14 March 2012

DPMM FC topple Albirex Niigata FC

Jason Thomas

Monday, March 12, 2012

RODRIGO Grahl couldn't have picked a better time to score his first official goal for DPMM FC.

The Brazilian striker netted the winner in DPMM FC's 2-1 victory against former Singapore League (S-League) table-toppers Albirex Niigata FC (S) last night, celebrating his 59th minute lob over goalkeeper Takuma Ito by once again taking out a Brunei flag from his shin pad and displaying it to the crowd at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

Serving the Japanese satellite team their first dropped points of the season, Grahl who used to play for Japanese heavyweights Jubilo Iwata and Yokohama Marinos helped DPMM FC climb up the 13-team ladder from ninth to fifth equal on points with Hougang United FC but trailing by goal difference.

For Abirex though, the loss combined with Home United FC's 7-1 demolition of Geylang United FC last night means the reigning Singapore League Cup champions drop to second, once again, equal on points with Home but trailing by goal difference.

Though Grahl netted during DPMM FC's 2-1 win over Thai Premier League (TPL) side Chiangrai United FC in January's pre-season friendly, where he celebrated in the same fashion, last night's strike was his first in a competitive match for Brunei's only professional club.

His strike partner Osman Basiru found the net in both of DPMM FC's previous two S-League games, and though the Ghanian wasn't on the scoresheet last night, he played a key part in the goal after redirecting the ball to Grahl with a clever pass inside the box.

DPMM FC right-winger Hj Muhd Subhi Abdilah Hj Bakir capped off a strong period of pressure from the hosts by heading home a cross from Azwan Salleh in the 13th minute, with teammate Ivan Jerkovic shooting over the crossbar on the half-hour mark.

The visitors equalised against the home team five minutes later through Sho Kamimura, who DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic likened to Barcelona's Lionel Messi before the game.

Catching the DPMM FC back line off guard, Toshikazu Soya scrambled for the ball on the right wing and deliver a cross to Kamimura who finished with an overhead kick.

DPMM FC skipper Rosmin Hj Kamis' corner was put away by Ito in the 54th minute and he also saw a 30-yard shot sail wide three minutes later, and while Basiru failed to really test Ito with two quick-fire attempts just past the hour-mark, the best chance to make it 3-1 fell to Azwan whose half-volley from outside the box was spectacularly pushed away for a corner in the 64th minute.

Albirex dominated the last few minutes of the game, with DPMM FC goalkeeper Wardun Yussof saving shots from Kamimura, substitute Yasuhiro Yamakoshi and Kunihiro Yamashita.The Brunei Times

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