INDERA SC’s title hopes were dealt a massive blow after they slipped to a 2-1 defeat by a resurgent Kasuka FC in the DST Super League at the Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex yesterday.
Kasuka made certain that the league title will be a four-horse race with Wijaya FC also in the frame after climbing above Indera SC in second place by virtue of a superior goal difference.
The result hurt the two-time winners who were hoping to keep in touch with league leaders MS ABDB, who now enjoy a four-point cushion at the summit with the comfort of playing a game less than their rivals.
On a day when Indera lost ground in the title race, the army personnel exacted redemption on Lun Bawang- who inflicted their first loss of the season- after a narrow 1-0 victory at the Batu Apoi Sports Complex in the Temburong District.
Mohamad Saufi bin Salleh’s solitary goal in the 62nd minute handed the reigning holders their ninth win of the season.
Indera SC went in front through Hazwan Hamzah in the 35th minute but the lead was short-lived as his former DPMM FC teammate Muhammad Maududi Hilmi bin Kasmi snatched an equaliser just three minutes later. Maziri Maidin’s effort in the 74th minute proved the winner.
Indera forward Mohammad Aimmil Rahman bin Ramlee looked to get the end of a through ball but his progress was tracked by a Kasuka FC defender who cleared the ball for a corner.
The two-time winners should have levelled the match when Mohammad Aimmil Rahman was set free in the box. The Kasuka defence were caught napping but they were left unpunished as Mohammad Aimmil headed wide Hazwan’s cross with the goal at his mercy.
On the other end, an unmarked Kasuka player saw his header well wide the mark as they looked to put the game to bed.
Kasuka substitute Afindi Yati bin Tuah attempted a shot from distance after spotting Indera goalkeeper Mohammad Ahsanuddin bin Haji Mohd Dani off his line.
The referee had kept the cards on his pockets but he was left with no choice but to book Indera’s goalkeeper Mohammad Ahsanuddin and Kasuka duo of Mohd Hanif Aiman bin Haji Adanan and Afindi Yati, as tensions between both sides rose deep in injury time.
When the final whistle was blown, the Kasuka coaching setup epitomised a picture of profound joy with the realisation of a change of complexion in the title race.