DPMM FC head coach Adrian Pennock paid tribute to his charges for an unbelievable season despite his side missing out on a place in the Singapore Cup final following a 4-2 defeat on penalties to Warriors FC at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore on Wednesday night.
Warriors won the second leg 5-4 to draw level 5-5 in aggregate, reminiscent of the 2015 campaign when they lost the second leg against Home United at the Yishun Stadium after carrying a one-goal lead from the first leg.
The head coach said that the second leg was a game too far, adding that they have been away from home for the last 10 to 15 days since the group stages.
“We had an unbelievable season to be the 2019 Singapore Premier League champions and getting to the semi-finals of the Singapore Cup. I think it is a game too far from us,” said Pennock in a post-match interview.
He added, “We have been away from home for 10 to 15 days. But I’m so proud of the players.”
Pennock was gracious in defeat as he wished their opponent all the best for the final and indicated that they deserved to get a shot in winning the trophy.
The former Gillingham manager was also effusive in his praise of his players. “I’m standing here as the coach of the Singapore Premier League champions. We’re going to go away with a smile on our faces,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pennock’s opposite number Warriors head coach Azlan Alipah acknowledged the league champions as a tough opponent after overseeing his team’s progress to the final.
“It is a very tough game. The boys stuck to the game plan, were disciplined at the back and went forward,” Alipah said.
He added, “It was an excellent game from them (Warriors). DPMM FC are a good team and I’m happy with the boys. They deserved to be in the final.”
“Tampines will not be an easy game because we played a very long game today. The boys need to rest and recover fast. To me, they deserved to be in the final with Tampines.”
He continued, “It will be anybody’s game. I hope we’ll achieve what we wanted this year.”
Warriors will look to win a fifth Singapore Cup crown while Tampines will chase for their fourth title.
DPMM FC will play Geylang International FC in the battle for third place while the Singapore Cup final will be contested between Warriors FC and Tampines Rovers FC.