Simunic not worried about title race

DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic insists he is not perturbed at his side's battle with Tampines Rovers for the Great Eastern-YEO's S.League title.

DPMM celebrating Azwan's equaliser!

By Gabriel Tan

Simunic's charges ensured the title race will go down to the final week after beating Hougang United 3-1 on Wednesday evening, and are currently just one point behind the Stags.

While DPMM enter next week's game against Balestier Khalsa with every chance of winning the league, especially with Tampines facing a tough test against Harimau Muda, the Croatian tactician insists even finishing second would be a tremendous achievement for them.

"Right now, our target is to reach 51 points [DPMM are currently on 48]," he said after the game. "If Tampines slip up, we will be celebrating.

"If not, it still is history in the making for DPMM to finish second in the S.League.

"I'm very proud of what we've done and overall, I'm very satisfied with the season."

The ex-Hajduk Split goalkeeper also admitted Wednesday's win over the Cheetahs had been a tough one, and is expecting a similar game next week against Balestier.

"Like I expected, it was a tight game tonight [Wednesday], just like it had been in our last games against Geylang [United] and Tanjong Pagar [United]," he added.

"Every game is a big game if you want to be at the top and now, I will not think about Hougang anymore. Now, I am only thinking about Balestier, who are a good side and will be tough to beat."

Hougang coach Nenad Bacina was upbeat despite the defeat, and believes his side more than matched their more-illustrious opponents.

"Playing against a good side like DPMM meant they didn't give us many chances," he said. "But I though we defended well.

"We ended up conceding from two set-pieces and gave good resistance to our opponents."

Wednesday's defeat also meant the end of an impressive nine-game unbeaten run in the league for the Cheetahs, and the Croat admits their good form had to come to an end sooner or later.

"We cannot expect to perform in every match," Bacina added. "But generally, I'm happy with the performance.

"Of course, I cannot be happy with the result."

Hougang end their campaign on Monday with a home game against Harimau.

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