Adi Said (in blue) of DPMM FC
shoots against the national
under-23 team in their
friendly match yesterday at
the Hassanal Bolkiah National
Stadium in Berakas. DPMM FC
won the match 5-0. Picture:
BT/ Yee Chun Leong
The national under-23 team have plenty to do after struggling to a 5-0 loss to DPMM FC ahead of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Myanmar in December.
The silver lining was that the national side were playing their first friendly match after their stint at the Borneo Games in Labuan last month and they were missing the services of striker Adi Said, midfielder Azwan Ali Rahman and goalkeeper Md Fakhrul Zulhazmi Yussof who laced up for DPMM FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
Adi found the back of the net four times for DPMM FC in the matchup which lasted for 75 minutes - with only 30 minutes played in the second half.
DPMM FC got off to the best of starts and opened the scoring just seven minutes after kickoff with Adi finding the back of the net with a superb freekick.
Hj Mohd Subhi Abdilah Hj Bakir doubled DPMM FC's lead in the 22nd minute after the U-23 team failed to clear a corner. The DPMM FC right-back was just at the right place at the right place at the right time to blast home from inside the box. It was 3-0 in the 35th minute after Rosmin Hj Mohd Kamis delivered a good ball from midfield to Adi on the right before the forward skipped past the keeper to slot it home.
The U-23 team were toothless on attack and were on the backfoot most of the time.
DPMM FC continued their dominance after the break and Adi notched his hat trick after he outpaced his defender to rifle in his shot in the 68th minute.
He added another goal to his tally just minutes before the final whistle to complete the rout.
DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic is gearing his team up for their upcoming matchup against Hougang United at home next Saturday. He was pleased with the team's spirit and hoped that they can carry the momentum forward.
"I'm not happy that we have a long break because we were in fantastic form in our last two games which we won," said Simunic in an interview with The Brunei Times after the convincing victory.
"Hougang will be a big challenge for us as they are unbeaten in their last three games. They even drew 2-2 against Tampines in a friendly yesterday (Friday)," he said.
"But today (Saturday) the players ran, challenged and made many chances. We could have even scored more and this is a good confidence booster for them. Even the bench players stepped up," continued the Croatian.
Hj Zainuddin Hj Kassim, the U-23 assistant coach, felt that there is still plenty of work to be done ahead of the Maynmar Games. "We started off slow and the players seemed scared. We needed all the match experience considering that we were going up against the seniors," he said.
"We will need to improve on our passing game. Confidence is also very important and it can be seen that the teamwork is not there yet. We will need to be more organised," he added.
"Hopefully we will be able to do better in our next friendly," continued Hj Zainuddin. Both teams are set to play against each other again on Tuesday.
The U-23 side are also scheduled to play in a tournament in Sabah some time next month as part of preparations for the SEA Games.