It was late heartbreak for DPMM FC after Hougang United FC netted late into injury time for a 2-2 draw in their Singapore League (S-League) match last night.
DPMM FC looked to have all three points in the bag after substitute Adi Said's brace, but Geison Moura scored from inside the box just before the final whistle at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
The draw sees DPMM FC's lead at the top of the 12-team table down to only one point - they are on 39 points from 19 games, with three-time defending champions Tampines Rovers hot on their tails. Hougang are sixth with 33 points and have now gone nine consecutive games unbeaten in the S-League
It was a slow opening half and it was only at the half hour mark that the crowd saw the match's first shot on target. Roy O'Donovan received the ball down the left flank and shot to the far post. However, Hougang goalkeeper Fadhil Salim was to his equal at full stretch to keep the ball out. The Irishman got another chance in the 40th minute but saw his effort from three yards deflected out for a corner.
The home side should have taken the lead in the 52nd minute after Roberto Alviz gathered an O'Donovan cross from the left, but he saw his shot just inches off the top right corner. Hougang broke the deadlock two minutes later off a counterattack after Diego Gama broke down the left and delivered a cross for Nurhilmi Jasni to head it off the ground and into the net.
The visitors got another attempt in the 58th minute through Shunsuke Nakatake, but DPMM FC custodian Wardun Yussof did well to deny him at the near post. DPMM FC could have equalised in the 64th minute with O'Donovan's diving header but Fadhil put up another good save. Adi pounced on the rebound but could only see his effort blocked by the Hougang defence.
He made no mistake in the 75th minute as he got his name on the scoresheet after heading home the equaliser from an Azwan Ali Rahman corner. DPMM FC were gaining momentum but Fadhil was up to the task to deny their opponents with back-to-back saves.
O'Donovan struck a powerful shot but the Hougang keeper saved it at the near post in the 79th minute. Adi was put through on goal by Azwan Ali two minutes later but Fadhil did well to stop his shot. DPMM FC finally took the lead in the 86th minute with Adi firing his second of the encounter from inside the box.
Brunei's only professional team were made to rue three good chances in the final minutes of the game. Substitute Shahrazen Said was put through on goal by Azwan Ali in the 89th minute, but an unfortunate slip up by the former saw Fadhil collect the ball. Adi then delivered the ball into the box for his older brother the next minute but Shahrazen saw his effort from inside the box just inches wide off the post.
Rodrigo Tosi could have put the match to bed with a 35 yard volley but could only watch it bounce off the crossbar before the late drama. The other match saw the Young Lions (Singapore national Under-23 football team) and Harimau Muda B (Malaysia national Under-21 football team) play out to a 0-0 stalemate at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
DPMM FC's next S-League game is against Balestier Khalsa FC at the Toa Payoh Stadium in Singapore on Aug 21.