MS PDB captain Rosmini Hj Abd Kahar (C) dribbles the ball past two Najip FC players during their DST Super League game on Feb 12. Najip head coach Johari Hj Bungsu yesterday said his players need to maintain their focus if they are to avoid a repeat of their 2-1 loss to LLRC FT on Monday. BT file
Lack of concentration late on led to Najip FC's downfall in their DST Super League match against Liang Lumut Recreational Club (LLRC) FT on Monday night.
Having won their first three matches to top the table, Najip - who failed to even win one point last year - slipped to their first defeat with a 2-1 loss to LLRC after two goals in the last seven minutes at the Tutong Sports Complex.
Noor Raimi Karim@Syahremy put Najip in front courtesy of a free kick in the 67th minute only for LLRC to equalise through Md Fakhrullah Hj Md Azanie in the 83rd minute before Md Hakeem Keri sealed the comeback victory after a counter-attack three minutes later.
Najip still lead the league though, with LLRC on six points with two wins in as many games.
Speaking to The Brunei Times yesterday, Najip head coach Johari Hj Bungsu said in that order to continue being one step ahead of the rest, the team need to be more "specific and careful."
"We just lost focus in the last 10 minutes," said Johari in an interview yesterday.
"Our defender didn't mark the LLRC striker which allowed them to equalise so the game taught the players a useful lesson - which is to keep their focus for the full 90 minutes.
"Overall it was still a good game and the boys put up a good performance. It was never going to be easy to win four in a row.
"The players know it is important for them to work hard and all of the players are now looking forward to the next game," he added.
Najip started their campaign with a 2-0 triumph over Kilanas FC on February 3, ending their 10-game losing skid which started at the start of last year's inaugural season. They then made it back-to-back victories with a hard fought 2-1 triumph over Wijaya FC on February 9 and then shot to the top of the 10-team table after a 3-0 victory over the Royal Brunei Police Forces Sports Council (MS PDB) on February 12.
Asked if a couple of weeks break without any matches could have killed their momentum, Johari had no doubt that it did.
"Yes. We had continuous training but only one friendly match during that period," he said.
"We will gain back momentum and focus on this week's training to improve on our finishing," he concluded.