Singapore Premier League • November 1, 2014
DPMM Title Slip-Up On Final Day
Written by: Muhammad Yazid
Brunei DPMM failed to lift the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League trophy after a 2-1 defeat to Tampines Rovers on the final day of the league, and instead had to settle for second place.
Jozef Kaplan and Miljan Mrdakovic scored for Tampines, although Rodrigo Tosi bagged a late goal to set up a nervy finish to the game.
Warriors FC’s 1-0 win over Albirex Niigata (S) on the same day meant that they took first place and the former were crowned league champions for the ninth time.
The game started out tightly as both teams failed to trouble the respective goalkeepers in the opening half-hour, although Tampines relished the lion’s share of possession.
The first opportunity fell in the hands of Tampines’ Miljan Mrdakovic as the forward tried to test Azman Ilham from a tight angle, but the custodian did not have any problems handling that shot.
With five minutes to go before half-time, DPMM missed a good chance as Rodrigo Tosi’s header from six yards off Hendra Azam’s corner sailed just inches over the bar.
The Bruneian side came agonisingly close yet again minutes later. This time, Adi Said was guilty of a miss after he fluffed his shot from three yards out after being set-up by Awangku Fakharrazi.
Despite starting the second half strongly in a desire to get the win which would see them clinch the championship, DPMM contrived to concede in the 65th minute.
Shaiful Esah whipped in a deep cross from the left which evaded a couple of bodies in the box before falling for Kaplan, and he took a few touches before slamming it into Azman’s near post.
It could have been number two for Tampines if not for Mrdakovic’s miss, as the 32-year-old’s shot off Aleksandar Duric’s cross was saved by Azman.
It became a mountain to climb for DPMM from the 73rd minute as the Stags doubled their lead, this time with Mrdakovic being at the right place at the right time to finish past Azman after Duric’s shot was parried away by Azman towards the path of the 32-year-old.
DPMM did not give up and tried to find their way back into the game. It eventually paid off in the 81st minute after Tosi took a shot on the turn from the edge of the box to slot the ball past Justin Pasfield.
With the win, Tampines emerged as second runner-up while DPMM clinch the runner-up spot.