HJ MOHD Subhi Abdillah Hj Bakir's seventh minute strike was enough to put DPMM FC into the quarter-finals of the Singapore League Cup after beating Tanjong Pagar United FC 1-0 last night.
Handing the Jaguars their second loss of the tournament after a 3-0 defeat to Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) FC on Thursday, last night's result means that 2009 champions DPMM FC and SAF FC, who they beat to lift the trophy three years ago, are into Saturday's last-eight at the expense of Tanjong Pagar who with two losses in as many games, will have to settle for the Plate competition as one of the four bottom teams in the four groups.
Playing in their first match of the tournament since their 2009 triumph, Croatian midfielder Ivan Jerkovic helped give DPMM FC a dream start after lashing in a dangerous free-kick into the box at the Queenstown Stadium in Singapore.
Though Brazilian centre-back Tales Ricarte dos Santos had his shot saved by the goalkeeper, right-back Hj Mohd Subhi Abdillah was the quickest to react giving the visitors a lead they would fight to hold on to until the final whistle.
"It was a typical DPMM FC free-kick ... but then drama until the end," said coach Vjeran Simunic after the game.
"We had three or four excellent chances to score after that but we didn't, and we suffered as a result.
"Tanjong Pagar are hard to beat since they have many good foreign players. (Haitian-American Gilbert) Bayonne ... They call him Zlatan! (Paris Saint-Germain's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic).
"But I'm happy with how we played (and) now there is no pressure on us (to qualify for the next round)," added the Croatian.
DPMM FC take on eight-time S-League champions SAF FC who they beat 5-4 on penalties to lift the 2009 title in their second Group A game on Wednesday, the match at the Yishun Stadium in Singapore deciding which team will top the group.
The group winners will take on Group C runners-up, either Home United FC or Hougang United FC the two teams set to face off on the same night.
Hougang beat Young Lions 2-1 at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore thanks to goals from Mamadou Diallo and Azhar Sairudin last night with Hafiz Abu Sajad's 90th minute strike little consolation for the Singaporean national Under-23 team.
Home edged the Young Lions in their first match last Thursday, and with last night's result, the latter now only have the Plate to look forward to.
Today's games will see Balestier Khalsa take on Geylang United FC in Group B play and Woodlands Wellington FC face Gombak United FC in Group D action.
The quarterfinals will be contested in a straight knockout format, with all four ties set to be played on Saturday.
The semi-finals will be held on Aug 7-8 while the final is set for Aug 11.
The League Cup champions will walk away with S$30,000, an increase of S$10,000 from the 2011 edition, while the runners-up will receive S$15,000 and the Plate winners S$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 six-year history.The Brunei Times
Monday, July 30, 2012
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