Singapore Premier League • April 17, 2014
DPMM Outwit Hougang United In Tight Game
Written By: Kenneth Ho
There was no upset on the cards as Brunei DPMM managed to eke out a 1-0 victory over Hougang United at Hougang stadium on Wednesday evening.
Azwan Ali scored in his third consecutive game as he popped up with the winner 15 minutes from time to deny the Cheetahs a well-deserved point.
It was a game of two halves for the visitors as they were outplayed by Hougang for the most of first half before regrouping to come back stronger in the second.
Apart from a brief moment when Rodrigo Tosi nearly increased his goal tally for the season with a deflected shot that trickled inches from goal, DPMM struggled to find the same form that had seen them score eleven goals in two matches.
Hougang will be mulling over their inability to score a goal in the first half, when they had ample opportunities to do so.
As early as the 11th minute, Hougang winger Erwan Gunawan managed to win the ball outside the box and he unleashed a ferocious shot which DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof was forced to push behind.
Nurhilmi Jasni also came close minutes later when he rushed forward to brilliantly meet a Fazli Jaffar cross but Wardun once again produced an immense save.
The midfielder could have punished some slack defending by DPMM in the 23rd minute when his run was picked out by Shunsuke Nakatake but his slip when receiving the ball prevented him from doing any damage.
Coming out from the break, the visitors seemed reinvigorated and they should have taken the lead in the 54th minute. Roy O’Donovan found himself with only Hougang custodian Nazri
Sabri to beat and the former managed to do just that only to see his fierce drive crack the woodwork.
The Cheetahs had a good chance of their own in the 59th minute and credit had to go to DPMM defender Boris Raspudic as his challenge on Geison Moura at the far post prevented the forward from putting in Erwan’s cross.
DPMM coach Steve Kean then made a tactical substitution as he brought off Hendra Azam for Najib Tarif in the 75th minute and the move had an immediate effect.
Najib first contribution was to provide a telling cross which Azwan met and headed past the helpless Nazri.
The visitors had another chance to secure the result just before the end when Joe Gamble let fly a thunderbolt but Nazri did supremely well to parry his shot.
Three minutes of added time did little to help the hosts as they were unable to trouble Wardun and allowed DPMM to climb to first spot in the league.