IKLS FC joined newly-crowned Brunei DST Premier League winners Setia Perdana FC after being promoted to the Brunei DST Super League following a 2-1 victory over DSP United at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium last night.
IKLS climbed from fifth spot to the final automatic berth for promotion via goal difference as this year’s DST Premier League runners-up ending DSP’s hopes, who needed a single point to pip BSRC FT, on the night.
BSRC FT, who knew that they had no hope of progress, dropped outside the promotion places in third and pushed DSP United, who led for good periods in the second tier, to fourth.
Md Norhidayatullah bin Haji Zaini produced a wonderful solo run into the box before slotting home past goalkeeper Md Hafiz Ikhwan bin Hasmali in the 18th minute before guiding the ball home from a Zool Hasbemi bin Haji Bahmin’s cross in the 31st minute.
Md Norhidayatullah also struck a fierce shot shortly after netting his second of the game but Md Hafiz tipped the ball away for a corner.
Md Norhidayatullah, who needed one more goal to win the top scorer award outright, nearly completed a hat-trick after his deflected shot was parried away by Md Hafiz which then struck the woodwork.
IKLS survived a tense finish after Abd Hafiz Azmin nodded home a corner and after five minutes of injury time they held on for the win and promotion to the DST Super League.
Champions-elect Setia Perdana, who were already promoted regardless of last night’s result, were confirmed as DST Premier League winners joining the likes of Lun Bawang in 2014, Kota Ranger in 2015 and Al Idrus Junior in 2016.
Setia Perdana team manager Haji Lalim bin Haji Piut was modest in his assessment of his team’s performances this season after highlighting that luck favoured their team adding that the contenders were also equally worthy of a place in the top flight.
“DSP have really good and experienced players but they had lesser luck. The competition from other teams is quite stern but luck favoured us more than them.”
Haji Lalim also tipped DSP to win the title after spending quite a considerable time at the top of the Brunei DST Premier League.
He has also labelled his team as “underdogs”.
It was worth the wait for the team manager, his management and his charges after seeing multiple attempts to snatch one of the automatic places stopped in recent seasons.
“I feel touched because our success had finally showed fruit from the cooperation of all the players. Hopefully, in the coming times we can be more successful,” he said.
The guest of honour at the closing match and the prize presentation ceremony was the Assistant General Manager, Technical Division of DST, Christopher Phan.
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