12 May 2012

DPMM FC down Balestier

Friday, May 11, 2012
DPMM FC came from a goal down to defeat Balestier Khalsa FC 3-1 in the Singapore League (S-League) last night at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

The match signified the midway point of the season for DPMM FC and they sit at the top of the 13-team standings with 29 points from 12 games.

Harimau Muda (Malaysia national Under-23 football team), who will only play on Sunday, are in second place with 23 points after 11 games.

Midfielder Ivan Jerkovic scored a brace for the Sultanate's only professional football club in the victory.

Park Kang-jin gave Balestier the lead through a long freekick after beating Wardun Yussof in between the DPMM FC sticks just before the break.

Jerkovic then equalised for DPMM FC in the 57th minute, also via a freekick.

DPMM FC got the lead through forward Osman Basiru in the 74th minute.

DPMM FC went on the counterattack and Basiru would receive a good pass from Azwan Saleh to find the back of the net.

Basiru was once again involved in the third goal for DPMM FC just before the final whistle.

The Ghanaian had penetrated the Balestier defence but his shot was parried away by Joey Sim.

However, it only got as far as Jerkovic who pounced on the rebound and slot home his second of the night to secure all three points for DPMM FC.

DPMM FC head coach, Vjeran Simunic, was ecstatic with the win, especially since they were playing away from home and that they put three goals past the best defensive team in the S-League.

Prior to the matchup, Balestier had only allowed seven goals in 11 matches while DPMM FC were the best offensive team with 26 goals.

"We needed a win because we have a difficult schedule for the second half of the season. The battle in the top-five is still close and it could still be anyone's to win," said Simunic in a phone interview with The Brunei Times after the win.

"We are not flying yet. We are still on the ground. My target was to get to the level that we were back in 2009 but I'm really happy that we have surpassed that," he added.

"Now we can enjoy being on top for at least the next month with the league taking a break," he continued.

Simunic also commented on his bench players being key to the team after Awangku Fakharazzi made his debut for the team at halftime for Brazilian forward Rodrigo Gral.

"He (Fakharazzi) did a great job. We have a lot of young players on the team and need our bench to be ready. We know that they need the playing time," explained the 57-year-old.

The Croatian mentor also hoped that the team can continue their form and not disappoint their fans.

Over at the Hougang Stadium, Hougang United fell to their sixth straight defeat after a 2-0 loss to Young Lions (Singapore national Under-23 football team).

Sherif El-Masri scored both goals for the winners in the sixth and 22nd minutes.

In the other match, Singapore Armed Forces FC (SAF FC) were held to a 2-2 draw against Geylang United FC at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium.

Mislav Karoglan gave SAF FC the lead in the 15th minute and Tatsuro Inui doubled their advantage with another goal in the 25th minute.

Mun Seung Man pulled one back for Geylang in the 31st minute and their equaliser was by Amy Recha in the 78th minute.

The Brunei Times

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