Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
KOTA Ranger’s 11-game unbeaten streak in the DST Super League came to an end after losing 4-1 to 10-men MS ABDB (Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council) in a top of the table clash last night.
The result means that the armymen continue to lead the 11-team table on 33 points from 13 matches while Kota Ranger are four points behind with a game in hand.
SLD Razimie Ramlli bagged a hat-trick while LKPL Md Baharin Hamidon scored the other for the two-time defending champions in the triumph at the Balapan Track and FIeld in Berakas.
On the other hand, Md Faiz Farhan Kamat netted a consolation for Kota Ranger in a losing effort.
MS ABDB grabbed the lead in the 18th minute after Razimie capitalised on a defensive error to bulge the net.
Things got heated and a scuffle broke out late in the opening half with both teams coming together.
It resulted in the sending off of LKPL Ak Mohd Safri Pg Hj Othman three minutes from the halftime whistle while his teammate SLD Affendy Hj Akup and Kota Ranger’s Md Hafis Hj Mahari walked away with yellow cards.
Kota Ranger got away with conceding a penalty minutes later after a high boot caught an MS ABDB player but the referee waived off all appeals.
Abu Bakar Mahari then tried his luck from 30 yards out only to watch his effort bounce just wide of the post to end the first half action.
MS ABDB doubled their lead seven minutes into the second half after good pressure by an MS ABDB player to dispossess Kota Ranger goalkeeper Azman Ilham Hj Md Noor.
The initial shot was cleared off the line by a Kota Ranger player but only to as far as LKPL Md Baharin to tap home.
Kota Ranger poured forward in search of goals but couldn’t find their way past MS ABDB goalkeeper SLD Md Tarmizi Hj Mat Johari.
MS ABDB went with the high ball and came close to adding to their tally in the 64th minute but SLD Azizi was denied by the upright.
Kota Ranger almost grabbed one back seven minutes later off a corner but skipper Afi Aminuddin’s header was denied by the MS ABDB custodian.
Immediately at the other end, Azizi chested down a long ball before putting the ball to his left to allow Razimie through to slot the ball past Azman Ilham to make it 3-0.
Kota Ranger got one back minutes later courtesy of Md Faiz Farhan’s freekick from over 20 yards out.
Abu Bakar, who is currently the competition’s topscorer with 18 goals to his name, nodded inches wide of the post late on.
He found the back of the net moments later with a header off a rebound but was ruled offside.
SLD Razimie then completed his hat-trick in additional time tapping home a cross from right.
MS ABDB manager Mej (U) Hasnul Alwe Hj Matassan praised his charges for the good showing.
“They have been training hard and they put up a good fight tonight (Friday night),” said Mej (U) Hasnul Alwe in an interview with BruSports News after the win.
“We maintained a high spirit even with a man down and the boys deserved the win.
“We also want to take this opportunity to thank the supporters for their undying spirit in supporting us,” he concluded.