Singapore Premier League • August 15, 2018

Ikhsan Fandi penalty earns Young Lions draw against DPMM


The striker coolly converted his seventh goal of the season to rescue a point

Ikhsan is the Young Lions’ leading scorer this season.

SINGAPORE, 15 AUG 2018 – The Young Lions held Brunei DPMM FC to a 1-1 draw in a heated affair in the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League (SPL) at Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday night.

The visitors opened the scoring through substitute Shah Razen Said at the start of the second period, before Ikhsan Fandi leveled the score within two minutes from the spot.

Ikhsan threatened within four minutes of the opening whistle when he unleashed a ferocious grounder that hit the right post, before gliding across goal behind goalkeeper Haimie Nyaring and out for a goal kick.

DPMM had the next  opportunity when Brian McLean towered above the rest, off an Azwan Ali corner, only to see his header go narrowly wide.

The visitors had another glorious chance to take the lead on 22 minutes when Azwan capitalized on a defensive lapse and was clean through on goal. Instead of taking a shot, he opted to lay it off for Volodymyr Priyomov who saw his shot palmed away by an alert Zharfan Rohaizad.

It was Azwan who caused mayhem yet again on 28 minutes when he released Shafie Efenddy, who failed to score from a tight angle as Zharfan closed him down.

DPMM’s dominance was telling but Rene Weber’s charges just failed to find that final touch in the attacking third and both teams went into the break on level terms.

The second half got off to a blistering start as DPMM scored the first goal within a minute of the restart.

Azwan released substitute Shah Razen Said down the left and the winger ghosted between two Young Lions defenders before curling an unstoppable shot into the far corner past a stranded Zharfan.

Barely two minutes later, Young Lions substitute Haiqal Pashia was fouled by McLean in the box to allow Ikhsan the chance to slot home his seventh league goal of the season from the spot.

DPMM thought they had retaken the lead on 53 minutes when Shah Razen scored from a corner, but the referee ruled it out for a foul on Zharfan.

Things began heating up as both teams were guilty of rash tackles, with Azwan’s high boot on Syahrul Sazali the pick of the lot.

Tensions continued to build with every passing minute as both benches were up on their feet, with tensions threatening to boil over.

Ikhsan almost scored his second goal in the 70th minute, but his brilliant turn failed to be matched by his shot that went into the sidenetting.

With nine minutes left on the clock, Shah Razen almost got the winner when he glided past three defenders only to thump the ball into the Jalan Besar floodlights with only Zharfan to beat.

Pashia stung the gloves of Haimie in the 86th minute when his shot from outside the box was destined for the bottom right corner, but the DPMM stopper pulled off a good save.

The result left DPMM stuck in fourth place while the Young Lions stay seventh with their fifth draw of the campaign.

Young Lions Head Coach Fandi Ahmad: “This was a very physical game. Both sides played very hard, we know they are vying for second or third position but it was good to see my boys getting stuck in and match them.

“In the first half, we had injury problems but we did a lot better in the second half. We played well in the first 15 minutes but then allowed them to control. They are strong and physical but my boys never pulled back.

“With Pashia, he wasn’t able to train yesterday but we knew he always has that 30 to 35 minutes where he can do something special so we deliberately wanted to use him for the second half.”

DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber: “My idea about the game is we lost too many goal-scoring chances in the last five games. For a team looking to be in the top four of the league, this is not ideal.

“Against Tampines, we lost three chances. Against Home United, we lost chances again. This game, we could have sealed the game in the first half with the chances we had. So my thought is when you have the chance to score, you must score.

“I speak about this a lot with the players. If we don’t create chances, something is wrong but if you have two to three chances in each game and don’t score, you don’t get the result.

“The Young Lions are a young team and probably did better in this difficult period where we have five games in 15 games. We could have played better but we spent too much energy and there is not enough time to recover between each game.”

Young Lions: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK)(C), Nazhiim Harman (Rusyaidi Salime 49’), Syahrul Sazali, Jacob Mahler, Irfan Fandi, Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Syed Firdaus Hassan, Joshua Pereira, Hami Syahin, Naufal Azman (Haiqal Pashia 46’), Ikhsan Fandi (Danial Syafiq 90+3’).
Unused subs: Hairul Syirhan (GK), R. Aaravin, Prakash Raj, Amirul Hakim.

DPMM: Haimie Nyaring (GK), Brian McLean, Abdul Mu’iz Sisa, Helmi Zambin, Abdul Aziz Tamit (C), Nurikhwan Othman (Abdul Hariz Herman 71’), Hendra Azam, Azwan Ali, Adi Said, Shafie Efenddy (Shah Razen Said 46’), Volodymyr Priyomov.
Unused subs: Wardun Yussof (GK), Awangku Fakharrazi, Reduan Petara, Abdul Azizi Rahman, Azim Izamuddin.