Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
DPMM FC turned in their best performance of the season to defeat Warriors FC 3-2 in the S.League last night.
The hosts could have won by a margin but Warriors goalkeeper Hyrulnizam Juma’at was in good form to pull off several stops to keep his side in the game.
The Brunei side are now on 14 point with three matches left and have now closed in on Balestier Khalsa FC, who are two points ahead having played a game more, for the seventh spot in the nine-team table.
Azwan Ali Rahman marked his return to the starting lineup with a brace, his first goals in the S.League this season, while Rafael Ramazotti netted his 13th goal in the victory at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
On the other hand, Jordan Webb and skipper Shahril Ishak got their names on the scoresheet in the defeat.
DPMM FC hit the target in the third minute after Azwan Ali’s shot off Helmi Zambin’s cross from the right was saved by Hyrulnizam.
The Warriors broke the deadlock in the 24th minute with Webb cutting to his right inside the box to curl his shot into the top corner leaving DPMM FC shotstopper Ak Mu’izzuddin Pg Ismail no chance.
Ramazotti came close to notching the equaliser but headed wide twice in quick succession.
But he was the provider for the equaliser in the 36th minute after sending a throughball for Azwan Ali to chase and fire past Hyrulnizam.
DPMM FC almost got in front just before halftime with Hendra Azam Md Idris powering his freekick from 25 yards out on target but Hyrulnizam was to his equal to put it over.
The Brunei side needed only three minutes after the interval to grab the lead.
Adi held the ball on the right side before sending a short pass for Ramazotti to rifle home with his right foot.
DPMM FC dominated possession and could have added more to their tally.
Azwan Ali hit the target in the 57th minute but Hyrulnizam was there for another stop.
The Warriors goalkeeper had to deny Adi in the 64th minute but the ensuing cornerkick was not dealt with by the Warriors allowing Azwan Ali to head home to make it 3-1.
DPMM FC coach Steve Kean made a defensive change by sending on Haizul Rani Metussin in place of Adi in the 80th minute.
However, it couldn’t prevent the Warriors from scoring a minute later.
Shahril gave his side a chance after scoring off a freekick from 25 yards out - their second shot on target for the encounter.
Another change was made with Abd Mu’iz Sisa introduced in place of Azwan Ali soon after.
The Warriors almost levelled right at the end but Baihakki Khaizan couldn’t place his header on target to the relieve of the home crowd.
“The result looks as though it is close but apart from when they almost scored at the end, I was never really worried that we will lose the points,” said Kean after the triumph.
“Because we controlled possession and had more chances. The only disappointing thing is that they had two shots on target and got two goals,” he added.
DPMM FC will next face Geylang International FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore on Friday.