Singapore Premier League • March 23, 2014
Title Contenders Square Up in Brunei
Brunei DPMM vs Tampines Rovers
(March 23, Sunday, 8.15pm, Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Currently the only two teams still with a perfect record in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League, Brunei DPMM and Tampines Rovers face off at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Brunei on Sunday night as they vie for supremacy.
Both teams will be eager to put one over their opponents and inflict on them their first defeat of the season.
Tampines come into this match high on confidence, having disposed of Pune FC 3-1 to register their first win of the AFC Cup campaign on Wednesday. The red-hot Miljan Mrdakovic continued his goalscoring form as he grabbed a brace with Luis Closa getting on the scoresheet with a scorcher.
While the spotlight has mainly been on Mrdakovic and his partner-in-crime Aleksandar Duric, credit has to be given to playmaker Shahdan Sulaiman. The midfielder has been an unsung hero in the team, quietly pulling the strings and dictating the play.
The Stags will come up against a mean DPMM defence who have yet to concede a goal so far this season. Marshalled by Boris Raspudic, they have managed to keep things tight and compact at the back but will have to find a way to keep Mrdakovic and Duric quiet in order to stand a chance of victory.
While Tampines have Mrdakovic and Duric, DPMM have their own Roy O’Donovan and Rodrigo Tosi upfront. The duo along with another foreigner, Joe Gamble have combined to devastating effect and were instrumental in their 3-0 win over fellow title contender Home United.
Tosi has been deployed further up the pitch this season, and the move has paid dividends with the Brazilian scoring in each of the match he has played so far this season.
With both teams possessing a fearsome strikeforce, there will be goals scored but home comforts could just swing the game in favour of the Bruneians.
Key Men To Watch
Brunei DPMM: Roy O’Donovan
It has taken him three games to score his first goals of the season but the forward has hit the ground running.
The Irishman grabbed a brace in DPMM’s 3-0 win over Home United in their last match and set up Rodrigo Tosi’s strike with his intelligent off-the-ball movement.
The striker is also capable of holding up the ball and will try to bring his teammates into play as they look to find a way past the Tampines defence.
Tampines Rovers: Miljan Mrdakovic
A striker is brought in to score goals and Mrdakovic is doing just that at the moment.
While his hold-up play has left much to be desired, seven goals in six games in all competitions has seen the Serbian marquee forward justify his ‘marquee player’ tag thus far.
He has also scored in every league match he has played in and that has propelled him to the top of the goalscoring charts with four goals.
Brunei DPMM – WWWDD
14/3/14 Home United 0-3 Brunei DPMM
28/2/14 Brunei DPMM 2-0 Warriors FC
22/2/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-1 Brunei DPMM
6/11/13 Brunei DPMM 2-2 Geylang International
31/10/13 Harimau Muda 2-2 Brunei DPMM
Tampines Rovers – WWWLW
19/3/14 Tampines Rovers 3-1 Pune FC (AFC Cup)
16/3/14 Tampines Rovers 3-0 Geylang International
1/3/14 Tampines Rovers 3-2 Courts Young Lions
26/2/14 Tampines Rovers 0-5 Kitchee (AFC Cup)
21/2/14 Tampines Rovers 1-0 Home United
Head to Head (S.League)
25/8/13 Brunei DPMM 2-6 Tampines Rovers
16/4/13 Tampines Rovers 1-1 Brunei DPMM
15/6/12 Tampines Rovers 1-0 Brunei DPMM
12/2/12 Brunei DPMM 2-2 Tampines Rovers