Sunday, April 21, 2013

Simunic: We played against 14

Brunei DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic was unable to hide his anger at the referee following the 1-1 draw with Tampines Rovers in the Great Eastern-YEO's S-league.

The Bruneian outfit were leading 1-0 at the Clementi Stadium thanks to Joao Moreira's 35th-minute strike when they had an ironclad penalty claim six minutes after the hour mark, when substitute Adi Said raced through before appearing to be tripped inside the area by Jufri Taha.

But instead of pointing to the spot and handing the visitors a perfect chance to double their lead, referee Yazeen Buhari awarded a freekick to the Stags and booked Adi for diving, much to the bewilderment of
Simunic, who protested furiously shortly after.

And the decision proved vital in the 90th minute when Khairul Amri fired home the equaliser to earn Tampines a share of the spoils and keep alive their unbeaten start to the 2013 campaign.

Having never been afraid to speak his mind, Simunic was scathing in his assessment of Yazeen's decision and
labelled the officiating as 'shameful'.

"This was a big scandal by the referee," he said. "I have seen many mistakes in the S-League but this is horrible.

"I trust him [the referee] but I don't know why he didn't put on a yellow [Tampines' colours] dress tonight [Tuesday]. We gave a footballing lesson and played a fantastic game - we could have had many goals and many penalties.

"It's impossible how Shahrazen gets fouled twice but we get nothing, then Adi gets a yellow card when he's fouled in the box. It's just stupid - shameful football.

"Absolutely no [I don't think Tampines deserved a point] - I think they deserved the referee. We played against 14 players.

"This is not just my opinion; all my management agree as well. I even joked with Adi, asking him why he dived and got a yellow card.

"Everyone saw what happened. I looked at the fans from Tampines - they like me - and they were smiling as well."

Once he had calmed down slightly, Simunic did manage to focus on the positives as his side became the first team in the league to avoid defeat against the defending champions this season, reiterating his stance that Bruneian football is firmly on the rise.

"I'm sorry about this happening because Tampines are really the best team in the league," he added. "If we didn't hold them to a draw tonight [Tuesday], I think the competition would have become boring.

"Now we have shown the other teams that you can play [against Tampines]. Even though maybe the possession was 85% to 15% in Tampines' favour, I think we played the better football with our 15%.

"I'm very proud with the way my Bruneian team played against [Tampines' many] AFF Suzuki Cup winners. Some of my players used to watch Mustafic [Fahrudin] and [Aleksandar] Duric on television and viewed them as heroes.

"They were very motivated to play against them. It [Brunei] may be a small country but the people always dream of showing the rest that they can play football."

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