DPMM FC are back to the summit of the Singapore League (S-League) after a five-star performance last night.
Brunei’s only professional team dominated and demolished 10-man Harimau Muda B (Malaysia national under-21 football team) 5-0 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas to leapfrog Warriors FC and Tampines Rovers to the top of the 12-team table.
DPMM FC are now on 16 points from seven games but the Stags, who are just one point adrift, can regain the lead should they beat Balestier Khalsa at the Clementi Stadium in Singapore today.
Unlike their previous match against the Young Lions (Singapore national under-23 football team), DPMM FC got off to a ferocious start.
Marquee signing Roy O’Donovan almost put them in front after 30 seconds but blasted his shot into the side netting.
Two minutes later, Azwan Ali Rahman broke down the left and fired past Harimau Muda B keeper Ilham Amirullah for the lead.
It was his second goal in as many games
O’Donovan was brought down in the box in the 10th minute but referee Sukhbir Singh turned a blind eye to his appeals.
The home side were playing a much different game by going with long balls instead of their usual short passes.
They doubled their lead in the 23rd minute when Sairol Hj Sahari found the back of the net with his left foot after a weak punch out by Ilham.
Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi should have gotten his name on the scoresheet in the 31st minute but saw his attempt gathered by Ilham.
O’Donovan made it 3-0 in the 36th minute after getting at the end of a Rosmin Hj Md Kamis freekick from their own half.
Nurshamil Abd Ghani had a chance to reply immediately but couldn’t keep his shot down to test Wardun Yussof in between the DPMM FC sticks.
The home side were close to adding another goal in first half in injury time but Tosi‘s attempt flew over the goal.
Harimau Muda B came out of the interval a different side and were pressing forward.
Wardun got in on the action to deny a Nor Azam Azih freekick just four minutes after the restart.
Substitute Faris Shah had a chance but his freekick from the edge of the box in the 53rd minute flew over the cross bar.
The game took a turn for the worse for Harimau Muda after Azrul Nizam Muhammad was shown a straight red for falling O’Donovan just outside the box in the 55th minute.
He was unhappy with the decision and debated the call before being advised by his teammates to leave the pitch.
Tosi made no mistake with the ensuing freekick as he blasted the ball beyond a hapless Ilham to make it 4-0. The goal brings his tally to seven goals for DPMM FC this season so far.
O’Donovan got on the scoresheet again in the 71st minute after chipping the ball over an onrushing Iham to complete the rout.
DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean was pleased with the performance, especially in keeping a cleansheet.
“We pressed high up the pitch and got that early goal. The players did very well and got that cleansheet,” said Kean in a post match interview.
“We were going with the 40-50-metre passes but I told the boys at halftime to go for short passes of higher percentage.
“Many chances came from that and we were unfortunate not to get more goals,” he added.
“They (Harimau Muda B) have to be disappointed with the sending off but decisions sometimes don’t go your way.
“We know that losing a man makes it more difficult so what we did was switch sides (the ball) to tire the opposition,” he continued.
Over at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore, Geylang International FC came back from two goals down to steal all three points from Hougang United FC.
Geison Moura gave Hougang the lead in the 21st minute and despite having Azhar Sairudin sent off the 34th minute, doubled their advantage tough Fairoz Hasan in the 69th minute.
Geylang flipped the script in the last 10 minutes, starting with an own goal by Igor Cerina in the 80th minute.
A brace by Leo Felice in the 85th and 90th minute stole the game for Geylang.
The Brunei Times