League Cup • July 12, 2014

Kean: I Thought We Were Going To Lose


Written By: Kenneth Ho

DPMM coach Steve Kean was a relieved man at the final whistle when Brunei DPMM and Balestier Khalsa played out a thrilling 2-2 draw at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.

DPMM had started the game well, and were threatening whenever they went forward. This saw them grab the lead on two occasions, but each time the Tigers managed to peg them back.

The second equaliser came seven minutes from time, and it seemed to especially spur Balestier on as Kean felt a real sense of threat from them.

“It was a strange game, I thought we were doing well putting crosses into the box, overlapping and then for some reason we stopped doing that,” Kean shared.

“The game became a little bit stretched, and in all honesty I thought they were going to win it at the end because we couldn’t get out of the box.”

While Kean felt that the draw was a fair result after a good first half performance, he was disappointed that DPMM squandered the lead twice and in the process altered his tactics for the group game against Hougang United.

“I am disappointed because twice we got our noses in front, but we don’t kill the game off, then we gave away too many set plays and we let them build momentum,” the Scotsman said.

“To be honest, I was hoping to win today and make many changes but now I will make changes but probably not as many as I would have.”

The result has left Balestier in an unenviable position, as Hougang now need to beat DPMM by four goals for the reigning cup holders to progress to the quarter-finals.

While Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic had started the post-match conference with a light-hearted comment, he was unable to mask his disappointment at the result.

“I think we should play Jalan Besar at every game, we play better here,” he said cheekily when asked about his team’s performance.

“But I am not happy with the result, it was 1-1, then 2-2, and then we should have scored to make it 3-2 to be able to hope to go to the next round. Now there is hope but we need luck.

“We should have won, they had their chances, but we had ours. We needed to win to go into the next round.”

While Kraljevic will be keeping his fingers crossed till then, he admitted that there were positives he could take away from the League Cup campaign, especially with the performances of youngsters Muhaymin Salim and Alando Nicholas

“It was a very good game, I am very impressed with the boys and I think it is nice to watch tonight,” the Balestier coach added.

“I think they, Muhaymin Salim and Alando Nicholas, played well considering it’s the first time they have started a game. Sometimes games are very different from training, and I think they done a good job for us.

The determination to make a comeback twice and draw with DPMM also pleased Kraljevic, as it showed that his team were no pushovers.

“Its very important, after this game, we showed that we can challenge one of the top teams in the league, and we can challenge anyone.”