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Monday, June 17, 2013

DPMM FC in last four

DPMM FC's Joao Moreira (R) dribbles past Tanjong Pagar United FC's Ahmad Latiff Khamarudin in their Singapore League game in April. Moreira bagged a hat-trick in DPMM FC's 5-2 win against Tanjong Pagar in last night's Singapore League Cup quarter-finals. Picture: Infofoto
Monday, June 17, 2013

A JOAO Moreira hat-trick inspired DPMM FC to a 5-2 comeback against Tanjong Pagar United FC last night, the result booking the Bruneians a berth in the semi-finals of the Singapore League Cup after a five-goal second half performance.

A brace by debutant Arturas Rimkevicius meant that it was a successful night for DPMM FC's imports at the Queenstown Stadium in Singapore, and the defending champions are now one step closer to retaining the crown they won after beating Geylang International FC last year.

Rimkevicius was just signed on Wednesday, and Moreira has not been training for a month due to a hamstring strain - making the win all the more impressive.

However, DPMM FC were trailing 2-0 at the break before sparking into life, a fact which should worry coach Vjeran Simunic as his side prepares to meet Woodlands Wellington FC in Thursday's last-four at the Woodlands Stadium in Singapore.

Tanjong Pagar's Hafiz Nor opened the scoring in the third minute for the hosts, and as expected, Monsef Zerka - the Singapore League joint top-scorer - also got on the scoresheet after netting in the 28th minute.

Simunic's half-time team talk must have done the trick as it took the visitors just two minutes until the floodgates opened.

Portuguese Moreira cut the deficit to 2-1 in the 47th minute and Rimkevicius evened the tie in the 55th minute.

Moreira gave DPMM FC the lead in the 64th minute, Rimkevicius made it 4-2 four minutes later before his new strike partner sealed a memorable win with a 71st minute penalty - the goals all his first of the League Cup campaign.

"He really deserved the hat-trick," said striker Shahrazen Said of Moreira, who already leads the team in scoring with six S-League goals.

"We all played in a free role in the second half and we were able to come back even though we were down 2-0," added Shahrazen, who scored in the team's previous two group matches - a 2-1 win over Warriors FC and a 2-1 loss to Balestier Khalsa FC.

Woodlands advanced to the semi-finals after beating Geylang 4-1 on penalties after a goalless stalemate in last night's other game played at the Bedok Stadium in Singapore.

DPMM FC will have to make do without left-back Sairol Hj Sahari on Thursday after he was sent off in the 81st minute of last night's tie against Tanjong Pagar.

The other semi-final pits Albirex Niigata (S) FC against Balestier.

Despite the loss of Sairol and DPMM FC's sluggish start last night, Simunic can take many positives away from the game against the Jaguars, who lead the S-League in scoring with 25 goals in 14 games.

The Croatian will no doubt be pleased with the performance of debutant Rimkevicius, the record goal scorer from the Lithuanian A-League.

Playing for Siauliai, the striker bagged 35 goals in 27 games last season breaking the 58-year-old record of 28 goals.

He also scored another six goals in the Lithuanian Cup, bringing his tally to 41 goals.

"I think anyone who scores goals in any league, it's like a habit and I think he will be able to help us with that,"said Simunic when the striker was signed.

"From the first moment I checked on him I could see that he would be able to adopt the Brunei life and game.

"I've said many times that it is important for the import players to be accepted and respected by the players... (and) I have seen that he has the personality that can be accepted," added the coach, who must know that last night's performance will no doubt have earned Rimkevicius even more respect from his new teammates.

The Brunei Times

Muara Vella on course to defend President Cup title

Monday, June 17, 2013

MUARA Vella FC remain on course to defend their DST National Veteran Football President's Cup title after cruising to a 6-3 victory over the Royal Brunei Police Forces Sports Council (MS PDB) in yesterday's quarter-finals.

Defending champions Muara Vella will now face Al-Idrus in the semi-final after the latter defeated Wasabi FC 2-0 on Friday.

Contested at the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Secondary School in Tutong, Rosli Ahad and Saiful Bahrin Hj Hamid both bagged a brace in the win.

Kifli Sulaiman and Chua Kim Kok also got their name on the scoresheet with a goal apiece.

Meanwhile, Noradli Sahat found the net once for MS PDB, while Mohd Azlan Abdullah score a brace in the defeat.

In the other quarter-finals at the Awang Semaun Secondary School in Lumapas, Hj Norazmie PDP Hj Abd Razak's brace helped last year's runners-up Semaun Veteran beat Besa FC 4-2.

Azamanudin Hj Gillen and Aidei Awang also got on the scoresheet for Semaun. That result means Semaun will now meet XN (Ex-National) Team in the semi-final.

XN Team defeated Jerudong FC 1-0 at the Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Mentiri Secondary School on Friday, with Radiman Abdul Rahman scoring the only goal for XN Team.

Muara Vella made it a double last year by clinching both the President's Cup and FA Cup, beating Semaun in both instances.

Muara Vella overcame Semaun Veteran 3-2 in the final of the President's Cup before going on to defeat the same opponents 4-3 in a dramatic penalty shootout to lift the FA Cup as well.

The Brunei Times