06 May 2013

DPMM FC slump to second loss in a row

Monday, May 6, 2013
DPMM FC slumped to their second defeat in as many games after two goals in five minutes gave Warriors FC a shock 2-0 win over Brunei's only professional side last night.

Both strikes came in the second half, and both came after pin-point passes were met by delicate finishes with DPMM FC simply unable to break down a resilient Warriors defence which was led superbly by Singapore national goalkeeper Hassan Sunny.

The result against the record eight-time S-League champions was also the second time DPMM FC have failed to find the net in as many Singapore League games at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas, with their 1-0 loss to Tanjong Pagar United FC on April 7 still fresh in the memory of the sparse crowd.

Tanjong Pagar handed leaders and defending champions Tampines Rovers FC their first loss of the season by beating them 1-0 in last night's other game at the Queenstown Stadium in Singapore, though that result will have little bearing on DPMM FC considering last season's runners-up trail the Stags by 10 points.

Warriors are now one point behind sixth-placed DPMM FC, but Vjeran Simunic feel the most successful club in Singapore are capable of much more than seventh.

"They're a very good team, a top-three contender. I can't say they don't deserve the result, but we deserved a draw," said the DPMM FC.

DPMM FC Portuguese striker Joao Moreira missed the game due to a fracture he picked up in the team's last match against Harimau Muda (Malaysian Under-21 national team) which ended in a 2-1 loss on Wednesday, and the hosts looked toothless in attack.

Guadeloupe national team captain Stephan Auvray made his first appearance in four games, and it was hard to see what impact the midfielder had on the game often times looking out of sync with his teammates.

Croatian centre-back Dino Drpic set the tone for the first half by hitting the crossbar in the seventh minute and Shahrazen Said had an effort that was wide of the left post four minutes later.

The visitors soon got a foot in the game and DPMM FC's Brazilian defender Tales Ricarte dos Santos was forced to clear a shot by Japanese midfielder Shimpei Sakurada off the line in the 13th minute.

Warriors' Croatian striker Mislav Karoglan had a golden opportunity to give his team a lead heading into the break, but was just a step too slow to react to a 41st minute square pass by Prakash Manikam.

Shahrazen should have made it 1-0 in the 48th minute after stealing the ball off Croatian defender Marin Vidosevic but his shot was inches wide of the left post.

DPMM FC goalkeeper Wardun Yussof did well to dive to block an attempt from the onrushing Karoglan four minutes later, and his counterpart Hassan pulled off the save of the game after instinctively falling to his right to deny a tap in from Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris in the 53rd minute.

Santos had a header fly inches wide off the right post in the 68th minute, but the game's defining moment came five minutes later when Singapore international Shi Jiayi hit a cross-field pass that dissected DPMM FC's backline and found Sakurada who produced a cool finish past Wardun.

The home crowd grew even more silent when Shukor Zailan's through ball caught Santos out of position, with Karoglan easily prevailing in another one-on-one with Wardun.

DPMM FC opted to go the direct route and launch attacks over the top, but Hassan mastered his box well with the hosts' best chance to pull one back falling to captain Rosmin Hj Mohd Kamis, who took one touch too many when put through on goal in the 84th minute.

"We deserved to win. We could have been up 2-0 at the break and in the second half we took advantage of the high line they were playing," said Warriors' coach V Selvaraj.

"We have experienced players that can see (the forwards') movements and we have (players) that can make those runs," he added.

The only run DPMM FC seem to be on is a goalless one at home, and their fans will be looking anxiously at Friday's game against ironically Home United FC to see whether the third time will be the charm.

The Brunei Times

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