Wednesday, December 6, 2023
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Anticipation builds over FA Cup battle

Fadhil Yunus

DPMM FC and Kasuka SC will end the country’s long wait for a domestic silverware when both teams clash in the hugely-anticipated Brunei FA Cup 2022 final at the Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas tomorrow.

The nation has not witnessed the crowning of a national league or cup champion since MS ABDB lifted the Brunei Super League in May 2019 and Kota Ranger in the Brunei FA Cup the previous month, owed to the multiple cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

DPMM FC will bid to win the trophy for the first time since 2004 before committing their football in the Malaysia and Singapore leagues, while Kasuka SC eye a maiden triumph.

It will be the first-ever meeting between both sides in the historic competition.

DPMM FC Head Coach Mohammad Helme bin Panjang said during the pre-match press conference at the Lecture Theatre, FABD House yesterday, “We will improve on what we may have been lacking or any areas that needs to be improved. We will bring those improvements forward from our semi-final matches in the final.”

DPMM FC and Kasuka SC head coaches and team captains with the Brunei FA Cup trophy. PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS

He continued, “Both teams have their own advantages and it leaves with the final whether the players can perform well or not. The final will show whether the player can perform as instructed by the respective coaches.”

Meanwhile, Kasuka SC Head Coach Ali Mustafa said, “During the week leading to the final against DPMM FC, we trained as usual and improve on what we need in the final.”

The head coach is currently dealing with the headache of selecting players in the starting line-up though he has vowed to provide an exciting match.

“It is the first time both teams will meet. Prior to the final, we also have friendly matches with DPMM FC. Insya Allah, both teams have strategies to achieve triumph.”

“We will try to play and achieve victory even though DPMM FC boast experienced players. Before this, DPMM FC played a higher level of intensity competing against teams from the Singapore Premier League.”

Both teams also updated with injuries and it is understood that several DPMM FC players are not in optimum condition, while one player in Kasuka SC has sustained injury.

Meanwhile DPMM FC Team Captain Azwan Ali Rahman said, “Alhamdulillah, all the players are ready for the final. We have put in the extra work so I hope all the players are ready and give their 100 per cent.”

“I think it will be a 50-50 game and we will do our best to win the final, Insya Allah.”

His opposite number Kasuka SC Team Captain Sairol bin Haji Sahari said, “We are excited to be in the final. We have friends between the two teams… we have met previously (in matches) and have also played together with the national team.”

“Each player brings his own advantages. I hope we play a very good game – not only for the players, but also for the fans.”

The winner of the competition will earn a berth in the qualifying playoff stage of the upcoming 2023-2024 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup next season as a representative of Brunei Darussalam.

Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (FABD) Club Licensing Officer Izwan Eswandy chaired the press conference.


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