Brunei DPMM book place in last eight of the Starhub League Cup after win over Jaguars
Tanjong Pagar 0
Brunei DPMM 1 (Subhi Abdilah 6’)
A 1-0 win for Brunei DPMM at Queenstown last night was enough to see them through to the quarter-finals of the Starhub League Cup along with SAFFC who beat the Jaguars 3-0 on Thursday night. Both sides will meet this Wednesday at the Yishun Stadium to determine who finishes top of Group A.
A win for the Jaguars here would have seen them go level on points with SAFFC and that seemed to be playing in the minds of both the players as well as their coach, Terry Pathamanathan. Ringing two changes to the side from their last game, defenders Jonathan Xu and Hanafi Salleh both making way for Azhar Ahmad and the returning Hafiz Nor as they were determined to find an early goal.
However, things did not seem to turn their way with Brunei DPMM defender Subhi Abdilah putting the Wasps ahead after just six minutes from a goalmouth scramble. Ivan Jerkovic’s free-kick was floated in from the left and it was a Tanjong Pagar player who deflected the ball goalwards, resulting in Fajar Sarib spilling the ball. Subhi was the quickest to the ball as he blasted it into the roof of the net.
DPMM continued to create the chances and in the 18th minute, an overlapping Sairol Sahari crossed the ball into the area for Patrick Da Silva but the Brazilian’s header was kept out by the legs of Fajar. Minutes later, Hafiz Nor broke free down the right as he tried to find forward Gilbert Bayonne in the box but the cross was however, cut out by Wardun Yusoff who gathered it with ease.
Captain for DPMM, Rosmin Kamis then received the ball off a counter just past the half-hour mark but his shot was straight at Fajar. Asraf Rashid went close with his free-kick three minutes later, as it sailed just over the bar with Wardun beaten.
Fajar had to be alert in the 37th minute to tip Jerkovic’s looping header over the bar for a corner after Shahrazen had done well to send a cross into the box from the right. Despite the plethora of chances DPMM were creating, Pathmanathan’s men did show some encouraging signs while going forward.
Takaya Kawanabe sent Asraf free down the left but his low cross was cut out by the solid Tales Dos Santos five minutes before half-time. Just before the half-time whistle, Rosmin’s low drive from outside the area then missed Fajar’s right-hand post by inches.
When the second half resumed, there was limited action as compared to first except for a couple of yellow cards flashed with Hafiz Nor, substitute Syed Karim and Rosmin all on the receiving end of them.
The first notable action of the second half came in the 65th minute as Azwan Saleh almost put into his own net with a wild backpass to his goalkeeper, Wardun Yussof. Thankfully for the midfielder, his goalkeeper had it well-covered and prevented the ball from going in. Carlos Delgado then spurned a perfect opportunity to put the Jaguars back on level terms three minutes later as he fired straight at Wardun after some good work from the lively Hafiz Nor.
Bayonne was next on 72 but took a tad too long on the ball after receiving it in the box and found himself crowded out by DPMM defenders with the chance of a shot on goal being impossible with each swipe of his boot. Syed Karim then cheaply gave the ball away outside the area minutes later but was unpunished as Ivan Jerkovic dragged a shot wide under pressure from the Tanjong Pagar defenders.
Fajar was called upon for one last time in the game, keeping out Rosmin Kamis’ toe poke after the captain had somehow wriggled his way past the Jaguars defence.
At the end of the day, Subhi Abdilah’s 6th-minute goal was enough for Vjeran Simunic’s side to collect all three points and a step closer to winning the League Cup, which they won back in 2009.
Speaking after the game, Brunei DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic admitted that his side were both lucky and unlucky at the same time.
“Yes, we were lucky to have scored (a) goal. But we were also unlucky (at the same time) as (I thought) we could have scored seven!”
“But Tanjong Pagar are a good team and they played well (tonight). They held us for the ninety minutes and it was a tough game.”
He added, on Tanjong Pagar’s foreign players: “They have fantastic foreign players and I worried about them (at first); the excellent number 16 (Gilbert Bayonne), fantastic (Carlos) Delgado, the fantastic (Anthony) Aymard and the very good (Takaya) Kawanabe.”
On his opponents for the next game, SAFFC, he commented: “It’s a big game (for us), a team I respect very much, especially after they have reinforced. It might be too late but I feel that they are a team who can finish in the top three (in the league).”
On the other hand, the visibly disappointed Terry Pathamanathan said: “Extremely well, my boys played really well tonight but we were let down by the goalkeeper today, who fumbled. He did apologise though.”
“It’s not their fault. They have been working really hard in training and everything has been carried out extremely well… I’m just waiting for the day when the rot will stop.”
“We do play well, but there are still some little things individually to work on.”
This defeat meant that Tanjong Pagar have finished at the bottom of the table with zero points and will play in the Plate semi-finals scheduled to be on the 6th of August against Courts Young Lions, who finished bottom in Group C.
For the victorious Bruneians, they will face either Home United or Hougang United in the quarter-finals.
Tanjong Pagar: Fajar Sarib; Anthony Aymard, Hafiz Osman, Delwinder Singh (C), Azhar Ahmad (Syed Karim 46’), Zahid Ahmad; Asraf Rashid, Carlos Delgado, Takaya Kawanabe, Hafiz Nor; Gilbert Bayonne Unused subs: Shamsudin Hashim, Jonathan Xu, Hanafi Salleh, S. Vikneshwaran
Brunei DPMM: Wardun Yussof; Sairol Sahari (Awangku Fakharazzi 81’), Tales Dos Santos, Pg Sallehudin Damit, Subhi Abdilah; Azwan Saleh, Ivan Jerkovic, Rosmin Kamis (C); Patrick Da Silva (Helmi Zambin 75’), Shahrazen Said (Shahrulrizal Abd Rahman 90+2’), Basiru Osman Unused subs: Fakhrul Zulhazmi, Hendra Azam, Najib Tarif, Adi Said
Yellow card(s): Syed Karim, Hafiz Nor (Tanjong Pagar); Rosmin Kamis, Sallehudin Damit, Helmi Zambin (Brunei DPMM)
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