CAN DPMM FC break the spell against Tampines Rovers FC?
Brunei's only professional football team will resume their campaign in the Singapore League (S-League) against the defending champions today at the Clementi Stadium in Singapore.
DPMM FC have never beaten the Stags in all their previous four meetings one loss and three draws.
Their last was a 2-2 draw in their season opener on February 12 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
It was a good result considering that prior to that game, DPMM FC's last competitive game dated back to September 2009.
DPMM FC, who are currently at the summit of the 13-team S-League with 29 points from 12 games, know that it will be a tall task to upend their opponents especially since they boast more than four "import" players.
"They basically have six import players with two of them naturalised foreigners. We are short one import and we will play eight local players," said Simunic (pic) in an interview with The Brunei Times before departure at the Brunei International Airport in Berakas yesterday.
"I'm proud of that for our country and we believe that we can challenge a big team like Tampines," he added.
Forward Aleksandar Duric and midfielder Fahrudin Mustafic are the duo that Simunic had previously claimed as the two best players in Singapore.
Defender Benoit Croissant and players from Croatian first division goalkeeper Sasa Dreven, attacking midfielders Davor Piskor and Gligor Gligorov are the ones listed as imports for Tampines.
Despite not being able to get on the winning end against the Stags yet, Simunic believes that they may be able to do it.
"We could have won or loss all three matches which resulted in a draw. They were 50-50 games. Tampines are one of the top teams in the league and have played good football for years," said Simunic, whose target is to finish in the Top-5 this season.
"In contrast, we are quite new to the league and we are up to challenge them. The team have done a good job over the past nine months by looking at our performance and hopefully results will come," added the Croatian mentor.
"We may be at the top of the table for now but we face a horrible schedule for the next five games where we can either lose or win all," continued the 57-year-old.
Another cause for concern for the Croatian mentor is that left-winger Hj Muhd Subhi Abdilah Hj Bakir has been ruled out of the matchup due to injury.
"He is one of our main players and this will be a factor for us. I'm still in a dilemma on who I'll play. Maybe the experienced (Pg) Salleh(uddin Pg Hj Damit)," stressed Simunic.
"We have not replaced an import as well since Rodrigo (Gral)'s departure but we might let Adi (Said) see some action alongside his brother (Shahrazen)," he added.
Their last competitive match was last Saturday, where they defeated Sabah FA 3-1 in a friendly at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.
The match kicks off at 7.45pm.
Meanwhile, the second half of the season commenced yesterday with Hougang United FC beating Tanjong Pagar United FC 1-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.The Brunei Times
Friday, June 15, 2012
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