DPMM FC celebrate winning the Singapore League Cup following their 2-0 final win over Tanjong Pagar United FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore last night. Picture: Courtesy of VOXSports
DPMM FC were crowned champions of the Singapore League Cup after a 2-0 victory over Tanjong Pagar FC in the final last night.
A goal each by Roberto Alviz and Adi Said in each half cemented the win at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore. The Cup was the third for Brunei's only professional team and head coach Steve Kean's maiden trophy.
DPMM FC kicked off the match on the right foot and got their first opportunity in the 12th minute after Azwan Salleh ran past his defender to put the ball through to Azwan Ali Rahman. The latter fired a good shot but Tanjong Pagar goalkeeper Aurelien Herisson came up with a fine save. Adi Said got the next chance for the Brunei side after he received a good pass from Azwan Ali but saw his shot cannon off a Tanjong Pagar defender in the 15th minute.
Tanjong Pagar had a golden opportunity in the 20th minute after going on the counterattack. However, defender Boris Raspudic rushed back fast enough for a tackle on Etiemble to stop the danger.
The Jaguars should have broken the deadlock in the 22nd minute after Sebastien Etiemble delivered a good cross from the right but Monsef Zerka failed to get a touch on it at the far post despite at full stretch.
Roy O'Donovan responded the next minute after he was given space to shoot from just inside the box but saw his effort fly wide. DPMM FC goalkeeper Wardun Yussof was not taking any chances in the 27th minute, pushing the ball over the bar after Tengku Mushadad fired a weary long freekick on goal.
DPMM FC were fortunate not to concede in the 33rd minute after Ahmad Latiff rose highest for a header on target but his attempt flew straight at Wardun. DPMM FC finally broke the deadlock after Raspudic headed home a Md Hendra Azam Md Idris corner in the 35th minute.
Tengku once again struck a good freekick in the 43rd minute but his shot was just inches off the post for the last chance in the opening half. DPMM FC came out strongly in the second half and added to the scoreline just two minutes in. Azwan Ali did well to shake off his defender down the left and delivered a pin point cross into the box to Adi who calmly blasted the ball into the net.
O'Donovan got an opportunity two minutes later after skipping an onrushing Herisson but couldn't fire past a Tanjong Pagar defender. Tanjong Pagar played with a sense of urgency but DPMM FC were doing well, soaking up the pressure. Asraf got a good shot off on the hour mark but the attempt went straight into the arms of Wardun.
Jaguars looked to have pulled one back in the 68th minute after substitute Firdaus Idros got the ball into the net but he was flagged for offside. He got another chance in the 72nd minute with a powerful strike from inside the box but Wardun put up an acrobatic save to keep the ball out. The DPMM FC custodian was up to the task again five minutes later to save an Asraf shot from inside the box.
Wardun was at his best and came to the rescue of DPMM FC twice in the 81st minute. Etiemble struck a freekick from just outside the box but Wardun got his fingertips to it to see the ball bounce off the crossbar. Ahmad headed the rebound but the DPMM FC goalkeeper scrambled to the other post to keep the ball out.
The keeper injured himself in the process but decided to stay in the game. Adi almost scored a brace in the 88th minute but Herisson did well to parry the shot away. Brunei's only professional team would hold on to their lead to win the trophy, erasing memories of their heartbreaking 4-0 final loss to Balestier Khalsa last year.
O'Donovan was named the Most Valuable Player and DPMM FC were awarded S$30, 000 for winning the competition. The squad will return to Brunei at 2.15pm at the Berakas International Airport today.