Singapore Premier League • November 4, 2015

Eagles Derail DPMM’s Title Charge

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Written by: Shawn Lim

Geylang International pulled off an amazing comeback victory to defeat Brunei DPMM 2-1 at Bedok Stadium on Tuesday night.

The loss will come as a huge blow for the Bruneians even though they remained at the summit of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League table, as they failed to increase the distance between themselves and second-placed Tampines Rovers.

DPMM are now five points ahead of the Stags, who have two games in hand.

Rafael Ramazotti opened the scoring for the Wasps in the first half before goals from Hafiz Nor and Bruno Castanheira in the second half helped the Eagles snatched the unexpected win.

The visitors came out firing from the start and Paulo Sergio grazed the roof of the net with a dangerous free kick just four minutes into the game.

Sergio was in the thick of the action again in the 11th minute, this time playing Ramazotti through on goal with a defence-splitting pass, but Eagles custodian Yazid Yasin came off his line to catch the ball.

Two minutes later, a training ground routine by DPMM ended with Sergio firing a free-kick high over the goal post.

Ramazotti then stung the palms of Yazid with the Wasps’ first shot on target in the 14th minute with a powerful header from Hendra Azam’s pin-point cross.

Soon after, the woodwork came to Geylang’s rescue in the 20th minute when a Sergio’s piledriver took a deflection and crashed off the top frame of the goalpost.

The visitors finally broke the deadlock in the 28th minute when Maududi Hilmi’s visionary over-the-top pass found an unmarked Ramazotti and the latter deftly chipped the ball over Yazid in the 18-yard box for his 19th goal of the season.

The Brazilian should have doubled DPMM’s lead seven minutes later, but saw his shot flash across the gaping goalmouth after brilliantly escaping the attention of three Eagles defenders in the box.

Yazid was then required to thwart Hendra Azam’s powerful shot from 20 yards out in the 37th minute before punching clear Sairol Sahari’s curling free-kick to prevent a lurking Ramazotti from grabbing his brace.

The Eagles came out firing after the break though, and were soon on level terms when Castanheira split opened DPMM’s defence with a quick pass to Hafiz Nor and the winger coolly slotted the ball past DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof a minute after the restart.

Geylang were on the ascendency after finding the equaliser and almost went ahead again in the 56th minute when Jozef Kaplan’s cross found an unmarked Shawal Anuar, but the latter could not direct his header towards goal.

The comeback was completed two minutes later when a long ball out of defence from Hafiz Osman sent Castanheira through on goal and the Japanese hooked the ball over a stranded Wardun to give the Eagles the lead for the first time in the game.

DPMM refused to let their heads drop after conceding the second goal, but were unable to convert their plethora of chances despite having multiple opportunities to do so.

The Wasps should have equalised in the 64th minute when Joseph Gamble’s cross found Ramazotti, but the Brazilian powered a header just over the woodwork.

Shawal had a glorious chance to increase Geylang’s lead even further in the 77th minute after firing off a fierce shot at goal in the 18-yard box, but Wardun pulled off a brilliant save to deny the 23-year-old.

The visitors’ fruitless attempts at finding the equaliser continued as the clock ticked down, but they almost succeeded with two minutes left in regulation time.

However, Yazid proved to be a stumbling block as he pushed away substitute Azwan Saleh’s curling free-kick before getting down well at his near post to turn away Ramazotti’s piledriver as the Eagles held on for all three points.

Geylang International: Yazid Yasin (GK), Yuki Ichikawa, Kento Fukuda, Syed Thaha (Huzaifah Aziz 73’), Hafiz Osman, Nor Azli, Shawal Anuar, Tatsuro Inui (Shah Hirul 72’), Hafiz Nor (Sevki Sha’ban 87’), Jozef Kaplan (C), Bruno Castanheira

Brunei DPMM: Wardun Yussof (GK), Sairol Sahari (Azwan Saleh 85’), Brian McLean, Helmi Zambin, Boris Raspudic, Hendra Azam (Aminuddin Zakwan 73’), Joseph Gamble. Maududi Helmi (Shahrazen Said 72’), Rosmin Kamis (C), Paulo Sergio, Rafael Ramazotti