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Wounded Home United prepare for Brunei DPMM in Singapore Cup QF

Wounded Home United prepare for Brunei DPMM in Singapore Cup QF
From ESPN - August 12, 2017

After being knocked out of the AFC Cup, Home United will turn their attentions to the Singapore Cup when they take on Brunei DPMM in the first leg of their quarterfinal tie at Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday night.

The Protectors suffered a disappointing 2-0 midweek defeatin Bacolod City to lose the AFC Cup ASEAN zonal final 3-2 on aggregate to Ceres-Negros, leaving the S.League and the Singapore Cup as the only trophies they can win this season.

The result also meant Aidil Sharin's side have won just once in their last six outings, but midfielder Aqhari Abdullah remains unperturbed as they head into the business end of the season.

"There's a lot of positives that we can take from the two games [against Ceres]," said the 26-year-old told ESPN FC. "We are definitely sad and disappointed not to win the final, but that does not mean we are done.

"It means we are only going to get stronger as a team and for any team to beat us from now will be quite difficult. We have senior players like Hariss [Harun], Hassan [Sunny] and Juma'at Jantan who always encourage the boys and give positive talks, so we will definitely bounce back.

"We have been working hard and have grown so much on each other this season. They key for us is to stick together, and hopefully we will win the remaining games we have."

Home have beaten DPMM in two head-to-head encounters this season, triumphing 3-1 in Bandar Seri Begawan in March, and 9-3 at Bishan in May. But Aqhari refuses to take progression into the last four of the Singapore Cup for granted.

"It will not be easy for us because the schedule is not on our side," he explained. "There are tired players, and some are still carrying knocks. It's going to be quite tough for us to be at 100 percent, but we will definitely give our best and do what we can."

The quarterfinal has been made a whole lot trickier with the return of Rafael Ramazotti into the DPMM fray.

The towering Brazilian front man, who won the Golden Boot for the last two seasons with returns of 21 and 20 goals, has recovered from a ligament tear that saw him miss the Wasps' last eight games in all competitions.

It is a welcome boost for Steve Kean's side, who have been struggling to put away their chances this season.

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