DPMM FC survived a scare to go four points clear at the top of the NFABD Under-16 Youth League as they narrowly edged Projek Ikan Pusu (PIP) 2-1 in a fiercely contested affair at the Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex yesterday.
Defending champions Projek Ikan Pusu took an early lead with a goal in the first half and frustrated their visitors through a solid defence.
But, DPMM FC finally got their break they desperately craved with a leveller before snatching the winner, which ensured that they remain in the chase for the coveted title alongside Tabuan.
The reigning holders stunned title-chasing DPMM FC as Mohammad Danish Bazli bin Mohammed Sumady repeated his scoring exploits from their previous showing with a goal in the seventh minute.
To retaliate, DPMM FC player Awangku Mohd Syafiq Hilmi bin Pengiran Md Shahrom made good work down the left before making a cutback into the centre for a teammate.
However, a combination of last-ditch defending and the goalkeeper’s positioning diffused the threat as Projek Ikan Pusu steered away from trouble.
The junior Gegar Gegar men came even closer to move into level terms when a player saw his shot rattle against the cross-bar deep into injury time in the first-half.
The Jerudong-based side at long last found the breakthrough as their attacking duo combined well to unlock the PIP defence.
Muhd Haziq Naqiuddin bin Syamra squared the ball for his attacking partner Mohd Akram Waqeel bin Bakri, who showed composure to fire home past PIP goalkeeper Abdul Syaamil Afiq bin Abdul Jaafar.
A cross was left unattended from the PIP defence which handed an invitation to Muhd Haziq Naqiuddin to control the ball before slotting home the winner five minutes from time.
PIP had a chance to dent DPMM FC’s title hopes right at the death but opposing goalkeeper Anif Aiman bin Abdullah Mazlan made a wonderful save to prevent a shot from creeping into the top corner.
DPMM FC reached a whopping 50 points having only dropped four points this season but Tabuan, who will not take the field until tomorrow, boast comfort with two games in hand.
DPMM FC will be back in league action against basement dwellers PMS Junior – who marked a third win of the season against FC Phosphor – tomorrow at the Jerudong Park Mini Stadium.