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Sunday, June 10, 2012

DPMM FC down Sabah in game of two halves

The Brunei Times
JASON THOMAS
DPMM FC players in action against Sabah in a friendly match in Berakas last night.
DPMM FC beat Sabah 3-1 in a lacklustre friendly last night that was best described as a game of two halves. Vjeran Simunic opted to field what might be his first-11 for their next Singapore League (S-League) game against defending champions Tampines Rovers FC on Friday, and the first half ended 2-0 to the hosts at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

 The game marked the first time strikers Shahrazen and Adi Said would play alongside their brother in defence, Md Amalul Ariffin Shah, probably the most notable change in Simunic's starting-11 as Hj Mohd Subhi Abdillah Hj Bakir usually plays in the right-back slot which Md Amalul Ariffin Shah pulled off credibly for the S-League leaders.

 But second half changes saw DPMM FC lose their shape and let in a goal when Brendan Gan Seng Ling netted with a 75th minute header. Ak Mohd Fakharrazi Pg Hj Hassan made it 3-1 after on-trial Spanish player Diego Cervero threaded a through pass in the 84th minute, but overall, the second half belonged to Sabah.

 "It was alright," said Simunic of the team's performance. "At 2-0 up I changed some players and there was some confusion ... But I saw a lot of good things in the second half. "Amalul is one solution for us now. He handled himself well and is like his brothers not scared of anything," added the Croatian.
Shahrazen, Ghanian striker Osman Basiru and Croatian midfielder Ivan Jerkovic would have chances go begging before Brazilian defender Tales Ricarte dos Santos handed the hosts the lead in the 23rd minute. Timing his run to perfection, the tall centre-back's powerful header off an Azwan Salleh corner kick was simply unstoppable.
HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office watches DPMM FC play against Sabah last night at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium. HRH was accompanied by a royal entourage which included HRH Prince `Abdul Malik (L).
 Azwan also played provider for the second goal in the 41st minute, his delightful free-kick into the box resulted in Rosdin Wasli turning the ball into his own net. Dos Santos's replacement by captain Rosmin Hj Kamis in the centre-back role saw Sabah start to assert their dominance in the second half and had chances to catch the hosts out on the counter-attack.

 Shahrulrizal Hj Abd Rahman conceded a free-kick and Gan's header breathed some life back into DPMM FC in the 75th minute, surprising since that was what should have happened when Sabah's Mafry Balang was sent off 10 minutes earlier for a harsh foul on Basiru.

 "The system we used was the same one we want to use in our next game against Young Lions XII on Saturday there is a lot to be polished," said Sabah manager Yahya Mohamed Kassim. "We had five main players out injured and we didn't have any real strikers," added Yahya, whose team are currently 10th in the Malaysian Super League.

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