Singapore Premier League • September 17, 2015

Report: White Swans Fail To Close Gap On DPMM


Written by: Nigel Chin

Second-placed Albirex Niigata (S) failed to reduce league leaders Brunei DPMM’s lead at the top after both sides played out a scoreless draw at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The draw allowed DPMM to maintain their four-point lead over Albirex and Warriors FC at the top of the Great Eastern-Yeo’s S.League table, with eight games remaining.

It could have been a different outcome had DPMM converted one of the numerous chances they had in the game, but instead their profligacy saw them failing to score for the first time in nine matches.

DPMM could have gone ahead as early as the third minute, but topscorer Rafael Ramazotti failed to find the target after getting behind the defence.

Eight minutes later, Yosuke Nozawa was forced into a big save after centre-back Brian McLean connected superbly with Azwan Ali’s corner.

Ramazotti missed another decent opportunity in the 17th minute, before Maududi Hilmi volleyed narrowly wide after the Brazilian striker had set up him.

A brilliant one-two between Azwan Ali and Sergio then saw the latter with a great opportunity, but he struck it straight at Nozawa instead.

Sergio then turned creator just before half-time when he sent Ramazotti racing through, only for the striker to fire a tame shot at the Albirex custodian.

DPMM’s profligacy carried on in the second half, and Sergio headed narrowly wide from close range after Azwan Saleh found him lurking inside the box with a fantastic cross.

A rare chance for Albirex came in the 64th minute, but Atsushi Kawata screwed his shot wide from a promising position.

Nozawa was called into action once more, this time to keep out a curling effort by Sergio from the edge of the area.

DPMM could have been punished for their wastefulness right at the death after McLean inadvertently headed the ball to Shun Inaba inside the DPMM’s penalty box.

However, the Japanese midfielder sliced his volley agonisingly wide to the relief of the DPMM bench, as the game ended in a stalemate.

Albirex Niigata (S): Yosuke Nozawa (GK), Mikiya Yamada, Takahiro Saito, Kento Fujihara (C), Itsuki Yamada, Hikaru Mizuno, Shun Inaba, Atsushi Kawata, Fumiya Kogure, Rion Taki (Kento Nagasaki 60’), Shotaro Ihata (Rui Kumada 89’)

Brunei DPMM: Wardun Yussof (GK), Helmi Zambin, Boris Raspudic, Brian McLean, Sairol Sahari (Adi Said 65’), Rosmin Kamis, Azwan Saleh, Maududi Hilmi (Najib Tarif 83’), Paulo Sergio, Azwan Ali, Rafael Ramazotti