Caption: Nurikhwan Othman (L) of DPMM FC in action against Warriors FC last night. Picture: Courtesy of Ortus Media
Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
IT was a difficult result to swallow as DPMM FC were denied a clear penalty late into stoppage time to see them fall 1-0 to Warriors FC in the S.League last night.
Referee Ahmad A’Qashah waved off any claims for a penalty after Warriors defender Kento Fukuda handled the ball in the box in the 94th minute at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore.
The DPMM FC bench and officials reacted furiously to the decision and surrounded A’Qashah after the full time whistle, considering he had given a soft penalty to the Warriors in the first half.
“I don’t think we were unlucky. This defeat had nothing to do with luck and we played very well in both halves,” said DPMM FC coach Steve Kean to the media after the match.
“When you see the first penalty, it was soft and tough on us. Obviously he was going towards the ball and one of the Warriors’ players blocked him and won a penalty.
“I felt it was justice that they did not score the penalty. When you compare that to the incident at the end, the referee simply had to give it,” he added.
“The Warriors staff and players both apologised to me for it and everybody in the stadium knew it. It had to be a penalty and it cost us a point,” continued the Scotsman.
Kean also revealed that he had his request to speak to the referee after the game denied.
“I asked the FAS (Football Association of Singapore) spokeswoman and she said that it was advisable to speak to the referee,” said Kean.
“When I was in the EPL, I spoke to officials like Mark Clattenburg after matches, who was more happy to speak and answer any questions as long as he was given a 15-minute leeway after the match,” added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
“You would like to put your point of view across and get the views of the officials but sadly that does not happen in the S.League,” he continued.
The hosts almost opened the scoring in the second minute but new signing Andrei-Cosmin Ciolacu headed inches wide off Emmeric Ong’s cross from the right.
At the other end, Azwan Saleh unleashed a powerful shot from 20 yards out but it too went just wide.
DPMM FC were forced to make a change in the seventh minute after Chilean forward Daud Gazale picked up a groin injury giving way for Shahrazen Said.
Jordan Webb sent Ciolacu through in the 25th minute but DPMM FC custodian Ak Md Mu’izzuddin Pg Ismail denied him at the near post.
Warriors FC were given a penalty the next minute after Mu’izzuddin was judged to have felled Shahril Ishak inside the box.
However, Ciolacu stepped up to the spot but sent it against the upright.
DPMM FC had an opportunity to go in front with Shahrazen through on goal but Warriors FC goalkeeper Zainol Gulam denied him.
Adi Said put a header across the face of goal just before the halftime whistle but Fukuda was there to clear the danger.
The hosts grabbed the lead eight minutes into the second half with RIdhuan Muhammad heading home Webb’s cross to the far post.
Shaiful almost doubled their advantage with a direct freekick in the 63rd minute but Mu’izzuddin was there for the save.
Adi fired at goal from inside the box in the 77th minute but Zainol was there to keep his side up with an outstretched leg.
Ridhuan almost put the match to bed in the 84th minute but volleyed just over from inside the box after getting at the end of Webb’s cross before the late drama.
The defeat is the ninth of the season in 11 games for DPMM FC and remain second from bottom in the nine-team table with four points.
They will now shift their focus to The New Paper League Cup where they will start their campaign against Tampines Rovers FC in Group B on Saturday.