Stags Eye Respectable Finish
Brunei DPMM vs Tampines Rovers
(3 November, Friday, 8.15pm, Bandar Seri Begawan)
Written by: Rashid Sulaiman
Tampines Rovers will face a tricky away trip when they travel to Bandar Seri Begawan to take on Brunei DPMM on Friday night where three points will ensure the Stags finish in the top two of the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League this season.
Currently on 50 points, Tampines are six points behind league leaders Albirex Niigata (S) with only two matches to go to the end of the campaign.
While it is still mathematically possible at this point for Jurgen Raab’s charges to snatch the title away from Kazuaki Yoshinaga’s side, they would need the White Swans to lose their remaining two matches and win their upcoming two ties with big margins to better Albirex’s superior goal difference of 45 goals compared to the Stags’ tally of 23.
Acknowledging the uphill task to see through the above permutation as Albirex only need a point against Warriors FC to successfully defend their title, Raab is eyeing to end the year as the best local side in the S.League.
“It’s all in our hands to finish second. We must beat Brunei DPMM next,” said Raab.
“After we lost to Albirex (in August), I said we cannot do something (in the title race) because we had no more matches against them. I don’t think they will make mistakes but it’s still a great success for us to finish second,” added the former East German international.
Both Tampines and DPMM have met twice in the S.League with the latter emerging victorious on both occasions.
Ivan Dzoni scored the winning goal in their first meeting of the season in Bandar Seri Begawan, while Shakir Hamzah and Shahdan Sulaiman netted a goal each in the second match played at Our Tampines Hub.
The Bruneians meanwhile have had a disappointing season compared to 2016 where they finished in the top three. This year, they only have four wins under their belt, with three of those coming in their home matches.
They are currently languishing in eighth spot, with foreign striker Rafael Ramazotti scoring 13 goals in the S.League this season.
While Steve Kean’s charges have struggled for most parts of this season, they recently chalked up three wins in their last five matches, winning against Hougang United (2-1), Balestier Khalsa (4-1) and Warriors (3-2).
This is something that was recently highlighted by their team manager Ali Momin when he stood in for Kean who was sent off during their 4-1 loss against Geylang International.
“The problem with us is the consistency. They did well in the last game against Warriors FC (3-2) but not in this game. We need our players to play with their hearts and hopefully we can improve next season,” explained Ali.
The Wasps will however be without the services of skipper Rosmin Kamis who serves a one-match suspension after accumulating four yelow cards.
Suspension: Rosmin Kamis (Brunei DPMM)
Brunei DPMM - WWLWL
27/10/17 Geylang International 4-1 Brunei DPMM
21/10/17 Brunei DPMM 3-2 Warriors FC
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
Tampines Rovers - WDWWW
28/10/17 Tampines Rovers 3-0 Garena Young Lions
23/10/17 Home United 0-2 Tampines Rovers
15/10/17 Geylang International 2-3 Tampines Rovers
20/09/17 Tampines Rovers 1-1 Warriors FC
17/09/17 Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Tampines Rovers
Head to Head (S.League)
28/07/17 Tampines Rovers 2-0 Brunei DPMM
28/04/17 Brunei DPMM 0-1 Tampines Rovers
01/10/16 Tampines Rovers 0-1 Brunei DPMM
11/06/16 Tampines Rovers 4-3 Brunei DPMM
19/03/16 Brunei DPMM 1-2 Tampines Rovers