22 August 2013

Santos rescues DPMM FC

Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
Thursday, August 22, 2013
TALES Ricarte dos Santos' stunning 81st minute volley helped DPMM FC to rescue a 1-1 draw in their Singapore League match against Balestier Khalsa last night.

The ball from the DPMM FC half was met by Adi Said, who flicked a header to Santos who chested the ball down, turned and hit it from outside the box.

"When I saw the ball got off Adi I controlled it with my chest and volleyed it with my right foot. It was the best goal of my career!" said the Brazilian.

"It was a very important goal and I am very happy to help the team get a point tonight.

"We cannot lose anymore, especially playing at home. We need to save the season and if we want to finish in the top six, we must win games," added the centre-back.

DPMM FC remain eight in the table with only 24 points after 19 games while Balestier are still fourth.

Tampines Rovers FC, who had Aleksandar Duric score an 88th minute equaliser in their 3-3 game against second-placed Albirex Niigata FC (S) in last night's other game, still lead the table.

The first 10 minutes of DPMM FC's match at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium saw both teams create a fair share of chances.

Balestier forward Qiu Li tested DPMM FC's defence early in the second minute with a shot from outside the penalty box, only to see it go over the bar.

DPMM FC replied a few minutes later when Rodrigo Tosi made a brilliant run down the left flank and skipped past three defenders, but the Brazilian midfielder would send his shot wide.

Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris's free kick went straight to Balestier Khalsa's goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam before Shahrazen Said's fired his just wide a minute later.

Balestier Khalsa were awarded a penalty in the 15th minute when Qiu was brought down by captain Pg Sallehuddin Pg Hj Damit inside the penalty box, and the 32-year-old Qiu converted after sending goalkeeper Mohd Wardun Yusoff the wrong direction.

Balestier should have doubled their lead five minutes later when captain Jaslee Hatta picked Obadin Aikhena inside the penalty box from the right, but the centre-back would waste the chance with his weak header.

Qiu was a constant threat for the hosts' backline throughout the first half with his strong presence upfront, and the China-born Singaporean international almost turned provider when he played Ruhaizad Ismail through in the 32nd minute, but the midfielder would blast the ball straight to the Wardun.

Portuguese Joao Moreira headed Shahrazen's cross from the right wide, while Helmi Zambin's powerful shot from 10 metres out also sailed wide just before the half-time whistle.

DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic brought in midfielder Azwan Ali Rahman for striker Arturas Rimkevicius at the start of the second-half and Azwan helped to open Balestier's defence.

Azwan Salleh forced Zaiful into a brilliant save five minutes into the second-half when the midfielder fired a thunderous free-kick from 30 metres out.

Adi came on for his brother Shahrazen in the 60th minute as DPMM FC pushed hard for an equaliser, while defender Santos was also pressed forward as emergency striker to help out in the attack.

DPMM FC were the better team in the second-half with Balestier limited to only a few chances.

DPMM FC continued to create more chances in the remaining minutes, and with 15 minutes left to go, Simunic brought in captain Rosmin Hj Mohd Kamis to replace Mohd Hendra in midfield, and six minutes later, Santos would score that spectacular volley from outside the penalty box.

Azwan Ali Rahman should have scored the winner two minutes before time when he was left with only the goalkeeper to beat, but captain Jaslee would make a heroic dive to block the shot.

"I think DPMM FC played with guts and determination tonight," said Balestier coach Darren Stewart.

"They deserved the point and there is nothing that we could have done with the goal, it was a world class goal.

"It was a proper away game for us and we were rock solid in our game but it is always difficult to play DPMM FC at their home ground," he added.

DPMM FC's next game is against Tampines on Sunday.

The Brunei Times

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