Singapore Premier League • February 23, 2014
Tosi Hands Steve Kean Dream Start
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Steve Kean got his Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League coaching debut off to a winning start courtesy of Rodrigo Tosi’s first-half penalty as Brunei DPMM edged Albirex Niigata (Singapore) 1-0 in a tight encounter at Jurong East Stadium on Saturday evening.
After teammate Roberto Alviz went down under the challenge from Albirex custodian Kazuki Kishigami inside the box, the Brazilian stepped up and calmly dispatched his spotkick into the bottom corner for the winner.
DPMM however, had goalkeeper Azman Ilham to thank for the victory. Standing in for suspended first-choice Wardun Yussof, the 29-year-old showed safe hands and was a commanding performance between the sticks throughout.
Just two minutes in, Azman had to be alert to tip Kento Nagasaki’s shot away for a corner. He then did well to save from Hiroki Morisaki’s curling shot just after the half-hour mark as the White Swans sought a way back into the game.
Nagasaki tested Azman once more in the first half on 34 minutes with a curling freekick but the goalkeeper was equal to his shot, scrambling across goal to keep the ball out.
Meanwhile, DPMM marquee signing Roy O’Donovan could have scored on his debut on the stroke of half-time but fired well wide after breaking free of the Albirex defence.
The second half was a stark contrast to the first with clear-cut chances few and far between but it was Albirex who came out of the second half the brighter side. They came closest to scoring in
the 65th minute but saw Nagasaki’s effort from point-blank range denied on the line by Azman and Subhi Abdilah.
The White Swans pushed numbers forward in the dying minutes but it was to no avail as DPMM hung on for their first points of the season.
For Tatsuyuki Okuyama, he will have to wait until his side’s next game against Harimau Muda on 27 February (Thursday) to try and secure his first win as Albirex coach while Kean’s DPMM entertain Warriors FC a day later at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Brunei.