QAF FC had two men sent off but still walked off as the victors against Indera SC in their 2010/11 DST Group Brunei Premier League I (BPL I) match at the Berakas Sports Complex in Berakas last night.
After Ratano Tuah and Md Shah Azhar Abdullah were sent off, the defending BPL I champions made the most of an early three-goal lead to escape with a 3-1 scoreline.
Md Hardyman Abdul Lamit, Adie Arsham Muhd Salleh and Md Mardi Mirza Bujang Abdullah all got on the scoresheet within the first 20 minutes thanks to Indera SC's poor defence.
Despite the advantage in numbers, all Indera SC were able to take from the match was Sahrin Momin's goal from the penalty spot.
QAF FC manager Abdul Rahim Daud praised his players for their resilience throughout the match.
"I am really grateful to the players for being able to withstand the remaining minutes and still control the match. In the end, it's getting all three points that's important," he said.
The QAF FC manager also lamented the two red cards that might prove costly in their next two matches.
"If our players were in better control of their emotions this would not have happened and we could have scored more goals. They will also be unavailable in the next two big matches, against AM Gunners FC and Prisons Department, and that will be quite a loss. "However, it's okay because we will just do our best. If we were able to win tonight (despite playing with nine men), I don't see why we can't in those matches," said Abdul Rahim.
Both Ratano and Md Shah will miss the match against Prisons Department on Sunday. The latter also stand to miss out on the fight against the Gunners on March 23 since he collected a straight red.
Tipped to shake up the BPL I this season, it looks like Indera SC still have lots to learn judging by last night's performance.
The fashion in which the first goal was scored was the sign that it was not going to be Indera SC's night. Under no pressure from the opponents, Indera SC's Abdurahman Assawadiq Ab'rahim (sic) needlessly sent a high backpass to goalkeeper Ak Omar Nur Aqammaddin Pg Hj Sallehuddin.
Unable to catch the ball, the goalkeeper punched it down and from the bounce Md Hardyman headed the ball into the net to make it 1-0 in QAF FC's favour after only five minutes.
Indera SC failed to track Md Aqmal Hakeem Abdul Hamid's run on the right flank and given ample space, he delivered a cross into the box which Adie Arsham drilled from the far post to double their advantage in the 12th minute.
Despite conceding two goals, Indera SC failed to adapt and were made to pay again soon, a result of poor defence from a corner kick.
Md Mardi Mirza was left unmarked at the near post and he slotted the ball in with ease to make it 3-0 in the 16th minute.
Though QAF FC goalkeeper Md Sahan Mumtazali had to pull a number of saves, the efforts were tame and posed no real threat.
Misfortune struck for QAF FC when Ratano picked up a second booking after the referee judged him to have brought down an Indera SC player in the box.
Sahrin sunk the ball in from the penalty spot in the 37th minute and things were starting to look up for Indera SC.
Md Khayrun Salleh, who was one of few Indera SC players that actually performed on the pitch, unleashed Hamizan Aziz Sulaiman into enemy territory.
Md Sahan managed to divert his tight angle shot but the rebound fell to the path of Indera SC's Md Arif Hj Zulkifli, who headed the ball over the crossbar from pointblank.
Indera SC wasted most of the second half by flying in crosses which were dealt with easily by QAF FC.
Despite playing against 10 men, the lack of creativity to create chances on goal were their most obvious weakness.
Indera SC were given another break when Md Shah was ousted from the pitch after the referee flashed a straight red to the defender in the 81st minute.
It was just not meant to be for Indera SC when both Abdul Mu'iz Sisa and Azwan Mohd Salleh's efforts were denied by the crossbar in the final moments of the match.
The BPL I resumes tonight with the Gunners taking on BPL I debutants Prisons Department at the Berakas Sports Complex.
Meanwhile, at the Penanjong Camp in Tutong, the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council will play host to LLRC FT. Both matches kick off at 8.15pm.
The Brunei Times