V. Selvaraj: We deserved victory against DPMM

The Warriors FC coach was pleased with their win against Brunei DPMM, while opposite number Vjeran Simunic believes his injury-hit side should have been awarded a penalty
Warriors FC chieftain V. Selvaraj was a happy man, as this season's biggest under-achievers came away from the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium with a valuable three points.

Goals from Shimpei Sakurada and Mislav Karoglan sealed a 2-0 victory for the Warriors, who climbed to sixth and into the top half of the table for the first time this season following the win against Brunei DPMM.

"We deserved the win," a beaming Selvaraj said after the final whistle.

"We created so many chances, and could have been 2-0 up in the first half, so I'm very pleased!”

Despite being second-best in the opening 45 minutes, Selvaraj felt that his game plan had paid off as the Warriors preyed upon DPMM's high defensive line.

"The aim was to make them play the ball along the ground,” he explained.

“Their back line was high, and we capitalized on it. All we needed was some fast runners, and players who could spot that movement, and Shi Jiayi had the experience to see that movement.

"We took it one half at a time. I wanted the boys to come into the dressing room without conceding, and they did exactly that. Hassan [Sunny]’s presence was very big for us.

"We are starting to believe more in the last three games. We're taking it one game at a time, and one half at a time.

Meanwhile, the alarm bells are ringing in the DPMM camp after the Sultanate's only professional side lost their third game in five matches.

What was once a fortress in which last year's runners-up were at their battling best has now become a pit of despair after they failed to score at home for a second game running.

DPMM head coach Vjeran Simunic admitted that his side has been struggling with injuries, most recently to top-scorer Joao Moreira, but credited the Warriors for their performance.

"They are a good team and contenders for the top three," the Croatian said.

"DPMM had many chances to score, but we didn't. We missed Moreira. But all the players gave 100%, and [Ivan] Bosnjak did his best.

"Juan [Azwan Ali Rahman] is out for three weeks with a fracture which we just found out about, and Param [Azwan Salleh] is still not ready, but helped us at the end of the game.

“We have been very unlucky with injuries, especially to our import players.”

Regarding the penalty incident, every bone in Simunic’s body told him that referee Muhd Taqi Jahari should have pointed to the spot and Abdil Qaiyyim should have seen red.

"It is a penalty for Bosnjak, and a red card for the defender,” the Croatian opined.

“It was a clear penalty, he [Abdil] tugged Bosnjak's shirt. It would have been a different game [if we had scored a penalty].

"The result is not correct, but I cannot say they [Warriors] did not deserve it. At 0-0 and 1-0 we had some very good chances to score.

"All game it was open. They saved their whole team for this game.”

A top-three finish seems a long shot based on the Wasps’ current form, but Simunic was adamant that the S.League was still an open battlefield as the top six and bottom six will play one more round against each other after their first 22 games.

"It is still open, but we must see how many players we have ready,” he said. “We need to make the first six to continue to fight for the top.

"For Warriors, this was their biggest game of the season. If they lost, they are out [of the title race] and in the bottom three. But they won today so they can still make the top three."