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S.League

  • March 14, 2014
  • • 19:30
  • • Jalan Besar Stadium, Singapore
  • Referee: S. Singh
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O’Donovan double sends DPMM top

O’Donovan double sends DPMM top

S.League

Steve Kean’s side raced to the summit of the S.League table after making it three wins out of three with no goals conceded as they beat Home United 3-0 in a clinical display

Brunei DPMM signaled their title intent after topping the S.League table on Friday night by convincingly beating Home United 3-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Steve Kean’s side maintained their 100% record in the league as they won their third game in a row, having yet to concede a single goal so far.

The foreign contingent from the Wasps were the stars of the show as former Sunderland striker Roy O’Donovan bagged a brace while Rodrigo Tosi maintained his fine early-season form with his third goal in as many games.

After a cautious opening period, it was the Protectors who carved the first real opportunity on 15 minutes. Fazli Ayob chipped the ball to Syahiran Miswan, who slammed a half-volley into the side-netting.

DPMM came close to breaking the deadlock a few minutes later after Rosmin Kamis’s long ball was chested by Tosi into the path of O’Donovan, but his first-time volley smashed against the upright.

However, O’Donovan was not to be denied again as on 25 minutes. Joe Gamble’s perfect cross found the Irishman, who made no mistake as he powered a header in to give the Bruneian outfit the lead.

Nine minutes later, Gamble found Tosi as DPMM raced away on a counter-attack and the Brazilian feinted inside his marker before cracking a 25-yard shot that beat Shahril Jantan at the near post.

Home did try to get back into the game as Fazli Ayob saw his effort get headed off the line, but they were unable to break down the resilient Wasps’ defense.

O’Donovan scored his second of the evening just after the hour mark as Tosi turned provider with his cross to the far post, where the 28-year-old made no mistake from five yards with a simple header.

DPMM manager Steve Kean fired a warning to the other teams in the S.League after the match, saying that there is still room for improvement for his team despite their perfect start to the season.

“I think we can play better,” he said at the post-match press conference.

“We showed from the first game we managed to win, and we managed to win the second game too. Home is a good side, [but] I think there’s more to come from us.

“I’ve said from day one that we’re assembling a squad to challenge [for the title]. The local players I’ve seen are very good, there’s a lot of room for development. The foreign players we’ve brought in have fit in and adapted to what we’ve already got."

The former Blackburn Rovers manager also indicated that Home's involvement in the AFC Cup earlier in the week was a “massive reason” for the team’s lack of intensity against his side.

That was a point that was reiterated by Home assistant coach Aidil Sharin, who felt the injuries and rigourous schedule was a major factor for their defeat.

“It’s not easy to play in the S.League and AFC Cup with a lot of injuries,” Aidil lamented.

“We have a big squad, but a lot of our key players were injured. I think we were second to everything on the ball. Brunei played very well, closing down our key players. It might be fatigue, most of them might not have had enough recovery.”

Still, Aidil is optimistic that once his players return from their injuries, they would be able to mount a greater fight for the title.

"Definitely, the coach (Lee Lim Saeng) is disappointed [with the result], like everyone else in the team, but we can’t look back, we have to look forward now,” he said.

“It’s too early to talk about the title because it’s a very long season. We’re not thinking of the title now. We want everybody to get fit, and then we can climb [up the table] as high as possible.

Home travel to India on Saturday to face Churchill Brothers in their third AFC cup match, which will be held on March 18.

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