Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
INDERA SC came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 against Kota Ranger FC in the DST Super League at the Balapan Track & Field in Berakas last night.
Kota Ranger have been displaced to second place in the 11-team table after two-time defending champions MS ABDB (Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council) swept aside Kasuka FC 5-0 in the other match at the Berakas Sports Complex.
The Armymen are now on 44 points while Kota Ranger are two points back with three games remaining in the competition.
Kota Ranger got off to a strong start after Md Faiz Farhan broke the deadlock with a superb freekick in the 11th minute.
They doubled their lead six minutes later with Abu Bakar Mahari reacting the fastest to fire home the rebound.
He could have added another just before the half hour mark but missed on the connection at the far post.
He came close again four minutes later after skipping past one defender but Indera goalkeeper Haimie Anak Nyaring came off his line to cover the shot.
Indera settled down and could have pulled one back back moments later after a ball over the top sent Hamizan Aziz Sulaiman through but his shot was denied by the upright.
Md Shafie Hj md Effendy had a chance the next minute but Ak Ammar Syafie Pg Hassanuddin came to the rescue with a timely tackle to block the shot.
Kota Ranger goalkeeper Azman Ilman Md Noor then had to put up a stop to deny Nazirruddin Hj Ismail.
Kota Ranger almost added to their tally just before the halftime whistle but Abu Bakar watched his shot bounce just wide of the post.
Indera grabbed one back in the opening minute of the second half with the ball played to the right for Md Asri Hj Aspar firing past Azman Ilham.
Indera continued to pile on the pressure but couldn’t find their finishing in the final third.
Instead, Kota Ranger could have regained their two-goal cushion in the 57th minute.
Md Hafis Mahari made his move down the left flank before cutting back for Abu Bakar but the latter somehow fired over from 12 yards out with Haimie off his line.
Indera were almost made to pay in the 70th minute after a bad backpass by Md Yazid Md Azmi almost allowed Hafis to pounce but Haimie read it well and came out of the box to clear the ball.
Indera were awarded a penalty four minutes later after Asri was caught fouled in the box.
He then stepped up to convert the spot kick from 12 yards out to see both teams share the spoils from the encounter.
Things got heated towards the end and Kota Ranger’s Hardy Anak Bujang was eventually red carded after the final whistle with both teams coming together.
Kota Ranger assistant manager Andy Ibrahim: “Our opponents pushed us and kept us under pressure very well.
Fortunately in the first half we managed to grab the lead but unfortunately in the first minute of the second half they scored.
We lost focus then and they managed to put us in our own half of the field and kept attacking us which made us tired.
Our fitness level is quite good but today was just not our lucky day. At least we still managed to get a draw.
Three points is important. But now we share the point and there is nothing we can do about it.”
Indera SC head coach Md Daus Tanjong: “Our team was determined and had high commitment to get the goal.
It is not easy to score goals but important is the motivation and team work that to helped us to score.
We were going for the long ball in the second half but their goalkeeper was also fast to read the situations.
My target is to finish in the top three. It is not easy and we will work work hard to get it. We will take it point by point and one game at a time.”
Azizi bags four goals in MS ABDB win
MS ABDB striker Azizi Ali Rahman netted four first half goals in the victory over Kasuka FC, the most by any player in a single game in a DST Super League match this season.
The competition's all-time leading scorer brought his tally to 24 this season while Abu Bakar Mahari is now in second place with 22 to his name.