HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah
(2nd L), HRH Prince 'Abdul
Malik (L), and YAM Pg Muda
'Abdul 'Aleem (R) watching
DPMM FC's match against
Harimau Muda last night.
DPMM FC came from a goal down to defeat Harimau Muda 3-1 in the S-League second round final match at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night.
This year, the S-League has introduced a new "two-and-a-half" round format in which the league will be divided into two tiers at the end of the second round of fixtures.
A brace from Rodrigo Tosi and a goal from substitute Abdul Aziz Tamit helped the Sultanate's only professional club replace Harimau Muda in eighth place in the twelve-team table with 27 points.
"I am very happy we won today especially these past few days, it has been bitter for us after losing in the S-League Cup final," said DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic after the match.
DPMM FC lost 4-0 to Balestier Khalsa in the S-League Cup final at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore on Saturday.
"Harimau Muda is a fantastic team, they defeated Tampines Rover FC, and I respect them a lot.
"I am happy (with how) the Bruneians played tonight, Tosi was the only import player in the game. We played with four to five imports when we lost to Harimau Muda in May, but we won tonight with only one import, I think this is good for Brunei football," added Simunic.
The Malaysian side found the net early in the sixth minute when Akmal Ishak rose above DPMM FC's players to head home a corner kick from the left
Tosi levelled the score in the 27 minute with a brilliant goal, blasting the ball from outside the penalty box to beat Harimau Muda's goalkeeper Hafizul Hakim in the goal.
The Brazilian midfielder almost put DPMM FC ahead just before the break, when he was picked by Azwan Salleh from the right, but the latter would head the ball just wide.
DPMM FC pushed for a winner in the second-half and looked dangerous with their set-pieces.
Tosi and striker Shahrazen Said were on target in the second-half causing a lot of problems to Harimau Muda's backline.
Abdul Aziz who came on for Shahrul Rizal Abdul Rahman in the first-half put DPMM FC ahead for the first time in the 54th minute when he headed home captain Rosmin Hj Kamis' corner from the left.
Tosi would add another goal in the 72nd minute with a penalty kick after he was brought down by Ashmawi Yakin.
"I am disappointed with the game today. I think we didn't play well in the second-half, and we failed to defend their set-piece," said Harimau Muda coach Razip Ismail.
"I think we scored too early in the game. I think DPMM FC's number eight (Tosi) played very well tonight, he gave us a lot of trouble," he added.
The new league format splits the teams into two tiers, with the top six teams forming the "upper tier" and the bottom six teams forming the "lower tier".
They will play another round of matches against teams in their own pool, but the seventh-placed team will not be able to move up the table even though they might end up with more points than the sixth-placed team at the end of the additional half round.
After the game last night DPMM FC and Harimau Muda will be grouped in the bottom half with Warriors FC, Hougang United FC, Geylang International FC, Courts Young Lions.
Meanwhile, Tampines Rover Fc, Albirex Niigata FC (S), Home United FC, Tanjong Pagar United FC, Balestier Khalsa FC and Woodlands Wellington FC will still be in the running for the title in the top half.
DPMM FC will face Hougang United FC in their next home game on October 19.