Written By: Kenneth Ho
Brunei DPMM put a halt to Home United's unbeaten streak after a Singapore Cup semi-final first leg 3-2 win at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.
The Protectors had not lost a game since 22 June, where they went down 2-0 to Albirex Niigata (S) in the StarHub League Cup. Since then, they went on a ten-game unbeaten run.
Against DPMM, their unbeaten record in all competitions looked intact with both sides tied at 2-2.
That was until Rafael Ramazotti popped up with a late winner in the 86th minute, to give DPMM a one-goal advantage heading into the second leg.
However, Home will have every right to feel aggrieved about the result after dominating the game and creating a truckload of chances.
DPMM took an early lead when Paulo Sergio stole in to slot the ball past Home goalkeeper Shahril Jantan in the eighth minute.
But they were soon placed under immense pressure by the Protectors, and credit had to go to goalkeeper Wardun Yussof for keeping DPMM in the lead.
Ambroise Begue could have levelled matters in the 18th minute but he lashed wide in front of goal while Ken Ilso was denied by Wardun minutes later.
The goalkeeper continued his fine performance after the break by denying Azhar Sairudin and Ilso again.
Wardun's goal was finally breached in the 56th minute, as Azhar beat him with a low shot from the edge of the box into the bottom corner.
Home then took the lead two minutes later, as Ambroise Begue connected with Ken Ilso's cut-back to rifle the ball home.
The Protectors' joy barely lasted five minutes though, with a blunder by Shahril giving DPMM their equaliser.
The goalkeeper appeared to have had Azwan Ali's free-kick covered, but the ball somehow squirmed under him.
Both sides appeared to be heading for a draw, until Ramazotti managed to head in Maududi Hilmi's cross to break the Protectors' hearts.
Brunei DPMM: Wardun Yussof (GK), Sairol Sahari, Brian McLean, Azwan Ali, Paulo Sergio (Azwan Saleh 46’), Joseph Gamble, Maududi Hilmi, Rosmin Kamis (C), Aminuddin Zakwan, Rafael Ramazotti, Helmi Zambin
Home United: Shahril Jantan (GK), Song Uiyong, Juma’at Jantan (Sufianto Salleh 80’), Noh Rahman (C), Abdil Qaiyyim, Azhar Sairudin (Stanely Ng 66’), Ken Ilso, Yasir Hanapi, Ambroise Begue, Ang Zhi Wei, Kamel Ramdani