News • March 3, 2016

Cheetahs Keen To Bounce Back Against DPMM


Written by: Aysha Ridzuan

Hougang United FC vs Brunei DPMM FC
(Friday, 4 March, 7.30pm, Hougang Stadium)

Hougang United will be seeking to return to winning ways when they take on defending Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League champions Brunei DPMM on Friday at the Hougang Stadium after suffering a 4-1 defeat to Tampines Rovers last week.

However, the Cheetahs coach K.Balagumaran (Bala) expects his side to display an improvement in form as they go into their third S.League game.

Bala believes that his team looks positive for the next game but will approach the game against Brunei DPMM with caution.

“We did very well against Home United in our first game where the team played according to the game-plan,” said Bala.

“Against Tampines, everyone was probably expecting a good result and the players put pressure on themselves too so we conceded goals and it was like shock for them to recover.”

“We know now going into this game (against DPMM) we cannot make the same mistakes we did against Tampines.

“We have to be cautious, we have to be careful and play according to the gameplan. If the players play according to the gameplan, I think we can get a good result.”

Striker Stipe Plazibat who has netted two goals for the Cheetahs so far, feels that there’s still room for improvement and hopes that the team is in full confidence on Friday.

“Firstly, we need to lift up our confidence level because we are a good team and we can play good football,” said the Croatian.

“If we lift up our confidence, in attack we can play much better and also we need more responsibility in defense. Nothing else.”

Meanwhile, DPMM who earned their first three points last week, share the same sentiments as they expect to go into the game with full confidence.

Said DPMM coach Steve Kean: “We have played well in all three games so we are going into this game in full confidence, not only because of our victory over Warriors FC. But what we have to improve is our goals.

“I’m confident we will score in every game and clean sheets would be our number one priority.”

Key Men To Watch 

Hougang United: Nazrul Nazari

The right-winger has struggled to reproduced the form that made him one of the standout players for the LionsXII last season and will seek to change that when Hougang takes on DPMM.

While he showed shades of his former self in the second-half against Tampines, the 25-year-old has much more to do before he can be a force to be reckoned with again.

Brunei DPMM: Azwan Ali

The 2015 S.League Player of the Year has shown no signs of losing his red-hot form and has been in sensational form this season for the Wasps.

While the defending champions have struggled for form this season, the Bruneian has been the main and constant spark for Kean’s men.

Hougang will have to stop Azwan if they want to prevent Paulo Sergio and Rafael Ramazotti from scoring.

Hougang United – LDLWL

26/02/16  Tampines Rovers 4-1 Hougang United (S.League)
18/02/16  Hougang United 1-0 Home United (S.League)
20/11/15  Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Hougang United (S.League)
09/11/15  Geylang International 2-2 Hougang United (S.League)
06/11/15  Hougang United 1-2 Harimau Muda (S.League)


27/02/16  Brunei DPMM 3-1 Warriors FC (S.League)
20/02/16  Geylang International FC 1-1 Brunei DPMM (S.League)
13/02/16  Albirex Niigata (S) 3-2 Brunei DPMM (S.League)
27/11/15  Global FC 1-3 Brunei DPMM (Singapore Cup)
24/11/15  Home United 2-0 Brunei DPMM (Singapore Cup)

Head to Head (S.League)

20/10/15 Hougang United 1-2 Brunei DPMM
29/07/15 Brunei DPMM 1-1 Hougang United
04/04/15 Hougang United 2 – 3 Brunei DPMM
03/08/14 Brunei DPMM 2 – 2 Hougang United
16/04/14 Hougang United 0 – 1 Brunei DPMM