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Pennock happy for players’ effort

File photo shows DPMM FC forward Shah Razen Said dribbling the ball as Hougang United FC players defend. – INFOFOTO

BY   Fadhil Yunus

DPMM FC head coach Adrian Pennock lauded the character of his players after masterminding another comeback in the 3-2 victory over dark horses Hougang United FC in their last home match in the AIA Singapore Premier League at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas. The Gegar Gegar men’s unbeaten record were threatened after they fell 2-1 behind through a quick-fire double by Hougang forward Stipe Plazibat.

After foreign import Andrey Varankou converted a penalty for the hosts to make it all square, which would have allowed some distance from second-placed Hougang, Hendra Azam nicked the winner at the death after his free-kick went all the way towards goal.

Hendra’s strike was the second time in three matches that the current league leaders have found a late winner, meaning they have collected seven points out of a possible nine, instead of two had they not conjured a late rally.

The Brunei-based outfit also recovered from being pegged back after they led 2-0 with two late strikes to wrap up all three points against the Warriors.

“It’s a fantastic result. Especially to come back after going 2-1 down, and we showed a lot of character. They (Hougang) are a very good side and we’ve got to give them a lot of

credit,” said Pennock in a post-match interview.

“I thought it was an entertaining game. They played some very good football. I thought the first 20 minutes we didn’t get hold of them the way we wanted to and then we changed a couple of little things. And after that, it was just a very good football game,” he further added.

The head coach also lavished praise on the home supporters adding that they “lifted them” when the team fell behind.

Pennock also highlighted the gap between the two league frontrunners but insisted that they need to move on to another big game especially with Home United in the horizon.

Meanwhile, Pennock’s opposite number Hougang head coach Clement Teo said, “As a coach, what more can I ask for. The players have given their best and they tried.”

DPMM FC, who are enjoying their best start to the season since their 2015 triumph, will next play the Protectors at home on Saturday in the start of the second round of fixtures.

Pennock’s charges have maintained their unbeaten record in the first round of fixtures against all opponents after recording six wins and two draws.

-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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