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Monday, October 12, 2015

Muhd Nabil brace guides Najip to 2-0 victory

A Najip I-Team player (C) heads the ball during their DST Super League match against Tabuan Muda at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas yesterday. Nadzirah Malek-Webb 
Monday, October 12, 2015

NAJIP I-Team secured a 2-0 win over Tabuan Muda (national under-23 team) in their DST Super League at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas yesterday.

Muhd Nabil Arif Talipudin bagged a brace in the victory, sending Najip to the second spot in the table with 30 points.

Both teams started strongly in the first half, but Najip skipper and goalkeeper Fardillah Hj Md Ali denied some of Tabuan Muda’s close chances on goal. The young team also dominated the possession of the ball but both teams remained goal-less at the end of the first half.

The second half saw a change in tactics for Najip as they began to attack against the young wasps. Muhd Nabil Arif broke the deadlock in the 60th minute from a cross by Najip’s midfielder Haziman Hj Abd Halim.

After the goal, Najip began to find their momentum and three minutes later, in the 63rd minute, Muhd Nabil Arif bagged his second goal of the day.

The young wasps struggled to find their momentum while Najip began to dominate ball possession.

What would probably the best chance for the young national team in the 70th minute, Tabuan’s Md Aman Hj Abd Rahim attempted a solo run to shoot at the goal, but was denied by Najip’s goalkeeper.
Najip remained strong in their domination towards the end of the second half. However in the stoppage time, Muhd Nabil Arif attempted to score to get his hattrick, but his shot went off target.

In a post match interview with The Brunei Times, Najip i-Team’s coach, Zulkifli Hj Abu Bakar expressed his delight over the win.

“We won against them in the first round back in May, and winning them again this time in the second round tells us that we have a good record against them. However, we can’t be complacent as we have four more games to go and I hope we can win all of them,” he said.

Despite the win, Zulkifli remained realistic and focussed to finish at second place in the league, highlighting the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB)’s consistent form.

“Tabuan Muda gave us quite a challenge today, especially in the first half. I guess the change of tactics for us in the second half gave us that three points we needed. MS ABDB looks like they can secure the title this season, so we are fighting for runners-up at least. The points between Indera SC, Wijaya FC and us at the moment for second place are very close, so we will see how we do,” he concluded.

Indera SC will face The Royal Brunei Police Force Sports Council (MS PDB) tonight at 8:15pm at the Tutong Sports Complex.

The Brunei Times

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