| Fadhil Yunus |
DPMM FC slipped to a 3-1 defeat to frontrunners Home United FC in their opening S League fixture at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium last night.
A brace by Croatian hitman Stipe Plazibat in the ninth and 37th minutes stunned the hosts before DPMM FC’s Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti reduced the deficit before the hour mark.
Singapore international Faris Ramli killed the tie with the visitors’ third in the 76th minute as Home United ensured three points to consolidate their position at the summit of the league table.
The hosts had enjoyed a bright start to the match with Azwan Salleh testing Singapore goalkeeper Hassan Sunny with a fierce drive that the seasoned shot-stopper palmed away.
Faris managed to get his side a shot on target in the sixth minute but his effort fell straight to DPMM FC goalkeeper Wardun Yussof.
The away side were awarded a penalty after new signing Francois Marque clipped Khairul Nizam in the box.
Plazibat stepped up and coolly sent Wardun the wrong way.
DPMM FC responded promptly, led by captain Rosmin Kamis, who directed a clean header towards the far post but Hassan produced a spectacular flying save.
Rafael Ramazotti produced a decent header which fell straight to Hassan who proved another aspect of his game with a neat distribution to a team-mate only to be stopped by a timely tackle.
The goalkeeper was in stunning form after denying Reduan Petara his first goal in DPMM FC colours tipping his point blank range header.
The Gegar Gegar men suffered a massive blow after Marque was forced off injured and with Yura Indera Putera taking his place.
Plazibat latched onto Song Ui-young fine through ball before rounding the goalkeeper and expertly slotting it into the empty the net to double his side’s lead.
The Croatian, who scored at the ground last year in a losing cause for former side Hougang United, enjoyed a great start to his Home United career after netting six times in just two league games following his quadruple against Garena Young Lions.
Ramazotti missed the target from close range in an opportunity to draw his side level two minutes before the interval.
Kean responded falling behind to the Protectors by using all his substitutes and sending all forwards on the field with Adi Said and Shahrazen Said coming in for Reduan Petara and Najib Tarif respectively.
Shahrazen nearly made an immediate impact after being laid out a pass by new signing Billy Mehmet but Hassan dived well to the bottom corner.
Hassan, who joined the Protectors after a stint in Thailand with Army United, was untouchable after producing a smart save from Mehmet.
The hosts finally found a way to beat Hassan after Ramazotti headed Hendra Azam’s corner in the 59th minute.
The Singapore goalkeeper, who played an instrumental role in guiding Warriors to the S League title in 2014, produced a superb save to deny Mehmet in a phenomenal display for the visitors.
However, despite all the pressure from the home side, Faris pounced in the back post after reacting to a low cross to regain a two goal cushion for his side.
The Singapore midfielder nearly added to his tally but his attempt was thwarted by Wardun, who also conceded three goals in the first game of last season at the Jalan Besar Stadium in a 3-2 defeat to Albirex Niigata (S) last season.