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After watching his team beat the Courts Young Lions yesterday night, Brunei DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic spoke of his pride at the result against an “excellent" opponent

“Today, we took three points against my favorite team, Young Lions. Benjamin [Lee], [Sherif] El-Masri, [Sirina] Camara - they are excellent players. Young Lions are an excellent team, I have watched them many times, I have studied how they play; I am very proud today to win,” he said.

The Croatian admitted that his side switched off to allow the Young Lions to score, but maintained that he had faith in his players’ ability to turn things around.

“When you play against a strong team like Young Lions, you must accept that you will concede. One time a player does not keep [an eye on] another player, you will be punished, and Benjamin scored.”

He continued, “They scored, they had some chances and we had some chances. But I think in the last 15 minutes, we dominated. We decided to go for 3 points, and we did [achieved] that.”

Simunic also hailed the efforts of defenders Pg Sallehuddin Damit and Tales dos Santos, who have been soldiering on despite injuries.

“I am very happy for many of my players like Sallehudduin, who played after a long absence, [due to] an operation on his knee. I must say ‘thank you’ to Santos, because the doctor said to him that he couldn’t play for six weeks, but he played today.”

He insisted that he was already focusing on his team’s next match against Tanjong Pagar, as he brushed off talk about the S-League title.

“My mind is on Tanjong Pagar. I respect them very much.”

His counterpart, Robin Chitrakar, thought that his players did well despite the “disappointing” loss.

“I thought we competed with DPMM very well; you can see from our teamsheet that we are really a young team, but we gave them a really good run [for their money]. I thought we competed well, even if we lost 3-1.”

The Young Lions coach blamed the goals conceded on inexperience and lapses on concentration, and also tried to play down the red card shown to Shahfiq Ghani.

“He was trying to go for the ball, but he got his timing all wrong.”

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