| Fadhil Yunus |
DPMM FC finally chalked up a point in the S-League but the title hangs in the balance following a 1-1 draw against Balestier Khalsa at Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium last night.
The home side were in control for majority of the game but were denied a penalty, which head coach Steve Kean described “as the most blatant penalty he had ever seen in his professional coaching career”.
“I’ve never seen a more blatant penalty in my whole life. It wasn’t even one hand, it was a great save. Any goalkeeper would’ve been proud of that. He got two secure hands on the ball,” Kean said.
“I understand if the referee is in a bad position but that is the reason why the fourth official and two officials help. The officials should help the referee out.
“It was very obvious to everybody in the stadium; all the players have told me.
“But the officials didn’t get that one and it’s tough to take.”
Azwan Ali got the fans on the edge of their seats with his vast collection of trickery moves and made an instant impression after chipping a cross from the edge of the box but the Balestier’s defence were making life difficult.
The visitors’ resolve was finally broken when Alviz produced an in-swinging ball into the box which was met by Rodrigo Tosi, who headed home majestically to put DPMM FC ahead.
However, the hosts were undone by an individual error as Balestier’s Zulkiffli Hassim popped up with an equaliser.
At half-time, Kean brought on Abdul Aziz Tamit and Hendra Azam for Shahrulrizal and Awangku Fakharrazi, respectively.
With the Gegar Gegar men resuming the second half in the same vein as the first, Tosi fired a fierce shot wide as his team attempted to regain their lead.
Then, a moment of controversy, Tosi raced clear after being put through by O’Donovan and as the giant striker lifted the ball over Zaiful who was rooted to the ground, his strike partner smashed the ball into the empty net only to be cleared off the line by a Balestier’s player, who appeared to use his two arms.
Much to the dismay of the home team, the referee waved play on.
Kean said he would go all out for the two victories his team need in order to secure the league title and overhaul Warriors FC, who currently sit at the top with a three- point gap.
“We are never tight in the back no matter how many sessions and what defensive combinations we put in. We just need to try to score more goals than the opposition,” Kean said.
“We will be attacking from the first minute.”
He added that his team deserved to win from the balance of play.
“I think we took control of the game from the first 10 minutes. I thought we were excellent up till we scored. And then what been a pattern in recent games, after we’ve scored a goal, we gave away a sloppy goal through an individual mistake.
“Shahrul should have cleared it but he let it bounce and tried to head it, making it difficult for the goalkeeper.”