DPMM Searching For Elusive Win
Brunei DPMM vs Hougang United
(19 September, Tuesday, 8.15pm, Bandar Seri Begawan)
Written by: Rashid Sulaiman
Brunei DPMM will be seeking to snap their 13-match winless streak in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League when they entertain Hougang United at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium on Tuesday night.
DPMM are currently in eighth spot in the S.League with only a win and two draws to their name with their only victory coincidentally coming against Hougang in April. They ran out 2-0 winners then, courtesy of a goal each from Billy Mehmet and Hendra Azam.
Fortunes have not favoured them since then as they have lost 13 S.League matches, while picking up a point each against Garena Young Lions and Balestier Khalsa.
Although they went down 1-0 to leaders Albirex Niigata (S) in their recent match, head coach Steve Kean was surprisingly pleased with his charges’ performance.
“I’m proud of the players, the way we played. Albirex are at the top of the table and a long way in front. I don’t think that showed tonight against us. We probably had better chances than them but it didn’t fall for us,” said Kean.
“But the way we controlled the game and it looked like at times Albirex were afraid. As soon we got the ball in the wide areas, we were a threat all night,” added the former Blackburn Rovers team manager.
For the Cheetahs, they are in sixth position on 23 points and have only won once, in the 2015 League Cup, against the Bruneians in their last eight meetings in all competitions.
But Hougang are coming into this match buoyed with confidence after they snapped their two-match losing streak with a 2-1 win over Garena Young Lions.
“We were so comfortable at 2-0 and should have been cleverer to protect the lead. We were playing simple football, pass and move, going behind their full-backs and giving them problems,” said Aw after their match against the developmental side.
“But conceding that goal before half time gave the Young Lions something to fight for, fortunately my keeper Khairulhin was up to the mark when called upon. It was also good that I managed to give some other players a runout, including Nurhilmi who hasn’t played 90 minutes for a long time,” added the Hougang head coach.
The two teams will be facing off each other twice in the space of five days, with the second match scheduled for Saturday at Hougang Stadium.
But there is more than just the S.League in Hougang’s mind as they will face Philippine side Global Cebu FC in the RHB Singapore Cup semi-finals over two legs on 27 and 30 September
“I told the boys we can’t just think of the Singapore Cup semi-finals alone, there’s over 20 of them fighting to get into the first eleven to play against Global and I want them get into groove before the two games,” Aw said.
While DPMM will welcome the return of Haizul Rani and Hazwan Hamzah from suspension, they will be without foreign defender Vincent Salas who is serving his final of a two-match suspension.
For Aw, he will be pleased that young defender Lionel Tan is available for selection after missing the previous match due to suspension but will miss the services of midfielder Syahiran Miswan who was sent off in against Young Lions.
Suspensions: Vincent Salas (Brunei DPMM); Syahiran Miswan (Hougang United)
Brunei DPMM - LLDLL
16/09/17 Brunei DPMM 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
08/09/17 Brunei DPMM 1-4 Home United
21/08/17 Balestier Khalsa 2-2 Brunei DPMM
16/08/17 Home United 3-1 Brunei DPMM (RHB Singapore Cup)
13/08/17 Brunei DPMM 1-3 Home United (RHB Singapore Cup)
Hougang United - WWLLW
15/09/17 Hougang United 2-1 Garena Young Lions
09/09/17 Tampines Rovers 1-5 Hougang United
18/08/17 Hougang United 0-1 Geylang International
14/08/17 Nagaworld FC 0-4 Hougang United (RHB Singapore Cup)
11/08/17 Hougang United 4-1 Nagaworld FC (RHB Singapore Cup)
Head to Head (S.League)
02/04/17 Brunei DPMM 2-0 Hougang United
26/08/16 Hougang United 1-2 Brunei DPMM
14/05/16 Brunei DPMM 3-2 Hougang United
04/03/16 Hougang United 0-0 Brunei DPMM
20/10/15 Hougang United 1-2 Brunei DPMM