News • June 25, 2016
Ramazotti-Inspired Wasps Thrash Tigers
Written by: Shawn Lim
Rafael Ramazotti grabbed his first hat-trick of the season to help Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League defending champions Brunei DPMM thrash Balestier Khalsa 4-1 on Friday night at Jalan Besar Stadium.
The emphatic victory was the Wasps’ first after three games and moved them to third place in the league table, which gives Steve Kean’s charges a good chance of finishing in the top half of the table as their hopes of retaining their title have vanished.
The Tigers started brightly and found success attacking down the Wasps’ left flank early in the game. One such foray almost produced a result in the eighth minute when Fadhil Noh broke free and clipped a dangerous cross into the six-yard box, which Mirsolav Kristic missed, but not Ho Wai Loon.
The left-back took his shot on the volley, but DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof got down well to push away the fierce drive.
DPMM on the other hand, struggled to create a meaningful opportunity for much of the opening half, but took the lead against the run of play in the 18th minute when Ramazotti climbed above Nurullah Hussein to meet Azwan Salleh’s cross and headed the ball into the top corner of the net.
The goal seemed to rejuvenate the visitors and they duly doubled their lead in the 30th minute when Paulo Sergio kept a loose ball alive before threading an eye of the needle pass to an unmarked Ramazotti, who skipped past Ho to calmly slot the ball past Tigers custodian Zaiful Nizam.
Balestier conceded again just four minutes into the second period when they failed to deal with Azwan Ali’s corner-kick and Sergio stabbed the ball home to make it 3-0 to DPMM.
Azwan Salleh should have added a fourth in the 52nd minute when after being played through on goal by his namesake Azwan Ali as DPMM broke on the counter, but the former blasted his ball high and wide with only Zaiful to beat.
The Tigers were thrown a lifeline when Kristic was brought down by Wardun after being sent through on goal and Emir Lotinac smashed the resulting spot-kick into the bottom corner of the net.
A brilliant reactive save from Wardun in the 70th minute kept out Fadli Kamis’s bullet header after the defender had rose the highest to meet substitute Jamil Ali’s free-kick as Balestier continued to find ways to further reduce the deficit.
The match however, was well and truly over for the Tigers nine minutes later when they caught on the break again and Ramazotti tapped home the rebound after Zaiful had saved Maududi Hilmi’s initial shot.
Balestier Khalsa coach Marko Kraljevic: “It was a disappointing result for us because we were too slow and failed to apply pressure on them.
“We were doing well at the back at the beginning of the season, but now we have started losing concentration and making some individual mistakes, which have cost us in losses, like this game.”
Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean: “The most pleasing thing about this game was that Balestier found if difficult to break us down.
“We limited them to very few chances in the box, obviously there were going to get a few chances, but we have worked on being hard to beat and it paid off today.”
Balestier Khalsa: Zaiful Nizam (GK) (C), Fadli Kamis, Nurullah Hussein (Jamil Ali 46′) Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Ho Wai Loon, Emir Lotinac, Tan Danial Farhan, Fazli Ayob, Fadhil Noh, Syafiq Zainal (Smajovic Sadi 55′), Miroslav Kristic (Zulkiffli Hassim 58′)
Brunei DPMM: Wardun Yussof, Brian McLean, Helmi Zembin, Yura Indera Putra, Azwan Salleh, Najib Tarif (Nurikhwan Othman 90′), Maududi Hilmi Kasmi, Rosmin Kamis (C), Azwan Ali (Hendra Azam 76′), Paulo Sergio, Rafael Ramazotti