Singapore Premier League • June 14, 2014
Chance For DPMM To Stave Off Title Rivals
Brunei DPMM vs Geylang International
(June 14, Saturday, 8.15pm, Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Leaders Brunei DPMM will have a chance to pull three points clear at the top of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League table when they take on Geylang International at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Saturday evening.
With nearest challengers Warriors FC and Home United dropping points, DPMM have stayed at the summit although they are now level on 31 points Warriors FC and Tampines Rovers. However, the hosts have a game in hand here, and victory can ensure that they keep their rivals at arm’s length.
Holding a ten-point lead at one point of time during the season, DPMM looked like they were going to run away with the title. However, consecutive defeats to Home, Warriors and Tampines Rovers in their last three fixtures have since seen DPMM surrender that advantage.
Despite taking the lead through Rodrigo Tosi in their previous match, they could not prevent defeat as hosts Tampines bagged all three points thanks to second-half strikes from Kunihiro Yamashita and Noh Alam Shah.
Tosi limped off and had to be replaced early in that game and it remains to be seen if he is able to recover in time to make this one.
Whatever it is, DPMM will want to bounce back from that disappointment with a win in front of a partisan home crowd and put an end to their three-match losing run in the league.
However, they will not have it easy from their opponents as Geylang are a side flying high at the moment and are unbeaten in three matches.
Although they were held to a goalless stalemate by the Courts Young Lions in their previous game, they managed to claim a 1-0 victory over defending champions Tampines which came on the back of an impressive 5-1 thumping of Woodlands Wellington in the RHB Singapore Cup.
Goalkeeper Siddiq Durimi has been in relatively good form whenever called upon as he kept Tampines at bay with several good saves in their win two weeks ago to keep a clean sheet in the process.
Further up the pitch, winger Mustaqim Manzur is another man to look out for.
After missing out the bulk of last year when he was still with the Protectors, the 32-year-old has made up for lost time this term and it is his crossing and accurate deliveries from set-plays which can cause damage.
The two teams met earlier in March this season with Tosi cancelling out Yuki Ichikawa’s opener in a 1-1 draw where the Eagles put up a solid defensive showing at Bedok Stadium to earn a point.
Hence, they could stand a good chance of getting something at a venue where not many teams have been able to do so, if they are able to replicate that performance.
Key Men To Watch
Brunei DPMM: Boris Raspudic
Raspudic was perhaps unlucky to have ended up on the losing side as he put in a solid performance at the back for DPMM in their defeat to Home. He even capped it off with a goal though that proved to be a mere consolation.
The Bosnian had an InStat index of 107, the highest among all the central defenders in Week 14, impressing with the success rate of his tackles. According to InStat, he won 78% of his challenges in defence while winning six out of the eight air challenges.
Geylang International: Kento Fukuda
In their 1-0 triumph over Tampines, Fukuda was a rock in defence as he kept things tidy at the back and was similarly winning everything in the air.
With an InStat score of 84, the Japanese won 85% of the challenges he executed and only lost out in one out of the five air challenges he was involved in.
He will therefore have to be on his toes against a fearsome DPMM strikeforce consisting of O’Donovan and Tosi who have plundered 20-odd goals between them.
Brunei DPMM – LLWLW
10/6/14 Tampines Rovers 2-1 Brunei DPMM
6/6/14 Brunei DPMM 2-3 Home United
31/5/14 Global FC 0-7 Brunei DPMM (RHB Singapore Cup)
22/5/14 Warriors FC 1-0 Brunei DPMM
14/5/14 Brunei DPMM 2-1 Albirex NIigata (S)
Geylang International – DWWLL
9/6/14 Courts Young Lions 0-0 Geylang International
6/6/14 Geylang International 1-0 Tampines Rovers
27/5/14 Woodlands Wellington 1-5 Geylang International (RHB Singapore Cup)
22/5/14 Geylang International 1-4 Home United
16/5/14 Geylang International 0-1 Warriors FC
Head to Head (S.League)
28/3/14 Geylang International 1-1 Brunei DPMM
6/11/13 Brunei DPMM 2-2 Geylang International
19/7/13 Geylang International 0-1 Brunei DPMM
3/4/13 Brunei DPMM 4-2 Geylang International
21/7/12 Geylang International 1-3 Brunei DPMM
16/3/12 Brunei DPMM 4-1 Geylang International