Singapore Premier League • September 29, 2018
Balestier, DPMM play out tepid draw ahead of Singapore Cup rematch
The Bruneians also saw their hopes of finishing second evaporate with the stalemate
Adi Said, who has been in fine form, could not get going for DPMM.
SINGAPORE, 29 SEP 2018 – There was no love lost between Balestier Khalsa FC and Brunei DPMM FC as they played out a 0-0 Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League (SPL) draw at Toa Payoh Stadium on Saturday evening, before meeting again at the same venue in the second leg of the RHB Singapore Cup semi-finals in four days’ time.
Having lost the first leg of their Singapore Cup semi-final 2-0 three nights ago, Balestier were looking for positives in this game ahead of next Wednesday’s second leg and they can take heart from stopping Ukrainian hit-man Volodymyr Priyomov from scoring.
The 32-year-old was frustrated all night by Balestier’s centre-back pairing of Shaqi Sulaiman and Nurullah Hussein and will need to score at least thrice in DPMM’s final game on 9 October to overhaul current top scorer Shuhei Hoshino, who is on 19 goals.
Balestier were plucky in the opening exchanges and could have scored after just six minutes, but Vedran Mesec was unable to put his dead ball on target.
DPMM did go close 10 minutes later when Captain Azwan Saleh’s free kick was spilled into the path of Adi Said, but the latter’s follow-up went straight to Balestier goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam.
Balestier continued to threaten, with Mesec in the thick of everything as the Croatian attacking midfielder thrashed two long-range efforts over thereafter.
Zaiful then did well to keep the scores level, as he flung his body to deny Abdul Azizi Rahman from point-blank range on 40 minutes after Priyomov’s scuffed shot had fell into his path in the area.
The Tigers suffered a big blow going into half time as New Zealander attacker Keegan Linderboom suffered an injury and had to be replaced by Noor Akid Nordin.
That meant they lost some headway in the second half while DPMM were seemingly happy to remain in second gear to preserve themselves for next week’s Cup tie.
Rene Weber’s men did go close to snatching all three points away from Toa Payoh seven minutes from time, but substitute Abdul Hariz Herman blasted wide from just outside the area.
It would eventually end as a goalless draw, with Balestier finishing the season in sixth place while DPMM can still dislodge Tampines Rovers FC from third with victory against Young Lions.
Balestier: Zaiful Nizam (GK), Fadli Kamis, Shaqi Sulaiman, Nurullah Hussein, Ahmad Syahir, Afiq Salman Tan (Fariz Faizal 62’), Khalili Khalif, Huzaifah Aziz, Keegan Linderboom (Noor Akid Nordin 44’), Vedran Mesec ((Akbar Shah Zainudeen 72’), Hazzuwan Halim.
Unused subs: Hafiz Ahmad (GK), Nazri Sabri (GK), Nurisham Jupri, Sufianto Salleh.
DPMM: Haimie Nyaring (GK), Helmi Zambin, Brian McLean, Abdul Aziz Tamit, Najib Tarif, Azwan Saleh (C), Hendra Azam ((Abdul Hariz Herman 73’), Nurikhwan Othman ((Abdul Mu’iz Sisa 66’), Adi Said, Abdul Azizi Rahman (Shafie Effendy 64’), Volodymyr Priyomov.
Unused subs: Wardun Yussof (GK), Awangku Fakharrazi, Suhaimi Sulau, Hanif Hamir.