DPMM FC's Shahrazen Said in action against Home United FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night. Home United FC won 3-2. Picture: BT/Ridhwan Kamarulzaman
DPMM FC's Roberto Alviz tussles with opposition players from Home United FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night. Home United FC won 3-2. Picture: BT/Yee Chun Leong, BT/Ridhwan Kamarulzaman
Rodrigo Tosi after scoring the first goal for DPMM FC against Home United in their S-League match last night at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas. Picture: BT/Yee Chun Leong, BT/Ridhwan Kamarulzaman
DPMM FC succumbed to their second straight defeat in the Singapore League (S-League) for the first time this season after losing 3-2 to Home United last night.
The loss sees the lead at the top of the 12-team standings now down to only a point with DPMM FC on 31 points while Warriors FC are hot on their tails, after a 4-2 victory over Harimau Muda (Malaysia Under-21 football team) at the Pasir Gudang Stadium in Johor on Thursday.
Home United have also closed in on the leaders as they leapfrogged three-time defending champions Tampines Rovers, who were stunned 1-0 by Geylang International FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore in the earlier match, to third place on 27 points.
The defeat also ends DPMM FC's five game winning streak at home and it is also the first time that they have conceded three goals in a match under head coach Steve Kean. Qiu Li, who missed the 3-0 defeat in their first meeting, bagged a brace to lead the charge for the Protectors.
Home United dominated the exchanges in the early going and broke the deadlock in the 13th minute at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas. Qiu Li had put striker Bruno Castanheira through on goal and the latter rounded an onrushing DPMM FC keeper Wardun Yussof to put the ball into the empty net for the lead.
Wardun was kept busy and ensured they don't fall behind further having to deny Castanheira and Fazrul Nawaz in the 16th and 21st minutes. DPMM FC could have equalised in the 26th minute had there been more luck as Azwan Salleh saw his cross from the left just inches off the top corner.
Home United midfielder Indra Shadan should have got his name on the scoresheet on the half hour mark but Wardun did well to get a hand to his shot in a one-on-one situation. Missed opportunities
In the 40th minute, DPMM FC skipper Rosmin Hj Md Kamis had delivered a perfect cross to Shahrazen Said but his effort was just inches wide off the post. DPMM FC's best chance in the first half came in the 42nd minute after Home United goalkeeper Shahril Jantan denied Shahrazen.
Rodrigo Tosi got to the rebound and unleashed a thunderbolt that was sent crashing off the woodwork. The Brazilian had another chance in first half injury time after rising the highest to head Azwan Ali Rahman's cross but Shahril did well for an acrobatic save to keep the score at 1-0 heading to halftime.
Home United almost doubled their lead in the first minute of the restart but Castanheira could only see his effort just wide off the post. The visitors doubled their lead through Qiu Li who drove a low shot past Wardun in the 52nd minute
Croatian Roberto Alviz almost replied immediately but Shahril did well to parry his shot out for a corner in a one-on-one situation. DPMM FC were made to worry after Tosi picked up a head injury in the 54th minute.
The Brazilian did return minutes later with a bandage on his head and pulled one back for the Brunei side, with his 13th goal in the S-League, after heading home Azwan Ali Rahman's corner in the 63rd minute. Brunei's only professional team were gaining momentum and were desperately seeking the equaliser but Shahril was up to the task in between the Home United sticks.
Home United regained their two-goal cushion in controversial fashion after Shahril was receiving treatment for an injury. Referee Muhd Taqi whistled for play to resume while the DPMM FC players were still getting back to their positions after taking a water break.
It proved to be costly for the hosts as the ball had landed to Qiu Li, who skipped past his defender and rounded Wardun to put Home United up 3-1 in the 79th minute. The goal stood despite protests from the home team.
DPMM FC were given a lifeline after defender Boris Raspudic headed home Rosmin's freekick from the left four minutes later. Home United were made to defend tightly and despite Tosi, Alviz and Hj Mohd Subhi Abdillah Hj Bakir falling in the box late on from challenges, none were entertained by the referee.
There was late drama after Home United midfielder Yasir Hanapi head-butted Alviz in the chest only to be given a yellow card resulting in heated scenes towards the end of the match. Warriors FC can take top spot from the Brunei-side should they beat Hougang United tomorrow at the Hougang Stadium in Singapore.
Meanwhile, the next match on the calendar for DPMM FC is the crucial clash against Tampines at the Clementi Stadium on Tuesday, scheduled for 7.30pm.
Kean: Defensive lapses gave Home United the win
Players surround the referee after a decision during last night's match between DPMM FC and Home United FC. Picture: BT/Yee Chun Leong, BT/Ridhwan Kamarulzaman
DPMM FC's Azwan Ali Rahman evades an opponent last night. Picture: BT/Yee Chun Leong, BT/Ridhwan Kamarulzaman
STEVE Kean strongly suggested that the defenders must take responsibility after losing at home against Home United FC 3-2 last night.
DPMM FC are still the league leaders with 31 points although Warriors FC are only one point behind, while Home United have moved up to third place with 27 points. "First all, our defending was not as good as it has been the last few games. We gave away poor goals and the defense will have to be responsible for it," said DPMM FC coach Steve Kean in an interview with The Brunei Times after the match.
"We left the opponents too open and gave them space to run and work the ball." "First thing we'll be doing once we're back on the training ground is defensive work, most definitely."
When asked what he thinks about Home United's third goal in the match, Kean mentioned that it surprised him when the referee indicated play on when both teams were still unprepared to continue. "The only goal that I have a qualm with and that surprised me was when their keeper was getting treatment," said the Scotsman.
"Usually the referee would let everyone get into position first and continue the game. But this time the referee let it play on when both teams still had players drinking their water on the sidelines. "So, I don't understand what the officials were thinking about when they made that decision."
Kean feels no pressure from the loss, adding that DPMM FC will be fine, "just as long as we're still league leaders we'll be fine, even by one point". DPMM FC will next face rivals Tampines Rover FC away on June 10 at Clementi Stadium, Singapore.
The match will start at 7:30pm.