News • July 17, 2017

The New Paper League Cup 2017: Warriors Wary Of Wasps’ Resurgence



The New Paper League Cup 2017 Semi-Final

Brunei DPMM vs Warriors FC

(18 July, Tuesday, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)

Written by: Ryan Low

Brunei DPMM’s resurgence has given Warriors FC something to think about as the two sides face off in The New Paper League Cup Semi-Final at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday night.

In the Greeat Eastern-Hyundai S.League, the Wasps has endured a tough campaign with just one win and one draw from 11 matches as they currently lie second-from-bottom.

However, they have been a different kettle of fish altogether in this League Cup campaign – winning twice and drawing once to top Group B to progress into the last four, scoring 11 goals in the process.

That has given coach Steve Kean much-needed confidence as they seek to win the tournament for a record fourth time, after winning it in 2009, 2012 and 2014.

“For us, the first priority was to get through the group to qualify for the semis and we did that,” said the former Blackburn Rovers tactician.

“Now we just want to maintain this unbeaten run which is good for confidence. It may sound like a cliche, but we’re taking it game by game so obviously we’re not thinking of the final yet.”

On the other hand, Warriors FC did just enough to finish second in the Group A, which was termed as the ‘Group of Death’.

After a stunning 4-3 comeback against Home United, they lost to cup holders Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 and thus needed a point in the last game to ensure progression. The uniformed outfit eventually secured a 2-2 draw against Hougang United at Hougang Stadium to pull through.

They are now dreaming of winning The New Paper League Cup for the first time in their history.

“Warriors have always been a club challenging for honours and the League Cup is of no exception,” said defender Emmeric Ong.

“We did our job of qualifying for the semifinals so now we have to go one step further and be in the final. That will be great for our team.”

While Warriors have come up on top in the two head-to-head encounters so far this season, Ong refuses to take anything for granted as he takes DPMM’s recent rise in form into consideration.

“I wouldn’t say we’re worried, it’s more of being wary,” said the 26-year-old, who has been pretty consistent at right back. “They’ve been playing well in the League Cup which we’re obviously aware of.

“The first game which we won (5-3 at Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium in mid-April) was very open but they looked like a very different team when we beat them (1-0 at Choa Chu Kang in early July). So it’ll definitely be a very close affair again.”

Warriors will miss first-choice goalkeeper Hyrulnizam Juma’at due to accumulating two yellow cards in the group stages, so either Basil Chan or Prime League no. 1 Mukundan Maran will deputise in between the sticks.

Upfront, Andrei Cosmin-Ciolacu will be looking to produce the goods after a mixed start to his Warriors career.

The Romanian recruit missed a penalty in his first match, scored a hat-trick in his second and failed to score in the following two matches.

“While he have not scored in some games, I feel that he has been working hard for the team; pressing high up the pitch and giving his all,” stressed Ong.

“So it’s still too early to make a judgement. We as a team believe he has the quality to deliver and perform on the big stage.”

Suspensions: Nurikhwan Othman (Brunei DPMM), Hyrulnizam Juma’at (Warriors FC)


14/07/17 Brunei DPMM 3-3 Geylang International  (The New Paper League Cup)

11/07/17 Brunei DPMM 3-0 Balestier Khalsa  (The New Paper League Cup)

08/07/17 Tampines Rovers 1-5 Brunei DPMM  (The New Paper League Cup)

02/07/17 Warriors FC 1-0 Brunei DPMM

16/06/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 4-0 Brunei DPMM

Warriors FC – DWWLD

13/07/17 Hougang United 2-2 Warriors FC (The New Paper League Cup)

10/07/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Warriors FC (The New Paper League Cup)

07/07/17 Warriors FC 4-3 Home United (The New Paper League Cup)

02/07/17 Warriors FC 1-0 Brunei DPMM

28/06/17 Garena Young Lions 0-0 Warriors FC