Singapore Premier League • October 26, 2014

Kean: No More Gray Areas, We Need To Win


Written By: Zack Rahim

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean declared that there was no more room for errors and his side have to win their next two Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League games against Albirex Niigata (S) to become champions.

Drop more points like they did on Saturday night at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Bandar Seri Begawan, and that just might be the end of their title hopes.

Those hopes were dented after a 1-1 draw against Balestier Khalsa FC which left them three points adrift of league leaders Warriors FC – though they have a game in hand and substantial goal difference.

After opening the scoring in the 18th minute with a Rodrigo Tosi header, DPMM allowed Balestier back into the game a minute later when Shahrulrizal Abd Rahman failed to clear the ball and let Zulkiffli Hassim sneak in to score a decisive equaliser.

“We have two games to go and we have to win it to win the championship. Maybe it’s better this way, there are no gray areas,” Kean told the media after the game.

“We can never be defensively tight at the back, so we’re going to go out and score more goals than our opponents (in our next two games).

“I think we had an excellent start but in what has been a pattern of late we gave away a sloppy goal from an individual mistake. Shahrul should have cleared the ball but he let it bounce and the goalkeeper (Azman Ilham) was caught in no-man’s land.

“It’s very, very difficult for us to win games like that,” stressed the Scotsman.

Admitting that his team were ‘lucky’ to leave Brunei with a share of the points, Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic explained that the gameplan was always to defend in numbers and wait for DPMM to make a mistake, and he was certainly spot-on with his tactics.

“We knew DPMM were under pressure and needed the win, (so) our plan was to defend – and I knew we had Zulkiffli up front,” said the coach.

“We had a few more chances but our last pass was not there. I thought we were a bit lucky. But we were brave, and luck favours the brave.”