| Fadhil Yunus |
DPMM FC conceded two clear-cut penalties before the half hour mark as they faltered to a 4-1 defeat against Hougang United FC in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S League at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium last night.
DPMM FC winger Azwan Ali splendidly beat his marker but his deflected cross off Delwinder Singh went straight to Hougang United FC goalkeeper Khairulhin Khalid’s safe pair of hands.
At the other end, Fareez Farhan sized up a shot before attempting a curler which was off target.
The visitors were awarded a penalty in the sixth minute after Abdul Mu’iz Sisa handled in the area as Fumiya Kogure sent Wardun Yussof – who was making a return to first-team action – the wrong way.
Hougang United’s Fabian Kwok was fortunate to escape with a warning after fouling Azwan Salleh from behind who had the vision to try a shot from distance after Khairulhin moved out his line.
From the ensuing free-kick, Adi Said curled a free kick which bounced wide off the left side of the post.
Hougang’s defender Atsushi Shirota clumsily fouled Rafael Ramazotti near the edge of the box under no immediate pressure.
A moment of madness nearly proved costly as Adi lashed a fierce strike which Khairulhin parried away to safety before the winger’s cushioned header for Ramazotti was swept away by the defence.
The Cheetahs were awarded a second penalty after Yura Indera Putera was adjudged to have charged into Shirota a little bit too enthusiastically and Kogure converted in a carbon copy of the first penalty.
Azwan Ali entered the referee’s books after running into Delwinder with a late challenge in Hougang’s box.
Azwan Ali provided an in-swinging cross from a set-piece after Adi was hacked down but Khairulhin punched the ball away for a throw-in.
It was almost another episode of the officiating drama against Home United FC after referee Farhad Mohd mistakenly flashed a red card as opposed to yellow to Nurikhwan Othman who was never been booked before.
Ramazotti managed to keep his header off an Adi’s cross on target but was kept out by Khairulhin.
Hougang’s Iqbal Hussain threaded a nice pass for Fareez who scuffed his shot wide after finding space.
The forward, who was playing behind the attacking line of Kogure and Fareez, carved a diagonal ball for Fareez who laid the ball for Zulfahmi Arifin but the midfielder contrived to shoot wide.
Azwan Ali had a good touch in the box but was denied in the near post by Khairulhin before the defence cleared the ball away.
Ramazotti headed the ball into the box but Azwan poked his shot wide from close range.
Adi produced a scissor kick which flew just wide after the defence was unable to clear a corner for DPMM FC.
Hougang substitute Antoine Viterale sliced the pass for Iqbal the forward’s heavy touch let him down as Wardun came to collect the loose ball.
The hosts were handed a lifeline after Ramazotti’s shot on the turn finally beat Hougang’s stubborn resistance in the 74th minute.
However, two minutes later, the Gegar Gegar men switched off at the back as Iqbal directed the ball towards goal despite Wardun’s best efforts to apply pressure.
Antoine went from moments into scoring to being sent off following a reckless challenge to Helmi after hitting the post.
Wardun and Iqbal had a confrontation outside the box but fortunately DPMM FC’s newly assembled defence kept the ball which enabled Wardun to get back in goal.
With the central pairing of Yura Indera Putera and Hanif Hamir off, DPMM FC looked in trouble in defence as Kogure bagged his hat-trick in the 84th minute.