Kwok Believes Hougang Can Upset The Odds
Brunei DPMM vs Hougang United
(Sunday, 2 April, 8.15pm, Bandar Seri Begawan)
Written by: Shawn Lim
Hougang United will be looking to pile more misery on Brunei DPMM in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League when the two teams face off in Bandar Seri Begawan on Sunday night.
The Wasps have yet to register a win in the league, after a 3-1 and 2-0 loss to Home United and Albirex Niigata (S) respectively in their first two games of the season.
In contrast, the Cheetahs have picked up six points out of a possible nine after victories over Geylang International and Garena Young Lions.
According to Hougang midfielder Fabian Kwok, the Bruneians’ poor form could be a boost to Hougang. He also believes that it will help them beat Steve Kean’s charges on their home turf.
“It is definitely a good time to play DPMM because they are struggling to pick up results. While they are strong at their home ground in Brunei, we are on a high with two wins out of three,” said Kwok.
“We have the upper hand so hopefully we can continue to build on it.”
For a club that has finished in the doldrums of the league table for the last few seasons, Philippe Aw’s side now find themselves in unfamiliar territory in the upper echelons of the standings.
However, Kwok is keen to stress that it is still very early in the season and has urged his teammates to ‘take it one game at a time’.
“There is a saying - it is not how you start but how you finish,” Kwok enthused.
“It is great that we are starting well early into the season and We will focus on getting the results along the way.”
In spite of their losing streak, DPMM go into this as slight favourites, albeit on paper. The 2015 S.League winners have yet to suffer a defeat to the Cheetahs in their past five meetings in the league.
While the statistics do not favour Hougang, Kwok is adamant that the Cheetahs can spring a surprise on Sunday night, as long as they stick to Aw’s philosophy of playing attacking football.
“They have tall strikers so we have to be cautious about that. However, we have many good ball players this season and a game plan on playing better football as a whole,” said Kwok.
“We will stick to our style of play and not make it a wasted trip to Brunei.”
Hougang will however have to check on the condition of returning Singapore national team players M. Anumanthan, Nazrul Nazari, Zulfahmi Arifin before deciding on the match day squad that will face DPMM.
The Wasps in the meantime, could hand new signing Zeljko Savic his debut after the Serbian was signed to replace injured Francois Marque, who was released after playing only one game for DPMM.
Brunei DPMM - WWLLL
09/03/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Brunei DPMM
03/03/17 Brunei DPMM 1-3 Home United
26/10/16 Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Brunei DPMM
01/10/16 Tampines Rovers 0-1 Brunei DPMM
26/09/16 Brunei DPMM 5-3 Garena Young Lions
Hougang United - LLWLW
11/03/17 Hougang United 2-0 Garena Young Lions
03/03/17 Tampines Rovers 2-1 Hougang United
27/02/17 Hougang United 2-0 Geylang International
25/10/16 Warriors FC 5-1 Hougang United
20/10/16 Hougang United 0-1 Geylang International
Head to Head (S.League)
26/08/16 Hougang United 1-2 Brunei DPMM
14/05/16 Brunei DPMM 3-2 Hougang United
04/03/16 Hougang United 0-0 Brunei DPMM
20/10/15 Hougang United 1-2 Brunei DPMM
29/07/15 Brunei DPMM 1-1 Hougang United