Caption: Najib Hj Tarif (R) chases Nazrul Nazari of Hougang United during their S.League match last night at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas. Picture: Yee Chun Leong
Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
DPMM FC notched their first win in the S.League with a 2-0 victory over Hougang United last night.
Billy Mehmet and Md Hendra Azam Md Idris found the back of the net for the Brunei side at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
The hosts got off to a strong start and only needed nine minutes to take the lead.
Md Hendra Azam delivered a pin point ball over the top for Mehmet to slot home his first goal for DPMM FC.
It was all DPMM FC and Rafael Ramazotti had a chance just after 30 minutes in but put his header over.
Hougang United threatened in the 35th minute with Pablo Aracil connecting on a Fumiya Kogure cross but DPMM FC goalkeeper Alizanda Sitom, who was given his first start of the season, denied him from inside the six-yard box.
At the other end five minutes later, Ramazotti rose the highest but couldn’t head Najib Hj Tarif’s cross on target.
DPMM FC doubled their advantage just before the halftime whistle after Md Hendra Azam fired an unstoppable shot from 20 yards out to beat Hougang United goalkeeper Khairulhin Khalid.
The hosts could have added to their tally eight minutes into the second half but Azwan Ali Rahman’s shot from close range was blocked off the line by an opponent.
Ramazotti then had a shot off a tight angle parried by Khairulhin moments later.
Hougang United picked up their game and skipper Azhar Sairudin was free to fire a shot from 12 yards out but couldn’t keep it down.
It was a physical matchup resulting in the referee brandishing several yellow cards.
The visitors saw plenty of the ball and almost pulled one back in the 74th minute from a deadball.
Kogure struck a well taken freekick from the edge of the box only to be denied by the left post.
The Cheetahs continued pouring forward but couldn’t seem to find the finishing.
Kogure, the 2015 S.League player of the year, came close again in the 86th minute after firing from the just inside the box only to watch it bounce off the upright to sum up their outing.
Caption: Hougang United goalkeeper Khairulhin Khalid grabs hold of the ball ahead of Rafael Ramazotti. Picture: Yee Chun Leong
Three points is all that matters for DPMM FC
“it is good to get our first three points of the season because in previous games we have played well enough and in my opinion should have at least four points on the table,” said DPMM FC coach Steve Kean in a post match interview.
“It was vital we got three points tonight (Sunday night). What was even more pleasing is that we got a cleansheet in the manner which we defended.
“In the last three weeks the emphasis of our training has been about defending. it was pleasing to get the three points and the cleansheet is the icing on the cake,” he added.
Kean also felt that there was no doubt that they would come out on top despite their opponents hitting the post twice in the encounter.
“We had total control of the game. Obviously they had two chances but before that we had two,” said the Scotsman.
“Azwan Ali had a shot blocked off the line and the other was when Ramazotti chipped to the backpost. The keeper was scrambling and made a mess of it and fumbles it onto line. We were unlucky he did not to turn it over the line,” he added.
“So on chances there was only one team… we blew them away. There were a couple of chances from a special player (Kogure) that can do that and we know how good he is.
“Overall on chances and balance of game. there was only one team who would win and that was us,” continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
Caption: Fumiya Kogure (2nd L) of Hougang United unleashed a shot fierce shot from just inside the box only to be denied by the left post. Picture: Yee Chun Leong
Timing of goals crucial for Hougang United
“We knew that Billy and Ramazotti are good strikers but I thought we kept them quiet. But we allowed Billy to score in the first 10 minutes and they scored another at stroke of halftime,” said Hougang United coach Philippe Aw.
“Timing of the goals crucial. Even at 2-0 I thought we could come back.
“In the second half the boys gave it their all. We hit the post twice, we had chances but just couldn't find the first goal,” he added.
The former Home United coach also felt that the game would have gone differently had they equalised before the second goal.
“It was 1-0 and we had that chance from six yards but couldn't finish. Have we scored that would have been 1-1,” said Aw.
“Even that we shouldn't have conceded the second at the stroke of halftime. Morally it is not good to concede at the stroke of halftime.
“They had two chances (in the first half) and they finished. That is clinical for them. Other than that we kept the twin towers away from us with a high defence line,” he added.
When asked on about the officiating, Aw replied: “You know this happens in a game. Sometimes you get the decision for you and sometimes you don't.
“it is a long season. Today if you don't, maybe the next game you get one. There is no point being upset with decisions.
“We know they are human beings after all. Everyone makes mistakes and we will just move on,” concluded the Hougang United coach.