DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic
(R) arguing with a referee
during an earlier match.
Simunic was happy with his
side's performance despite
having to bark orders from
the stands as he served his
suspension from the touchline
after being sent off during
their last game. Picture:
DPMM FC can breathe a sigh of relief as they are finally back to winning ways in the Singapore League (S-League).
Brunei's only professional team edged Geylang International FC 1-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore on Friday after captain Rosmin Hj Md Kamis scored his second goal of the season when he rifled in an 81st minute free-kick which needed two deflections.
It was a much needed win for the Brunei side, their first victory in the S-League in a six-game period which has stretched over two months.
It was their fifth straight triumph over the Eagles in all competition stretching back from the previous season.
More impressively, they did so in style with head coach Vjeran Simunic watching from the stands as he served his suspension from the touchline after being sent off during their last game against Tanjong Pagar United FC last Friday.
In addition, they were missing the services of the injured duo of Brazilian defender Tales Ricarte dos Santos and striker Shahrazen Said.
Simunic was delighted with the win, especially since he had to bark instructions to his players from the stands.
"We knew that Geylang were a good team and we have always had tough games with them and have good movement amongst ourselves," said Simunic in a post-game interview on the S-League website.
"It was a tough game and they defended well against our two strikers (Joao Moreira and Arturas Rimkevicious) and we could not do much but we hit the post from Moreira," he added.
Simunic was full of praise for midfielder Azwan Ali Rahman, who he sent on in the 67th minute for Portuguese Moreira.
It may be a questionable move for some but the introduction of Azwan, who has spent the most of his debut season on the injured list, proved to the game changer with Simunic going on to predict he would shine in the league.
"I had planned something new and I had previously said that our No 2 (Azwan) will be the new star of the league," said Simunic.
"But he played against Tampines and then was out for three months after a challenge from Mustafic (Fahrudin).
"But did you all see how he played? Was he good?" asked Simunic rhetorically.
On the other hand, Eagles head coach V Kanan felt that they should have taken something out of the encounter.
"We do not have firepower going upfront and our midfield was young and inexperienced and they can't combine well with (Shotaro) Ihata and Stefan (Milojevic)," said Kanan.
"That was why we did not have many chances on goal but we defended well and the young boys did their best.
"We were missing four regulars and even without them, we still played well and I should say I am happy but a draw would have been a fair result," continued Kanan.
Kanan revealed that he intentionally set out for his team to soak in the pressure in the first half and wanted to go on the attack after the interval.
However, he conceded that his counterpart read his tactics well.
"We wanted to close them down and wanted to come out (attacking) in the second half but they had their game plan too," said Kanan.
"We did well defensively and restricted them to long shots and it was not easy for them to penetrate our defence.
"We gave away too many free-kicks but they are experienced players and know how to win it," concluded the Geylang head coach.
The win sees DPMM FC leapfrog Geylang into eighth spot in the 12-team table with 23 points from 18 games.
Geylang are on 21 points but have a game in hand.
DPMM FC will now turn their focus to the quarter-finals of their Singapore Cup campaign next week, where they will play two legs against Global FC of the Philippines on Wednesday and Saturday at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.