News • July 19, 2016

The New Paper League Cup 2016: Spot-On DPMM Overcome Hougang To Reach Semis


Written by: Ryan Low

Paulo Sergio and Rafael Ramazotti both converted from the spot to help Brunei DPMM defeat Hougang United 2-0 at Hougang Stadium on Sunday night and seal their passage into the last four of the The New Paper League Cup 2016.

In a rather equal first-half, both side had chances to break the deadlock but were let down by their own wastefulness.

DPMM attacker Sergio sent a 20-yard free kick just over on five minutes, while Hougang’s Iqbal Hussain fired over disappointingly from close range after being set up by Fumiya Kogure in the 16th minute.

The home side had another two excellent chances to break the deadlock, but captain Jozef Kaplan could only fire straight at DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof and Wahyudi Wahid was unable to adjust his feet in time to convert Raihan Rahman’s teasing cross.

DPMM rode their luck and went ahead on 43 minutes, with Sergio sending Hougang custodian Ridhuan Barudin the wrong way from the spot after Faliq Sudhir was adjudged to have handled from a corner.

Hougang top scorer Stipe Plazibat was then introduced shortly after the restart, but it was DPMM who went the closest on 64 minutes with Ramazotti’s overhead kick flashing just wide of the left-hand post.

The Wasps continued to dominate matters, with Ramazotti first seeing his snapshot tipped over by Ridhuan, before having a ‘goal’ ruled out for offside.

It looked like the tide was about to turn on 77 minutes when DPMM went down to 10 men, with Sergio dismissed for what looked like a stamp on Raihan off-the-ball.

Hougang could have levelled things up 10 minutes later when Wahyudi’s deep cross eluded everyone in the DPMM box, but Iqbal was not decisive enough to convert.

DPMM duly sealed the three points a minute from time, with Ramazotti making no mistakes from 12 yards out after Fairoz Hasan was given a straight red for bringing down substitute Shahrazen Said in the area.

The result meant Steve Kean’s men joined Tampines Rovers in qualifying out of Group A with a game to spare, while Hougang and Warriors FC have the consolation of going through to the Plate semi-finals.

Hougang United coach K Balagumaran: “Last game we conceded two penalties and it happened again today. Whatever decision, as a team we have to stay focused and not get distracted.

“We’re still lacking a bit on that part; we were arguing with the referee and all. If after DPMM’s sending off; we had stayed focused and took advantage of the numerical advantage, we could have equalised.”

“Overall we played quite well and gave players a chance to play. Ridhuan pulled off a brilliant save, Afiq (Noor) did well at both left midfield and left back and Faliq did okay in on his debut. We still have the Plate competition and we’ll be going for it.”

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean: “Sometimes when you get a downpour before the game, the pitch can be really slippery. The players were losing their footing. In such conditions, sometimes you end up getting contact with challenges that usually do not get.

“Paulo’s red card took the shine off a good night for us because he’s not that type of player to stick his studs into someone’s face or head. It’s frustrating to lose him for two matches.”

“Nonetheless it’s been good for us; we’re scoring goals and we’ve kept two clean sheets. We’re not going to rest anyone for the final group game (against Tampines). There is a good break till Thursday for us to recover and we’re going to fill our strongest side.”

Hougang United: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Yusiskandar Yusop, Fairoz Hasan, Jozef Kaplan (C), Fumiya Kogure, Iqbal Hussain, Raihan Rahman, Nurhilmi Jasni, Afiq Noor, Wahyudi Wahid, Faliq Sudhir (Stipe Plazibat 56’)

Brunei DPMM: Wardun Yussof (GK), Brian McLean, Azwan Salleh (Azwan Ali 90’), Paulo Sergio, Najib Tarif, Maududi Hilmi, Rosmin Kamis (C), Helmi Zambin, Rafael Ramazotti, Adi Said (Shahrazen Said 79’), Yura Indera Putera