| Fadhil Yunus |
DPMM FC missed the chance to go seven points clear of the chasing pack after a 1-1 draw against Young Lions in the AIA Singapore Premier League at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore last night.
The Gegar Gegar men enjoyed a dream start after defender Charlie Clough’s header gave them a ninth-minute lead to open his account for the club but Naqiuddin Eunos wonder strike for Young Lions ensured share of the spoils.
DPMM FC’s disciplinary woes took another turn this season after Yura Indera Putera was dismissed from the match for a second bookable offence.
The Young Lions players dived into challenges and stuck a leg onto Awangku Fakharrazi, who showed quick feet on the flanks, an incident which prompted the referee to signal for a free-kick in favour of the visitors.
DPMM FC set-piece specialist Hendra Azam produced a perfect delivery into the box which was met with a towering header by Clough, in a mismatch with Young Lions’ defender Jacob Mahler.
The Brunei-based outfit were reduced to 10 men after Yura was given his marching orders in the 71st minute.
DPMM FC foreign striker Andrei Varankou made a return to the team since suffering from an injury last month against Hougang United after he came on for Hakeme Yazid Said.
Young Lions captain Joshua Pereira stole in ahead of a DPMM FC marker but could not get enough purchase on his header, which sailed harmlessly wide.
Haiqal Pashia collected the ball deep in DPMM FC’s territory and raced into the edge of the box before slipping in Naqiuddin Eunos who fired a stunning strike past goalkeeper Wardun Yussof.
Haiqal proved dangerous in attack again as he released a pass to Saifullah Akbar but Wardun was not troubled.
Young Lions head coach Fandi Ahmad revealed that their plans to play the role of party poopers at the expense of the title-chasing sides.
“Obviously, we are very happy because I thought we fought very hard. They (DPMM FC) are a very good team and top of the table,” said Fandi in a post-match interview with the Singapore media.
He continued, “Before the game, we already talked about it that we wanted to be the spoilers for the table toppers so I thought we did our best.”