DPMM FC's Rodrigo Tosi (L) in action during their S-League match against Harimau Muda II in April. Tosi was injured in last night's match against Tampines Rovers, the 2-1 defeat their third straight S-League loss. BT file
DPMM FC's Roy O'Donovan (R) runs for the ball while challenged by a Tampines Rovers player in their S-League match at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas in March. BT file
DPMM FC's Tampines Rovers curse continued to haunt the Bruneians last night.
Brunei's only professional team slumped to their third straight defeat in the Singapore League (S-League) after falling 2-1 to the Stags at the Clementi Stadium in Singapore, the result meaning that DPMM FC have yet to beat the three-time defending champions in any of their six meetings since 2012.
Despite the defeat, DPMM FC still lead the 12-team table with 31 points from 15 matches. Home United climbed up to second on 30 points after their 3-1 victory over Harimau Muda (Malaysia Under-21 football team) at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore in last night's other game.
Warriors FC are also on 30 points but third with a poorer goal difference while Tampines remain in the chase for the title in fourth place on 28 points.
Tampines had a good chance in the 10th minute through Noh Alam Shah, but DPMM FC goalkeeper Wardun Yussof produced a spectacular save to deny him, according to updates on the official S-League facebook page.
The Stags had another opportunity after an individual effort by Jozef Kaplan in the 19th minute when the forward dribbled past three DPMM FC players before shooting, to only be denied once again by Wardun.
It was DPMM FC that struck first through Rodrigo Tosi in the 45th minute, the Brazilian rising the highest to head the ball past Tampines goalie Justin Pasfield for his league-leading 14th goal of the season.
The Stags equalised after defender Kunihiro Yamashita headed the ball past the DPMM FC custodian 14 minutes into the second half, and Tampines then completed the comeback with Noh Shah Alam finding the back of the net in the 69th minute.
It was a double blow for DPMM FC as Tosi made way for Adi Said after picking up an injury on the hour mark. Speaking to The Brunei Times after the match, DPMM FC left back Sairol Hj Sahari said he was disappointed the team let the game slip away from their hands.
"We didn't play well in the second half as we lost our concentration, but we tried our best," said Sairol. "They were well organised but we weren't. We are fortunate to still be at the top of the standings. We will need to work extra hard on defence now," he added.
DPMM FC's 2014 season is unfolding in a similar fashion as their 2012 campaign. Back then, they were on top of 13-team league after the first round of matches with 29 points to their name.
However, they started out the second round with three straight losses to Tampines, Warriors and Albirex Niigata (S) FC. They only got back on track in their fourth game of the second half of the season with a 3-1 win over Geylang International FC.
Coincidentally, they will host Geylang at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on Saturday. The competition continues tonight with Albirex going up against Woodlands Wellington FC at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore at 7.30pm.