QAF FC do not need luck when they already have Ratano Tuah in the squad. The 35-year-old leftback whose father's name Tuah translates to 'luck' in English scored the winning goal in their DST Group Brunei Premier League I match against the Prisons Department at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas yesterday.
Prisons Department Md Hanafizal Helman Hanafiah's brace was not enough to help his team as Muhd Hafiz Mahari, Adie Arsham Muhd Salleh and Ratano were on target for the defending BPL I champions to win by a 3-2 scoreline.
Though QAF FC were in control early in the match, they were unable to pose any real threat as the jailers kept their perimeter in check.
The closest QAF FC got on goal was when Md Mardi Mirza Bujang Abdullah sliced his free kick over the defence but it sailed wide off the mark.
Meanwhile, the Prisons Department, who admirably were able to fend off QAF FC's barrage of attacks for so long, had yet to find a shot on goal 20 minutes into the match.
The jailers were given a wake-up call a minute after QAF FC substitute Muhd Hafiz stepped onto the field to take the place of Md Aqmal Hakeem Abdul Hamid, who picked up an injury.
A low cross from the right flank penetrated into Prisons Department's box and the 19-year-old Muhd Hafiz was left unmarked to easily tap the ball in to give QAF FC the edge in the 22nd minute.
It sparked Prisons Department's charge into the opponents' territory and Md Shaeruddin Suhaile could have easily restored parity after the opener.
Shahrum Anik unleashed the forward through on goal but Md Shaeruddin blasted the ball wide with only QAF FC goalkeeper Junaidi Akim left standing.
The Prisons Department finally caught the much needed break when Md Mandudi Helmi Kasmi won a freekick at the edge of QAF FC's box. Teammate Md Hanafizal fired a missile to Junaidi's top right corner to score the equaliser in the 35th minute.
However, the jailers' were made to pay soon after when they failed to clear another low cross. Adie Arsham only had to direct the ball past goalkeeper Azman Ilham Hj Md Noor to restore QAF FC's advantage in the 39th minute.
Md Mardi Mirza also buried the ball into the back of the jailers' net but the midfielder was flagged offside just before the break.
QAF FC wasted no time to try and widen the gap after the break. Prisons Department's goalkeeper Azman Ilham had to stretch twice to deny Sabri Abdullah and Adie Arsham.
Yet there was nothing the goalkeeper could do when leftback Ratano rifled in from close range to make it 3-1 in the 51st minute.
With the Prisons Department left on the backfoot, tempers started to flare when rough tackles were exchanged.
QAF FC's Adie Arsham was lucky to only receive a yellow card after a blatant backhand slap to Adizam Jaludin's face. It was a response to the latter's subtle elbow to the forward's chest.
Md Shaeruddin made his last contribution to the team, before being substituted, by playing Md Mandudi clear on goal with only the QAF FC goalkeeper to beat. Yet Junaidi dived excellently to keep QAF FC's two-goal advantage.
QAF FC might have won the game, but the goal of the match went to Prisons Department's Md Hanafizal. The midfielder jinked past two QAF FC players before pulling the trigger from outside the box with the ball curling beyond Junaidi's reach in the 70th minute.
The lower-tier league, the BPL II, also saw action yesterday.
Organisers Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam's pet project the Brunei Youth Team (BYT) jumped to second after a 6-1 victory over Menglait FC earlier in the day.
Md Khairil Shahme scored a brace, while BYT teammates Md Wardy, Md Nur Ikhwan, Fakrul Tamimi, Ak Abd Halim added to the tally with a goal each.
Meanwhile, Muara Vella FC soared to third after outgunning Perkasa 6-2. Muara Vella's goals came from Aimmil, who fired a double, and teammates Yahya, Muqaddem and Faizal also found the net in the goalfest. The victors were also aided by Perkasa's Basri who scored an own goal.The Brunei Times