Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Brunei Town

Friendly football match a hit

DPMM FC produced a statement win during a friendly match win against Guangxi Pingguo Haliao Guojing Football Team on Saturday, weeks before the start of the Singapore Premier League (SPL) season.

The match, the first international football friendly ever hosted in Brunei Darussalam, attracted both local and foreign football fans, who turned up in high spirit.

Permanent Secretary (Sports) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Pengiran Mohd Amirrizal bin Pengiran Haji Mahmud believes the friendly match will open up more opportunities in the future, adding that the ministry and the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam ought to explore more friendly matches with other countries.

Pengiran Mohd Amirrizal said local football teams have been playing matches overseas and it was timely to bring the matches here for local football fans to see the latest developments and provide new players with the exposure and experience to compete at a higher level.

The permanent secretary said winning the friendly match was a boost for DPMM FC as they prepare for their upcoming SPL campaign.

Although SPL and China League One play at different levels, the match gave the local football team an opportunity to test their strengths and identify weaknesses to overcome as well as for the coach to figure out the best starting line-up.

ABOVE & BELOW: Public affairs officer at the United States Embassy in Brunei Darussalam Katherine Ntiamoah with her husband; and Affee and Siraaj point at the scoreboard. PHOTO: LYNA MOHAMAD & RAFI ROSLI
ABOVE & BELOW: Spectators watching the match where DPMM FC beat Guangxi Pingguo Haliao Guojing Football Team 3-1; and the teams in action. PHOTO: LYNA MOHAMAD & RAFI ROSLI

Public affairs officer at the United States Embassy in Brunei Darussalam Katherine Ntiamoah and her husband were among the spectators on Saturday night.

Ntiamoah, an avid football fan, said it was exciting to see a Bruneian team in action.

She believes the game was an opportunity for DPMM FC to gain more international exposure in their quest to become one of the best teams in the region.

Mohd Zulhilmi bin Maidin from Kampong Bolkiah came out of a hiatus of watching live football matches as he wanted to show support for a local team.

He said he was excited because DPMM FC was up against one of the top teams in a Chinese league, adding that they were given an opportunity to gain new techniques and strategies as well as expose them to skills that could help them to improve further.

Addy and wife from Kampong Tungku are both avid football fans and watch all matches regardless of the teams or entry fees. They praised the organisers for bringing in an international team to help Brunei football advance, adding that it was good to see a foreign team come to the Sultanate to play for a change.

Addy also hopes there will be more friendly matches in the future to help local football players, especially the younger generation, to hone the skills required to be competitive at a higher level.

Good friends Affee and Siraaj were also among those cheering DPMM FC’s local and import players on Saturday night.

Affee said the match was entertaining and he had a lot of fun watching with fellow local fans.

He hopes that more international teams will come and play in the Sultanate to help local teams improve.

Siraaj, meanwhile, said the friendly match was nail-biting, with both teams displaying incredible skills and determination.

He was happy DPMM FC won the match 3-1 and noted the excitement of the crowd during the lucky draw segment as a car was up for grabs.

He also looks forward to more friendly matches with international teams being played in Brunei as he believes these matches boost the local fans’ morale as they get to cheer for their teams on home ground. – Lyna Mohamad