Shahril Aims To End Season On A High
Brunei DPMM vs Warriors FC
(21 October, Saturday, 8.15pm, Bandar Seri Begawan)
Written by: Rashid Sulaiman
Warriors FC captain Shahril Ishak is on a mission to end the season as the top local scorer as his side prepare to take on Brunei DPMM in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League at Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Bandar Seri Begawan on Saturday night.
With four matches left this season, Warriors are currently in fourth spot on 30 points with eight wins and six draws while DPMM are four spots below the former on 11 points with just three wins.
In their last match, Warriors were handed a shock 1-0 loss by developmental side Garena Young Lions while the Bruneians suffered a 4-1 reverse by Balestier Khalsa.
While both clubs have not had the best of campaigns, Shahril is confident the Warriors can end it strongly and has set a personal target for himself.
“If you look at the scorers list, we have Stipe (Plazibat) and (Tsubasa) Sano up there. It is impossible for me to catch them,” admitted Shahril, who is currently on nine goals in the S.League.
“Faris (Ramli) is the only local player above me in the scorers list. We are both on nine goals now and (Khairul) Nizam is behind me (on seven goals).
“We have four matches left and I believe that I can put in a few more goals to end the season as the best local scorer,” added the Singapore international.
Although his club have had a topsy-turvy season, Shahril feels that he personally had given his best after overcoming his injuries towards the end of last season.
“Coming into this season, I had just recovered from an injury and told myself to take it slow,” the 33-year-old shared. “But I am pleased with myself this season as I played my hearts out every match.
“Of course it would be good to win more matches but that’s football, sometimes results do not go our way.”
Warriors head coach Razif Onn is however not about to put the goal-scoring burden on the shoulders of Shahril alone.
“We still need a finisher as our top scorer (Shahril Ishak) is not a striker and we need someone to finish off the chances that we have created,” he said.
At the other end, Razif will be without Ho Wai Loon who will serve a one-match suspension but Baihakki Khaizan and Syaqir Sulaiman will both be available again.
For DPMM, their achilles heel remains in their defence as they have conceded 10 goals in their last five matches with their latest result being a 4-1 drubbing at home by Balestier.
It was a performance that left head coach Steve Kean displeased.
“I thought we were poor and we were nowhere near the level we were against Young Lions or Hougang which we won away from home,” the former Blackburn Rovers manager said.
“In the balance of play, when we did have possession, the crossing was not of high enough quality.”
Chilean defender Vincent Salas will however be available for the Wasps as he was suspended for the last match and this could be a boost in terms of defensive options for Kean.
Suspension: Ho Wai Loon (Warriors FC)
Brunei DPMM - LLWWL
16/10/17 Brunei DPMM 1-4 Balestier Khalsa
07/10/17 Brunei DPMM 7-1 Garena Young Lions
23/09/17 Hougang United 1-2 Brunei DPMM
19/09/17 Brunei DPMM 1-4 Hougang United
16/09/17 Brunei DPMM 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
Warriors FC - WDLDL
14/10/17 Warriors FC 0-1 Garena Young Lions
20/09/17 Tampines Rovers 1-1 Warriors FC
15/09/17 Warriors FC 0-2 Geylang International
17/08/17 Balestier Khalsa 2-2 Warriors FC
04/08/17 Hougang United 0-1 Warriors FC
Head to Head (S.League)
02/07/17 Warriors FC 1-0 Brunei DPMM
15/04/17 Brunei DPMM 3-5 Warriors FC
19/08/16 Brunei DPMM 3-0 Warriors FC
05/05/16 Warriors FC 1-1 Brunei DPMM
27/02/16 Brunei DPMM 3-1 Warriors FC