HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah (R), the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah (C) and HRH Prince Abdul Malik during DPMM FC and Tampines Rovers FC's match at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium, Berakas, last night. Picture: Infofoto
DPMM FC fell to a 6-2 humiliating defeat at the hands of the Singapore League (S-League) leaders Tampines Rover FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night.
"It is difficult to say anything when you lose 6-2. After the third goal, I think we lost formation," said DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic after the game. "I think we played good in first-half and we also came very close to scoring goals in the second but it is very difficult when you lose so many players like Sairol (Sairol Hj Sahari), Hendra (Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris) and Subhi (Hj Subhi Hj Abdillah Bakir).
"We were all down after the third goal, but (they continued to score) because we were looking for goals and they punished us when Santos (Tales Ricarte dos Santos) went up to help in the attack."
Both teams started the game cautiously with neither creating any real chances until the 22nd minute when Aleksandar Duric picked midfielder Vitor Ladeiras who uncharacteristically volleyed the ball over the bar from inside the penalty box.
DPMM FC were nearly punished few minutes later when Pg Salehuddin Pg Hj Damit's poor clearance fell onto Khairul Amri just on the edge of the penalty box but the midfielder fired the ball straight into the arms of goalkeeper Wardun Yusof.
Arturas Rimkevicius made a beautiful run to latch onto an Azwan Salleh's through ball from the left but the Lithuanian striker's weak attempt was easily saved by goalkeeper Andre Martins.
Rosmin Hj Kamis came off the bench for Mohd Hendra Azam Idris who had to be taken out after he fell to a tough challenge five minutes before half-time.
DPMM FC pushed hard to get an early goal after the restart with their aggressive play, but the first threat in the second-half fell to Tampines when captain Mustafic Fahrudin headed Ladeiras' cross just wide.
Shahrazen Said who had a very quiet first-half replied a minute later with a glancing header off Rosmin's corner kick, but his effort failed to trouble the keeper.
Tampines went ahead in the 51st minute when Duric was at the right place at the right time to slam home the rebound following a long range shot by Firdaus Kasman just from outside the penalty box.
It was 2-0 two minutes later when Khairul brilliantly skipped past two DPMM FC players before firing a low shot past Wardun.
Simunic brought in Adi Said for Arturas a few minutes later, and the 23-year-old striker made an immediate impact scoring DPMM FC's first goal of the night.
Adi made a run near post and rose above everyone inside the penalty box to head home an Azwan Salleh corner from the right, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.
Rodrigo Tosi should have made it 2-2 when he was set up inside the penalty box by Azwan Ali Rahman, but the Brazilian fired the ball just wide.
Firdaus caught DPMM FC players napping when he picked Duric at the far post with a beautiful cross from the right, the 43-year-old striker calmly nodding the ball home past helpless Wardun in the goal in the 68th minute.
Jamil Ali would come off the bench to provide a cross for Duric's third two minutes later before Santos pulled one goal back in the 81st minute.
Diogo Caramelo would score two goals in the 83rd and 85th minutes to wrap up the game.
"Basically we are much fitter in the second-half and we took our chances very well," said Tampines coach Tay Peng Kee.