Brunei DPMM got their The New Paper League Cup campaign off to a winning start after a comfortable 5-1 victory over Tampines Rovers in a Group B clash at Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night.
Maududi Hilmi Kasmi’s double coupled with one each from Adi Said, Azwan Ali Rahman and Shahrazen Said rendered Jamil Ali’s second-half strike immaterial as the three-time League Cup winners moved top of Group B on goal difference.
With a majority of their first-team players given time off for the duration of the League Cup, Tampines head coach Jurgen Raab handed starts to youngsters Danish Uwais and Faizal Raffi as well as the likes of Hafiz Rahim and Jamil Ali.
It was DPMM who started the match on the front foot and could have gone ahead in the 12th minute but skipper Azwan Saleh saw his fierce shot from the edge of the box parried by Tampines custodian Joey Sim.
There was however nothing Sim could to to prevent the Wasps from opening the scoring moments later.
A cross from the left by Maududi caught out the Tampines defence and Adi sneaked in behind to poke the ball past an onrushing Sim to put DPMM in front.
Adi spurned an opportunity to double the lead for Steve Kean’s side in the 17th minute as he contrived to fire wide at the far post with only the keeper to beat.
The designated visitors then pulled further away just after the half-hour mark when Azwan Ali Rahman’s corner fell to midfielder Maududi who made no mistake from three yards.
It became 3-0 in the 41st minute as Azwan Ali Rahman latched onto a pass from Adi, raced through on goal unchallenged before hitting a firm left-footed shot past a hapless Sim to go into half-time with a comfortable cushion.
DPMM continued from where they left off after the break as Shahrazen added a fourth, heading home off a right-wing cross from Maududi in the 48th minute to pile more misery on the Stags.
The Wasps continued to threaten and Azwan Ali Rahman came close in the 55th minute but his effort flew wide of Sim’s right-hand post.
Tampines started to come out of their shell thereafter and pulled one back in the 67th minute with Jamil chipping the ball over a hardly untested Awangku Mu’izzudin to reduce the deficit.
DPMM would however seal victory four minutes later when Maududi smartly back heeled the loose ball past Sim after a corner was half-cleared by the Tampines defence for his second of the night.
The result snapped a eight-game winless streak for DPMM who face Balestier Khalsa in their next match at Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday, 11 July while it’s back to the drawing board for Tampines who take on eastern rivals Geylang International at Jurong West Stadium on the same day.
Tampines Rovers Head Coach Jurgen Raab: “If you saw my starting line-up today, it was not my best team. But I am using the League Cup as an opportunity to give the other players in the team like the Prime League players and fringe players a chance to play. I therefore take responsibility for the result.
“I am not disappointed with the result although I felt we should have done better on certain occasions. That said, the team has convinced me that they can play a good style of football as it’s not easy to play like that when you are 3-0 down at half-time.”
Brunei DPMM Head Coach Steve Kean: “It’s been long overdue but a win that was coming. We finally put away the chances we created although it was disappointing we failed to keep a clean sheet.
“The performance from the team has gradually been improving with the back four and goalkeeper doing well today. This result puts us in a good position and hopefully we can qualify for the semi-finals.”