Singapore Cup • July 5, 2014

Kean Feels Albirex Gave Them A Good Fight


Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

Brunei DPMM qualified for the RHB Singapore Cup semi-finals at the expense of Albirex Niigata (S) after a 6-4 aggregate win over the Japanese outfit at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.

DPMM coach Steve Kean was a relieved man after the final whistle and gave credit to their opponents whom he thought had put up a good fight over the two legs.

“It was a scare and it was probably more scary because of the first leg. We were in a really comfortable position and then Albirex came back,” he said

“They were better in the second half in both legs but we managed to get our noses in front. We got it done in the first half but never manage to get anything much in the second half.

“But credit to Albirex, they were on the front foot and had much more possession than us in the second half. They took control of the midfield and pinned us in and made it difficult for us to get out.”

The former Blackburn Rovers manager then singled out midfielder Azwan Ali for praise.

“His first half performance was superb. He can score and execute any type of goals,” said Kean.

“He has done that all season. Today he played more of a front three rather than in a 4-4-2 formation. His technique and finish is superb as well.” .

Albirex coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama meanwhile stated that it was a ‘bad result’ for his side.

“We played too defensive in the first half and we did not use enough players for offense,” he added.

“In the first leg, we conceded three goals in 15 mins. Today we started defensively but we still conceded two goals, that is why I think we did not play well.

“Our players were in bad position when DPMM number six [Azwan Ali] got behind and that is my players’ fault for the goal.”