League Cup • July 15, 2014
Kean: We Needed Courage
Written By: Kenneth Ho
Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean was a satisfied man after the full-time whistle in the 3-2 win over Hougang United came, as the Bruneians confirmed their spot in the StarHub League Cup 2014 quarter-finals.
However, Kean admitted that he was not as pleased at half-time, after his side nearly became the latest victims of Hougang, as the Cheetahs threatened to extend their six-match unbeaten streak by taking a first-half lead and dominating over Brunei DPMM.
“I felt we weren’t doing ourselves justice, I feel that we are a better team than the one we showed in the first half,” Kean said. “The first-half, obviously we knew the score we had to have to progress, and I felt that it made us afraid to get on the ball.”
“We let Hougang control the game really in the first half, and I said to the lads at half-time that courage is not always about putting in a tackle or getting in a header. Sometimes courage is getting on the ball and trying to dictate play, and I felt we done that much better in the second half and created more chances.”
The second half did see a turnaround by DPMM, as they were led by forward Roy O’Donovan who popped up with a hat-trick to lead his team to victory.
The win also saw DPMM topping Group D, and matched them up against Woodlands Wellington in the next round, instead of Group C leaders Home United, who are arguably a tougher team to defeat.
However, Kean insisted that it was never on his mind to finish second or first, but instead to gain momentum which is fuelled by confidence which comes from wins.
“It is always good to win and it is a good habit, we done that a lot this season and I think the more you can win, especially from not playing well in the first half, or going behind like we did tonight, it is always good for confidence,” the Scotsman asserted.
The biggest turning point for Hougang United coach Amin Nasir came late in the game, when a miscommunication between Hougang midfielders Fazli Jaffar and Shunsuke Nakatake saw both failing to capitalise on being unmarked in the danger area despite the ball crossing both players’ paths then.
“First half, we did superbly, but in the second not so. That moment when Fazli had miscommunication with Nakatake, I felt that was one moment we could have been ahead and it would have been a different game,” Amin explained.
While Amin was disappointed that his side’s unbeaten run came to an end, he took the defeat on the chin and praised his players for putting up a good fight against the current league leaders.
“Definitely it was sad to lose our six-match unbeaten streak, we didn’t manage to get a result but I am quite pleased with our performance. It is Brunei, they are a good side, but we fought very hard, we showed that we can compete with them,” Amin stated.