Warriors thump DPMM to set up final date with Albirex
Brunei DPMM's resurgence halted as Razif's charges set up final clash with Albirex
|BRUNEI DPMM||WARRIORS FC|
|(Shahrazen Said 76)||(Emmeric Ong 26, Shahril Ishak 44, 70, 90+2-pen, Andrei Ciolacu 52)|
They have won the competition three times in their seven-year history in Singapore football, and have made the final four times in the last five years.
But Brunei DPMM found little joy in The New Paper League Cup this time around.
The Wasps had stormed into last night's semi-final scoring 11 goals in three Group B fixtures.
However, their finishing deserted them at the Jalan Besar Stadium yesterday as they fell to a 5-1 defeat by a rampant Warriors FC.
Instead of a repeat of last year's TNP League Cup final which saw DPMM fall to Albirex Niigata, it will be Razif Onn's Warriors who are now tasked with stopping the Japanese side from winning the League Cup three times in a row in Friday's final.
Albirex beat Geylang International 4-0 in last night's other semi-final.
"This was in sharp contrast to what we've done in the group stages of the tournament - we were poor in front of goal. And it's a real shame because we've had a good tournament," lamented DPMM coach Steve Kean after the match.
"We did have chances, but we didn't deserve to win tonight."
The Scot was spot on.
His charges looked lethargic and listless, losing battles all over the park.
Even when they created opportunities in front of goal, they did not seriously trouble Basil Chan who had a poor game in the Warriors' goal.
It was Jordan Webb who stood tallest in the Warriors' ranks, alongside hat-trick hero Shahril Ishak.
But the nine-time S.League champions, who have never won the League Cup, took the lead from an unlikely source - Emmeric Ong.
The 26-year-old defensive player gave Warriors the lead in the 26th minute, showing the composure of an established forward to slot home after being set free in the box by Hafiz Nor.
Andrei Ciolacu's 52nd-minute header was sandwiched by 33-year-old Shahril's hat-trick, with Webb playing a critical role in three of those four goals.
DPMM scored a 76th-minute consolation through Shahrazen Said, but could have had several more if not for Azwan Ali's profligacy.
"Shahril and Jordan did very well for us tonight, and I hope they can be effective weapons for us on Friday, too. But we were fortunate tonight," said Warriors coach Razif Onn.
He pointed to the injuries and suspensions that DPMM had to endure, including the loss of their biggest attacking threat, Rafael Ramazotti.
"Football is about goals. You can create chances but, if you don't score, you can't win," said Onn, who acknowledged that his goalkeeper did not put in a performance worthy of keeping his spot for the final.
"He's there based on his experience, because Hyrulnizam Juma'at is suspended, but he must play better than he did tonight."
Despite his three-goal performance last night, Shahril may not play as big a role in Friday's final.
"Albirex play a very fast game, and I think it will be very difficult for Shahril to last, compared to this (DPMM) match that was played at a lower intensity," said Razif.
"The final will be a totally different game... and we must adapt to those changes."
The League Cup remains the only domestic trophy to elude the Warriors, who have four RHB Singapore Cup titles to their name.
"We are looking to win every tournament that we take part in. We want to give our best in every game that we play and hope to win," said Razif.