DPMM FC will have the chance to exact revenge for their first Singapore League home loss when they take on giants Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) FC in the Singapore League Cup on Aug 1 a rematch of the final the Bruneians won in 2009.
SAF handed DPMM FC their only defeat at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas of the season, the 2-1 loss on June 23 the third in as many games for Brunei's only professional outfit.
Though they fell 6-1 to Home United FC in their debut season in 2009, the match was more memorable for the slew of red cards shown to DPMM FC who ended the match with their three-man defence sent to an early shower.
DPMM which are currently second in the S-League will have the chance to put last month's result behind them when they face SAF in their second Singapore League Cup Group A game, taking on Tanjong Pagar United FC in their first game at the Queenstown Stadium in Singapore on July 29.
Though the draw for the competition was made on July 12, the fixtures were not made available on that day.
The SAF Warriors have collected every other major trophy since the inception of the S-League in 1996 and General Manager Chong Wei Chiang declared that they will be looking to complete the set this year.
He was also eager to remind everyone that it was the Warriors who finally broke DPMM FC's home resistance.
"We were the first team to inflict a defeat to DPMM on their ground this season," he was quoted as saying on the S-League website.
"Looking at the situation, all is good for us, and we look forward to progress to the knockout stages of this competition," he added.
Despite Chong's optimism, DPMM FC will no doubt still fancy their chances in the competition and the tie against SAF.
Many of the players who won the competition three years ago through a 5-4 penalty shootout against SAF are still playing in the current team, and they will all remember that it was the club's first major international trophy and also the first time a foreign side lifted the cup.
Woodlands Wellington FC clinched the inaugural edition in 2007, and after Gombak United claimed top honours in 2008, a host of foreign sides would go on to claim victory in successive years DPMM FC in 2009, French side Etoile FC in 2010 and Japanese team Albirex Niigata (S) FC in 2011.
Except for Harimau Muda (Malaysian national Under-23 team) all other S-League clubs will be playing a part in this year's competition.
Divided into four groups of three, the 12 teams will meet each other once and the top two in each group will advance to the quarterfinals which will be contested in a knockout format.
The four teams finishing bottom of their groups will enter the Plate competition, consisting of the semifinals and a final, scheduled to be held just before the League Cup final itself on 11 August.
Defending champions and current S-League leaders, Albirex are drawn in Group B with Balestier Khalsa FC and Geylang United FC while Group C pits Home United FC against Hougang United FC and Young Lions (Singapore's national Under-23 team).
Tampines Rovers FC, Woodlands Wellington and Gombak United FC will compete in Group D.
The League Cup champions will walk away with $30,000, an increase of $10,000 from the 2011 edition, while the runners-up will receive $15,000 and the Plate winners get $5,000.
A Most Valuable Player award will also be up for grabs, which like the Plate trophy, is a new concept in the League Cup's short history.The Brunei Times
Monday, July 16, 2012
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