SINGAPORE (3 April 2012) – Malaysia’s Harimau Muda have set up a perfect showdown against Brunei’s DPMM FC in the S-League this week when the two square up in a top of the table clash at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Bandar Seri Begawan this Friday.
Both DPMM FC and Harimau Muda are the only two unbeaten sides in the S-League where after six matches, they have each amassed 14 points from four wins and two draws. DPMM topped the group currently on better goal difference.
While DPMM FC had little trouble to beat Gombak United 3-0 on the road at the Jurong West Stadium last Friday, the young Malaysian youngsters however had to give everything they had before they were able to beat eight-times S-League champions SAFFC 2-1.
“I only brought 16 players for the game against SAFFC with the likes of Shahrul Saad and Mohd Azizan Nordin taking over from the injured Mahali Jasuli and Mohd Irfan Fazail,” explained Ong Kim Swee, the chief coach of Harimau Muda.
“The win over SAFFC showed that we are on the right path in preparing for the AFC Under-22 Asian Cup qualifiers. Against SAFFC, I used players under the age of 21-years-old and they held up well against the experienced SAFFC side which had four quality imports alongside two naturalised players.
“But at the same time too, I told the players that they need to maintain focus and not think ahead of themselves as now all the teams in the S-League will be looking to beat us.”
With the score at a deadlock in the first half, young striker Wan Zack Haikal Wan Noor opened account for Harimau Muda with the lead on 69 minute before Shimpei Sakurada nailed the equaliser nine minutes later.
But Ahmad Hazwan Bakri emerged as the hero for Harimau Muda when he squeezed in the winning goal with three minutes remaining on the clock.
CURRENT S-LEAGUE 2012 STANDINGS
|7||Albirex Niigata (S)||6||3||1||2||11||9||+2||10|
|8||Singapore Armed Forces||6||2||1||3||14||14||0||7|
|11||Tanjong Pagar United||7||1||1||5||5||16||−11||4|