DPMM FC missed out on a place in the Singapore Cup final after a 4-2 penalty shootout defeat in an eventful second leg semi-final completed a comeback for Warriors FC at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore last night.
The match ended 5-4 in favour of the Warriors after extra time and 5-5 in aggregate. The recently-crowned league champions came into the contest carrying a goal advantage following their 1-0 win in the first leg at the Jalan Besar Stadium last weekend.
With virtually the opening act of the game, brothers combined as DPMM FC forward Abdul Azizi Ali Rahman took his effort first time past Warriors goalkeeper Fashah Iskandar, latching onto a fine pass from the influential Azwan Ali Rahman.
Warriors provided an immediate response after Jonathan Behe converted a controversial penalty in the 13th minute. The referee pointed to the spot after he was adjudged to have been felled by DPMM FC defender Hanif Hamir as their rivalry from the first leg resumed.
A two-goal advantage had been good reading for the Gegar Gegar men but they were given a reality check after Warriors turned the game around to steal the lead on the night and drew level on aggregate.
Warriors forward Khairul Nizam outleapt DPMM FC goalkeeper Wardun Yussof to nod home a pinpoint cross from Ryhan Stewart.
Hendra Azam’s dangerous free-kick took a deflection off Warriors’ midfielder Poh Yi Feng and Fashah pulled a brilliant save to rescue his team. The Brunei-based outfit went ahead in aggregate and levelled the scores on the night. DPMM FC forward Andrei Varankou capitalised on poor marking to plant home his header with Azwan Ali credited for a second assist this time through a corner.
The in-form Azwan Ali swung in a wonderful cross into the box and an unmarked Abdul Azizi sent his header wide amid signs of defensive frailties surfacing in the Warriors backline.
Warriors began the second half with promise with Behe taking aim but his shot took a deflection of DPMM FC player away for a corner.
The Warriors defence were slow to react as the ball found its way to Varankou but his advances was stopped by Fashah.
DPMM FC captain Gabriel Quak cleverly skipped past his marker but goalkeeping custodian Wardun nullified the threat with assured goalkeeping.
With his name already on the score-sheet, Khairul Nizam carved space to make a shot and fortunately for the DPMM FC defence his effort was always rising.
Warriors sold two dummies from Khairul Nizam and Faizal Raffi but Behe scuffed his effort waywardly wide.
Varankou showed his clinical instincts after taking advantage of a quick break when a Warriors player took a touch and steered the ball home past Fashah for a second time.
Four-time champions Warriors went all out in attack as they replaced defensive-minded Aarish Kumar and brought on Sahil Suhaimi.
His arrival to the game proved to be a tactical masterstroke from Warriors head coach Azlan Alipah as Sahil unleashed a beautiful volley from long range beyond the outstretched Wardun.
Warriors were awarded another controversial penalty after Wardun was adjudged to have fouled Khairul Nizam. Behe fluffed his lines from the spot as DPMM FC breathed again.
On the other end, it was almost an own goal after Tajeli Selamat flicked his header just wide after trying to defend a Suhaimi anak Sulau’s cross.
Varankou’s looping header nearly crept into the top corner but Fashah, who has been kept busy for most of the match, tipped the ball away for a corner.
The Belarussian reacted to a misjudged clearance from a Warriors defender and took a shot but Fashah dived low to make the save.
A possible talking point called into question as the Gegar Gegar men were denied a penalty despite Warriors defender Shameer Aziq appearing to have handled in the box.
Tajeli Selamat has caused concerns in the DPMM FC defence with his collection of crosses and as Gabriel collected the ball from outside the box his effort was well saved by Wardun.
The Brunei side were unable to clear their lines and Gabriel fired his shot home to put the game to extra time.
DPMM FC went ahead on aggregate again as Razimie Ramlli benefitted from a defensive mix-up by Tajeli and Fashah to slot the ball home into an empty net.
Khairul Nizam made a decent effort after receiving a good ball from Sahil Suhaimi, who looked to be a man on a mission, but Wardun was equal to the task.
But, Warriors led again on the night and wiped out the one-goal advantage as Sahil perfectly curled his free-kick past Wardun Yussof.
While Warriors found the target in each of their penalties, Azwan Ali Rahman and Charlie Clough missed for the Brunei side, confirming the win for Warriors who will meet Tampines Rovers FC in the final. DPMM FC will play Geylang International in the battle for third.