Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
DPMM FC slipped to their 14th defeat of the S.League season after dropping 4-1 to 10-man Hougang United FC last night.
The result stretches the Brunei side’s winless streak to 14 games in the competition and are stuck on five points from 17 matches.
Skipper Fumiya Kogure bagged a hat-trick, including two first half penalties, while Iqbal Hussain was the other who got his name on the scoresheet for the Cheetahs at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
Rafael Ramazotti netted a consolation for DPMM FC in a losing effort.
The visitors were awarded a penalty in the seventh minute after Abdul Mu’iz Sisa handled Kogure’s cross from the right.
The Japanese midfielder stepped up to convert from 12 yards out sending DPMM FC shotstopper Wardun Yussof the wrong way.
Adi Said almost answered back minutes later but his freekick from 30 yards out bounced inches wide of the left post.
He had another opportunity from another freekick at the edge of the box in the 21st minute but his well struck attempt was denied by Hougang goalkeeper Khairulhin Khalid.
Referee Farhad Mohd pointed to the spot for the second time five minutes later after Ak Yura Indera Putera Pg Yunos fouled Atsushi Shirota off a corner kick.
Kogure made no mistake converting from 12 yards out to make it 2-0.
Nur Ikhwan Othman was shown a red card in the 36th minute after the referee thought he had booked him earlier in the game but waved it off moments later.
The Brunei side got an opportunity minutes before the halftime whistle after Ramazotti got at the end of an Adi Said cross but Khairulhin was there for another stop.
DPMM FC coach Steve Kean brought on Shahrazen Said and Md Hendra Azam Md Idris in place of his centreback pairing of Ak Yura and Hazwan Hamzah in search of goals.
The hosts were lose to conceding a third penalty after Iqbal was brought down in the box but all appeals were waved off.
Khairulhin pulled off a double save in the 55th minute denying Azwan Ali Rahman at the near post before keeping out Adi’s shot from 25 yards out.
DPMM FC cut the deficit in the 74th minute after Ramazotti scored off the turn from inside the box.
Hougang restored their two-goal cushion within the next minute after Iqbal fired home Kogure’s cross from the right.
They should have added another in the 80th minute after a mistake by the DPMM FC backline giving the ball away to substitute Antoine Viterale but his shot came off the left post.
He was then sent off after his boot caught a DPMM FC player going after the rebound.
Kogure then completed his hat-trick five minutes later after a good first ball from midfield sent him through.
The 2015 S.League player of the year then skipped past his defender before slotting past Wardun to complete the win.
DPMM FC coach Steve Kean stressed that the third goal killed off the game.
“When it got to 2-1, we were on the ascendancy but we gave away the third goal which was basically their first cross,” said Kean after the match.
“We didn’t deal with it and that goal took the wind out of our sails and gave them a massive lift after we just scored,” added the Scotsman.
On the other hand, Hougang coach Philippe Aw also admitted that the third goal was vital.
“We had many chances on the break at the start of the second half make it 3-0 or 4-0 but we didn’t and that kept DPMM FC alive,” said Aw.
“Ramazotti is a good player and scored a good goal but thankfully within a minute we scored the third and it gave us confidence.
“If it stayed 2-1 for a longer time it would give us problems,” he concluded.
Both teams will meet again on Saturday at the Hougang Stadium in Singapore.