| Fadhil Yunus |
DPMM FC dropped their first points at home this season after seeing a two-goal lead slip during the 2-2 draw with Balestier Khalsa in the Singapore Premier League at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium last night.
Attending the match were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman; and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik.
Also present were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah’s children, Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Muda ‘Abdul Muntaqim; Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Anak Muneerah Madhul Bolkiah; and Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Muda Muhammad Aiman.
The Gegar Gegar men remain on course in realising their top-four target as fifth-placed Balestier Khalsa are observed as their direct rivals but they missed the chance to climb to third in the table.
The Brunei-based outfit, however, stretched their unbeaten run to five games though they have yet to keep a clean sheet at home this season.
DPMM FC defender Suhaimi Sulau opened his account for the club after firing a wonderful effort from outside the box.
Captain Shahrazen Said added a second for the hosts through a penalty in the 22nd minute for his first goal of the season.
Balestier defender Fadli Kamis reduced the deficit after scoring a free header just minutes after Zaiful Nizam kept out an Adi Said’s header.
The Tigers wiped out a two-goal lead after Huzaifah Aziz curled a delightful free-kick in the 67th minute.
Suhaimi stole possession off a Balestier Khalsa player and drove forward before unleashing a clean strike for his first goal of the season in the fourth minute.
The home side were awarded a penalty after Balestier defender Nurullah Hussein brought down Volodymyr Pryiomov and the former was brandished a yellow card for his troubles.
With the Ukrainian a regular designated penalty taker, Shahrazen was given the chance to open his account for the season which he did after blasting home into the top corner.
DPMM FC goalkeeper Haimie anak Nyaring passed his first real test of the match after keeping out a fine attempt from Balestier teenager Vrebac Sanjin.
The attacking front duo combined as Volodymyr collected a back-heel from Adi Said but his shot was deflected off for a corner by the Balestier defence.
Mojtaba Mollasaraei then tried to get into an act with a ferocious strike which Balestier goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam got a strong hold of with an assured pair of hands.
Adi Said nearly pulled out a brilliant solo goal after skipping past a couple of Balestier players and was unlucky not to score as Zaiful ensured that his side stayed two goals down.
The hosts resumed their attacking threat in the early stages of the second half as Zaiful was forced to tip over a header from Adi after meeting a corner.
Balestier Khalsa midfielder Hazzuwan Halim beat the offside trap and took a shot but Haimie forced the ball out for a corner.
However from the ensuing corner, the Tigers reduced arrears as Fadli Kamis pounced with a free header from close range for his second goal of the season.
On the other end, Adi received an inviting cross before hitting a nice volley which Zaiful did well to keep the ball out. The forward then released Volodymyr from an acute angle and the Ukrainian’s effort required a strong save from the Balestier shot-stopper.
The hosts broke clear in a fast move but unfortunately Volodymyr’s tame shot landed safely into the arms of Zaiful.
As the opportunity to restore a two-goal cushion disappeared, the visitors found themselves on level terms as Huzaifah Aziz curled a brilliant free-kick in the 67th minute.
DPMM FC substitute Abdul Azizi Rahman nearly made an immediate impact after a fierce drive inside the box flew past the top corner.
The visitors were reduced to 10 men after Huzaifah picked up a second yellow card but DPMM FC could not find a winner.