Singapore Cup • July 1, 2014

Kean: It Was A Tale Of Two Halves


Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

Brunei DPMM left it late to beat Albirex Niigata (S) as they emerged narrow 4-3 winners over the Japanese outfit in the first leg of the RHB Singapore Cup quarter-final at Jurong East Stadium on Sunday evening.

DPMM coach Steve Kean felt that it was a deserved victory for his side and hailed match-winner Roy O’Donovan.

“I think there were good chances from Albirex but we stuck at it and Wardun’s [Yussof] made a few saves and obviously the woodwork came to the play a few times,” he said after the match.

“Even though we were physically dead, we still tried to keep the shape of the team and even at a time when we don’t play particularly well, the last 60 mins of the game and we still managed to win and that’s a good sign.

“When you have a player like Roy O’Donovan in the side, he can pop up and get a goal late on in the game like he’s showed today as he showed a bit of maturity and class at the end to find the target.”

However, it was a tale of two halves according to the former Blackburn Rovers manager who paid due credit to their opponents.

“Credit to Albirex, I felt they kept going,” he said.

“Like I said before the game, they are a technically good side and they play lots of good football. They came back but we showed the character.

“You’ve seen a total contrast in how the two halves were played, even the last 10 minutes of the first-half I thought it was all-Albirex and I thought they were better in the second-half.

“It’s only half-time, far from finished,” the 46-year-old concluded.

Albirex coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama on the other hand, admitted they put a poor defensive showing and stated that this was an area they had to work on.

“For the first 15 minutes, DPMM were very good offensively and defensively we just could not cope,” said the Japanese.

“We allowed them to attack from the first half and we could not push up the defense line and gave them too much space in midfield that’s why we conceded three goals in 15 minutes.

“Of course im not happy with today’s result, but throughout the season we need to improve on our defence. As for offence, we need to score when we can and we have got strikers who can do that.”