Singapore Cup • July 5, 2014
DPMM Complete Singapore Cup Semi-Finals Line-Up
(First Leg score: Albirex Niigata (S) 3-4 Brunei DPMM; Brunei DPMM win 6-4 on aggregate)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Brunei DPMM advanced to the semi-finals of the RHB Singapore Cup after edging Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening, and recorded a 6-4 win on aggregate in the process.
First-half strikes from Rodrigo Tosi and Azwan Ali gave the Wasps a comfortable two-goal cushion before Norihiro Kawakami pulled one back for Albirex towards the end but it proved inconsequential.
Coming into this game with a slender one-goal lead, DPMM started the game slowly and allowed Albirex to come at them.
However, apart from half-chances from Kento Nagasaki and Keisuke Ota early on, the White Swans hardly posed a threat going forward as they were limited to shots from distance while crosses into the box were easily snuffed out.
DPMM though, slowly settled into the game thereafter and drew first blood through Tosi on 17 minutes as the Brazilian nodded home Azwan Ali’s corner at the near post to make it 1-0.
Nine minutes later, Azwan then turned from provider to scorer to put some daylight between themselves and their opponents.
Latching onto an excellent pass from Roberto Alviz from deep, Azwan hit a first-time volley which flew past Kenjiro Ojino before going in off the post.
Fired up, Awangku Fakharazzi could have extended the lead to put the designated home side three up on the stroke of half-time but saw his fierce shot swerved just wide.
DPMM continued from where they left off in the second-half and Roy O’Donovan – who scored the winner in the first leg – came close when he drilled wide after picking up a pass from deep.
At the other end, Kazuki Sakamoto should really have pulled one back shortly after the hour mark but the Albirex top-scorer contrived to fire straight at Wardun from six yards out.
Tatsuyuki Okuyama’s charges then laid siege on the DPMM goal in the closing stages and finished the game strongly.
Wardun had to push away a freekick on 75 minutes but Albirex would soon halve the deficit five minutes from time through Kawakami.
Nagasaki’s shot off a corner was parried by Wardun and the loose ball was stabbed home by Kawakami from close range but it was too little too late as Albirex crashed out of the competition at the quarter-final stage.
Steve Kean’s side will now meet Home United who beat Loyola Meralco Sparks the day before, in the semi-finals scheduled for this September.