DPMM Fall To Tampines At Home
Written by: Kieran Willowson
Brunei DPMM’s slump in the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League continued after a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Tampines Rovers in Bandar Seri Begawan on Friday night.
The Stags condemned the struggling Brunei-based outfit to their fourth consecutive defeat of the season, leaving them with only one victory to their name after seven matches played.
The result leaves the Wasps thirteen points adrift league leaders Albirex Niigata (S) having played a game more than the Japanese outfit.
Ivan Dzoni, who has been proving to be Tampines’s leading man in attack since the departures of Jordan Webb, marquee signing Jermaine Pennant and Billy Mehmet, opened the scoring in the third minute.
The Croatian was allowed space and he produced a clean strike which flew past Wardun Yussof, in goal for the Wasps.
Tampines captain Fahrudin Mustafic was taking no prisoners when he decided to clear the ball with an assured header after Hendra Azam had threatened to find the target from a free-kick.
Hendra then curled a free-kick from a more central position but saw his shot sail straight into the arms of Tampines goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud before the creative midfielder’s attempt rolled harmlessly wide.
Rafael Ramazotti sent Azwan Ali clean through on goal but the latter’s touch was heavy and allowed Izwan to collect the loose ball on the half-hour mark.
Izwan’s night however came to a premature end thereafter after he collided with Azwan Ali and the Singapore international had to leave the pitch on a stretcher.
Second-choice goalkeeper Joey Sim was then brought on and he had some work to do, making a superb save minutes before the break to deny Mehmet in his first significant contribution for Tampines.
Moments after the restart, Dzoni connected well with Ryutaro Megumi’s low cross but Wardun managed to keep out his goal-bound effort from close range.
Shahdan Sulaiman then saw his free-kick deflected off a DPMM player in the 56th minute before Shakir Hamzah’s firm header was tipped away to safety by Wardun from the ensuing corner.
The hosts conjured a good sequence of play as Ramazotti chested down a good ball but Maududi Hilmi Kasmi’s shot was crucially blocked by the evergreen Daniel Bennett.
Tampines threatened again in the 74th minute as the influential Dzoni lost his marker before firing a low shot but Wardun came to the rescue once again.
With Azwan Ali putting up good work on the final third, Azwan Saleh breached the Tampines defence as he skipped past a Tampines player but was denied by Sim.
Ramazotti produced a looping header in an attempt to rescue his side from defeat in the closing stages but Sim’s flexibility ensured that Tampines walked away with all three points.
Brunei DPMM Head Coach Steve Kean: “I thought we deserved at least a draw tonight, judging from the second-half display.
“In the first-half, we gave too much space to Tampines and they dictated the game. We sorted things out at half-time and we were tighter in the second-half and there was only team controlling the team and that was us.
“We just have to keep working. We’ve got good players but what we are lacking at the moment is confidence.”
Tampines Rovers Head Coach Juergen Raab: “We knew it was going to be tough playing DPMM who are in a difficult situation, having only won once in six matches.
“We expected them to go all out for the victory, but I was pleased with the style my team put out today. We controlled the first-half, I saw good build-up and confidence.
“DPMM had the better chances in the second-half and it was difficult but I thought it was a deserved win for us.”
Brunei DPMM: Wardun Yussof (GK), Azwan Saleh, Azwan Ali Rahman, Hendra Azam (Adi Said 66’), Billy Mehmet, Najib Tarif, Maududi Hilmi Kasmi (Helmi Zambin 66’), Rosmin Kamis (C), Rafael Ramazotti, Zeljko Savic, Yura Indera Putera
Tampines Rovers: Izwan Mahbud (GK) (Joey Sim 30’), Ismadi Mukhtar (Zulfadhmi Suzliman 71’), Jufri Taha, Fahrudin Mustafic (C), Shahdan Sulaiman, Ryutaro Megumi, Shakir Hamzah, Fazli Ayob, Daniel Bennett, Yasir Hanapi, Ivan Dzoni (Faizal Raffi 86’)