Written by: Dwyane James
Brunei DPMM head coach Steve Kean was disappointed after watching his charges slump to a 3-2 defeat against Home United last night in the Great Eastern-Yeo’s S-League.
It was the first time that Brunei DPMM has gone with back-to-back losses this season as well as conceding three goals in a match by the team under the Scotsman.
“I’m disappointed with the defensive performance. We will have to work extra hard now to get back to being hard to score against,” said Kean after the defeat.
“Tonight we were too open and there were chance after chance for Home United. The chances that we did have we didn’t do well enough.
“It is going to take more hard work on the training ground,” he added.
Brunei DPMM were desperately trying to get back into the match while trailing 2-1 but a debatable goal by Qiu Li in the 79th minute proved to be the dagger.
Kean shrugged it off and is not looking at putting the blame on the match officials.
“I was surprised when their goalkeeper was getting treatment and we were having a drink,” said Kean.
“Normally the referee will blow the whistle and allow team to get back to position. But he allowed it go quickly and we were caught off position.
“That was a tough one but we are not going to make any excuses. We lost because we didn’t defend well enough,” added the ex-Blackburn Rovers manager.
The loss means that the lead at the top of the league has now dwindled to only one point as Brunei DPMM are stuck on 31 points.
The Warriors are now second on 30 points having defeated Harimau Muda 4-2 at the Pasir Gudang Stadium in Johor on Thursday night.
However, Kean insisted that it was not time for alarm as they were still at the top of the 12-team table.
“We were always going to have tough spells against these teams in the second round.
“There is no need to panic as long as we are ahead. The gap may be smaller now but we are still on top,” said Kean.
It was good news for his counterpart Lee Lim Saeng as they were back in the title race having jumped up to third spot in the standings with 27 points, after Tampines Rovers fell 1-0 to Geylang International in the earlier kickoff at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Goalkeeper Shahril Jantan made some remarkable saves to keep his team in front but the Protectors coach insisted it was more than a one man show.
“We respect our opponents as they worked really hard. It was a tough game and everyone on our team showed great character. It would be difficult to pick out a man of the match,” said Lee.
“Our keeper did well and made some good saves. Credit to him but it is the whole team effort,” he added.
“There is still a long way to go in the season and we must remain humble with the win.
“I’m happy with to get all three points and we just want to continue playing well to pick up more in the upcoming matches,” he concluded.