News • June 20, 2016

Bullish Young Lions Snatch A Point Off Wasps


Written by: Shawn Lim

A confident and dominant performance by the Garena Young Lions saw the youngest team in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League come from behind to snatch a 1-1 draw against defending champions Brunei DPMM at Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday night.

It was a remarkable showing by the Young Lions, as the hosts recovered from a 6-1 thrashing by Tampines Rovers in their last game to give the Wasps a hard time with their high energy and possession-based style of play.

The visitors tested goalkeeper Benjamin Bertrand inside three minutes of the game when the French custodian had to get down well to parry away Paulo Sergio’s close-range shot.

The Young Lions carved out an opening themselves two minutes later when a nice mazy run by Khairul Amri took him past a sea of defenders and into the 18-yard box, but the captain sent his effort straight into the arms of DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof.

Hazim Faiz could have given the hosts the lead in the 13th minute after being played through on goal by Shannon Stephen, but the striker’s cheeky lob over Wardun from 20 yards out went wide.

The hosts came close again three minute when Firdaus Kasman tried a long-range effort from 20-yards out after DPMM fail to clear their lines from an Amri free-kick, but Wardun saw the ball all the way and saved comfortably.

Adam Swandi seemed certain to score in the 21st minute after Fareez Farhan’s corner fell to him, but his first attempt was blocked at close-range by Wardun, before his follow-up shot was turned out for another corner.

DPMM had struggled to create a meaningful opportunity after their early chance, made the Young Lions pay for their profligacy in the 32nd minute when Rafael Ramazotti and Azwan Ali exchanged a quick one-two on the edge of the area, before the Brazilian volleyed the ball home.

The Bruneians could have doubled their lead four minutes later when Maududi Kasmi met Najib Tarif’s cross at the near post, but was unable to direct his shot towards goal.

Maududi had another chance to put his side ahead a minute before the interval after Najib’s cross fell to him on the edge of the 18-yard box, but saw his low piledriver pushed away by Bertrand.

The Young Lions continued to dominate the game after the break and registered their first sight at goal in the second period in the 47th minute when Amri made a neat turn in the box after receiving a pass from debutant Dhukilan Jeevamani, but shot straight at Wardun.

The hosts had another glorious opportunity to pull level in the 53rd minute, but Hazim’s shot flashed wide of the far post after beating Najib for pace.

Hami Syahin, who had came on for Joshua Bernard Pereira at half-time, then drew a sharp save from Wardun a minute after the hour mark after being sent through on goal by Amri.

The substitute subsequently turned provider in the 67th minute, sending in a cross to the far post for Fareez, who squared the ball for Hazim to stab home from close-range to equalise for the Young Lions.

DPMM were let off the hook in the 77th minute when Aminuddin Zakwan misjudged Stephen’s pass and allowed Muhaimin Suhaimi to run through on goal, but the Young Lions player shot straight at Wardun.

The Young Lions had a chance to steal all three points in stoppage time when Hazim picked out out an unmarked Amri in the box with an exquisite pass, but the latter fired straight at Wardun after moving the ball to his right foot to shoot.

Garena Young Lions assistant coach V.Selvaraj: “It was two different halves because we gave them a lot of room in the first-half and we created chances, but the final pass and touch was missing.

“In the second-half, we created more chances and it was a better performance because we managed to get into dangerous positions. We must really work on our final delivery.”

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean: “I was really happy with the first-half, but we allowed them to get back into the game in the second-half.

“We could probably have done with a second goal late in the first-half or early in the second-half because it placed more pressure on us as the game went on as it gave them more incentive to come and attack us.”

Garena Young Lions: Benjamin Bertrand (GK), Amirul Adli, Shannon Stephen, Dhukilan Jeevamani, Rusyaidi Salime, Joshua Bernard Pereira (Hami Syahin 46′), Firdaus Kasman, Adam Swandi (Gareth Low 87′), Hazim Faiz, Fareez Farhan (Muhaimin Suhaimi 75′), Khairul Amri (C)

Brunei DPMM: Wardun Yussof (GK), Brian McLean, Helmi Zembin (Aminuddin Zakwan 75′), Abdul Aziz Tamit (Yura Indera Putera 63′), Najib Tarif, Maududi Kasmi, Rosmin Kamis (C), Azwan Salleh, Azwan Ali (Shahrazen Said 81′), Paulo Sergio, Rafael Ramazotti