| Fadhil Yunus |
MS ABDB began their quest of reclaiming the DST FA Cup which eluded them under dramatic circumstances last season with a comfortable 4-0 win over Jerudong FC in the round of 16 at the Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex last night.
The record winners lost out to MS PDB in the semi-final last season but they have their sights firmly fixed on a double, with the DST Super League title already in the bag.
DST Premier League side Jerudong have always struggled against top flight opposition and could not secure an immediate return following relegation in the previous Super League season.
But, the visitors made a strong start when Mohd Mudza’ffar Al Arif bin Haji Abdur Rafae’a was impeded and a free-kick was awarded in a promising position. Jerudong captain Amir Mamduh bin Momin’s free-kick took a slight deflection and away for a corner.
In contrast, MS ABDB’s set-piece was effectual and proved to be the platform for a breakthrough. From near the touchline where the dugout were closely situated, captain Mohamad Haizul Rani bin Metusin floated a long ball into the box and found Suhaldy bin Suhaini on the far post, who steered home a precise header.
Jerudong’s Sufri bin Mohaimin chased a loose ball and attempted to power home a gliding finish but a MS ABDB player tracked him down with lawful aggression to nullify the threat.
MS ABDB forward Baharin bin Hamidon is leading the line these days as former teammate Razimie Ramlli moved to greener pastures and he nearly doubled the advantage with a shot that just skidded wide.
Baharin’s teammate Mohammad Fadhli bin Haji Awang Salleh came even closer after his fierce drive from outside the box was tipped away from Jerudong shot-stopper Fardhilah bin Haji Mohd Ali.
Mohd Mudza’ffar did have the ball at the back of the net with a header but his aggression on MS ABDB goalkeeper Mohammad Tarmizi bin Haji Mat Johari was not permissible in the eyes of the referee.
The army personnel were awarded a penalty after the referee pointed to the spot for a handball amid protests from the Jerudong players.
Adey Shariduan bin Haji Johari went for power to give absolutely no chance and with it a two-goal cushion just before the break.
Muhammad Hariz Danial bin Haji Khallidden has contributed with crucial goals in the league and the substitute brought forward a similar rich vein of form with a second half brace.
The win ensured MS ABDB a place in the last eight alongside BSRC FT and Kota Ranger.