News • July 11, 2017

The New Paper League Cup 2017: Wasps Dispatch Tigers To Reach Last Four



Written by: Ryan Low

Three-time champions Brunei DPMM are through to The New Paper League Cup semi-finals after a straightforward 3-0 victory over Balestier Khalsa at Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday night.

Leading at half-time through Azwan Ali’s early strike and an Ashrul Syafeeq own goal, the Wasps went on to seal the victory in the second half through Adi Said.

DPMM got off to the best possible start by scoring inside six minutes.

A great counter attack led by Maududi Hilmi led to Azwan Ali getting past his marker, before zipping a low shot beyond the despairing reach of Balestier goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam.

Balestier created a few promising openings thereafter, but was let down by some poor finishing.

First Myanmarese attacker Aung Kyaw Naing fired straight at DPMM custodian Awangku Mu’izzuddin, before winger Jonathan Tan somehow fired wide just in front of the six-yard box.

Kyaw Naing then found space to drive in a shot from the edge of the area, but the effort flew over the bar.

DPMM withstood the storm and created a few opportunities as well, with brothers Shahrazen and Aid Said taking their turns to test Zaiful.

The Wasps eventually doubled their lead three minutes before half time, with Balestier centre-back Ashrul unfortunately getting the last touch on Adi’s shot from a tight angle before the ball ended up in the back of the net.

Balestier tried to pull one back in the second half, but Raihan Rahman’s 20-yard free kick sailed over while Tan was denied by Mu’izzudin in the box.

Tigers coach Marko Kraljevic threw on Zulkhair Mustaffa to replace the ineffectual Kyaw Naing upfront after the hour mark, but there was no way past the DPMM defence led by Vincent Salas.

DPMM would go on to seal the victory in the 70th minute, with Adi clinically converting Shahrazen’s cutback into the six-yard box as they marched into the last four.

Brunei DPMM Head Coach Steve Kean: “Things were changing even before this. We were playing well in the S.League, but were unlucky not to get results. We had a new goalkeeper, two new centre backs, a new right-back and a new midfield combination, so we needed some time and now we’re coming into form.

“(Rafael) Ramazotti and Daud Gazale are coming back from injury, but they’re going to find it hard coming back into this team. The attackers are playing well and there’s no point changing the starting eleven.

“In the last game (against Geylang International), we won’t be resting; we’ll still try to play and win the game.”

Balestier Khalsa Head Coach Marko Kraljevic: “It’s very tough for us, losing game after game. If we had converted one of those chances in the first half and not concede just before half time, it would be a different story.

“In the second-half, we had some shots and some free kicks, but we can’t win the game if we can’t score. Now we have problems in both attack and defence which we have to try to fix.

“We’re now out, but I’m still going to put the best line-up to play against Tampines Rovers because we still have pride to play for.”

Brunei DPMM: Awangku Mu’izzuddin (GK), Haizul Rani, Hanif Hamir, Azwan Saleh (C) (Rosmin Kamis 67’), Azwan Ali (Khairul Anwar 78’), Nurikhwan Othman (Hendra Azam 67’), Najib Tarif, Maududi Hilmi, Adi Said, Shahrazen Said, Vincent Salas

Balestier Khalsa: Zaiful Nizam (GK, C), Fadli Kamis, Hanafi Salleh, Ashrul Syafeeq, Ahmad Syahir, Shah Hirul, Huzaifah Aziz (Raihan Rahman 39’), Hazzuwan Halim, Kyaw Zayar Win, Jonathan Tan (Zulkhair Mustaffa 63’), Aung Kyaw Naing (Tajeli Selamat 63’)