Singapore Premier League • April 26, 2014

DPMM Romps Four Past Tigers


Written by: Zack Rahim

Braces from Rodrigo Tosi and Roy O’Donovan fired Brunei DPMM back to the top of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League as the Bruneians continued their fine form in front of goal with a 4-1 win over Balestier Khalsa FC on Friday night.

DPMM, who headed into the match on the back of 6-1 and 5-0 thrashings of Courts Young Lions and Harimau Muda, had no problems finding the back of the net despite only taking the lead late in the first half at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Bandar Seri Begawan.

Tosi poked the ball to O’Donovan in the host’s last attack of the half, and the Irishman took his time to place the ball past Zaiful Nizam’s left in a one-on-one after getting the best of Balestier defender Jonathan Xu.

Despite Balestier sitting at ninth in the table, they proved to be tough customers for DPMM and threatened as early as the ninth minute when Goran Ljubojevic forced Wardun Yussof into a diving save – the goalkeeper also doing well to save a long-range Paul Cunningham free-kick in the 26th minute.

DPMM found it hard to break down an organised Balestier back line and the visitors looked poised to enter the break with the stalemate, and the goal couldn’t have come at a worse time for them.

The second half saw DPMM start brightly, finding space on either flank and looking to find players with passes over the top.

However, they still seemed strangely out of sync and their midfield found it hard to get their passing game up to speed.

Balestier, meanwhile, were always a threat in the air and the DPMM defence had to be fully focused to deal with Cunningham and Ljubojevic.

DPMM doubled their advantage on the hour mark when O’Donovan was brought down by Tajeli Salamat after a cross from Roberto Alviz, with Tosi making no mistake from the penalty spot.

Balestier were deflated and it was 3-0 nine minutes later when defender Abdul Aziz Tamit connected on an Azwan Salleh corner and Tosi blasted it in after a goalmouth scramble.

It was O’Donovan’s turn next after he ran onto another ball over the top before controlling it and producing another calm finish past Zaiful in the 81st minute.

Balestier got the goal they deserved when Ljubojevic cut in from the left and laid the ball off to Kim Minho to score five minutes later, but the fans had already started trickling out of the stadium knowing that all three points were already in the bag.

With the win, Steve Kean charges knocked Warriors FC off the top of the table. DPMM now have 22 points, two ahead of Warriors and two spots above defending champions Tampines Rovers who were held to a 1-1 draw by Tanjong Pagar United on the same day.