Singapore Premier League • November 21, 2015
DPMM Keen To Avoid Last Year’s Mistake
Brunei DPMM vs Balestier Khalsa
(Saturday, 21 November, 8:15pm, Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium)
Written by: Nigel Chin
Brunei DPMM will head into their clash against Balestier Khalsa knowing that three points will earn them the coveted S.League trophy at the end of 90 minutes.
After coming close on two previous occasions, DPMM will want to ensure they do not lose out for the third time running.
Coach Steve Kean has prepared his side for the tough battle, and the Scot believes that they are well-equipped to deal with the danger Balestier pose.
“It is not a case where Balestier will come here to play any different to what has been successful for them,” Kean said.
“We know they are going to be direct and aggressive. They want to have a physical game but what we will try to focus on is to be patient with the ball because we want to dominate possession and make sure that for the majority of each half that we have more possession.”
Kean also believes that his team have the hunger to clinch the title, which will be their first since joining the S.League in 2009.
“They are hungry now,” Kean stated.
“There is an appetite where they didn’t want the [training] session to stop but we got to make sure we don’t leave legs on the training pitch.
“We got to make sure the legs are there tomorrow night. We are hungry and ready… there is a real appetite to win this game. We need to win. Draw is not even in the equation. We just need to go and win regardless of what happens elsewhere.
“We are almost subconsciously thinking there isn’t another game. Win the game and win a championship that is the only way you can get into the game.”
However, Balestier are aiming to finish in the top three of the league for the first time, and will be looking to push DPMM all the way.
In two previous league matches this season, it is the Tigers who have clinched 2-1 victories on both occasions.
However, DPMM will be using their experience from last year, where they threw away the title on the last day of the season, to give themselves extra motivation.
“I think the experience of being in that position last year taught us that we just need to go and perform,” Kean shared.
“We need to play with a cool head – with no emotions and get caught up with the event tomorrow.
“When you have been so disappointed, you’ve got to carry that into the whole close season. It is horrible feeling.
“I hope that provides the extra little bit of motivation to make sure that this year we finish and enjoy the close season.”
Key Men to Watch
Brunei DPMM: Paulo Sergio
Rafael Ramazotti may be leading the league table currently, but it is forward Sergio who makes DPMM click.
His ability to play anywhere across the attacking positions has made him valuable to Steve Kean’s gameplan. More often than not, it will be the Portugese who will be creating chances out of nothing for his teammates to capitalise, and Kean will most certainly be hoping for the same fromm Sergio.
Balestier Khalsa: Zaiful Nizam
The goalkeeper has had a standout season this year, and there will be no better way to finish the year with another superb performance.
With DPMM expected to attacking right from the start as they search for an early goal to calm nerves, Zaiful will need to be at his imperious best to help Balestier achieve their aim of securing a top-three finish.
It is also well worth mentioning that in two previous matches against DPMM, Zaiful has been in tip-top form.
Brunei DPMM – WWLLW
06/11/15 Warriors FC 1-3 Brunei DPMM (S.League)
03/11/15 Geylang International 2-1 Brunei DPMM (S.League)
28/10/15 Brunei DPMM 0-1 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
23/10/15 Harimau Muda 0-2 Brunei DPMM (S.League)
20/10/15 Hougang United 1-2 Brunei DPMM (S.League)
Balestier Khalsa – WWLDW
05/11/15 Balestier Khalsa 4-3 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
01/11/15 Hougang United 1-1 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
26/10/15 Home United 2-0 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
19/10/15 Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Courts Young Lions (S.League)
16/10/15 Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
29/08/15 Balestier Khalsa 2-1 Brunei DPMM
01/05/15 Brunei DPMM 1-2 Balestier Khalsa
25/10/14 Brunei DPMM 1-1 Balestier Khalsa
21/08/14 Balestier Khalsa 3-3 Brunei DPMM
24/04/14 Brunei DPMM 4-1 Balestier Khalsa