per cent before the next game.

"Hopefully we won't need anything, and we hope the fans will come down for the big match," he added. 

 



Saturday, January 30
DPMM FC sponsors get on board for 2016.

DPMM FC held their annual sponsor signing ceremony for the upcoming League season yesterday.

The ceremony at the Red Jade Room of the Centrepoint Gadong was witnessed by DPMM FC vice-chairman PA Hj Abd Rahim PIM Pg Anak Kemaludin Al-Haj.

Representing DPMM were club manager Pg Hj Md Waslimin and marketing manager Hj Mumin Jaafarwhile representatives from Royal Brunei Airlines, Mitsubishi CorporationMaju Motors Sdn Bhd,Brunei Shell MArketing Co, Baiduri Bank, Hertz,Hua Huang Enterprise,Nazmi Textile Mall and Sports Partnership Pte Ltd signed on as sponsors.

DPMM also unveiled their new home jersey during the event.

However the squad for the season has not been finalised yet as the player signing ceremony was not conducted yesterday.

DPMM team manager Ali Momin revealed that they are retaining most of the players and yet to decide whether to go for a pre-season tour.

"The majority of the team are made up of the same imports and local imports with two or three new young players to fill in the rest of the slots," said Ali in an interview with the Brunei Times after tge signing ceremony yesterday.

"We are still selecting and will finalise the roster soon.

"We received invitations from neighbouring countries to play but we haven't decided where to go because of the limited time.

"There is only a short amount of time before the season starts so we can't go for long as well," continued Ali.

With the import quota reduced from five to three this season, the club have released Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic and Northern Ireland midfielder Joe Gamble.

The duo of Rafael Ramazotti and Paulo Sergio are the only imports that are back in the Sultanate while Northern Ireland defender has yet to arrive in Brunei as he just became a father for the first time recently.

"I hope he can get fit as soon as possible.We know it is hard for him having his first baby and he is outside if the country," said Ali.

"Hopefully he will eb here in February before our first game," he added.

The DPMM manager went on express his appreciation and thanked the sponsors, the Department of Youth and Sports and NFABD for their continuous support.

DPMM kick-off this year's campaign on February 13 with a meeting against Singapore Cup holders Albirex Niigata (S) in the Community Shield at the Jalan Besar Stadium, which will eb also conted as their first league match of the season.

DPMM will also have their annaul Football Fanfare tomorrow at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

The event will begin at 8.45 am, and a total of 16 Under-11 teams will vie for top honours in the competition. 



Friday, January 22
Rafa, Paulo eager to reunite.

DPMM FC forwards Rafael ramazotti and Paulo Sergio are looking forward to joining forces once again for the upcoming Singapore League season.

The duo, who scored a totla of 34 goals between them last campaign, are the first two imports to arrive back at the sultanate for pre-season training with Northern Irish defender Brian McLean yet to arrive.

Ramazotti, who finished as the league's topscorer with 21 goals, is looking forward to another good season with the defending champions.

"I need to play with this guy (Sergio) in every club and country.We need to play together beccause we can help each other and it is good," said Ramazotti in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday after a training session at the Jerudong Mini stadium.

"It is good we finihsed last year with a good season. Now we will see what happens and we hope to get the same feeling again," he added.

"I don't have a target for goals but the first objective is to win the league again and support my club. Sure if I score, I can help, but most important is what we can achieve as a group," continued Ramazotti.

The 1.93m Brazilian striker also went on to thank everybody for supporting the club,especially in their final league game which saw them beat Balestier Khalsa 4-0 to lift the trophy for the first time at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Nov 27.

Sergio praised Ramazotti for his qualities but also felt that it is a pity that the import qiota has been reduced from five to three this season.

"It is amazing to play with this guy. He has a lot of quality and I'm looking forward to have another good partnership with him this season," said Sergio, who produced 17 assists last season.

"He is tall, strong and is good with the ball. It is a pleasure for me to play with him again," he added.

The other import players Joe Gamble and Boris Raspudic helped a lot in getting the win.

"If they stayed with us, it would be a lot better - but we will keep working and condition ourselves entering the league," continued the Portuguese forward.

When asked on the target to defend the league title, Sergio replied: "This season, for sure it will be very hard for us to defend the title as other teams have made many transfers to stregthen their squad.

"This league is strong but we are here with this motivation in our mind that we want to be champions again," he concluded. 

DPMM will kick off their campaign against Singapore Cup winners Albirex Niigata (S) FC in the Community Shield on Feb 13 at the Jaaln Besar Stadium, which is also considered as their first league match.

They will then face Geylang International at the Bedok Stadium in Singapore six days later.

The Brunei side will play their first home game at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium against Warriors on Feb 27. 



Saturday, January 16
DPMM and Albirex Niigata to kick-off the new S.League season.

The fixtures for what looms as an exciting 2016 S.League season have been released, with the Charity Shield match between league winners Brunei DPMM and Singapore Cup victors Albirex Niigata (S) set to kick-off the new campaign.

Scheduled for Saturday,February 13 at Jalan Besar Stadium,there will be much at stake for the two teams as the fixture will double as a league game and points will be counted.

This will be the first time the Charity Shield will be played between the two foreign sides. LAst year, Warriors FC ran out 1-0 winners against Balestier Khalsa, courtesy of Nicolas Velez's first-half goal/

Another three games will be played in the first round of fixtures.On Sunday, February 14, development side Young Lions will entertain Balestier Khalsa at Jalne Besar Stadium, while there will be an intriguing "Uniformed Derby" between Home United and Warrors FC over at Bishan Stadum.

Then On Monday, title favourites Tampines Rovers will host a revamped Geylang International side at the Jurong West Stadium in what could be the one of the most exciting 'Eastern Derbies' in years.

Due to the nine-team format,Hougang nited will sit out the first round of fixtures. Their first game of the 2016 season will be against Home United on Thursday,February 18 at Hougang Stadium.

 

 



Tuesday, December 1
Kean,Azwan win S-League accolades.

DPMM FC's Steve Kean and Azwan Ali Rahman were named Coach of the Year and Young Player of the Year respectively during last night's 2015 Singapore League Awards last night.

Fpr Scottish coach Kean and midfielder Azwan, the awarsd were fitting reward for working hard all season - especially since they missed on both accolades last year after also being nominated.

And though Brazilian Rafael Ramazotti did not win any of the two awards he was nominated for -the Player of the Year and the Goal of the Year award -the DPMm striker did win the Golden Boot award after scoring 21 goals in DPMM's victorious S-League campaign.

Albirex Niigata (S) FC's Fumiya Kogure was named Player of the Year,beating competition Ramazotti,Singapore International Fazrul Nawaz (Warriors FC) and Danish footballer Ken Ilso(Home United).

Kean was up against 2014 winner Marko Kraljevic and V.Sundramoorthy of S-League's runners-up Tampines Rovers.

Besides Azwan, the other nominees in the Young Player of the Year category were Syazwan Bohari of the Young Lions,Nazirul Hashim of the Harimau Muda and Ignatius Ang (Balestier).

Eleven awards were handed out at the ceremony held at Marina Bay in Singapore. 



Sunday, November 29
'Having only three imports will dilute S-League'

Who will stay and who will go

DPMM FC may be coming off their best season to date after clinching their maiden S-League title last Saturday but the championship team may be not be able to stay together to defend their title.

It was previously reported on Channel NewsAsia that there will be a reduction in the qiota of the foreigners for S-League clubs from five to three next season.

The foreign players have played important roles throughout the season to ensure they finish at the top but the 3-1 won over the Philippines' Global FC in the Singapore Cup third-place playiff on Friday might just be the final game for some of them.Joe Gamble felt that the reduction will hurt the quality of the competition.

"I think it is ridiculous. Having only three imports in each team will dilute the league," said Gamble in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

"That is a professional league and not an amateur league. Strong guys and weaker guys don't.That is a fact of life," he added.

"I would say the same if I was seeing things from the outside. If you are good enough,you play and if not, you don't," continued the Irishman.

Defender Brian McLean is disappointed should the quota be reduced and is hoping to be around.

"There are 6 foreigners now and that is a big concern when it is down to three. I would love to stay another year as the coach and lads havebeen great," said McLean.

"The talents is beginning to come through and it is great to pick up the trophy.I'm disappointed that it will be down to three,"he added.

"It will be frustrating and interesting to see what will happen in the upcoming months,"continued the Scotsman.

Paulo Sergio, who replaced Criag Fagan at the end of March,is not thinking about where he will end up now.

"I don't know about it yet, but it was fantastic season fir us," said the Portuguese forward.

"We deserved the league title and I thought we were good enough to win the Singapore Cup as well,"he added.

Fagan who has been handling the DPMM Under-19 side, felt that it will be unpredictable on what will happen just yet.

"It was a great experience and I'm disappointed to get injured.But it is still good to be involved and being part of it,"said the former Hull City striker.

"You never know what will happen in football.I don't know where I will be next season but I'm concentraing on what we have done so far and enjoy the moment.

"What will be, will be.I have enjoyed it and everone has been good to me.If I'm here next season,then excellent.If not,then I wish the club all the best," he added.

"I have learned so much from the coach I will be able to take it into a coaching role or back to playing again.Either way it is good with me," said Fagan.

Brazilain striker Rafael Ramazotti reflected on the season and was gald to be able to make such an impact. 

"It was a fantastic season and is the best of my careerin terms of numbers.I didn't miss a single game and the best thing is that we won the league. That is most important," said Ramazotti.

"It is fantastic that we get to write our name in Brunei and DPMM FC history.I'm also happy to win top-scorer award and get nominated for both Goal of the Year and Best Player categories." he added.

Last but not least, Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic is glad to be part of the team over the two years and hopes more success will follow.

"In the two years, we got one league cup,one league runner-up and one league title.I'm happy because I know we did better than last year," said Raspudic.

"Sometimes you need time and the coach cannot show you everything in a year. Normally it requires years to build a team but I just hope for more success the following year," he concluded. 

 



Saturday, November 28
Kean praises players.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean heaped praised on his players for a job well done after they finished off their best season to date.

The team defeated the Philippines' Global FC 3-1 in the Singapore Cup third-place play-off, yesterday after capturing their maiden S-League title last Saturday.

"I'm very pleased because it is always a long off season.It is always nice to finish on a high and fine energy from somewhere," said Kean in a post match interview.

"It has been a long season for us and the lads really need a good rest. I think emotionally as well from the last league game, where we had the biggest crowd in the club's history...It saps the energy," he added.

"But the players have been absolutely fantastic and gave every singel ounce if energy.They have improved and it has been a good season for us," continued the Scotsman.

The former Blackburn Rovers manager also felt that the bar has been set high for them and expects a tougher season ahead with new rules set to be implemented.

"Like I said to the boys, sometimes it is not about who you play against, it is about playing to your standards, and we have set them high," said the DPMM coach.

"We will continue to try and improve. It is going to be difficult as the league will be much more competitive  with more players available for the clubs in Singapore to snap up," added Kean in reference to the LionsXII out of the Malaysian Super League next season.

"The quota of the foreign players reducing will see everybody become more competitive, but I think in the long run it will be good for the league," he continued. 



Friday, November 27
DPMM FC,Global face off for third place.

Singapore League champions DPMM are looking to finish off  the year with another win when they face off against Global FC of the Philippines in the Singapore Cup third place play-off at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore today.

The Brunei side were denied a double losing 4-3 on agreegate to Home United in the semifinals.

DPMM FC coach steve Kean is disappointed not to be playing for the title but is looking to cap off the season with a win.

"We'd rather be playing in the final than - in the third/fourth placing match and we are disappointed about that because we had a good season," said Kean in the press conference yesterday.

"We are going to try to finish off as best as we can,but we know its going to be a tough game because Blobal are a very good side.

"We are disappointed with our performance against Home United the other night.We are disappointed with the result because I thought we played well enough to at least take it to extra time.

"We got a controversy goal disallowed in the last minute that would take it to extra time so we don't really to motivate the players because we have set very, very high standards.

"They know now that no matter what game it is and what time of the season it is, they have to try to perform to at least that standard, maybe even more.

"So the motivation for us is to finish strong and play the way we did most of the season,"continued the Scotsman.

DPMm skipper Rosmin Khamis said the team is upbeat but knows it will be a tough outing despite hammering Global 7-0 in their last meeting last year.

"The team is eager to win every match as usual.We are still motivated and we want to finish the season with a win tomorrow against Global," said Rosmin.

"I believe they arer a different team and it will eb a tough match since they are one of the top teams in the Philippines," he added.

Regardlessof the outcome Rosmin is still satisfied with the overall achievements by the club this year.

"It is still a brilliant season as everybody knows how difficult it is to win the league.It will remain as one of the best moments for us," said the 34-year old.

"I hope we can continue to be much better in every match,and competitions for next year," he added.

On the other hand, Global coach Leigh MAson is also looking to end a winning mote.

 "We are looking for a strong finish to the season and have the added incentive that Kean's side are top of the S-League, so its a good benchmark for us," said Manson in yesterday's press conference.

"We prefer to play in the final, but is good challnege for the players and its something that we always strive because we  always want to raise our levels. 

"We are excited to be playing the league's new champions tomorrow afternoon," he added.

The match will kick-off at 5pm and will be available through live streaming on VOXSPORTS. 



Wednesday, November 25
DPMM FC denied double.

SIngapore League champions DPMM FC were denied a double after losing 2-0 to Home United in the second leg of their Singapore Cup semifinal last night.

Goals from Azhar Sairudin and substitute Imran Sahib in either half gave the Protectors a 4-3 agreegate victory over the Brunei side at the Yishun Stadium in Singapore.

Home will face Albirex Niigata (S) FC, who beat Global United of the Philippines 2-1 at the Jurong East Stadium - and 3-1 on agreegate  in the final.

The third-place playoff will be contested earlier in the afternoon at 5pm.

DPMM FC  were given a let off in the second minute after Stanley Ng was brought down by Sairol Sahari inside the box, but no penalty was given.

However the DPMM FC left back injured himself from the challenge and had to make way for Azwan Salleh.

DPMM were on target on the 15th minute courtesy of a Paulo Sergio volleyfrom the dge of the box but he was denied by the Home goalkeeper Shahril Jantan.

The hists grabbed the lead in the 22nd minute after DPMM failed to clear the ball, resulting in Ken Ilso getting his shot blocked by Boris Raspudic but it droped for Azhar to poke it gome from six yards out.

On the restart, Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir blasted one from the edge of the box but was deflected over.Joe Gamble sent in a good cross to the far post in the 32nd minute but Sergio couldn't get a good shot at it and went wide.

Home were on target again in the 42nd minute with Azhar firing from range but only straight to Wardun.

DPMM kept plenty of possession in the second half but were unable to muster up a clear-cut chance, and the Protectors grabbed the winner in the 80th minute after a good run  by Ng down the left into the box before cutting back to Imran to finish from close range.

DPMM poured forward amd found the back of the net after substitute Shahrazen Said headed home a set-piece but was flagged outside.

The Brunei side almost forced into extra time with substitute Najib Tarif rifling a low shot from inside the box but Shahril produced a spectacular save to send the six times champions into the final for the second straight year. 



Tuesday, November 24
DPMM want to keep momentum going.

Newly crowned Singapore League champions DPMM FC are looking to carry their title-winning momentum into their second leg semifinal against Home Utd in the Singapore Cup tonight.

The side are coming off their best performance of the season with a 4-0 beating of  Balestier Khalsa on Saturday night at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium that they carry their good form into the encounter at the Yishun Stadium in Singapore despite only getting few days rest. 

"I thinknow we have got the momentum with a great title winning season.But it has been difficult because we've got only a couple of days," said Kean in an interview after a light training at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

"We didn't do much in training today and are just recovering.Hopefully from that good feeling and spirit, we will find energy from somewhere to get us into the final.

"We will try to do the diuble as the lads have got real determination and desire to do it," continued the Scotsman.

DPMM have a 3-2 advantage from the first leg but Kean insists they are heading into the match only thunking about another victory."We are going in with a 0-0 mindset.I think every game is different so we cannot go into this game trying to be defensive,"said Kean.

 "That is not us anyway.We need to do what we did the other day against Balestier and try and go and win it," he added.

Home were the side that stopped DPMM from getting into the final of the competition last year after letting a two-goal lead slip to lose 3-2 in the second leg- 4-3 on agreegate.

Kean feels that patience will be the key factor against Home.

"We are a technical side who like to pass the balland they are the same. It will be a game with very few long balls," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"It will be down to the team which is patient enough and circulates the ball.It is a different challenge as Balestier are very direct,big with set plays and very physical,"he added.

The other semifinal will see the Philippines' Global FC and Albirex Niigata(S) battle it out at the Jurong East Stadium.

The latter have a one-goal advantage after winning 1-0 in the first leg.Both games will kick off at 7.30pm. 



Sunday, November 22
DPMM FC triumph.

Third time's the charm for DPMm as they clinched their maiden S-League title with a 4-0 victory over Balestier Khalsa last night.

Having finished runners-up in 2012 and last year,DPMM only became the second foreign side with Etole FC of France being the other, to win the competition.

Pulo Sergio netted a hat-trick in the first half before Rafael Ramazotti netted one late on, to finish as the league's top-scorer with 21 goals to his name, in the victory at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.DPMM coach Steve Kean felt that ot was one of the best performances from his charges all season and hailed Paulo Sergio for his showing.

"I do think that it is one of the best performances.It is always nice to leave that to the one that really matters,"said Kean after the triumph.

"Not only is he(Sergio) a difference maker,it is his work off the ball.He was absolutely outstanding.

"When you got a player in your team with that quality and got everything, I'm delighted he finished off the season like this," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

When asked on how we summed up the season, Kean replied: "I think we've matured a lot as a team. "We are the fittest team, showed tactically and technically we can keep the ball and cause teams problems no matter what they do whatever they are physical or they play on the counter attack," he added.

"We are beginning to understand all of that and we have improved as a club over the past couple of seasons," continued the Scotsman.

DPMM came out firing on all cylinders and grabbed the lead in the 13th minute with Sergio's shot from inside the box deflected off Emir Lotinac past Balestier goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam.

The advantage was doubled five minutes later with Ramazotti sending Sergio through and the Portuguese forward cleverly chipped Zaiful.

Ramazotti was sent through on goal in first half injury time and the Brazilain rounded Zaiful but Sergio got the ball first to blast it home to complete his hat-trick.

Sergio had a chance to add to his tally two minutes after the interval but his shot from outside the box went straight to Zaiful.

Skipper Rosmin Khamis chipped the ball to Ramazotti through on goal in the 56th minutes but the ball was cleared away by a Balestier defender just before firing from close range.

The Tigers were completely taken out of the stride by the DPMm defence and were unable to play their usula long ball tactics.

The hosts held the ball well and completed the rout in the 86th minute with Sergio putting the ball in the middle to see Ramazotti slot home from inside the box.

On the other hand, Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic flet DPMM were simply the better team.

"Congratulations to DPMM for winning the championship.They deserved it and I think they were the best team in the league this year," said Kraljevic.

"They were hungrier and had more fighting spirit.

They worked really hard and we conceded one goal.We needed to win to finish top three and we opened the game a little which allowed them to get behind us," he added.

"We lost the ball in the danger area and they scored the second.The third goal in the last minute of the first half killed the game. "We tried passing the ball but it wasn't working.DPMM were faster and better than us.They were just the better team," concluded the Croatian.

DPMM will now shift their focus to their Singapore Cup semifinal second leg against Home Utd at the Yishun Stadium in Singapore on Tuesday. 

 



Saturday, November 21
DPMM eyeing first S-League title tonight.

DPMM FC are using last season's heartbreak as the extra push to win the Singapore League title for the first time when they host Balestier Khalsa at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium at 8.15pm in their season-ender tonight.

The side suffered the biggest slip up the league has ever seen last year after they were unable to take advantage of their eight-point lead at the top of the table going into the final round.

The finished runners-up after losing five of their last seven games - including a 2-0 loss to Tampines Rovers in a must-win match of the final day, allowing Warriors FC to claim the title.

Title contenders Tampines Rovers, who are only two points behind, will kick-off against Harimau Muda at the same time at the Jurong West Stadium, and only victory will suffice for the S-League championsif they are to make it title number six tonight.

Winning by a two goal margin will see them to lift the trophy should DPMM be held to a draw.

"When you have been so disappointed, you have to carry that the whole close season, it is a horrible feeling," said DPMM coach Steve Kean after a trainign session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

"I hope that provides the extra little bit of motivation to make sure that this year we will finish and enjoy the close season.

"We are hungry and ready.There is a real appetite to win this game," continued Kean.

The 2012 title race went down the wire as well- and there was disappointment for DPMM who ended second to Tampines after dropping 2-0 to Balestier in a must-win game on home soil, with the Stags winning the trophy after Fahrudin Mustaficconverted a penalty to give them a 1-0 win against Harimau Muda.

DPMM are up for difficult task tonight as Balestier are the only side to have beaten DPMM both home and away thus far this season.The Tigers inflicted the first defeat on DPMM with a 2-1 victory on May 1 and won by the same scoreline on their second encounter on August 29.

Kean knows what to expect from Balestier and hopes his charges can deliver.

"It is not a case where Balestier will come here to play any different to what has been successful for them," said the Scotsman.

"We know they are going to be direct,aggressive and physical - but what we must focus on is to be patient with the ball.

"We want to dominate possession and make sure that for the majority for each half, we have more possession-which means we deal with fewer long balls and set plays," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"It is about us that we can play at our maximum...Pass the ball,keep the ball and create chances.

"When our front three of Ramazotti,Sergio and Azwan Ali, I don't think there is a more potent threat in the league.It is about getting the ball to them with quality, and not just smashing it so that they can finish,"continued the 48-year old.

On the other hand,Balestier Khalsa Marko Kraljevic is aiming for a top-three finish ahead of Albirex Niigata.

"Our main priority is a top-three finish.It is a good achievement if we can do it,"Kraljevic told the Times yesterday.

"If before the season started I knew if we would finish the top-three, I would be very happy.We're close to it.

"There is a big chance for us as the boys are in a good fighting spirit.Teamwork has also been a big part of our success and that ifs that has got us to where we are.

"We have to watch out for Azwan Ali,Paulo and Rafa...their key players in attacking.

"They are also dangerous in their set pieces with Raspudic and McLean coming forward.We will have to careful against them.

"We have beaten them two times this seasonand they are within their first title.There is a lot of pressure on them.

"But no team can come here being confident.DPMM are top of the table and they have got the advantage,"added the Croatian.

Kickoff is at 8.15pm and entrance is free of charge.Free t-shirts will also be handed out on a first come, first serve basis while stocks last. 

 

 



Friday, November 13
DPMM can claim title tonight.

DPMM can clinch their maiden Singapore League title if Tampines Rovers fail to beat Albirex Niigata (S) at the Jurong East Stadium tonight.

The Stags, who are on 44 points- five behind leaders DPMM - and have a agame in hand, will require maximum points to bring the title race down the wire with a game remaining.

Albirex are a further two points back and looking for a top-three finish.

DPMM will host Balestier Khalsa in their final league game of the season next Saturday at the Hassanal Bolkiah NAtional Stadium.

Should Tampines beat both Albirex and Harimau Muda in their season-ender next Friday, they will end the season with 50 points.

DPMM are currently on 49 points and would need to beat Balestier Khalsa to secure the trophy without the title to be decided on goal difference.

The 2012 title race went down the wire and DPMM had to settle for second to Tampines after dropping to Balestier in a must-win game for them on home soil.

The Japanese outfit, who won the Singapoire League Cup in July, have proven to be tough opposition for Tampines.

The Stags have only got the better of the White Swans once in five matches over the past two seasons,while their other meetings have ended in draws.

The Stags will be dependent on their potent strike force of Mateo Roskam and Rodrigo Tosi to lead the way. Roskam has got 13 goals while former DPMM striker has 12.

However, it will be no easy task to break down the White Swans as they are the best defensive team in the competition - having only conceded 16 goals in 25 matches. 

 



Saturday, November 7
Win puts DPMM one game away from title.

Brunei DPMM have one hand on the Great Eastern-Yeo's league trophy after dispatching Warriors 3-1 at the Chao Chu Kang Stadium on Friday evening.

Their victory means that second and third-placed Balestier Khalsa and Albirex Niigata are out for the title, although fourt-placed Tampines Rovers still stand a mathematical chance of catching the Bruneians.

DPMM will need to win their final game of the season against the Tigers to wrap up the title, although they can do so earlier should Tampines fail to win any of their games remaining.

DPMM got off to the best possible start in the match, taking the lead just after eight minutes through Paulo Sergio.

Warriors goalkeeper Daniel Ong made a mess of his clearance and sent it straight to Sergio, who made no mistake by slotting it into the net.

The lead was doubled 13 minutes later,through another mistake from the hosts.

Emmeric Ong lost the ball to Azwan Ali deep inside Warriors half, and the latter got the ball to Sergio, who sent Rafael Ramazotti thriugh to fire home his 20th league goal of the season.

Warriors could have pulled one back in the 31st minute, but Miroslav Pejic's deflected effort landed inches wide of the goal instead.

It was almost 3-0 before half-time when Azwan's shot was palmed out by Daniel Ong towards the onrushing Maududi Hilmi, but the midfielder smashed it over instead.

DPMM then hit the post two minutes later after the restart through Azwan, after Warriors failed to clear a Sergio low cross.

Daniel Ong was called into action once more three minutes later, this time catching Joseph Gamble's shot from just outside the box, but there was nothing he could do to prevent a third goal in the 58th minute.

Surrounded by players inside the box, the goalkeeper was powerless against Raspudic's bullet header after ho got onto the end of Azwan's corner.

Both Maududi and Ramazotti wasted excellent chanxces midway through the second half, as DPMM continued to rip apart the Warriors' backline.

The hosts pulled a goal back with 10 minutes left on the clock when Brian McLean diverted Thomas Beattie's cross past the hapless Wardun Yussof.

But any hopes of a comeback proved a task too tough, as they struggled to break down the solid DPMM defence before referee Muhammad Taqi blew the full-time whistle. 



Friday, November 6
DPMM in driver's seat.

It is straightforward for DPMM now- win two games and the Singapore League title is theirs for the first time.

The Brunei side are back in the driver's seat after Balestier Khalsa edged Tampines 4-3 at the Toa Payoh Stadium last night.

The Tigers who are now second on 44 points, closed the gap on the league leaders to two points with only one game remaining- a second-ending meeting agaisnt DPMM at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Nov 21.

Brunei's only professional team can knock Balestier and Albirex out the title race with a win over the defending champions Warriors FC at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium tonight.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean felt that Balestier's win over Tampines was a plus for them and that victory against Warriors might be enough to lift the title.

"It was a good result,"said Kean in an interview last night.

"What we need to do know is play with a calm head and not get too excited.

"If we win tomorrow,it could be enough before we get to the last match as Tampines would have played their game in hand- so we know what to do," he added.

However, there has been a big change as Alex Weaver is no longer the head coach.

When asked on what to watch out for, Kean replied: "Warriors have got nothing to lose and the danger is that they got a new coach.

"They will have a different way of playing and can be unpredictable.

"It is all about us.We were excellent in the first half against Geylang and in the last 15 minutes.

"We will respect our opponents and we just have to play at our maximum," concluded the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Azwan Ali Rahman will return after serving a one game suspension for his fourth yellow card of the season. 

 

 



Thursday, November 5
Kean focused on future.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean was disappointed with Tuesday night's league set-back against Geylang International and wants to put the loss behind him.

The visitors were made to rue a missed chance to extend the lead at the top of the table after losing 2-1 at the Bedok Stadium.

The defeat has put the league leaders' quest for their maoden S-League title in jeopardy with two games remaining as they acan notch a maximum of 52 points.

Title contenders Tampines Rovers meanwhile have four games remaining and winning all their remaining fixtures will give them 53 points.

DPMM FC will take on Warriors FC tomorrow before ending the season against Balestier Khalsa at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Nov 21, and Kean insists the team has to focus on winning the remaining two matches.

"We have two games to play and we will set out to win them both - and I am in no doubt whatsoever that we are capable of doung precisely that,"said Kean in an email.

"I take the confidence from the effort and performance level of the players week in and week out throughout the season.

"That consistency has put us top of the league and even after a couple of unforeseen results, I would rather be in our position than anyone else's.

It would obviously have been more straightforward had we been able to take points from the last two games, but that is already history.

"We must focis onlt on the challenges ahead, strive for six points and see where that leaves us.

"I also believe that to have a big game next up is just what we need, and Warriors will prove a stern test.

"Our lads must go out there and show what they have shown for the vast majority of the campaign -skill, determination and a collective desire to success.

"I know what they are capable of. They too know what they are capable of,and now we want to see it twice more as we strive to clinch a historic title for DPMM," he concluded. 

 



Tuesday, November 3
DPMM FC looking to close in on S-League title.

DPMM FC are looking to make huge strides in their quest for a maiden Singapore League title by notching maximum points in their next two away fixtures.

They face bototm side Geylang International today at the Bedok Stadium before taking on defending champions Warriors FCat the Choa Chu Kang three days later.

Tampines played out a 0-0 stalemate against titleholders Warriors at the Jurong West Stadium last night but have a game in hand-with the resukt pushing them from third to second in ther 10-team table.

"It is a big, big week," said DPMM FC coach Steve Kean after Sunday's training session at the Jeruding Park Mini Stadium.

"If we can get the points that I think we can,it will be a historic week because we will be making strides to get the championship brought back to Brunei.

"We know anytime anybody plays against us, they are going to try and raise their game - but is about playing at our maximum.

"If we play at our maximum we know we can beat anybody.

"At this crucial time,we need to enjoy the pressure on usto go and win the game.These are the games we want to play and not the games that don't mean anything.

"We can go on to win a championship.I'm really confident that we can go on to get two positive results before we can come back to Brunei," continued the Scotsman.

DPMM fell 4-2 to Geylang in the group stage of the Singapore LEague Cup back in July.

However, DPMM then got one over Geylang beating them 3-1 in their last league meeting in the first week of August.

"We looked at that game(that we lost) and the way they attacked," said Kean.

They are very bright on the counter-attack as they attack from a real narrow position to get behind the main striker," said Kean.

"We have done a lot of work on that this week.

"We had a great week, as good as a week for a long, long time after coming from a disappointing result but a good performance," he added, referring to their 1-0 loss to Tampines Rovers last Wednesday.

DPMM received a big boost with Portuguese forward Paulo Sergio back in the lineup after recovering from his hamstring injury.

"The physio and the medical staff ave worked really hard to get him back.He is looking sharp and it is a big boost to get him back," said Kean.

"It is not only his goals but his set up play.He has provided a lot of assists to Rafa and he really can teorment the best of defenders," he added.

However,the Brunei side will be without Azwan Ali Rahman as he is serving a one-game suspension.

"We will bring Azam back into the side,I think he has trained really well and he will come back and play," said the 48-year old.

"He gives good quality in a game where we have to keep the ball and be patient.

"With his diagonal passes, we can get good service for Rafa,: he concluded.

 

 



Thursday, October 29
Title race blown open.

The Singapore League title race has been blown wide open after leaders DPMM slipped to their second home defeat of the season after losing 1-0 to Tampines Rovers last night.

Naeem Rahimi scored the solitary goal in the 75th minute to hand DPMM to their first goalessgame at the venue of the season.

Substitute Ridhuan Mohamad sent a cross from the right into the box but it wasn't dealt by Boris Raspudic and the ball landed for Naeem to blast past DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof.

"We are disappointed as it opens the title race again,but I still wouldn't swap the position we are in," said DPMM FC coach Steve Kean.

Tampines coach Sundrammorthy, meanwhile, insisted that DPMM are still favourites to win the title.

"DPMM are still in the driving seat and are six points ahead,but we see anything is possible," he said."We have some tough games ahead and will do our best.

"The boys fought very hard and the goalkeeper was outstanding.He is one of the reasons we won," said Sundram.

DPMM were given a chance to get back in the game after Naeem was sent off for his second yellow card seven minutes later and should have equalised in the 88th minute after Rafael Ramazotti headed down for Joe Gamble to volley home from inside the box but Tampines custodian Pacheco produced a fantastic save. 

The Brazilian shotstopper pulled off another save to keep out DPMM captain Rosmin Khamis freekick from the edge of the box into the bottom corner two minutes later.

There was drama towards the end with Noh Alam Shah at the centre of it once again.

The Tampines forward seemed to ahve thrown at elbow at Azwan Ali Rahman in stoppage time  -  resulting in both sides coming togetherm

Kan felt that Noh should have been sent off for his actions.

"The deliberate elbow on azwan Ali right at the end that caused all the problems," said Kean.

"I was shouting to the players that we need the minutes and didn't need to get involved in that.It was a blatant elbow and it should be punished by a red," he insisted.

DPMM got off to a quick start with a chance for Maududi Helmi in the second minute, but his freekick from just outside the box sailed wide,Gamble found space from 20 yards out in the eigth minutebut his effort went wide.

Maududi strick one from the same distance the next minute but Pacheco dived down for the save.

DPMM should have taken the lead in the 13th minute after a good run by Aminuddin Zakwan down the middle to set up Awan Ali, but latter narrowly missed the target,

The hosts went on target again three minutes later after Raspudic connected on Aminuddin's cross from the right but was saved by PAcheco.

Tampines had a chance in the 24th minute after Shaiful Esah struck his freekick from the edge of the box into the wall.Fahrudin Mustafic got on the rebound but couldn't place it on target.

The visitors settled down into the game and Ismadi Mukhtar attempted a wide from 25 yards five minutes later - but only straight at Wardun.

Shaiful tried another set-piece, this time from almost 40 yards out, but Wardun easily saved.

The Stags had a good chance in the 56th minute after a good diagonal ball but Fabian Kwok was met by Rodrigo Tosi, but was off the mark.

The second half was littered with fouls, with referee Muhd Taqi showing yellows for almost every offence.

DPMM next face basement dwellers Geylang International FC at the Bedok Stadium in Singapore on Tuesday. 



Wednesday, October 28
DPMM face Tampines in 'biggest game of season'.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean feels that tonight's match against Tampines Rovers will be his biggest game to date at the club since he joined in November 2013.

The S-League leaders wil have one hand on the trophy should they overcome the Stags in their fifth meeting of the season - they met twice in the quarterfinals of the S-Cup.

Balestier Khalsa, who dropped off the pace after falling to Home Utd on Monday night, are second with 40 points having played a game more. "This is the biggest game...not only for the season but for the club over the past two seasons,"Kean told the Brunei Times yesterday.

"If we win tomorrow, it is almost mathematically impossible for Balestier to catch us.

"Even though Tampines might have a game in hand, it will be hard to catch us if we play at our best.

"We are in a strong position and the fans have been brilliant.We will hope they will come out to cheer on and get the tempo going.

"The confidence of the team is high.We quickly got the setback against Home Utd out of our system and had good wins against Hougang and Harimau Muda for 6 points ," continued the Scotsman.

The Sultanate's only professional team will be without Paulo sergio as he is serving his one game suspension after picking up his seventh yellow card of the season against Harimau Muda last Friday.

Azwan Ali is set to play the forward position in his place while Helmi Zambin will be inserted in the right back moving Aminuddin Zakwan in midfield.

"Sergio is suspended but it may be a blessing in disguise as he reinjured his hamstring again," said Kean.

"It may not be as bad but the doctors have ruled him out for this game.Hlemi is quick and has got the pace while Amin is adaptable and is playing in his original position in midfield.

"Azwan has played in that position a couple of times in the season and he can use his pace there.It brings a good balance to the side," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Helmi will be given his seventh start of the season, including in the 2-0 win over the Stags on May 10, and is looking to put up a strong performance.

"There is some pressure but now I'm all ready to take this opportunity," said Helmi.

"Tampines are a strong team with very good players.We have to watch out for them as they are really good with their ball movement.

"This is the most importnat game of the season and it is a must win match for us," he added.

On the other hand, Tampines coach V.Sundramoorthy felt that only victory will be enough for them to stay in the title race.

"It is the biggest game of the season and if we can beat DPMM then we can open up the league again," said Sundramoorthy.

"There are no two ways...we must go out there to win this game," he added.

Sundramoorthy is unfazed by the task at hand and the five-time S-League champions are hoping to come out on top with maximum points.

"Balestier have beaten them and we have beaten them last season.So I believe on the day performance is very important," said the former Singapore national player.

"We are confident and well-prepared,a nd the boys are looking forward to the game," he added.

When asked about how they managed to turn their season around, Sundramoorthy replied: "Any team needs time when there is change of some players.

"The team needed to gel and the boys believed in themselves.We were lucky in the early stages as we were making chances but not scoring,". Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 



Friday, October 23
Rosmin: A win is a win.

DPMM FC captain Rosmin Khamis yesterday urged his teammates to keep their winning momentum going into tonight's S-League match against Harimau Muda.

The club defeated Hougang Utd 2-1 on Tuesday following a disappointing 4-4 draw against Home Utd on Saturday, after tonight's tie, the league leaders will be looking for maximum points when they face against the Malaysian's Under-22 team at the Hang Jebat Stadium at 8pm.

"From now on we need all the three points from each of the remaining mathces,"said Rosmin in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

"That is our focus and I hope we can carry on our good form after the win against Hougang.

"We need three points. It doesn't matter how we do it and whether its a preety game or not...A win is a win," he insisted.

DPMM host Tampines next Wednesday, and Rosmin said it is important to keep the players fresh for every match.

"Our preparatu=ions have been good...We are focusing on light training and recovery and we are trying to keep everyone fresh and injury-free.

"So far there have been no injuries and all the players should be ready for tomorrow's game,"said Rosmin.

They beat Harimau Muda in their first match of the season at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on March 1 and they also beat them 2-0 when they hosted the Malaysians on Sept 12.

"It will be another tough gametomorrow," continued Rosmin.

"We need to fight until the end and we are not taking any chance.We need to step up our game mentally and physically," he stressed.

 

 



Tuesday, October 20
DPMM eager to avoid more slip-ups.

DPMM FC are looking to avoid more slip-ups in the league when they face-off Hougang Utd at the Hougang Stadium in Singapore tonight.

The league leaders are coming off a 4-4 draw against Home United on Saturday at home - amatch which the Brunei side should have won after taking a 3-1 lead into the final 10 minutes.

Instead now they are level on points with Balestier Khalsa after the Tigers beat the Young Lions 1-0 at the Toa Payoh Stadium last night.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean said they have gone through the routine of fixing things and are ready to bounce back.

"Yesterday we were a bit dejected as we had three points and those two slipped through our fingers," said Kean in an interview after a training session at the Jerudong Park Mini Stadium.

"But overall the actual performance to the game, if you take out those crazy minutes, was good.

"We have analysed the game and the bit we examined the most was after we made ot 3-1 and there were absolutely no indication at all that Home United would get back in the game.

"They haven't had any waves of attack or any sustained pressure, but from nowhere, we had a crazy 10 minutes.

"We analysed that and we looked at all their goals. They were all preventable and there is no big debate.

"It was just pointing out the slight mistakes and making sure that we do all the good things that we have done in the second half," he added.

"The real pleasing thing is that when we went a goal behindnear the end, we showed determiantion to get back into the game.

"At the end it might be a very big point at this stage of the season and we are still in a strong position," continued the Scotsman.

The last meeting between the two sides at the end of July ended in a 1-1 draw, and before that,, the Cheetahs managed to stun the Brunei side 1-0 in the Singapore Cup.

"The remaining matches are all difficult at this stage because everybody raises their game as we are sitting at the top of the league," said Kean. "We just need to play at our maximum because if we don't, we won't get all the three points.

"It has been shown this year that teams, regardless of where they are in the table, can produce upsets.We need to make sure that doesn't happen," he added.

DPMM have five players one yellow card from suspension, and Kean emphasised the importance of avaoiding silly bookings.

"If you take a card for tackle which the referee deems a bad tackle for whatever reason,that is fine as this is a contact sport," said Kean."The ones we want to avoid are those for dissent, kicking the ball away or time wasting.

"Any of that we got to do without. The boys already know about that,"concluded the former Blackburn Rovers manager. 



Saturday, October 17
Sergio boost for DPMM

Paulo Sergio has been cleared to play when leaders DPMM FC face off against Home United in the S-League at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas at 8.15 tonight.

The Portuguese forward has been bogged down by a recurring hamstring injury which he suffered in August and had to be substituted at half time in the first leg of the Singapore Cup semifinal agianst Home on Oct 2.

DPMM coach Steve Kean is gald to have Sergio, who found the back of the net four times in the past six games in all competitions,back to the lineup ahead of the match against the Protectors.

"All credit to him and especially the medical staff who have worked very hard over the past 10 days to get his hamstring recovered," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times after a trainign session yesterday.

"He is at 100 per cent but he might not be bale to play the whole game a s he will need to be careful near the end. He is looking sharp and its always good to have him back.

"What he brings is real energy in the front line and it is where we start to defend from. He always puts the defenderd under pressure and makes them rush the passes," he added.

"When we get the ball, he is so dynamic and explosive to cause problems in behind the defence.It is definitely nice to have him back on the pitch and he is the main provider for Rafael Ramazotti," continued the Scotsman.

It will not be an easy task against Home as the last two S-League encounters this season ended with both teams sharing the spoils - a 2-2 draw at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on March 21 followed by a 0-0 tsalemate at the Yishun on July 22.

DPMM did get the better of the Protectors with a 3-2 result at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore, ending a 10-game unbeaten run for the Protectors in all competitions.

"We have to make sure we get more possession.In the previous game we surrendered possession quite easily," said Kean.

"We didn't hold on the ball like our normal quality. We were trying to force the game a litle bit we weretrying to get in win one pass.Against a team like Home, you need the secure the first few passes then push them back.

"Psychologically, playing at home we want to get the ball and get the crowd behind us,"Added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"Home are a good side on the counter attack but our defending, as a team not just the defensive unit, has been good.

"It isn't something we focused too much on and we try to be us who will have the ball more.

'We will work really hard to get it back high up the pitch," continued Kean.

Home coach Philippe Aw is gald to be playing the Brunei side once again soon and is looking to prevent them from running away further at the top of the table.

"In a way,its good we are playing them again so fast," hetold DPMM Matchday Magazine."The team areall very disappointed as we knew that was a game we should not have lost because of our performance. The boys know it.

"So its good that we're playing DPMM again.

"They are trying to run away with the league but we're not giving up on it and we're going to Brunei to grab three points," he added

The Protectors will be without the suspended Sirina Camara for the encounter. 

 



Saturday, October 3
DPMM ends Home's four-month unbeaten run.

Brunei DPMM put a halt to Home United's unbeaten streak after a Singapore Cup semifinal first leg 3-2 win at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.

The Protectors had not lost agame since 22 June, where they went down 2-0 to Albirex Niigata (S) in the Starhub League Cup.

Against DPMM, their unbeaten run record in all competitions looked intact with both sides tied at 2-2.

That was until Rafael Ramazotti popped up with a alte winner in the 86th minute, to give DPMM a one-goal advantage heading into the second leg.

However, Hoem will have every right to feel aggrieved about the result after dominating the game and creating a buckload of chances.

DPMM took an early lead when Paulo Sergio stole in to slot the ball past Home goalkeeper Shahril Jantan in the eigth minute.

But they were soon placed under immense pressure by the Protectorsm and credit had to go to goalkeeper Wardun Yussof for keeping DPMM in the lead.

Ambroise could have levelled matters in the 18th minute but he lashed wide in front of goal while Ken was denied by Wardun minutes later.

The goalkeeper continued his fine performance after the break by denying Azhar Sairudin and Ilso again.

Wardun's goal was finally breached in the 56th minute, as Azhar beat him with a low shot shot from the dge of the box into the bottom corner. 

Home then took the lead two minutes later, as Ambroise Begue connected with Ken Ilso's cutback to rifle the ball home.

The Protectors joy barely lasted five minutes though, with a blunder by Shahril giving DPMM their equaliser.

The goalkeeper appeared to have had Azwan Ali's freekick covered, but the ball somehow squirmedunder him.

Both sides apperared to be heading for a draw, until Ramazotti managed to head in Maududi Helmi's cross to break the Protectors' hearts. 



Tuesday, September 29
Rosmin: We don't think about 'bogey teams'.

Though the Pretectors are riding in a 10-game unbeaten streak in all competitions heading into the encounter, DPMM FCskipper Rosmin Khamis believes they can beat them if they stick to playing good football.

"We are focused on the semifinals. In game nowadays, we don't think about what people call a 'bogey team'," said Rosmin in an interview with the Times yesterday.

"We of course know Home are a decent team,but if we keep doing what we have been doing the last few games and play at our best, we can achieve what we want.

"If we can perform wellI'm sure we can beat anybody," continued the DPMM skipper.

"The side has been creating plenty of chances but have been unable to find their scoring boots.

It maybe be cause of concern, but Rosmin believes that they are ready this time around.

"Training has been the same but we haver been working more on our finishing to improve our sharpness in front of goal," said the captain. 



Monday, September 28
Protectors in good shape ahead of Sg Cup blockbuster against DPMM.

Home United are in good form as they look to move one step closer to winning the RHB Singapore Cup by seeing off Brunei DPMM in this week's semifinals.

On the back of a ten-game undefeated run in all competitions, the Protectors face off against DPMM at the Jalan Besar Stadium in the first leg of their last-four tie on Tuesday, with the return encounter scheduled three days later at the Yishun.

Despite their recent form, their progress has been hampered in recent weeks by the haze currently engulfing Singapore and the region.

First, their Great Eastern Yeo's S.League meeting with Geylang International was postponed due to unplayable conditions two weeks ago, before last Wednesday's game against Tampines Rovers was called off as the Protectors were in possession of a 2-1 lead at the break.

 Still, Home coach Philippe Aw believes there were many positives from that display which will bodes well for them as they look to see off DPMM in the coming weeks.

We have these two huge matches coming up and if had beaten Tampines, of course it would have been a big boost for us," he said.

"But we can still take heart from the way we had played and were on course for victory.

"Now, we'll go into the Singapore Cup semifinals looking to give DPMM two very tough games and hopefully it'll be us that progress." 

Should Home reach the final,it is shaping up to be an extremely hectic period for them as the 2015 season reaches its climax, especially given that they will have to replay their two matches against Geylang and Tampines.

Nonetheless, Aw believes the Protectors will be well equipped to handle the challenge, having dealt with a fixture pileup for much of the season. He added: "This season, our fixtures have been this way. On several occasions, we've had to play two games in four daysso the players are all used to it .We'll be ready for it when it comes."

Both sides have met twice already in the league this season and have canceled each other out on both occasions.

Hoem grabbed a late equaliser to force a 2-2 draw at the Sulatan Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium back in March, before the two teams played out a 0-0 draw at the Yishun Stadium in July. 



Wednesday, September 23
Rosmin settles it right at the death.

Brunei DPMM captain Rosmin Khamis struck a last-minute winner to help his side see off Court Young Lions on Tuesday evening at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Boris Raspudic gave DPMM the lead initially with a 40th minute opener until Shameer Aziq cancelled it out with a beautiful striker Midway through the second half.

That set the stage up for Rosmin to settle the contest deep into injury-time.

Steve Kean's men had started the game brightly and could have opened the scoring as early as the third minute but Paulo Sergio struck the post after getting behind the static Young Lions backline.

Azwan Ali forced Syazwan Buhari into a save four minutes later, while Sergio missed the target once more with an attempted lob over the Young Lions goalkeeper. 

The hosts were struggling to get out of their half as DPMM pegged them back, and had to defend in numbers.

Both Maududi Hilmi and Fafael Rammazotti missed the targets as well, before Ammirul Emmran produced a good block to prevent Ramazottifrom turning a header goalwards.

But the Young Lions' resistance were finally broken five minutes before the break, when Ramazotti drew away Syazwan's attention before squaring for the unmarked Boris Raspudic to tap into the empty net.

Ramazotti could have doubled the lead right before the halftime whistle, but fired narrowly wide instead when it was easier to score.

The Yoing Lions came out of the break determined to get back into the game, and it showed as they immediately went on the attack.

However, their final pass was lacking and it often meant they were unable to create clear-cut chances.

It was always going to take something special for the Young Lions to breach the DPMM defence and right winger Shameer provided that moment of magic in the 74th minute.

Latching onto a brilliant passfrom Afiq Noor, the 20-year old took a touch before sending the ball into the top corner with Wardun Yussof left grasping at thin air as he made a futile attempt to make a save.

Two minutes later, Afiq had a decent chance himself bit could not keep his shot down.

The visitors went all out in search at the winner, but were failed by four excellent stops from Syazwan.

First , he denied Ramazotti with his legs before tipping Raspudic's header from a corner.

Two minutes later, he come our quickly off his line to prevent Sergio from scoring as he broke into the box, before stopping Shahrazen Said's fierce shot.

But there was nothing Syazwan could have done to prevent the goal as full-time loomed.

As Shahrazen broke down the left past Fadli Kamis, Syazwan come off his line to narrow down the angle only for the DPMM substitute to square it to the unmarked Rosmin, who blasted the ball into the roof of the net for the winner.

 

 



Tuesday, September 22
DPMM,Young Lions clash.

S-League leaders DPMM FC are looking to continue their good form when they take on the Young Lions at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore tonight.

DPMM FCcoach Steve Kean is not looking at past results and is confident his players can find the back of the net after coming off a 0-0 draw against Albirex Niigata(S) on Wednesday.

"We never take young teams lightly," insisted Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times after yesterday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"It doesn't matter where they are in the table or what the score was the last game.

"They play with enthusiasm and freshness, and if you are not on it then they can coem on and they can embarrass you as we know they've got a lot of good individuals.

"We are confident as we are a good unit at the moment and confident we can put in a good performance like the last game against Albirex with the same amount of chances.

"We have been practising our finishing and I'm confident we can get some goals this week," continued the Scotsman.

It will be no easy task as the Young Lions are coming off a surprise 1-0 win over Tampines Rovers FC on Saturday.

It was the Young Lions fifth win in 17 games, and the result prompted Tampines coach V.Sundramoorthy to say that the Stags no longer have a say in the title race.

DPMM FC, meanwhile have picked up four clean sheets in their last five matches - with Kean attributing the statistic to their aggressive pressing.

"The thing is when you are aggressive in front,the actual defending unit does less.They only need to defend three or four waves of attack the whole game," said Kean.

"Defence starts from the front and thaat is a big factor as to why we got more clean sheets.

"I think the opposition find it very hard to penetrate and get into the final third."We are focused on our pressing and making sure we are aggressive when the opposition got the ball.We don't let the opposition team get any type of rhythm.

"I thought we did that well the last game, and that has been the secret for us.

Winning the ball high up the pitch shows how aggressive we have been.

"We touched on that again this week and maintain our patterns to get in front of goal.

That has the thing that stood out the most and that we have to work on.

"We are creating the chances, but we need to be more ruthless in front of goal," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Rafael Ramazotti has been stuck with 14 goals to his name in the league and Fazrul Nazwaz now joins him at the top of the goal scoring charts on the same number.

The Brazilian striker hasn't found the back of the net the past four matches is hoping to get back on track.

"I need to keep working and be better. It is good when we have chances and bad if we don't have it,"said Ramazotti.

"I have scored many times this season...But the most important thing is that we win together.

"It is not about myself.If I score then good, but if I can't then I will run and fight for the team,"he added.

"I will help in any form possible for the team.

"Sure, I want to score every game, but most importantly I want to win the league and hopefully be the top scorer as well,"concluded the Brazilian.

Joe Gamble will return in the line-up after serving a two-game suspension but the duo of Md Hendra Azam and Reduan Petara is out with injury.

Meanwhile, the Young Lions will eb without Jordan Webb after picking up a red card late against Tampines.

Kick-off is at 7.30pm and the full match will be telecasted live on RTB2. 



Thursday, September 17
White Swans fail to close gap on DPMM

Second-placed Albirex Niigata failed to reduce league leaders Brunei DPMM's lead at the top after both sides played out a scoreless draw at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The draw allowed DPMM to maintain their four-point lead over Albirex and Warriors FC at the top of the Great Eastern YEO's League table, with eight games remaining.

It could have been a different outcome had DPMM converted one of the numerous chances they had in the game, but instead their pfoligacy saw them failing to score for the first time in nine matches.

DPMM could have gone ahead as early as the third minute, but topscorer Rafael Ramazotti failed to find the target after getting behind the defence.

Eight minutes later, Yasuke Mazawa was forced into a big save after centre-back Brian McLean connected superbly with Azwan Ali's corner.

Ramazotti missed another decent opportunity in the 17th minute, before Maududi Hilmi volleyed narrowly wide after the Brazilian striker had set him up.

A brilliant one-twobetween Azwan and Sergio then saw the latter with a great opportunity, but he struck straight at Nazawa instead.

Sergio then turned creator just before halftime when he sent Ramazotti racing through, only for the striker to fire a tame shot at the Albirex custodian.

DPMM's profligacy carried on in the second half, and Sergio headed narrowly wide from close range after Azwan Salleh found him lurking inside the box with a fantastic cross.

A rare chance for Albirex came in the 64th minute, but Atsushi Kawata screwed his shot wide from a promising position.

Nazawa was called into action once more, this time to keep out a curling effort by Sergio from the edge of the area.

DPMM could have been punished for their wastefulness right at the death after McLean advertently headed the ball to Shun Anaba inside the DPMM's penalty box.

However, the Japanese midfielder sliced his volley agonisingly wide to the relief of the DPMM bench, as the game ended in a stalemate. 



Sunday, September 13
DPMM go 4 points clear at the top of S-League.

DPMM moved four points clear at the top of the S-League after a 2-0 victory over Harimau Muda last night.

The duo of Maududi Hilmi Kasmi and Paulo Sergio found the back of the net in either half to seal all three poi ts at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The Brunei side are now at 35 points from 18 games followed by Albirex Niigata in second placed heading into the final third of the season.

DPMM almost opened the scoring in the fourth minute with Rosmin Khamis getting at the end of a PAulo Sergio freekick from the left but the ball went over.

They got another chance from a set piece five minutes later with Sergio delivering for Boris Raspudic at the far post but the Bosnian couldn't get a touch to it.

Harimau Muda skipper Nazirul Hashim attempted a 30-yard freekick at goal in the 16th minute but his attempt floated over.

The visotors were on target in the 28th minute but the header off a corner went straight to Wardun Yusof.

DPMM broke the deadlock in the 31st minute after Azwan Salleh delivered the ball into the box for Sergio, who took a quick one touch pass to send Maududi through on goal to slot it home.

The hosts got similar attempt four minutes kater but Azwan couldn't get right touch at the far post.

Harimau Muda were on target again in the 39th minute with Ashmawi Yakin driving a low shiot from ust inside the box but was saved by Wardun.

At the other end, Sergio fired a goal from inside the box was denied by custodain Ramadan Hamid.

DPMM had back-to-back chances to add to the tally in the first half stoppage time.

Ramadhan fumbled an Azwan free-kick but none of the players reacted quickly enough to pounce on the rebound and Rafael Ramazotti just missed of the bottom of far post just with a shot on his right foot to sum up the opening half.

DPMM had a chance to double the lead just three minutes after the interval but Ramdhan kept out Sergio's attempt from the edge of the box.

Harimau Muda picked up their game and pressed their opponents to gain more ball possession.

They should have equalised in the 59th minute after Ridzuan Abdunloh Pula broke through on the left and Wardun came off his line to close down the shot.

The ball went across the goal but Akhir Bakari only manged to find the side netting at the far post.

Another opportunity came bagging for Harimau Muda in the 67th minute with Ridzuan putitng a cross into the box but Akhir couln't keep his header on target.

DPMM doubled their lead in the 73rd minute with Sergio whipping a freekick from 25 yards out that beat everyone.

The Portuguese forward delivered another dangerous deadball from the left 6 minutes later and was chested down by Ramazotti but blasted over.

Tp of the table clash is next for the Brunei side as they face off against Albirex at the Jalan besar Stadium on Wednesday. 

 

 

 



Saturday, September 12
DPMM looking to extend league.

DPMM FC are looking to extend their lead at the top of the S-League when they host Harimau Muda tonight.

The Brunei side, who are on 32 points from 17 matches, will finally play their game in hand from second placed Albirex Niigata, who are just a point back.

Albirex were scheduled to centest Tampines Rovers at the Jalan Besar in Singapore on Thursday but the match was postponed due to hazy conditions.

DPMM coach Steve Kean is gald to finally play their game in hand and feels that his side is recharged after their last match two weeks ago.

"I think it is good that was game was postponed last night.It is beneficial to us provided we win," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times after yesterday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"The break was good as it came at the right time.It is never nice to lose a game before you go into a break,but it gives you  chance to replenish your energy.

We have been training nearly everyday for seven weeks and I gave the boys a five-day break even though it was not on soncecutive days,"he added.

"We did quite a lot of fitness work and I never really gave them a lot of the ball. I starved them with the ball to work on both the technical and tactical sides,and they now look really fresh and hungry," continued the Scotsman.

DPMM have a favourable record against over Harimau Muda and have won the last three meetings - the last game win courtesy of a Ramazotti hat-trick in the season opener on March 1.

Regardless,Kean expects strong opposition from the Malaysians- especially since they have beaten Warriors and Albirex away from home.

"This game is very much like the Young Lions game. Like any young team, they don't get disheartened," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"They will keep coming at you and play with no fear. They are energetic,pass the ball, and run off the ball very well.We will need to play at our best again,"he stressed.

The hosts will be without the duo of Azwan Ali and Joe Gamble through suspension, with Maududi Hilmi Kasmi and Azwan Saaleh set to play at their place.

"They both have trained well,Maududi has been fantastic in games when he has come on as a substitute and had an impact," said Kean.

"It is unfortunate for Azwan especially after scoring a wonderful goal in the last home game start.He took that well and trained really well," added the 47-year old.

On the other hand,Harimau Muda coach Razip Ismail expects a difficult task to upend their opponents but feels positive.

"DPMM are a tough opponent, and during my time we have never beaten them," said Razip.

"We know how difficult it is to play themon their home ground but anything can happen in footballIt is not impossible.

"We have picked up most of our points away from home and we will need to be at our best.We will try to get at least a point from the game," concluded the Malaysian.

Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 



Sunday, August 30
Tigers assert title credentials after beating DPMM

Balestier Khalsa underlined their status as genuine title challengers for the S-League following a 2-1 win over league leaders DPMM.

The win reduced the gap between Balestier and DPMM to 3 points, as the Tigers climbed to third spot, level with Warriors on 209 points but ahead on superior goal difference.

Balestier could have easily enjoyed a comfortable lead by the end of the first half, but they failed to put away the chances that came their way.

Zulkiffli Hassim blasted over from close range in the first minute, while Miroslav Kristic screwed his shot wide from six yards out after breaking free of the backline in the seventh minute.

The hosts did open the scoring in the 13th minute, with Robert Pericic on hand to tuck away a rebound after Wardun Yussof had parried Yusiskandar Yusop's shot.

However, they continued to be wasteful in front of goal, with Ignatius Ang balzing over from just inside the box in the 18th minute.

Kristic was also guilty of missing a gilt-edged opportunity as he hit the woodwork after Ang had found him with a sweet cut-back just before halftime.

On the other hand,DPMM were struggling to test Zaiful Nizam apart from a Rafael ramazotti effort in the 28th minute which the custodian did well to push it away.

Shahrazen Said had a glorious opportunity to level matters in the 57th minute, but he sent his effort wide after having only Zaiful to beat.

This allowed Balestier to double their advantage in the 59th minute, with Kristic beating three defenders to get away a shot which went via the spot.

DPMM's misery were then further compounded in the 79th minute, with Joe Gamble receiving his marching orders following an illegal tackle.

Enjoying the numerical superiority, Balestier were able to pur forward in numbers but Krisric and And spurned the chances that cam their way during the final moments of the game.

Their miises proved inconsequential even though Paulo Sergio scored right at the death, as the referee soon blew for the final whistle. 



Saturday, August 29
DPMM face Tigers test.

DPMM will be looking to extend their winning streak to four games in the S-League when they face-off against Balestier Khalsa at the Toa Payoh Stadium in Singapore today.

The Tigers are one of only two sides - with Albirex Niigata (S) being the other - to inflict defeat on DPMM in the league this season after coming away with a 2-1 victory at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The last three wins for DPMM have come on home ground but coach Steve Kean is unfazed by playing the away fixture and is in confident mood.

"No matter whether we are playing home or away, we got to make sure we do all the basic things. At the moment we are passing the ball well and pressing really well," said Kean after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium on Thursday. 

"We are looking solid behind the ball and we actually picked up more points away than home last season.

"We just got to make sure we don't get sloppy and complacent.Every game is a new one and it doesn't mean that when we play well,we automatically think that we turn up and things are going to happen," he added.

"Everybody got to have an impact and have a fresh mind going into each game.This will be a really tough match but we are confident to keep the momentum going.

"We need to eb like where we were in first half against the Young Lions.We need to be at our best to get all three points," continued the Scotsman.

Kean also knows the threat the Tigers pose but assured that they are ready for the challenge.

"We always know what to expect with Balestier. I think from the physical aspect they are a big and powerful side," said Kean.

"They play the ball forward very early.They try to get the ball into the box as early as possible.They are dangerous on setplaysand that is an aspect of the game we have to be careful with by not giving cheap freekicks away.Competing for the first and second balls is key in this match," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM will be missing the services of Azwan Ali Rahman, who will eb serving a two-game suspension, after a straight red against the Young Lions.

Shahrazen Said will be re-inserted back into the starting line-upafter putting up commendable performances playing in place of an injured Paulo Sergio in recent weeks.

Kickoff is at 7.30pm and is available for live streaming on VOXSPORTS.com.sg. 



Monday, August 24
DPMM return to summit with comfortable win.

Ten-man DPMM clinched all three points to go back top at the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League after beating Courts Young Lions 2-0 last night.

Paulo Sergio found the back of the net just seven minutes in on his return to the starting lineup after recovering from a hamstring injury, before Joe Gamble added another top separate the two sides at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium last night.

DPMM produded a dominant showing right from kick-off and took the lead after Sergio won a free lock-off 25 yards out from goal.

The Portuguese struck it into the top corner leaving Courts Young Lions custodian Syazwan Buhari with nio chance despite getting a slight touch to it.

The Brunei side should have doubled their lead in the 18th minute after good pressure by Azwan Ali Rahman to win the ball from Sheikh Abdul Hadi. However, the former decided not to go it all alone and put the ball to his left for Rafael Ramazotti, who never got a shot off.

Azwan Ali produced a nutmeg on Amirul Adi two minutes later before firing at goal, byt Syazwan produced a good stop.

The hosts doubled their lead in the 26th minute after Syazwan denied Sergio and the rebound dropped for Joe Gamble. His initial attempt bounced off the upright but the Irishman made no mistake at the second time of asking.

S-League top-scorer Rafael ramazotti could have extended the lead further, but somehow missed the target from 15 yards in the 32nd minute after Sergio had set him up.

The visitors were let off the hook two minutes later when Azwan Ali , who presented with a one-on-one situation, but failed to beat Syazwan , who produced a good save.

DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Tussof was called into action in the 37th minute, with Adam Swandi putting one on target inside the box. The rebound fell kindly for Sherif El-Masri, the Canadian put it wide.

At the other end, Ramazotti had another opportunity to get on the soresheet, but was denied by Syazwan once more.

Things took a bad turn for DPMM on the stroke of halftime after Azwan Ali received his marching orders.The winger get tangled up with M.Anumathan while chasing the ball and lashed out with an elbow, leaving referee Md Syahir with no other choice but to send him off.

It took the wind out of the sials for DPMM, and they were forced to play much more defensive game.Steve Kean's charges spent plenty of time in their own halfafter the restart as a result, although they were never really troubled in front of goal by their opponents.

Jordan Webb should have done better in the 63rd minute after making a run into the box, but could not keep his shot on target.

Sergio had a good chanceto add to the scoresheet after picking up a poor back pass by Anumathan to go one-on-one with Syazwan in the 74th minute.The DPMM forward was dragged down inside the penalty box by the Young Lions defender and thought he earned the penalty, but was not given.

DPMM were on the attack again 4 minutes later with Sergio sending cross for Gamble insode the box, but the Irishman fired wide.

Sherif attempted a 35-yard freekick at goal in the 81st minute in an ambitious effort, and it flew straight at Wardun's arms.

The former tried to get to his anme on the scoresheet again in stoppage time with a desperate bicycle kick, but it went wide instead.

With the victory, DPMM are now firmly on top of the league standings with 32 points, and opened up a two-point lead over Albirex, who have already played a game more. 



Sunday, August 23
DPMM FC welcome back Sergio

DPMm FC will welcome back Paulo Sergio to the starting line-up for their S-League match against the Young Lions at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas tonight.

The Portuguese forward has beem ou of action since picking up a hamstring injury againat Tampines Rovers on Aug 1 and is eager to get back on the pitch.

"I'm prepared and ready. The team have done a fantastic job in preparing for this match," said Sergio in an interview with the Brunei Times after yesterday's training session at the Jeruding Mini Stadium.

"This is an important game for us as we have two games in hand , who are on 29 points while DPMM are a point behind and a win will send us to the top of the table,"he added.

"But we know the Young Lions are a good team with quality players. We respect them but we want to get this win,"continued Sergio.

DPMM coach Steve Kean is gald to have his import player back in action and also paid tribute to Shahrazen Said for filling in during the Portuguese's absence.

"When you got a player (Sergio) with this quality and pace, he can cuase havoc. It is good to have him back,"said Kean.

"Shahrazen deputised for Paulo when he was out injured and has done very well. It is unfortunate for him not to start this game but I believed he will be involved in some stage,"added the Scot.

The Young Lions are coming off a 3-1 win over Geylang International on Thursday which sent them off the foot of the table.

Kean is wary of the type of challenge posed by the Under-3 side after drawing 1-1 in their first meeting of the season on July 26, where DPMM were made to play a amn down for over an hour.

"They got even better as they played with no fear like any young enthusiastic team. They always want the ball and play good football," said Kean.

"No matter if they are behind, they don't get down and beat themselves up.Thry will just keep coming.

"It will be a dangerous game for us and we need to be as good or better than against the Warriors  to ensure we get the three points," he added.

It is the first time in Brunei for Young Lions coach Juergen Raab and he expects a tough outing - though the German to get at least a point of out of the match.

"After you win a match,it is always a good thing for the team as the confidence level is good,"said Raab.

"But what we know is that tomorrow will be hard match for us. Getting a draw here will be a big success for us," he added.

When asked on what to watch for against the hosts, Raab pointed out the height advantage that DPMM possess.

"They have a really good striker in Ramazotti, who is a tall player with a good header. That will be a problem for us," said Raab, who took over as the head coach after the SEA Games in June.

"They also have a good midfield in Joe Gamble as well as experienced playes in defence. It will be important task for us to try and prevent them from delivering too many crosses to Ramazotti,"he added.

"It will be dangerous to give away set pieces around the corners but we will try and play the style of football like we did in the second half of our last game where we did very well," concluded the German.

 

 

 



Thursday, August 20
DPMM beat title rivals.

DPMM FC stamped their authority over S-League defending champions Warriors FC by beating them 2-0 to move to the top of the table last night.

S-League top-scorer Rafael Ramazotti opened the scoring in the 21st minute after rifling in a shot from inside the box for his 14th goal of the season, and second half substitute Adi Said scored in the dying seconds to secure the three points a t the Hasaanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The hosts dominated proceedings from the first whistle and had good chance to break the deadlock in the 13th minute.

A good ball by Md Hendra Azam found Shahrazen Said down the right, and the forward dribbled the ball into the box but his shot was deflected for a corner.

DPMM grabbed the lead in the 21st minute after Md Hendra Azam intercepted a ball in midfield before launching it cross-field to the left for Azwan Ali.

The latter dribbled in before cutting it back for Ramazotti to balst home from 12 yards.

Shahrazen fired on the turn from just inside the box in the 38th minute but it went straight it Warriors goalkeeper Daniel Ong.

Md Hendra Azam tried his luck from just over 20 yards out the next minute but the ball floated just over the bar.

At the other end, the Warriors got a good opportunity after Syaqir Sulaiman was given a free header but couldn't get it on target.

Ramazotti could have added to his tally in the 45th minute with an overhead kick at the end of Azwan Ali's cross from the right, but Ong was able to deal with it.

The Warriors appealed for a penalty before the half time break after judging a DPMM player to haev handled the ball in the box, but the pleas to referee Farhad Mohd were to no avail.

DPMM should have been doubled their lead in the 57th minute after Sairol Sahari sent a ball from the left for an unmarked Shahrazen into the box, but the forward headed his attempt over.

Nicolas Velez, who was playing his last game for the Warriors got the better of Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir before firing at goal two minutes later-but DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussofwas his equal for a good save.

The Warriors almost levelled in the 76th minute after Brian McLean slipped on a clearance, allowing Fazrul Nawaz to pull the ball back for Velez.The Argentinian fired a low shot to the bottom corner but Wardun down to his left to keep the ball out.

DPMM had a good chance to kill off the game from a counter attack in the 86th minute with Rosmin Khamis sending Adi on his way.

The forward got past two markers before chipping the ball for Ramazotti to volley home  but Shahul Rayyan, who came on in place of an injured Ong at ahlftime went full stretch to top it over.

The hosts did get their second goal just before the final whistle which started with Ramazotti holding the ball wide before playing playing it wide to Azwan Ali.

The latter wasn't closed down and dribbled into the box on  the left to lure Shahul out before placing it to the middle for Adi to slot the ball into the empty net.

DPMM will next host the Young Lions on Sunday. 

 

 



Wednesday, August 19
DPMM, Warriors set for crucial clash.

Both DPMM coach Steve Kean and his Warriors FC counterpart, Alex Weaver see the importance of getting a positive result when the two teams clash at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium at 8.15 tonight.

The defending S-League champions Warriors are currently second in the 10-team table with 28 points while the Brunei side are 2 points behind with a game in hand.

With Albirex leading the pack with 29 points, Kean belives that tonight's match against one of their title rivals will be important in deciding who will win the S-League.

"This is a good opportunity to get one up against one of the top teams which I'm convinced will br up near at the top until the end of the season," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

"Even though there is still a long way to go in the season, it is very important to pick up the three points.

"We've got the home advantage and are playing well."

"Overall, we drew a lot of games but have since picked up victories and are in the semifinals  of the Singapore Cup," added the Scot.

Weaver felt that the season might just go down the wire.

"It is not going to decide anything at this stage, but it is important because every win is important," said Weaver.

"We all know how close it is going to be at the end of the season and I think everyone ealises that it will go down the wire again like last year.

"The points you pick up now against teams at the top are crucial and we are coming here for a positive result," continued Weaver.

Kean has helped his side regroup to ensure that they are fully focused for the match.

"I really just reminded them how well we did in the first leg.I thought we did really well and controlled the game," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"When we played the way we did in the first game, the players are confidence to each other and trusted each other with the ball," he added.

The matchup will also be the last for the reigning Young Player of the Year Nicolas Vele before the striker joins Indian Super League side North East Utd and Kean is wary of the threat the Argentinian can pose.

"He is an excellent player who will be sadly missed,and from our point of view, we want to be careful and won't want him injured," said Kean.

"We're not sure if he will start or come on as a substitute but he is a a quality player and we will need to mark him tightly.

"He is always aware of his strengths, is technically excellent and has great pace,"continued the Scotsman. 

 

 



Friday, August 14
DPMM advance into semis despite narrow defeat.

Brunei DPMM became the first team to make it into the semfinals of the RHB Singapore Cup after dispatching Tampines Rovers 3-2 on agreegate.

Agoal in injury time from Ismadi Mukhtar helped the Stags to emerge 1-0 victors from the second leg on Thursday evening, but the hosts could not overturn a two-goal deficit from the 3-1 deficit in the first leg.

It could all have been over for Tampines in the tie with barely five minutes played after Rafael ramazotti nod a long punt from Wardun Yussof to send Shahrazen Said through.

The striker's shot was pushed away by Tampines Goalkeeper Rodrigo Pacheco with his fingertips.

However, trailing 3-1 from the first leg, the onus was on Tampines to attack instead, and it showed with DPMM pegged in their own half.

But the Stags struggled to create clear chances, with most of their opportunities coming from outside the box instead.

A Shaiful eash cross in the 28th minute allowed MAteo Roskam a rare sniff at DPMM's goal, but the towering striker headed over poorly.

Chances continued to be at a premium for both sides going into the second half, with DPMM seemingly content to defend their two-goal cushion in numbers.

Rodrigo Tosi did get onto the end of a Shaiful Esah corner in the 51st minute, and another incisive run into the box from the left saw him fired the ball across the face of the goal wih Wardun rooted to his spot.

PAcheco then made a mess out of what seemed like a routine save from Ramazotti's header by pushing it onto the unaware Mustafic Fahrudin, before the ball rolled by inches wide of the post.

Substitute Noh Alam Shah almost scored in the 73rd minute when he fired the ball towards the bottom corner after Raskam found him with a cutback, but Wardun got his fingertips to it to deny the striker.

Three minutes into injury time, Tampines were awarded a penalty after Tosi was brought down by Josepg Gamble inside the box.Captain Mustafic fired the spotkick straight at Wardun, but Ismadi reacted quickest to convert the rebound and handed Tampines a glimpse of hope.

But a last-ditched tackle from Raspudic inside the DPMM box foiled Jamil Ali right at the death after Tampines won the ball from the restart,as the visitors hed on to move into the semis. 

 



Thursday, August 13
Kean files complaint with S-League.

DPMM coach Steve Kean has filed a complaint with the S-League after accusing Tampines Rovers striker Noh Alam Shah of spitting on his face at the end of their Singapore Cup quarter-final first leg on Monday.

Kean told the press after the 3-1 victory at the Jalan Besar Stadium that it was the first time he had experienced something like that in his 20 years as a professional coach,and the Scot hoped that the rightful authorities will take action over the incident.

"We have filed a complaint with the S-League This is the first time that I have encountered something like this in all my years of football and I hope it will be dealt with," said Kean in an interview woth the Times yesterday.

"It is not about getting annybody susoended but the behaviour is something I have never seen before and this has spoilt what was a good game.

"I hpe there were cameras that caught it. We are not simply trying to get anybody in trouble but it is for  the better of the game in the future," continued Kean.

Regardless his charges are focused on the second leg encounter at the Juring West Stadium tonight.

"It is far from over,Tampines threw everything at us, but we were also unlucky not to have scored on the break," said Kean.

"There is 90 minutes left. I believe that we can score again and they will think they can too.It will be an open game," added the former Blackburn manager.

The Stags will be without Croatain Roberto Alviz after he was red carded in the 82nd minute for carrying off former team mate Awan Ali Rahman who was down with the cramps.

Kean felt there was no disputing the midfielder's red card.

"It is up to the referee to decide what to do next...Whether to ask the player to get up or to get treatment," said Kean.

"Obviously if you pick someone up, we will get in trouble.There is no argument to that.You can worsen the injury of the player," he added.

DPMM skipper Rosmin Khamis feels that anything can still happemn but he is ready for the challenge.

"What we need to do is to be at our best and avoid making mistakes," said Rosmin.

"We also need to avoid conceding freekicks,"

"They have got good height but we will be prepared for that.All we need is to focus on ourselves," he added.

When asked about the absence of Alviz,Rosmin replied: "It will be a huge miss for them but its not only about him, I think whoever replaces him wil want to show something."

Brian McLean,Azwan Ali and Rafael Ramazotti scored DPMM's goals in the first leg.

 

 



Tuesday, August 11
DPMM hold advantage over Stags after first leg.

Brunei DPMM secured a 3-1 victory over Tampines Rovers in the first leg of the RHB Singapore Cup quarter-finals at Jalan Besar Stadium on Monday night.

Two early goals laid the foundations for the important win, first through Brian McLean and then Azwan Ali as the Bruneians raced into an early lead.

Predrag Pacuca pulled a goal back for the Stags in the 15th minute, but it proved to be mere consolation for the Stags in the end as Rafael Ramazotti increased DPMM's lead two minutes after the break.

The fans had barely settled down into their seats in the fourth minute when Azwan sent in a free-kick that evaded a host of Tampines players to find McLean and he headed home DPMM's first chance of the game.

The Stags could have found the equaliser just three minutes later when Rodrigo Tosi made a darting run into the penalty box from the halfway line and let fly a piledriver at the near post. However, the bgig Brazilian's shot was blocked and booted out for a corner.

Tampines fell behind again when a mistake by Jufri Taha in the 12th minute allowed Azwan to nick the ball off him before advancing towards the Stags' goal.

With only Tampines custodian Rodrigo Pacheco to beat, the Bruneian made no mistake in slotting the ball into the back of the net from the edge of the box.

Taampines managed to pull one back three minutes later when an unmarked Pacuca rose the highest to meet Roberto Alviz's corner and power a firm header home.

The chance dried up after that as both teams tried to dominate play and littered the half with hard tackles that forced the referee to stop play on many occassions.

DPMM only managed to stretch their lead further in the 48th minute when Hendra Azam's pin-point cross from the right found Ramazotti.

The Brazilian swivelled away from his marker before Powering a bullet header past a stranded Pacheco to make it 3-1.

DPMM custodian Wardun Yusof's agility was then put to test on the hour mark as the goalkeeper had to pull off a brilliant save to tip away Alviz's dipping free-kick that looked destined to the top corner.

Wardu was in action again six minutes later when he was required to thwart Isa Halim's rasping drive from a similar position, this time tipping the ball over the crossbar.

Tampines' misery was compunded further in the 82nd minute when Alviz was ent off by referee Jensen Foo for dissent after he tried to carry an injured DPMM player off the field.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, the Stags poured forward in search of a second goal to reduce the deficit but DPMM were able to hold on to their two-goal advantage for the second leg. 



Monday, August 10
Confident DPMM set for Tampines Rovers clash today.

DPMM FC are in a good mood heading into the first leg of their Songapore Cup quarterfinal clash against Tampines Rovers today at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean felt that his charges are in confident mood and it is good to have played against the Stags recently where they played out to a 1-1 draw last Saturday."I think it really is an advantage to play them so soon.It is difficult for both clubs because the games have been close," said Kean to the Brunei Times after a training session on Saturday.

"We know they can score and and that we can score against them. We're in good form ourselves at the moment especially the front unit of Rafael Ramazotti,Azwan Ali and Shahrazen Said.They are creating a lot of chances and managing to score," he added.

Like in our last game to score three. We are looking like goals are coming from midfield and we are dangerous from set plays.

"We can use the pace of Azwan Alitogether with Shahrazen,"the coach said.

We are looking forward to play Tampines and hopefully we can get ourselves into the semifinals,"continued the Scotsman.

Tampines coach V.Sundramoorthy are looking to work on their weaknesses and expects a good encounter.

"This is another game in the Singapore Cup and it will be interesting when we play DPMM.

"I think the boys will be motivated to win this cup,"said Sundarmoorthy to the S-League after their loss to the Warriors.

"But we have to work on our weaknesses;the closing down outside the box should have been better tonight(on Friday)and not allowing for players to shoot freely," he added.

"We also need to keep focus until the final whistle, for 84 minutes we were okay," the coach said.

"We need to go back and watch the video and see where things went wrong and try to work on it," the coach said.

"Thats the best we can do," concluded Sundramoorthy.

The kickoff is at 7.30pm.

The second leg will be contested three days later at the Jurong West Stadium in Singapore.

DPMM produced their best finish in the competition last year fater edging the Stags 2-1 in the third-place playoff. 



Thursday, August 6
DPMM top of summit

DPMM ended their fivematch winless streak and shot to the top of the S-League with a 3-1 win over Geylang International last night.

On the other hand, the loss condemns Geylang to the bottom of the table and they are tied on 12 points with Young Lions, who havr a better goal difference and three games in hand.

Joe Gamble put into the box but Rafael Ramazotti couldn't steer his header on target.

Azwan Salleh, who was given his first start in over four months, tried to lob one from outside the box but the ball landed on the roof of the net in the fifth minute.

DPMM broke the deadlock in the eighth minute after Gamble put Azwan Ali Rahman through on goal.He rounded Geylang goalkeeper Yazid Yasin before putting the ball into the empty net.

Jozef Kapaln had a cjance for the Eagles after making a good run to the edge of the box, but his shot finished at the wrong side of the left post in the 15th minute.

Brian McLean had a good chance to doubel the lead for the hosts two minutes later after getting at the end of a 35-yard freekick by Gamblr at the far post but missed the target,

Hafiz Osman got a free header for Geylang off a corner in the 21st minute but he couldn't keep his attempt down.

At the other end, Azwan Ali overshot his pass to Shahrazen - allowinh Yazid to come off his line to colect the ball.

Ramazotti set himself up for a volley outside the box but it floated over in the 25th minute.

Despite being a man down with defender Yuki Ichikawa receiving the treatment at the sidelines, the Eagles equalised in the 32nd minute when Kaplan was put through before placing the ball for Shawal Anuar to put it past Wardun Yusof from inside the box.

DPMM almost replied immediately with Shaharazen firing on turn form the edge of the box, but Yazid dived down to his right to keep the ball out.

The hosts got back in front after Azwan Salleh was given space and produced a stunner from 20 yards out to make it 2-1.

It took three minutes after the interval for DPMM to get on the scoresheet again.

Azwan Ali got the ball at the edge if the Geylng box before firing at goal.Yazid kept the attempt out but Ramazotti pounced on the rebound from close range to bring his tally to a league high 13 goals.

Hafiz Nor made a good run to get past 2 markers in the 58th minute but his ball was whacked out of danger.

Geylang enjoyed plenty of possesion but couldn't find the goal that would put them back in the match.

Kaplan managed to find space but produced a tame shot in the 78th minute and was it easy for Wardun to handle.

The Eagles got another chance in the 87th minute after Boris Raspudic gave away a freekick at the edge of the box.

Tatsuro Inui struck the ensuing free-kick over the wall and on target, but it was parried away by Wardun to see the Brunei side to claim all three points. 

DPMM will now turn their attention to the Singapore Cup where they will take on Tampines in a two-legged quarterfinals to be contested on August 10 and 13. 



Wednesday, August 5
Sergio out indefinitely.

DPMM FC were dealt a heavy blow with Portuguese striker Paulo Sergio out indefinitely due to a hamstring injury.

Sergio, who was brought in to replace English forward Craig Fagan because of an ACL tear in March, picked up the injury in the game against Tampines on Saturday.

"He felt tightness in the hamstring at ahlftime against Tampines but wanted to carry on,"said a disappointed Steve Kean after yesterday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

 "He has had a scan and there is a little tear in his hamstring.He will get another scan tomorrow to know how long he will be out for and we will definitely miss him,"added the DPMM coach.

DPMM have a chance to move top of the standings on goal difference if they can grab all three points against Geylang, who are tied at the bottom with 12 points.

Kean felt that it was an advantage to play them recently and his charges are prepped up for the encounter.

"I think we can turn things around as it it is a big advantage to have played them so recently.Thry are very tight and have got many players at midfield who are good on the break," said Kean.

"They don't really try to keep possession and have no worries when they don't have the ball," he added.

"They are quite happy and win it for a chance to go on the break.Tehy will play deep near the box and counter-attack.That is what we have been working on," continued the Blackburn Rovers manager.

On the other hand,Gyelang have lost three straight games in the competition and coach Jorg Steinbrunner is hoping that things will turn around for the better.

They will have a full squad with defender Hafiz Osman back from a two-game suspension and Castanheira rested for the last three games due to injury.

"It doesn't mean that with Hafiz and Bruno back we will have a more positive result," said Steinbrunner.

"We just have to keep performing like we did in the last three games.

"We played wll the last three games but the resukts didn't go our way. Looking at the performances, it has been encouraging but not as good as during the League Cup.

At the moment, the players are working hard and hopefully we can turn things around.Tehy can see what they are capable of," added the German.

"We will need to cut out individual defensive mistakes tomorrow so that will help increase our performance.

"We should get some points out of the match if we don't simply concede goals," he concluded.

Kick-off is at 8.15pm. 

 



Sunday, August 2
DPMM draw again as Tampines winning streak comes to end.

DPMM drew their fourth successive game as Tampines fought back in the second half to hold them on Saturday evening at the Jurong West Stadium.

DPM took the lead in the fifth minute through Shahrazen Said, before Tampines equalised throughMateo Roskam inside the first 10 minutes of the second period.

The result meant that both Stags and DPMM lost out on the three points needed to close the gap on Warriors FC on the top of the table while Tampines three-match winning run came to an end.

It took just five minutes for deadlock to be broken, after DPMM sliced open the Tampines backline.

Rafael Ramazotti flicked a ball on for Paulo Sergio and he ran at the Stags' goal before threading a nice through pass for Shahrazen to guide inside the bottom corner after taking a touch.

Tampines had a penalty five minutes later after Firdaus Idros was brought down from behind by Aminuddin Zakhwan inside the box, but DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof produced a superb save to stop Fahrudin Mustafic's spot-kick.

The chances dried up thereafter and tempers almost bolied over after several hard fouls on the pitch, with Mustafic and Isa Halim both shown yellow cards.

Just before half-time, Shahrazen had two golden opportunites to extend the lead after being played behind by Ramazotti and Azwan Ali, but he failed to connect with the ball for the first attempt, befire firing inches wide when it was easier to score for the second.

Tampines came out roaring after the break and in the 51st minute, Firdaus saw his cross-shot shave the post with Wardun rooted to his spot after he got the better of Aminuddin once again.

The hosts got the equaliser they were searching for just three minutes later, with Roskam netting his fifth goal in the last four league games.

The goal however, was all about Ridhuan Mohamad after the winger won the ball in midfield and went on a surging run past Sairol Sahari before setting Roskam up for a tap in.

The striker was guilty of a poor shot in the 66th minute though, as he headed over from close range.

A counter attack fro DPMM saw Shahrazen was presented with another great chance, but he was foiled by Pacheco despite having all the time and space in the world.

DPMM then suffered a scare almost three-quarters into the match, Alviz picked the rebound from Roskam's shot and drew Wardun out of his six-yard box before leaving it off for Roskam with the goal gaping, only for the Croatain to slam his shot against McLean's outstretched leg.

A flick-on from Ramzotti sent Shahrazen galloping through before firing a first-time shot,but Tampines keeper Rodrigo Pacheco proved equal to it.

With time winding down, Tampines piled on the pressure and Tosi managed to get onto the end of a Jamil Ali corner, but sent his header crashing into the wrong side of the post instead, as the game ended in a draw. 



Saturday, August 1
DPMM looking to get back on track.

DPMM FC will be looking to get their S-League season back on track when they face an in-form Tampines Rovers at the Jurong West Stadium tonight.

The Brunei side have started the second round of the competition with three straight draws beginning with a 0-0 stalemate against Home Utd in July 22.

They dropped points in the next two with a 1-1 against bottom side Young Lions four days later and Hougang Utd on Wednesday.

Coincidentally, DPMM's last win was on May 10 a 2-0 triumph over Tampines on home ground.

Both teams hace gone through totally different paths with DPMM unable to geta awin since then - four straight matches - while the Stags haven't lost, picking up three straight triumphs.

Most impressively they did sp without conceding and have found the back of the net eight times.Mateo Raskam got his anme on the scoresheet in all three games.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean highlighted that they will have to improve on their finishing after watching his charges miss their chance to go top on Wednesday.

"At the moment we lack confidence in front of goal.Teh strikers are thinking about the missed chances or the goals they should have scored,"said Kean after the match against Hougang.

"What they need to do is to forget and move on to the next game.We will get abck to training  to work on our crossing, shooting and finishing," he added.

"We want the strikers to get back the feel good factor as well as work on getting rid of the little mistakes," continued the Scotsman.

Portuguese forward Paulo Sergio will be available for selection after returning from a one-game suspension.

 



Thursday, July 30
Kean: We were not ruthless enough.

Wasteful DPMM FC missed their chance to go top of the S-League after being held to a 1-1 draw against Hougang United last night.

DPMM FC have now gone four games in a row without a win, losing one and drew three in a row in their few outings.

They took a deserving lead in the first half courtesy of Azwan Ali Rahman but it was cancelled out by Vuk Sotirovic after the interval to see both teams take a point each.

It is the third straight draw and coach Steve Kean felt their failure to convert chances resulted in their downfall.

"On the balance of play and on the balance of chances, we probably have e nough attempts and chances to win three games...Never mind one," said Kean.

"The opposition didn't have any corners and really had one shot on goal and they scored.That is the dissapointing thing.

"Our build-up play and possessionwere good and we were controlling the game from ther middle of the pitch.When we got into the box we were just not ruthless enough.

"As we missed chances and the game went on, our opposition knew they were still in the game and hoped they could get a counter-attack, which they did.And really, their only shot on target went in at the near post.

"It was a poor goal from our point of view and we should have been five to six goals up then.

"What we really need to do know quickly with games coming up is to better in both boxes.We need to score more goals and be ruthless at other end.We are just not putting the game to bed," continued the Scotsman.

It has been over two months since DPMM played on home soil and they got off to a strong start through Azwan Ali - who should have grabbed the lead in the second minute after he made a good run into the box before seeing his hot bounce off the crossbar.

They came close again five minutes later after a good ball by Sairol Sahari into the box was headed down to the path of Shahrazen Said, but the latter couldn't put a good touch in it. 

DPMM deservingly broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute after Azwan Ali had his initial attempt inside the box blocked by Murshadad , but he struck with it to fire home the rebound for the lead.

Teh advantage should be doubled two minutes later with rafael Ramazotti getting at the end of Shahrazen Said's crossfrom the right,but it went over the bar.

Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir set up Md Hendra Azam at edge of box two minutes after the break, but his effort was kept out by Hougang Goalie Ridhuan Barudin at full stretch.

The Cheetahs equalised in the 69th minute off a counter-attack with Sotirovic getting the better of Sairol before firing past wardun at the near post.

Azwan Ali almost put DPMM back in front in the 89th minute but Ridhuan dived down for the save.Hougang were under heavy pressure in injury time and Ridhuan once again came to the visitors' rescue to deny Azwan Ali from close range.

DPMM will next face Tampines Rovers at the Jurong West Stadium on Saturday. 



Wednesday, July 29
DPMM FC eye summit.

DPMM FC have a chance to move to the top of the S-League should they overcome Hougang Utd at the Hassanal Bolkiah NAtional Stadium in Berakas tonight.

The side are currently third with 21 points, and a victory will seethem leapfrog Albirex Niigata and tie with leaders Warriors FC, but top them due to a better goal difference.

However, DPMM haven't been in their best form of late and are without a victory in their last three league matches.

DPMM coach Steve Kean is gald to finally get a home game and is in confident mood to turn things around.

"It will be a good incentive. It has been a long time since we've been top of the league," said Kean after yesterday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"We want to get back to the top and we obviously would have like to pick up more points in our last two games," he added.

"Our home crowd is superb and the fan club gets behind us.We are looking forward to get back to winning ways and give the fans something to cheer about," continued Kean.

The hosts will be without Paulo Sergio after the Portuguese pucked up his fourth yellow card of the season in the previous game.

Shahrazen Said will get his first start of the season with his younger brother Adi is also out after getting a red card in the last match.

"I have alwayas said to the local strikers that it is the hardest position to play because we got import strikers who narmally play,"said Kean.

Now through suspension,Shahrazen wil get the opportunity.

It is not a case where he needs to go and score goals.He just needs to do well and play well for the team,"he added.

DPMM have a good overall record over Hougang, winning six and drew twice out of the ten meetings dating back in 2012.

"I don't read much on the history as far as games.Sometimes you have certain games you do well against.I'm confident we can get all three points," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

On the other hand, Hougang coach Salim Moin knows it will eb a tough affair coming into Brunei despite winning the last meeting.

"I know we beat them in the League Cup but that was a different competition.In cup comepetitons,teams play each other only once but this is a league and the teams will eb fighting for league positions," said Salim.

"I saw them draw 0-0 with Home Utd in the league and they were rusty after a long break.

"They also had no momentum but it will be different in Brunei with the atmosphere in the stadium.

"They will have the support behind them so we will be definitely be very cautious when we come here to play," he added.

"Key players didn't play against Home and DPMM had trouble creating chances but overall their performance was quite interesting to see.

"They still have their same style of play and are a very high in tempo.They play their ball to their target man Rafael Ramazotti and he holds into the ball and runs into space.

"The whole team has a very good understanding with each other and thats very important."

Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 



Monday, July 27
Gutsy Young Lions hold DPMM

A brave Court Young Lions side came from behind to hold DPMM to a 1-1 draw at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday evening.

The visitors had led through Rafael Ramazotti's 18th minute penlaty before Young Lions forward Sherif El-Masri scorehis first goal of the season to secure a point for his side.

Both teams also finsihed the game with ten men, after Adi Said was ent off for violent conductin the first half while Amirul Adi received his marching orders after earning a second yellow card for dissent five minutes from time.

The Young Lions had came into this game looking to maontain their impressive display from the previous game,from the previous game, ehre they beat Warriors 2-0 at the Woodlands.

And they nearly got off to a good start when El-Masri intercepted a pass to initiate a counter before releasing Jordan Webb in the third minute.However DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussoff was equal to the striker's effort.

Adam Swandi then provided Amy Recha woth a glorious bal ball but from close range, but the striker drove his shot wideof the post in the 14th minute.

The hosts were made to rue thir misses in the 18th minute as Fadli Kamis gave away a penalty after using his hand to block a cross. Ramazotti duly stepped up to score his 12th goal of the season to give DPMMt the lead. 

However DPMM soon found themselves in trouble and a aman down as Adi was dismissed after the referee spotted him flinging his elbow into Sheikh Abdul Hadi's face in the 26th minute.

Despite their numerical advantage DPMM still managed to create several scoring opportunities by going on the counter and Young Lions custodian Syazwan buhari was called upn twice to deny Ramazotti.

As half time loomed, the Young Lions came close to an equaliser with Wardun at full stretch to tip away Adam's shot onto the woodwork.

After the break, the Young Lions proceeded to dominate possession but DPMM still looked more dangerous on the break. On several occassions, Sheikh and Adi were required to put in brave challenges to halt DPMM's counterattacks.

at the DPMM end, Fadli nearly made amends for his mistake in the 63rd minute , but he headed over from close range after Adam found him with a free-kick on the left.

The visitors responded with a similar attack in the 66th minute, only for Syazwan to deny Azwan Ali with a good stop.

Two minutes later, both sides suffered the agony of hitting the post with Sergio smashing his shot onto the woodwork before Young Lions defender suffered a similar fate at the other end.

The equalising goal came in te 79th minutewhen El-Masri met Adam's corner to power a header into the back of the net.

The hosts then had a chance to score the winner in the 84th minute, but substitute Danail Razali's drive was tipped away by Wardun.

As the final whistle drew closer, Adli found himself given his marching orders in the 85th minute after he earned a second yellow for dissent. 



Sunday, July 26
DPMM face Young Lions challenge at S-League.

DPMM FC are wary of the threat posed by S-League basement dwellers, the Young Lions when they face off today at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

The Young Lions showed they were no pushovers as they produced a surprise 2-0 win over defending champions and leaders Warriors FC on Thursday at the Woodlands Stadium.

The Singapore Under-23 side made plenty of changes to the roster after the SEA games last month and Juergen Raab had taken over office as the head coach after the resignation of Aide Iskandar.

The most notable addition to the roster is ths attacking midfielder Jordan Webb. The 27-year old returned to the team after more than 7 months and was the biggest factor in the triumph over the Warrors scoring one and creating the other.

Ragardless, DPMM skipper Rosmin Khamis is only focused on themselves and only got victory on their minds.

"We just need to win. The Young Lions are like a new team and brought in some new players since the arrival of their new coach," said Rosmin when contacted.

"We cannot take it easy against them since they can beat a tough team like the Warriors," he added.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean was pleased with the showing of his charges against the Protectors especially defensively in the second half.

Rosmin thought that it was no more just defence and hopes that they can carry the momentum forward.

"Everyone played better that night and it wasn't only defence.We will never take it easy,"concluded the DPMM skipper.

Brunei's only professional team will welcome back Azwan Ali Rahman from suspension while Brian McLEan will serve his second of a two-game suspension.

Kick-off is at 7.30pm. 



Thursday, July 23
Protectors and DPMM play out scoreless draw.

An inability to convert their chances saw both Home United and DPMM finishing with a 0-0 draw on Wedneday evening at the Yishun Stadium.

The Great Eastern-Yeo's League match was a fairly drab affair, with neither side really troubling the opposition's goalkeeper as they hardly created any clear-cut chances.

Even when the chances came, neither team could put them away as they both went away with a point each.

Amost 28 minutes was played out before the game witnessed the first real chance of the evening. Abdil Qayyim rose heghest to meet Sairudin's freekick and beat DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof but his header was cleared off the line by Boris Raspudic.

From the resulting corner, R.Aaravin headed over despite being unmarked.

Two minutes later, DPMM had a golden opportunity themselves as Hendra Azam picked Maududi Hilmi's run into the box with a cross, but the winger's attempt was well-saved by Home custodian Shahril Jantan.

Chances continued to be at a premium, although the hosts did have an effort on goal seven minutes into the second period.

Home defender Ang Zhi Wei went on the overlap and sent a cross into the danger area for Kamel Ramdani but the latter could only divert his header straight at Wardun.

DPMM's striker Ramazotti then wasted a glorious chance in the 69th minute after his sidefooted Najib Tarif's cross just inches wide.

Moments later, he forced Shahril into a superb save with a shot just inside the area.

Into the last 10 minutes, the towering Brazilian had another go after Paulo Sergio set him up nicely but once again he missed the target by inches.

The Protectors were given a chance to clinch all three points right at the death, but Abdil nodded a Ken Ilso freekick into the side netting instead to leave both teams settling for a point. 



Wednesday, July 22
DPMM kick off tough schedule against Home Utd.

DPMM are bracing tough schedule ahead.

Brunei's only professional tean kick off the second round with a meeting against Home United at the Yishun Stadium at 7.30 pm.

It will be the start of a compact schedule for the side as they wil face the Young Lions at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Monday and they will then face Hougang Utd three days later before taking on Tampines Rovers at the Jurong West on August 1.

They will kick off their Singapore Cup campaign against Tampines in the two-legged quarterfinals on August 10 and 13.

The team has been putting in a lot of work despite the fasting month of Ramadan, and coach Steve Kean is sure they are prepared for the tough task ahead.

"We are really prepared ...Tactically and physically.The only thing that has been missing is match practice, and we have spent a lot of hours on training ground," said Kean in an interview after Friday's training session.

"Hopefully we have ironed out all our problems on both sides of the pitch.

We need to be converting chances like we should and avoid making individual mistakes," he added.

DPMM will be missing the dup of Azwan Ali Rahman and defender Brian McLean against Home due to suspensions but will welcome back Joe Gamble.

Kean is glad to have the Irishman back to the lineup but felt that his charges will have to be careful to avoid any setbacks in the future.

Itis good to have Gamble back and I also mentioned that we have to cut out these discipline problems," said the former Blackburn manager.

"We are suffering  whenever we are missing any players for selection. I spoke to the players candidly about these discipline problems.

"You can excused a badly time tackle, but we can't excuse any type of yellow or red cards for speaking back to refereesor any type of misdemeanors like that.

"It is not accepted and players will be heavily fined with any troubles with the referee in the future," concluded Kean. 



Friday, July 3
DPMM out of League Cup.

A Hat-trick from Bruneo Castanheira helped Geylang International finish top of Group A in the New Paper League Cup and advance into the semifinals.

Castanheira struck once in the first-half before scoring two more in the next as Geylang defeated DPMM 4-2 at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Thursday.

It was an enthralling game between both sides, with the first-half already seeing four goals.

Both sides were evely matched throughout the first 15 minutes, until Geylang broke the deadlock in the 15th minute.

Following a challenge in the air with Rafael Ramazotti, Hafiz Osman went down on the pitch and required treatment. The visitors stopped play as a result, but Geylang players chose to play on and when Tatsuro Inui eventually found Castanheira just outside the box, the striker curled one into the top corner for the opener.

The Eagles doubled their lead just seven minutes later, this time  through their captain Kaplan.

The Slovakian was allowed to latch onto Inui's threaded pass after a mix-up between DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof and defender Boris Raspudic saw them both leave the ball for each other. The number 17 needed no further invitation to slam home the ball into the empty net.

Just when Geylang thought they were cruising into the semi-finals,DPMM came back with two goals in eight minutes.

A Paulo Sergio free-kick from 25 yards out left Yazid Yasin sytranded in the 30th minute, before Rafael ramazotti shrugged off Anaz Hadee in the 38th minute to head Najib's Tarif's set-piece delivery into the bootm corner for the equaliser.

After the restart, Sergio had two good chances, but his shot in the 56th minutewas blocked by Hafiz Osman, before his attempt to catch Yazid Yasin off the line went wide.

Geylang then provided a sign of things to come with a quick counterattack that saw Castanheira play Kaplan through, but the latter shot way over instead.

There was to be no denying Geylang however, as Castanheira scored twice to complete his hat-trick in the next three minutes.

A delight ful through ball from Kaplan on the counter saw the Japanese left in a one-on-one situation, and he made no mistake by slotting past Wardun for Geylang to retake the lead.

Barely two minutes later, Brian Mc Lean hit the crossbar with a header from the corner and the Eagles launched a counter immediately.

Once again, Kaplan threaded a perfect pass theough his strike partner, who found the back of the net to give the teama two-goal cushion.

DPMM refused to give up and created a number of chances, but Ramazotti was unable to add to his tally, as he missed three attempts.

Aminuddin Zakwan forced Yazid into another brilliant save right at the death, before Rosmin Khamis fored way over, as Geylang held on to advance at the expenses of the defending League Cup champions. 

 

 



Sunday, June 28
Kean: We set out to score a goal every 15 minutes.

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean felt that his charges should have been more clinical in front of goal despite a 5-0 victory over Singapore Recreation Club (SRC) in the New Paper League Cup.

Rafael Ramazotti scored a brace while Maududi Helmi Kasmi, Brian McLean and Paulo Sergio grabbed one goal each to ensure that the Bruneians bounced back from their shock 1-0 defeat to Hougang Utd in their first Group a match. 

However, the scoreline could have been much wider as they missed more chances than the goals they scored. 

"I think the first objective was not only to win the game, but try to score more than Geylang did against SRC," said the Scot, referring to the Eagles' 4-0 victory over SRC.

"I set a target for the players to try and get a goal every 15 minutes and that's how we managed to get the first goal. 

"However, after the first goal, we stopped a little bit. We stopped pressing and we stopped moving the ball quickly."

"We still feel abit greedy because upon reflection of the game, we could probably have scored more.

In contrast, SRC team manger S.Mogan had nothing but praise for his team because even though they are officially out of the competition.

"I am a very proud of the boys because they played well against a foreign club like DPMM," he said.

"We played better than we did against Geylang because we were more disciplined in our defending and our passes were good today.

"As amateurs, to come to this level to play, is a very good exposure for the boys.We will take this as a learning opportunity because it will help us when we play in our league games." 

 



Saturday, June 27
Rosmin: We have to win.

DPMM FC captain Rosmin Hj Khamis knows they cannot afford another slip-up when they face Singapore Recreation Club in their second Singapore League Cup Group A game tonight.

The defending champions and record three-time winners went down 1-0 to Hougang in thier first game on Tuesday and now need to win their next two games to qualify for the next round - with the club rounding off their final stage play against Geylang International FC next Thursday.

Rosmin said DPMM FC cannot be overconfident when the two sides meet at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

"We have to win, that's what the players are thinking about,"Rosmin told the Brunei Times yesterday.

"We can't take it easy though...we have to respect them.

"The two clubs have not met before but I know two or three of the players before who played in the S-League before," added the captain. 

He was lacing up for second-tier Malaysian Premier League side Putrajaya SPA prior to his move to SRC - who signed the Nigerian-born centreback specifically for the League Cup.

"I spoke to the bys  (about DPMM)...Yes, they are a big team, but we have must have that belief," he was quoted as saying on ESPN.

"They are thinking of bouncing and will never give up; at the other end of the day, we will just keep fighting.

"Hopefully we can get a point - that is what we are looking for, just a point.

"If we can win, get the three points by chance, taht would be great," added the 32 year old who has over 60 caps for Singapore.

 

 



Thursday, June 25
'Hougang deserved to win.'

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean felt that Hougang United were simply the better team after their 1-0 defeat in the Group A of the Singapore League Cup on Tuesday night.

The Cheetahs were dumped out in the first round of the Singapore Cup, unveiled 5 new signings from the June transfer window for the match against Hougang.

It paid dividends instantly with debutant Serbain striker Vuk Sotirovic netting the only goal to secure the win in the opener.

"Hougang with the new players is not the Hougang that played the first round of the S-League," said Kean to the S-League.

"It is virtually a new team and they deserved to win because they were better than us in every aspect.

"The mistake tonight was we didn't get competitive enough.We didn't do some of the horrible things tonight, like picking up the second balls or making sure we won the 50-50 tackles," added the Scotsman.

"Because of that, we ended up finding that we didn't have as much possession as we normally do," continued Kean.

Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti, who is the S-League topscorer was not his usual self squandering a couple of chances.

Kean didn't blame his forward and is looking to bounce back for their next match against Singapore Recreation Club (SRC) on Saturday.

"We looked rusty, because normally Ramazotti puts the chances in. Maybe thats just because we haven't had enough games," said Kean.

"What we'll do now is to get back to the training ground and nail down the basics and put a little bit of confidence back in the team," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Geylang International currently top the group after cruising past SRC 4-0 on the same night.

The Eagles will face Hougang on Saturday and regardless of the result,DPMM have to win their last 2 matches in order to progress into the semifinals of the competition.

"I'm optimisitic because its a group of 4," said Kean.

"I know we can improve on tonight's performance,and if we can improve then we have a good chance of getting back to our level where we can score goals and cause teams more problems," he added.

On the other hand, Hougang coach Salim Moin was pleased with the showing of his charges.

"The boys knows that the League Cup is a different ball game so I told them we expect to get some results," said Salim, who was sent to the stands for unsportsmanlike behaviour before the final whistle.

"I'm very pleased with the team's performance. We were bale to score a goal and also created a few chances," he added.

"I enjoed seeing how we created chances and putting it in the target area.Overall I'm satisfied,"he concluded 



Wednesday, June 24
Cheetahs battle to victory.

It was a debut to remember for Vuk Sotirovic as he struck to give Hougang United a precious 1-0 win over DPMM of the New Paper League Cup.

The Serbian was one of several additions to a new-look Hougang team and took little time to make his impact.

Picking up a loose ball just outside the area in the 21st minute, the striker took a touch before unleashing an unstoppable shot beyond the despairing dive of DPMM goslkeeper Wardun yussof.

DPMM had dominated possession in the opening stages, with Hougang struggling to get the ball into their opponent's half.

The first clear chance of the match came in the eigth minute when DPMM's Rosmin Khamis headed a cross from Adi Said just over the bar.

Hougang seemed content to sit back and contain the early DPMM pressure and try to hit them on the break.

This approach almost paid off as early as the 12th minute when striker Diego Gama displayed impressive strength to hold off his marker and managed to get a shot that flew inches wide.

DPMM forward Rafael Ramazotti missed a gilt-edged chance to put the ball away side ahead, firing wide despite finding himself with plenty if time and space in the box.

It proved to be a frustrating night for the Brunei team, who failed to score in a match for the first time since July last year, and especially for the Brazilian, who faltered in front of goal despite enjoying opportunities to bring his side level.

A minute after Sotirovic's goal, he missed the chance to make an instant reply, wasting another golden opportunity.

Peeling away from his marker, he got on the receiving end of a ball played in by winger Azwn Ali but sent his shot wide from close range.

Sotirovic then early doubled his tally in the 32nd minute after some brilliant footwork to leave two DPMM defenders in his wake, leaving himself with only Wardun infront of him.However, the 32-year old only managed to fire his shot straaight into the receving arms of the goalie.

Sotirovic continued to pose problems for the DPMM defence in the second half with his power and trickery,a and was unfortunate to see another powerful drive from long range sail just over in the 55th minute.

For much of the remainder of the match,DPMM switched to a more direct approach, sending long balls up to the towering Ramazotti in their efforts to draw level.

Despite the Brazilain dominating in the air, his team were unable to equalise due to solid defece work by Hougang and resolute goalkeeper Ridhuan Barudin.

The Hougang custodiandenied Ramazotti in the 68th minute, making a full-length dive to his left to keep out the striker's goal-bound header.

From that point, DPMM continued to probe the Cheetahs' defence but were unable to find the decisive goal.

The reult puts Hougang in a good position in Group A ahead of their matches with Geylang International and Singapore Recreation Club while DPMM will undoubtedly have to improve if they are to make the second round. 



Tuesday, June 23
DPMM start League Cup defence against Hougang.

Three-time champions and titleholders DPMM will open their Singapore LEague Cup defence with a meeting against a new-look Hougang United FC tonight.

Ninth in the 10-team League and out of the Singapore Cup in the first round, the Cheetahs are looking to overturn their dismal season with five new signings in the June transfer window.

Foreign players Francisco Salvador,Renshi Yamaguchi,Manato Takahashi and Shunsuke Nakatake- as well as Singaporean Matthew Abraham- have all been shown the exit and they have been replaced by Carlos Delgado,Diego Gama,Atsushi Shimono, Vok Sotirovic and Delwinder Singh.

DPMM coach Steve Kean expects a tough outing considering the changes made to the opponents' roster ahead of their Group A at the Hougang Stadium in Singapore.

"I see they've got 5 new players," said Kean in an interview before the team's departure to the Lions City yesterday.

"They had a poor start in the League and went out in the early round of the Singapore Cup, so I suppose they felt changes need to happen.

"This is a new team that we are up against we shoudn't look at where they are in the S-League table.

"We know even with a one-player change,never mind five or six...It changes the complexion of the team .We know that this opening game will be tough.

"But we have completed four really quality weeks of training and we're ready to go again," continued the Scotsman.

Kean gave his charges a 10-day break after their last match on the 14th May, before completing 4 weeks of training ahead of match.

The Brunei side were not able to set up friendly matches against other teams from outside the country and had to make do with local teams MS ABDB and one against  the national team before their friendly against Singapore.

Kean is confident they can make it out of the group stage and all the way into the final once again this year after handed a favourable draw - with Geylang International FC and Singapore Recreation Club being the other two teams in the group.

"I'm very confident. I wouldn't say we are a better team, but a much better balanced side.

"We've got pace and a goal scoring threat up front, and got real quality in wide areas," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"Brian McLean has set up a great partnership with Boris.

"We are playing well and we will be the team to beat because of what we have done last year.

"We are the team everyone wants to beat.I'm happy that in the first phase of the tournament, we've got  the group with 4 teams.

"I'm glad we are drawn in Group A as we need games.

"Others don't probably need them , as they had more league games, cup matches and some even competed in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup," concluded Kean.

DPMM FC, who are the most successful team in the competition, will play SRC on Saturday followed by a meeting against Geylang International on July 2. 



Saturday, June 13
All matches tough:Kean

Defending champions of the League Cup,DPMM FC , were drawn in Group A with the Singapore Recreational Club,Geylang International and Hougang United in the New Paper League Cup.

Head coach of Brunei DPMM Steve Kean in an interview yesterday on the grouping said: "I don't think its an easy draw. We do have an advantage in a group of 4 teams where we have 50 per cent of chances going through."

"We know that all the matches will be tough because we are the defending champions and we are the team that everyone wants to beat.

"We are looking forward to defending our crown and we are confident of lifting the League Cup again this year by adding Rafael Ramazotti and Brian McLean with Paulo Sergio of Portugal.They are good addition to the squad," Kean added.

Besides the imports, he said:"The local players have also improved and have been exceptional.We have really a strong squad."

Although the matches will kick off during the fasting month, Kean has reassured that the performance of DPMM will not be affected.

Kean said last year the team became stringer as the tournament went on during the fasting month because the players took the right proteins and supplements. 



Friday, June 12
DPMM in Group A.

Defending Champions DPMM FC have been handed a favourable draw in the Singapore League yesterday.

DPMM FC, three time winners and the most successful team in the competition, are placed in Group A together with Hougang Utd, Geylang International Fc, and Singapore Recreational Club in the tournament, which will run from June 19-July 12.

On the other hand, Group B is the "Group of Death" consisting of Balestier Khalsa FC,Warriors FC and Tampines Rovers FC.

Albirex Niigata (S),Home United FC and Sporting Westlake FC make up Group C.

DPMM FC manager Ali Hj Momin felt that the draw is good and they will not underestimate any of the opponents.

"It is a good draw for us but the pressure is also on us as the defending champions," said Ali in an interview after the draw at the Singapore Press Holdings Auditorium at the Toa Payoh North.

"We were afraid the players might take it easy because on paper we have a good chance, but it is not easy to retain the cup since no team has done so.

"We will have to watch out especially for Geylang because they tend to do well in the tournament," he added.

"Singapore Recreational Club are no hanging arounds because we are unfamiliar with them,"continued Ali.

When asked on how preparations going,Ali replied," We have been busy preparing like it is the pre-season.We do lose a bit of momentum after a month-long break.

"All we maanged were three friendlies against local clubs.We couldn't arrage for foreign clubs as they were busy with their own league as well,"he added.

The top teams of Group A will progress to the semifinals while only the winners of Groups B and C will advance.

The winners of Group A will face off against the winners of Group C while the team top of Group D will contest against runner-up of Group A.

The champion will walk away with $30,000 while runnerss-up half the amount.

DPMM clinched the title last year with a 2-0 victory over Tanjong Pagar United at the Jalan Besar Stadium. 

 

 



Monday, June 1
Former DPMM striker O'Donovan has joined Central Coast Mariners on a two-year deal.

O'Donovan, who played under Steve Kean at DPMM, makes the move to the A-League saying he is "hungry to do well".

"I'm very excited and looking forward to playing in the A-League and representing the Central Coast Mariners.I was up there last week and its a beautiful place and looks like a terrific place to play football,"O'Donovan said.

"It's [the A-League] a well-respected league and its a league that I've always felt that I wanted to be a part of and now I'm now very proud to say that I am a Central Coast Mariners player.

"Playing with Sunderland has been one of the highlights of my career. Roy Keane was an idol of mine growing up and it was terrific to play under him and to play at that level of football was an incredible learning curve for me.

"I'm hungry to do well at the Central Coast Mariners. I consider myself as a number nine, I like to play off the shoulder of the last defender and being a nuisance to central defenders and hopefully a goalscorer."



Friday, May 15
We didn't deserve to lose.

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean thought his side should have taken maximum points against Albirex Niigata (S) on Thursday evening.

The Japanese side emerged victorious despite falling behind initailly, with Rion Taki cqncelling out Rafael Ramazotti's opener before Atsushi Kawata netted the winner from the spot.

It was DPMM's second defeat of the seasob, and their first against Albirex in 8 games in all competitions.

The result left DPMM 4 points behind leaders Albirex in the league table, although they have 2 games in hand.

"I would have been disappointed with a draw, I thought we did enough to win the game. But to get nothing from the game, I'm really disappointed,"Kean said at the post-match press conference after the game.

 "But I think, the pivotal point of the game was the sending off.

"Having said that, we've got a great first round of games and we will enjoy the break and come back and we'll kick on again."

Kean also reserved praise for Albirex's 35-year old Yosuke Nazawa, who produced several big saves to stop DPMM from adding on further goals.

"You've got to give credit to the goalkeeper," Kean stated.

"He's put his fingertips earlier on for Ramazotti's header. It was a wonderful save for the overhead kick from Adi Said.

"Credit to Albirex who really defended the lead very well.We just feel on the balance of chances, or possession, we deserve something from the game.

"You get nights when you do lesser than that [and earn a result], and we've done enough to get three points today le alone one."

On the other hand, Albirex coach Tatsuya Okuyama believed his team were capable of defeating DPMM right from the start, but he is expecting an improvement from his charges.

"DPMM are a very strong team, but we expected this result - to beat them,"Okuyama said.

"For the first goal something unbelievable happened.We didn't expect the goal, but we kept on fighting against them and got the two goals to win.

"Throughout the game against DPMM,each player understands what the team have to do, and they are getting better, today I want to sayits [the player's performance] not 100%, I want more improvement as its only 60%."

Likewise, the Japanese coach felt Nazawa was a key factor in the team's win.

"Every game, he has helped us a lot,"Okuyama explained. "Today's performance from the team is 60%, but his performance has been 100% in all other games." 



Friday, May 15
Albirex came from behind to down DPMM

Albirex Niigata (S) came from behind to defeat Brunei DPMM 2-1 at the Jurong East Stadium on Thursday evening to retake the lead at the top of the league table.

A goal apiece from Rion Taki and Atsushi Kawata overturned Rafael Raamazotti's opener in a game which saw DPMM end the game with tem men after Brian McLean was sent off for a last-man foul.

The win was also Albirex's first in 8 games against DPMM. It was however a fairly even contest throughout.

Both sides hardly created any chances in the first half, with the real chance of the game coming over in the 18th minute.

Shotaro ihata then headed over from Kento Nagasaki's free-kick minutes later, before Atsushi Kawata shot way over after being given acres of space outside.

A miskick from DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof dropped for Kento Nagasaki just after the half-hpur mark, but the goalkeeper recovered in time to push the forward's effort away.

It was a different affair in the second half, with DPMM taking the lead just 2 minutes later.

A meek cross from Paulo Sergio was spilled by Albirex keeper Yosuke Nazawa, and the lurking Ramazotti needed no further invitation to scire his 11th goal of the season.

But the lead lasted for only 8 minutes, with the hosts equalising through Taki.

A cross-field from right back Rui Kamada reached Kawata on the left and his driven cross was stabbed home by Taki at the near post.

That gave Albirex the momentum in the game and Shun Inaba almost made it 2-0 on the counter but he saw his effort from 20 yards go narrowly wide.

Hendra Azam then saw his effort blocked by Yamada before Sairol Sahari shot straight at Nazawa.

Aquick counter attack in the 78th minute got Albirex their second goal through a penalty, after Kawata was bundled over by Brian McLean inside the area.

The Scottish defender received his marching orders before Kawata slammed home the spot-kick for the winning goal.

Nazawa was required to produce two big saves from point-blank range nine minutes from time,palming away Ramazotti's header before using his body to block Sergio's effort from the rebound.

That was as close as it got for the Bruneians, who fell to their second defeat in three games. 

 



Thursday, May 14
DPMM,Albirex clash.

Despite having the chance to top the Singapore League if they beat Albirex Niigata tonight,DPMM FC coach Steve Kean is entertaining no such thoughts.

On paper, DPMM have the advantage as they have won eight of their eleven meetings against Albirex- who won the remaining three fixtures.

When asked if the opportunity to lead the league has been a theme in his pre-match talks against the Japanese outfit,Kean's answer was simple.

"No," said the Scotsman minutes before boarding their flight to Singapore yesterday evening.

"The most important thing is that we respect our opponent as they're a good side.

"Albirex are focused on keeping possession and keeping hold of the ball, so during training we've worked a lot on our organisation and structure behind the ball," he added.

The fact that Albirex have the meanest defence in the league - they have let in a miserly three goals in ten games -mean DPMM striker Rafael Ramazotti and Paulo Sergio will have their work cut out for them.

Both got on the scoresheet in the 2-0 win over Tampines Roverson Sunday night - the Bruneian side's first ever S-League win over the Stags - but Kean has told his players to expect a different animal when they face Albirex tonight. 

"Its going to be a different game. Tampines are very different and are more direct," he said.

Tonight's other game will see seventh placed Home United host Hougang United at the Yishun Stadium in Singapore. 

Both games will kick-off at 7.30 



Monday, May 11
Azwan Ali made a big mistake

DPMM FC finally get a win over Tampines in the S-League but ut was overshadowed by a red card to Azwan Ali Rahman in the second half.

In a bizarre turn of events, the midfielder was caught in an argument with his teammate Boris Raspudic and it resulted in the former launching his boot in the direction of the Bosnian defender.

It was disappointment for the home fans to witness it but DPMM coach Steve Kean assures that it is a one off incident.

"The hardest period of the game was when we lost a man which was a bizarre incident.I haven't seen that in football for a long time and I haven't seen anything like that before," said Kean. 

"I have spoken to the players involved.Best thing we got in our team is the togetherness and team spirit.To be totally honest I see the point of Boris because okay we think it is a foul but Azwan Ali's got to kick the ball out and then go down for treatment.

"He (Azwan Ali) is a wonderful player and I told him not to let himself get caught up with something like that," he added.

"I always tell him when he played really well and always tell him when he made a big mistake.Tonight(Sunday night) he made a big mistake.

"He is good enough to bounce back and sadly we will miss him.That is an unfortunate instance that will never happen again," continued the Scotsman.

It was the fifth straight match that Tampines have gone without a win but head coach V.Sundramoorthy fwlt that they dominated proceedings and should have got something out of the encounter.

"We had a lot of possession and create chances. In football, possession and chances don't win you games.Goals win you games," said Sundramoorthy.

"We should blame ourselves for not scoring as we had our chances.We should have won or at least get a draw but it is unfortunate.

"We don't deserve to be where we are because coming to Brunei and dominating the game, not many teams can do that," he added.

"We need to pick ourselves up.It is still the first round we will see what we can do and move on from there," concluded Sundramoorthy. 



Monday, May 11
Stags go down as DPMM return to winning ways.

Brunei DPMM beat Tsmpines 2-0 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium as they returnes to winning ways after suffering their first defeat of the season.

Prior to the game,DPMM had lost to Balestier Khalsa at home for their first loss of the sesson.

Most impressively it was achieved against a dominant Tampines performance and with a a man down in the last 20 minutes.

The Stags come out strongly and got their first chance in the eigth minute with Ismadi Mukhtar sending a  cross from the right into tje boxbut former DPMM hitman Rodrigo Tosi had his header deflected wide.

The hosts gave the ball away in their own half two minutes later and allowed Maeo Raskam space to fire from 30 yards but his efforts sailed inches wide of the left post.

Tampines got forward again in the 12th minute and Ismadi was put through on goal.However DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof closed down the shot.

The hosts should have taken the lead thre minutes later after Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti headed down a goal-kick to send Paulo Sergio through on goal.

The latter chipped the Tampines shot-stopper Joey Sim but his attempt was denied by the woodwork.

Brunei DPMM got in the flow of things and got another chance in the 20th minute with Sergio delivering the ball from the left to the middle but Azwan Ali Rahman put it over.

They broke the deadlock the next minute after Azwan Ali found the captain Rosmin Khamis making a run into the box.

Sim came off his line to deny Rosmin but the rebound fell to Ramazotti to fire home from the edge of the box. 

Md Hendra Azam Idris curled one on target in the 26th minute but it was caight by Sim. The DPMM midfielder put another attempt on target the next minute and Sim once again denied him.

The Stags should have equalised in the 29th minute after Firdaus Idros made a good run and evaded four defenders on the left before pulling it back for Roberto Alviz in the middle.

The Croatian midfielder unleashed a good shot but Wardun produced an equally good save.

Neither side produced much before DPMM won a penalty out just before the half-time whistle.

Tampines skipper Fahridin Mustafic was judged to have held down Ramazotti and prevented him from getting at the end of a cross from the right.

Sergio took the ensuing spot kick and made no mistake about it.

Tampines started the second half strongly and DPM w ere on the backfoot much of the way.

The Stags got a good opportunity in the 49th minute after Alviz placed a freekick 25 yards out to the top right but Wardun went full stretch to the save.

The DPMM custodian was having a good game as he denied Firdaus three minutes later and pushed over Tosi's header in the 56th minute.

Tampines dominated proceedings with plenty of ball possession and Jamil Ali should have done better in the 72nd minute after turning his marker inside out but he could not put his shot on target.

In a turn of events, DPMM were reduced to ten men with Azwan Ali given his marching orders for unsportmanlike behaviour.

Tampines threw and extra attackers in hopes of getting goals from the numerical advantage but the plan never materialised.

Instead, DPMM should have added the tally after Sim went off his line to cover Sergio on the left in the 90th minute.

The Portuguese forward pulled the ball back to the middle for Hendra Azam but somehow he put it wide. 

 



Sunday, May 10
DPMM keen to improve record against Tampines.

Wil DPMM finally get the better of Tampines Rovers in the S-LEague?

The Brunei side will host the Stags - a side they haven't beaten in all 7 meetings in the competition dating back in 2012 - today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

All three meetings ended 2-1 last season but DPMM did finally get the better of their opponents with a victory by the same scoreline in the third-place playoff of the Singapore Cup back in November.

DPMM head coach Steve Kean is one not to dwell with history and believes that his charges can upend his opponents again this tiem around.

"Sometimes we can have a team for whatever reason we feel we cannot do well against.That seems to be a mental attitude against Tampinesuntil we beat them last night," said KEan in an interview after a training session.

"We got that idea is out of our head now. We know they are a good side than we are lastyear," he added.

On a plus side,the hosts will welcome back Boris Raspudic back at the heart of defence and Kean feels that the Bosnian sweeper is a key factor to try and limit Tosi.

"I'm delighted to have him(Raspudic) back.He is a top defender and has really improved More than that now with the ball. he is very comfortable coming out to midfield and start out attacking plays," said Kean.

In a short space of time he has developed a great partnership with Brian McLean. To have him back I think makes us more solid in a tough game like this against two opponents we know very well," he added.

"So we know the attributes of Rodrigo and we know how good he is in the air.It is great to have Boris back," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Raspudic knows the responsibility that he hs to shoulder at the backline and is looking forward to facing his old teammate.

"I know him (Tosi) and he knows me.I know his qualities and everything... This is guy is dangerous," said Raspudic. 

"If you give him some space sure he will score the goal.We need to take care of the crosses because the quality from Rodrigo is from that," he added.

"We have to stop the crosses.We have to fight for ball possession to prevent him scoring the goal," continued Raspudic.

On the other hand,Tosi doesn't know what kind of reception to expect at the venue, where he scored 12 times last season, but is hoping to get his name on the scoresheet.

"It is good to be back because I had really some great times there.I know it is for busines bit it is a great feeling," said Tosi in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday,"I don't know what kind of reception I will get.Ithink it will be good.Maybe some supporters will be sad that I'm at other side.It is football and it happens even to top teams in the world,"he added. "I will play to my best to try and win for my club.Sadly I'm no longer in DPMM but hopefully I can score,"continued the Brazilian. 



Saturday, May 2
DPMM's unbeaten run comes to abrupt stop.

Balestier Khalsa FC inflicted on Brunei DPMM their first defeat of the season with a 2-1 victory at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The Croatian duo of Kristic Miroslav and Robert Pericic neteed in either half for the Tigers before Rafael Ramazotti scored a consolation, his ninth of the competition for the hosts.

Brunei DPMM got off to difficult start and were not looking like the side that have not lost a game yet.

Balestier were awarded a penalty after sweeper Brian McLEan was judged to have handled Poh Yifeng's *** in the eighth minute.

Kristic stepped up to take the spot-kick but was denied by DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof.

However, the Croatain was give second chance after DPMM players were judged to have entered the box before the initial kick. His second attempt hit the crossbar but still rebounded over the line.

DPMM were given a chance to get back on level terms after a penalty was won by home debutant Paulo Sergio in the 14th minute.

Ramazotti would take the spotkick but his shot was savd by skipper Zaiful Nizam between the sticks.

McLean then got at the end of a free-kick inside the box in the 27th minute and towered over both his markers to put it int th emiddle instead of firing at goal to test Zaiful.

Ramazotti looked to get at the end of a Sairol Sahari cross in the 35th minute and towered over both his markers but Zaiful did well to punch the ball.

Balestier got the perfect start to the second half after DPMM gave away the ball in a one-on-one situation.

The visitors gave away free-kicks in dangerous positions but they were fortunate DPMM could noot capitalise.

Steve Kean's last throw of the dice was to send on brothers Shahrazen and Adi Said in the 69th minute in place of Md Hendra Azam and Najib Tarif.

DPMM then got another chance in the next minute with Sergio delivering a cross from the left for Ramazotti.

The ball eventually fell to substitute Helmi Zambin but his shot was blocked on th line.

DPMM pushed forward for the equaliser and left back open at times, and Pericic should have punished them in the 88th minute but he blasted over from close range.

The Croatian got another chance two minutes later but once again put the ball over.

Balestier was reduced to ten men after left-back Ho Wai Loon was shown his second yellow for bringing down Sergio at the edge of the box in the first minute of injury time.

The Portuguese fired the ensuing freekick to the bottom left corner but Zaiful dived down to push it out.

The hosts had another opportunity to get a point out of the encounter after Ramazotti headed the ball to the left corner with two of his teammates chasing but they were unable to capitalise on it.

 

 

 



Friday, May 1
Rosmin, Ak Yura to start.

Undefeated DPMM will onyl have three imports for tonight's league match against Balestier Khalsa FC.

Irish midfielder Joe Gamble is serving the first of a two-game suspension for his straight red card against the Warriors last Friday while Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic picked up a hamstring injury.

DPMM coach Steve Kean has called on skipper Rosmin Khamis, 33, and Ak Yura Indera Putera , 19, to fill in the gaps -both of whom came on as substitutes in the 3-1 victory over Warriors FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

However, Rosmin will not be inserted in his usual role in midfield, with Kean opting to use him as a centre back in place of Raspudic, who has started all six games this season.

"I think Rosmin is calm and can use his experience as he is very good on the ball," said Kean in an interview after yesterday's training session.

"This will be another game where we have to be patient. If Balestier are not as aggressive and a re a little tired I expect them to play on the counter attack, so we need Rosmin's experience to circulate the ball with Brian.

"I'm sure he can do so comfortably as he has done well in training, excellent when in midfield and in the last game when he came on. He deserves a starting position.

The Tigers coach Marko Kraljevic doesn't think that they are at a disadvantage and is hoping they can get a positive result.

Tomorrow (Friday) we try to have a good result. We are going to have a good result.We are going to change from last game and have two foreign players(Tarik Cmajcanin and Robert Pericic) who didn't play that game," said Kraljevic.

"Yes, they (DPMM) are good team, playing at home, good home crowd but I think we can challenge them," he added.

"Sometimes I always think the more games you play, the better you get.I don't want to look for any excuse and just come out to win the match," continued Kraljevic.

When asked on whom to watch out, Kraljevic replied: "Everybody knows they got the tall striker(Ramazotti)and second striker(Paulo).

"In this league, if you give anybody space they will score.Everybody must be alert.Just like my team is about teamwork and not about individuals," he concluded.

Kick off is at 8.15pm, and fans can expect to see Sergio make his home debut after scoring four goals in his first three games for the club - all of which have been in Singapore.

 

 

 



Saturday, April 25
Ramazotti brace inspires DPMM victory.

Brunei DPMM continued their unbeaten rin in the S.League on Friday evening after defeating Warriors FC 3-1 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Two early goals from Rafael Ramazotti set the Bruneians on the way to victory before Paulo Sergio netted a penalty to wrap it up despite a spirited comeback from Warriors in the second half, which sae Nicolas Velez pull a goal back.

The league leaders almost had a perfect start to the game when Miroslav Pejic's left wing cross found its way to Velez at the far post after just 50 seconds.

However, the 2014 Young Player of the year somehow managed to miss from point-blank range despite being unmarked.

A minute later,Pejic forced DPMm goalkeeper Wardun Yussof into a save with an attempt from the edge of the box.The rebound fell to Fazrul Nawaz, who scuffed his shot before Velez's header was blocked.

The blistering start dd not pay off for the Warriors though, with DPMM taking the lead with their first shot of the game in the 7th minute.

Azwan Ali's accurate freekick from the right found Ramazotti, who rose above Marin Vidosevic to head past Daniel Ong.

Four minutes later, the Bruneians extended the lead. Apass from Kevin McCann was interceoted by Azwan Ali, who threaded the ball through for Ramazotti.The towering Brazilian made no mistake, slotting past Ong for his eigth of the season.

It was almost three after 20 minutes, but Ong denied Azwan's low drive from a tight angle superbly, before Sergio shot straight at the Warriors custodian minutes later.

Velez then shot straight at Wardun down the other end, while Ong once again prodced a save from sergio's effort after the striker turned Irwan Shah insode out twice.

A change at half-time saw Hafiz Rahim coem on to swing the momentum in the Warriors favour, as they pushed for a comeback. 

The defending champions almost reduced the deficit six minutes later after tge restart, but Fazrul shot wide after Velez played him through on the counter.

Hafiz and Peljic tested Wardun as well but the Bruneian keeper was equal to it on both occasons,before the Warriors finally scored in the 57th minute.

A shot from Kevin McCann was tipped over by Wardun, resulting in a corner which was played short,a nd Velez curled the ball in off the post to halve the deficit.

Hafiz had a golden opportunity to get the equaliser, but somehow side-footed fromm close range after Velez set him up superbly.

An off-the-ball incident which was erupted in the 71st minute and stopped play for several minutes saw both teams reduced to ten men with Joseph Gamble and Velez seeing red.

Warriors once again had a fantastic opportunity to pull level, but Pejic missed from two yards out after Wardun had parried Shi Jiayi's shot towards him.

Sergio wasted a great chance to seal the win for his team late on, shooting wide from a one-on-one situation after the ball broke for him in the 86th minute. 

But he redeemed himself in injury time, converting a penalty he earned to wrap up DPMM's fifth win of the season. 



Friday, April 24
DPMM face Warriors

DPMM will face their toughest test yet when they play S-League defending champions and current leaders Warriors FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

DPMMFC, who were runners-up to Warriors last season, are in good form and were the only unbeaten side left in the 10-team S-League.

DPMM coach Steve Kean exoects a difficult outing but is fully prepared for it.

"It will be a tough test for us.The warriors are the team at the top and the defending champions,"said Kean in an interview after Wednesday's training session.

They lost one game and went on a good spell. but they are coming up against a team in form-which is us.

"We're always confident because we have started the season well, but we know they have as well.

"The second 45 minutes against Geylang was the best we have had all season.

"The team is in very good form but we won't be over confident and respect our opponents as alwaays.

"After they lost one game against Albirex,they have picked up and have some very good performance," added Kean.

When asked on how they plan to contain the Warriors attackers, Kean replied:"I've been impressed with the partnership of Brian McLean and Boris Raspudic.We have ben limiting opposition together with Amin as the right back and Sairol in at the side."

"The back four and the keeper are a solid unit, but we try to play our strengths and attack.

"With the experience of those two(McLean and Raspudic) hopefully we can get another cleansheet because it was good to get one against Geylang," added the former Blackburn manager.

Kickoff is at 7.30pm 



Friday, April 17
Patience key to victory.

Brunei DPMM FC coach Steve Kean said his team's 1-0 victory over Geylang International on Thursday evening was all down to patience.

Geylang had adopted a defensive strategy for the meeting with DPMM, as they defended in numbers and attacked on the break.

The plan worked effectively, as DPMM struggled to create a clear-cut chances in the gme in the first half, and had resorted to shots from distance in order to break the deadlock.

However,DPMM stopped doing so after the break, as Kean instructed them to remain patient their build-up plays.

Their patient play eventually paid off in the 81st minute, with Paulo Sergio scoring the winner.

"The pleasing thing from my point of view was that from a frustrating first half where we didn't have many clear-cut chances, we never really panicked.

"We kept our patience in the second half.. the pleasing thing is that you see the stats we can see we had very high possessions in the second half, maybe 70%.

"Thats pleasing because the information I gave at halftime was not to panic."

Geylang International coach Jorg Steinebrunner was disappointed to lose the game, after believing his team had done enough to earn a point.

"We shouldn't have lost it,I think we did enough to get at least a point. I think tactically we played very well today," Steinebrunner expressed.

"It was our tactics to play Hafiz Osman as a free man behind the back four, it worked very well because we knew Brunei would put in a lot of long balls and have people running into space behind,we didn't see that today.

"Tactically we worked very well, we didb't give anything much away."

Steinbrunner hoped his team would learn from their defeat today, especially when it comes to conceding goals during the dying minutes of the game.

"The goal was a gift, where we had the ball in possession and then we lost the ball in our own half and then there were one or two runners and we didn't follow the runners and they scored the goal.

"Its tough to everyone, you saw that we went to toe to toe with one of the best teams in the league...performance -wise these are all encouraging things.

"But at the end of the day we need to make sure we stop making silly mistakes and then at least you get 2 points more on the board." 

 

 

 



Thursday, April 16
Kean calls for more patient play.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean knows that patience will the key for his side when they face Geylang International FC in the S-League tonight.

Speaking to the Brunei Times on Tuesday, Kean expects a difficult outing against Geylang at the Bedok Stadium in Singapore and insists the players should not be rush.

"We found it difficult against them last year because Geylang coach Jorg Steinbrunner organises them very well," said Kean when met at the Jerudiong Mini Stadium.

"Looking at their results,they are always in the games despite not getting as many points as they wish.

"They are tough to break down and that is the challenge for us.We are always looking to open up teams but we need to be more patient with the ball," added the Scotsman.

"At times in the last couple of matches we should have kept the ball instead of forcing the pass, and we gave it away.

"We have to take our time and swing it around.We also have to stay tight at the back because they are dangerous on the counter," continued Kean.

New signing Paulo Sergio has already impressed after notching two goals in his debut on April 4th.

Kean is pleased with the Portuguese striker and expects more from the club's new signing.

"He has settled down very well. He showed in a short time that he has gained a lot of awareness," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"He is aware of space and is good in his decision making when with the ball.He is a good addition to the team," he added.

Sergio credited his teammates for his impact on his debut and is focused for the upcoming match.

"It was good first game(against Hougang).The most important thing is that I helped the team," said Sergio.

"We have another important game and we are up for it," he added.

When asked on how his partnership alongside Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti is coming along,he replied:"Very good.Rafa is a very good player and it is easy to play with him," he said of the league's top-scorer with 6 goals.

"He has helped me a lot.Not only him but the rest of my teammates have received me very well.That is very important," added the former Sporting Lisbon academy trainee.

Geylang skipper Jozef Kaplan has said the team are ready for tonight's outing against DPMM.

"We are preparing as usual for every game and we know that it will be a very tough game against DPMM as they are unbeaten in the league," Kaplan told the team's official website.

"...The Wasps will be another good challenge for us and we a re really looking forward to the game" he added. 



Sunday, April 5
Kean: Sergio's performance a warning to our rivals.

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean believes Paulo Sergio's performance against Hougang Utd should serve as a warning to the rest of the league.

The Portuguese had only joined DPMM on transfer deadline day last week, but was selected to start against Hougang on Saturday evening.

Despite it being his debut, the 31-year old scored two goals and was a constant menace for Hougang defenders with his direct running as DPMM ran out 3-2 winners. Defender Brian Mc Lean scored the other goal.

Until Saturday evening, the source of DPMM's goals came from Rafael Ramazotti.

With Sergio chipping in with his share of the goals now, Kean felt that his team have sent a strong warning to their rivals to not underestimate his side's offense.

It was Rama (Ramazotti) who grabbed all the headlines for scoring the first 6 goals, but I think we showed tonight we are not just one-dimensional, so its not case of where we would cross for Ramazotti header," Kean said.

"It gives central defenders another obstacle to overcome."

The game against Hougang was DPMM's first away match of the season, but Kean was always confident his side would walk away with victory.

"Last year, we actually won more games in Singapore than we played in Brunei.So it was no surprise," Kean said.

"I thought we came off from a really tough start, it is never good when you concede a goal from aset play, and its even worse when its in the first minute.

"Maybe we were just a little bit mentally not focused enough, the first mistake was given a free-kick away.

We said earlier on the match, let's get a foothold on the match and not give any silly free-kicks away, which we did.

"We controlled most of the game, and it would have been really tough on us if we didn't have all three points." 



Sunday, April 5
Sergio special on debut gives DPMM win

A Paulo Sergio diuble on his DPMM FC debut paved the way for a 3-2 comeback victory  over Hougang Utd in the league last night.

The win at the Hougang Stadium sees DPMM stay unbeaten and move to the top of the 10-team table with 10 points from four matches.

According to the updates on the S-League twitter page, it was a disastrous start for the visitors after Kunihiko Yama***a headed home Shunsuke Nakatake's freekick in the opening minute,Sergio opened his account with the equaliser in the 13th minute.

Hougang got a chance in the 18th minute after Francisco ela put Fareez Farham through but he fired wide having only DPMM shotstopper Wardun Yussof to beat.

Rafael Ramazotti, who was named March's S-League Player of the Month earlier in the day, struck a powerful effort on goal but Hougang custodian Ridhuan Barudin was up to the task to parry his attempt in the 26th minute.

The pace of the match was slowed DPMM with DPMM taking a more cautious approach after taking the lead.

The Brunei side gained a two-goal cushion after defender Brian McLEan rose highest to head home Najib Tarif's cross in the 57th minute.

Ramazotti had a chance to add to the tally but watched his header off target in the 71st minute.

Hougang was given a lifeline after Ela curled a ball from the edge of the box into the top corner in the 87th minute to make it 3-2.

He trouble again the next minute but could only steer a header straight to Wardun seeing DPMM claim all three points from the encounter.

 

 



Saturday, April 4
March's S.League Player of the Month presented by VOXSPORTS- Rafael Ramazotti

Brunei DPMM's Rafael Ramazotti has been announced as the S.League Player Of The Month Presented by VOXSPORTS for the month of March.

Ramazotti, who is playing in his first S.League season after joining the Bruneian club at the start of the year, got off to a hot start with six goals in just three games, averaging an astonishing two goals per game.

In hid debut for DPMM, he scored a hat-trick against Harimau Muda, and is the only player to have gotten a hat-trick so far in 2015.

Ramazotti has tallied an average index score of 162.97, the highest among any players in the first week, he scored 197 points, the highest rcorded by any player so far in a single match.

The Brazilian has been quite accurate with his shooting as well, with 75% of his shots on target. He has also made full use of his height, winning 66% of his aerial duels.

All of DPMM's goals have come from Ramazotti so far, and his efforts have ensured that his team stay unbeaten so far this year.

Ramazotti's feats also means that he currently leads the goal-scoring chart.

The S-League Player of the Month Presented by VOXSPORTS awards will be presented to Ramazotti on 4th April, Saturday evening before the Hogang United vs Brunei DPMM match at the Hougang Stadium. 



Saturday, April 4
DPMM FC face away test.

DPMM FC are hoping to keep the momentum goingas they play their first away match of the S-League against Hougang Utd at the Hougang Stadium tonight.

DPMM played their last match on March 21 and coach Steve Kean said that the team-which has been bolstered by the arrival of Portuguese forward Paulo Sergio to replace the injured Craig Fagan-nas been prepared well during the break.

"It has been a great week,"said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times after yesterday's training session. 

"The lads have been fantastic and the intensity and tempo in training has been first class.

"It is good when you've got the momentum and are picking up points along the way.You want the game to come thick and fast.

"We have put plenty of work on the training ground and have focused on attacking patterns and defending crosses-both of which we feel could be improved," continued the Scotsman.

Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti has netted all six of DPMM's goals over their first three matches and hopes he can continue bagging in the goals.

"Sure, I wish to continue to score more goals but winning is more important. There is good confidence and we are looking to win every game," he said.

"I'm in good form but it is not just me.DPMM are in good form," said Ramazotti, who credited his teammates for the good start.

Hougang are still in search of their first victory of the season after having picking up three draws and a loss so far, but Kean expects them to be another tough test.

"Like I said at the beginning of the season, all the teams have improved -making it a tougher and a more competitive league," said Kean.

"We don't take anybody lightly and give the teams the respect they deserve.We are confident going to Singapore and results showed that last year we won more there than at home,"continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Former Sporting Lisbon academy trainee Sergio is set to make his debut in DPMM colours but didn't train for the team for the past two days as he had to do the S-League's mandatory fitness test (Cooper test)on Thursday.

"He did the Copper test comfortably and he is very fit. He missed yesterday and today's sessions but has settled in very well and showed his quality straight away," said Kean. 



Sunday, March 29
DPMM FC find Sergio to replace injured Fagan.

DPMM FC have roped in former Sporting Lisbon academy trainee Paulo Sergio to replace the injured Craig Fagan for the rest pf the S-League season.

Fagan will be sidelined for the rest 6 months after a tear in his achilles tendon during last Saturday's draw with Home United and with the S-League having closed registration on Friday, the club could not afford to waste any time finding another import forward.

Despite yesterday's training session at the Mini Stadium only his second with his new teammates,Sergio said he will not need long to get used to playing with them.

"Football is easy...There's nothing special about it," he grinned when asked whether he would find hard to gel with so many new faces."I like playing with the ball at my feet and I'm sure I can help with my new team," he added.

Playing centrally, Sergio's intelligent movement and quick feet during yesterday's friendly against the MS ABDB helped set up a goal for midfielder Azwan Ali Rahman who scored at the far post after receiving a quick past from the Portuguese.

A product of the same academy which produced fame footballer such as Cristiano Ronaldo,Luis Figo,Nani, Ricardo Quaresma and Joao Moutinho, Sergio has already made an impression on DPMM coach Steve Kean.

"To get a quality on such short notice...It was real hard work by the management,"Kean said.

"Coming from such a fabled academy...He has high pedigree.His biggest attribute is that he's an all-around attacker and he can play as a shadow striker with Rafa on either wing.

"He has great control, pace and final pass and you can give him the ball anywhere.The signs are good," said the Scotsman. 



Friday, March 27
Tosi moves to Tampines.

Tampines Rover have snapped up ex-DPMM FC striker Rodrigo Tosi, with the Brazilian set for a reunion with former teammate Roberto Alviz at the S-League leaders.

Tosi finished last season as the S-League top-scorer but was surprisingly released by DPMM, who also chose to let midfield kingpin Alviz go.

Tosi netted 34 times in all competitions, 24 of them in the league- and was also nominated for the Best Player award in a successfuldebut season for Steve Kean in which DPMM won the Singapore LEague for a third time running,finished as S-League runners-up and claimed third in the Singapore Cup.

Speaking at the Singapore edition of football magazine FourFourTwo  yesterday,Tampines coach V.Sundramoorthy-who also played a key role who persuading Alviz to return to the S-League with the Stags- was glad to have snagged one of the league's best players of 2014.

"For me, he's a really good inclusion into the squad,"Sundram said.

"We had injuries to our two foreign forwards ans we need the presence upfront.Tosi can do a good job; he can give us a lot since be scored 24 goals last season.

"It took us quite fast to convince him.

"He knows this is a famous club run by a good chairman in Mr.Teo Hock Seng and former teammate Roberto Alviz is also here to help him settle in.

"He just came over after a flight of almost 30 hours and we'll arrange him soon to take the 2.4km (mandatory fitness)test," added the former Lions XII and Negri Sembilan coach.

FourFourTwo also reported that Tosi replaces Haitian forward Fabrice Noel who scored the wiining goal in Tampines' season opener against Albirex Niigata but injured his hamstring in the second game against Young Lions causing him to miss the next two matches. 

 



Wednesday, March 25
Fagan out for six months.

English forward Craig Fagan will be out for at least six months after suffering a tear to the achilles tendon on his left foot, handling DPMM a huge blow just three games into their S-League campaign.

He picked up the injury in the first half of the match against Home Utd on Saturday United and had to be replaced by Adi Said in the 37th minute.

DPMM coach Steve Kean can only hope for a speedy recovery for the Englishman who underwent surgery yesterday morning.

"The good news is that he already had surgery and like any surgery the next most important thing is rehab," said the Scotsman in an interview with the Brunei Times after a training session yesterday at the Mini Stadium.

"It is a major blow firstly, for player and secondly, to us.We just have to make sure his rehab is good and that he can continue his career as soon as possible.

We want to wish Craig a speedy recovery.As a club we want to see if it is possiblefor us to recruit another player.

"We won't have another player for at least the next two weeks and this is an opportunity for other players to take," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Fagan,32, last played for League One (English third-tier) side Gillingham before being released at the end of the 2013-14 season. 



Sunday, March 22
A point frustrates Kean and Aw.

Steve Kean and Philippe Aw believed that their respective teams should have walked away with all three points from their encounter last night.

The two coaches expressed their views after watching DPMM and Home United remain as the only two unbeaten teams in the S-League after 2-2 draw in Bandar Seri Begawan.

DPMM coach felt that they had done enough to win it but had only themselves to blame late on.

"We are disappointed not to take all three points but we are unbeaten and still have a game in hand,putting us in a strong position," said Kean.

"We have to learn to manage the game better in the last 20 minutes. We didn't take the sting out of the game and played a higher tempo than what was required which saw Home United got a hold of the ball,"added the DPMM coach.

"I thought we had enough possession of the ball and chances to see the game out. We put pressure on ourselves towards the end with the number of balls coming into the box.

"To be fair, Hoem put a lot of good quality into the box during that period and they sustained enough pressure to get a goal," he added.

His couterpart Aw felt that the turning point came just before the interval and they should not have conceded then.

"For me the game changer was that goal on the stroke of halftime,"Aw said.

"Our player was down so we kicked it out. We expected ball to come back to us but our opponents didn't.They continued playing and we conceded that goal."

Nonetheles, he was delighted with the showing of his charges.

"I'm happy with the performance of my team.We knew they had tall players and their No 19 (Rafael Ramazotti0 was good in the air,"said Aw."We created chances and we dominated the last 15 minutes. If you ask me,I'm disappointed  as we should have taken the three points today," he concluded. 



Sunday, March 22
DPMM FC,Home share spoils.

The encounter between two unbeaten teams in the S.League certainly live up to its billings.DPMM and Home Utd shared the spoils after a 2-2 draw in a high intensity matchup last night.

Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti netted both goals for the Brunei side, bringing his tally to six in the camapign, while Ken Ilso and Kamel Ramdani scored in either half for the Protectors.

DPMM made two changes to their starting line-up with the dup of Helmi Zambin and Sairol Sahari given their first startsof the season.It was a quiet encounter in the early stages and it was only in the 13th minute that DPMM got the first shot on goal through a Craig Fagan free-kick from 25 yards out but only straight to Home goalkeeper Hyrulnizam Juma'at.

They should got infront in the 29th minute but Brian McLean's header from close range was denied by Hyrulnizam.

Instead, Home broke the deadlock the next minute after Ilson held off his defender in the box before firing to the far post with his left foot on the turn for the lead.

The Danish forward almost doubled the Protectors lead 2 minutes later with a good attempt from 20 yards out but DPMM custodain Wardun Yusof did well to deny him.

DPMM were forced to make a change and brought on Adi Said in a place of Fagan in the 37th minuet due to injury.DPMM equalised right before the stroke of halftime with Boris launching a free-kick from the mid-way line into the Home box.Hyrulnizam tried to get a hand to it into the net to make it 1-1 at the interval.DPMM grabbed the lead on the hour mark with Sairol putting a cross in from the left for Ramazotti to head past Hyrulnizam. It was the last action for the former as Awan Ali Rahman was sent on right after in his place. Home almsot responded two minutes later but Wardun produced a good save to deny Ilso's freekick from 35 yards out.

DPMM should have doubled their advantgae in the 66th minute but Hyrulnizam produced a good save to deny Hendra Azam's long range strike.

Ramazotti bulge the net on the rebound but was flagged for offside.Home were desperate for a goal and pushing forward in numbers. They almost got a break through in the 72nd minute but Wardun denied Song Uiyong from inside the box.Ramdani pounced on the rebound but his attempt was cleared off the line by Raspudic. The visitors equalised in the 84th minute after a freekick from the left to the far-post was put back into the six-yard box.

Wardun got a hand to it but only to as far as Ramdani to fire it into the net to make it 2-2.Both teams was in search of the late winner but it was not meant to be as DPMm dropped their first points of the season in 3 matches. 

 

 



Saturday, March 21
Battle of the unbeaten

DPMM FC want to maintain their perfect league record but face tough opposition against the league's only other unbeaten side, Home United tonight.

DPMM FC, though, have two games in hand ahead of leaders Tampines Rovers, who are on 9 points.

Coach Steve Kean knows the difficulties in playing the Protectors and is hoping his charges will produce the goods at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium tonight.

"The games in hand are no good if we don't win them.We are looking for a good victory and performance as we want to maintain a 100 per cent start to our season," said Kean in an interviewafter yesterday's training session yesterday.

"Every time we play Home Utdrecently has been tough.We watched them playing Tampines and they were very comfortable.

"They played very well and controlled the game They deserved to win.They attack very well with the front three and pass the ball well in midfield.

"They tend to dominate possessionlike we do and that is the main battle," continued Kean.

When asked on the availability of Ak Fakharazzi and Azwan Ali Rahman, both who picked injuries during the World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday,Kean siad that Fakharazzi is doubtful while Azwan Ali has recovered over the past few days and will be available.

"We will get another two week break after this match and should be 100 percent by then," he added.

Coach Philip Aw, who took over the position after Lee Lim Saeng stepped down on Dec 5, is wary about DPMM FC's height advantage.

"All teams that come here expect a tough game," said Aw, who led Home 's Prime League team to an unbeaten record last season en route to wiining the title.

"They have 5 foreigners,of which four of them are very tall - and they will utilise these four at set pieces," he added.

DPMM have failed to register a win against the Protectors in their 4 past meetings, including 2 in the Singapore Cup and can be seen as a bogey team for the Brunei side.

Aw is not taking into account any of the past results though.

"Ths year is a new season.We could have been the bogey team in the past but we are a new team and they are also new.Anything can happen," said the former Home Utd player from 1999-2002.

"I don't beleive history will count for anything and I think that every game is different," he concluded.Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 



Sunday, March 8
Ramazotti continues hot form as DPMM notch second win.

Brunei DPMM bagged back-to-back wins to sstart their Great Eastern YEO's campaign after defeating Albirex Niigata FC 1-0 last night.

Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti notted the only goal of the match to separate the two sides at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Both teams got off to slow starts and it was Albirex who got the first chance of the match.

A defensive error by Azwan Salleh in the 12th minute allowed Atsushi Kawata to put on shot on target only for DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof to push it over the bar for a corner.

DPMM got their first attempt in the 23rd minute with Ramazotti firing on the turn from just inside the box but only in the hands of Albirex shot-stopper Yosuke Nazawa.

The Brunei side got another chance four minutes later but Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic ut his header just wide off the right post.

Azwan Salleh should have put DPMM in front the next minute after rifling a shot from outside the box only to watch the ball brush the top of the crossbar.

The deadlock was broken on the half hour mark after a back pass to Kento Fujihara was chased down by Azwan Ali.

The ball fell to the back allowing Ramazotti to slide home the ball past on onrushing Nazawa for his fourth of the season.

Ramazotti had back-to-back chances just before the halftime whistle.He could not steer his header on target for the first and got it wrong on the volley inside the box on a Craig Fagan cross.

Albirex almost equalised just 4 minutes after the restart courtesy of a free-kick by Kawata from 25 yards which required Wardun to dive down to his right to push it out for a corner.

Neither side produced much fo much of the second half till the 82nd minute after Nazwa failed to deal with a Joe Gamble free-kick into the box.

The ball fell nicely for Raspudic but the DPMM centre-back fired over.

Ramazotti should have added to his tally  in the 89th minute but was denied by the crossbar.

They cam close against the next minute but Aminuddin Zakwan fired straight at Kawata from inside the box. 



Saturday, March 7
DPMM FC set for battle.

DPMM FC face a stern test when they host Albirex Niigata in the league today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

Results over the last year favour the Brunei side as they were victorious in all five meetings - two in the Singapore Cup quarterfinals - but DPMM coach Steve Kean believes that it will be another tough encounter.

"I expect a tough game. Even thoigh we got good results against them last season,they were one of the best sides in the leaague,"sai KEan in an interview after a training session yesterday.

"They are difficult to play against as they always try to dominate possession.They pass the ball well and technically very good.Thet are quick and fit.We have to make that we don't have the ball,we get in a tight and compact unit otherwise they can cut yo open," he added.

"We got good results before but we take nothing for grantedand will give them full respect.

"They are excellent club and I like their brand of football that they always play," continued the Scotsman.DPMM are in confident mood after coming off a strong showing following a 3-1 victory against Harimau Muda in their season opener last Sunday with Brazilian forward Rafael Ramazotti nothced a hat-trick in his debut.There are no injury worries for Kean except that forward Shahrazen Said suffered a cut to his head during training yesterday."I'm sure with few stitches and a bandage he should be available for selection,"said Kean. "It was good he got to come on the other night .He unsettles the defences when he comes on with his power and pressure. Hopefully he will be fine and everybody else is 100 percent fit,"he added.

Kean is alsohoping that they can get a good number of supporters to attend the game.

"It is nice for fans to see two consecutive games and get a feel for the team,"said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"I hope we get a good crowd on Saturday. Hopefully we can get a few more people the face we started so well,"he added.On the other hand,Albirex assistant coach Tomoaki Sasaki expects a difficult outing but assures his charges are ready to do the battle. "In the last game against Tampines, we had problems on both sides (attack and defence).We will have to improve on both for this match," said Sasaki. "Tomorrow will be a tough game but we do have to confidence. DPMM are a very good side with tall and tough players,"he added. Kick off is at 8.15pm. 



Monday, March 2
Hat-trick hero Ramazotti stars in DPMM FC debut.

Rafael Ramazotti bagged a hat-trick in his debut as DPMM kicked off their Singapore League campaign with a 3-1 win over Harimau Muda.

The Brazilian striker opened the scoring in the 24th minute when he headed home midfielder Azwan Ali's corner from the right.

The 27-year old scored his second with a fantastic volley from 30-metres out before completed his hat-trick just eight 8 minutes after the restart in the second half.

"I am very happy...first game it is always difficult and hard to score...I think I was lucky this is a result of the training...hard training," said Ramazotti in an interview after the match.

Earlier in the first half striker Fagan almost gave DPMM the lead when he was picked unmarked inside the penalty box by Azwan Ali but the striker headed awfully wide.

DPMM dominated the possession from the start passing the ball around but they failed to get past the Harimau Muda defensive line.

Harimau Muda midfielder Sharul Igwan brought the first save of the game from Wardun after being allowed to run for far too long with the ball following a counter attack.

Harimau Muda goalkeeper Farhan Abu Bakar was called into action shortly midfielder Hendra Azam fired shot just inches wide from outside the penalty box.

DPMMfinally broke the deadlock when Ramazotti rose above everyone inside the penalty box to head in Azwan Ali's corner to give his team a 1-0 lead.

Harimau Muda were punished again in the 40th minute when they failed to clear long ball from DPMM own half-the ball fell right in front of Ramazotti and the striker slammed the ball first time straight into the net leaving goalkeeper Farhan no chance at all.DPMM contunued to control the game in the second half and they found the net again in the 53rd minute when midfielder Joe Gamble brilliantly picked Ramazotti on the left and the latter blasted the ball into the net with his left foot as he completed his hat-trick.

Harimau Muda did make a few chances notably when striker Kumaahran Saathsivamheader went just inches wide but apart from a couple of attempts from free-kicks and shot from outside the penalty box the home side did not manage to put much to trouble centrebacks Boris Raspudic and Brian McLean in defence. Harimau Muds however managed to pull one back in the 90th minute when Ridzuan Abdullah Punlo was given plenty of space from outside of the penalty box.

DPMM manager Steve Kean was ahppy with his team;s performance and the manager singled out Ramazotti for praise.

"I think what you've probably seen tonight is just a glimpse of what Rafa can bring to the club," said Steve Kean in the post match conference.

"He's obviously a fantastic player and he cans also score any type of goal...He scored with his left foot which was not his strongest and he's probably unlucky not to get another couple of goals.

"But what I must say is that its not just about Rafa tonight its also the service of the whole team and Craig also did very well and as did Azwan Ali...they were exceptional.

"We've got a lot of quality on the squad so its never just about one player but obviously Rafa will get the headlines because of his goals bit I thought the two central defenders tonight were exceptional(Raspudic and McLean)...they really pushed Harimau Muda high up the pitch and won lots of balls, especially in the first half.

"I'm really impressed with how the squad is coming together tonight as a team and a bigger picture the squad is very strong.

"We got a bit greedy wwhen we were 3-0 up, you want to score four and five goals, ans thats no disrespect for Harimau Muda when we're so far ahead in the game, wew ere hoping to put more goals in the tally, and we were a little bit annoyed that we didn't get a clean sheet but there was a deflection at the end and it was a tough one for Wardun," he added. 



Thursday, February 26
DPMM all set for new season.

DPMM FC are in fine form ahead oftheir season-opening S-League game against Harimau Muda on Sunday.

Speaking to the Brunei Times after the photo op,DPMM FC team manager Ali Momin hopes that the club can improve on their perfoamance from last season when they finished as S-League runners-up, Singapore League Cup champions and claimed third in the Singapore Cup.

"Our target is to become the S-League and the Singapore Cup champions as we never won those titles before," said Ali in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

The club have signed three new foreign playersthis season:English forward Craig Fagan,Scottish defender Brian McLean and Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti.

They join Irish midfielder Joe Gamble and Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic as the team's five imports for the new S-League season.When asked about the new imports,Ali replied: "We will have to see in their first match this Sunday.

"It is difficult to play in a competitive match compared to normal friendly.Due to their height advantage,I feel that the imports can help us to score and defend on set-pieces.

"Last season we conceded many goals from set pieces due to our players height," added the manager.

Striker Shahrazen echoed his manager's comments,saying that he hopes the club can top the S-League, retain the League Cup and make the Singapore Cup final.

"As a striker my job is to score for my team. I also have a target of how many goals I want to score,but it depends on how many matches I play," he added.

"About the new imports, I can see there is quality that Rafael and Fagan can give to our attack.Rafael has his height advantage while Fagan has experienced playing in the Premier League,"answered the striker when asked about the new imports.

Commenting on the new local young players,Shahrazen said: "I'm surprised they have quickly adapt to our playing style as our previous players needed longer time.I believe one or two of them can play in the first-11 this season,"Shahrazen's younger brother also shared his brother's hopes.

"My target for this season is the same as Shahrazen, but I really hope that we don't repeat last season's performance where we lost the league at the very last match," said the striker.

"I do not set any scoring targets but I hope I will be given trust to play more this season," he answerd when asked about his goal scoring target this season. 

Md Suhandi Mahali, who joins as a new goalkeeper, is hoping that he can improve his performance.

"I hope that I can improve and give healthy competition to the other goalkeepers," said the goalkeeper who played for MS ABDB for 7 years.

When asked about Steve Kean's trainign regime,"It is hard compared to my training at MS ABDB, but I'm ok with it."

The match against Harimau Muda is set for 8.15pm at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas. 



Tuesday, February 17
DPMM FC players, sponsors sign contracts for new season.

Three new foreign playerswere among the team of 25 that inked their names onto DPMM FC contracts yesterday for the new S-League season.

English forward Craig Fagan, Northern Ireland defender Brian McLeanand Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti join Irish midfielder Joe Gamble and Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic as the team's five imports for the new campaign which kicks off on March 1.

The signing ceremony at the Red Jade Room, Centrepoint Hotel in Gadong was witnessed by YAM Pg Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul irshad Pg Anak Hj Abd Rahim,DPMM FC vice-chairman, with representatives,from eight companies also signing on the dotted line.

Fagan,McLeanand Ramazotti are replacing last season's top-scorer Brazilian striker Rodrigo Tosi,Irish forward Roy O'Donovan and Croatian Roberto Alviz.

Fagan, 32, was previously at League One (English third-tier)side Gillingham but spent most of his career playing for Hull City from 2005-2007 and from 2008-2010 when they were in the Premier League.

McLean 29, has played for Falkirk,Dundee Utd and Ross County in the top-tier Scottish Premiership, while a Ramazotti, 26, last laced up for J-League Division 3 side Gainare Tottori last year.

A press release from his agent sid that Fagan has made a total of 80 appearances for EPL sides Birmingham  City,Hull City adn Derby County and has scored against the likes of Fulham,West Brom, Bolton Wanderers,Manchester Utd and Man City.

Speaking to the media, Fagan said he was pleased with the standard showed in the squad which finished as runners-up to Warriors FC last season.

"I really enjoy playing with this team.The standard here is really good and with the addition (of new players) we have this year,I hope we can amke a push for the championship this season," he said.

When ash=ked about working with former Blackburn manager Steve Kean, he replied,"It is good to work with an English manager and I am looking forward to every session.

"I've never played in Asia before, but I've watched football in all continents and I am looking forward to playing here,"added Fagan.

Mc Lean, who knew about DPMM after having conversation with Kean, also does not have any experience playing in Asia.

But like Fagan, his aim is to win titles for DPMM.

"This team is really fantastic and our preparation was really good," said the defender.

"The challenge for me here is the climate and I still have to adapt to it.My ultimate goal is to win the league and cup with the team," he added.

Ramazotti who played on J-League 3 side,Gainare Tottori is also happy to play in Brunei.

"They(the players) are very good guys and I like the city here," said Ramazotti.

When asked about the weather here, he responded: "I don't have a problem with the weather here since it is the same as in Brazil."

Representatives from Mitsubishi Corporation,Maju Motors Sdn Bhd, Brunei Shell Marketing Company Sdn Bhd, DST Group,Royal Brunei Airlines, Hertz, Hui Huang Enterprise and Sports Partnership Pte Ltd also signed on as sponsors. 

 



Thursday, February 12
Kean focusing on positives.

Steve Kean is trying to focis on the positives despite DPMM losing all three of their pre-season matches in Thailand.

Their final match was losing the Thai Premier outfit Suphanburi FC 2-1 at the Suphanburi Stadium.

However, DPMM coach Kean said the club got exactly what theu bargained for as the main aim of the trip was to test the players ahead of their S-League opener against Harimau Muda

"The idea of the Thailand trip was to get the most competitive games...befire some teams start their season," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times when mt after training session at the Mini Stadium.

"The Thailand season starts on Saturday and the teams are fully prepared.

"It was much better to play and stretch ourselves against them.We had other invitations to go to other parts of the world but we fwtlt his is the bets option so we can learn much more about our team.

"If we played a lesser team and won by a big margin, we won't really able to push ourselves defensivly or physically.

"The biggest thing is that we know what we need to work on before our campaign starts to ensure that we are ready.

"We were competitive against three very good sides and we got gradually got better with the games," continued the Scotsman, who helped the club finished second last year.

The latest inclusions into the squad - Md Khairul Anwar Abd Rahim,Reduan Hj Petara,Ak Yura Indera Putera Yunos and Md Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir - managed to impress the former Blackburn manager.

"I never like to single anyone out, but again like last year,the youngest lads were excellent," said Kean.

"They are capable of starting the first match.It is not a case where they are young but they are pushing the most experienced players on the team to start the season.

"There is good competition and it creates a nice environment where everyone's got tp be on their toes.Anyone in the squad can play the first game," continued the 47-year old.

Kean also said he was aware that the dates for the first round of the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup will clash with DPMM FC's S-League schedule.

Brunei were drawn against Chinese Taipei during Tuesday's draw, and the national team will play the away fixture on March 12 and the home game on March 17 - with the bulk of the team sure to be drawn from DPMM, who slated to take on the young Lions on March 11 and Home Utd on March 18.

"We will talk to FAS to see if we can postpone our games," said Kean.

"We want the country to do well and we wouldn't want to play in the league when half the team is away," he concluded. 

 



Tuesday, January 27
Kean looking forward to season opener.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean is happy with the progress of his charges and is looking forward to kicking the S-Leaague season off at home.

There is just over a month left until the team open their S-League campaign ob March  1 against Harimau Muda at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas, with Kean saying that he is relishing the opportunity to start the season off against the Malaysian Under-22 team.

"It is always nice to start with a home game but we always like to going to Singapore as well," said Kean in aan interview with the Brunei Times after a training session yesterday.

"This year all 10 teams are a little bit stronger and have to play adifferent formar - three rounds no split rounds.

"I believe we can have a really good seaonand we are looking forward to kicking off as soon as we can.

"Training has been good and it has been a tough three weeks.We have been doing physical work with the ball and have done many sessions at the gym.

"The lads have put in a lot of hard work and they are shaping up very well, and the biggest thing I've noticed so far is that their physical level is mush higher compared to that at this time last year.

"The work they've put in during the off season has paid off as well as they are looking fit and sharp,"continued the Scotsman.

DPMM's first away game will be on March 7 against Albirex Niigata at the Jurong East Stadium before going against Young Lions four days later at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

The S-League runners-up will then host Home United in their last match of the month on March 18.

DPMM had about a dozen foreign players on trial over the past two weeks but only one - Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti -remains in the Sultanate.

"The good thing is that last year at this time we were trying to assemble a squad that could challenge for all 3 competitions," said Kean.

"There were good imports and hopefully by the end of this week we will discuss the final selection and get all 5 imports signed on the dotted line," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM were slated to play against the Indonesia Premier League outfit Persija Jakarta this week in a friendly but things didn't materialise.

"It has been difficult to get games.Initially we wanted to get a team from Indonesia to coem here but it didn't work out," said Kean.

"Another team from Indonesia wanted us to go there but I didn't want us to miss three to four days of training just to play one game.

"The good thing is that we've got 20 players and we get to play against each other at a high level. Sometimes it is just as good as playing against any other team.

"We didn't play many games last year as well and starting off well in the league. Training is the most important thing for us to get shape and structure," added the 47-year old.

DPMM are planning to head to Thailand for a pre-season competition next month.

Ramazotti is set to travel with the team to Thailand and the forward is hoping that he will able to impress to earn a berth in the roster.

"It is very nice here in Brunei.I like th club and the people here,"said the Brazilian.

"I like how Steve worksI've watched him back when he was still coaching in England and he is a good coach.

"I hope that I'll be able to help the club to be champions," concluded Ramazotti, who last plied his trade in Japanese third-tier side Gainare Tottori.

 



Saturday, January 24
DPMM to play Harimau Muda in season opener.

DPMM FC will start their 2015 S-League season with a clash against Harimau Muda on March 1 at the Hassanal Bolkiah NAtional Stadium in Berakas.

They will next face Albirex on March 7 at the Jurong East Stadium before meeting Young Lions at the Jalan BesarStadium on March 11.

DPMM FC will close the month with a home match against Home United on March 18.

The club's head coach Steve Kean has set his sights on a treble this season after coming off their best season to date by winning the League Cup,claiming runners-up spot in the Singapore League snd a third-place finish in the Singapore Cup.

Irish midfielder and Bosnian defender Boros Raspudic are the only two returning imports from last season.

The team recently trying out about 10 import players, but some of them are not ready or good enough to be signed.

DPMM will test another few players, among them former Inter Milan player Alvaro Recoba, Lebanese international Hussain Awada and top-scorer from the Lebanese League from Ivory Coast. 

The team also plan to head in Thailand in February for a pre-season friendly.



Saturday, January 17
DPMM in no hurry to pick players.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean feels there is no need to rush into making decisions on the foreign players currently on trial with the club.

There are currently a tatla of 13 foreign players in the Sultanate on trial, who are looking to sign three imports to fill the S-League's five-import quota for every team.

Irish midfielder and Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic are the only two returning imports from last season after the club surprisingly released top-scorer Rodrigo Tosi , Irish forward Roy O'Donovan and Roberto Alviz.

"Some of these players have barely been here a week and I would like to see them improve in the next couple of weeks,"said Kean after the team;s training on Monday.

"Hopefully there will be some players here we offer contracts to.If not, we will just have to invite more.

"Initially we were looking at confirming the three spots by the end of this week, but now we've got an extra two weeks with the league being pushed back a bit," he added. "We are always open and if we can't fill the quota then we will keep looking.We will not simply take anybody for the sake of it," continued the Scotsman.

Fans will be able to catch the team in action for the first time this time at the end of Januarywhen they take on IndonesianPremier LEague outfit Persija Jakarta at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Kean is anticipating a good backing for the Indonesia side and is looking forward for the friendly.

"We always expect a big crowd when any Indonesian team comes here to play.They are always energetic," said Kean,adding that Persija Jakarta would be a "tough team" to beat.

DPMM also plan to head to Thailand in February for 3 friendly matches. 



Wednesday, January 7
Import search starts again.

Some 10 foreignplayers are expected to be on trial with DPMM over the next few days.

Last year's Singapore League runner-up held their first training session of 2015 on Monday, with thwo of the players present on the pitch at the Jerudong Mini Stadium -Liberian international defender Parick Gerhardtand Congolese national team goalkeeper Barel Mouko.

Seven more players took to the field yesterday with the remaining player set to join the rest today.

Gerhardt plied his trade with Melbourne Heart in the A-League for the past three years before coming to try out in the Sultanate while Mouko was the backup goalkeeoer at French Ligue 1 club Lille.

Speaking to the Brunei Times on Monday,Swiss-born Gerhardt said he is enjoying his time here and is hoping to put on a good show.

"It is a good club. People are very friendly and very welcoming and the culture is also good," said Gerhardt.

"I was talking to my agent and he said it would be a good stop to come play here. I wanted to play in Asia and he said it is a good place to be. We will see what happens in the next few days," he continued.

Gamble said he is delighted to be back in the Sultanate and is expecting another great player for the team after 2014's campaign also reaped the Singapore League Cup and a third-place finish in the Singapore Cup -  the club's best season to date.

"Although it was a fantastic season we aredisappointed really at the final outcome," said Gamble.

"We could have won the league and had a good chance to win the Singapore Cup.

"We know that we can go to the distance and the players here know that we are capable of winning the league.

"We will carry on where we left off as we had a good strong last three games to end the season," continued Gamble.

The Irishman also felt that things are looking better to start off the New Year compared to last year.

"We are already at a good state coming into the first day of pre-season. We are at a good standard compared to last year," said Gamble.

"We were not able to train like this from day one (last year). I can say that we are 20-30 per cent better in terms of fitness and are mentally better prepared than last year," he concluded. 



Tuesday, January 6
Kean setting the bar high.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean wants to go one step further this year by winning the treble.

The Scotsman led the club to their best season to date last year in his first year in charge of finishing as runners-up in the Singapore League, champions in the Singapore League Cup and claiming third in the Singapore Cup.

This year, though, the target is all three cups. 

"My expectation is to have a better season than last," said Kean yesterday ahead of the S-League season which is expected to kick-off in March.

"Last season is excellent for us as we were on top of league most of the time, but unfortunately the week which mattered the most, we didn't win the game.

"Our first goal is to tryo to do better and win the S-League.We are proud to be the League Cup holders and we want to retain that.

"There is no shame in setting our goals very high. We will build and even stronger side this year," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager in an interview with the media after DPMM FC's first training session of the year at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

Kean will be looking at shaping up a stronger defensive unit again this season - something that was lacking at the later stages of last year's campaign.

"Our aim is to concede fewer goals," said Kean.

"We will always score goals, but too many time especially away from home,we had to score three or four to win a game.

"If we score one goal away,it should be enough to win.

"We have to start a process from the back to ensure we get more clean sheets.

We have to be a team that is hard to score against, and it will be a good platform to build the rest of the side," continued Kean.

The team got over a month off from training at the pitch but they have been working hard at building up their physique at the Reebok Crossfit 673 gym .

"We have worked hard for the off-season," said Kean.

The lads have been going three sessions per week in the gym and they have come back string, sharp and are freshed.

It was not a case where we were playing 11 vs 11. The boys got time away from this place and got gaisn in their body with gym sessions," he added.

In terms of foreign players, DPMM will be looking at signing three other import players.

They have retained the duo of Irish midfielder Joe Gamble and Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic from last season and Kean is expecting to find more quality imports to compliment the roster.

"We've got a spread across the board from goalkeepers to defenders and strikers as well as midfield players," said Kean.

"For any club it is about looking at people and making sure they can strengthen the squad.

"If they are not any better than what we have, we will look elsewhere.

"Every year we try to keep it fresh.

"We are always looking forward and we have to keep improving," concluded the Scotsman. 

DPMM are arranging to hold a friendly match against the Indonesian Premier League outfit,Persija Jakarta end of January before going to Thailand in February. 



Saturday, December 27
DPMM setting up youth squad.

Brunei DPMM will be setting up its youth squad next yearand is calling on young local footballers aged 17 to 18 years old to join the try-out on January 11,2015 at Jerudong Mini Stadium, the home of Brunei DPMM FC.

Ali Momin, Brunei DPMM FC team manger yesterday said," We are looking for young footballers to join Brunei DPMM to train and to take the place of retiring local players. It is the first time that we are establishing a youth team and I hope that talented footballers would not miss the opportunity to join the only professional club in Brunei."

This year, Brunei DPMM  toured various schools to promote the club and head coach Steve Kean had in numerous occasion welcomed the idea od setting up a Brunei DPMM youth squad and hopes that the students will join the club in the future.

Ali Momin said, " We are welcoming footballers aged 17 to 18 years old to attend the tryout on January 11. They can register at the Jerudong Mini Stadium at 7.30am on that day."

On the Brunei DPMM FC's squad for next year's S.League he said, "We have already two confirmed imports  -  Boris Raspudic and Joe Gamble. We are currently looking for another three imports to fill the remaining places. 



Wednesday, November 19
Perak listed import player from Brunei.

Perak has listed a striker from Brunei, Shahrazen Said, 28, as their Asian import player for the season 2015.

Besides Shahraen, two more import players from Africa are scheduled to arrive next week to ensure Perak will be at least in the top-five of the league next season. 

Perak has also confirmed in recruiting four local players namely  striker Bobby Gonzales and Haris Safwan, defender Azmii Azmi and goalkeeper Zamir Selamat. 

The team manager, Datuk Azhar Ahmad said, Shahrazen who was the top-scorer of the Malaysian Super League 2007 when he played for DPMM, already started training with the tean since last week.

According to him, Shahrazen was also under the coaching of the head coach, Vjeran Simunic, who also played in the Singapore League for the last few seasons.

"By God's grace, there will be two more import players from JAmaica and Nigeria are scheduled to arrive to complete the four imports roster," said Datuk Azhar while be interviewed in his office today(Wednesday).

Besides Shahrazen and the two players from Africa, Perak had already extended contract of Marcos Tulio.

Azhar mentioned, the choice of players were selected by Simunic himself because the Croatian has his capability and knowledge to bring the team up, to another level and dimension.

"We give full believe for Simunic for the choice of the players and the management will get the feedback every now and then,"he said.

According to him,the management has already listed some of the roster of players for the season while the remaining, will be listed before the 5th December,2014, as stated by the FAM. 



Wednesday, November 19
Perak considering move for Shahrazen.

Perak FA are considering the option for signing DPMM forward Shahrazen Said, to beef up their squads as well is fill in the Asian foreign player quote for the 2015 Malaysian Super League.

The Seladangs are close to finalizing their squad, though they are currently working to secire the signature of foreign players, with Shaharaen said to be attracting their interest significantly after he was recently offered a trial by the Perak FA management.

The 28 year old striker is no stranger to the Malaysian football scene, havung finished as Super League top scorer back in 2007, when DPMM were part of the competition.Since then, he has been plying his trade in the S.League with DPMM, besides a short loan with Wijaya FC in the Bruneian League back in 2011.

Though Shahrazen isn't exactly the most explosive forward out there, he comes with a wealth of experience and certainly he has the knack of doing well when on form. With Perak containing a fair amount of young players, Shahrazen could perhaps be the sort of signing their need to balance out the 'experience vs youth' scale. 



Friday, November 7
DPMM FC trio eye awards.

DPMM FC have just completed their best season to date, and there could be more icing on the cake as they have nominess in three categories for Sunday's 2014 Singapore League Awards Night.

Steve Kean has been nominated for the Coach of the Year award while Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi- who is set to receive the Golden Boot Award - has been nominated for the Player of the Year award.

Kean, who led DPMM to the Singapore League Cup, a second-place finsihed in the Singapore League, and third in the Singapore Cup in his debut season, will be up against Alex Weaver from S.League champions Warriors and Marko Kravljevic of Balestier Khalsa.

It is no surprise that Tosi is up for the Palyer of the Year award after scoring 24 goals in the league. He tallied a tallied of 34 goals in all tournaments and bagged a brace on Wednesday to give DPMM their first win over Tampines in the Singapore Cup third-place playoff at the Jalan Besar.

He will be up against the trio of forwards Fazrul Nawaz, Kazuki Sakamoto and Goran Ljubojevic and national goalkeeper Hassan Sunny.

Apart from Azwan, the other nominees in the Young Player of Year award include Sahil Suhaili, Nicolas Velez and Suria Prakash. 



Wednesday, November 5
S-League revamp draws mixed reactions.

Football fraternity says the league's revamp is a modern reality, but it is unsure if fans will return back the ailing league.

Response from the football fraternity to the S.League's reported changes for the 2015 season has been mostly mixed, as the ailing football league downsizes from 12 teams to 10 next year and brings in age restrictions and new rules on foreign players.

Tanjing Pagar United,announced on Sunday that they will sit out the 2015 season because of money issues. This is the second time the Queenstown-based Jaguars have resorted to withdrawing from the league, after having done so in 2004. 

Two other sides - Hougang Utd and Woodlands Wellington, which finished seventh and 11thth respectively. this season - will merge for next year.

New age restrictions for local footballers will see the team limited to amaximum of five playeres aged 30 and above and a minimum of three players aged 25 and under for teams with a 22-man squad.Those with a 20-man squad will be allowed only four players over 30 years old and a mimimum of two in the 25-and-under bracket.

As in the 2014 season,five foreign players will be allowed for each team, but incentives will be given to thise that recuit one aged 21 and under.

The S.League did not respond to TODAY's quieries on the changes by press time on Tuesday night.

While observers said a reduced roster of teams could ensure that the remaining ones will get more resouce and better players, it remains to be seen if the changes will revive the ailing league.

Since its high-profile debut in 1996, attendance at S.League matches has continued to flag, with some struggling financially due to a lack of sponsors and corporate suport.

Former Tampines Rovers striker Aleksandar Duric - who retired last week after a 16-year carrer in the league - had earlier called for a revamp in an interview with TODAY, and the 44-year old is hopeful the changes will help bring fans back.

"The measures are a little drastic, but we need some changes to the league to move forward,"he said. "Tanjong Pagar was my first club when I started playing here and its sad to see the tradition go, as Tanjong Pagar and Woodlands were both there on the first day of the league.

"Bu thats modern football -if there are no resources, you cannot run a club.With fewer clubs,there could be better players coming in.We will see how the clubs deal with the age restrictions.But this will give younger players a push as they now have a chance to play regularly."

Loyal S.League fan Basil Yeo was not optimistic, telling TODAY: "The S-League has on life support for many years and now, the FA Singapore is sort of pulling the life support.

"Some clubs have closed their Centres of Excellence, so where are the younger players going to come from? They are forcing the older players out, but there is no proper plan for young players."

Tampines Rovers' roster currently includes 7 players aged above 30,but chairman Teo Hock Seng is not unduly worried. "My club has the oldest average age, but some older players will have to go and 2 younger ones from the Prime League will come in," he said.

"S-League has a certain budget to exercise. With the changes, the teams will eb more committed to the league.Its our job to (bring the spectators back) and hopefully, th crowds will come back. 



Thursday, October 30
Kean praises defenders.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean was delighted with the performance of his backline after coming away with a 1-0 victory over Albirex Niigata in the S-League on Tuesday night.

A goal courtesy of Adi Said in the 61st minute separated the two sides at the Jurong East Stadium.

They are now back at the top of the standings on 50 points, tied with Warriors FC but boasting a superior goal difference.

"I don't think we have been playing badly but we haven't been ruthless enough," said Kean to the S-League after the triumph.

"We also finally got a cleansheet tonight after not getting enough cleansheets.

"Credit must be given to the defenders because I've not been playing them a hard time and righly so," he said. 

"Defenders are paid to defend, we haven't had enough cleansheets of late but tonight they threw their body o the line. They were excellent. 

"We are just delighted with the result tonight.The result makes the game on Friday a game that means something," continued the Scotsman.

The biggest blemish was that Roy O'Donovangot sent off with a straight red card moments before the final whistle.

Referee Sukhbir Singh had shown a yellow card after the Irishman committed a foul nea rthe Albirex right corner flag but he was flashed for red just seconds later while backpedalling.

Kean felt that it was a 'strange' decision but acknowledged that they have no other choice but to look forward.

"You just got to take it,when you got those decisions against you," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager. 

"We had one in our last game where there was a blatant fhandball on the line, two hands in fact, but you've got to bit your toungue and get on with it," he added.

Albirex coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama was disappointed to drop out of the tile race.

The Japanese outfits needed a victory to stay in the unt.

"This is football,both teams created chances and the team that score goals will win.DPMM FC have many experienced players so we were not good enough to beat them in that point," said Okuyama.

"I wanted the players to grow throughout the season and also wanted to get good results so if we won one of these five games,it might be interesting for us bet we lost so I can't say I'm satisfied but disappointed," he added. 

DPMM only need to equal the result of the Warriors on Friday to lift the trophy.

Brunei's only professional team will have to overcome defending champions Tampines at the Jalan Besar Stadium to guarantee the tile.

Warriors will face off against Albirex at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium also in Singapore at the same time.

Both matches kick off at 7.30pm. 



Wednesday, October 29
DPMM a step closer to championship.

It is Brunei DPMM's title to lose now, after their slim 1-0 victory over Albirex Niigata (S) at the Jurong East Stadium on Tuesday evening.

This result moved them to the to of the league on goal difference and they just have to equal Warriors FC's result on Friday to win their maiden S.League title.

In a repeat of their opening round encounter,Adi Said's 61st minute striker proved to be an all-important one as ensured Steve Kean's side 3 points while managing to stay unbeaten against the hosts in five games in all competitions this season.

It eas an end-to-end game with both teams having their chances to socre, but it was DPMM who almost took the lead as Roy O'Donovan flashed a shot narowly wide mere seconds after kickoff.

Albirex then carved out their first opening of the evening on six minutes when Norihiro Kawakami connected with a corner from the left but his downward header was smothered bu DPMM custodian Azman Ilham on the line.

At the other end, Adi squandered two opportunities in quick succession as he first balloned a shot over four minutes laster before drilling one inches wide at the near post off Azwan Ali's low cross in the 15th minute.

DPMM had the ball in the net in the 24th minute but it was disallowed by referee Sukhbir Singh after Rodrigo Tosi was adjudged to have fouled on Albirex player in the build-up to the goal.

The White Swans finished the half strongly and could have gotten their noses infront minutes before the break.

Azman had to be called into action to gather Kazuki Sakamoto's deflected effort from the dge of the penalty area in the 41st minute before pulling off a fine save to deny Itsuki Yamada from a tight angle moments later.

After the restart,an error from the Albirex defence nearly resulted in a DPMM goal in the 49th minute but O'Donovan contrived to shoot straight at Ogino instead. 

The breakthrough, finally came shortly after the hour mark as O'Donovanturned provider, finding a space down the left to cross the ball for Adi to send a looping header over a hapless Ogino for a lead they never relinquished.

Albirex tried to find a way back after falling behind apart from a Keisuke Ota effort which was well-saved by Azman ten minutes later from the end, they preery much failed to breach a watertight DPMM defence who saw out of the game and dashed Albirex's title hopes. 

There was however late drama as O'Donovan was dismissd with seconds remaining for a second yellow, which rules the Irish out of his side's final game against Tampines Rovers. 

 



Tuesday, October 28
No room for error.

There is no more room for error if DPMM are to lift the Singapore League trophy on Friday.

Brunei's only professional club will be going all out when they face title contenders Albirex Niigata (S) at th Jurong East Stadium tonight.

Things haven't been rosy for DPMM as they heva gone without a win in their past 5 matches, including the two-legged Singapore Cup match.

"We're still in it and the good thing is that we've got two games to go. Two victories will win us a championship and that is the way we've got to look at it," said Kean to the media.

"Maybe it is better, there are no gray areas.We've got to go get a victory and in a few daysget another .

"We are never defensively tight at the back no matter how many sessions we have and what defensive combination we have put in.

"We have to go out and score many goals than our opposition in the 2 matches. We will go on the attackfrom the first minute,"continued the Scotsman.

Captain Rosmin Khamis agreed with Kean and knows they will have to be fully focused the whole way. 

"Definitely,Tomorrow there will be no room for errors, and it will b emore attacking," Rosmin told the Times.

"The environment in the team is still high and everyone is still eager to win," he added.

The iodds certainly favour DPMM as they have defeated the Japanese outfit all 4 occasions this year.

Though the numbers are in favour of the Brunei side, Eosmin knows that they have to overlook it.

"We know our record against Albirex is good but tomorrow will be a new match," said Rosmin.

"We have to watch out for the entire team because they are a good passing team. We also have to make sure we take all the chances we have," he concluded.

 

 



Tuesday, October 28
DPMM and White Swans clash in must-win game.

Albirex Niigata (S) and Brunei DPMM lock horns at the Juring East in their penultimate league tie on Tuesday evening and they will br looking for a win to keep their respective title hopes alive.

Albirex hauled themselves in the running for the championship after edgig Home Utd 2-1 on Froday evening, while the same cannot be same for DPMM who were held to a 1-1 draw by Balestier Khalsa.

Warriors currently lead the standings on 50 points, three more than DPMM and a victory for the Wasps will propel them to the top headng into the final fixture against defending champions Tampines Rovers.

The White Swans on the other hand, will go on level points with DPMM if they manage to emerge victorious here and set up an exciting finale to the final day of the season.

There will be added incentive for Albirex to beat DPMM too, as a win could help them to emulate their showing from the past 2 seasons where they finished as second runeers-up.

A quick look at the squad of both sides and it suggests quality is aplenty with Kazuki Sakamoto and Rodrigo Tosi leading the lines for Albirex and DPMM respectively, both of whom are at the top of the goalscoring charts.

However, there can only be a winner from this encounter so expect an end-to-end game as both teams try to cancel each other out and reign supreme. 

 



Saturday, October 4
DPMM FC want more support.

DPMM FC are looking to get a strong turnout for Tuesday's S-League match against the Warriors FC- which will be free of charge.

Speaking to the media yesterday, team manger Ali Hj Momin said he wants the home fans to get behind DPMM as the league leaders bid to win the league for the first time.

Though they are on 46 pointswith a game in hand, DPMM are under pressure from three-time defending champions Tmapines Rovers who are second on 43, while Home and Albirex and Warriors are all on 41 points.

Tickets will he handd out at the both entrances of the stadium starting at 6.45pm kick-off prior to the 8.15 kick-fff, and Ali stressed that pulling in a good crows would be important in securing the win.

"I hope the crows will be more than 10,000 to support us...I will be very happy if they're more than 10,000.

"As you know the crow is like the 12th player.

"They give moral support with their voice, and as a player, you don't have that feeling of being tired and your mental thoughts are strong because you know you have that back up.

"Its just different,(and) thats why playing at the home ground is a big advantage.

"The players knows the field and have the support from the crowd," noted Ali, who added that supportersand can wear red to show their support.

With only 4 games to the season,including Tuesday's tie against the Warriors, Ali knows how just important three points will be.

"If we beat Warriors we wil be eight points above them, and if we win the next game, that's it," he said.

DPMM FC's next game will be at hoem against Balestier Khalsa on Oct 24 before heading to Singapore for their final two games againt Albirex on Oct 28 and Tampines on Oct 31st. 



Sunday, October 26
Kean:No more gray areas, We need to win.

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean declared that there was no kore room for errors and his ide have to win their next two S.League games againat Albirex to become champions.

Drop more points like they did on Saturday night at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium , and that just might be the end of their title hopes.

Those hopes were dented after a 1-1 draw against Balestier Khalsa which left them three points behind of league leaders Warrors FC - though they have a game in hand and ssubstantial goal difference.

After opening the scoring in the 18th minute with a Rodrigo Tosi header, DPMM allowed Balestier back into the gamea minute later when Shahrurizal Rahman failed to clear the ball and let Zulkiffli Hassim sneak in to score a decisive equaliser.

"We have two games to go and we have to win it to win the championship.Maybe its better this way, there are no gray areas," Kean told the media after the game.

"We can never be defensively tight at the back, so we're going to go out and score more goals than our opponents in our next two games.

"I think we had an excellent start but in what has beena pattern of late we gave away a sloppy goal from an individual mistake.Shahrul should have cleared the ball but he let it bounce and the goalkeeper was caught in no man's land.

"Its very, very difficult for us to win games like that," stressed the Scotsman.

Admitting that his team were 'lucky' to leave Brunei with a share of the points, Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic explained that the gameplan was always to defend in numbers and wait for DPMM to make a istake and he was certainly spot-on with his tactics.

"We knew DPMM were under pressure and needed the win, so our plan was to defend - and I knew we had Zulkiffli upfront," said the coach.

"We had a few more chances but our last pass was not there. I thought we were a bit lucky.But we were brave, and luck favours the brave." 

 



Friday, October 24
Kean focusing on positives.

DPMM FC head coach is looking at the positives from the recently concluded ASEAN Football Federation (AFF)Suzuki Cup qualifiers in Laos.

The national football team returned home early yesterday morning after failing to notch a single point at the Oct 12-20 competition.

Brunei started out with a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Timor Leste on Oct 12at the National Sports Complex in Vientiane before failing to hosts Laos b ythe scoreline two days later.

Brunei went down and out of contention after loaing 3-1 to favourites Myanmar last Thursday.

They were then edged 1-0 by Cambodia at the Chao AnouvongStadium on Monday to finish their outing empty handed.

"It is never great when you lose a game. But to put things in context, we went out to Laos as a group," said Kean when met at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

We got three very young players (Muhd Nurikhwan Othman,Reduan Hj Petraand Ak Yura Indera Putera) and they played the last couple of matches.That is a positive.

 "We also played Ak Fakharazzi as full back in the last 2 games and he was excellent when he played there.That is a positive.

"Even though we didn't manage to get victories,I felt we played well.A lot of the games...we were in position, where at jey times, it could have gone either way," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"We came back with the confidence at the international as the lads played well.

"We will now change the focus to the S-League and hopefully we were going to be in a position to claim the title in a week's time," concluded Kean.

DPMM had 17 players represent the Sultanate and this was the first stint for Kean in handling the national team.

Asked on the differences compared to the club level, the Scotsman replied: "I felt we came up against a lot of good players.There is a lot of talent from other countries.

"It is always good for us as a country to stretch ourselves. We learn more about yourself when you play against some really good opposition," he added.

That experience is always positive even though we didn't manage a win.

"The positives we take out from each match in the tournament is a learning experience as a country.

"We have also found some excellent young players that we can add to the squad next season," concluded the DPMM FC head coach.

Kean will now set focus on the S-League title race as they haave a tight schedule ahead.

They will host Balestier Khalsa in their final home game tomorrow before facing off against Albirex Niigata next Tuesday. They close out the season against Tampines Rovers three days later. 



Tuesday, October 7
Kean expects tough time.

Steve Kean is expecting a tough challenge when DPMM entertain S-League title contenders Warriors FC tonight in a game in which entrance will ne free.

S-League DPMM, who are on 46 points will be looking for a victory after three-time defending champions and second-placed Tampines Rovers cut the lead at the top to only three points- while the trio of Albirex Niigata , Home Utd and Warriors are all locked on 41 points.

DPMM head coach Kean knows it will be an uphill task but believes is charges can produce a positive result at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

"It will be another difficult match.Rodrigo is an influential player and is big part of why we have been done well this year," said Kean in a post-training interview with the Times at the match venue last night.

"But it is unfortunate that players pick up suspensions at this stage of the season.I didn't just pick my side just the day before we have been working hard for the past 10 days.

"They are looking really sharp and energetic. This is an opportunity for someone else to step up and they have to enjoy taking part in the games with the pressure that goes with it.

"I'm confident after seeing the way we trained and we have done a lot of work on aspects that were not well in the last game.

"Preparations have been good and we are ready fo this game,"continued the Scotsman.

Kean has witness the weaknesses after the last semifinal encounter against Home Utdand is hoping they will be able to dp better defensively.

"Defensively we have really been working on a lot of set plays. Against Home we conceded 5 from setplays from the league match to the S-Cup," said the former Blackburn manager.

"As that happens we lose a bit of confidence but we have tightened up.I don;t think we can have any lapses in concentration against a team like the Warriors.

"They have got good height, good technical delivery ad set plays will eb very important," continued Kean.

Warriors head coach,Alex Weaver is focused and knows they cannot affoed another defeat after coming off a 1-0 loss at the hands of Balestier Khalsa last week.

"We need the three points for a chance to win the league,"said Weaver.

"We were quite unfortunate in the last gameas we had a goal disallowed even though it was onside, and we had a penlaty decision turned down and one against us.

"It was very harsh for us and I believe that Balestier fans would agree.The players performed well and we expected to keep the same standard tomorrow (Tuesday night),"he added.

"DPMM are a good team, but we have beaten them before in the  season and we wil try to do it again.

"Rodrigo's absence is a big loss for Brunei but we know Steve Kean will organise his team very well.We'll be ready and looking forward to it," he concluded.

Kick-off is at 8.15 pm 



Saturday, September 27
DPMM FC sent packing

DPMM are no longer in the run to become the first team in history to win a treble after Home United came from behind to steal a 3-2 win the the second leg of the Singapore Cup last night.

The clinched the final berth by winning the semifinal clash 4-3 on agreegate.

The result meant that Home will play Balestier Khalsa in the final.

DPMM started last night's game the stringer of the two teams.

Forward Roy O'Donovan put the visitors in front in just 5 minutes following a deflection from a free-kick.

The Irushman also played a major part in their second goal when Home United's Juma'at Jantan took him down inside the box in the 34th minute.

DPMM's Rodrigo Tosi stepped up the spot and found the back of the net to double their lead.

Hoem managed to pull one back when Sirina Camara out one in for team moments before the half time whistle to trail 2-1.

They scored the equaliser through Masrezwan Masturi when the shot bounced off a DPMM defender before settling in the goal in the 83rd minute.

Home's Song Inyoung would complete their comeback by finding the back of the net in the 89th minute. 

 



Friday, September 26
Kean confident ahead of crucial clash.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean believes that they have the advantage going into the second leg of the Singapore Cup semifinal against Home Utd at the Jalan Besar Stadium tonight.

This will be the third time the two teams play each other in the span of just 10 days.

The first of the three clashes saw Home Utd edge DPMM 2-1 during the league match at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium last Wednesday.

Roy O'Donovan then saved DPMM FC from going into the second leg 1-0 down after striking the back of the net in the 75th minute at the Bishan Stadium on Tuesday.

Kean told the Brunei Times during a phone interview,"Well I think the good thing when you play a tean so close together is that you get to know what they're a good at and what they're not good at ...So from a point of view thats an advantage."

"We finished the last match very well. I thought they were slightly better than us in the first half but I felt we were better in the second.

"We know why we've done so well in the second half...So that's what we will be looking to do from the first minute of the second game," he said.

Kean noted that they will also have the upper hand with Joe Gamble coming off his susoension.

"We are confident because another added advantage is that we went through that game missing one of our imports, Joe Gamble, who's very important," stated Kean.

"Now, he's available,we have a stronger squad to select from," he said.

Asked what if the outcome repeats itself and the game has to be decided on penalties, Kean replied, "We've got the experience from the league cup when we had to kick through a penlaty shooutout."

"I think the extra time period in the league cup showed the physical level that we have. We finished the game very strong and we managed to win the penalty shootout in the league cup," said Kean.

 

 



Tuesday, September 23
Rosmin: This is a new game.

Rosmin Hj Md Kamis insists DPMM FC aren't losing any sleep thinking about their last meeting with Home United.

With the two teams set to face each other in the first leg of their Singapore Cup semifinal at Bisha Stadium in Singapore tonight, it will be hard not to rewind to last 10 minutes of their league match last Wednesday.

Leading 1-0 after a 76th minute Rodrigo Tosi goal, DPMM allowed Home to get back into the game three minutes for the equaliser, and another similar pattern of a corner kick in injury time to cnceal the game for the visitors.

DPMM FC capain Rosmin, though, said the team isn't dwelling on the past as they prepare to take on defending champions and record six-time Singapore Cup winners Home again tonight.

"Its already been forgotten because tomorrow will be a new match," Romsin told the Brunei Times yesterday.

Prior to last week's match, where a win would have increased their lead over the Warriors,DPMM FC coach Steve Kean called for focus and organisation throughout the 90 minutes.

Judging by how long the Scotsman spent in the dressing room talking to his players after the game, the time was probably used to drill in those two points once again.

During his post-match pressconference, Kean sid the team would watch the game's DVD to identify which player was supposed to mark Song and Kwon - adding that his players needed to communicate better.

When asked whether he thought the team needed to talk to each other more on the pitch, Rosmin said: "Yes, because in football you need to communicate very second."

"We watched the DVD already...We need to tighten up during every set piece and take responsibility for the player we're marking.

"Watching the video and analysing the statistics, we were better thsn them, but its totally different tommorow(today)since its a cup competition," he added.

Singapore League Cup champions DPMM and Home will meet again in the second leg on Friday at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

 

 

 



Thursday, September 18
Kean:Home deserved to win, wake up call for us.

Steve Kean had no qualms about saying it to Lee Lim Saeng when the two coaches met after the game.

"You deserved it<" said Kean as he shook Lee's hands.

Though the hosts dominated large periods of the game, Kean knew that the manner in which his players defended those two late corners would not help the league leaders in their cause to win the title for the first time, and they were made to pay for switching off and allowing Song and Kwon to rise above the rest and head home goals in the 79th minute and 90th minute.

Some would even call it scholl boy defending, and Kean certainly implied it.

"You can't watch Under-14 or Under-15 teams defend like that...What more professionals," he calmly siad the the gathered media at the post-match press conference.

"Those two goals we gave away were poor and its disappointing we let in two identical goals from set plays...We will go back and watch the DVD and see who was supposed to mark who.

"We had a lack of communication and they had good movement.

"But its an expensive wake-up call for us if we think thats teams were going to coem here, lie down and give us three points," added the Scotsman.

On the back foot for most of the match, the Protectors defended stubbornly and were organised until the end- their only blemish coming when Rodrigo Tosi was aloowed space to head in an Azwan Salleh cross at the far post,

Song provided the equaliser three minutes later though, and Lee was happy with his players' never-say-die attitude after pulling to 5 points of DPMM with four games left.

"We didn't give up although we conceeded first and the players fought until the last minute, I appreciate with my players and give credit to our opponents," said Lee.

"This match was the most important one for us(to stay alive in the race)...If we lost the players' morale might have went down," added the former South Korean international.

The two teams will meet each other again next Wednesday and Friday in the RHB Singapore Cup semifinals, and Lee knows that he can;t let his team get carried away with the win. 

 

 



Thursday, September 18
Home's win set for exciting finale.

Home Utd punished some lax defending on set-pieces by Brunei DPMM to shock the league leaders 2-1 on Thursday night, setting the stage for an enthralling finale this season.

In a game Home's coach Lee Lim Saeng billed as "must-win" if they were to mainatain their title hopes, yhe visitors did just that by storming back from a goal down with headers off corners from Song Inyong in the 79th minute and Kwon Dakying just before the final whistle - ensuring they return to Singapore with wins in both meetings in Brunei.

Wuth only 4 games to go,Brunei DPMM's lead at the top over second -placed Warriors is still 5 points- though that can be cut to two when the Warriors take on Bslestier Khalsaa on Oct 1.

DPMM and Home will meet each other again next Tuesday  and Friday in the RHB Singapore Cup semifinals and judging by last night's display, both showdowns will be cagey affairs.

Steve Kean's charges controlled the opening period but failed to convert their chances into goals, which they eventually paid the price for.

They finally got on the scoresheet when the league's top-scorer Rodrigo Tosi, bagged his 22nd goal of the season with a 76th minute header at the far post after connecting on a cross-field pass from Azwan Salleh.

But it was 1-1 three minutes later when Song jumped above a sea heads to power home aSirina Camara corner  - the goal nothing less than the Protectors deserved.

DPMM striker Roy O'Donovan produced a shot that stung Shahril Jantan's gloves soon after, but it was the visitors who would edge in front with Kwon's glancing header off a Indra Sahdan's corner.

Indra forced the corner after testing DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yusossof and wasted no time in ruiing to the cornee flag for the kick, with Kwon's goal from a  tight angle exposing the hosts' poor communication on set-pieces on the night.

DPMM's Azwan Ali Rahman could have given DPMM the lead in the 12th minute but Shahril dove well to his left to keep out the shot, with the striker also missing another chance the break the deadlock in the 37th minute when forcing Shahril into an exciting save after the goalkeeper's botched clearance frll invitingly to him.

Hoem were defending in numbers in the second half and their stubborn resistance frustrated DPMM until Tosi's header.

Ultimately, though all of DPMM;s hard work in the days leading up to the match was undone by two unmarked headers - and that just might come back to bite them come the end of the season. 



Wednesday, September 17
DPMM FC must stay focused.

Staying organised will be key for DPMM as they prepare to face Home Utd tonight in the first of three battles over the next 10 days.

Singapore League leaders take on the Protectors in the first of their five matches in the third and finalround of the S-League, with the Bruneians also meeting the same opponents in the two-legged Singapore Cup semifinals  on Sept 23 and Sept 26.

Speaking to the Brunei Times yesterday,DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean said that staying focused throughout the 90 minutes will be crucial if they are to come away with the maximum points against fifth-placed Home.

"They are a very dangerous team...If we're not organised they can hit us on the counter-attack," warned Kean.

"We have a lot of respect for them and we've worked hard to identify their weaknessess.

"They have a back fout that trust each other and two good holding midfielders, and though they don't play very high up on the pitch,they are certainly attack-minded," he noted.

With DPMM taking a minibreak after their last second roundmatch on Aug30, a 2-1 win over Tanjong Pagar Kean has used to gap to pit his players against each other in training -  and he likes what he has seen.

"Today we were just working on trying to sharpen things up in attack since we haven't played for a while," said the Scotsman."There's a good energy in the side and the scoreline during the training between the first-11 and the reserves have been close."

"All we need to do is to play to our potential like we have in many games this season," he said when asked what the club will have to do win the league this season.

Though Home also have their eyes on the rophy, their coach Lee Lim Saend admits they have an up-hill battle to dethrone DPMM FC - making tonight's tie all the more important.

Lose the game, and Lee admitted their chances of winning their first S-League title in 11 years maybe over.

"Our target is to champions but unfortunately we're now in 5th and 8 points behind DPMM,"Lee told the Brunei Times.

"We still have a chance but it depends on thsi game."If we don't get three points it'll be very difficult," added the former South Korean defender.

Home, who are a record six-time Singapore Cup winners and defending champions of the competition, will be without suspended midfielder Yasir Hanapi tonight - though the Pretectors can still count on Lee Kwan Woo to pull the strings in midfield.

While he may concede that DPMM are slight favourites for tonight's tie, Lee was adamant that neither he nor his players will be awd by the occasion.

"They have two very good strikers in Tosi who is the current league's top-scorer and O'Donovan and they have proven their ability," said Lee when asked about DPMM FC's stregths.

"I also know DPMM like to put in a lot of crosses when they play but...We'll be going there to play our own style.

"We're not a defensive team and like DPMM, we both like to play attacking football - so it will be exciting for the fans." 



Friday, September 12
Tosi: It's DPMM FC's title to lose.

Rodrigo Tosi believes that the Singapore League title is for DPMM to lose.

With only 5 games remaining in the season, DPMM are currently on 46 points an hold a 5-point lead over second-placed Warriors FC.

Brunei's only proefessional club will play the first three matches of the final and third round at the Hassanal Bolkaih National Stadium followed by the last two in Singapore.

They will tackle Home United on Wednesday before Warriors FC on Oct 6.

The Brunei side will will then have a 16-day break before hosting Balestier on October 24 before flying out to Lion City to contest against Albirex at the Jurong East Stadium 4 days later.

DPMM will close the season against three-time defending champions Tampines Rovers at the Jalan Besar Stadium on October 31st.

"I think to be honest...for us, it is perfect.If we can get great resultsand win(the three games)then we are going to be champions," said Tosi in an interview after a training session yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"All will be very difficult matches though as we already have a few losses and draws as well.

"But we have a really good chance to win the league as we are halfway there now," continued the Brazilian.

"I think we are really confident.Everyone is practicing hard and wants to play.

"Everyone knows we have a good chance as this is the first time for the club to make history by winning all three trophies,"he continued.

The DPMM striker currently leads the scoring charts with 21 goals to his name from 22 matches played.

Kazuki Sakamoto of Albirex just a goal behind while Nicolas Velez has his tally at 18 goals.

Tosi insists that winning the Golden Boot is only secondary to the titles.

"I will try but that is not the most important thing," said the 31-year old

"The most important thing is for us to win the trophy at the end of the season.It will be perfect if we can get all three,"he concluded.

DPMM are in the running to create history by winning all three competitions - a feat that has never been done before.

The Brunei side already won the Singapore League Cup after defeating Tanjong Pagar 2-0 back in July.

They are also in the semifinals of the Singapore Cup, set to play Home Utd.

The first leg will be contested at the Bishan Stadium on September 23.

The return leg is scheduled at the Jalan Besar Stadium three days later. 

 



Sunday, September 7
DPMM FC:We're focusing on us

All the focus is on DPMM FC heading into the third and final round of the Singapore League.

With only 5 matches left on the schedule, Brunei's only professional team hold a five-point lead at the top of the 12-team table.

The third round sees the League splits into 2 halves.

Warriors FC, Albirex Niigatathree time defending champions Tampines Rovers,Home United and Balestier Khalsa join DPMM FC in the top 6.

DPMM FC manager Ali Hj Momin hopes that they will able to hold their ground enroute to the title.

"Hopefully the schedule for the final round will be released next week," said Ali in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday when met after training session.

"The players are working hard in training and looking forward to the next game.This is agood time to let the players take a break because the schedule will be tight once its resume.

"It id all about us...the concentration of the players.We are in first place and the rest of the teams are trying to bring us down," he said.

"Hopefully we will able to handle the pressure.It is not about the other teamsso it is all up to us,"continued the DPMM FC manager.

All never expected to have such a good gap going into the last 5 matches of the season.

"From the start of the seasonour target was to finish at the top of the league, but we never expected to be five points clear,"said Ali.

"I thought it would have been closer. We could have built a bigger lead had we not drawn against Hougang and Balestier," he said.

The next fixture will be on the 17th September at home in the first five matches of their third round encounter,but not known which team will be played against.

After that they will shift their focus to the semifinals of the Singapore Cup where they will face off against Home Utd in two legs on September 23 and 26. 



Wednesday, August 27
DPMM canter to landslide victory.

An efficient Brunei DPMM dismantled Woodlands Wellington 8-1 to send shockwaves rippling across the Great Eastern Yeo's S.League with this season's largest margin of victory.

The table toppers were simply no match for the visitors, wrapping the game up even before they started the second half with their comfortable 4-0 cushion - their 4-point lead over defending champions Tampines Rovers all but guaranteed by this point.

League Cup champions DPMM take on Tanjong Pagar in their last second round game on Saturday, and the Bruneians are firm title favourites heading into the six-team third round - with last night's thrashing breaking a run of 2 draws in the last two games.

Roy O'Donovan's had an early chance when he eased past Woodlands goalkeeper Ahmadulhaq Che Omar in the 13th minute but found the angle too tight.

But the floodgated opened 4 minutes later when Rodrigo Tosi won the ball in midfield and sent it through to Roberto Alviz, who hit it past Ahmadulhaq's top left corner.

DPMM FC's slick movement and crisp passing meant they dominated the midfield, and it was 2-0 in the 30th minute when Adi Said - who had scored 4 goals in the last 3 games for the club- finished off with a one-two with O'Donovan.

Irish striker O'Donovan made it 3-0 after latching onto a mistake by Fadhil Noh and cutting inside to the left past him and another player to lash home a shot from outside the box.

O'Donovan turned provider once again after receiving a Helmi Zambin pass from the right and pulling off a reverse pass to Azwan Ali, with the midfielder rolling the ball past Ahmadulhaq in the 40th minute.

Woodlands were left-footed and second to the ball in almost every challenge,exempified when centre back Walid Lounis received a 41st minute yellow card for a deliberate handball- knowing that that if he didn't, the long ball over the top would have allowed Adi to run through on goal.

Wooldnads grabbed a consolation after substitute Moon Soon-ho put the ball past an onrushing Wardun in between the DPMM sticks in the 58th minute,but defence-aplitting passes which led to the goal were few and far between.

A 64th minute corner was met by a headed attempt by DPMM defender Boris Raspudic, But Woodlands failed to clear the lines and Adi did not need another invite to poke the ball home from close range.

A raking diagonal pass from Tosi to Alviz opened space inside the area for the latter to shoot, and though Ahmadulhaq was at hand, he could only palm the ball to the inrushing O'Donovan -who made it 6-1 in the 80th minute.

Two more goals in the last 10 minutes added shine to the scoreline,which if not for Ahmadulhaq,would have been in double digits.

Raspudic powered a strong header in the 85th minute off an Alviz corner,and Tosi rounded off the scoring after chesting down a pin-point pass from Azwan Salleh and netting his 19th goal of the season - a strikee which made the Brazilian the league's joint top-scorer with Albirex's Kazuki Sakamoto. 

 

 



Tuesday, August 26
Kean wants all three points.

Steve Kean is targeting all three points when DPMM hosts Woodlands Wellington in the league at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium tonight.

DPMM FC head coach Kean is hoping to avoid any more slip ups with only two games left in the second round.

"It is all about the next two games before going onto the third round," said Kean in an interview after yesterday's training session at the Jeruding Park Mini Stadium. 

"We are pushing on and making sure we don't slip up and ensure we get maximum points.

"Every team goes through little spells where things don't go well.We slip up and everybody else did as well.The Gods are with us.

 We have been training very well over the past four days and the lads are looking very sharp.

"We've got to make sure there are no individual errors," continued the Scotsman.

DPMM defeated Woodlands 2-0 in their last meeting at the Woodlands Stadium at the end of April.

When asked on what to watch out for, Kean replied: "Woodlands are like any team that come to Brunei."

"It is how they counterattack as they will defend very deep."

"They know we score a lot at home and it is how we deal with the counterattacks.

"We must have good organisation behind the ball,making sure to limit chances on our opponents."

"The players have to deal with it and don't panic.We have to keep control and defend well," he added.

Midfielder Joe Gamble is suspended  for the encounter after after two bookings in the last game against Balestier Khalsa.

On the other hand, Woodlands head coach Salim Moin is hoping to get a positive result against the league leaders.

"We will try to collect some points here despite knowing that they are strong,"said Salim.

"They are a well prepared team and well organised.

"They are attacking oriented and we know the quality of the team as the foreign players combine well with the locals.

"We will miss some key players through injuries and suspensions.But we got capable replacement and hopefully can rise to the occasion.

"We have to be positive The players have to work hard and at the end of 90 minutes we hope to collect some points.

"We will do our best and of course weknow that the fan support of DPMM will be strong,"added the former Tampines head coach.

Kick off for tonight's match is at 8.15pm 

 



Sunday, August 24
Kean: We could have won.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean was not surprised with his team's to turn things around against Balestier Khalsa but fekt that they should have pulled off a win.

DPMM came back from a two-goal deficit at a hlftime to earn a 3-3 draw against the Tigers in the league on Thursday night.

Balestier had taken a 2-0 advantage at halftime after goals by Kim Min-ho and Goran Ljubijevic at the Toa Payoh Stadium.

Second half substitute Adi Said scored just after 5 minutes after getting on the pitch before Rodrigo Tosi equalised in the 65th minute.

The Tigers got back in front through Ljubojevic in the 70th minute before Rodrigo Tosi netted his 18th of the season three minutes later.

"I believed we could win but unfortunately we failed,"said Kean to the S-League.

"We fell behind two goals and we managed to come back and not hide.We normally score goals and at 2-2 after we made the comeback, I really thought we were going to win the game," he added.

"We had a few chances to win the game but we really put much pressure as a team almost everywhere.

"It is hard to score 4 goals to get the three points away from home," continued the Scotsman.

Kean felt that the absence of Roy O'Donovan and captain Rosmin Khamis affected their performance.

"We missed our marquee and the most experienced locala player who is the vocal point of the loclas," said Kean.

"We were quite quiet so there was a lack of organisation tonight," he said.

The former Blacburn manager also felt that his backline could have done a better job.

"From the way we defended, I thought we were lucky to get away with a point," said Kean.

"We were a but slow in the first half and the goals we concededwere poor.The back four was very quiet and we did not deal with the presence of Goran.

"He was a handful and he bullied us all night.Credit for Balestier for their good service to him because he caused us problems," he added.

Blestier head coach Marko Kravljevic was disappointed not to walk away with all three points.

"We gave away the two-goal lead and had problems dealing with the quality crosses," said Kravljevic.

"At 2-2 I still thought that we could have win.That scoreline was also not good enough for them and they wanted to win the game.

"The boys are getting tired which led to a few mistakes ans we opened up a lot behind," he said.

"But I'm happy with the mental stregth. When our opponents came back with two goals, we usually start going down 3-2 but today it was an excellent job," he concluded. 



Friday, August 22
DPMM salvage draw.

DPMM FC came back from two goals down to salvage a point following their 3-3 draw against Balestier Khalsa in the league last night.

Rodrigo Tosi bagged a brace, which brings his tally to 18 goals, and Adi Said scored in his second successive game for his third in the competition.

Goran Ljubojevic found the back of the net twice for Balestier with Kim Min-ho the other to get on the scoresheet.

The hosts had the best of starts after Kim gave them the lead in the third minute at the Toa Payoh.

They doubled the lead through Ljubojevic in the 21st minute.

DPMM made a double change by bringing on the duo of Adi Said and Helmi Zambin at halftime for the pair of Maududi Helmi and Ak Fakharazzi Pg Hassan.

It paid dividends almost immediately with Adi, who notched 6 goals for Brunei on the HBT, finding the back of the net 5 minutes after entering the game.

The game was tied 2-2 after Tosi scored his first of the game in the 65th minute.

The tigers regained the lead in the 70th minute with Ljubojevic scoring his second of the encounter.

However it was shortlived as Tosi replied three minutes later to notch things up at 3-3 to see the teams share the spoils.

 

 



Thursday, August 21
DPMM FC ready to pick up where they left off.

DPMM FC are ready to jump back into action as they take on Balestier Khalsa in the S-League at the Toa Payoh Stadium in Singapore today after a three-week break.

DPMM will enter the match shorthanded with the duo of Roy O'Donovan and Rosmin Khamis serving a one-game suspension.

The quartet of Adi Said, Najib Tarif, Md Hendra Azam and Azamnilham Md Noor returned to the team on Tuesday after their stint in the Hassanal Bolkiah trophy but are undergoing a recovery period.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Keanfelt that the break was a plus and expects a tough outing against the Tigers.

"It is always tough when you lose a couple of experienced players as we are not as strong when we lose some of our main men,"said Kean after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium on Tuesday.

"But some of the lads who haven't had as many minutes are fresh and energetic.

"I thought Maududi played well in the last game and he will be given a chance to start again.

"We have to play throughnthe injuries and suspensions. We will crack on and get these three points," added the Scotsman.

"The break was a good top up as we had an intense middle period when we trained six consecutive days and did nine sessions.

"The boys are refreshed and recharged.We are looking forward to this game," said Kean.

The head coach also revealed that those involved in the HBTwill be travelling but will be a game time decision.

"Those from the HBT came back today(Tuesday)but are physically very tired after having a lot of games.They had a lot of training and only got one day off," said Kean.

They need few receovery sessions.I"ll have to ask them if they are physically ready to be involved," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

The team also picked up crossfit during the break at the Crossfit 673 Jerudong box and Kean felt that it will help the team. 

"We want to take it to another level and will go for the next eight to ten weeks every Monday. We are learning different lifting patterns and dynamics," said Kean.

"We can't do too much though since it is late in the season but it will be something to start up for the pre-season,"he concluded. 



Monday, August 4
DPMM FC held to draw.

It was late heartbreak for DPMM after Hougang Utd netted late into injury time for a 2-2 draw in their league match last night.

DPMM looked to have all three points in the bag after substitute Adi Said's brace but Gelson Moura scored from inside the box just before the final whistle.

It was a slow opening half and it wa only at the half hour mark that the crows saw the match's first shot on target.

Roy O'Donovan received the ball down the left flank and shot to the far post.However, Hougang goalkeeper Fadhil Salim was to his equal at full stretch to keep the ball out.

The Irushman got another chance in the 40th minute but saw his effort from three yards deflected out for a corner.

The home side should have taken the lead in the 52nd minute after Roberto Alviz gathered an O'Donovan cross from the left, but he saw his shot just inches off top right corner.

Hougang broke the deadlock two minutes later off a counterattack after Diego Gamam broke down the left and delivered a cross for Nuehilmi Jasni to head it ground and into the net.

The visitors got another attempt in the 58th minute through Shunsuke Nakatake,but DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof did well to deny him at the near post.

DPMM could have equalised in the 64th minute with O'Donovan's diving header but Fadhil put up another good save.

Adi pounced on the rebound but could only see his effort blocked by the Hougang defence.

He made no mistake in the 75th minute as he got his name on the scoresheet after heading home the equaliser from an Azwan Ali corner.

DPMM were gaining momentum but Fadhil was up to the task to deny their opponents with back-to-back saves.

O'Donovan struck a powerful shot but the Hougang keeper saved it at the near post in the 79th minute.

Adi was put through on gosl by Azwan Ali 2 minutes later but Fadhil did well to stop his shot.

DPMM finally took the lead in the 86th minute with Adi firing his second of the encounter from inside the box.

Substitute Shahrazen Said was put through on goal by Azwan Ali in the 89th minute, but an unfortunate slip by the former saw Fadhil collect the ball.

And then delivered the ball into the box for his older nrother the next minute but Shahrazen saw his effort from inside the box just inched wide off the post.

Rodrigo Tosi could have put the match to bed with a 35 yard volley but could onyl watch it bounce off the crossbar before the late drama. 



Sunday, August 3
Kean eyes hat trick of Hougang wins.

DPMM face a stern test when they host Hougang Utd in the S-League today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

DPMM won both their meetings so far this season but Hougang are in fine form in the league riding an eight-game unbeaten streak.

Their first encounter required and Azwan Ali header in the second half to seal a 1-0 victory at the Hougang Stadium last April.

Their latest saw O'Donovan bah a bhat-trick in a 3-2 win in the League Cup at the same venue on 14th July.

DPMM head coach believes that it will be a tough test but is looking to gain all three points from the matchup.

"They are having a really good second half of the season.Both our matches have been close and we expect another tough match.We will not take it lightly,"said Kean in an interview yesterday.

"Like I said last week, teams come to Brunei and are aware of our goalscoring and how many points we pick up at home.

"We just need to be positive and play to our strengths...get quality ball up to the front unit.If we can do that then we can score.We will also need to eb disciplined to keep a cleansheet," he added.

"They are very quick on the break.They have got very good strikers who can hold the ball up.

"The important thing is that we don't turn the ball over and let them go on the counterattack.They are very good forward think team and always play through their strengths," continued the Scotsman.

Asked if there is any added pressure, KEan replied: "This is the time of the season where we have to focus on ourselves.

"Tampines are playing each other.Albirex beat Warrors last Friday bit it would have been a better result for us had it been a draw," added thr former Blackburn manager.

"Hopefully they will take points off each other and we just look to pick up points," he continued.

DPMM striker Roy O'Donovan is also expecting a tough outing against the Cheetahs.

"It will be a tough game as Hougang are also challenging for the tile.They ar eprepared for the game and we won't take them lightly," said O'Donovan.

We had a difficult game against them in the League Cup.

"We don't expect it o be any different.All the lads are looking forward to it snf are in good spirits."

Hougang head coach Amin Nasri is looking to close gap on the leaders,

"We are doing alright in the League and are quite close.We definitely want to get a good result from this gameto get closer," said Amin.

"We know it won't be easy We have played them twice before and we lose but all were close fights.

"We are confident but it won;t be easy.We need to work extra hard to beat them here,"he added.

Asked on what to llok out against DPMM, Amin replied: "There are difinitelt lot areas like the scoring form of O'Donovan and Tosi.

"They are always running These are the 2 key players we need to be awre of they create a lot of problems for us. 

"But really it is not only the both of them as it is an entire team effort.We just need to make sure that we cut off service," he concluded.

Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 



Saturday, July 26
Kean set eyes on treble.

One down two to go!

DPMM head coach Steve Kean won his maiden trophy after a 2-0 victory over Tanjong Pagar last night at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

The Scotsman was ecstatic with the triumph and is laready looking ahead to more but insists that it is more about the club than himself.

"I'm absolutely delighted! A lot of press (media) asked how I feel with my first trophy but it is not about me," said Kean in an interview.

"Im here to work and help the club progress. During my first meeting with the Crown Prince and team management, they have asked me to help.

"I felt that we were playing a different way and we were controlling games.We always have 55-60 per cent possession and we are a nice team to watch," he added.

We are always looking to win and score in games.there are only a few occassions when we haven't scored this season.

"We try to play the right way. Hopefully it brings more titles, cups and alot of victories," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Kean had put his faith on Adi Said to replace the suspended Rodrigo Tosi for the title decider.It was always abig shoe to fill considering the Brazilian forward is the team's top scorer.

However, the striker paid forward and bagged the second goal in the victory,much to the delight for Kean.

"It wasn't only today, I thought.The who;e competition, he has been sharp and lively," said Kean.

He gives the game a different dimension.Obviously he has good pace and runs away from the ball to stretch defence.

"I thought in short time he had good understanding with Roy .He had an excellent tournament and in the future we got a lot to wotk with him.

"He is a good lad and he is quick and wants to learn.He has good temperament and attributes to be a good player," continued the 46-year old.

Goalkeepr Wardun Yussof was also a big reason DPMM FC managed a clean sheet and Kean felt he was "exceptional".

"He made the double save and even pushed himself against the post. He has done well for us the whole season," said Kean.

"He has kept us in the games and made us win.I thought he was great tonight but other games he has een equally as good," he added.

DPMM are currently leading the Singapore League  and are in the semifinals of the Singapore Cup for the first time.

Asked it he was confident in wiining a treble - which had never done before - Kean replied:"Confident but not overly confident.It is always dangerous if we don't respect our opponn=ents,It does not matter who we play."

"We analyse our strengths and weaknesses in training all the time.We are in a strong position right now,"he added.

"Everyone coming to Brunei are going to be fearful.We have got the wind in our sails and are in positive for.We are confident we can win every game that we play," said Kean. 



Saturday, July 26
DPMM FC are champs.

DPMM FC were crowned champions of the Singapore League Cup after a 2-0 victory over Tanjong Pagar FC in the final last night.

A goal each by Boris Raspudic and Adi Said in each half cemented the win at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

DPMM FC kicked off the match on the right foot and got their first opportunity in the 12th minute after Azwan Salleg rn past his defender to put the ball through to Azwan Ali Rahman.

The latter fired a good shot but Tanjong Pagar goalkeeper Aureliern Herisson came up with a fine save.

Adi Said got the next chance for the Brunei side after he received a good pass from Azwan Ali but saw his shot cannon off a Tanjong Pagar defender in the 15th minute.

Tanjong Pagar got a golden opportunity in the 20th minute after going on the counterattack.

However defender,Boris Raspudic rushed back fast enough for a tackle on Etiembe to stop the danger.

The Jaguars should have broken the deadlock after Sebastien Etiembe delivered a good cross from the right but Monseg Zerka fialed to get aa touch on it at the far post.

Roy O'Donovan responded the next minute after he was given space to shoot from just insude the box but saw his effort fly wide.

DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof was not taking chances on the 27th minute, pushing the ball over the bar after Tengku Murshadad fired a weary long freekick on goal.

DPMM were fortunate not to cencede in the 33rd minute after Ahmed Latiff rose highest for the header on target but his shot flew straight to Wardun.

DPMM finally broke the deadlock after Raspudic headed home a Azwan Ali corner in the 35th minute.

DPMM came strongly in the second half and added the scoreline just two minute in.

Azwan Ali did well to shake off his defender down the left and delivered a pin point cross into the box to Adi who calmly blasted the ball into the net.

O'Donovan got an opportunity 2 minutes later after skipping on unrushing Herisson but couldn't fire past the Tanjong Pagar defender.

Tanjong Pagar played with a sense of urgency but DPMM were doing well soaking up the pressure.

Asraf got a good shot off on the hour mark but the attempt went straight into the arms of Wardun.

Jaguars looked to have pulled one back in the 68th minute after substitute Firdaud Idros got the ball into the  net but he was flagged for offside.

He got another chance in the 72nd minute with apowerful striker from inside the bpx but Wardun put up an acrobatic save to keep the ball out.

The DPMM custodian was up to the task again five minutes later to save an Asraf shot from inside the box.

Wardun was at his best and came to the rescue twice in the 81st minute.

Eteimbe struck afree kick from just outside the box but Wardun got his finger tips to see the ball bouce off the crossbar.

Ahmad headed the rebound but Wardun scrambled to the other post to keep the ball out.

Wardun injured himself in the process but decided to stay in the game.

Adi almost scored a brace in the 88th minute but Herisson did well to parry the shot away.

The squad will return to Brunei at 2.15 am at the Berakas International Airport today. 

 



Friday, July 25
Tosi-less DPMM face Jaguars in final tonight.

Local pride will be at stake when Tanjong Pagar take on Brunei DPMM in the 2014 StarHub League Cup final at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.

"While this will be DPMM FC's third successive final appearance, it will eb Tanjong Pagar's first since the inaugural StarHub League Cup edition kicked off in 2007 as they will be keen to keep the title on home soil.

Placed in Group A alongside Albirex Niigata(S) and National Football League side Police SA, Patrick Vallee's side emerged unscathed as they won 4-0 and 7-1 respectively.

Considering their poor form in the Great Eastern YEO's S-League so far this season, they have defied a l odds and even beat the likes of Warriors and Hogang Utd in the quarter-finals and semis.

In these games, the Jaguars displayed mental strength as they went back-to-back games which went into extra-time with the victory over Hougang all the way to penalties.

Regarding DPMM as the 'better' team,Vallee promised that they would do their best and will not give up without putting up a fight.

"We will handle the fitness of our players and we will try to give a good fight to DPMM," he stated.

"But what is good at this time is that we are playing DPMM who are the better team as they are top of the table, in the semis of the RHB Singapore Cup and now finals in the League Cup.For us its good, we will do our best and plan and work for that."

The Frenchamn will receive a boost in the form of skipper Ahmad LAtiff's return to the team after serving a one-match suspension but defender Hafiz Osman will miss out after accumulating his second yellow of the competition.

DPMM meanwhile will be determined to play party pooper and at the same time, make amends for their heavy loss to Balestier Khalsa at the same stage last year.

Like their opponents, the current S.League leaders also stayed unbeaten as they drew 2-2 with Balestier followed up with a narrow 3-2 victory over Hougang in Group D.

DPMM then beat Woodlands in the last eight before emerging trumps on penalties over Geylang in their last match to put themselves on course for trble this season.

Although they will ge intot his regarded as slight favourites, coach Steve Kean insists that nothing if for certain and has urged caution.

"On league standings, yes they (Tanjong Pagar) are easier but actually the teams that started off poorly are improving annd starting to play better," he pointed out.

However, they will miss influential player Rodrigo Tosi - who has scored 3 goals in this tournament - through suspension but Kean believes they have enough in them to cope with the Brazilian's absence.

"We will miss Tosi, you are always going to miss your best players, but Azwan Ali will step up and he will play behind the position just behind the strikers and he is a good option," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"It is an advantage when we got tosi but it is not a case of bad bones if we don't because we have a good squad that has depth." 



Tuesday, July 22
Brunei DPMM survive penalty shootout to enter League Cup final.

Brunei DPMM wil contest in the StarHub League Cup final against Tanjong Pagar on Friday after they managed to see off Geylang International in a penalty shootout after being held to a scoreless draw in a regulation time.

The Eagles frustrated DPMM to most part of the game in regulation and extra time, leaving the fates of both clubs in the shootout. Geylang failed to convert any of their chances, while DPMM score three to gift them their third consecutive League Cup appearance.

Clear-cut chances were rare in this match, as Geylang set out to stall to deny their opponents the luxury of space.

Even so, it was the Eagles who threatened first when Ridhuan Mohammad crossed one in from the right for Leonel Felice to scoop over the bar too lona after kick-off.

It was not to be another 25 minutes till the next noteworthy chance came,when Roberto Alviz- who had a good game with his crosses - nearly found his centre back Boris Raspudic at the far post with his free kick but unfirtunately the latter was unable to get a touch on the ball.

Wardun Yussof was called into action on 32 minutes, when he dived down low to gather a low shot from Mustaqim but the effort was tame and never going to trouble the gaolkeeper.

The half then ended with felice attempting to force an opener by having a go from distance but his attempt went wide.

It was a much better showing from DPMM in the second half, although they still faced an unrelenting Geylang backline.

Two minutes after the restart, Roy O'Donovan was unable to find his way through the defence after receiving a lay-off from Adi Said at the edge of the box, so he instead hit a dipping shot which crashed off the bar.

The striker then drew a smart save from Joey Sim in the 67th minute when he took the ball with him into the seven-yard box and hit the first shot on target of the night for DPMM.

Alviz and Hendra Azam then saw their respective speculative shots from distance go wide as the game entered the final 10 minutes of regulation time.

In extra time, the game opened a little and Sim had to make a huge save in the 105th minute as he pushed away a piledriver by Azwan Ali.

Rodrigo Tosi missed two succesive headers in the box in the second half of extra time, with the second being more wasteful as the unmarked headed wide from 6 yards out.

It came down to penalties thereafter and DPMM were helped by Geylang failing to convert any of their chances as Wardun held his nerves to deny Felice and Hafiz Nor, while Khairulnizam Jumahat crashed his spotkick against the bar. 

While Tosi missed for his team for the first time this season, O'Donovan,Alviz and Gamble all converted to give DPMM the win and a date with Tanjong Pagar in the tournament's final. 

 

 

 



Monday, July 21
DPMM face Geylang.

DPMM FC's captain Rosmin Khamis is upbeat ahead of their Singapore League Cup semifinal against Geylang International FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium despite the last two meetings between the two sides ending in stalemates.

DPMM have won the tournament twice in 2009 and 2012 and were beaten finalists last year.

"Our two S-League matches against Geylang this season ended in draws," pointed out Rosmin in an interview with the Brunei Times last night.

"They are a very good team, but we are only focused on awinning and advancing to the final - so we will give our best tomorrow.

"Preparation has been good and we've worked very hard in training.

"Everyone is looking forward to this match and there are no injuries."he added.

"The last time DPMM played Geylang was in the league on June 14, when both teams played out a goalless draw at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Midfielder Hendra Azam is just positive as his skipper, saying that Geylang are an easier opponent than Albirex.

"I would say that it is advantage for us as I think Albirex are a stronger team than Geylang," said Md Hendra.

"Albirex are a difficult team to play against and they run a lot...Anyways, anything can happen in football and Geylang are quite good too," he said, before also pointing out the two draws the team played out to this year.

 



Friday, July 18
DPMM through to semifinals.

DPMM FC left it late to defeat Woodlands Wellington 3-1 in the quarterfinals of the Singapore League Cup last night.

After a goalless first half,Chang Jo Yoon broke the deadlock for Woodlands in the 56th minute at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

It was only in the 80th minute that Rodrigo Tosi equalised after heading homr s corner.

The Brazilian netted again 6 minutes latere with another header togive DPMM the lead.

Substitute Adi Said put the icing on the cake for the two-time champions by getting on the scoresheet in injury time to complete the comeback victory.

DPMM captain Rosmin Khamis felt that they played well and never gave up chasing the victory.

"I thought we played well as we have a lot of ball possession but they managed to score the first goal,"said Romsin in an interview after the win.

"We kept a never say die attitude...Kept our momentum and passion till the end, which hepled us to score three goals," he added.

DPMM will either face Geylang or Albirex Niigata in the semifinals which will be held tonight at 8pm. 



Wednesday, July 16
Kean: We needed courage.

Brunei DPMM head coach Steve Kean was a satisfied man after the full-time whistle in the 3-2 win over Hougang came, as the Bruneians confirmed their spot in the StarHub League Cup 2014 quarter-finals.

However, Kean admitted that he was not pleased at half-time, after his side nearly became the latest victims of Hougang, as the Cheetahs threatened to extend their six-match unbeaten streak by takinga first-hafl lead and dominating over DPMM.

"I felt we weren't doing ourselves justice. I feel that we are a better team than the one we showed in the first half," Kean said. "The first half, obviously we knew the core we had to have to progress, and I felt that it made us afraid to get on the ball."

"We let Hougang control the game really in the half, and I said to the lads at halftime that courage is not always about putting in a tackle or gwtting in a header. Sometimes courage is getting on the ball and trying to dictate play, and I felt we done that much better in the second half and created more chances."

The second half did see a turnaround by DPMM, as they were led by forward Roy O'Donovan who popped up with a hat-trick to lead his team to victory.

The win also saw DPMM topping Group D, and matched them up againsr Woodlands Wellington in the next round, instead of Group C leaders, Home Utd, who are arguably a tougher team to beat.

However, Kean insisted that it was never on his mind to finish second or first, but instead to gain momentum which is fuelled by confidence which comes from wins.

"It is always good to win and it is a good habit, we done that a lot this season and I think the more you can win,especially from not playing well in the first half, or going behind like we did tonight, it is always  good for confidence," the Scotsman asserted.

The biggest turning point for Hougang Utd coach Amin Nasir came late in the game, when a miscommunication between Hougang midfielders Fazli Jaffar and Shunsuke Nakatake saw both failing to capitalise on being unmarked in the danger area despite the ball crossing both players' paths then. 

First half, we did superbly, but in the second half not so.That moment when Fazli had miscommunication with Nakatake, I felt that was one moment we could have been ahead and it would have been a different game." Amin explained.

While Amin was disappointed that side's unbeaten run came to an end, he took the defeat on the chin and praised his players for putting up a good fight against the current league leaders.

"Definitely it was sad to lose our 6-match unbeaten streak, we didn't manage to get a result but I am quite pleased with our performance.It is Brunei, thet are a good side, but we fought very hard, we showed that we can compete with them,"Amin stated. 

 



Tuesday, July 15
O'Donovan the hero for DPMM FC

Two time champions DPMM FC are through to the last eight of the Singapore League Cup after a Roy O'Donovan hat-trick lifted them to a 3-2 victory over Hougang Utd last night.

Hougang Utd took the lead after a deflection off DPMM defender Abdul Aziz Tamit and into his own net at the Hougang Stadium. 

O'Donovan equalised for the visitors with a simple header to beat Basil Chan in between the Hougang sticks in the 57th minute.

DPMM FC -who won the competition in 2009 and 2012 - finally stick their noses upfront in the 77th mniue with the Irishman firing from outside the box.

Eveeything was going downhill for Hougang United after O'Donovan was brought down inside the box by Chan two minutes later,and Roy stepped up toc onvert the ensuing spot kick to bring the score 3-1.

Hougang Utd kept up the chase and were givena lifeline after Geison Moura found the back of the net in the 81st minute.

They had a good chance in the final minute of regulation with a free kick just outside the box but the attempt went straight to the hands of DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof.

DPMM captain Rosmin Khamis felt that it was a tale of two halves but was delighted with the performance, especially in the second half.

"At half timecoach(Steve Kean) told us that we needed to pass to keep on moving the ball," said Rosmin in an interview after the triumph.

"We had a poor performance in the first half but we moved up a gear in the second half," he added.

DPMM will meet Tanjong Pagar in the quarter-finals on the 18th July. 

 



Monday, July 14
"No settling for less than a win."

DPMM FC are gunning for a win against Hougang United in Group D of the Singapore League Cup at the Hougang Stadium in Singapore.

Brunei's only professional team require only a draw or loss by no more than a three-goal margin to advance to the quarter-finals of the July 7-25 competition.

The current Singapore League leaders are coming off a 2-2 draw against the Balestier Khalsa on Fridat at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Hougang meanwhile, handed the tigers a 3-0 defeat at the Toa Payoh Stadium last Tuesday.

Both teams are in good form, riding a six-game unbeaten run in all competitions heading into the encounter.

DPMM FC captain Rosmin Khamis expects an exciting clash and hopes to finish at the winning end.

"We know that we only require a draw to progress to the quarterfinals but we wil always target winning every match," said Rosmin in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

"It is always tough to play against them.I believe it will be an exciting match tomorrow ans both teams will finish at the top of the group," he added.

"Positioning is important and we want to be able to bring the momentum forward," continued the DPMm skipper.

Hougang have already booked their berth in the next round but head coach Amir Nasir wants to end the group with a positive result.

"Football, you cannot go for a draw,you need to go for a win for sure and there is no two ways about it,"Amir told the S-League.

"What happens is now we are going to go in positive and compete with them.It won't be easy but are prepared for it," he added.

Kickoff is at 8pm. 



Saturday, July 12
I thought we were going to lose.

DPMM coach Steve Kean was a relieved man at the final whistle when Brunei DPMM and Balaetier Khalsa played out a thrilling 2-2 draw at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.

DPMM had started the game well, and we were threatening whenenver when we went forward.This saw them grab the lead on two occasions, but each time the tigers managed to peck them back.

The second equaliser came seven minutes from time, and it seemed to especially spur Balestier on as Kean felt a real sense of threat from them. 

"It was a strange game. I thought we were doing well putting crosses into the box, overlapping and then for some reason we stopped doing that," Kean shared.

"The game became a little bit stretched, and in all honesty I thought they were going to win in at te end because we couldn't  get out of the box."

While Kean felt that the draw was a fair result after a good first ahlf performance, he was disappointed that DPMM squandered the lead twice and in the process altered tactics for the group against Hougang.

"I am disappointed because twice we got our noses in front, but we don't kill the game off, then we gave away too many set plays and we let them build momentum," the Scotsman said.

"To be honest, I was hoping to win today and make many changes but now I will make changes but probably not as many as I would have."

The result has left Balestier in an uneviable position, as Hougang now need to beat DPMM by 4 goals for the reigning up holders to progress to the quarters.

While Balestier coach Marko Kraljevichad started the post-match conference with a light-hearted comment, he was unable to mask his disapointment at the result.

"I think we should play at Jalan Besarat every game, we play better here," he said cheekily when asked about his team's performance.

"But I am not happy with the result, it was 1-1, then 2-2, and then we should have scored to make it 3-2 to be able to hope to go to the next round. Now there is hope but we need luck.

"We should have won, they had their chances, but we had ours. We needed to win to go into the next round."

While Kraljevic will be keeping his fingers crossed till then, he admitted that there were positives he could take away from the League Cup campaign,especially with the performances of youngsters Muhaymin Salim and Alando Nicholas.

"It was a very good game.I am impressed with the boys and I think it is nice to watch tonight,"the Balestier coach added.

The determination to make a comeback twice and draw with DPMM also pleased Kraj\ljevic, as it showed that his team were no pushovers.

"Its very important, after the game, we showed that we can challenge one of the top teams in the league, and we can challenge anyone." 



Friday, July 11
DPMM out to win League Cup.

Two-time Singapore League Cup champions DPMM are looking to go all the way this year.

A victory tonight will guarantee the visitors a berth in the next round after Balestier fell to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Hougang in the three-team Group D on Tuesday.

There is no shortage for DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean, whose team heads into the tie on the back of a four-game streak in all competitions.

Speaking to the Brunei Times, the Scotsman said he believes hs charges will be able to lift the trophy at the end of the July 7-25 competition.

"This is a tournament we have done well for three years ad our any aim in any competition is to win it," said Kean after their training session at the Jerudong Mini stadium on Wednesday.

"The good thing is that this is a fresh tournament, and can now put the Singapore Cup and the League aside," added the coach.

Kean knows what to expect from their opponents and has prepared his team for the encounter.

"Balestier are a very physical side and and very quick on the break. They have good pace,power and strength," said Kean. 

"We are expecting a physical game...We have to be good on our set plays and make sure that we don't give away too many freekicks and throw-ins," he added.

DPMM will be missing the services of left winger Azwan Ali Rahman who is out with injury, though Kean expects the player to recover within this week.

"He is a big miss but he has played a lot of minutes," said Kean.

"We were looking to give him a bit of rest...Not for the first game but only the second.

"At the moment it looks he will be out for six or seven days.It is just a knock which caused a bruise, and fortunately there is no muscle or ligament tear.

"Hopefully we will able to progress so that he will eb available for the latter stages of the competition,"continued the former Blackburn manager.

When asked about the fitness level of the team during Ramadan Kean admitted they suffered their first game against Albirex in the S-Cup since it was the first day.

"We did much better in the second game except in the last 15 minutes. It was a good test hough,since none of the Alburex players are fasting," said Kean.

"Right now everyone has settled and fitness is very good.

"Training is good snd everyone is taking their supplements so I'm confident of their fitness," added the 46 year old. 



Friday, July 11
Confident DPMM take on fatigued Tigers.

Balestier did not get off to a good start in its StarHub League Cup 2014 camapign as they crashed to a 3-0 defeat by Hougang United in the Group D opener, but they will have a shot at redemption by going against Brunei DPMM in their last group match.

This is a must-win match for the tigers if they are to harbour any hopes for progressing to the quarter-finals, as anything less wil see them eliminated.

Balestier have not been helped by a runs of games which have seen them played almost every four days. The toll on the team could be seen during the match against Hougang, as the tigers were sluggish and could barely muster the energy to close down on their opponents quickly.

While previously insisiting that he will field his strongest line-up whatever the case, Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic has had a change of heart after the lacklustre display he witnessed in the game against Hougang.

Insisting that even though DPMM are a top team, Kraljevic believes his team is capable of surprising the current league leaders. But with the game coming three days after the Hougang game, the tactician realises that he mihgt have to shuffle his line-up to ensure that his players remain fresh.

"Maybe I will put on fresh legs, but we will have to assess our squad's fitness first," Kraljevic said. "Everybody always have a chance to win, we start with 0-0 and will do what we can."

Blaestier will have it all to do against a confident DPMM, who have rebounded from their last loss to go on a five-game unbeaten run.

Steve Kean let on that his side have enjoyed their fair share of luck this season so far, but added that they were buoyed by their league form as well as the making of the semifinals in the RHB Singapore Cup.

"We have been fortunate thie year that we have won lots of games.We've had some little bumps on the road where we have manage to get victory. It will be tough but we will enjoy the League Cup and focus on the Singapore Cup semifinals when it comes around," he said.

Balestier will need to look out for Rodrigo Tosi and Roy O'Donovan upfront, and that will be a big ask given they are still missing their first-choice centre-back Paul Cunningham due to injury.

Whoever starts besides EMir Lotinac needs to work well together in order to deny the duo space in the box, or DPMM will make Balestier pay for allowing them any.

That being said, it is more than likely that Balestier are in for a tough time given the form that DPMM are in. The Tigers do well to learn frim their last meeting with the league leaders when they trounced 4-1 in Brunei. 

 



Friday, July 4
DPMM FC: We are not going there for a draw.

DPMM FC  are gunning for a win tonight despite needing only a draw to progress to the semifinals of the Singapore Cup.

Brunei's only professional team have never it to the last-four of the competition but are looking good break that record after an injury time goal from Roy O'Donovan to put them in the driving seat heading into tonight's quarter-final second leg against Albirex Niigata at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

DPMM FC managerAli Hj Momin, though, said they are not about to settle for a draw.

"The one goal advantage is not good enough because there is no away goal rule in the competition," said Ali in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday before the team;s departure at the Brunei International Airport.

"We are not going there for a draw.

"We want to win so that we can keep the right mindset going into the next round," he added.

DPMM got off to a blistering start for a 3-0 lead after 17 minutes on Sunday with goals from Roberto Alviz, O'Donovan and Rodrigo tosi.Ali felt the start of Ramadhan could have played a factor in their collapse, going on to proase the imports for taking it up a notch for the team.

"The start of fasting may have affested our players. Performace took a dip as it was only the first day of Ramadhan," explained Ali.

"The body may not be used to it straight away and there was a lack of energy.

"The foreign imports really stepped up their game in thr last match, especially in the first 15 minutes where they looked extremely sharp.

"But it is normal in football that a team chasing can come back.Albirex went all out to get goals when trailing by three," he concluded.

Kickoff is slated for 8pm.Astro Arena will telecast live. 



Tuesday, July 1
Kean hails O'Donovan's impact.

DPMM FC head coach has priased Roy O'Donovan for playing the role of the hero on Sunday night.

The Irishman struck the winner in injury time to give DPMM a 4-3 advantage over Albirex Niigata heading into the second leg of their Singapore Cup quarterfinal, scoring the decisive goal after surging down the right and past the stagnant Albirex defender before unleashing a powerful striker to beat Kenjiro Ogino.

Kean was delighted with thr win and said the former Sunderland striker O'Donovan showed "maturity and class to find the target."

"When you have a player like O'Donovan in the side, he can pop up and get a goal late on in the game like he's showed today," Kean was quoted.

DPMM got off to a blistering 3-0 lead just after 17 minutes with goals by Roberto Alviz, O'Donovan and Rodrigo Tosi.

However, the Japanese outfit came storming back to tie the game with goals by Kazuya Okazaki,Keisuke Ota and Kazuki Sakamoto.

Despite being on the backfoot in the second half, Kean felt that it was a deserved win for his charges.

"Credit to Albirex, I felt they keep going," said Kean.

"Like I said before the game,they are a technically good side and they play lots of good football.

"They cam back but we showed character.

"You've seen a total contrast in how the two halves were played.Even the last 10 minutes of the first half, I thought it was Albirex and I thought they were better in the second hlf.

"Its only half time, fsr from finished.

"I think they were good chsnces from Albirex but we stuck at it, and Wardun made a few saves,and obviously came to the play a feew times.

"Even though we were physically dead, we still tried to keep the shape of the team. 

"And even at a time when we don't play particulrly well, the last 60 minutes of the game...We still managed to win, and thats a good sign,"continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager. 

 



Monday, June 30
O'Donovan hits winner.

Marquee signing Roy O'Donovan gave DPMM the advantage after finding the back of the net for a 4-3 victory over Albirex Niigata on the first leg of the Singapore Cup quarter-final last night.

DPMM squandered a three-goal cushion in the first half before the Irishman fired a tight angle from the right to beat Kenjiro Ogino between the Albirex for the triumph at the Jurong East Stadium.

Brunei's only professional club had the best of starts against the Japanese outfits after midfielder Roberto alviz netted in the fifth minute.

The lead was doubled two minutes later courtesy of O'Donovan bfore Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi made it 3-0 for the visitors in the 17th minute.

Albirex almost pulled one back in the 24th minute but DPMM keeper Wardun Yussof saved Kento Nagasaki's effort just before the goal line.

The hosts found the back of the net in the 34th minute through Kazuki Okazaki.

Kazuki Sakamoto blasted hsis hot wide 5 minutes after the restart but Wardun was there to blosk his attempt.

Albirex pulled back to 3-2 after Keisuke Ota netted in the 56th minute before Sakamoto ssored the equaliser 7 minutes later.

Sakamoto came closed again in the 73rd minute after dribbling past two defenders but missed the target.

The Japanese had another chance in the 84th minute but couldn't convert before the late drama.

The second leg will be contested on Friday at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.There will be possibility shown live telecast on Astro Channel on Friday. 



Sunday, June 29
Kean praises Gamble's contribution.

Steve Kean has credited midfielder Joe Gamble for being the difference in changing DPMM FC's after going 5 games without a win in the Singapore League.

DPMM are looking to overcome Albirex Niigata FC in the first leg of their Singapore Cup quarterfinal at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore tonight, with DPMM head coach Steve Kean saying that the decision to move Gamble to defence has helped the team regain its form after three straight S-League defeats.

"You tend to gain confodence when you start to pick up again," said Kean in an interview after yesterday's trainign session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"We have moved Joe Gamble play at the back and he has settled down in defence.

"He uses his voice very well to move the team about in the game and that is an important aspect," added the Scotsman.

"Albirex is a technical team as we know it," said Kean.

"They like to play starting from the back through midfield, and they will keep plenty of ball possession.

"We know that it will be a tough game but we have played them twice and got good results," he added of the Japanese outfit.

Kean was delighted with Ak Fakharazzi's performance and expects more to come from the midfielder.

"He deserved a chance to start.He doesn't get many minutes in league matches but trains,very well," said Kean.

"We decided to put him in the starting line-upand he managed to score. He played great," added Kean.

The Bruneian side are set to have a tight schedule with the League Cup also run from July 7-25 despite the month of Ramadhan.

"It is tough as it is the fasting month .We just have to make sure to take our supplements and rest well.

We will also have to use the ice baths for injury prevention.All this is very important.," he concluded.

Kickoff is at 8pm. 



Saturday, June 28
DPMM to face Albirex.

Brunei DPMM will face Albirex Niigata in two legs within a week in a bid to clinch a place into the next round of the RHB Singapore Cup 2014.

Both matches will be played away in Singapore during the fasting month whereby the first left of the match will be on Sunday June 29 and the second leg will be on Friday July 4th.

With the majority pf the players are Muslims, it could be a cause of concern about the player's performance during the month of Ramadhan.

Head coach of Brunei DPMM Steve Kean, however, is not worried and in an interview at the training ground yesterday: "We have taken the decision to provide the players with protein supplements and recovery drinks that they take everyday as part of the team's diet."

"We know that it is difficult times for the team, however, just before heading to the pitch, the players will eb given protein gels and proteinbars to get some energy," Kean added.

The most important step, he said "is not the day of the match but its the day before.As long as we gear properly before the day of the match throughout the fasting month,there will be no problem."

Without any injury woes and suspension,Brunei DPMM will have its full squad ready to pound on Albirex Niigata.

Commenting on Albirex Niigata,Kean warned:"Although we have beaten them twice in the league, it doesn't stand for anything in the Singapore Cup.They are a good team, the games that we played in the leaague have been very tight. They play a style of football that can cause us problem and they pass the ball very well."

Meanwhile, on the League Cup,Brunei DPMM will take on Balestier Khalsa on July 1 and Kean revelaed that he might field a different squad in the cup matches from the league.

"At the beginning of the season, I have mentioned during the cup matches, we may not field the same team that played in the league.So maybe, there are few new faces playing in the cup matches. This will give everyone an opportunity to compete," Kean said. 

 



Monday, June 23
DPMM widen lead to 5 points.

DPMM FC extended their lead at the top of the S-League to 5 points after triumphing 4-1 over Harimau Muda last night.

Ak Fakharazzi Pg Hassan, who was given his first start and only his second appearance for DPMM this season, notched a brace in the win at the Pasir Gudang Stadium in Johor,Malaysia.

The midfielder gave the visitors the best starts after finding the back of the net as early as the 10th minute.

The lead was doubled after Rodrigo Tosi netted his 16th goal of the season from the penalty spot 5 minutes later.

Ak Fakharazzi made it 3-0 just three minutes after the intervaland Irish striker Roy O'Donovan made it 9 straight goals for DPMM-dating to their first meeting of the year -- without reply against the Malaysia basement dwellers.

Akhir Bahari scored a consolation goal in the 73rd minute and a red card for Nurshamil Ghani later summed up the outing for the hosts. 



Sunday, June 22
DPMM FC out to extend lead against Harimau Muda.

DPMM FC have a chance to extend  their lead at the top of the Singapore League.

Brunei's only professional team will face basement dwellers Harimau Muda B tonight at the Pasir Gudang Stadium in Johor.

DPMM FC captain Rosmin Khamis who was rested for the match against the Young Lions, admits that the team spirit is high at the camp and they hope to continue their winning ways.

"We must keep winning after this. Not only against Harimau Muda but the remaining games," said Rosmin yesterday.

"The team morale is back up but we will also respect Harimau Muda because they are coming off a win against Geylang," he said.

"We were a little under pressure to win the match against the Young Lions but now we wil be well prepared for the ncounter against Harimau Muda," continued the skipper.

Their last meeting saw DPMM cruise to a 5-0 victory at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on April 11.

However, Harimau Muda are no push overs despite sitting at the bottom of the standings this time around.

They are comin off their third win of their campaign following a 3-2 victory over geylnag International at the Bedok Stadium on Thursday.

Kick-off is at 8.45pm. 

 



Thursday, June 19
Azwan late striker seals win

Azwan Ali Rahman was the hero for DPMM FC last night after scoring a late winner against the Young Lions in their 3-2 league victory.

According to the official S-League facebook page, the 22-year old unleashed a powerful striker in the 92nd minute to beat Young Lions custodian Rudy Khairullah at the Jalan Besar Stadium earning the visitors their first win in win league games.

"It was an unbelievable goal for me," said Azwan in an interview with the Brunei Times.

"We deserved to win tonightand now we are back on track.

"Most important for us tonight is that we gained all three points," continued Azwan, whose goal was his fifth of the season.

The visitors started out on the wrong foor after Sairol Sahari put the ball in his own net in the 7th minute.

DPMM FC almost responded three minutes later but the goal was flagged off for offside.

Croatain Roberto Alviz levelled the match after finding the back of the net in the 26th minute and the Bruneians took the lead through Rodrigo Tosi after he headed home his 15th goal of the season in the 37th minute.

Young Lions equalised after a long distance striker from outside the box by captain Suhil Suhaimi in the 86th minute and both teams looked to be headed for a point efore Azwan's late drama in injury time.

Stand-in captain Hj Md subhi Abdilah Bakir felt that they deserved the win after what was a tightly contested match.

"We deserved all three points after a hard fought game. It was a tight second halfas expected with the home team pressing us with a goal down," said Subhi.

"But overall the performance is good and it is great that we are back on track," he added.

DPMM next face Harimau Muda at the Pasir Gudang Stadium in Johor, Malaysia on Sunday before meeting Albirex Niigata(S)in the Singapore Cup on June 29. 



Wednesday, June 18
DPMM FC out to tame Young Lions.

DPMM FC are looking to get back to winning ways in the Singapore League when they face the Young Lions today at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

DPMM FC captain Rosmin Hj Khamis believes that victory will be the spark needed to ensure they get back on the right track.

"It will be a tough match whenever you have to play against a young team who like to run more," said Rosmin with the Brunei Times yesterday.

"A win tomorrow(Wednesday night) will guarantee that we will get back to a fantastic form again," he added.

Hj Md Subhi Abdillah Bakir, the vice captain agrees with the skipper and hopes that they do not drop points the rest of the way.

"For sure against the Young Lions we would to get all three points but we know that it won't be easy becuase they are a young team," said Subhi.

"We must work hard and stick to the coach's game plan and strategy," he said.

"InsyaAllah, we don't want to slip up points for the remaining of the 6 games in the second round of the competition," continued the defender.

They will also welcome back midfielder Joe Gamble in the line-up, having served a one-game suspension.

Kick-off is at 7.30pm. 



Sunday, June 15
Kean: We deserved to win the game.

Steve Kean believed that DPMM FC  were unlucky to finish with a 0-0 draw against Geylang FC even though they dominated the second half last night.

DPMM FC just could not find the back of the net despite goal scoring chances from Roy O'Donovan, Rodrigo Tosi and Roberto Alviz last night.

"I felt that the draw wasn't a fair a result for us as we dominated the second half and we worked reaally hard moving the ball around to create chances," Kean said after the match.

"But in the first half it was fair as both teams created an equal number of chances.

"How we dominated the second half was by having Rosmin Khamis and Roodrigo Tosi push up and pressure their centre midfield players so we could pick up the loose balls and maintain our attacking pace.

"I hope after this draw we will win our next match and go on another winning run.Just like what happened to us after we drew with Geylang at the end of March," he said.

"Little steps are required first if we want to have momentum and start winning again," added the Scotsman.

Geylang coach Jorg Steinbrunner felt that his team performed much better and were more fortunate.

Its not easy to come to Brunei and play at DPMM FC's home. We can'y just show up without a game plan," said the German.

So our game plan was to keep attacking and work the ball through the midfield.Defensively we were also very solid and managed to shut down our attackers.

"In the first half we were the team as we kept pushing them and kept them on their toes.But in the second half they increased their pace so they got more chances for us...We were lucky a few of DPMM FC's goal scoring chances hit the post, otherwise the game could've gone either way," he said.



Saturday, June 14
DPMM FC eager to get back to winning ways.

DPMM FC are looking to right the ship in the Singapore League as they take on Geylang International today at the Hassanal Bolkiah NAtional Stadium.

Brunei's only professional club are experiencing their worst spell of the season, having lost 3 consecutive matches in the competition.

Head coach Steve Kean expects another tough encounter but has put in the work to ensure the team can bounce back.

"It will be a tough game since we drew last time we played. I got to watch them against Young Lions.They played well and should have won the match," said Kean in an interview ith the Brunei Times after training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

"Good thing is that we are on our own pitch and the staff at the stadium has done a great job in maintaing the smooth surface.

"We are looking to pass the ball more and gain control of the game early," he added.

"We seem to be a little bit more spread out now so we've worked a lot on that the past couple of days with and without the ball to be more compact," continued the Scotsman.

DPMM FC suffered a scare after Brazilain Rodrigo Tosi, who is the league's topscorer with 14 goals was taken off on the hour mark in their 2-1 loss to Tampines Rovers last tuesday.

Kean was looking at the bigger picture and decided to preserve his striker for the taxing schedule.

"He was feeling his groinand when Joe Gamble was boked, we knew he would be suspended for the next match," explained Kean.

"Wanted to protect himas we didn't want anything worst to happenwhich could have led to him being out for more games,: he added.

"He is too important for us and now he is fit to play," continued the former ex-Blackburn manager.

His counterpart Jorg Steinbrunner expects a tough outing but is heading into the matchup with confidence.

"It will definitely be a tough game. DPMM FC are a good team and they have a good coach with Steve Kean," said the Geylang head coach. 

"I'm sure they want to make amends for the last 3 games.We know how it feels as we had the same spell and tried to learn thins around. 

"It is not easy to come to Bruneias the home team always put up a good performance and get good support," he added.

"As a team over the last 3 months, we have come together and steadily improved.We managed to get some good resultsespecially beating Tampines a couple of days ago.

"The team are at full confidence and come here not to play defensively but to win the game.It doesn't matter if you play at hoem or away, we are looking to score goals," continued the German.

Asked on what his charges will have to look out for, Steinbrunner replies," DPMM foreigners are above averaged compared to years before but we cannot foget the local players.

"A team cannot depend on two or three players for successful football. You need the whole team to play on a good level and they have done so comfortably.It is not for nothing for them to be on top of the league,"mhe concluded.

Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 

 



Wednesday, June 11
Rafi elated with win; Kean disappointed with consecutive losses.

Tampines Rovers latest 2-1 win over Brunei DPMM has put coach Rafi Ali on cliud nine as they closed the gap on the league leaders to a mere three points.

"I am very happy tonight; the boys worked very hard tonight and deserved the win," he said after the match.

"We were dominating the game against Geylang a few day ago but we could not score a goal. Today we showed our mettle after being a goal down, especially in the second half,"

The former Tampines skipper was also full of praise for his charges, especially the three new signings who were namely Justin Pasfield, Jacob Butler and Jozef Kaplan.

"My team are set of fighters who never stop fighting and my job is to keep on pushing them in attempts to get better and more consisitent,"Rafi pointed out.

"My new signings also had a termendous game.Butler gave steel in midfield by protecting the back four and covered every balde of grass.

"Pasfield never stopped talking at the back - a trait whiche every goalie needs, while Kapaln gave energy to the whole team and never stopped running. We need players like this to blend in with the team, and they did exactly that."

On how the game went, the fomrer Singapore international explained: "When we were 1-0 down, I knew we were still able to score and it was just a matter of composure.

"I made some tactical switched in the second half which paid off, and Noh ALam Shah played his guts out and deserved the winning goal."

"I told them this season is not over yet and we are slowly closing the gap."

His counterpart, Stev Kean was downcast with the recent run of results but believed his team would bounce back from this.

"Yes I am disappointed to lose three league games but it is not easy to play 4 very hard games, against Albirex, Warriors FC, Home Utd and now Tampines," he said.

"The good thing is that we are atill ahead in the table after all these big games.

"In the first round, we went on a fantastic run after the draw with geylang and there is no reason why we cannot do it again."

The fomrer Blackburn manager however felt that his team were poor collectively.

"We always stood a chance but when the scoreline was 1-1, we defended too deep. We need to ask more questions to Tampines defence which we never did," the Scots shared.

"The goals we conceded were also too soft. We easilt lost our marker and we need to work better as a unit." 



Tuesday, June 10
DPMM FC, Stags face off.

DPMM FC will be looking to end their game slide when they take on defending champions Tampines Rovers in the S-League at the Clementi Stadium tonight.

Brunei's only professional team saw their seven-point lead over Warriors FC at the top of the standings down to a point after losing 3-2 to Home United at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium last Friday.

They have an increase the gap back to 4 points should they they be able to upend the Stags after Warriors suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Hougang Utd last Sunday,

However, DPMM are still in the hunt for their first win against three-time defending champions Tampines in five meetings.

Their last encounter saw the league leaders fell 2-1 at home on March 23, a result which ended their three-game winning streak at the start of the season.

DPMM FCcaptain Rosmin Khamis feels that the squad is ready and knows that the defence is the key in the matchup.

"Honestly, we were alittle bit down after the Home match...But now we are ready and well prepared to face Tampines," said Rosmin in an interview esterday.

"It will eb hard but we know we can score goals, so we need tighten our defence when they attack.

"That is what we have been training for the past two days," he added.

The Brunei side will be missing the services of Croatain midfielder Roberto Alviz after he picked up his fourth yellow card of the season against the Protectors nut will welcome back marquee signing Roy O'Donovan after the Irushman served his one game suspension.

Tampines will have a different line-up from their last meeting having debuted the trio of goalkeeper Justin Pasfield, midfielder Jacob Butler and forward Jozef Kaplan in their 1-0 loss to Geylang International on Friday.

"We wil surely miss Roberto but I believe that whoever replaces him will amke an impact," said Rosmin.

"I know that they (Tampines)have new imports but it will take time for them to adapt in a short time.

"Its not about them to worry but its all about us," concluded the DPMM skipper.

Tampines haven't been in their best form of late having won three and lost three ut of 10 matches after their victory over DPMM.

Kick-off is at 7.30pm. 



Saturday, June 7
Kean:Defensive lapses gave Home United the win.

Steve Kean strongly suggested that defenders must take responsibility after losing at home against Home United 3-2.

DPMM are still the league leaders with 31 points although Warriors FC are only 1 point behind, while Home Utd moved up to third place with 27.

"First all, our defending was not as good as it has been in the last few games.We gave away poor goals and the defense will have to be responsible for it," said DPMm FC coach Steve Kean after the match.

"We left the opponents too open and gave them space to run and work the ball."

"First thing we'll be doing once we're back on the training ground is defensive work, most definitely."

When asked what he thinks about Home United's third goal in the natch, Kean mentioned that it surprised him when the referee indicated play-on when both teams were still unprepared to continue.

"The only goal that I have a qualm with and that surprised me was when the keeper was getting treatment," said the Scotsman.

"Usually, the referee would let everyone got into positions first and continue the game. But this time the referee let it play on when both teams still had players drinking water their water on the sidelines.

"So, I don't understand what the officilas were thinking about when they make the decision."

Kean feels no pressure from the loss, adding that DPMM FC will be fine, "just as long as we're still league leaderswe'll be fine, even by a point."

 

 



Saturday, June 7
Home United upset DPMM with 3-2 win.

DPMM FC succumbed in their second straight defeat in the Singapore League for the first time this season after losing 3-2 to Home Utd last night.

The loss sees the lead now down to only one point with DPMM on 31 points while Warriors are hot on their tails aftera 4-2 win over Harimau Muda at the PAsir Gudand last Thursday.

The defeat also ends DPMM FC's five game wiining streak at home.

Qiu Li, who missed the 3-0 defeat in their last meeting,bagged a brace the lead the charge for the Protectors.

Home United dominated the exchanges in the early going and broke the deadlock in the 13th minute.

Qiu Li put striker Bruno Castanheira through on gaol and the latter rounded on the onrushing DPMM keeper Wardun to put the ball ino the empty net for the lead.

Wardun was kept busy and ensured they don't fall behind furtherhaving to deny Castanheira and Fazrul Nawaz in the 16 and 21st minutes.

DPMM could have equalised in the 26th minute had there been more luck as Azwan Salleh saw his cross from the left inchess off the top corner.

Home United midfielder Indra Shahdan should have got his name on the scoreshhet on the half hour mark but Wardub did well to get a hand to his shot in a one-to-one situation.

In the 40th minute DPMM skipper Rosmin Khamis had delivered a perfect cross to Shahrazen Said but his effort was just inches wide off the post.

DPMM FC's best chance in the first half came in the 42nd minute after Home Utd goalkeeper Shahril Jantan denied Shahrazen.

Rodrigo Tosi got the rebound and unleashed a thunderbolt that was sent crashing off the woodwork.

The Brazilian had another chance in the first half injury time after rising the highest to head Azwan Ali's cross for an acrobatic save by Sharil to keep the score at 1-0.

The visitors doubled the lead through Qiu Li who drove a low shot past Wardun in the 52nd minute.

Croatian Roberto Alviz almost replied immediately but Shahril did well to parry his shot out for a crner in a one-t0-one situation.

DPMM were made to worry after Tosi picked up a head injury in the 52nd minutes.

The Brazilian did return minutes later with a bandage on his head a pulled one back for the home side, with his 13th goal of the season, after heading home Azwan Ali's corner in the 63rd minutes.

Home Utd regained their two-cushion in controversial fashion after Shahril was receiving treatment for an injury.

Referee Md Taqi whistled for play to resume while the DPMM players were still getting back to their positions after taking a water break.

It proved to eb costly for the hosts as the ball had landed to Qiu Li, who skipped past his defender and rounded Wardun to put Hoem United up 3-1 in the 79th minute.

The goal stood despite protests from the home team.

DPMM FC were given a lifeline after defender Boris Raspudic headed hoem Rosmin's freekick from the left 4 minutes later.

Home United were made to defend tightly despite Tosi, Alvi and Hj Subhi's falling in the box late on from challenges,none were entertained by the ref. 

Meanwhile, the next match on the calendar for DMM is the crucial clash against Tampines at the Clementi Stadium on Tuesday, scheduled for 7.30pm. 



Friday, June 6
Shahrazen to start.

Shahrazen Said will b ehanded his first start of the season when DPMM FC host Home Utd in the league tonight.

The match at the Hassanl Bolkiah Natonal Stadium will also be the first time the free scoring duo of Rodrigo Tosi and Roy O'Donovan will not start alongside each other as the latter is suspended having picked up his fourth yellow card of the season in their last encounter against the Warriors.

Shahrazen, who was DPMM FC's top-scorer in the 2012 league season with 13 goals, has been given the chance to fill the void.

Though there is plenty of work to be done, the 28-year old is ready to shoulder the load.

"I'm feeling a bit of pressure as there is a big gap for me to fill," said the DPMM FC forward in an interview with the Brunei Times after yesterday's trainign session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"I'll need to play at the level of Roy because he has been doing his job brilliantly.

"I'm confident though, especially having got on the scoresheet in the last game.

"I'll take any chance that I'm given.

"I hope we will able to play like how we did against Global FC in the second half and gain all three points tomorrow," continued the 28-year old.

The only league goal that Shahrazen scored this season was in a 4-0 victory over Tanjong Pagar at home on May 9 when he came on as a late substitute.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean feels that Shahrazen is in good shape and is ready for the challenge.

"It is always difficult when you lose a striker and we have been working with Shahrazen this week," said Kean.

"We are encouraging him to play on the shoulder of the last defender and do what he is good at... by using his power and strength.

"He has got a good bit of confidence after coming on the other night and scoring a goal," added the Scotsman.

DPMM beat Home United 3-0 in their last meeting at the Jalan Besar back in March.

Kean feels that it will be a different ball game tonight though, and expects a tough outing against the fourth-side placed side.

"We are expecting it to be another tough match.Home United are a good side and in good form," sais Kean.

"We have to make sure that we start off the game like how we were in the second half against Global.We need to approach it with the same intensity where we had over 500 passes and 20 shots in the match," he added.

"We dominated and overpowerd Global .That is what we intend to do against Home," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Croatian Roberto Alviz will be fit for the game having recovered from a hamstring injury and Azwan Ali rahman is well rested after missing the Cup tie against Global.

Home United head coach Paul Lee is expecting nothing less than 3 points but he knows the level of difficulty for the encounter.

"DPMM are a strong side and have very strong foreign players.They may be missing Roy, but we will also br missing Camara due to suspension as well," said Lee.

"It will be a tough match but we cannot afford anything less than 3 points.

"There is no choice for us but to win in order to close the gap to the leaders.

"DPMM FC's strength is in their attacking and we've been working on our defenders to cope with them.

"Hopefully we will be bakle to do well and provide high quality football,"he concluded.

Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 

 

 

 



Sunday, June 1
DPMM belt Global 7-0

DPMM FC tasted sweet revenge as they thrashed Global FC 7-0 to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Singapore Cup at Jalan Besar Stadium last night.

Their previous clash in last year's edition of the tournament saw Global FC knocked them out 5-4 on agreegate on the quarter-finals.

DPMM FC's scoring machines - Roy O'Donovan and Rodrigo Tosi- were again on tarhet as they shared a total of 5 goals between them in a game that proved the total dominance of the Bruneians.

O'Donovan capped his stellar performance with a fine hat-trick scoring in the 59th, 78th and 89th minutes to mkae him the leading scorer in the competition.

The remaining goals were knocked in by Azwan Salleh in the 80th minute and Shahrazen Said in the 90th minute, who was a late substitute in the 82nd minute for Tosi.

DPMM head coach Steve Kean felt that his boys played a fantastic game in the second half.

"I felt that in the first half our players were all too wide," Kean told the media.

"We were making it very easy for the Global FC's fullbacks, so what we did after halftime was play very narrow on the pitchbecause I felt that Global's two holding midfielders were getting on the ball too much.

"We really turned the middle of the pitch to our advantage so that Joe gamble, Hendra Azam and Rosmin Khamis could control the game from the middle, making it difficult for the twp central players of Global FC.

"I also pushed another player up front because I wanted Tosi to drop in middle a little bit when we didn't have the ball.I just told him just  stay up as a strikr and lets just try to win the ballin the middle and then play off the front end quicker and squeeze the game much higher.

"Historically, we don't have a good record in this competition but I don't believe that history comes in always because every year you have a new team.

"I think the main thing for us is that we just have to keep trying hard to keep the clean sheets both in the league and now in this cup competition.

"I said at the beginning of the season I think we have a competition squad that can compete in the 3 competitions, so why not win this competitionbecause its a fantastic one to win," added Kean. 



Saturday, May 31
Kean eyeing Singapore Cup triumph.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean believes his charges have what it takes to go all the way in the Singapore Cup.

Brunei DPMM, who have never progressed past the ;ast-eight in the competition, will kick off their campaign against Global FC of the Philippines at the Jalan Besar Stadium tonight.

Global FC, who lead the Philippine top-tier United Football LEague,sent DPMM FC- who themselves lead the Singapore League - packing in the quarter-finals last year after winning 5-4 on agrregate.

Kean has done his research on the UFL side and his men are all prepped up for the encounter.

"We will forget about the S-League for the moment and enjoy playing in a different competiton," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times after a training session on Thursday.

"Historically we haven't done well in the Singapore Cup, but obviously we re doing well now in the S-League.

"We hope to go all the way and win it. We have got a squad that can challenge the best in all competitions.

"I know that they (Global FC) are a physical and quick side.I haven't seen them live though, only video footage. It will be a good game.

"We can rotate players and some will get a chance to play.We will make sure that everyone is freshwhen the S-League starts again," continued the Scotsman.

Kean feels that the players have responded to the defeat.

"It has been a good week of training," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"I think when coming off a defeat... Sometimes you learn more about the side. We'll see how we'll respond to it.

"We were disappointed at end of match as we were trying to keep up the points against teams around us," he added.

DPMM FC will be missing services of Croatian midfielder Roberto Alviz, who picked up a hamstring injury from the last game, and Kean is expecting others to step up in the matchup.

"We thought he will be out for another few weeks but has responded well to treatment," said Kean.

"He should be fit to play Home United (on June 6) but not this game.

"It is not easy to miss a key player. Previously when we had Roberto come off before, all subs that came on had big impact in games," concluded Kean.

Kickoff will be at 7.30pm. 

 



Friday, May 23
Warriors earn vital win to close gap.

Warriors FC asserted their credentials as title contenders after besting league leaders DPMM in an narrow 1-0 win at Choa Chu Kang Stadium on thursday evening.

The win, curtesy of Hafiz Rahim's third goal of the season, reduced the gap between Warriors and DPMM to amere 4 points.

Earning himself a freekick at the edge of the area, the 30-year old dusted himself to curl the ball beyond Wardun is it went off the post for the game's only goal.

While DPMM named an unchanged line-up, Warriors FC coach Alex Weaver made a sole change as he handed Prime League winger Suria Prakash his first S.LEague start in place of the injured Thomas Beattie.

Suria who played on the left wing showed glimpses of brilliance early on as he created the first chance of note in the 9th minute.

Racing past Subhi Abdilah, Suria's low cross found Nicolas Vlelez in the box whose effort was blocked by Shahrulrizal.

Warriors goalkeeper Hassan Sunny then had some work to do as he first thwarted Roy O'Donovan's in an one-on-one on 13 minutes before parrying Roberto Alviz's ferocious freekick at full-stretch a minute later.

However, the home side would assume the lead anfd deservedly so in the 22nd minute as Hafiz scored in almost similar fashion to his striker against Geylanf International earlier in February and this proved enough to be the winning goal.

The home side went on to dominate the remainder of the half and created numerous goal-scoring opportunities but were unable to add-on to their lead while DPMM were still finding the Warriors defence - led by skipper Daniel Bennett and Marin Vidosevic- a tough nut to crack.

Velez came closest a minute before halftime after getting onto the end of KEvin McCann's cross as he sent a header towards goal which Wardun fumbled but managed to claw out to safety.

Trailing by a goal at the break, the visitors were determined to find an equaliser and they nearly did so in the 54th minute but Hassan produced yet another stupendous save to keep out Azwan Ali's fierce shot insode the penalty area.

DPMM huffed and puffed in the closing stages but were unable to blow the house down as they fell to their second defeat this season. 



Thursday, May 22
O'Donovan not going anywhere.

DPMM FC marquee signing Roy O'Donovan is "flattered" that other clubs in the region are noticing his good work.

Football website Goal.com have reported that Thai Premier League side Bec Tero Sasana has expressed interest in the former Sunderland striker who has scored 11 goals in his debut league season for DPMM.

In another report on Tuesday, it as stated that the TPI leaders have "officially confirmed their interest in Brunei DPMM duo Rodrigo Tosi and Roy O'Donovan as well as free agent Joe Cole."

Yes, we're ready to negotiate with the 3 of them," Bec Tero General Manager Robert Procureur told Goal Thailand.

"And we're well aware that Joe Cole's cost will be incrediblt expensive," he added.

O'Donovan, though, insists he is happy with his stay with the club.

"I don't know anything about the Thai club but I'm flattered that clubs are seeing how well I'm playing... The goals that I'm creating and scoring," said the 28-year old O'Donovan in an interview with the Brunei Times on Tuesday.

"It is also good for DPMM FCwhen players and the coach are linked with positive things," added the Irishman.

DPMMFC head coach Steve Kean is in the same boat as his players after it was reported last week that he will be heading to TPL side PTT Rayong.

The Scotsman has dismissed the claims and believes it is just a way to stifle DPMM FC's S-League performances.

"I dismiss them as a speculation,"said Kean.

"I haven't tslk to any clubs and I'm happy here.It is just a tactic to change the rhythm that we've got.

"I would like to be here this season and the upcoming ones."

"The way that we are playing, none of the players want to leave...They are playing as a group," added the former Blackburn manager.

When ashed if he has any plans to take action against the false claims, Kean replied: "No.These stories happen every week all over the world.

"It is all just speculation.

"There were no quotes from other club and I've never spoken to them as well.

"We don't have to be silly and tlak about any kind of action.

"I would just like to continue our good start...Push on and get more points." 



Thursday, May 22
Will DPMM FC extend their lead?

Will DPMM FC extend their lead at the summit of the SIngapore League tonight or will Warriors FC make up some ground?

DPMM FC have a tough test tonight as they face second-placed Warriors at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore,with the gap between the two teams currently 7 points.

The table-toppers may be on a roll with 7 consecutive victories, but head coach Steve Kean told the Brunei Times that his men will have to be at their best to be able to upend the Warriors.

"They are a very good team and they have been picking up good results," said Kean after Tuesday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium. 

"It is going to be a tough game,and we will have to be at our very best to get anything," admitted Kean of tonight's tie.

"We will give the Warriors respect because that is what they deserve.

"They have been scoring goals late in games and we have to make sure we go for 90 to 96 minutes," continued the Scotsman.

Aziz Tamit will miss tonight's encounter as a result of a sprained ankle.

However, the squad will welcome back Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic after serving a one-game suspension.

Raspudic has been a key part of DPMM FC's defence - the team letting in a league-low 6 goals in 12 games this season.

Most impressive, though, has been DPMM FC's forn upfront - where they have a league-high 33 goals, 23 of them from imports Rodrigo Tosi and Roy O'Donovan. 



Sunday, May 18
Kean pooh poohs report of going to Thailand.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean has refuted claims that he would be travelling to Thailand to meet representatives of a Thai Premier League club's PTT Rayong next week, in a response to an article published by Goal this week.

The head coach also confirmed that he had not been in any form of contact with the struggling Thai side after learning that he was linked a s a potnetila successor to former England International Peter Withe.

"I've never spoken to anybody from any club in Thailand, so I don't know where the story came from I've got no plans to go to Thailand and talk to any other clubs. I'm very happy here," Kean reaffirmedin an interview with the Sunday Bulletin during a training session ahead of DPMM FC's away game against the Warriors next week.

Kean is under contract with the Brunei-based club nad has no intentions to depart the S-League leaders, who have reinvigorated the side currently enjoying a 7-point lead over second-placed Warriors.

"I said to the players to keep our focus of its maybe somebody tactically trying to put a  story to upset our rhythm. If someone tries to upset us and take the focus away from our game, we won't let that happen.We'll be together as a team right till the end of the season,"he said.

"Our aim is to win the next game and forget any made up stories," he added.

The Bulletin also learnt that Kean received the news when a young nepher texted him.

When asked of his plans next week,Kean will be preparing for a match in Singapore against Warriors in a bid to extend their lead at the summit of the S-League and will be part of the Champions League final coverage on Saturday evening for a Singaporean TV.

"I also plan to come back on Sunday morning," aded the former Blackburn manager. 

The former Blackburn manager added that he had never hard of the club. 

 



Saturday, May 17
DPMM dismiss report of Kean leaving

DPMM FC dismissed the report that claimed head coach Steve Kean is set to leave the club for Thialand Premier League side PTT Rayong.

Singapore's Goal.com reported on Thursday that Kean who signed for DPMM at the start of the season will head to Thailand next week to meet with representatives of the club.

The Brunei Times contacted the club manager Pg Waslimin Hj Mominyesterday but calls made to the team's manager, Ali Hj Momin, were not answered.

"We do not know anything about this," said Pg Waslimin.

"I have read the report about it but as for now I can tell you that Steve Kean is still the head coach of DPMM and he is still under contract with us,"

"We are doing well now in the league and the report is just trying to cause disorder.For now we are only going to focus on our football," he added.

Kean is not the only one claimed to be leaving DPMM with Roy O'Donovan subjected to similar rumours.

Goal.com reported that another Thai Premier LEague side,BEC Tero Sasana are keen to sign the striker who has scored 11 goals fo DPMM so far this season.

PTT Rayong who are third from bottom in the Thia Premier League is currently managed by the former England International Peter Withe.

DPMM FC will travel to Singapore on Thursday to play against the Warriors FC. 



Thursday, May 15
DPMM relentless in title bid.

Brunei DPMM have opened what could possibly be an insurmountable lead atop og the Grreat Eastern YEO's S.League on Friday night, after beating Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 to move 10 points ahead of nearest rivals Warriors FC with their seventh win in a row.

The usual suspects were on the scoresheet for the Bruneians once again, with Rodrigo Tosi and Roy O'Donovan now with 12 and 11 goals respectively - the former still leading the league.

DPMM FC coch Steve Kean has effectively moulded a balanced team during the half year ha has been at the club - not only do they lead the league in goals with 32 from 12 games, they also have the stingiest defence allowing a measly 6 goals.

A win for Albirex would have seen them leapfrog Home United, Tampines Rovers and Warriors FC to second, but their second half performance - where a more attacking-minded DPMM emerged from the dressing room- meant the Japanse had to be content with staying 5th. 

Still, the game proved to be DPMM's toughest game of the year. 

The Japanese almost got ahead in the 17th minute during a one-on-one only for Kosuke Matsuda to see his shot saved by Wardun Yussof at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium in Berakas.

Roberto Alviz was denied by the post a minute later, and on the other end of the field, Albirex had a double-chance when Taiyo Nishida's header off a corner was saved and the ensuing attempt hit the side netting.

Albirex glovesman Kazuki Kishigami had to be at his best in the 42nd minute to keep O'Donovan out after he found space following a one-two with Tosi.

The Japanese side - who impressed with their one-two passing - took the lead in the 53rd minute when skipper Itsuki  Yamada latched onto a deflected pass at the edge of the box to slot home from close range,

However, DPMM were level three minutes later when O'Donovan stole the ball off Yamada on the right and ran in the heart of Albirex's defence before lashing in a fine shot which he hit the top left corner.

DPMM were stating to pose problems with their penetration and when O'Donovan was felled insode the box when sandwiched by Taisho Nishida and Soichiro Tanaka - the latter who appeared to tug O'Donovan down - referee Sukhbir Singh wasted no time in pointing to the spot, with Tosi's calm shot sending the fans into fits of frenzy.

The visitors could have ended with a share of spoils when DPMM's Azwan Salleh brought down Ota in the box, but Sukhbir Singh was not in the mood for Albirex's potests.

 

 



Wednesday, May 14
DPMM host Albirex tonight.

DPMM FC are in search of their 7th straight win and looking to extend their lead at the top of the S-League.

Brunei's only professional club  are set to kick-off the second half of the season against Albirex today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The Brunei side had beaten the Japanese outfits 1-0 in their season opener, courtesy of a Rodrigo Tosi penalty in the Jurong East Stadium last February.

Having notched a winning debut then, DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean knows what to expect from their opponents and is hoping things will run accordingly.

"Our (recent) performances have been better than the (early games)as there was no flow to the start of the (earlier) games.Our challenge is for us to play well for the whole game against a team like Albirex," Kean told the Brunei Times when met during training session yesterday.

"We cannot afford a slow start.We need to be a t a good oace early and get hold of the game.

"If we can pull all the bits we have been working on all week together then we should put up another good performance," added the former Blackburn Rovers coach.

"Albirex are a good football side and bulid to play from the back.I don't expect them to play direct footbal as they are a team that like to pass the ball and work their way up the pitch.

"They have got good players.They are technically very goodand it is a challenge for us to get enough ball possession to create more chances," continued the Scotsman.

The only concern for Kean is that Bosnian defender is suspended for the encounter, having picked up his fourth yellow card of the season.

"It is always a concern when you lose a defender considering we have had many cleansheets," said Kean.

"It is unfortunate for Boris but that is part of the game.Good thing is that we only have 1 player susoended," he added.

Albirex head coach Okuyama Tatsuyuki believes they can give the home side a strong challenge.

"DPMM are a strong team and we will have to prevent them from playing their usual game," said Tatsuyuki. 

"I'm satisfied with the result despite losing 1-0 at that point but we can challenge them tomorrow(Wednesday). Our playes have gotten better after the first meeting.

"We have been preparing ourselves and we need to stop their key player Rodrigo Tosi from scoring.This year all their players are good and we are not ficussed on only one or two of them," he conclided.

Kick off is at 8.15pm. 



Saturday, May 10
DPMM pulls away from chasing pack.

Brunei DPMM stregthened their lead atop of the S-League to 7 points after another comfotbale homr win against Tanjong Pagar 4-0 last night in a game that was settled after the restart.

DPMM held to a 2-0 lead heading the break and the fans were still finding their seats when Roy O'Donovan made it threee goals to the good as he latched onto a cross from Azwan Ali on the left which caught the Jaguars defence sleeping.

Composing himself for the shot, O'Donovan calmly guided the ball to the right corner and there was nothing Tanjong Pagar goalkeeper Aurelien Herrison could do to ave it-especially since the Irishman was just a few yards out.

It was DPMM FC's seventh win in a row and they continued their stunning form at home hwere they not hit the back of the net 19 times in their last four home games and conceded only 2.

O'Donovan scored the opener in the 10th minute after taking advantage of a slip by Tanjong Pagar captain Hafiz Osman in wet conditions to slot in a Hj Subhi Abdillah Bakir cross from the right.

Despite the visitors getting into the game after 20 minutes after pressuring DPMM to lose possession and commit sloppy passes, Monsef Zerka's tame shot at Wardun Yussof in the 24th minute was their only real highlight of the half.

The second goal soon came as DPMM captain Rosmin Khamis delivered a superb pass from just inside his half to O'Donovan on the right. The Irishman then crossed to Rodrigo inside the box and the Brazilain out-jumped Hafiz to beat Herrison just before the break.

But it was the third that goal that really knocked the wind out of the visitors sails, especially with it coming just after the second half kicked off.

However, DPMM 's Azwan Salleh provided the home fans with a fright when he slipped and lost the ball with Sebastian Etiembe bearing down on him.

Tanjong Pagar did well to tighten up in defence in the second half and prevented DPMM from enjoying too mush space and it needed Shahrazen Said's fresh legas to add the scoreline.

The one-time poster boy of DPMM, the striker has seen playing minutes hard to come by now that O'Donovan and Tosi are guaranteed starting-11 places.

But he made impact felt when introduced in te 88th minute, and after winning the ball in midfield, played a one-two with O'Donovan before placing the ball past Herrison. 

 



Friday, May 9
DPMM FC won't take foot off pedal.

DPMM FC will go into tonight's match against Tanjong Pagar with cautuin as they look to extend their S-League lead at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

Brunei's only professional club are 4 points ahead of second and third placed Warriors and Tampines Rovers after the two battled to a 3-3 draw at the Clementi Stadium.

They will also be out to extend their five-game win streak against Tanjong Pagar tonight but DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean is not allowing his squad to underestimate their opponents.

Kean insists the team will be vigilant and highlighted that it is dangerous should they take their foot off the pedal.

"We are top of the league but we have to be careful with these type of games.If we don't take them seriously then it will be a disadvantage for us," said Kean.

"If we are not fit we might lose our counter attacks.Keeping a clean cheet is our first objective. We have to stop the goals from coming and concentrate on scoring goals ourselves," he added.

"We might make one or two changes for the games in order to rest some players," continued the Scotsman.

Asked if there was any added pressure that they are top of the table,Kean replied: "It can be difficult for a team but for us we should not fear the pressure but enjot it as it can bring the best out of the players."

Marquee signing Roy O'Donovan doesn't expect an easy outing and is hoping that the team play to their potential.

"It will be a difficult game. Performance needs to be there and we cannot underestimate these kind of games," said O'Donovan.

"We expect some more goals...Who scores the most goals doesn't matter just as long as the team wins and I hope the football will stay great," aaded the Irishman.

Tanjong Pagar heaed coach Ptrick Vallee knows that it will be difficult task to topple the Brunei side but is looking to put up a good fight against the hosts.

"We expect to get good results for every game but we also know that DPMM are performing very well right  now -both at home and away," said Vallee.

"WE are missing a few players and that is a problem for us. We know that it will be difficult but we will try whatever we can to win," he said.

"We didn't come here to lose and go back to Singapore.It would be better to just stay back hoem if we came with that mindset.

"We are competitors and we will see how the game goes," continued the Frenchman.

Kick-off is at 8.15pm. 



Friday, May 2
Coach Kean: We should have score more goals.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean felt that his team should have scored more goals in their 2-0 victory over Woodlands Wellington in the S-League on Wednesday night.

Woodlands are reduced to ten men in the 13th minute when Walid Lounis was sent off after bringing down Rodrigo Tosi inside the penalty box.

Tosi would convert from the spot kick to give DPMM the lead.

Azwan Ali Rahman would fire the second goal from distance to defeat Woodlands goalkeeper.

"I think we deserved to score more goals," Kean was quoted on the S-League official website after the match.

"I told my players to pace up at half-time because the game was very slow.

"Woodlands lost a man early and that changed the whole game.It was tough for them and the rhythm was changed," Kean said.

Striker Roy O'Donovan came close to scoring after the restart but his shot struck the post.

Tosi also miised his chance to score a brace, scooping the ball over the bar from inside the box.

Hj Md Subhi Abdilah Bakir who captained the team in the game echoed Kean's sentiments.

"It was a great game and we are happy with the result...Woodlands are a good team but they lost one player early in the game and we made good use of the advantage," said Hj Md Subhi.

"There are still more games to play in the league and we must take it one game at a time and must not lose focus.

Woodlands now sit 9th in the league and their head coach Darren Stewart admitted that his side was second best on the night.

"DPMM are a good team, they scored fantastic goals and there was never a case of us coming back into the game.We were playing with ten men against the bst team," said Stewart.

"It was a pleasing performance because we wanted to keep the scoreline at wht it was and we somehow did it, but of course it would have been better if we have pinched something to maybe get back into the game," he added. 



Thursday, May 1
DPMM FC notch 5th straight win.

DPMM FC continued their brilliant form inthe league with a 2-0 away win over the Woodlands Wellington last night.

The victory was DPMM FC's fifth straight win in the league and they are 5 points clear at the top.

The country's only professional club went ahead in the 14th minute with hitman Rodrigo Tosi converting the penalty.

Tosi was brought down inside the penalty box by Woodlands defender Walid Lounis and the latter was sent off for the challenge.

The Brazilian is still the current top-scorer of the league with 10 goals to his name.

Azwan Ali Rahman doubled DPMM FC's lead in the 47th minute, firing from 20 metres out to defeat Woodlands goalkeeper Yazid Yasin in goal.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean started the duo of Azwan Salleh and Hendra Azam in the midfield, leaving Rosmin Khamis on the bench again.

Rosmin would however come on for Hendra Azam in the 66th minute.

The only concern for DPMM FC last night was when Azwan Ali was hauled off the pitch in the 69th minute after going down with an injury.

"If we can continue this good form I believe that we will be able to win the league this year," said Rosmin in an interview last night.

"It feels good to be back playing with the team after the injury," he said.

Left back Sairol Hj Sahari who came on only in the 89th minute was equally pleased to take part in the win.

"It is always good to be back in the team, but this is not enough for me...I need to train harder and fight again for my place," said Sairol.

"I am ready and hungry and there is still long way to go.We must keep the momentum going." he eadded. 



Wednesday, April 30
DPMM FC gun for 5th straight win.

DPMM FC aregoing to approach tonight's League match against Woodlands Wellington FC with a lot of caution.

Brunei's only professional team are gunning for their 5th straight win and can move five points clear at the top of the table should they win tonight at the Woodlands Stadium.

The team is in high spirits and Hj Md Subhi Abdilah BAkir, who has been captain for the last two games, believes they have what it takes to leave with all three points.

"We have to be extra careful and respect the away team because Woodlands also surprise the big teams," said Hj Md Subhi in an interview with the Brunei times yesterday.

"We will work hard and give 100 per cent for tomorrow (Wednesday) night."

"As alway, we are ready mentally and physically.

"We are looking for the three points and hopefully luck is on our side. InsyaAllah, we will try our best," continued Subhi.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean started the duo of midfielders Azwan Salleh snd Md Hendra Azam in the past two matches despite Rosmin Khamis and leftback  Sairol Sahari returning from injuries.

"Every game is tough, and we don't take anything easily," said Sairol.

"We just have to keep the momentum and play all out the whole 90 minutes.

"I can't say we are confident but I do hope we can win.Football is hard to predict," he added.

The current leaders boast the best offensive and defensive records in the league, finding the back of the net 24 times and only conceding 5 so far.

Their good form in front of goal has been largely thanks to the duo of Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi and Roy O'Donovan.

The Rams have however sprung some surprises - especially after beating three-time defending champions Tampines Rovers 2-1 on April 18 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

They will be banking on last season's joint top-scorer Moon Soon-Ho to find the back of the net- though the South Korean onyl 2 goals so far this campaign.

Kick-off is at 7.30pm. 



Tuesday, April 29
Steve Kean could have worked with Mourinho ahead of this season but he said "No"

Steve Kean has claimed he turned down an opportunity to become an assistant coach at Chelsea ahead of this season.

The former Blackburn boss currently manages abroad at Singapore top flight side Brunei DPMM, but states that agents from the Blues contacted him last summer about becoming member of the back-room staff at the west London club.

According to Kean, it is the second time the Premier League and Champions League high flyers have spoke to him about filling a coaching position at the club following an earlier attempt in 2008.

"There was contact before Jose Mourinho arrived in the summer, Kean told Owen Amos at britishcoachesabroad.com.

"I was sounded by an agent asking whether I was up for an assistant's role, and whether I was available.I said I was taking time out, and that, when I came back, I wanted a manager's job.

"I could have been Luiz Felipe Scolari's assistant at Chelsea. They approached me when I was assistant at Coventry - I spoke to Chris Coleman, the manager and he said,"Speak to the chairman Ray Ranson.)" 

"So I spoke to Ray, and he said: "You've got a contract here. "So it didn't happen, but its always nice when you 're approached by a club of that stature.It shows people rate you."

Kean's time at Blackburn has been his only managerial job in England, but after controvetsially replacing Sam Allardyce at Ewood Park in 2010, the 46-year old was sacked just under 2 years later having led Rovers to relegation from the top flight in his only full season at the club.

Despite his ill-fated spell at the current Championship side, Kean states he has no regrets about his Blackburn tenure and feels his reputation has not suffered because of it.

Kean added: "Do I have any regrets about my time at Blackburn? Not one. Decisions were made above me about selling players,which made it difficult. Its much harder to win games in the Premier League when you've got so many young guys, players just starting out.

"But it meant we gave opportunities to guys like Martin Olsson, Junior Hoillet, Grant Hanley, Jake Kean. Really, we had a great dressing room, and I can count on one hand the number of games when we were really, really poor.

"I don't feel my reputation has suffered because of Blackburn. Speak to anyone who's ever worked with me - because the best people to ask are the players.

"Ask Andy Cole, Edwin Van der Sar, Paul Robinson, Bradley Orr, Grant Hanley, Scott Dann, whoever. Its the players who matter. Its your job to make them better. They're the ones who'll decide whether you're good, bad, or indifferent." 



Saturday, April 26
DPMM FC strike force crush Balestier Khalsa.

DPMM FC shot back at the top of the Singapore League after a 4-1 thumping of Balestier Khlasa last night.

A brace by forwards Rodrigo Tosi and Roy O'Donovan paved the way for the club's fourth straight win. 

The home side came out storming and were in full attack mode despite starting the match without the services of Rosmin Khamis and Sairol Hj Sahari.

O'Donovan had his first chance of the game in the 6th minute but his shot from inside the box was saved by Balestier keeper Zaiful nzam.

DPMM FC got another opportunity in the 21st minute after a dsplay of good individual skill by Tosi to skip his defender down the left only to see his shot denied by Zaiful.

Balestier couldn't push the ball forward bt looked dangerous on set pieces.

The Tigers had their first chance in the 26th minute through captain Paul Cunningham after he fired a free-kick from the edge of the box over the wall but Wardun did well to gather his attempt.

O'Donovan should have scored in the 35th minute after connecting on a Joe Gamble cross but the Irishman miskicked the ball.

The DPMM FC marquee signing was causing havoc for the Balestier backline with his timely runs.

O'Donovan finally broke the deadlock for DPMM just before the halftime whistle.

It started from a long goalkick by Wardun which landed in front of Azwan Ali who pulled it back for Tosi.

The Brazilian would lob it over the defence for O'Donovan to chest it downaand fire it past Zaiful.

The Brunei side started the second half where they left off and continued ti push forward.

O'Donovan won a penalty in the 59th minute after he was pushed down by Tajeli Salamay inside the box after receiving a cross from Roberto Alviz.

 Tosi calmly sltted home the ensuing spot kick to double the lead for the home side.

Cunnigham had a chance for the Tigers 4 minutes later but could only skyrocket his shot from inside the box.

DPMM made it 3-0 in the 69th minute off a set piece and a scramble in the box.

Defender Abd Aziz Tamit got on the end of an Azwan Salleh corner to put it inside the box for Tosi who easily tapped in his 9th goal of the season.

Azwan Ali was put through on goal in the 75th minute but the Balstier keeper did well to get off his line to collect the ball.

Tosi almost scored his hat-trick four minutes later but his header off an Azwan Ali freekick went straight into Zaiful's hands.

O'Donovan got his 8th goal of the season in the 81st minute after finding the back of the net with fine finishing.

The almost perfect night was marred with DPMM failing to keep a cleansheet after a defensive lapse allowed Goran Ljubojevic to set-up Kim Minho to bulge the net in the 85th minute.

 

 

 

 



Saturday, April 26
Tosi:Our 12th man helped us win the game.

Rodrigo Tosi praised DPMM FC's supporters after a healthy crowd at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas helped propel them to a 4-1 win over Balestier Khalsa FC last night.

Speaking to the media after the match, the Brazilain said that playing at home with the local fans cheering them on is a belssing as it gave the hosts an edge over the opponents.

"Playing at home is always great, especially when you win," smiled Tosi.

"We have great fans and they provide a great atmosphere.When the fans start cheering, it gaves us that extra motivation to play better," added the 30-year old who now has a team high of nine goals for DPMM FC.

Despite controlling last night's match,they ket in a goal when Kim Minho tapped in an 85th minute consolation.

The hosts were in the driver's seat for most of the game though,and speaking to the media,Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic felt that luck just wasn't on their side.

"A lot of chances did come our way and we wasted some of them," said Kraljevic.

"We were off our form tonight and we paid for it.Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose - that's football," he added.

Steve Kean though, was more than satisfied with his side's display and sais he respected Balestier for their fortitude.

However, the DPMM FC coach said that the win would have been better if they had ekpt a clean sheet

"Honestly, I'm impressed by tonight's performance," said Kean.

"We played a great passing game, played well overall and we scored quality goals.

"The opposition's single gol did annoy me because our defenders slipped up for that moment when they shouldn't have allowed the opposition to score an easy goal.

"We work hard to keep a clean sheet in our matches, so yes, it bothers me.

"If it wasa world -class goal,I wouldn't have mind." 

 

 



Friday, April 25
DPMM FC out to stretch win streak against Balestier.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean believes his squad can continue on their wiining ways.

Brunei's only professional team will hist Balestier Khalsa in the Singapore League today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

DPMM FC are in good form after coming off three straight wins within a span of 10 days before a nine-day break heading into the encounter.

Kean felt that it was  well-needed break and believes that they can carry the momentum forward.

"When we look at the season,overall the games soemtimes comes very thick and fast then a break in between," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times.

"We always train well and we used thenine days to get to the gym to continue strength and conditioning," he said.

the mometum can be continued as we practiced a lot and they were very intense.At the right time,players will get a few recovery days.The fitness level has been superb and we have only had very few injuries," continued Kean.

"We are an offensive team and we will score in every game as we create more chances.Our focus is to try and minimise the goals against," said Kean.

"We try to imit our opponents and we only gave Tampines very few shots even though we lost the game.We will continue to keep progressing and get more cleansheets," he continued.

Balestier head coach Marko Kraljevic,meanwhile, is expecting a difficult battle to try and upend the hosts especially since they are missing key player Park Kang -jin in midfield.

"We go into every game expecting to win. But it will be tough since they are a lot better than last year," said Kraljevic.

"They are playing well and have 5 good import players.It is a good mixture with the local players and they look promising especially after they beat Home United 3-0.

"We are missing our playmaker Park.He is the middleman,connecting our attack and defence. We are struggling without him.

"We have a good team but we are a bit shaken and need a bit of time to regroup especially mentality," he said.

Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 



Friday, April 25
Coach Kean: Azwan can play in any of the top leagues.

DPMM FC Steve Kean believes that Azwan ALi Rahman is able to play in any of the top leagues based on his current performance.

After leaving Indera SC and joining DPMM FC early last year, the 22-year old Azwan has been enjoying his time in th club this season as he is more actively nvolved in creating plays for the league squad.

Azwan, who has played in all eight league matches, is growing comfortable with role after scoring in the last 3 games, impressing Kean and the fans with his recent displays after scoring his first goal for the club in their 6-1 win over the Young Lions.on April 6.

When Kean was interviewed yesterday he talked about Azwan very positively.

"Azwan has been playing very well for the team, exceptionally even," said Kean.

"Even when I first joined the team(last November)he kept on impressing me with his performance.

"With the ways he coming along as a player,I can confidently say he can play in any of the top leagues.No problems," added the Scotsman after the team's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

Azwan is also relishing his new role and feels that he can contribute more this season now that he has increased play time.

And when asked about his recent performncehe said that it is encouraging for him to see his hard work and dedication pay off.

"I was preety much a bech player last season, getting rotated in and out by the previous coach (Vjeran Simunic)," said Azwan.

But this season I've been given a more active and solid role, and I'm happy with the decision as ot will help me grow more as a player.

"I'm feeling preety confident after scoring in the last three games.Its building my confidence to get involved with the play more and helpfully score some more goals," he added.

The midfielder is looking forward to DPMM FC's next match against Balestier Khalsa tonight, and he hopes the team will be able to carry on their winning ways.

"For me the team's performance is more of a priority than my individual performance because we're on a very good run at the moment, and I hope it doesn't stop soon," he said.

"Just as long as we get the three points,I'll be happy," 



Friday, April 18
Tosi still among S-League's top scorers.

DPMM FC striker Rodrigo Tosi is still among the Singapore League's top goal scorers.

DPMM FC's top goal scorer has tallied seven goals in eight S-League matches so far and is tied with Miroslav Pejic of the Warriors and Gelson Moura of Hougang.

The 31-year old Brazilian is not thinking about the number of goals he has cored though, instead insisting it is the performance of the team - who currently top the S-League- that is more important.

"The teamwork is there with the way that we are playing. It is not only about me but Roy who has six goals as well,"said Tosi in an interview with the Brunei Times before the Hougang match.

"Our confidence is good as we are playing well.We are playing the way we should as pressing and then going forward to score.

"I just want to keep going...There is still a long way to go(in the season).

"I'm not going to think about it (number of goals) now but I just want to make sure I keep the momentum,"he continued.

There have been questions about Tosi's fitness as he didn't play the full 90 minutes in the past two victories over Young Lions and Harimau Muda due to calf tightness.

However, that has not stopped him from adding to his impressive tally so far in the season.

He notched two goals against the Young Lions before getting substituted in the 76th minute and also got his name on the scoreshhet against Harimau Muda before making way for Shahrazen in the 70th minute.

Tosi feels that he is at 100 per cent now and that the substitutions were necessary to conserve energy.

"I'm feeling good as I underwnt therapy twice a day," said Tosi.

"I managed to get some rest in the past two games as I had to make sure not to get injured as well.You are more tired towards the end of games and become more prone to picking up injuries," concluded Tosi. 



Friday, April 18
Kean pleased with Hougang win.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean has lifted his team back to their winnign ways after their two game hic-cup in March.

DPMM have managed to get themselves back on track again after picking up three consecutive wins in the last two weeks, and they now lead the 12-team table.

They first annihilated Young Lions 6-1 before handing a 5-0 thrashing to Harimau Muda.

DPMM FC then defeated Hougang Utd 1-0 to put them at the summit of the league with 19 points, ahead of Tampines who sit on 18 points with one game in hand.

Kean acknowledged that Hougang were the stronger side in the half through sending in a number of crossed which cuased problems to DPMM , and the Scotsman felt that they were fortunate to go to the break wothout seeing a ball hit the back of their net.

The former Blackburn Rovers manager told his players to boost their performance in the second half as he felt they were playing below par.

"I thought we were better in the second hlf, but I thought Hougang can consider themselved unfortunate not to get somethingfrom the game,"Kean told the S-League website.

Azwan Ali Rahman scored with a header after connecting on a cross from Najib Tarif at the Hougang Stadium during the 77th minute, the lone goal eventually turning out to be the winner.

Despit Kean feeling that DPMM didn't put up a good show, he was still satisfied with the outcome.

"You are always pleased with the results when you win, especially when you win aay from home- but I don't think we played very well," said Kean.

Kean did confess that he wouldn't have been happy if they had to leave Singapore with just one point, going on to say that DPMM have to try and win all their games because one point would not be something to be happy about if they want to try and win the championship.

Hougang Utd coach Amin Nasri shared that his team couldn't secure the point due to suspensionsand injuries.

Despite the loss,Amin was still proud of his players as he flet they performed well.

"We created many chances.Overall I am so pleased with their character that we bounced back (after the 3-2 loss to Geylang the week before.)

"Yes we lost, but the performance tonight against Brunei, a good side, it was brilliant," added Amin.

DPMM FC's next match will see them take on Balestier Khalsa at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas next Friday. 



Thursday, April 17
DPMM FC get a -head.

DPMM FC are back to the summit of the S-League following their 1-0 win against Hougang United last night.

Azwan Ali Rahman fired to their third straight victory after his second half goal proved to be the difference in the match.

The duo of Azwan Salleh and Md Hendra Azam got their first starts of the season playing in place of the injured pair of Eosmin Khamis and left back Sairol Sahari.

Hougang United were the better team in the opening exchanges and dominated much of the possession.

The visitors should have taken the lead in the 42nd minute off a counter attack through Brazilian striker Rodrigo Tosi but saw his header cleared by the Hougang backline.

Najib Tarif made an immediate impact having only subbed into the game in place of Hendra Azam two minutes before breaking the deadlock.

Azwan Ali headed home Najib's cross to beat Nazri Sabri in between the Hougang sticks in the 77th minute to snatch all three points.

The goal was the 22-year old's third in as many games this season.

Azwan Ali was ecstatic with the goal especially because it was s header and that it was supplied by his 2012 Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy teammate.

"It was an unbelievable goal to me because I have never scored a header goal," said Azwan Ali in an interview when contacted after the triumph.

"It was a fantastic cross from Najib and it feels great to score three goals in a row," he said.

Stand-in captain Hj Md Subhi Abdillah Bakir felt that the adjustments made at halftime were key in helping them notch the victory.

"The first was a bit difficult due to the conditions of the pitch because of heavy rain prior to kickoff," said Subhi.

"It was a very tough game as well.During half time,coach changed the strategy on how we should play for the second half," added the midfielder.

It worked and we dominated the second half.We created alot of chances then and credit to all thise players as we played hard till the final whistle," he continued. 



Wednesday, April 16
DPMM FC on hunt for third straight win.

DPMM FC are looking to stretch their winnign streak to three games despite being short-handed.

They will be missing the services of captain Rosmin Khamis(tight calves)and left back Sairol Sahari(left hip) for the encounter against Hougang tonight in Singapore.

The Brunei side are coming off back-to-back lopsided home victories against the Young Lions and Harimau Muda.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean will be looking to the bench and believes that they still have enough firepower to put up a good game.

"There are just a few concerns. But any type of problem where they and play and rupture muscle, we will take them out," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times when met after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium on Monday.

"The guys on the bench or those who have no travelled...they are ready to play.We don't want to take any risks," he added.

The squad hasn't had much time to recuperate as the match today will be their third in the span of 10 days.

Kean is hoping that his charges will be able to deliver despite the tight schedule after putting in the work.

"It is a tough schedule and the lads have been here training almost everyday.We had to make sure we don't slip up any of the home gamesas it was important to get maximum points," said Kean.

"I have to credit to the lads as they have trained very hard.I think the away games are always different as the home team is expected to come out and get more possession and play.

"We also have to defend a bit more than thr last two games.The nature of our game is we like being aggressive by pushing high up the pitch to play a good game,"added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"I can say that we are a fit side as our fitness level seems to show late in the game. This is another game we are well-prepared.

When the match (against Hougang)is finished we will have a nine-day turnaround before next game. I'll give a couple of rest days after the amount of work put in,"he concluded. 

 



Saturday, April 12
DPMM FC back on top.

DPMM FC are back to the summit of the S-League after a five-star performance last night.

Brunei's only professional team dominated and demolished Harimau Muda 5-0 at th Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas to leapfrog Warriord and Tampines.

Unlike the previous match against the Young Lions, DPMM got off to a ferocious start.

Marquee signing Roy O'Donovan almost out them in front after 30 seconds but blasted his shot into the side netting.

Two minutes later, Azwan ALi Rahman broke down the left and fired past Harimau Muda goalkeeper Ilham Amirullah for the lead.

It was his second goal in as many games.

The home side were playing a much different game by going with long balls instead if their usual short passes.

They doubled their lead in the 23rd minute when Sairol Sahari found the back of the net with his left foot after a weak punch by the goalie.

O'Donovan made it 3-0 in the 36th minute after getting at the end of a Rosmin Khamis free kick from their own half.

The home side were close to adding another goal in the first half in injurt time but Tosi's attempt flew over the goal.

Harimau Muda cam out of the interval a different side and were pressing forward.

Wardun got in on the action to deny a Nor Azam free-kick just four minutes after the restart.

Substitute Faris Shah had a chance but his free-kick from the edge of the box flew over the bar.

The game took a turn for the worse for Harimau Muda after Azril Nizam was shwon a straight red for falling O'Donovan just outside the box in the 55th minute.

He was unhappy with the decision and debated the call before being advised by his teammates to leave the pitch.

Tosi made no mistake with the ensuing freekick as he blated the ball beyond a hapless Ilham to make it 4-0. The goal brings his tally to 7 goals for DPMM this season so far.

O'Donovan got on the scoresheet again in the 71st minute after chipping the ball over an onrushing Ilhma to complete the rout.

DPMM head coach Steve Kean was pleased with the performance, especially in keeping the scoresheet.

"We pressed high up the pitch.and got that early goal.The players did very well and got that cleansheet," said Kean in a post match interview.

"We were going with the 40-50-metre passes but I told the boys at halftime to go for short passes of higher percentage.

"Many chances came from that and we were unfortunate not to get more goal," he added.

They(Harimau Muda) have to be disappointed with the sending off but the decisions sometimes don't go your way.

"We know that losing a man makes it more difficult so what we did was switch sides(the ball)to tire th opposition," he continued. 



Friday, April 11
DPMM FC gunning for max points.

DPMM FC are gunning for a cleansheet and all three points when they host S-League basement dwellers Harimau Muda today.

Brunei's only professional team have every right to be confident mood after coming off a 6-1 demolition of the Young Lions on Sunday.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean is not taking anything for granted and will enter the match with caution.

"Like I said last week, these games are in a strange way more difficult if you don't approach them the right way," said Kean in an interview when met at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

"If we don't start properly like in our last match,the other team can score one or maybe two then make the match difficult for us.

"But I'm confident of all three pointsafter the way we finished our game on Sunday," he added.

"We have been unfortunate in conceding goals from deflections. Weneed to focus on getting the blockas and avoid turning our back as it gives the keeper no chance ," continued the Scotsman.

The former Blackburn Rovers coach also highlighted his aim in not conceding for the encounter.

DPMM have been doing a great job a tthe defensive end so far, only conceding four over their past 6 matches.

"We want to get a cleansheet.We need to get to abck to where we were the first three games," said Kean.

"We know we can create chances and score goals.It is not just Wardun and the back four...everybody needs to think like a defender once we lose possession and put pressure," he added.

"Chances for the opposition are few then and we want to limit the waves of attack," continued the DPMM head coach.

There are no injury worries for Kean with both defender Hj Subhi Abdilah Bakir and Brazilian forward Rodrigo Tosi back to full-fitness.

Harimau Muda B coach Razip Ismail is hoping that his charges will not suffer the same fate as the Young Lions.

"It is going to be a tough game for us.I'm worried of our opponents because they thrashed the Young Lions in the last game," said Razip.

"Whatever it is, we are prepared and the players will need to double their efforts to ensure we don't suffer the same results.

"I just hope the players will be able to produce a good game and avoid any embarrassment.They shouldn't be afraid," he added.

"I don't know much about the players in DPMM.I just know they have a new coach and imports.From past results we know that it will eb a tough match.

"WE have a squad made up 80 per cent of new players and they are not ready for this level.Getting a point out of this match would be very good," concluded Razip.

Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 

 

 



Monday, April 7
DPMM FC crush Young Lions in style.

DPMM FC are back to winning ways in the Singapore League.

The Brunei team shrugged off a slow start to demolish the Young Lions 6-1 in the Singapore League last night.

Both forwards - Roy O'Donovan and Rordigo Tosi - got on the scoresheet twice in the lopsided victory at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

DPMM FC didn't look like themselves in the opening exchanges and the visitors took the lead in the 23rd minute after Sherif El-Masri's deflected shot went pass Wardun Yussof.

Azwan Ali Rahman had an opportunity to tie things up but his shot was cleared off the line in the 30th minute.

Thr ensuing corner was punched out by the Young Lions keeper Syazwan Bahari to have it land at the feet of an unmarked O'Donovan who fired in the equaliser.

The Irishman found the back of the net again the next minute but this time was whistled for offside.

Tosi put the home team infront just before the break after heading a long ball from captain Rosmin Khamis in the 40th minute.

DPMM cam out aggresively after the break with Tosi getting back-to-back chances.

He fired just wide in the opening minute after the restart and then headeda Rosmin cros just over the bar the next possession.

It was in the 56th minute when Croatain midfielder Roberto Alviz rifled home his shot from inside the box to make it 3-1.

Tosi notched his second of the night six minutes later after he rounded his defender to put the ball past Syazwan.

Tosi should have bagged a hat-trick in the 68th minute but only could shoot over the bar.

The brazilain was give another opportunity in the 74th minute just before getting substituted by Shahrazen Said,but the Young Lions put another superb save to deny him.

O'Donovan added to the scoreline in the 87th minute after heading home a cross from Shahrazen.

The DPMM marquee should have notched his hattrick in the 90th minute but saw his effort saved by Syazwan.

Azwan Ali Rahman got his name on the scoresheet in injury time to complete the rout.

DPMM FChead coach Steve Kean was delighted with the win despite squandering multiple chances on adding to the scoreline.

"I'm satisfied with the three points but we could have scored more and get a couple of hattricks.We created a lot of chances and we will have to improve on our finishing,"said Kean after the triumph.

The good thing is the goal difference because it can be worth a point later on the season," he added.

Asked about the chances Tosi was getting in front of goal, Kean replied: "In defence of Rodrigo,he was not 100 per cent fit.We took a chance to play him despite having a tight calf."

Young Liosn head coach Aide Iskandar flet they were simply outplayed by their opponents.

"We were up against a quality team and we needed to improve our defending," said Aide.

"We lacked focus but we showed that we can play in the first half. But football is played over 90 minutes. They deserved the win." 

 



Sunday, April 6
DPMM out to tame Young Lions.

DPMM will not take anything for granted against the Young Lions in their league match tonight.

Despite their disparity in the stndings,DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean feels that these are the kind of matches which proved to be more challenging.

"I always think that these games are in a strange way just as difficult... if not, more difficult than playing against top teams at the top of the league," said Kean in an interview with the Times yesterday at the Mini Stadium. 

"We maybe better on paperbut we all know that games are not won on paper.We will respect the other team and make sure we give them that," he said.

"They are a team filled with young players who will be eager to impress and try to get results.

"We muxt try to grab control of the game as early as wecan.If we play anywhere near like against Tampines then I'm sure we will do well," continued the former Blackburn Rovers coach.

Asked if there were any defensive concerns, Kean replied: "I think the beauty of the first three games is that not only the back four were playing as defenders.

"We were stopping the ball before it got to the back four. Defence starts from strikers and we need to get back to pressing the ball high up the pitch.

"We have not allowed many shots at goal.Last match we allowed one target but it went in. Those stats show we are defending well as a team," he added.

"I actually thought there was a foul on Wardun and normally we would get it but unfortunately we didn't," continued Kean.

DPMM have got plenty of firepower upfront with Rodrigo Tosi, who have four to his name, and marquee signing Roy O'Donovan.

However Kean believes there is plenty of work still to be done.

"We have been working on our finishing all week.I think we get s little bit excited in front of goal.

"We have been practicing on being composed in front of goal. We keep creating and we should and scoring more than we have," added Kean.

On the other hand, Young Lions head coach Aide Iskandar feels that his charges are nothing to lose against the Brunei-side.

"We are the underdogs but we will go out to do our best.We know that they are a strong team and this will be a good test for the Young Liosn to go up against a Quality side," said Aide.

"They have a good striker force with Tosi and Roy upfront as well as a good midfield.

"I challenge my boys for a strong performance.They will need to stay focus and compete throughout the whole match," he added.

"Getting one point of the gamer is already a good result considering we are playing away in Brunei.Getting three would definitely a bonus,"concluded Aide.

Spectators stand a chance to win return air tickets to Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur sponsored by Royal Brunei airlines.

Kick-off is at 8.15pm. 

 



Saturday, March 29
DPMM FC held by Geylang.

DPMM FC remain second in the league after being held to a 1-1 draw by Geylang at th  eBedok Stadium in Singapore last night.

Geylang, who lost their first three games of the season but now have picked up a win and a draw after the arrival of German coach Jorg Steinbrunner, are still 10th in the league.

Geylang got in front in the 16th minute through Yuki Ichikawa, who scored after lashing the ball into the back of the net after a freekick which DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof was unable to claim.

DPMM hit back immediately through Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi who bagged a team-leading fourth goal via a 21st minute free-kick.

Geylang's Hafiz Nur came close to giving the hosts the lead with a shot from outside the box which went past the post just before the hour-mark, with DPMM coach making two quick-fire changes in the space of four minutes.

Kean first hauled off midfielder Azwan Ali for Najip trif in the 64th minute and introduced striker Shahrazen Said for Tosi in the 68th minute.

Ten minutes later it was Sahrulrizal Rahman in for Abd Aziz Tamit, and DPMM were able to hold out until the 90th minute when Geylang goalie Joey Sim produced a reflex save to keep out what would have been a sure goal by DPMM's Irish striker Roy O'Donovan.

"Its probab;y a fair resultcause I thought Geylang were better than us in the first ha;f and we were better than then in the second," said Kean after the match.

"The chance at the end was a good as any in the match...Great save from the goalkeeper.

"Credit to Geylang, they changed their system and played a 4-2-3-1 and stried to stretch us in the first half and wemade it difficult for us when we had the ball.

"But when we adjusted we matched them up and we had a great chance at the the very end to win it with Roy.

"Taking in all things,that's another point and gets us back in a positive mindset of picking up points,". 

 



Friday, March 28
DPMM FC ready to bounce back today.

It will take more than a six-point Tampines lead at the top of the league to worry DPMM captain Rosmin Khamis.

Three time defending league champions, Tampines sent out another strong sign to their title challengers by coming back froma two goal deficit to beat Harimau Muda B 3-2 last night -denying their first points if the season after a dramatic turn-around in which they scored all three of the goals in the last 5 minutes.

"I don't think there's more pressure on us, we just have to focus on winning,"Rosmin told the Time yesterday."The most important thing is how we react after last week's defeat," he said.

"Its very important to win since we need to get back to our winning ways.

"Every team will concede goals, we just need to bounce back.

 "We needed to take our chances that night and I'm sure we would have won, but we need to live with it and need to keep going and forget about the loss," he added after seeing the team's three-game winning streak coem to an end.

Geylang have been the exact opposite.

After losing their first three games, Geylang notched a slim 1-0 win over Young Lions in theit last gaem snd will enter tonight's tie against DPMM with a spring in their step.

The game against the Young Lions was the first match in charge for Jorg Steinebrunner, who replaced V.Kanan in the Geylang hotseat, and the German's arrival seemed to have motivated the Eagles enough for them to grab their first points of the campaign.

"They have a new coach from Germany and they won their last match, so it won't be easy for us,"admitted Rosmin.

Perhaps adding more pressure on DPMM, though Rosmin won't agree,is tonight's other match which pits 5th placed Balestier against third-placed Warriors.

A win for either for the two sides, combined with dropped points for DPMM, could see them slide to third.

But in a season which is only 5 games in, it will take more than that to give Rosmin any sleepless nights. 

 



Monday, March 24
DPMM FC heartbroken.

DPMM FC failed to break their Tampines Rovers curse as they were denied ao victory by the woodwork twice.

Brunei's only professional football team succumbed to the three-time defending chsmpions 2-1 heatbreak in their S-League match at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

They remain winless against Tampines in all five meetings - two of which have ended in draws anf this is the third time the Singaporeans found the back of the net late in the game.

It was also Steve Kean's first defeat of the season and also the first time they let in a goal, which the Stags leaping over DPMM to take sole possession of the top.

DPMM put up a dominant showing but were made to pay the price for wasting their chances upfront, with skipper Rosmin Khamis and Roy O'Donovan both having attempts rattle the posts within two minutes of each other.

Kean was disappointed with the outcome as he believed they should have walked away with all three points.

"I'm disappointed because we did enough to win...I would have even been disappointed with a draw," said Kean in an interview with the media after the match.

"We created enough to win two games.

"We were on top, hit the post twice and even had a chance for a penalty.We needed to be more ruthless to score and could have gotten full points,

"I'm disappointed with the second goal as we should have put more pressure on the ball," continued the former Blackburn manager.

DPMM started the match strongly and deservingly took the lead through Roberto Alviz in the seventh minute when Joseoh Gamble set up a trailing Alviz to rocket home his shot past Tampines keeper Hyrulnizam Juma'at.

There was an appeal for handball from DPMM's marquee signing O'Donovan when he has his shot blocked by Norihiro Kawakami three minutes later.

Tampines began to settle down and had their only chance through Shahdan Sulaiman in the 20th minute, though his deflected shot was saved by Wardun.

O'Donovan had a good strike in the 39th minute but Hyrulnizam put up a good save.

The former Sunderland player had another chance the next minute after connecting on an Azwan Ali Rahman cross  but was denied by Hyrulnizam's fingertips.

Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi rose the highest on another Azwan cross in the 44th minute but failed to hit the target.

Tampines didn't get many chances but pounced once given.

The Stags equalised through Miljan Mrdakovic after a failed clearance by the home side in the 56th minute.

The Tampined marquee signing got behing the defence and easily slotted it past Wardun for his fifth of the campaign.

DPMM almost responded immediately through O'Donovan in the 58th minute but Hyrulnizam once again saved it.

Tampines, who had used all their 3 substitutes by then, were basically down to ten men after Abdil Qaiyyim picked up an injury in the 63rd minute.However the defender would stay on the pitch for th remainder of the game.

Wardun had to coem up with back-tp-back saves in the 65th minute to prevent Tampines from adding to the scoresheet.

Tosi had  good chance in the 70th minute with his shot going across goal,with O'Donovan only able to hit the side netting.

DPMM looked to have gain the lead in the 72nd minute but Rosmin Khamis saw his shot off the post.

Two minutes later Rosmin has his attempt saved before O'Donovan pounced on the rebound denied by the post once again.

It was heartbreak later on as Shahdan struck in the 89th minute to complete the Tampines comeback.

DPMM looked to have salvaged a point on minute into injury time after O'Donovan scored,but the striker was flagged for offside.

 

 

 



Sunday, March 23
DPMM FC out to break Tampines curse.

DPMM FC are unfazed by their next challenge and are looking to break tradition.

Brunei's only professional fooball team are gunning for their first win against three-time defending champions Tampines Rovers in the league today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

DPMM have never beaten the Stags after recording two draws and two losses in their four meetings. 

The top of the table clash- with  both teams levelled on nine points with three consecutive wins - will be the biggest test fo DPMM head coach Steve Kean thus far.

The former Blackburn Rovers manager beleives that they have a strong chance on claiming their first victory over the Stags.

"The expectations for us are the same for every game.We think we are in a position where we can go on to win this game," said Kean in an interview during a training session yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"What everybody sees is that we have progressively gotten better.

"Now we are up against a very good opponent which we will give a lot of respect to, but it is on our hoem ground," added Kean.

More impressively is that DPMM have kept cleansheets in their opening three triumphs over Albirex, Warriors and Home Utd.

Goalkeeper Wardun Yussof have said previously that they can win the game as long as they keep a cleansheet and his head coach agrees.

"Yes I do.I believe we have got enough attacking players on our side which will look us over to create chances and score goals," said Kean.

My biggest focus from preseason until now is to be defensively compact and really determined.

"Not just Wardun and defenders but everybody when we lose the ball.

"We put pressure high up the pitch that has kept the ball away from goal for longer periods of time," added the Scot.

Tampines came off a 3-1 victory over the Indian side Pune FC in the AFC Cup at the Jalan Besar Stadium last Wednesday.

Kean felt that the match is a double edged sword for Tampines.

"They got a great result on Wednesday and I think that will give them a lot of confidence on the positive side," said Kean.

"On the negative side, it is their second game of the week.No doubt that would take a lot out of them,"he added.

"We are looking to play at a high tempo and dictate pace of game.Confidendce is game but we have to be careful not to be over.We are at the right level at the moment," continued Kean.

Forward Roy O'Donovan is also in confident mood and is looking on the scoresheet again after opening his account with two goals against Home Utd.

"I'm looking forward to tomorrow (Sunday).It should be a great occasion.This is a good test for the evolving DPMM team against an experienced Tampines team," said O'Donovan.

"Experience is as good as youth and speed. There will be two differing styles and hopefully football is the winner," added the former Sunderland striker.

His partner upfront, Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi, has found the back of the net in all the matches and is hoping to keep his form.

"I hope I can keep on scoring as I want to help the team in any way.Most important is the victory.It doesn't matter who scores Roy or anyone else...even Wardun,"said Tosi.

"I remember our last match(where DPMm was thrashed 6-2 at home in August)and I want to erase from my mind.That is from the past year and now we're in a new team with a different mentality," he added.

We're confident.Football is crazy and anything can happen. Both are good teams but we're looking to get a win at home," continued the Brazilian.

Tampines head coach Salim Moin is hoping to get a positive result out of the encounter and will be banking on striker Milijan Mrdakovic, the current top-scorer with four to his name , to lift the team.

"We're hoping for a good result.DPMM are in a good situation, having won three in a row under their new coach,"said Salim. 

"I have watched them.They showed team unity and are working as a unit.

"We have just completed a hectic schedule and are coming off a tough game."

"The resting period is inadequate as we played on artificial pitch.It normally takes 2-3 days to recover," added the Stags coach.

"Right now he (Mrdakovic) has good confidence and hopefully he will continue to score,Tomorrow (Sunday) will be exciting,"he concluded.Kick off is at 8.15pm. 



Saturday, March 22
Tampines field test next.

DPMM FC are looking to erase their bad memories against the Tampines Rovers.

Brunei's only professional club will face their biggest match so far in the Steve Kean era as they host the three-time defending champions in the Singapore League tomorrow at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Both teams have won their opening three games of the season with nine points each to their name in the 12-team table.

However,DPMM have yet to get on the winning end against the Stags with two draws and two losses in their past meetings.

Their last meeting in August was one to forget as they handed a 6-2 thrashing at home, with Aleksandar Duric firing a hat-trick.

Captain Rosmin Khamis, though, has already forgotten their last encounter and is focussed on the present.

"I don't even remember the last time we met," said Rosmin in an interview yesterday.

"It will be a big match since both teams have had a good start to the season and we'll be playing to win.

"I think they are also worried about us since we also have form strikers in Rodrigo and Roy.

"They are working hard upfront and both deserved to score against Home Utd.

"I also want to credit all the players for that win and it will be an entertaining match this Sunday.

"I also hope that many football fans will come to support the team as it will be an extra boost for the players," continued Rosmin.

Goalkeeper Wardun Yussof believes that they have got what it takes to barge into the win column against the Stags.

"In Kean we trust...As his tactics always work.

"It will be a tough game though.If we defend good like the last three games and keep a clean sheet, then we will win the game.

"The goals will come because our attackers are good enough to score goals. I hope in this game against Tampines,our players will give 101% until the final whistle," continued the DPMM custodian.

Left back Sairol Sahri didn't play the last encounter but knows that teamwork is the important thing if they are to finish as winners.

"Tampines are a very good team.For me as a defender,we just hasve to keep our momentum on how we have been playing and work together a sa team,"said Sairol.

"I don't mind who we play against.We just have to work hard in every game we play, and it is going to be an exciting match since both teams have not loss," concluded the left back.

Kick off is at 8.15pm. 



Saturday, March 15
O'Donovan double sends DPMM top.

Brunei DPMM signaled their title intent after topping the S-League table on Friday night by convincingly beating Home United 3-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Steve Kean's side their 100% record in the league as they won their third game in a row, having yet to concede a single goal so far.

The foreign contingent for DPMM were the stars of the show as former Sunderland striker Rory O'Donovan bagged a brace while Rodrigo Tosi maintained his fine early season form with hs third goal in as many games.

After a cautious opening period, it was the Protectors who carved the first real opportunity on 15 minutes. Fazli Ayobchipped the ball to Syahiran Miswan, who slammed a half-volley into the side-netting.

DPMM came close to breaking the deadlock a few minutes later after Rosmin Khamis's long ball was chested by Tosi into the path of O'Donovan, but his first-time volley smashed against the upright.

However, O'Donovan was not to be denied again as on 25 minutes. Joe Gamble's perfext cross found the Irishman, who made no mistake as he powered a header into give the Bruneian outfit the lead.

Nine minutes later, Gamble found Tosi as DPMM raced away on a counter-attack and the Brazilin feinted his marker before cracking a 25-yard shot that beat Shahril Jantan at the near post.

Home did try to get back as Fazli Ayob saw his effort get headed off the line, byt they were unabel to break down the resilient DPMMs' defense.

O'Donovan scored his second of his evening just after the hour mark as Tosi turned provider with his cross to the far post, where the 28-year old make no mistake from five yards with a simple header.

DPMM manager Steve Kean fired a warning to the other teams in the league after the match, saying that there is still room for improvement for his team despite their perfect start of their season.

"I think we can play better," he said after at the post-match press conference.

"We showed from the first game we managed to win, and we managed to win the second game too, Home is a good side, but I think there's more to come for us.

I've said from day one that we're assembling a squad to challenge for the title. The local players I've seen are very good, there's a lot of room for development. The foreign players we've brought in have fit in and adapted to what we've already got."

The former Blackburn manager also indicated that Home's involvement the AFC Cup earlier in the week was a "massive reason" for the team's lack of intensity against his side.

"Its not easy to play in the S.League and AFC Cup with a lot of injuries," Aidil lamented.

"WE have a big squad, but a lot of our key players were injured. I think we were second to everything on the Brunei played very well, closing down our key players.It might be fatigue, most if them might not have had enough recovery."

Still Aidil is optimisitc that once his players return from their injuries, they would be able to mount a greater fight for the title.

"Definitely, the coach (Lee Lim Saeng) is disappointed with the result, like everyone else in the team, but we can't look back, we have to look forward now," he said.

"Its too early to talk about title becaue its a very long season. We're not thinking of the title now. We want everybody to get fit, and then we can climb up the table as high as possible."

 

 



Friday, March 14
DPMM hungry for third win in a row

DPMM FC captain Rosmin Khamishas called on his teammates to fire themselves up ahead of tonight's league match against Home United.

Third in the tabel and just one point behind the leaders Balestier Khalsa and second-placed Hougang, DPMM FC are gunning for their straight third win to continue their flying start to the Steve Kean era - but Rosmin knows the outing against the Protectors are always tough ones.

"What we need is passion and take every chance that we are given" said Rosmin in an interview with the Brunei Times ahead of the game at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

"It is going to be difficult since they managed good results in their last two matches and I won't say that we are confident but we just need to play together as a team like we did in the last two matches.

"We also will have to maintain what we do best and try to avoid making mistakes," he added yesterday.

Asked what to watch out for against Home, the captain replied: "Honestly I don't know much about them."

"I only know they have made changes to the team this year and they have taken some good players from around the league.

"I watched their first match against Tampines Rovers on television. They are a very good passing teamand they like to go forward every time." continued the midfielder who got on the scoresheet in the 2-0 result against the Warriors.

DPMM FC's defence will be the key once again as they have kept clean sheets in their first two matches- and are the only side in the 12-team league yet to let in a goal.

Left  back Sairol Hj Sahri, who returned to the squad at the start of the year after a meniscus tear to his right knee last August, also knows they are up against some stiff opposition.

"We just need to play our normal game.I know that it is going to be hard but we will try our best," said Sairol.

"So far the season has gone well. We want to keep the momentum going and help each other in keeping a clean sheet.

"We have to watch out for all of them(Home players) because we never know what will happen in football.We must be alert at all times and I can say that we will try our best to grab points out of the game," he concluded.

DPMM FC will once again be banking on in-form Brazilian striker Rodrigo Tosi, who got his name on the score-sheet in both matches, to lead the charge. He will partner marquee signing Roy O'Donovan- who has yet to open his account with the club. Fan favourite Shahrazen Said is still in search of his first start. 

 



Friday, March 7
Tosi providing DPMM FC's spark.

DPMM FC find themselves at the top of the Singapore League and it is largely thanks to Rodrigo tosi.

The Brazilain found the back of the net twicein as many games tolift DPMM to the summit of the 12-team table.

Tosi scored the only goal from the penaly spot for a 1-0 victory over Albirex Niigata at the Jurong East Stadium on February 22 to gibe head coach Steve Kean a winning debut in the league.

Brunei's only professional team followed that up with a 2-0 triumph over Warriors FC in their first home match at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium last Friday.

Tosi scored from outside the box for the lead just three minutes after the restart and created the second for captain Rosmin Khamis just before the final whistle.

Rosmin's first attempt, after a one-two with Tosi, hit the post before he pounced on the rebound to kill off the Warriors' hopes of a comeback.

The humble 31-year old didn't want to take all the credit but instead credited everyone on the team to their good start of the season.

"It is a good start for everyone.The team is doing well because we are working hard together. That is the difference," said Tosi in an interview yesterday.

"It is not a one player team. I'm getting the goals because I'm playing as a striker now. I hope that the good form continues," he added.

"I'm enjoying myself playing up front since I'm nearer to th goal. I always try to shoot and hopefully I can continue to do well," concluded Tosi, who is in his second spell with the club after a stint during the 2005/2006 Malaysian Super League campaign.

DPMM FC will play their next  game against Home United at the Jlaan Besar Stadium in Singapore next Friday. 



Friday, March 7
Azwan, Shahrazen adjusts to life on the bench.

DPMM have donned a new look under former Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean.

The DPMM FC head coach didn't start the duo of striker Shahraen Said and midfielder Awan Salleh in their last two matches in the league.

Despite their absence in the starting 11, Brunei's only professional club notched wins against Albirex Niigata and Warriors FC respectively to lead the 12-team table.

Both are unfamiliar territory as they were regulars on the starting 11 under the former head coach Vjeran Simunic.

Shahrazen has been left out of a spot up front as Rodrigo Tosi, who previously played as a midfielder, has been moved to the striker position.

The move has paid off as the latter has found the back of the net in both the games.

The Brazilian is partnered by marquee signing Roy O'Donovan up front leaving Shahrazen on the bench.

On the other hand,AzwanAli Rahman is getting the start over Azwan Salleh as the left midfielder.

Azwan Salleh has at least come on for some minutes in both those matches in the second half but Shahrazen has clocked over the 2 games.

The latter is affected with no playing time but keeps a positive attitude.

"I feel that my morale has gone down a little since I was always on the pitch as the first 11 over the past two seasons," said Shahrazen in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

"But come to think of it, I'm sure there will be chances to play," said the 28-year old.

"I will remain patient and watch our import strikers score goals for the time being," continued Shahrazen, who finished as joint top scorer of the 2006/7 Malaysian Super League (MSL) season with 21 goals.

 Azwan Salleh too remains positive and will take all the chances he is given once on the pitch.

"We have a new coach and his decision is to play Azwan Ali.It is good for the team," said Azwan Salleh.

"I'm keeping positve even though I want to play. There is nothing negative and I will make full use whenever I get the chance to play," he added.

Most important is that the team wins. I'm ready to play anytime off the bench,"concluded the 25-year old.

 



Sunday, March 2
Warriors: We had no luck.

Warriors FC coach Alex Weaver believes his team did not deserve to leave the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium empty-handed following Friday's 2-0 league defeat to DPMM.

Captain Rosmin Khamis sealed the win for DPMM after scoring the second goal in the 89th minute when he made a beautiful run to latch onto a through ball from Rodrigo Tosi.

Rosmin would striker the right post in his first attempt but made no mistake in his second by slamming the ball into the net,past the goalkeeper.

The first goal saw Tosi's shot from outside the box deflect off Warriors captain Daniel Bennett and into the net, with Weaver blaming the striker on bad luck.

"Luck can be the reason for winning and losing, but you saw the goal that we conceded and from my point of view we were quite unlucky," said the Warriors coach.

"DPMM had a couple of chances , we had some chances.

"They scored a deflected goal and we let in another goal in the end, so it was again a bit unlucky for us and we were extremely disappointed to coem away from here haaving lost the game,"he said.

"They hit us on the counter attack for the first goal.

"We thought we had things under control and Bennett made the tackle and Tosi got the bounce of the ball and the shot... Hassan thought he got that covered," added the coach.

"He(Hassan) was rising but the ball got deflected and looped over him.Hassan is a very good goalkeeper and that was quite unfortunate."

"We had some cjances in the half in and around the penalty area, and it was just a matter of getting the players at the end of all the crosses.

"We made a few changes tactically from last week and it was working well until we conceded the deflected goal - and the momentum changed after that," he added.

Moving forward ,Weaver said that next week's international break will provide his players so much needed time to recover and prepare for their next game agianst Harimau Muda B.

Former Scotland Under-21 international Kevin McCann was hauled-off midway through the second half to make way fror Zulfadli Emran.

Weaver explained that the decision to take out the midfielder stemmed from an injury concern.

"We will have a rest day because of the international break which is good.

"We've got a couple of injuries now and hopefully all those guys will be back and get ready for Harimau Muda on March 12," added Weaver. 



Saturday, March 1
DPMM FC down Warriors.

DPMM FC continue to impress under the guidance of newly appointed coach Steve Kean following their comfortable 2-0 win Warriors FC last night at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium last night.

DPMM currently sit on top of the Singapore League table with a maximum of six points from two games.

The club has now scored three goals, with Rodrigo Tosi providing much of the firepower.

He scored the only goal in their 1-0 win against Albirex last week and he opened the scoring three minutes into the second half last night.

Captain Rosmin Khamis sealed the three points with DPMM's second in the 83rd minute.

The first chance of the game fell to the visitors when the midfielder Miroslav Peljic dribbled past Sairol Sahri on the right flank.

Pejic then set his team-mate Nicholas Velez through the ball but the striker fired the shot wide.

Another move from the right initiated the Warriors/ right back Jeremy Chang caused panic to the DPMM backline but Veelez once again failed to find the target.

DPMM had their own chance few minutes later when Toi flicked the ball for striker Roy O'Donovan but Warriors' defender Zulfadli Zainal was quick to put out the danger.

Both teams matched up evenly in the first half but a rejuvenated DPMM would establish dominance in the second half.

The restart saw DPMM adopting a more aggressive play style.

It did not take long for Tosi to break the deadlock, his shot from outside the box deflecting offcaptain Daniel Bennett and into the net.

Roberto Alviz put on a commendable performance, his tirely work ethic closed down the midfield,disrupting the play of Warriors' Dharham Aziz and Kevin McCann, the latter replaced midway in the second half.

Tosi had the chance to score his second of the night at the hour mark but his shot went straight into the hands of Warriors' goalkeeper Hassan Sany.

O'Donovan looked to have scored his debut goal for DPMM but his attempt was judged to have been offside.

DPMM were then denied a penalty when O'Donovan appeared to have been brought down by Shia Jiayi in the penalty box.

Captain Rosmin Khamis would fire his volley wide a minute following a cross from Hj Subhi from the left.

The captain eventually found  the net in the final minute of the game when he made a beautiful run to latch onto a through ball from Tosi - who scooped the ball over the Warriors' defence line.

Rosmin struck the right post in his first attempt but made no mistake in his second slamming the ball into the net.

"We had a very good goal that I think was not an off-side. We got a big claim for penalty that was not given, but we just got on with the game," said DPMM coach Steve Kean after the match.

"The second half was better ... We trusted each other with the ball."

"Boris Raspudic was exceptional tonight, he is a tough defender, the one who lokes to defend and tackle," said Kean when asked who was DPMM's best player of the night. 



Friday, February 28
DPMM FC play Warriors tonight.

DPMM FC will be looking to build on their good start to the S-League season when they take on Warriors FC in their first home game of the campaign tonight.

The club have been reinvingorated by the arrival of former Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean during the close season, and they were able to snap a three-game losing streak to Albirex Niigata (S) in their S-League opener last week.

As if their 1-0 win at the Jurong East Stadium wasn't enough of a statement, Kean used his post-match conference to announce DPMM FC's title bid on two fronts -  the S-League and Singapore Cup.

Though it may be too ealry to confirm if DPMM are really championship contenders, club captain Rosmin Khamis sais the team have been boosted byt their victory against the Japanese outfit-  and all they need to do now is to be consistent.

"We've got a different coach and he has brought in different methods, and it has worked out so far and the win against Albirex has given us confidence," he told the Brunei Times ahead of tonight's clash at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

"The difference now is that we are more compact and have more movement, and we just need to keep up with the good workwe did against Albirex," added the 32-year old midfielder yesterday.

Record 8-time S-League winners Warriors also got their their season off to a wiining start by beating Geylang 2-1 last week, holding on to the 3 points despite Croatian defender Marin Vidosevic's red card in the 81st minute.

"We'll be weary of DPMM but we're not here just to make up the numbers," warned Warriors' coach Alex Weaver, who took over from V.Selvaraj midway through last season.

"This is DPMM's first home game of the season and there will be good crowdand great atmosphere.

"We've got a very offensive team and with the players we've got , the game should be quite exciting.

"We've signed some string midfielders this season- Kecin McCann,Thomas Beattie,Miroslav Pejic, Md Hafiz Md Nor- and I'm sure that people would have been pleased with our display against Geylang." 



Monday, February 24
Hungry DPMM eye 1st S-League title.

DPMM FC captain Rosmin Hj Khamis believes that the club's new signings ca help them win their first Singapore League title this season.

Brazilain Rodrigo Tosi converted a first half penalty to lift DPMM FC to a 1-0 vicotry over Albirex Niigata.

The match featured all the club's new imports - striker Roy O'Donovan, defender Boris Raspudoc and midfielders Joseph Gamble and Roberto Alviz.

"It is only the beginning of the seasonbut it is very good sign and it is also good for us to beat against Albirex away from home," said Rosmin in an interview yesterday.

Newly appointed coach Steve Kean echoed the skipper's comments.

Singapore's goal.com reported that the coach already has his sights set on the trophy.

"We'd like to win the [Singapore]Cup and the league, and I think that would be a good season." Kean was quoted as saying.

"They[the management] wants to win the championship.For the next two years, we have committed to the league and they want to win it for the next two years.I believe we have assembled a squad not only do that but do it in the cup competition," he said at the post-match conference.

Striker Shahrazen Said and Wardun Yussof were the notable absentees at the Jurong East Stadium on Friday.

DPMM FC star signing, former Sunderland striker O'Donovan had his moments in the game but it was Tosi who made the headlines.

The Brazilian midfielder was brought down by Albirex's Kazuki Kishigami before stepping-up to take and score the penalty in the 15th minute.

"The boss(Steve Kean) was not impressed with how we passed the ball in the game, but he insisted that was important to get a win as all teams will have their good and bad days throughout the season,"said the skipper.

"The new signings performed well in the game and I think they wil play a very important role for the club this season." 

They (new signings) adapted very well and they are also good people and they bring excellent environment in the dressing room."

"If we can continue this until the end of the season , we can win the league title,"he said.

DPMM will host the Warriors at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on Friday. 



Sunday, February 23
Steve Kean targets S.League title after first win.

We want to win the S.League title. That was the message from new Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean on Saturday night, after their win over Albirex Niigata on his debut.

The former Blackburn Rovers manager, who arrived to take charge of the club in November last year, stated his aim to challenge for the league crown at the post-match conference at the Jerong East.

"We'd like to win the [Singapore] Cup and the League, I think that would be a good season," Kean declared.

"They (the management) want to win the championship.For the next two years, we have committed to the league and they want to win it for the next two years. I believe we've assembled a squad that can not only do that, but do it in the cup competitions."

"I wasn't particularly pleased with the way we passed the ball, I think we can pass it much better," he acknowledged.

"But I think we showed taht we've got discipline when we don't have the ball. I've said to the lads after the game that if you look at any team that wins the championship, there would be many games where they don't play to their maximum and get points.

"ANd I think thats what we've done today and we've got much, much more to come."

The Scot's confidence came from what he's seen on his side since taking over, with new foreign signings Boris Raspudic, Roy O'Donovan and Joe Gamble looking assured on their debuts.

"Roy's come in and only had few training sessions, it's difficult to get a partnership so quickly but he's a good football player and I'm sure he'll get a good understanding with Rodrigo," he pointed out.

I've got good import players this year,very good. I think the local players have worked really hard for the last six weeks and they've improved in every area so we are confident we'll have a good season."

Kean is aware that his task won't be easy, having witnessed a few pre-season friendlies and watched ome of last season's ones on tape since his arrival.

"I've seen tonight that Albirex are a very technical team, they try and move the ball and get it one-on-one in the wide areas and I thought they played really well and that's the standard we are gonna come up against then its gonna be a tough season," he acknowledged.

"I amhere to help the players, here to help the club...if we can keep everybody fit and get the understanding that I know we can, I think we can have a very good season."

Kean will be looking to continue his team's winning ways when they take on Warriors FC at home on Friday. 

 



Sunday, February 23
Kean off to winning start.

Steve Kean bagged a winning debut as DPMM FC head coach after guiding the team to a 1-0 victory in the S-League yesterday.

Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi converted a first half penalty to lift Brunei's only professional team to a 1-0 victory over Albirex Niigata at the Jurong East Stadium.

The Brazilian striker was brought down by Albirex custodian Kazuki Kishagami before stepping up to take the spot kick in the 15th minute.

DPMM FC goalkeeper,Azman Ilham, who sttod in for the suspended Wardun Yussof,protected the scoreline for the team with a string of brilliant saves to keep a clean-sheet.

DPMM FC star signing, former Sunderland striker Roy O'Donovan, came clos to putting his name on the score sheet in the second half but saw his header bounce wide.

The victory put DPMM joint top with three-time defending champions Tampines Rovers who edged Home Utd 1-0 in the curtain raiser on Friday.

DPMM next host the Warriors at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas. 



Saturday, February 22
Kean era kicks off today.

Fans can expect a new style of play from DPMM FC when Brunei's premier club kick-off the Steve Kean era by taking on Albirex Niigata in their S-League season opener today.

Talk of the former Blackburn manager's move to the S-League in November created huge buzz, and the Scotsman - who is the highest profile coach in the league - will be looking to stamp his mark on the team after taking over from Vjeran Simunic - who led the club to two Singapore League Cups and a runners-up finish in 2012.

During his first meeting with local media in November, Kean promised to shape a stronger defensive unit, but not at cost of the team's attacking instinct, saying that "When you lose ball, everyone is a defender."

It is evident that Kean expects his players to press the ball more and put a stop to letting in late goals, which was one of the factors that contributed to the team's eigth place finished last season.

"We'll be moving the ball around a lot more quicker this season with one, two, three passes...So other teams will find it hard to get the ball off us," Kean revealed during a training session this week.

"We've been working on closing down spaces in training... When to press and when to drop down," he explained.

Except for goalkeeper Wardun yussof, who was sent off against Harimau Muda B in their second last game of last season, all the other players are available to play.

Training at the Jerudong Mini Stadium has been less physical-based over the past few days, with Kean instead focusing on the team's tactical play, set plays and free kicks leading up to today's tie.

Praising his players' fitness as "excellent", Kean knows the team must have enough gas in its tanks to last for 90 minutes if they are to maintain their flavour of play that Kean wants to serve.

"Its a tough fixture list," admitted Kean.

"All the team have improved from last season, so I think there will be no easy games," predicted the former academy director at Fulham and Reading.

Albirex's head-to-head record with DPMM FC points to them as favourites tonight, with the Japanese club winning their last three meetings and DPMM the two games before that.

Like Kean, Albirex's coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama will also be making his S-League debut for the club tonight.

Albirex's league standings have preogressed over the years, finishing fourth in 2011 and 2012 and third last season.

This season, though, they aim to go all the way-with the S-League website reporting that the Japanese outfit hope to win the league this year. 

 



Friday, February 21
S-League kicks off with Charity Shield tonight.

The Singapore League(S-League) officially kicks off tonight when defending champions Tampines Rovers takes on Singapore Cup title-holders Home United in the Charity Shield.

The game, which also doubles up as the  

2014 S-League seaspn opener, is set for 7.30pm at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

Tampines, who have won the league and the Charity Shield the past three years,head into the tie as favourites.

Their head-to-head record certainly points towards a Tampines win, with the Stags emerging top in two of their three meetings with the Protectors last year.

Though he knows how important a win will be to make an early statement, Tampines' new head coach Salim Moin also admitted Home will be a tough team to beat - even calling them title contenders.

"I am very excited for the opening game. The fighting spirit must be unleashed against Home because that is very important for a start," he told S-League website.

"My team are tactically prepared and there is motivation everywhere, which is good for team's performance.

"We've been winning the charity shield for the past three seasons and we have to retain it once again.

"My players know what to do and Home Utd is a very good team. They do show some glimpses of champion-material," he added.

Tampines will also be looking for a win to help ease the dissapointment of being knocked out of this month's Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League at the play-off qualifiers by Hong Kong side South China.

Salim though, doesn't think the exit from the continental competition will affect his team;s drive on the national stage.

"It definitely won't affect the rest of the season," said the former Woodlands Wellington coach.

"We had a good chat after the loss.They know what the next task is, which is to do well in the league and go a step further in the region," said Salim.

Home's coach Lee Lim Saeng also acknowledged that the game will be especially important because of the points at stake-  a rarity in the Charity Shield games across the world.

"This is not only a Charity Shield match as it doubles up as a League match," Lee told the S-League website. "This match is very important to us so we will do our best against our opponents," he added.

Both clubs have moved to strenthen their squads this season, with Tampines picking up Serbian forward Miljan Mrdakovic as their marquee signing.

Home, meanwhile, have retained marquee player Lee Kwan Woo while also grabbing former Albirex Niigata (S) FC striker Bruno Castanheira and welcoming back forward Qiu Li for his third spell. 

 

 



Wednesday, February 19
Albirex Niigata (S) eyeing S.League title.

Having missed out on the Great Eastern YEO's S.League title for the past few seasons Albirex Niigata(Singapore) have sounded the war horn and declared their intention to challenge for the championship this year.

Albirex have in recent years steadily improved on their league standings, finishing fourth in 2011 and 2012 before claiming third position last year.

While former coach Koichi Sugiyama is known for his patient build-up of play, new coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama has drilled an attacking mindset into the players which was evident during the pre-season friendlies.

Okuyama holds an 'A' coaching license from the Japan Football Association and was previously the youth coach for Albirex Niigata(Japan) from 2006 to 2008, before being appointed as head coach for Albirex Japan Ladies team in 2008.The club's 2014 target was revealed by club Chairman Daisuke Karenaga during their annaul pre-season kick-off party at the Jalan Besar Stadium to show their appreciation towards their sponsors and partners.

"We participated in the S.League since 2004 and this will be our 11th season. To repay the support from all sponsors and fans, I would like to announce our target for 2014; it's the S.League title," expressed Korenaga, as it was met with thunderous cheers and applause from those present in the event.

"Our players are young and the average age is 23 years old and it is the first time they are travelling out of the country for many of them.

"In Albirex (S), we encourage young Japanese footballers to step up and to get experience here before playing in their home country or else where.This overseas experience will be exciting for their future and our country,Japan," added Korenaga, who also revealed the club new apparel sponsor,Mafro Sports Management.

"We appreciate what Albirex is doing in Singapore, on and off the pitch too. They have contributed to Singapore's football and showed professionalism in the way they managed the club," said Professor Ho.

"Most importnantly, they are building bridges between the young players from Japan and Singapore.You(players) are ambasssadors of Japan here."

Leading the club will the captain Shuhei Hotta who is in his fourth year with the White Swans while Kenjiro Ogino,Shinji Kagawa's former teammate at the J-League outfit Cerezo Osaka, will be their guardin between the sticks.

Several players to look out for in the squad will be the sharp shooter Kazuyuki Sakamoto who extended his stay with the club and new recruits such as Kosuke Matsuda and Keisuke Ota.

Matsuda displayed nifty dribbling feat during pre-seaon while Nagoya Grampus Under-18 player Keisuke Ota constantly caused headache for the opponents with his marauding runs down the flanks and an eye for the goal from the edge of the box.

ALbirex will open the new season against fellow title challengers Brunei DPMM on 22 February at the Jurong East Stadium at 7.30pm. 



Wednesday, February 19
Roy eager to prove himself.

DPMM FC's new marquee signing Roy O'Donovan knows he has his best days ahead of him at the club.

A travelled footballer with experience in the top four tiers of professiona football in England, the ex-Sunderland striker touched down on sunday and joined his new team-mates for his first training session the next day.

The Irishman's arrival means DPMM FC's search for their marquee has ended, and the 28-year old wants to prove just why the club took him as their marquee player for the first time ever.

"I'm 28 and I still have a lot of good years in front of me, and I'm hoping to peak at DPMM FC," said O'Donovan after his second training session with the club yesterday.

"Hopefully people will get to see me at my peak when I'm here, and the good results wil follow," he added.

"Its very different from where I have played before but I needed something fresh, something new, so that's why I think this move is the right thing at the right time."

The former Republic of Ireland Under-21 International looked sharp in training yesterday, and playing off defenders' shoulders, was dangerous with timely runs into the box - calmly slotting home half of the chances afforded to him at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

But its not as if DPMM coach Steve Kean didn't already know what to expect from the striker.

O'Donovan, whose last club was English League Two side Northampton Town, was on trial with DPMM last month before DPMM confirmed his signing last week.

Despite the pressure on his shoulders, the striker - who has also played for Championship sides Blackpool and Coventry City and Scottish Premier League Clubs Dundee United and Hibernian - knows he has to manage everyone's expectations.

"I never put a number on anything," he replied when asked if he had a goal-target for next season.

"I just want to score as much as I can and set up as many as I can...Be a good teammate.

"Its easy to say "We're going to sign this player but at the end of the day,I'm just one component in the team,"he pointed out.

Indeed, O'Donovan joins a team whose local contingent has remained largely intact over the years, with the nucleus of the side remaining the same as their pre-S-League time in 2009.

O'Donovan will have familiar face in midfield and fellow Irishman Joe Gamble, the two having played together for two years at League of Ireland side Cork City.

Though Kean might feel inclined to start O'Donovan for Saturday's season-opener against Albirex Niigata (S) Fc, the coach said he was unsure whether his marquee signing might start or even be on the team lsit come day at the Jurong East Stadium.

"I will have to assess taht over the next few days, but as you can see, he looked sharp in training," said Kean. 

 



Saturday, February 15
Roy O'Donovan signs for Brunei DPMM.

The former League of Ireland championship winner will be playing in the S-League after mutually termianting his contract with Northampton Town on Friday.

Former Sunderland and Northampton Town forward, Roy O'Donovan has finalised his move to S-League side Brunei DPMM, completing the club's roster of foreign players for the upcoming season.

28-year old O'Donovan was exclusively reported by Goal in January to be talsk to join Steve Kean's side and had been in Brunei to undergo a trial. But a deal failed to materialise and the forward finally broke his silence on his earlier u-turn.

"I said no initially becuase I felt, at 28, I was too yooung to turn my back on English football -  but a new manager coming in at Northampton changed things," O'Donovan told Mirror Sport.

Northampton sacked manager Aidy Boothroyd, who had signed the former U-21 international, in December last year and his replacement,Chris Wilder, has since brought on four new stikers to the club.

The Cobblers parted ways with O'Donovan on Friday,Feruary 14, with the club terminating the player's contract on mutual consent.The announcement was made on the official Twitter account of Northampton Town FC.

O'Donovan signed a one-year contract with the Brunei club, filling the club's marquee player lot for the 2014 season. He is joined by former team-mate Joe Gamble, Boris Raspudic, Roberto Alviz and Rodrigo Tosi.

"Its a club on the up," he said of DPMM in his interview with the Mrror Sport."The owner is the Prince so he's in it for the long haul.He's not going anywhere else, unlike an investor who might plough money in and then leave all of a sudde."

"Its a lovely place too, albeit a bit different from what I'm used to! Its a Muslim country so there's no nightlife culture whatsoever- no pubs o clubs. But you have all the usula brands and coffee shops in the malls and if you've been to Dubai before, that'll give you a feel for what its like.

"Its a really exciting adventure. I'm heading over there on Monday and I can't wait for it as I loved the place last month."

O'Donovan also added that the move was 'an adventure', that he had to take before he started a family with wife Ellen, who is also moving to Brunei with the player.

The new season of the S.League starts February 21 with Tampines Rovers taking on Home United in the Charity Shield. Brunei DPMM play the following day in an away fixture against Albirex Niigata (S) at the Jurong East Stadium. 

 

 

 



Friday, February 14
O'Donovan leaves Cobblers after having his contract terminated.

Striker Ray O'Donovan has left the Cobblers after having his contract terminated -and it is being reported he has already signed for Singapore League side Brunei DPMM.

The Irishman put pen to paper on a new two-yeat Sixfields deallast summer,but new manager Chris Wilder has decided he is not in his plans and O'Donovan has departed the club.

And it is being reported that Brunei DPMm have signed O'Donovan as one of their five overseas players after he underwent on trial with the club at the start of the year. 

The 28-year old was brought to Northampton on a short-term deal last January by then manager Aidty Boothroyd.

He proved an instant hit, playing a major role in the club securing a place in the promotion play-offs, and scoring the only goal in the semi-final first leg win over Cheltenham Town at Sixfields.

A misdiagnosis of a hernia problem over the summer led to O'Donovan struggling for form and goals in the early part of the season,before he eventually underwent an operation to rectify the problem in October.

On his return to fitness , the former Sunderland man again struggled to hold down a place in the team, and when Andy King was made caretaker manager following Boothroyd's sacking in December, O'Donivan was allowed to undergo trial to Brunei DPMM.

That trial had seemingly came to nothing at the time and O'Donovan returned to Northampton, but he failed to make a start under new manager Wildr,and was left out of the squad completely for Tuesday's night trp to Torquay United.

Wilder has brought in strikers Alan Connell,Emile Sinclair and John Marquis and O'Donovan has seen himself fallen well down the pecking order.

His most recent start for town was on October 12.

In all,O'Donovan made 29 starts and 6 substitutes appearances for the Cobblers, scoring 8 goals.

He only scored twice this season, in the Capital One Cup defeat to MK Dons in August and the 3-1 Sixfields win over Newport County a few days later.

O'Donovan now looks set to continue his career with DPMM, who are managed by former Blackburn Rovers boss Steve Kean.

"Roy is a speedy player and likes to play off the shoulder of a defender and make runs behind," Kean told the Brunei Times.

"If we have similar striker, two big men, that would be predictable.So with the contrast,we can keep the defenders thinking. 

And he added,"Roy is very fit and conscientious about fitness," said Kean.

"He workd a lot on injury prevention and he can be someone the local players can look up to as a rold model."

DPMM start their S-League campaign against Albirex Niigata next Saturday(Feb 22).

 

 



Friday, February 14
DPMM set for 2014 campaign.

DPMM FC's two new local players are looking to get as much playing time as possible during this season's S-League-though they know that's easier said then done.

The club gathered yesterday to take their team photo for the season at the Jerudong Park Mini Stadium.

Though Maududi Helmi Kasmi is no stranger to the team- he first joined in the 2007 season when  the club was playing in the Malaysian Super League and laced up for another 2 years, but did not get a call-up last season-Hj Md Yusof Hj Mat Yasin is the new face at the club after joining from the ABDB.

Defenders Pg Sallehuddin Pg Damit  and Suhaimee Yuosf join goalkeeper Md Fakhrul Zulhazmi Yusof have not been give contracts for this season, with the club still looking for the third goalkeeper for the season.

Both Muadudi and Hj Yusof know the battle for the place on the team list will be tough - Md Maududi is an attacking midfielder while Hj Md Yussof is aleft back but the duo certainly have the right spirit.

Hj Yussof especially, who finally got a DPMM jersey after being called-up for trials in 2009 and 2012 nut only marking his mark this year.

"Of course, I'm proud to be here," said Hj Yussof yesterday.

"Its going to be hard to get playing time because Sai(Sairol Sahri) is the first choice left back, but I will do all I can to get a place in the match-day squad.

"I got called-up for triald 2 months ago and its good to be in the team.

"Fitting in has been easy since I already know of all the other guys from my time playing with them in the nationals and for other local competitions," added the 28-year old before yesterday's training.

Md Maududi,though faces more competition than just one player,

Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi and Joe Gamble are expected to start in every game,and after adding the fact Azwan Ali Rahman and Najib Tarif also play smilay attacking roles,its easy to see why Maududi knows he will have his work cut out for him.

"It will be hard to get playing time, especially with the imports around- but I might play if someone gets injured," said the 25-year old.

"I can play as a right midfielder, but thats where Joe plays," added Maududi.

But despite all the talk about predicted lack of minutes, neither player seemed downhearted or disappointed.

Competition for a spot has always been difficult, but certainly the pair have the quality required to play in DPMM FC.

Both have played for the junior national team, and at national level, Md Maududi spent time at Majra during his spell away from DPMM.

Taking the S-League by storm maybe too lofty of a goal at the moment, but Hj Yussof and Maududi know they are at the right club to do so. 



Wednesday, February 12
DPMM FC signs Irish striker Roy O'Donovan.

DPMM FC's search for a marquee signing is over after the club yesterday confirmed they will be getting Irish striker Roy O'Donovan.

The former Sunderland striker, who is set to arrive from English League two (fourth division)side Northampton Town, was on trial with DPMM for more than a week last month.

Though club officials could not give a date as to when the 28-year old O'Donovan will join his team-mates, Steve Kean already knows what the striker can provide the team.

"Roy is a speedy player and likes to play off the shoulder of a defender and make runs ebhind," said the DPMM coach yesterday.

"If we have two similar strikers...Two big men...That would be predictable, so with the contrast, we can keep the defenders thinking," he added after yesterday's training session at the Jeruding Mini Stadium.

O'Donovan is expected to join strikers Shahrazen Said and Tosi in Kean's starting-11, with Kean already saying he will be basing his attack around the Brazilian-who was the only import the club retained from last season.

A vastly experienced footballer,O'Donovan has featured in the Scottish Premier League as well as the top 4 tiers of professional football in England.

A former League of Ireland championship winner with Cork City,O'Donovan finished as the to-scorer during the two-year stay with the club from 2005-2007.

He then moved to Sunderland, then under the chahe of countryman Roy Keane, after early interest from Fulham.

He then played at 6 different clubs before moving to Northampton on a free-transfer in January,2013.

Despiye being out of action for 2 months last September after undergoing a hernia operation,Kean said he had no concerns about his newest player's fitness level.

"Roy is very fit, and conscientious about fitness," said Kean.

"He works a lot on injury prevention and he can be someone the local players can look up to as a role model," added the Scotsman.

<any had thought that the club would unveil a marquee player during last Thursday's player ans sponsor signing ceremony, but when ashked on the matter, Kean said the club had no need to rush into things.

"We willt ake our time,however long that takes,until we get the right one(marquee)," he sais in a previous report in the Times.

"The biggest thing is the attitude of the marquee plaer.He has to be here for the right reasons.

"It's more important that he fits in with us, its not the case where whoever is going to come in, we have to change what we have been doing.

"Soemtimes you can be a little bit rushed in your decision making and then sometimes it doesn't work out right,"

DPMM changed imports mid-way through last season, and their fans must be hoping that the move for O'Donovan- and the other imports for that matter-will, as Kean said,"work out right". 



Friday, February 7
DPMM FC ink new deals.

DPMM FC held their annaul player and sponsor signing ceremony for the 2014 Singapore League(S-League) season yesterday.

Four foreign players were among the team of 23 that inked their names onto contracts yesterday, after which representatives from Mitsubishi Corp,Brunei Shell Marketing Co, Maju Motors,DST group, Royal Brunei Airlines,Sri Sentosa and Sports Partnership Pte Ltd also signed on as sponsors.

The ceremony at the Red Jade Room of the Centrepoint Hotel in Gadong was witnessed by DPMM FC vice-chairman YAM Pf Maharaja Setia Diraja Sahibul Irshad Pg Anak Hj  Abdul Rahim.

Gamble-who learnt of DPMM FC through friend George O'Callaghan - made the move to Brunei's most notable football club as he is looking to gain experience playing outside of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

O'Callagahan recommended me to come here because its a very good club with great facilities, and a club that will look after you in terms of the environment that you train in," Gamble told the Brunei Times yesterday.

"Also a big reason for the move was the coach, Steve Kean, as I have know him from my time at(current Championship side) Reading as a youngster from 200-2004," said Gamble.

"So put all together and its new experience for me and one that I don't think I could have said no to.

"Its been very good and tough so far,as pre-seasons are, but we've had a trip to Thailand and the matches we've played were quite good," said the 32-year old.

DPMM FC defeated Nakhon Sri Heritage 3-3 in their first match of the 2014 Phuket Saksee Cup before losing 2-0 to Phuket a day later.

They also showcased their play infront of the home crowd last Friday in a 0-0 draw against Kelantan at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium -  their first home game of the season.

"I think we look good on the field...Very strong and organised,but I think there is still more to come from us," said Gamble.

"I think training has been really good because most of the stuff we have done has been new to the Brunei players...New for me and new for all of us.

"We're trying to get new training ideas and training methods that will hopefully make us better on the pitch, so we will perform better to get better result - which is what we're here for," added Gamble.

Alviz, who is close to reaching his second month with DPMM FC, was recommended through a friend of his agent to try-out with the club.

"I heard many positive things because many Croatian players have played here before, and ex-DPMm coach Vjeran Simunic has also said many positive things about the team,"said Alviz.

"I'll try to do my best and try to play my football. and as I build up my career with them, I hope we can produce good results," added the midfielder.

Raspudic said he is satisfied with how pre-season has gone and think that DPMM FC have a team capable of performing well this season.

"I think we have a good teamto fight with the other teams in the S-League," said Raspudic.

"We have about 18 days to get ready for the season, and I will give 100 per cent of my body to represent this team, myself and my country." 



Friday, February 7
No marquee player? Not a problem for Kean.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean is not worried he doesn't have a marquee import player yet.

Singapore League(S-League) rules allow for maximum of five imports each team, and DPMM have already four.

The transfer window closes on MArch 22, and DPMM start their S-League season a month earlier on Feb 22 against Japanese side Albirex Niigata(S) FC.

Kean, the new DPMM FC coach, blieves he already possesses a balanced side through a mix of young and old local players - as well as the 4 imports that have been already brought in.

"I think we can go all the way but we certainly have a competitive squad," Kean told the press yesterday.

"We will take our time, however long that takes, until we get the right one (marquee).

Kean did admit that its not an ideal situation but "as long as you get the right type", thats all that matters.

"The biggest thing is the attitude of the marquee player.He has to be here for the right reasons," said Kean. 

"Its more important that he fits in with us.Its not a case where whoever is going to come in, we have to change what we have been doing.

"I've always said that he has to be here t play, work and to win.

"Sometimes you can be a little bit rushed inyour decision making and then sometimes it doesn't work out right," said Kean following yesterday's signing ceremony for players and sponsors.

Mitsubishi Corporation,Brunei Shell Marketing Co,Maju Motors,DST Group, Royal Brunei Airlines, Sri Sentosa and Sports Pte Ltd officially signed delas with the club yesterday, the companies maintaining ties with DPMM of that have stretched  back for years.

"We are confident with the way we have been working the way we have been training,"said Kean.

"I've told the guys from day one that we were in this to win the championship.

"I think the fans can see that we're possibly playing a little bit different to how we did lasy year," said Kean.

Kean has put DPMM through three pre-season matches leading up to their S-League opener, playing out one win and one loss to Thailand clubs last month and a goaless draw against Malaysian Super League side Kelantan last week.

"The important thing is to be solid and I think we saw that we went up against Kelantan," said Kean, who after the game, said he would base his attack around Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi.

"Against Phuket (which the team lose 2-0) it was fine.The result wasn't great but the performance was good.

"We had a penalty we thought we didn;t get,which ws just one of those things.

"At that stage the most important thing was the physical side.

"This week, we have been training on the physical loading but after this week we will start to work much more technically and tactically leading up to the first game," added KEan.

Kean will be heading over to Singapore tonight to learn more about Albirex while they take on the Warriors in a friendly.

"I'll be on a spying mission," he jokingly added. 



Saturday, February 1
DPMM set to base attack around Brazilian striker.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean yesterday revealed he will be basing his attack around striker Rodrigo Tosi this season.

Tosi is only one of five import players from the previous season who was offered a new contractto continue with the club this season -  the Brazilian currently in his second stint with the club after spending a year with DPMM during the 2005/2006 Malaysian Super League season.

"The most important thins for us is that our main guy who I want to play as a the striker this year, Rodrigo Tosi, I wanted to try to keep on as long as possible tonight," said Kean after last night's friendly match against Kelantan.

We are also looking our front three(trial players) Frederic Nimani,Nathan Ellington and Andrea Mendoza.

"So because we only had 90 minutes, I spoke to them before the match and told them they all play 30 minutes," said Kean

Shortly after signing his contract, he pointed out that he wanted to work on building a defensively stronger team.

It seems to have worked as he called last night's organisation "excellent"

"The first aspect for this time of the season is fitness.Yesterday we did a double session and make sure that all the players, and not just the ones that played tonight, are all physically ready for the start of the season," he said.

"The second thing that we have been working on is defensive organisation, and I thought tonight the back-four, the goalkeeper  and the midfield four...

"All the organistion behind the ball,you know, was excellent -and it limited the opposition to a few half-chances and  no shots on target, and that's very encouraging.

"And out of the, I don't know how many, maybe 20 shots we had...I was hoping they(the fans) would see one or two goalsbe cause I think we deserved them.

I would really like to publicly thank the fans.

"Its always nice to win but I feel sorry for the fans...They were superb, got right behind the team and we were really positive.I think that energy transmitted to the playersand we were excellent tonight," said Kean adding he might go to watch Albirex in a friendly in Singapore tonight.

Kelantan coach Steve Darby went into the game without expecting to walk away with anything saying that his main objective was to see how his players that had less time on field performed.

"I thought that we would be beaten tonight.I don't mean badly or stupidly," said Darby after the match.

"The results were irrelevant to me, win, lose or draw because we came to look at performances.For us its worth is that our reserves and or young players got 90 minutes.

"The first half, the starting 11...They hadn't played all year.As they tired out in the second half, we had to bring in 3 of our seniors.

"But the first half I thought our goalkeeper were outstanding.I mean you got to be honest,that could have been 4-0.They rose tonight, and I was delighted with their performance.

"You don't know until they play,and this friendly serves the purpose of coming in and doing that job," he said. "They were great.I'm really proud of them and their attitude. The senior players helped the juniors...It was excellent." 

 



Monday, January 27
Ambitious Salim aims for clean sweep,unveils Mrdakovic as Marquee signing.

Reigning Great Eastern Yeo's S-League champions Tampines Rovers are set for a busy and exciting 2014 campaign as they will be challenging for honours in both the domestic and regional competitions.Salim Moin's charges will begin their season by hosting South China AA in the Asian Champions League (ACL) qualifying play-off on 2nd February.

Despite the arduous task ahead of him, Salim is unfazed and believes that they are able to put on a good showing in all competitions that they are playing in. 

Retaining the services of former internationals Aleksandar Duric, Fahrudin Mustafic and welcoming local names like hard-tackling defender Shariff Samat and the versatile Ang Zhi Wei, the Stags have also made the best out of filling their foreign slots.

They have secured the services of Norihiro Kawakami from Geylang United, Paraguayan duo Luis Alberto Closa Gonzales and Roberto Martinez Gamarra and their marquee player Miljan Mrdakovic from Serbia.

"I have a squad full of quality players who can play entertaining football.My two new Parahuayans are ones to look out for.They are creative and love taking shots at goal from distance, just like me in the olden days," the former Singapore international pointed out during the unveiling at tampines Rovers 2014 squad on Thursday evening.

"I would want to try and win all local competitions, and my target for ACL would be making the group stages," added the former Woodlands Wellington coach.

While it may be their time for some in Singapore, the new foreign signings have expressed their delight in signing for the five-time S-League champions.

"Wherever I go,I scores lots of goals and fans expect me to score more than 20 goals," asserted the former Serbia Under-23 international Mrdakovic.

The 31-year old also has ACL experience,hitting the net twice in six appearances for Chinese Super League(CSL) outfit Shandong Luneng five years ago.

Tampines will kickstart their domestic campaign against Home Utd in the Great EasternCharity Shield on 21st February at the Jalan Besar Stadium with kickoff at 7.30 pm. 

 



Monday, January 27
DPMM FC go down to Phuket FC

DPMM FC were handed a 2-0 loss at the hands of Phuket FC in the 2014 Phuket Saksee Cup in Thailand yesterday.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean played a different team to their first match as he started off with five foreigners  - Roberto Alviz,Rodrigo Tosi,Boris Raspudic, Joseph Gamble and on trial player Andres MEndoza yesterday.

Sloppy play by DPMM right after kick-off resulted in a brace by Ney Fabiano de Oliverira in the fifht and sixth minutes, settling the tie ant the Sirikul Stadium in Phuket.

The task of a comeback was made tougher for DPMM as they were reduced to 10-men after Azwan Ali rahman was shown his second yellow in the second half.

It was back to level playing field after former DPMM defender Tales Ricarte od Santos was shown later in the showers later in the match.

Despite the setback, DPMM captain Rosmin Khamis felt that the overall performance was alright.

"The performance by the team was ok. It was just that in the early minutes of the game we switched off," said Rosmin.

"Overall we had a good game especially in the second half," he added.

Asked about the red card for Azwan, the captain replied: "I thought it was a poor decision by the referee. It was 50-50.

"Actually I thought he made wrong the decisions most of the match. We should have been given a penalty in the first half but the referee gave a free-kick instead.

"He had a clear view and it was inside the box.But I know that is not an excuse," added Rosmin.

Despit the loss, the midfielder is taking the positives out of the S-League pre-season match-ups.

"There is plenty of room for improvement.It is better that we lose now before the league starts so that we know what needs to be done," said Rosmin.

"I believe that we can only get better and better," he added.

Leftback Sairol Sahri started the match yesterday and Competed the second half against Nakhon Sri Heritage on Saturday.

He felt good progress having returned in his first competitive match since being out with a knee injury.

"I felt better but I will need to be fitter because during the second half my muscles felt tight," said Sairol.

"I played for 70 minutes before coming off. I didn't want to force myself to continue for my own safety," he added.

Next on the calendar for DPMM FC will be a friendly against Kelantan FA, the FA Cup champions and Malaysia Cup runners-up, in a friendly at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Friday. 



Sunday, January 26
Good start for DPMM FC

DPMm FC get their Singapore League pre season campaign off to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over Nakhon Sri Heritage in yesterday's 2014 huket Saksee Cup opener in Thailand.

Two second half goals by Ak Md Fakharazzi Pg Hassan settled the tie, with the result just the kind of start ne coach steve Kean would have been looking for in his first match in charge.

According to striker Shahrazen Said DPMM kicked off with all 4 imports on the bench.

Midfielder Maududi Hilmi Kasmi gave DPMM the lead after being set-up by Shahrazen, and Nakhon equalised just before the halftime whistle after Suhaime Yusof failed to claer the ball- resulting in the home side putting the ball past Azmanilham.

With unlimited changes allowed for the match Kean bravely subbed out the starting 11 in the second half.

It was a move which paid off when Ak Md Fakharazzi put DPMM in front once again after he fired home Tosi's deflected header from 10 metres out.

The midfielder notched his brace fter connecting on a cross by Alviz to fire a low shot past the Nakhon Sri Heritage custodian.

Captain Rosmin Khamis, who came on as a second half substitute, was delighted with the team's performance.

"It is a good start for the new era(under Kean)," said Rosmin in an interview with the Times after tge triumph.

"Everybody got the chance to play today and everyone showed that they want to be in the team.

"Everything is very positive right now," he added. 

DPMM will complete the three-team round-robin tournament with a meeting against Phuket FC at 4 pm local time today. 



Saturday, January 25
Sairol working hard to regain fitness.

Sairol Hj Sahri can't wait to get back to full fitness.

The DPMM left back has been out of action since the last week of August after being diagnosed with a meniscus tear on his right knee.

He has since returned to training with Brunei's only pro team at the start of the year and yesterday travelled with the team to compete in the two-day Phuket Cup which starts today.

The 30-year old is working hard with the rest of the teammates.

"I feel a lot better already after undergoing surgery in September.I'm slowly progressing on building my strength and muscles," said Sairol in an interview yesterday before departure to Thailand.

"I'm still not at 100 per cent and I hope that I can get back to where I used to be before.

"I want to see how I wil be able to cope in Phuket and I want to get at the same level as my team mates soon since they started trainign under coach last year," continued Sairol.

The three-team round-robin tournament will be the first real test for Kean since his arrival to the Sultanate in November.

DPMM are set to face Nakhon Sri Heritagein the opener today followed by am meeting against Phuket FC tomorrow.

Captain Rosmin Khamis hopes that the team will be able to return from Thailand with some positives.

"We are getting better and we want to see want we wil able to do in Phuket," said the midfielder. 

"Everyone feels positive and the team spirit is high right now.

"Of course we are hoping th get wins in Phuket.

"We want to see how we play together before the league begins.

"Training has been affested a  little with continuous downpour the past few days fortunately we were able to use the artificial grass at SMJA," continued the DPMm skipper.

Team manager Ali Momin said the main aim for the competition is to get the players to gel before the start of the S-League season next month.

"Training has been quite interesting. The players are learning something new everyday.

"From my point of view they are continuously improving both physically and technically.

"There is good motivation in training camp having a high standard coach.

"We want ther local players to get with the imports before the league starts.

"Most teams struggle at the start of the season with he addition of new players and we're hoping we can gain soem momentum in Thailand. 

"Instead of this only being an ice-breaker for the team, we are looking to get the wins," continued the team manager.

 

 



Friday, January 24
DPMM FC seeking first trophy at Saksee Phuket Cup tournament.

Brunei DPMM are looking for their first trophy for the year at the Saksee Phuket Cup 2014 in Phuket, Thailand from 25-27.

The team is leaving the country today and will take on Nakhon Si Thamarat FC(Nakhon Si Heritage) on Jan 25 and Phuket FC the next day.

Brunei DPMM head coach Steve Kean in an interview yesterday said,"Although its warm-up games before the start of the league, I always think that we can win especially so when the team has improved so much following months of training. There is no reason why we can't win both games."

Besides working on fitness of the team, Kean is seriously emphasising training based on organisation of the team during matches.

"The current training is stressing on organisation of the team during matches where players must have discipline with and without the ball.We must keep possession and improve on the transition where the ball changes hands while substitutes must know their instructions in the field."

With only 80% of the squad is confirmed, there is only one slot left for import player while not all the 20 local players are confirmed.

DPMM FC's team manager Ali Momin has revealed that three on trial marquee players will also be making the trip to Phuket and they are Andres Mendoza,Frederic Nimani and Nathan Ellington.

On the Saksee Phuket Cup, he said: "Its a warm-up match to really test the team's chemistry.We need to build the chemistry and understanding of the team and I hope the competition can do that."

Touching on the two other Thai teamsin the competition he expalined: "Thai teams are always tough to play against.They always give us a hard challenge. I hope with the training conducted, our team can perform well."

He also revealed that Brunei fans can get a glimpse of Brunei DPMM in action at the end of the month when Brunei DPMM take on Kelantan FA, the reigning FA Cup champions and Malaysia Cup runners-up in a friendly game at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The match is free of charge and is expected to kick off at 8.15pm.Members of the public are welcome to watch the much anticipated match. 

 

 

 



Thursday, January 23
DPMM FC raring to go despite harsh fixtures.

DPMM FC striker Shahrazen Said believes that competitive pre-season matches will help his team withstand a tough run of games in the S-League this season.

The club will be leaving for Thailand tomorrow to compete in the Saksee Phuket Cup as they step up their preparations for their first match of the season against Albirex Niigata on February 22 at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore.

They will then face Warriors FC on february 28 at the Hassanl Bolkiah National Stadium before travelling to Jalan Besar Satdium to play Home Utd on March 13.

DPMM will then host the defending champions Tampines Rovers on March 23.

"It is good to have stronger teams earlier in the season. I prefer it that way as we can measure our strength and try to win the league...Also I think that preseason games are very important to keep us ready and fit to face string teams," Said Shahrazen.

"The coach is still looking for his best 11 for this season, and the preseason games in Phuket are where to prove that you are (deserve to be)starting eleven, so we must treat this tournament competitively," he added.

Captain Rosmin Khamis echoed Shahrazen's sentiments.

"Yes it is quite a tough fixture but we have to face them sooner or later, so it doesn't matter," said Rosmin.

"If we can win get three points in our first match, it will be good for the team's confidence."

For seasoned players like Shahrazen and rosmin, the fixtures are not too much of a concern but it is certainly intimidating for the younger players like Azwan Ali rahman and Md Hendra Azam Idris.

"It is quite tough...We got Albirex,Warriors,Home Utd and Tampines in our first 4 games," said 22-year old Azwan.

"I do not want to think too much about it.The only think that we can do for now is to keep training ," he said.

Md Hendra Azam said,"We have to focus on ourselves this year if we are to compete for the title."

"Last season was very dissapointing. I hope with the new coach (Steve Kean)we will be able to bounce back this season."

Kean, the former Blackburn Rovers manager will be the leading the Sultanate's only professional club this season following the departure of Croatian Vjeran Simunic.

 



Saturday, January 18
Castanheira, Fazrul among new Home recruits.

The Protectors, who finished second in the league and won the Singapore Cup last season, have undergone a revamp for the 2014 campaign.

Uniformed giants Home United announced on Saturday their new signings for the 2014 season, witj most other S-League clubs having already revealed to some extent their squad for upcoming campaign.

The Protectors will feature at least seven new faces, chief amongst them skilful winger Bruno Castanheira. The Japanese-Brazilian player terrorised full-backs for Albirex Niigata last season and will be a more than adequate replacement for the ougoing Jordan Webb.

Winger Yasir Hanapi, who did well for Geylang Utd, returns for a second spell at the club as well.H will be joined by flanker Fazli Ayob, central midfielder Izzdin Shafiq and Fazrul Nawaz, all from LionsXII and former Tampines Rovers forward Ahmed Fahmie. Balester Khalsa reserve goalkeeper Daniel Ong has joined as well.

These recruits will make up for the outgoing Nor Azli Yusoff,Masrezwan Masturi, Firdaus Idros(all Tanjong Pagar),Sofiyan Abd Hamid(Balestier),Aliff Shafaein(Geylang),Choi Jae Won and Webb.

Star playmaker and Goal Singapore Awards Foreign Player of the Year Lee Kwan Woo is believed to be staying at Bishan Stadium as well.

There could be more signings announced in due course by the reigning Singapore Cup chmpions, who also finished second in the league under coach Lee Lim Saeng last season. 

 



Tuesday, January 14
New S-League fitness test.

This year's Singapore League (S-League) will demand a higher level of fitness from the players as the league looks to raise the bar for its mandatory fitness tests.

Two news sources in Singapore have reported that the league will be raising the passing mark for the 2.4 km test that all players went through last season and will have to repeat this season.

"We are looking into ways in which the league can support the national(Singaporean) team, and one of the ways is by helping push up fitness levels," S-League chief executive Lim Chin told Singapore's The New Paperat the sidelines of the Football Association of Singapore's (FAS)annual general meeting in September.

Kallangroar.com further suggested that all players will have to improve on the passing mark of 10:15 last season to 10 minutes this season.

the new 15-second improvement in standard was brought about as only 5% of the total population clocked 10 minutes or more during tests conducted last year.

Meanwhile, the passing mark for goalkeepers will remain unchanged at 12 minutes.

Despite the new requirement, DPMM FC striker Shahrazen Said seemed unfazed by the changes.

"Yes we aware of the changes in the passing mark for the fitness tests, but it should not be a problem for us as almost every one ran under 10 minutes during last year's fitness test," said Shahrazen.

"I am very supportive of the changes as I believe that will help to increase the level of the competitiveness of the league. 

"I am looking forward to it and I heard that the test will be held at the end of the month or early February," added Shahrazen.

Known as the Cooper test, the assessment marks a move away from the much-criticised beep test which was used by the league in 2012.

The current test-which was created in 1968 by American Dr.Ken Cooper- is meant to guage the distance the participants can cover in 12 minutes, though the S-League wants players to shave 2 minutes off that time.

"In 2012 we had a beep test which was a little bit harder, so I think that this 2.4 km test should be fine for us," said DPMM FC captain Rosmin Khamis.

As in 2013, the format of the league in 2014 is expected to be the same with teams playing each other for two rounds before dividing into a top six-tier and a bottom-six tier for half a round.

The clubs in the bottom-six have no chance of winning the league-the best they can hope for is a top-six finish.

 

 



Friday, January 10
Joe Gamble raring to start S.League career.

The former Ireland international who is among Brunei DPMM's latest signings, spoke to Goal Singapore about starting his new adventure in the S.League

Twice capped by Ireland, Joe Gamble turned out for the under-17 and U21 teams before being called up to the senior side in 2007, making him the first player from League of Ireland to feature for the national team in over 5 years.

The now 31-year old had a successful start to his career with his hometown club Cork City in 200, winninh the league title as well as the FAI and Setanta Sports Cup, before moving to England with Reading and Hartlepool.A retuen to Ireland with Limerick in 2011 ended two years later, with Gamble in the sights of Brunei DPMM in the S.League.

The midfielder who like most Irish players,had never ventured beyond the British and the Irish Isles in search of professional football. But when Gamble's former team-mate and current agent, George O'Callagan , put forward the idea of playing in the S.League in mid-2013 he was quickly intrigued.

"Yes its unusual for Irish players to travel outside Ireland and England but I wanted to expand my knowledge of football, culture ans wanted a new challenge, nothing gets me more motivated or excited than anew challenge," Gamble told Goal Singapore.

"He (O'Callaghan) said they (DPMM) had fantastic facilities, a great stadium, professional set-up, and were a very ambitious club and overall I'd would have a lovely quality of life in Brunei.I have really  and truly enjoyed my stay in Brunei much better than I hsd envisaged. Its a lovely, peaceful nd interesting place. Fantastic beaches to relax on and plenty to do outside of football to explore."

Admittedly only having been familiar with the J-League and the AFC Champions League when it came to Asian football, Gamble has quickly kept himself informed of the S.League and rattled off Warriors FC's Alex Weaver and new Woodlands Wellington coach Darren Stewartas top two coaches who have impressed him. He also mentioned Geylang's new South American imports as players he would like to test himself against.

"Since I knew there was a possibility tha I'd be playing in the S.League, I've looked closer on the website on clubs and players,I've tried to familiarise myself with as much as I could," said Gamble.

"I have heard of a very good coach at Warriors FC, Alex Weaver from stoke on Trent.He has a good reputation of being a top coach/manager in Asia. Darren Stewart is another well-respected coach that has moved clubs recently so it will beit came to his new club's chs interesting to see how his team perform,also Geylang have brought in a number of South American imports so I will be looking forward to playing against them and see what their abilities are like."

For those who have never plied their trade in this region, adjusting to playing in the ropics in high humidity,where day time temperatures soar as high as 37C, would be a challenge to most players. Gamble admitted that the change in climate would be a big difference , bu pointed out his strict fitness regime and preparation as key to helping him cope, along with t'strong self-belief' in his own ability. He also stated that he had been able to get good advice from top class athletes he knew,to help with the adjustment.

But when it came to his new club's chances of achieving their goal of clinching the S.League title this year coming season, Gamble remained cautious, adding that there is a difference in setting a target and actually accomplishing it.

"Every club in the S.League, or in the world for that matter,at the start of the year will have an ambition of being successful, so DPMm wouldn't be different in that respect but its one thing saying what you're going to do and another to actually do it," he warned.

"It would be unprofessional of me to say what I think we can achieve, all I would say is that we will be very professional and competitive in every game and as a team we willsee where that will take us."

With the imminent transfer of his former Cork City team-mate Roy O'Donovan to Brunei DPMM has made the news, Gamble stated that he is already impressed with the club's current set of players and pointed out that it will go a long way in helping the club achieve their targets.

"I've been very impressed with the DPMM players,their ability and technique is very high but most importantly their attitude stood out to me,"he said of his new team-mates.

"They're willing to work hard in training every day and very keen to learn. These traits are very important for any team to be successful, no matter what league you compete in."

DPMM have so far confirmed the signing of Boris Raspudic  and Roberto Alviz, who along with Gamble will join Rodrigo Tosi who has been retained.A deal to sign former Sunderland forward O'Donovan is believed to be close to wrapping up.The club have also announced that their first S-League fixture will be on February 19, with a pre-season competition in Krabi,Thailand mooted for late January. 



Thursday, January 9
DPMM FC to host Kelantan in friendly match.

Brunei's football fans will get a glimpse of the much anticipated strength of the new Brunei DPMM FC squad for the 2014 S League when they take on Malaysian Cup runners-up Kelantan FA in a friendly end of this month at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The friendly game in preparation for the S League was confirmed by DPMM FC's team manager Ali Momin and the date of the match is scheduled on the 31st January.

Meanwhile Brunei DPMM FC's squad for the 2014 S League which will kick off on Feb 19 is shaping up nicely with almost all the crucial pieces have already come together.

Brunei DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean is currently looking for another marquee player and on trial are Celeb Folan and Roy O'Donovan, and Sinan Kaloglu will be arriving next week.

The former manager of Blackburn Rovers Steve Kean in an interview with the Bulletin on the progress of the final squad for the coming S-League season said: "We will be signing the final marquee player in the next two weeks and we will make the final selection of the local players so that we will have a complete squad by the time wo go the Suksee Phuket Cup 2013 from Jan 25-27."

When asked about the expectation from the Suksee Phuket Cup, Kean said: "Any competition that we enter we wanted to do well but the most thing is to prepare for the season to be ready when the season starts."

With the team;s puzzle falling into right places, Brunei DPMM coach is looking forward to the new S-League season.

"I am confident that we will do well.We have a good depth and experience players as well as young players in the squad.I would like to extend my thanks to credit to the management who has organised high level foreign players to come to Brunei for trials," Kean expressed.

"I think we have the best or one of the best squad in the S League this season.I expect that DPMM will be able to challenge for the championship this season," he added.

New midfielder Roberto Alvoz from Croatia meanwhile in a separate interview hoped to work hard to help Brunei DPMM to build a successful season in the S League.

The reason of joining Brunei DPMM, he explained: "I heard of many nice stories about the team and the good people here so I was eager to come to Brunei to be part of the team.Under coach Kean's guidance, I think that he has many good ideas for the team. He also share his experience and players who wanted to learn from him."

Meanwhile, in the Saksee Phuket Cup 2013. Brunei DPMM will take on Nakhon Sri Heritage on Jan 25 and Phuket FC the next day. 



Tuesday, January 7
DPMM FC Kean to start with Steve.

DPMM FC players have reacted positively to the appointment of Steve Kean as the team's new coach.

The former manager of england's Blackburn Rovers will be leading the Sultanate's only prefessional club this season following the departure of Croatian Vjeran Simunic last November.

"I believe that Kean will be able to bring the team back on its feet this year and challenge for the title in the Singapore League(S-League)," captain Rosmin Khamis said in the interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

He used to coach the English Premier League, which is one of the best football leagues in the world, and it is an honour for us to be able to train under him," he added.

DPMM had a poor campaign last season, managing an eighth-place finish and a heart-breaking 4-0 loss to Balestier Khalsa in the S-League Cup final.

"We had a bad season last year," said midfielder Mohd Hendra Azam yesterday. 

I can't wait for the season to start. I am looking to working with Kean.He likes to play one-two pass football and it will be very interesting.I hope he can lead us to win the league this year."

Striker Shahrazen Said was equally excited.He believes that Kean is the perfect mean to lead the club this season.

"He is a very good caoch... The way he talks to the playersand explains things on the training ground is just excellent," said Shahrazen.

"Coach Steve (Kean) philosophy of football is quite different from Simunic.

"He )Kean)likes the players to run around with the ball and make on-two passes, while Simunic was kore to running without the ball and looking for empty spaces."

"I have very positive impression about him and I hope that we will be able to adept quickly to his style of play."

Another possibility is former Sunderland striker Roy O'Donovan who is currently in the country.

"He (O'Donovan) just arrived today and I am looking forward to see him in training soon," Shahrazen said.

The club are also looking forward to start their pre-season training.Their first stop is the Saksee Phuket tournament in Thailand later this month.

According to DPMM FC's official website, the club have been invited to participate in the tournament on January 25-27.

The club are also reported to ahve been slated to host Malaysia FA Cup champions Kelantan FA on January 31 at the hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas. 



Sunday, December 22
DPMM sign Bosnian international Raspudic.

S-LEague side Brunei DPMM are set to feature a Bosnian international in their ranks for the 2014 season after signing the 31-year old Boris Raspudic.

 Raspudic, who can play anywhere acoress the backline and also as a defensive midfielder, received a solitary cap for Bosnia and Herzegovina when he was involved in a 2-2 draw with Poland in December,2010.

With pnly the formalities of medical and fitnesstests to clear, Raspudic will join Croatian defender Roberrto Alviz,former Ireland international Joseph Gamble and Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi in the Bruneian team's foreign legion.

Raspudic, who scored against Israeli side Maccabi Haifa in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League qualifiers while playing for Bosnian side FK Borac Banja Luka, wants to help DPMM improve on their eigth-placed finish in 2013.

"I am glad to have signed for a well-organised club like DPMM FC," he said in a press statement.

"I see this is a very important milestone in my career. I will do my best to justify the confidence and beiefs of the club management and my representatives, Trebol Sports International.

"My ambition for 2014 is to help the club record better results than last year and hopefully we can mount a serious challenge for one of the top two spots.I am not very familiar with the other S-League teams but I think we possess a good squad to pose a threat to them.

"This club deserves good results and I am here to ensure that they get them next season."

This will be Raspudic's second foray into Asia, having spent four years with Tractor Sazi Tabriz FC nd Petrochimi Tahriz in Iran.

DPMM will eb led by former Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean in the new S-League season,which is expected to start in February 2014. 



Wednesday, October 23
DPMM FC face Warriors tonight.

Vjeran Simunic is not letting mours of his replacement with ex-Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean get in the way of his job -or his 100th game for the club in Singapore.

The DPMM FC bench boss can look firward to the milestone when the club take on Warriors in the league tonight, with the visitors in search for their fourth win in as many games.

The lead up to tonight's match has centered around the arrival of Kean, who it is understood will take ober mid-November from the reigning S-League Coach of the Year.

The Croatian though, is only focused on the task at hand.

"I'm a professional...If I think about these kind of things,I'll never get a good result," he said.

"Me, my players and the staff are focused on making the best possible result in this difficult moment for us.We are united until the end of this.

"I am only focused on the playersand for them to continue their good form.

"I prefer not to think about anything except the game.

"The boys are playing really good and I think their current performances show there is a good connection between the coach and the players," added the former Bahrain national coach.

The connection of which he speaks of is one that has been forged over years of trust and travel, with Simunic first leading his team out in March 2008when they were still in the Malaysian Super League and dropping a job in Vietnam to return to his "boys" as soon as he heard news that DPMM could return to the S-League after FIFA lifted its nearly two year of suspension.

They repeated the fete last year to become the most successful team in the competition's history, and though they were unable to make it title number three after falling 4-0 to balestier in last month's championship decider,they have gone on a run of three straight S-League wins since.

The journeyed coach has kept a careful count of all the gameshe has been involved in but insists that tonight's milestone will not be worth remembering if they don't beat Warriors.

"I have had more than 500 games in my career in Croatia,Bosnia,Bahrain Vietnam and with DPMM in Malaysia.So maybe 150 games in Brunei," said Simunic, who was also in charge of the Sultanate for the 2008 asean Football Federation(AFF) Suzuki Cup qualifiers.

"But for DPMM, playing in Singapore, this will be my 100th game.Thats 77 S-League games,15 League Cup games and 7 Singapore Cup games.

"Its a nice achievement but I don't care too much about that-what I care about is that we play well and win.This is not a time for celebration -only time for us to focus on the game," he added.

His counterpart Alex Weaver saw his team fall to their first loss in 6 matches when Geylang International beat them 3-0 in their last game on Friday.

 



Tuesday, October 22
DPMM confirm Kean appointment, target S.League title next season.

Following Goal Singapore's revelation on Saturday night that former Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean will take charge of them in the 2014 S.League season, Brunei DPMM FC officially confirmed today that the Scot will arrive in mid-November.

This was revealed by club manager Waslimin Abd Momin at the Brunei club's participation agreement renewal ceremony with the Football Association of Singapore(FAS) at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

The renewal will see DPMM continue to play in the S.League for a further two years, having rejoined the league in 2011 after being banned by FIFA from all competitions halfway through their first season in 2009.

Waslimin also added that the decision to replace current coach Vjeran Simunic, who has led them throughout their time in the S.League, with Kean was due to a desire to change their style of play. He continued by declaring that they will target the S.League title next season, having finished in the lower half of the table in the current campaign after a runners-up position last year.

DPMM will also only retain Brazilian midfielder Rodrigo Tosi from their contingent for 2014, with Waslimin remaining tight-lipped when asked about the reported arrival of former Arsenal striker Francis Jeffers for try-outs.

FAS president Zainudin Nordin was "delighted and heartened"with the renewal as he praised DPMM's commitment and support of the S.League.

"The participation of DPMM FC in the league goes beyond football and has not only helped raise the professional level of the S.League, but more importantly, it is another good reflection of the close friendship between the two countries," he said.

S.League CEO Lim Chin believes that DPMM's participation has more "interesting and exciting".

"All of you will agree that each season,DPMM puts togeher a very strong team with top signings of good players from overseas and they have the best of their locals players in their team," he added.

"We are delighted to continue this synergistic collaboration with one of the best organised and managed clubs in our region and it certainly augurs well for S.League." 



Monday, October 21
Tampines win S-League.

Tampines Rovers successfully defended their Singapore League(S-League) crown for their third straight title with four games remaining in the season.

This was decided after their closest contenders Albirex Niigata succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Balestier Khalsalast night at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore.

Qiu Li gave Balestier after blasting a long range effort into the net in the 19th minute beforr PArk Kang Jin doubled their lead two minutes before halftime.

Albirex were pushing forward and they were given some life after Kento nagasaki curled in a free-kick in the 87th minute but it was not enough.

The result means that Albirex are on 40 points with only three games on the schedule while Tampines hold an unassailable lead with 52 points.

The race for second place is still wide open with Home Utd in third a further points back but with an extra game to play. 

Meanwhile,DPMM FC are doing their own battle at the second tier after moving up to seventh spot on Saturday folllwing a 1-0 win at home.

They are currently on 33 points with thre games left while Warriors are in eigth spot with 31 points.Geylang and Harimau Muda followed respectively with 28 while Hougang are second from the bottom with 24 points. 



Sunday, October 20
DPMM edge Hougang.

DPMM FC are up to seventh spot in the S-League after they edge Hougang 1-0 last night.

In what was their third striahg twin, which brought their total to 33 points - a goal by Rodrigo Tosi just before the break settled the tie at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The Brazilian midfielder headed home a Rosmin Khamis corner at the near post four minutes into added time just before the break.

It was the 4th goal for the lone import on the roster in the past three games.

However,DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic felt that it was the team effort that gotthem the triumph.

"It was a sweet 1-0 win.We could have scored more had we closed our chances.Their keeper was fantastic," said Simunic after the win.

"It was the whole team and I'm proud of them.We have lost seven players and went down the table.Now we are at the top," added the Croatian.

Azwan Ali rahman had the first chance but saw his sahot saved by Fadhil in the 17th minute.

The game was brought in a standstill for over 5 minutes after fadhil was given treatment after picking up an injury from a corner.

Hougang Utd threatened in the 32nd minute as Liam Shotton saw his attempt deflected to Mamadou Diallo who could only fire it wide.

DPMm pushed forward  5 minutes later after Tosi flicked the ball to Shahrazen in the box but the forward's effort on the turn was off target.

Rosmin should have gotten on the scoresheet on the hour mark but saw his attempt cleared off the line by Faizal Amir.

Striker Adi Said got in on the action immediately after coming on as a substitute for Azwan Ali Rahman in the 79th minute.

Tosi had delivered a good through ball down the middle for Adi just to be denied by Fadhil.

An unmarked Shahrazen should have scored in the 86th minute after a good one-two by Tosi and Adi which allowed the striker to shoot.

Diallo almost equalised for Hougang in the 90th minute after he struck a good free kick from outside the box but Wardun was on the hand to put the save.

Despite soaking in the pressure, Adi had one final chance to put his name in the scorer's column as he unleashed a shot inside the box just to see it saved by Fadhil.

Hougang coach Amin Nasir said they had only themselves after a defensive lapse at the end of the first half.

"We just lost our concentration .Seven minutes is a bit too long but that is no excuse.We need to keep our focus. we were caught napping and they capitalised on that," said Amin.

"I was quite pleased with Fadhil's performanceas he kept us in the game.But looking at the backline, we will need to sit down and analyse what went wrong.It is dissapointing as we came for a win," he added. 



Saturday, October 19
DPMM FC gung-ho against Hougang.

DPMM FC are running for all three points when they host Hougang Utd in their Singapore League encounter tonight at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

Brunei's only professional team are in good form recentyl after coming off back-to-back victories over Harimau Muda and Young Lions respectively. 

DPMM FC head coach, Vjeran Simunic has been playing wih an almost all-local lineup and is in a confident mood.

"We are playing with the best team possible.We have moved forward and I'm proud with this team," said Simunic in an interview with the Times during training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"They took responsibility when the team was down especially the younger players who have stepped up to the task," he added.

It is a big game tomorrow and we expect a good challenge from our opponents. They are a good team and it will be tight. It can go either way but we hope to get three points," continued the Croatian.

Simunic also urged more fans to come and give their support to the team on hoem soil.

"We hope that more Bruneians will come to support the team because the team is made up of 99 percent local players. they deserve to get the support," pleaded Simunic.

They have no suspension worries and will only be missing Sairol Sahari, who is ourt for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his meniscus tear.

Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi is in form having found the back of the net thrice in the past two matches.

Hendra Azam Idris has also shown his capability in scoring on set-pieces.

They have not lost to DPMM this season as well.The last time the two teams met in brunei, the home side missed two penalties and squandered a two-goal cushion to draw 3-3 back in March.

Hougang were the better team in their last second meeting beating DPMM 2-1 at the Hougang Stadium two months later.

Amin Nasri, the head coach of Hougang Utd, is in confedent mood but knows that it won't be easy to take full points in the Sultanate.

"The confidence of the team is high after we got good results in out past two meetings," said Amin.

It won't be easy though because it will be different from the past two games.Our opponents should have done their homework and studied us technically," he added.

Just like DPMM, they also had a break of some three weeks after their last game.

They are coming off a 2-2 draw against Tampines and a 2-0 victory over Woodlands in friendlies earlier in the week.

"This was a concern for us after coming off three consecutive good results. The long break kind of killed the momentum," said Amin.

"Looking at the bright side, we are keeping a positive attitude as it also gave us ample time to prepare ourselves.

"It is good to get those good results but how it will go tomorrow cannot be based on that," he added.

"It is unpredictbale but it is a good guideline for us. The friendlies have given confidence to the strikers after scoring some goals," concluded Amin.

Striker Mamadou Diallo will be one to watch after scoring a goal each in their last three matches.

Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 

 

 

 



Saturday, September 28
DPMM strike early to edge Young Lions in thriller.

Two early goals did the trick for Brunei DPMM  on Friday night as they edged the Court Young Lions 3-2 in a goal-fest at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

A win in the last game of Round 23 would have seen the hosts make it two in a row as well as bump their points tally up into two digits, but they conceded twice in the opening 10 minutes  to leave them with too much to do eventually.

Rodrigo Tosi struck a brace in the Bruneians' 3-1 home win over Harimau Muda last week, and the Brazilian was instrumental in breaking the deadlock here after nine minutes.

The midfielder cut in from right and shaped to shoot with his left but was brought down, leaving DPMM with a free-kick right on the edge of the box. After two of his teammates dummied over the dead ball, Hendra Azam took one step before curling it perfectly into the corner.

A minute later, it was 2-0. With the hosts' defence caught in the disarray,Shahrazen Said glided past Afiq Yunos before slamming the ball high past Syazwan Buhari from the top of the box.

Young Lions coach Aide Iskandar immediately responded by taking off right-back Faiz Salleh for Al-Qaasimy Rahman, as the Bruneians threatened to run away with the game.

But the home side drew blood with a superb move in the 22nd minute. Iqbal Hussain set Sherif El-Masri free down the rightwith an excellent pass, and the Canadian jinked into the box only to see his shot handled by a desperate Abd Aziz Tamit.

The defender was fortunate to escape a dismissal, as captain Raihan Rahman coolly placed the spot-kick inches away from a rooted Wardun Yussof to get his side back in the game.

There was controversy near the half-hour when the Young Lions were denied a goal.

Wardun parried Sahil Suhaini's far-post header from El-Masri's corner back into a gaggle of bodies in the box, where Sheikh Abd Hadi volleyed it straight back towards goal. It was straight at Wardun on the line, with the referee ruling it had not gone over.

Shahrazen then fluffed a great chance to restore the two-goal cushion when he mi*** his shot at Syazwan following a cross, with the goal gaping.

Aide Iskandar's men went close to leveling when Sahil's low free-kick nearly crept in at the near post, then Afiq Yunos slammed a shot over on the turn as the action flowed from one end to the other.

The Young Lions were dealt a further setback when Tosi rose highest in the 54th minute to nod Rosmin Khamis's deep free-kick past Syazwan, who was helpless once again.

Four minutes later, Wardun made a fine block as Sail charged in the area from the left. The DPMM custodian then denied the same player twice more in the 64th and 67th minutes, the duo seemingly having entered a personal duel.

Luck didn't appear to be with the Young Lions on the night, with Afiq Yunos's close range header in the 70th minute ruled out correctly for offside as they sought a second goal.

But Sahil's persistence was rewarded 10 minutes from time when he broke away down the left before jinking into the area, where his trickery was too much for Subhi Abdilah.  the defender scythed down the striker and El-Masri dispatched the spot-kick low into the right to pull another goal back.

That was the end of the scoring though as the Young Lions failed to find a third goal even with four minutes of time added on, leaving Vjeran Simunic and his men to return home with a second consecutive league win.

 

 

 

 



Friday, September 27
DPMM FC eye strong finish.

DPMM FC will kick off the third round of the league against the Young Lions.

DPMM FC are coming off a 3-1 home win against Harimau Muda last Wednesday at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

The team has started out with the only one import ,Rodrigo Tosi, and he came through by scoring a brace.

On the other hand, the Young Lions, who are rooted at the basement of the 12-team table, are coming off their second victory of their season after they defeated Geylang Utd the same day.

Canadian Sherif El-Masri bagged his fourth goal of the season after heading home the winner at the Bedok Stadium.

The 12-team table have been split into 2 groups and with DPMM in the second half.

 They are joined by Warriors,Harimau Muda, Hougang Utd,Geylang Int'l and Young Lions in the bottom half.

With only 5 matches to go, striker Shahrazen Said feels the team is ready for the game and hopes that the team will be bale to finish off the season in winning form.

"We are looking to win all the remaining matches," said Shahrazen in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

"The team is feeling good but  we are not going to be overconfident. I feel that the team is making very good  progress at the moment,"added the striker, who combined well with Azwan Ali Rahman in their last game.

Their first meeting of the season saw DPMm ran away to a 3-0 win at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

However, they will be looking to forget the second meeting after bith sides draw 1-1 at the Hassnal Bolkiah Nnational Stadium in May,

Kick-off is scheduled 7.30pm.



Thursday, September 19
DPMM FC tame Harimau Muda.

DPMM FC came from a goal down to defeat Harimau Muda 3-1 in the S-League second round final match at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

This year, the S-League has introduced a new "two-and-a-half" round format in which the league will be divided into two tiers at the end of the second round of fixtures.

A brace from Rodrigo Tosi and a goal from substitute Abd Aziz Tamit helped the Sultanate's only professional club replace Harimau Muda in eigth place in the 12-team table with 27 points.

 "I am very happy we won today especially yhese past few days, it has been bitter for us after losing in the S-League Cup final," said DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic after the match.

"Harimau Muda is a fantastic team, they defeated Tampines Rovers, and I respect them a lot.

"I am happy the Bruneians played tonight,Tosi was the import player in the game. We played with four to five imports when we lost to harimau Muda in May, but we won tonight with only 1 import, I think this is good for Brunei football," added Simunic.

Th Malaysian side found the net early in the sixth minute when Akmal Ishak rose above DPMM players to head home a corner kick from the left.

Tosi levelled the score in the 27th minute with a brilliant goal,blasting the ball from outside the penalty box to beat Harimau Muda's goalkeeper Hafizyl Hakim in the goal.

The Brazilian midfielder almost put DPMM FC ahead just before the break, when he was picked by Azwan Salleh from the right,but the latter would head the ball just wide.

DPMM FC pushed for a winnner in the second half and looked dangerous with their set-pieces.

Tosi and striker Shahrazen Said were on target in the second half causing a lot of problems to Harimau Muda's backline.

Abd Aziz who came on for Shahrulrizal Abd Rahman in the first halfput DPMm FC ahead for the first time in the 54th mnute when he headed home Rosmin Kamis' corner from the left.

Tosi would add another goal in the 72nd minute with a penalty kick after he was brought down by Ashmawi Yakin.

"I am disappointed with the game today. I think wedidn't play well in the second half, and we failed to defend their set-piece," said Harimau Muda coach Razip Ismail..

"I think we scored too early in the game.I think DPMM's number eight(Tosi) played very well tonight, he gave us a lot of trouble,"he added.

The new league format splits the team into two tiers, with the top six forming the "upper tier" and the bottom six teams the "lower tier".

They will play another round of matches against teams in their own pool, but the seventh -placed team will not be able to move up the table even thoug they might end up with more points than the sixth-placed team at the end of the additional half round.

 

  



Sunday, September 15
DPMM fail to retain League Cup.

Balestier Khalsa drove the final nail into DPMM FC's shambolic season with a 4-0 thumping of the sultanate's only professional clubin the cup final last night.

The trophy was the Tigers' first major one in the modern S-League era,having last won the FA Cup back in 1992,five year's before the S-League's rebranding.

It was an emotional night in particular for head coach Darren stewart, who was first involved with the club as a player back in 1999.

"Tonight isn't about me.Its about the team and the chairman(S.Thaveneson)," mustered the Australian, whilst seemingly holding back the tears of joy.

"When the final whistle went,I just thought about the 20 years I've known Thava and all that we've been through together, and I can't repay him enough for all his hard work.

Often criticised for their abrasive style of play, Stewart felt that last night's result was the perfect way to respond to his team's critics.

"We were breathtaking today! The pundits that say we play boring today I hope they watched the game."

"Of course you don't expect at the result, but looking back it could have been more.I know that we can play that well.It wasn't easy but tonight it just clicked.

A 1-0 win over Woodlands showed plenty of promise, but defending champions DPMM failed to carry that performance over to the final as the Tigers tore them apart with the complete conviction.

Paul Cunningham returned to the starting line-up as a centre forward, with new signing Victor Borges still out injured, and it took only 14 minutes for the big Kiwi tomake his mark.

Park Kang Jinfound space on the left and dinked the ball into the box, which an unmarked Cunningham guided into the far corner with his head, leaving Wardun rooted to his line.

Kim Minho doubled their lead with a fantastic striker, hitting Rodrigo Tosi's weak headed clearance on the volley from outside the box which had Wardun flapping at thin air.

Blaestier continued to push forward despite a two-goal advantage, and it would pay dividends in the 68th minute when substitute Poh Yi Feng found the back of the net.

Feng, who replaced Zulkifli Hassim, himself a substitute after Ruhaizad Ismail picked up an early injury, was first to react to Qiu Li's saved shot,in the rebound with not a single defender at sight.

DPMM FC were not without their chances and Tosi drew top-class safe from Zainul Nizam in the 70th minute.

The Brazilian headed flick seemed destined for the top-corner but Nizam got across in time to claw the effort out.

That was followed bu Subhi Abdillah's goal-bound header being blocked,with tales sending his follow-up agonizingly wide.It was clearly not their day,and that thought was compounded when Tengku Mushadd made it four.

DPMM head coach Vjeran Simunic refused to make up any excuses for his side, despite a host injuries and suspensions which eventually proved costly."

"We wanted to challenge them, so I'm very upset that we lost 4-0," bemoaned the Croatian.

"Once you give Balestier a 2-0 lead, no one can comeback, not even Real MAdrid.

"Everyone expected to do something because we have won it twice,but today we came up against a better team.

"I couldn't win the cup this year, so I'm very happy that Darren won it.He's a good friend, and when we play,its always a tough game.They have built a very good team this year.

Their hammering in the final was a hard lesson which Simunic hopes his charges can learn from and not make the same mistakes again.

"We must learn from the lesson today and make a better performance in the future because they are a bunch of talented boys.

"I must apologise to the fans because it is a habit from them that DPMM win. We've been unlucky many times this year,so silver is a good result for this team.

"We reached the final today against a better team and lost to a better team.I must congratulate Darren again.They deserved to win something this year, and if they can't win the league,then they deserved the cup." 



Saturday, September 14
DPMM set for third title.

Defending champions DPMM FC have a shot at a winning record third Singapore League Cup crown tonight, though they will have to go up against Balestier Khalsa side brimming with self-belief after losing only one of their last 17 games.

Promising a "dramatic" clash, DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic knows his men have their work cut out for them in a final that promises to be both physicala nd entertaining.

Despite their form Balestier have less "big-game" experience with tonight's tie at the Jalan Besar Stadium their first major cup final-though they did clinch the second-tier plate event last year.

Injury worries to three of the DPMM FC's four imports -Portuguese striker Joao Moreira,Brazilian defender Tales Ricarte dos Santos and Lithuanian striker Arturas Rimkevicius - combined with the suspension of veteran defender Pg Sallehuddin Damit means that the visitors wil not be at full strength tonight.

All this, coupled with DPMM FC's current run of the league's results, looks to has taken a toll on sSimunic over the last few months- and he sounded none too confident whhen asked to talk aboutnteam's beggest game of the season.

"I hope we have a little chance," he said.

"I have something secret up for tomorrow.

"We play with 10 Bruneians and one import,and Salleh is suspended and that is a big problem...But I think we've survivedbecause of our big motivation - and the atmosphere(within the team) is fantastic," the Croatian insisted.

Simunic and his Australian counterpart Darren Stewart have already faced off three times this year, though the results provide little indication as to how tonight's match might turn out - especially in a cup final where the form book is thrown out the window.

The sides were drawn in the same League cup group and their June 6 encounter ended with Balestier enjoying a 2-1 result.

Thir most recent outing in the league on August 25 needed a late wonder goal from dos Santos to claim a 1-1 draw, with their first S-League clash in April seeing DPMM beat the Singaporeans 1-0.

"This is the decider," insisted Stewart,who went on to praise DPMM's magnificient striking partnership of brothers Shahrazen and Adi Said who he felt had a big impact in their 1-0 win over the Woodlands Wellington in the last four.

"We has a lot of players who couldn't play for various reasons in the game in August,incliding Cunningham, but we have a full squad available now.

"Going by the league table...I'm not saying we are going to win it and I can't say they're favourites because they won it twice.

"But in terms of consistency, we are better.

"They have that experience playing cup finals but we've got leadership- and if we play like we did againast Albirex in the semis its going to be near impossible to beat us.

"If we play like the commitment like that game, I'll have nothing to do.

"They are tough, but we are tough as well." 



Friday, September 13
Preview: Balestier Khalsa vs Brunei DPMM

The Bruneians are the defending champions but will expect to face a bruising battle against tough-as-nails opponents in the final of the StarHub League Cup final.

They might be friends off the pitch but on it, there's no love lost between Balestier Khalsa coach Darren stewart and his Brunei DPMM counterpart, Vjeran Simunic.

That will be the case again this Saturday when the teams go head to head for the second time in the StarHub League Cup this season, with the trophy at stake.

The Bruneians will certainly be given a hard time as they tried to defend their trophy against a side that has lost only once on their last 17 matches in all competitions. Balestier's last game saw them clinch a slender but deserved 1-0 win against Albirex Niigata in the semi-finals on Monday, while DPMM upset in-form Woodlands Wellington by the same scoreline a day later.

While this is familiar territory for DPMM,who also clinched the trophy in 2009, it is a first-ever majot cup final for the Tigers, they won the second-tier plate last year.

If previous encounters are anything to go by, this will be a fascinating, no-holds barred clash.Simunic has on more than one occasion complained about Balestier's abrasive style of play.Stewart has maintained that he will not apologise for a game-plan that has clearly proved effective for them to despite criticism from some quarters throughout the season.

Their direct brand of football has seen centerback-turned-striker Paul Cunningham flourish in a makeshift role upfront, thanks to his height and strength.If DPMM's Brazilian defender Tales dos Santos is passed fit to start this game,having been on the bench against Woodlands due to a hamstring injury , it will be a titanic battle between those two. 

Elsewhere on the pitch, Korean midfielder Park Kang Jin provides the guile and creativity for Blaestier.The 25-year old is a class act and his playmaking skills are an integral part of their success.Park also struck a well-taken winner against Albirex and will have to be watched closely by DPMM, with an eye also on flankers Kim Min-Ho and Zulkiffli Hassim.

Simunic might have to do without injured strikers Arturas Rimkevicius and Joao Moreira again, leaving sibling duo Shahrazen and Adi Said to shoulder the attacking burden. Captain Rosmin Khamis is also capable of driving the team on from midfield, while compatriots Rodrigo Tosi and Hendra Azam are no slouched offensive-wise.

DPMm edged Balestier in their first league game back in April and have since lost once and drawn another against them, but the form-book will go straight out the proverbial window here. Expect a close contest between two determined sides, with penalties a real possibility here. 



Wednesday, September 11
Hendra fires DPMM into final.

Mohd Hendra AzamMd Idris couldn't have scored his first goal in DPMM FC colours at a better time.

His goal was enough to see the defending champions through to the final of the Singapore League Cup after edging Woodlands Wellington 1-0 at the Woodlands Stadium.

The midfielder rifled a superb freekick from 30 metres out to stun Yazid Yassin in between the Woodlands posts in the 50th minute and it proved to be the winner for Brunei's only professional team.

The 25-year old never expected to be the difference maker but was delighted to be the one to set the teams apart in their semifinal encounter.

"I feel great because my goal made the difference between both teams and it send us through the final," said Hendra in an interview after the triumph.

"I never thought that they would let me take the freekick because I know that we have other good freekick takers on the team such as Azwan Salleh,Rodrigo and Rosmin.

"Even the opposing goalkeeper didn't expect that I was going to take it because he did not seem ready,"he said.

"I'm proud of all my teammates because of the fighting spirit till the end of the whistle.Credit to all players to get the win," said Hendra, who was part of the 2012 Hassanal Bolkiah winning side.

Woodlands should have gotten in front in the first half but Moon Soonhosaw his penalty effort fly wide of the goal.

DPMM captain,Rosmin, felt that the missed penalty was the turnaround of the match.

"I think the Woodlands players were a little bit down after the missed penalty.They would have been more motivated had they scored,"said Rosmin.

"We created many chances after that but fortunately one goal wasenough for us to make it into the final," he added.

"We had worked hard in training over the past week and it has definitely helped us. We ran a lot tonight and I would like to congratulate all my teammates for what they did," continued the captain.

DPMM FC will take on Balestier Khalsa, who defeated Albirex Niigata 1-0 the day before,in the final on Saturday at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

This is the third finals appearance in as many times for DPMM in the competition.

They lifted the rophy after beating SAFFC 4-3 onpenalties.DPMM FC then became the first team to win the tournament twice after beating Geylang Utd 2-0 last year. 



Tuesday, September 10
A glimmer of hope for DPMM FC

DPMM FC still have a chance to salvage their dismal season.There is still a glimmer of hope for Brueni's only professional clubas they have one last shot of silverware as they take on Woodlands in the semi finals of the Singapore League Cup today.

Runners-up of the Singapore League last season, expectations were high but they won't even finish in the top half of the 12-team table this season and this is their only hope left.

It is the biggest match of the season and it will be a tough outing for them at the Woodlands Stadium in Singapore.

The winner of the encounter will face Balestier Khalsa in the final after a lone goal by Park Kang Jin in the 17th minute was enough to seal victory at the Jurong East Stadium last night.

Woodlands thumped DPMM 5-2 in their last meeting despite the latter netting their first two goals at the Jalan Besar Stadium in May.

Rosmin Hj Khamis, the captain of the team, knows that there is only one outcome needed from the game and that is victory.

"The boys are ready for the match since it is the only chance for us to win a cup this year.We have nothing but to win the game," said Rosmin in an interview with the Times yesterday.

"We have trained hard the past week so we pray that it will pay-off on the field," he added.

"I won't say that we are confident but we will fight hard to reach the final," continued the captain.

Strikr Shahrazen Said is focused on the game and is not thinking about anything else.

"The only thing I can say for tomorrow is that we have to play normally and wait until the final whistle,"said Shahrazen.

"We have to avoid making any mistakes against them,"he added.

DPMM have been stuggling in front of goal and will be missing the services of underperformed Joao Moreira.

Brazilian centreback Tales Ricarte dos Santos is also doubtful after picking a hip injury a day before travelling,with both Shahrazen and Arturas Rimkevicius stuggling to hit the target.

Woodlands will be banking on their Korean duo of Chang Jo-Yoon and Moon Soon-Hoto spearhead them on the attacking front.

They ahve 10 goals each to their name in the league and are aided by Therawekin Seehawong and Atsushi Shimono in midfield.

The game kicks off at 7.30. 



Friday, August 30
Karoglan double helps slick Warriors conquer DPMM

The striker's goals added on to Simpei Sakurada's opener as the uniformed giants saw off their Bruneian visitors.

A Miroslav double fired Warriors to an impressive 3-1 victory over Brunei DPMM at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium on thursday evening.

Midfielder Shimpei Sakurada and Karoglan gave the home side a comfortable 2-0 lead at half time before the visitors pulled one back through Tlas Dos Santos before half time but there was no denying the Warriors as Karoglan selaed the victory early in the second half.

The Warriors dominated proceedings right from the kick-off as the Bruneians were made to chase shadows by their slick passing and movement, and Alex Weaver's side were nearly rewarded after just four minutes into the game.

Hitman Karoglan's brilliant turned off a long ball followed by a sot, but his effort went stright into the arms of Wardun.

Midfielder Shia Jiayi was pulling all the strings in th middle of the park after his perfectly weighted half-volleyed through ball from Karoglan, who dissapointed the crowd with a ascuffed effort wide off the post.

 There was no sign of a DPMM goal with rodrigo tosi being their best player thus far,holding up the ball single-handedly at every possibel opportunity.

But the Warriors found their deserved breakthrough in the 27th minute.A corner from the right by Tatsuro Inui found Sakurada,whose header in a crowded box bounced off the ground into the top left corner of the net.

Vjeran Simuni'c side barely had any time to regroup before the home side made it 2-0 just five minutes later.

Great movement and play on the right saw Jeremy Chang played through on goal and the defender's cut back into the box was expertly converted by Karoglan.

It looked like a drubbing was on the cards for the Bruneians,who had no answer to the Wariors' dominance.

But they stunned the home crowd 2 minutes by pulling one back.

A quick free-kick gave right back Suhaime Yusof a chance to cross and the 32-year old obliged with a ball across the face of the goal,which found unmarked Dos Santos for the simplest of tasks to chest into the goal.

In the 52nd minute ,Brunei's hopes of getting back into the game were dealt another blow.Great work on the right yet again by Inui saw the winger deliver a pinpoint cross for Karoglan to double his tally and restore his side's two-goal lead.

Shi nearly put the nail in the coffin four minutes later. A cleared corner found the midfielder, whose shot looked bound for the bottom corner before it was soemhow cleared off the line.

The visitors began to find more joy in attack as they searched for a way back into the game and they nearly did in th hour mark.

A long freekick from DPMM captain Rosmin Khamis found anunmarked Adi Said, who has only the goalkeeprt o beat,but he could only flickhis header just wide.

The visitors continued to pour forward as the Warriors were happy to soak up the pressure.

Simunic's side had another great chance five minutes later as Arturas Rimkevicius terrorised the Warriors defence on the right and out the ball back for Helmi Zambin, whose shot was well blocked by custodian Hassan Sunny.

 



Thursday, August 29
DPMM eager to bounce back.

DPMM FC want to forget about their last Sinagpore League game quickly.

They will close out their three-game, eight-day schedul with a abttle against the Warriors at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium.

Brunei's only professional club will be eager to put aside memories of their 6-2 thumping at the hands of leaders and defending champions Tampines Rovers at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Sunday.

DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic wants his charges to regroup and forget about their last outing and forget about their last outing ahead of tonight's game.

"We are now looking at how we can repair mentally and stay motivated," said Simunic in an interview with the Times when met during their training at the Mini Stadium.

"We must gorget about our last result quickly and turn things around in the next game.

"We need more concentration for anbetter result.

"Warriors are a good team snd we will see how it goes,"continued the Croatian.

Choosing not to focus on their league standings, Simunic is hoping for a better result as they prepare for their biggest game of the season on September 10.

They will face Woodlands Wellington in the semifinals of the Singapore League Cup which is the only chance for silverware this match,which the match to be played at the Woodlands Stadium.

"Sometimes the schedule is against us but we cannot choose.We want to get result ahead of our big game against Woodlands," said Simunic.

"We will have around 10 days to prepare ourselves.We have to work hard on preparing both physically and mentally.

"Our fitness has taken a dip after one month of fasting and we've lost maany players to injury.

"We can do our best whatever we have and we are always going to win every game," insisted last year's S-League Coach of the Year who will be without leftback Sairol Sahari for the rest of the season.

 

 



Monday, August 26
Hurt and humbled.

DPMM FC fell to a 6-2 humiliating defeat at the hands of the Singapore League leaders Tampines Rovers at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night.

"It is difficult to say anything when you lose 6-2After the third goal, I think we lost formation," said DPMm FC head coach Vjeran Simunic after the game.

"I think we played good in first half and also we came very close to scoring goals in the second but it is very difficult when you lose so many players like Sairol,Hendra and Azam.

"We were all down after the third goalbut because we were looking for goals and they punished us when Santos went up to help in the attack,"

Both teams started the game cautiously with neither creating any real chances until the 22nd minute when Alexnader Duric picked midfielder Victor Ladeiras who uncharacterictically volleyed the ball over the bar from inside the penalty box.

DPMM were nearly punished few minutes later when Pg Sallehuddin Damit's poor clearance fell into Khairul Amri's past on the edge of the box and the midfielder fired the ball straight into the arms of the goalkeeper Wardun.

Arturas Rimkevicius made a beautiful run to latch ionto an Azwan Salleh's through ball from the left but the Lithuanian's striker weak attempt was easily saved by Andre Martins.

Rosmin came off the bench for Md Hendra who had to be taken out after he fell to a tough challenge five minutes before half time.

DPMM pushed hard to get an early goal after the restart with their aggressive playbut the first threat in the second hlaf fell to Tampines when captain Mustafic Fahrudin headed Ladeiras' cross past wide.

Shahrazen who has a very quiet first half replied a minute later with a glancing header off Rosmin's corner kick but his effort faded to trouble the keeper.

Tampines went ahead in the 51st minute when Duric was at the right place  at the right time to slam home the rebound following a long range by Firdaus Kasman just from outside the penalty box.

It was 2-0 two minutes later when Khairul brilliantly past two DPMm defenders before firing low shot past Wardun.

Simunic brought in Adi Said for Arturas and the 23-year old made an immediate impact scoring DPMM's first goal of the night.

Adi made a run near post and rose everyone inside the box to head home an Azwan Salleh's corner from the right leaving the goalkeeper no chance.

Rodrigo tosi should made it 2-2 when he was set up inside the penalty box by Azwan Ali, but the Brazilian fired the ball past wide.

Firdaus caught DPMM players napping when he picked Duric at the far post with a beuatiful cross from the right,the 43-year old striker calmly nodding the ball home past helpless Wardun in the goal in the 68th minute.

Diogo Caramelo would score 2 goals in the 83rd and the 85th minutes to wrap up the game.

"Basically we are much fitter in the second half and we took our chances very well,"said Tampines coach Tay Peng Kee. 

 



Sunday, August 25
DPMM prepare for Tampines test tonight

DPMM FC will face arguably their toughest home test of teh season when they take on league leaders and defending champions Tampines Rovers tonight.

Brunei's only professional club have yet to beat the Stags in three tries, and each of those instances,Tampines came up with 90th minute goals to salvage the games -with two of them ending in draws and the other in a aDPMM loss.

When DPMM faced Tampines in last season's meeting they were at the summit of the table in 12 games and were in contention for the tltle.

But it will be a different situation come tonight- who were expected to challenge the Stags for the title but they lost by a point, currently lying 9th in the table with 24 points while Tampines are sitting at the summit with 44 points and look almost certain to win the league again.

With the Stags ability to produce a dying-minute goal in each of their previous games,DPMM's coach Vjeran Simunic believes that tonight's clash wil promise to be another exciting encounter.

"They are now at the top of the league and a lot of people will say they are favourites to win the match," said the Croatian.

"But if you look at our previous record against them we were very close in winning the games," added the reigning S-League Coach of the Year.

One thing Simunic would have done for certain,though, would be to remind his players of how deadly Tampines have proved to be against them in the closing stages.

Khairul Amri Mohamad Kamal's 90th striker cancelled out Joao Moreira's goal in the first of their league games on April 16, a match which ended 1-1 at the Clementi.

The same away last season saw a defense lapse let in Gligorov at thr back,the midfielder scorong a 90th minute goal in their 1-0 win.

Just as heartbreaking was last season's hoem game, Tampines satged a late come back to bag a 2-2 draw in the 90th minute and forced a 2-2 draw on Feb 12.

Apart from changing imports midway through the season,injuries a=have also played a large part in DPMM FC's poor campaign, with Sairol Sahari the latest casualty after suffering a meniscus tear.

"We are very unlucky this season with injuries-Sairol now our for 3 months," said Simunic.

"Rosmin only played 15 minutes on Wednesday and he will start on Sunday and I hope Shahrazen can step up his game yoo.

"Subhi will eb back soon from injury and I am happy how Azwan Ali has improved over the months.

But once again I would liek the fans to come and support us and get behind the team on Sunday,"he added.

DPMM FC managed to salvage a draw on Wednesday against Balestier when Santos' emerge as the hero scoring a stunning volley 9 minutes from time after Qiu Li put the visitors ahead with a 15 th minute penalty.

I respect Qiu Li he is a fantastic player, but it was clear that he dived to get the penalty," said the coach.

"We could have won and get all three points." 



Thursday, August 22
Santos rescues DPMM FC

Tlaes Ricarte dos Santos' stunning 81st minute volley helped DPMM to rescue a 1-1 dwar in their Singapore League match against Balestier Khalsa last night.

The ball from the DPMM FC half was met by Adi Said, who flicked a header tp Santos who cheated the ball down, turned and htt it from outside the box.

"When I saw the ball got off Adi I controlled it with my chest and volleyed it with my right foot.It was the best goal of my career!" said the Brazilian.

"It was a very important goal and I am very happy to help the team got a point tonight.

"We cannot lose anymore, especially playing at home.We need to save the season and if we want to finish in the top six, we must win games,"  added the centre-back.

The first 10 minutes of the match saw both teams create a fair share of chances.

Bslestier forward Qiu Li tested DPMM's defence early in the 2nd minute with a shot from outside the penalty box, only to see it go over the bar.

DPMM replied few minutes later when Rodrigo Tosi made a brilliant run down the left flank and skipped past three defenders, but the Brazilian midfielder would send his shot wide.

Md Hendra Azam's free-kick went straight to Balestier Khalsa's goalie Zaiful Nizam before Shahrazen Said's fired his shot just wide a minute later.

Before Khlasa were awarded a penalty in the 15th minute when Qiu Li was brought down by Pg Sallehuddin inside the box, and the 32-year old Qiu Li converted after sending Wardun the wrong direction.

Balestier should have doubled their lead 5 minutes later when captain JAslee Hatta picked Obadin Aikhena inside the penalty box from the rightbut the defender would waste the chance with his weak header.

Qiu Li was a constant threat for the hosts backline thriughout the first ball with his strong pressure upfront, and the Singapore former international almost turned provider when he played Ruhaizad Ismail through in the 32nd minute, but the midfielder blasts the ball straight to Wardun.

Portuguese Joao Moreira headed Shahrazen's cross from the right wide, while Helmi Zambin's powerful shot from 10 metres out also sailed wide just before the half time whistle.

DPMM head coach Vjeran Simunic brought in midfielder Azwan Ali Rahman for under-performed striker Arturas Rimkevicius at the atrt of the second half and Azwan helped in open Balestier's defence.

Azwan Salleh forced Zaiful into a brilliant save five minutes into the second half when the midfielder fired a thunderous free-kick from 10 metres out.

Adi cam out for Shahrazen in the 60th minute as DPMM pushed hard for an equaliser while defender Santos was alo pressed forward as emergency striker to help out in the attack.

DPMM were the better team in the second hafl with Balestier limited to only few chances.

DPMM continued to create more chances in the remaining minutes, and with 15 minutes left to go,Simunic brought in captain Rosmin Khamis to preplace Md Hendra, and six minutes later,Santos would score that spectacular volley from outside the penalty box.

Azwan Ali Rahman should have scored the winner two minutes before time when he was left with only the goalie to beat , but captain Jaslie would make a heroic dive to block the shot.

"I think DPMM played with guts and determination tonight," said Balestier coach Darren stewart.

"They deserved the point and there is niothing that we could have done with the goal , it was a world class goal.

"It was a proper away game for us and we were rock solid in our game - but is always to play DPMM at their home ground," he added.

DPMM FC's next game is against Tampines Rovers on Sunday. 



Wednesday, August 21
Sairol to miss rest of season.

DPMM FC will have a hole to fill as left-back Sairol Hj Sahari is expected to miss the remainder of the season, starting with tonight's match against fourth-place Balestier Khalsa.

The 30-year old is set to undergo surgery next month on his right knee after being diagnosed with a meniscus tear, the lengthy lay-over a potentially worrying scenario fo DPMM- who have to play three games over the next 8 days.

"It is an old injury but recently there weere some pains so I went to the Orthopedic Centre and they found there was a meniscus tear," said Sairol.

"I'm schediled for surgery next month and I will need to get enoughtrest and work in the gym for the next couple of months after that," he added.

Tonight's match against Balestier at the Hassanal Bolkiah NAtional Stadium will be a tough test considering the visitors have not lost their last 8 league games.

A positve for the fans is that they can look forward to is the inclusion of striker Shahrazen Said and defender Hj Subhi Abdilah Bakir back into the line-up after injuries.

Despite Sairol's setback DPMM FC head coach VJeran Simunic feels that the team i ready for tonight's gsme.

"Sairol is injured and will be out for the next 3 months,"confirmed Simunic.

"Also I think Rosmin and subhi will be on the bench so I will give Shahrazen a chance to play in Subhi's position.

"I think all of this won't be a problem we still have 18 good players ready for tomorrow," continued the Croatian.

Rosmin said the team have been working hard and are in good shape ahead of their tight schedule.

"We have trained hard to keep our fitness for the past couple of weeks," said the skipper.

"We had four days off for Hari raya but that should not be a problem for the players,

"It is going to be hard but that is football.We must be ready and prepare for the tight schedule.

"So far we don't have any problems.We will have Subhi back from injury which is good for the team.

"Our main target is to win all the remaining matches for the top-six target, but we will take it game by game.

"We have confidence but we must respect our opponents because all matches will be tough," continued Rosmin. 



Sunday, August 4
Azwan relishing DPMM FC challenge.

Midfielder Azwan Salleh is relishing the challenge of competing for a staring spot in his first season with DPMM FC.

Signed at the end of March from Indera SC, Azwan admitted he didn't expect to walk straight into the team, but the midfielder has now featured in 5 S-League matches for the club and is starting to get some of the recognition he deserves after impressive displays in DPMM FC's last several outings including a 1-0 win over Geylang International on July,19.

"I had planned something new and I had previously said that our No 2 (Azwan) will be the new star of the league," said DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic after the 1-0 win.

"But he played against Tampines and then was out for threee months after challenge from Mustafic.

"But did you all see how he played? Washe good?' asked Simunic.

Azwan also won the fan's hearts with his performance and assist during the club's 1-1 draw with tanjong Pagar on July,13, when he picked out Rodrigo Tosi at the far pot in the final minutes witht the Brazilian tehn heading hoem the equaliser in Singapore.

"Playing regularly for the team like DPMM is a tough challenge for every foot

"baller in the country," said the 21-year old Azwan in an interview with the Times yesterday.

"Whether you are competing for a starting spot witht imports or the local players,there is always competition.

"For me, what I got to do is to show the coach that I really want to play in his trust.

"So far I am very happy with how I've progressed with the club. 

"The players here are the ebst, and they are very experienced, especiallycaptain Rosmin Khamis...And by just being around these players during training will hep me a lot,"he added.

Apart from Rosmin,Simunic has plenty of midfield talent at his disposal with Hendra Azam,Azwan Salleh and latest signing Tosi also on form.

Azwan started his DPMM career in the club's 4-2 win over Geylang in the league on April 3 when he came on for Portuguese striker Joao Moreira in the 81st minute.

The midfielder was an important figure for his former club Indera in the first edition of the DST National Super League.

Azwan also scored a staggering 17 goals in his first eight appearances for Indera and hsi astonishing tally earned him the award for top-scorer in the league.

He was a part of the national Under-21 team that won the 2012 Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy in March and he also featured in the national squad at the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup 2012 qualifiers in Myanmar in October. 



Sunday, July 28
Global reach the semis on agregate 5-4

The Azkals international struck thrice in the first half as the Philippines outfit survivied a rousing Bruneians response in the second period to make the Singapore Cup semi-finals.

Trailing by a goal from the first leg, DPMM were dealt a huge blow when the Spanish-Filipino midfielder scored the opener in the 20th minute.

Left back Jeffrey Christiaens made a marauding run down the flank and his cross was finished off by Carli, who sent an unstoppable header past Wardun yussof.

Brian Reids' side doubled their lead after captain Ben Starosta regained possession in their own half and led a breakaway down the middle.

The attack culminated with Joshua Beloya threading a precise through ballt o Carli, who made no mistake from a close range.

Carl then deabbed his third goal in the first minute of injury time, latching on to a apss from former Ado Den Haag player Paul Mulders before coolly slotting home.

Although on-loan striker Sanchez headed in Global's fourth nine minutes after the restart, Vjeran Simunic's charges mounted a stunning comeback after an hour mark.

Lithuanian striker Arturas Rimkevicius led the way in the 62nd minute with a perfect volley that crashed past Roland Sadia and off the crosbbar into goal.

Reid was soon forced to bring on reserve goalkeeper Eduardo Sacapano for the injured Sadia,with DPMM;s giant defender Tales Ricarte dos Santos also brought by Simunic as makeshift striker at the same time.

The Brazilian made an immediate impact with his first touch of the ball, heading Azwan Salleh's corner past hepless Secapano.

The deficit was reduced to just one goal on the night in the 82nd minute when dos Santos played a defence-splitting ball to Rimkevicius, who slid it inder Sacapano to make it 4-3.

Joao Moreira sensationally equalised with a header five minutes before the end of regulation time, but the Bruneians were not able to find the fifth goal that would have forced the match to go into extra-time.

The relieved Global players celebrated when the final whistle went as they advanced, with DPMM still in search of a first semi-final in the Cup. 



Saturday, July 27
DPMM FC eye redemption.

DPMM FC are looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit against Global FC in the second leg of their Singapore Cup quarter-finals tonight.

They succumbed to alate loss on Wednesday after Global's Spanish forward Rufino Sanchez headed hoem with the last touch of the game for the only goal at the Jalan Besar Stadium, and it was heartbreak for DPMM considering they put away several chances that could given them the advantage before the defensive lapse in the 96th minute.

Captain Rosmin Khamis said the team has erased memories of their first leg loss against the Filipino outfit and are focused on winning tonight's tie.

"We have no other choice but to win the match," said Rosmin in an interview yesterday.

"We are motivated since we still have hope to advance to the semis."Its dissaponting after losing in the last minute since we domonated most of the match, but we have already forgoten about it and are in high spirits for tomorrow's match," he added.

After the loss DPMM head coach Vjeran Simunic couldn't have asked more from his players and felt that they have performed well and didn;t deserved to lose.

Rosmin agreed with the Croatian and knows exactly what is needed from the team to conjure a victory.

"I also asked the assistant coaches after the match and they said we played well," said the midfielder.

"We will need to score at least 2 goals and work hard to keep a clean sheet.

"We know that Global are a strong team and we must be aware of their counter-attacks," he added.

According to the S-League website, Siunic was not pleased with the performance of foreign strikers Joao Moreira and arturas Rimkevicius.

The former, who is the team's top-scorer, had missed svereal chances in the past few matches and according to Simunic,Rimkevicius has yet to get accustomed to the artificial pitch at the Jalan Besar.

He also mentioned that he was missing the services of injured striker Shahrazen Said, the forward set to sit out another three or four weeks with an inured knee.

"We just need to play normally , but we will require 100 per cent teamwork upfront to score goals because that has been lacking in the forwards," said Shahrazen.

Nevertheles, I know that the guys can make history for this Singapore Cup," he added.

The match kicks off at 8pm. 



Thursday, July 25
Debutant Sanchez strikes at the death for Global.

The Spanish striker, on loan for a  month at the Philippines outfit, marked his first game in style with a last-minute winner in the first leg of their Singapore Cup quarter-final.

Global FC were left thanking their lucky stars as they left it late to snatch a last-minute winner in their Singapore Cup quarter-final leg clash against Brunei DPMM at the Jalan Besat Stadium.

The Bruneians fired blanks for most of the match while the Philippines outfit went forward on the counter, with carlos De Maurga and Misagh Bahadoran combining well in midfield to supply the ammunituon to lone striker Rufino Sanchez.

Spaniard Sanchez,on a month loan from Stallion FC, was lively upfront but missed a glorious opportunity to give his side the lead in the first half.

In the 18th minute, Joshua Beloya went on marauding run down the left flank before sending the ball into the six-yard box.However, Sanchez miraculously failed to score from close range as the ball got stuck under his foot before it was swiftly gathered by Wardun.

While there were many clear-cut chances on the field, emtions ran high on the touchline as both coaches, Vjeran Simunic and Brian reid, had heated exchanges.

 Reid was furious that his opposite number had, on several occasions, screamed to referee Sukhbir Singh to hand out cards to the Global players for challenges on the Bruneians.

DPMM had the bulk of possession after the half-time interval but none of their foreign players were able to trouble Global goalkeeper Roland Sadia.

Simunic brought on striker Adi Said six minutes before the end and he wasted no time in setting his sights on goal.

A minute after coming on,Aid managed to sidestep his marker before pulling the trigger from 30 yards, forcing a stupendous acrobatic save fron Sadia.

With the clock ticking down, Gobal were presented with a final chance on goal after they were awarded a freekick at the halfway line.

With referee turning his back to instruct the DPMM players on the distance of their wall from the ball, set-piece-taker Jeffrey Christaens moved the ball forward again a yard, and it was an advantgae that eventually led to the winner.

The ball was swung in deep into the penalty box where Sanchez manged to flick it to the bottom corner to spark joyous celebrations, as the UFL side gained the upper hand going into the second leg on Saturday. 



Wednesday, July 24
DPMM FC calm and ready for Global challenge

DPMM FC aren't worrying about tonight's opponents.

Brunei's only professional team will take on Global FC of the Phillipines in the quarter-finals of the Singapore Cup at the Jalan Besar Stadium , the first of two legs with the second to be contested at the same venue on Saturday.

DPMM FCadvanced to the quarter-finals after cruising in a 4-0 victory over the Lao Police end of May.

On the other hand,Global are coming off a 2-0 win over defending champions, Warriors FC in the previous round in June.

"We aren't thinking too much about them," said interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

"We know they are a strong team but we have to think about ourselves.

"We hope to have a repeat performance from our last game.

"I watched their last game against Warriors but is different now that they have added some new players to the roster.

"My advantage could be that they haven't been playing along side each other as much to be at full stregth but we know for sure thst they are prepared to play," command the Croatian.

DPMM will once again be missing the services of the injured duo of brazilian defender Tales Ricarte dos Santos and striker Shahrazen Said.

However Simunic trusts his local players to be able to turn it up a notch for the encounter against the United Football League (UFL) side.

"The local players will have to step up," stressed Simunic.

 "They will be under a bit more pressure and will have to take responsibility.It is a good challenge for Bruneians with more locals seeing action.

"We respect our opponents because we know they are one of the fsvourites of the competition.

"It will be a good game...A 180-minute match, and there can be many things to decide who will win it," continued the reigning S-League Coach of the Year.

According to the S-League website, Global boasts several Azkals in their squad including Jason De Jong, Mirsagh Bahadoran and Carh De Murga.

They have also acquired Spanish striker Rufino Sanchez for the matchup.

Sanchez is on a one-month loan from fellow UFL side Stallion FCand was the league top-scorer for the recently concluded season with 18 goals.

Kick-off is at 8pm. 

 

 



Tuesday, July 23
Global FC test for DPMM FC

Brunei DPMm will take on Global FC of the Philippines in the quarter finals of the RHB Singapore Cup tomorrow at the Jalan Besar Stadium starting at 8 pm.

Although DPMM FC steamrolled past Lao Police with ease in the preliminary round,Global FC will present much tougher opoosition for them, according to report in Goal.com.

The United Football League(UFL) side boast several Azkals including the ever-relisble Jason De Jong,Misagh Bahadoran and Carli De Munga.

Captain Yu Hoshide is surprisingly not including in the side while new signing Ruffino Sanchez will be making his trip to Singapore.

Sanchez in on a one-month loan from fellow side Stallion FC and was the top-scorer for the recently concluded season with 18 goals.

While confidence appears to be high in the Phillipines outfit,the Bruneians are sweating on the fitness of several of their key players as they aim to progress for the semifinals.

Central defender Tales dos Santos is still on the treatment table after pulling a muscle in their clash against Tanjong Pagar in the league while Md Shahrazen Said is also out injured.

DPMM will be banking on 40-year old Pg Sallehuddin Damit to hold the fort at the back while misfiring forward Joao Moreira will be eager to prive his critics wrong.

With coach vjeran Simunic claiming that ex Lithuanian international Arturas Rimkevicius is yet to be accustomed with the artificial turf at the Jalan Besar Stadium,it may spell yet another barren spell for the 30-year old.

But DPMM have yet another potent weapon up their sleeves in 21-year old Azwan Ali, who was impressive in their previous league match against Geylang.

The young striker showed flair and confidence with his nifty footwork and he might just prove to be the answer for DPMM's quest for victory. 

 



Saturday, July 20
Eagles cut down by late DPMM strike

A resolute Geylang International defence finally crumbled nine minutes before the end as they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat against Brunei DPMM on Friday night at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

The Eagles were welcoming back Stefam Milijevicfrom along lay-off but were still missing some key players.Delvinder Singh and Fabian Kwok who were out injured, and the suspended duo of Khayrulhayat Jumat and captain Jozef Kaplan.

Coach V.Kanan played Shotaro Ihata as the lone striker but the former Home Utd was not having the best of matches and was constantly losing the ball easily and  failed to connect well with the rest of the teammates.

The Bruneians were also having problems of their own on and off the pitch as coach vjeran Simunic had to back instructions frpm the stands as he was serving his suspension folowing his sending-off in the previous match against Tanjong Pagar.

But even without their colourful coach, they played better compared to their previous encounters.

The visitors were missing lanky defender Tales dos Santos at the back, who is still recupearting from an injury, but there was not much work for the backline as the Eagles were toothless upfront.

It was a frustrating night for Simunic's men as they were guilty of squnadering several golden opportunituies in the match, namely by joao Moreira and Arturas Rimkevicius.

After the half time interval, DPMM controlled most of the possession and were looking more threatening whenever they went forward.

DPMM's perseverance paid off in the 81st minute whne Basil Tan needlessly gave away a free-kick outside the box.

Captain Rosmin Khamis shot sends the ball to the top corner and ricocheted off the bar before hitting the back of Geylang custodian Takuma Ito and into the back of the net, securing all three points for the visitors. 



Friday, July 19
DPMM brace for Geylang

DPMM will be looking to turn their Singapore League campaihn around when they take in Geylang International todat at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

It will be an uphill task as they will have to do so without the injured dup of Brazilain Tales dos Santos and striker Shahrazen Said.

The former picked up an injury early in their 1-1 draw against Tankong Pagar last Friday.

Shahrazem, who came off the bench for the game picked up an injury during their last training night on the knee.

Vjeran Simunic felt that the team is prepared for the game and he hoped that the results will go in their favour.

"Every match is important for us and we will always go out to play the best possible," Said Simunic in an interview yesterday.

"Shahrazen is one of my best players in the team, so it might me a problem.Salleh came in for Tales and did very well and don't make any mistakes,"

The Croatian highlighted that their biggest problem now is finding the back of the net and hopes that his charges would change that.

"We created alot of cahnces but just could not score.We have about 6 chances against Tanjong Pagar bout couldn't score.We should have won," said Simunic.

In addition his side has given up eight goals in the last four matches but the coach was satisfied with backlinein the last game.

"I thought the backline did well in the last game.We want to go out and do the sam against Geylang.We have been playing with more players on the attack," continued the Croatian.

Geylang are in good form as of late, winning their last two games.

Skipper Jozef Kapaln will miss the encounter having picked up a red card against Hougang.The league's top-scorer and player of the monthn has been splendid ipfront and will be missed.

However they will welcome back defender Srdjan Milosevic in the roster. 



Saturday, July 13
Simunic pleased with draw against 'quality' Jaguars.

Tanjong Pagar United lost ground at the top of the table after they were held to a 1-1 draw bu a determined DPMM at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night.

Visiting coach Vjeran Simunic was banished from the touchline by referee Ahmad A'Qashah in the half and wasted no time in explaining his action during the post match interview, claiming that he regretted it. 

"About the sending off, I apologise for it;it was a reaction because I saw a punch to Hendra and one player going into a challenge with a high leg," he said.

"Next time I will not make any reaction."

Although the Croatian had hoped for maximum points from the match, he was pleased with the draw as he felt that the Jaguars are a "quality" side.

"Tanjong Pagar is a good team;I am serious and its not a joke, so one point is a very good achievement," Simunic claimed.

"I think we deserved an early goal but sometime in football, fortunate comes very late.I amhappy with this point as we needed it."

Simunic's opposite number Patrick Vallee believed it would have been different result had his side taken their numerous chances.

"Yes I feel we were unlucky but we can't complain because we got chances to score the second goal and I am dissapointed that we did not, which could have secured us the win," he admitted.

The Frenchamn was also not too pleased with the amount of time added on.

"I don't want to complain but someone must show me where the five or six minutes added tiem cam from," Vallee said in reference to the equaliser, which was scored a minute after the allocated injury time.

"But that is football, and I think we deserved to win today, but a draw is a good result too."

While it was 2 points lost for the Jaguars, who could have closed to within two points of second-placed Albirex with victory,Vallee acknowledged the hard work for his players.

"I can't be upset or angry,just a bit dissapointed at the end it is frustrating but I am happy with the performance of my team and their fighting spirit," he said.

"We are still in top position and July is a tough moth we will see how next Tuesday against Albirex."

Vallee also explained his decision to bring out captain Walid Lounis in the dying minutes of the match even though the Tunisian-born Singaporean did not sustain a serious injury.

"He had a cut on hsi lips and I can't play 10 players against a side like DPMM and that is why I made the change," he pointed out.

"But it was not because of that we conceded the goal; maybe we shoule kept the ball up in front more." 



Friday, July 12
DPMM eye return to form against Tanjong Pagar.

DPMM FC are looking to end their slide in their Singapore League campaign as they take on Tanjong Pagar today at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

Their last outing saw them squander a two-goal lead to lose 5-2 to Woodlands Wellington at the Jalan Besar Stadium last Friday.

Brunei's only professional club will have a tough task on their hands as Tanjong Pagar are playing well,sitting in third spot with 28 points.

DPMM FC, however, can look to their on-going Singapore League Cup campaign for inspiration.

They came from behind to beat Tanjong Pagar 5-2 in the quarterfinals of the competition last month.

The S-League is a different tournament and leftback Sairol Sahri knows what must be addressed if they are to turn their season around.

"We must bounce back and focus for the whole 90 minutes because, sometimes, we lose our concentration during the game," said Sairol.

"Every team has the ability to beat everyone else and it is important for us to win so that we can be inside the top-six," he added.

Ramadhan has also begun and the players are fasting but Sairol expects the club's imports to pull up their socks,

"I think the fasting month will affect the team so we have to play smart.Our import playes will have to give their 100 per cent," said Sairol.

"We have to work smart, play as a team and focus. That is important for us to conjure up the win<" he said.

Striker Shahrazen felt that they had a good showing in the last game but hoped they can keep up the performance for the whole 90 minutes.

"We will come out as normal and play our game.We must fight back to get the points beacuse we want to be in the top-six," said Shahrazen.

"I'm not sure about the team's confidence but we just need to play like how we did against Woodlands,to keep scoring when have chances and focus on defence," he said.

"As for the fasting month, there is no effect.It actually makes us stronger," continued the forward.

Captain Rosmin Khamis is set to miss the encounter after picking up his fourth yellow card of the season in his last match.

The game kicks off at 8 pm, and will be telecast live on Astro 801. 



Saturday, July 6
Theerawekin inspires Rams to stunning comeback in dream debut.

Aided by the ireepressible duo of Moon and Chang, the Thai midfielder marked his return to the S.League in style as he notched two goals to down the Brunei visitors.

It was goals galore at the Jalan Besar Stadium s Woodlands Wellington romped to an impressive 5-2 victory over Brunei DPMM.

It was an unimaginable scoreline as the rams had trailed by two goals in the opening 17 minutes of the match, before debutant Theerawekin Seehawong started the comeback.

It only took the visitors 6 minutes top open the scoring through Joao Moreira, who took the advantage of the defensive lapse at the back and executed an acrobatic half-volley in the six-yard box.

DPMM doubled the lead 11 minutes later as the Woodlands defence were caught napping at a corner kick, and Rodrigo Tosi turned his marker to slam a low drive past Yazid Yasin in goal. 

Despite falling behind, the Rams did not let their game down and were the better sodes with Theerawekin leading the pack with his creativity and nifty footwork in the middle of the field.

The former Gombak midfielder led the comeback in the 28th minute when he chested down the cross from Moon Ho in the penalty box before slamming it home for Woodlands first goal for them.

Woodlands got the equaliser 11 minutes before the half-time interval after a nice interchange of passes between Atsushi Shimono,Theerawekin and Cho Sunghwan ended with the latter laying off the ball for Chang Jo Yoon to drive into the bottom corner.

The second half saw the collapse of the reigning League Cup champions, who were no match for the tactical discipline shown hy Salim Moin's side.

Six minutes after the break, Sallehudin Damit allowed himseld to be dispossessed by Moon Ho at the edge of the box witht only the goalie to beat,the Koream made no mistake as he cooly slotted home to give his side a 3-2 lead.

Seemingly upset with his defenders mistake,Vjeran Simunic swiftly replaced the 40-year old with Azwan Ali.

But the substitution counted for nothing as DPMM went further behing midway through the second half, with the Rams notputting a foot wrong in the game.

In the 75th minutem Moon;s shot was palmed away by Wardun but he managed to cut the rebound back for Chang, who made it 4-2 for the rams.

The rout was completed 9 minutes later before time when Theerawekin took advantage of a chaotic situation in the DPMM box after Chang's shot was parried and scuffed the rebound past Wardun.