DPMM FC slipped to their second defeat of the season in the Singapore Premier League after losing 4-3 to Balestier Khalsa in an epic thriller at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore last night.
The Bruneian side got the upper hand after Andrei Varankou showed composure to beat Balestier Khalsa’s goalkeeper Hairul Syirhan for the opening goal of the game.
They quickly doubled their lead two minutes later as Azwan Ali Rahman completed a neat build-up play with a decent finish.
DPMM FC’s young forward Hakeme Yazid Said who led the line alongside Varankou, played an instrumental role with two assists.
The 20-year old was a thorn upfront and caused a host of problems for the defenders including leaving a nutmeg to Balestier Khalsa defender Emmeric Ong.
The Tigers pulled one back after Ryoya Taniguchi pounced with a header following good work involving Darren Teh and Ignatius Ang.
Azwan Ali then found an opportunity with a clean effort but it was deflected off for a corner with Yura Indera Putera providing the cross on the flanks.
With Balestier hoping to draw level, Ho Wai Loon took a swipe in what was a search for his third goal of the season.
The designated hosts came close in finding a third after Hendra Azam Idris struck a fierce shot from range.
As DPMM FC looked to extend their lead, Balestier had the reliable under-23 player Fudhil I’yadh to thank for after an incredible piece of defending to prevent Andrei Varankou from getting a sniff in goal.
DPMM FC appeared to be a threat with their set-pieces and it proved to be the visitors’ downfall as Ho Wai Loon turned the ball onto his own net.
However, Balestier Khalsa came with a renewed vigour in the second-half after they were awarded a penalty following an alleged foul by Yura Indera Putera.
There was a fair amount of time before the penalty was being taken leading to an off-field review about the incident.
After much deliberation, referee Jansen Foo then flashed the red card to Yura Indera Putera leaving DPMM FC a man short.
Balestier Khalsa import Alen Kozar converted the penalty to give his side a route back into the tie again with a man advantage also going in their favour.
Hakeme Yazid Said had a chance to provide the Brunei side with a two-goal cushion, but he uncharacteristically lobbed the ball over the bar.
It was all square as Taniguchi drilled home a brilliant effort helped by a combination of a wonderful first touch and a poor clearance.
Taniguchi then curled a free-kick which was well stopped by DPMM FC new goalkeeper Akmal Tursunbaev.
Drama unfolded again as Foo pointed to the spot for a penalty after Najib Tarif was adjudged to have handled Taniguchi’s header.
DPMM FC were temporarily down to nine men as Najib was carded for a second bookable offence.
But after a five-minute off-field review, the referee deemed that it was not a penalty and retracted the yellow card, ensuring Najib to remain in the field. The visitors came up with a winner as Taniguchi produced completed his hat-trick with a fine low effort from outside the box.
The hosts tried their best to rescue a point as Varankou pulled a snapshot from range which needed an outstretched save from Hairul.