DPMM edge Home to make League Cup final

Record Cup winners Brunei DPMM disposed of Home United 1-0 on Tuesday evening to reach their fifth League Cup final. 

The Wasps put in a resolute display as they kept Home at bay and never relinquished a lead they took through Rafael Ramazotti in the 26th minute.

The striker was left with a simple finish after DPMM had hit the bar through an Adi Said volley and the ball fell for Awangku Fakharrazi to square to Ramazotti.

Instead of going for a second goal, DPMM then spent the rest of the game keeping things tight at the back.

This approach would have been unfamiliar to most DPMM fans due to coach Steve Kean's penchant for an attacking game but he explained his side tweaked their philosophy after suffering a 5-0 defeat to Home earlier in the season.

It was actually the game against Home United that made us change our back five into a back three

- DPMM coach Kean

"It was actually the game against Home United that made us change our back five into a back three," Kean told reporters after the press.

"We are normally very offensive but we had to become defensive as realised some thing had to change."

Still, Home had several chances to score throughout the game and they could only blame themselves for not taking those that came their way.

Ken Ilso and Shamil Sharif combined well in the 11th minute but the latter could only hit wide despite being afforded space in the box.

Home Hyrulnizam Juma'at put in a decent save in the 18th minute after Helmi Zambin beat his marker and went for goal from a tight angle before Home conceded eight minutes later.

Home did not take the chances that came their way

In the second half, Juma'at Jantan ran onto Ilso's pass and his low cross found Sufianto Salleh in the danger area but the forward could only stab wide from close range.

DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof then made a superb stop after Shamil Sharif latched onto Aqhari Abdullah’s raking pass and took one touch before firing a stinger at goal in the 72nd minute.

An unmarked Shahrazen Said missed a glorious opportunity in injury time as his header was saved by Hyrulnizam but the miss proved inconsequential.

"This is it, you don't score goals, you can't win," Home coach Philippe Aw said.

"We just couldn't finish... they were just hanging on and you have to give credit to them (DPMM) for defending in numbers."

Home failed to make the League Cup final again

This defeat meant Aw is most likely going to end his second season in charge without silverware again and he admitted that was disappointing to take, given the star-studded squad he has.

However, Aw believes his charges will come good one day as he urged for more patience with regards to Home’s philosophy of playing attractive football and giving youngsters a chance.

“We came into this tournament and we knew this was only our chance, I’m sure nobody gave us a chance to make the semi-finals,” Aw said.

“But looking at this League Cup, it has given us the opportunity to give young players the chance to play.

“As a coach, in the second season, we would love to win things but it’s not easy. We are trying to do three things; play a good brand of football, blood youngsters and win trophies.

“So we need to find the right balance, maybe we haven't found it in my second season

but there is no turning and saying let’s forget this vision that we have, instead let's keep working at it.”

Photos: S.League