Indera Sports Club's Mohd Iqmal Hakeem Abdul Hamid (R) marking Jerudong FC's Mohd Sufian Hj Lamudin in their DST Super League game at the Berakas Sports Complex last night. Picture: BT/Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
Defending champions Indera Sports Club (SC) kicked off their DST Super League campaign with a 3-2 victory over Jerudong FC at the Berakas Sports Complex last night.
The titleholders now top the table with three points ahead of Wijaya FC, who defeated Majra United 1-0 at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
"I am very happy that we got three points in our first game of the tournament," said Indera coach Hj Omar Hj Mohd Jamil in an interview with The Brunei Times after the match.
"It is very important for us to not drop any points early in the season as the other teams have all got stronger and better this year.
"Our fitness level is not there yet and we can see in the second half that Jerudong was pretty much in control of the game.
"We didn't have enough training for this tournament so I told my players to get as much goals in the first-half.
"In the second-half I changed the formation from 4-4-2 to a more defensive 4-5-1 and we managed to prevent Jerudong from scoring for 45 minutes until they scored their second late in injury time," he added.
Indera made a bright start to the game after getting themselves ahead in what might be the fastest goal in the league when their striker Mohd Asri Hj Aspar made a great run from the left, dribbled past a few players, before blasting the ball into the top corner in the first minute.
The 18-year old Asri doubled Indera's lead just eight minutes later, this time linking very well with Mohd Iqmal Hakeem Abdul Hamid - who set Mohd Khayrun Salleh free down the right flank to deliver a great cross for Asri, who tapped the ball home from close range.
Mohd Nurikhwan Othman made it 3-0 in the 23rd minute when he beat Jerudong goalkeeper Mohd Aiman Abdullah from just outside the penalty box.
Indera continued to control the game but Jerudong were no pushovers as they kept trying to break Indera's defence with their swift counter attacks.
They were finally rewarded for their efforts when they were given a penalty in the 33rd minute following a reckless challenge by Indera defender Mohd Rakin Ramli inside the penalty.
Dahlan Hj Zainuddin calmly slotted the ball home to give Jerudong hope for a comeback in the second-half.
Jerudong dominated the first 20 minutes of the second half with Mohd Asnawi Syazni Abdul Aziz coming close to score after he was set through inside the penalty box, but the 17-year old would send his shot just wide.
Jerudong once again came close to find the net when Mohd Faizul Ambotang's brilliant curling shot from 30 metres out was spectacularly saved by Indera's goalkeeper Ak Omar Nur Aqamaddin Pg Hj Salehuddin.
Indera would regain their rhythm midway through the second-half with their fluid passing and organised defence.
Mohd Asri squandered a chance to score his third and Indera's fourth five minutes before the time, but his weak attempt went straight into the safe hands of Mohd Aiman.
Jerudong, however, got their consolation goal late in injury time through Mohd Enddy Soehardy Sapar.
DST Super League action will continue today with three matches.
The Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) will take on Liang Lumut Recreational Club Football Team at Padang Arena in Seria at 4pm.
QAF FC will play Royal Brunei Police Forces Sports Council (MS PDB) at the Berakas Sports Complex while Kilanas FC will go up against Najip FC at the Balapan Track and Field.
Both games will start at 8pm.