17 April 2013

Stags escape with late draw

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
DPMM FC were left kicking themselves once again after letting in a 90th minute goal to undefeated league leaders Tampines Rovers FC in their Singapore League match which ended 1-1 last night.

Their previous two meetings saw the Stags escape with a 90th minute goal, and last night's encounter at the Clementi Stadium in Singapore was no different with DPMM FC yet to beat Tampines in three tries.

Portuguese striker Joao Moreira opened the scoring in the 35th minute after latching onto a rebound from a Shahrazen Said shot, but the Stags broke DPMM FC's hearts once again when Khairul Amri netted in the dying seconds after an attempt which found its way past a multitude of players in the box, according to DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic.

The strike was Moreira's fifth goal in the S-League and he now leads the goal scoring charts at DPMM FC, with Shahrazen who ended last season as the team's best marksman after bagging 13 S-League goals on four goals this campaign.

The S-League runners-up can also take some consolation in the fact that the result was the first time any team has taken points away from the defending champions, who have won all six of their games leading up to last night's clash.

The draw also moves DPMM FC up two spots to fifth, though their early form is hardly that of a team that many were expecting to challenge for the title.

The same tie last season saw a defensive lapse let in Gligor Gligorov at the back, the Macedonian sneak in at the back to score a late winner on June 15.

Last year's game at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas, which marked DPMM FC's return to the S-League after two years, saw the Stags stage a late comeback to bag a 90th minute goal and force a 2-2 draw on Feb 12.

Though he was asked about the team's inability to get a win against Tampines, and the fact that the Stags always seem to be able to score a late goal, Simunic refused to draw any parallels with past results.

"Last night's game was different," insisted the coach in a telephone interview.

"Our players were fantastic and we had many chances to score a second goal.

"The refereeing was also bad and there were many mistakes which went unpunished," added last season's S-League Coach of the Year.

The Croatian said both Moreira and Adi Said suffered tackles which went unnoticed by the referee, going on to call the result "a big robbery".

"They way they tackled Adi... It was like rugby. And Joao is now injured after some bad tackles," he added.

Bad tackles or not, the team will have to pick themselves up from what would have been a much-needed boost in time for their next match against Balestier Khalsa FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore on Friday.

Young Lions (Singapore national Under-23 team) go up against Tanjong Pagar United FC in tonight's game at the Jalan Besar Stadium, with the Young Lions winless in nine games.

The team had results of their first four games overturned by the S-League last month after it was found they fielded ineligible players, awarding their opponents 3-0 wins in each instance.

The Brunei Times

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