| Fadhil Yunus |
DPMM FC have surrendered their three-month unbeaten home record this season after slipping to a 2-1 defeat to Home United FC in the Singapore Premier League at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night.
The Gegar Gegar men have been preserving a run of six games without defeat at home but saw their seven-game unbeaten run come to a screeching halt.
With Tampines Rovers FC winning 4-1 against Geylang International FC, the loss will be perceived as a massive blow to their chances of seizing control of second place after falling seven points adrift though they have two games in hand.
Azwan Ali made his return to the starting line-up and had the ball at the back of the net after hitting a rebound from Volodymyr Primov but the linesman had already flagged for offside.
Azwan managed to steal a yard off a marker before Volodymyr took a shot first time which ended straight at the arms of Home United goalkeeper Rudy Khairullah.
The local winger was at the centre of an enterprising move after his piece of trickery sets him away but his pass was too heavy for Volodymyr.
Azwan proved a constant menace after leaving defenders floored with his nifty touches and released a fine shot but Rudy parried the ball away to safety.
DPMM FC goalkeeper Haimie anak Nyaring nearly spilled a fierce drive but recovered the ball and as danger still existed, Shakir Hamzah ballooned his shot wide from close range.
The game also sprung to life at the other end as Azwan forced a fine save from Rudy with a decent effort.
However, for a second consecutive game, the hosts fell behind on the stroke of half-time after Hafiz Nor collected a ball from a through pass before dinking the ball towards goal.
The visitors doubled their lead with barely a minute of the second half played after Shahril Ishak steered the ball home after his rebound was initially saved by Haimie.
Hafiz was looking to add to his tally with a screamer after trying his luck from distance but the ball arrowed off the post.
The home defence was caught napping after the ball fell invitingly to Shahril but Haimie produced a neat save to deny the forward from point blank range.
The Gegar Gegar men breathed a sigh of relief after Home United substitute Eko Pradana saw his shot rattle against the crossbar after receiving a cutback from Shahril.
While the DPMM FC players on the box were expecting a cross, Shahrazen Said decided to aim towards goal but a Home United player stuck a leg out for a corner.
The hosts pulled a goal back after Brian McLean nodded the ball home in the 80th minute.
DPMM FC looked likely to grab the equaliser as Azwan darted into the box before unleashing a low drive but it was well saved by Rudy.
It was the visitors who could have killed the tie but Home United captain Izzdin Shafiq somehow missed the target with the goal gaping after he was teed off by Shahril.
The hosts spurned a glorious opportunity to draw level after Abdul Azizi Rahman, who came on as a substitute, missed from close range.
The Home United goalkeeper dropped the ball but Shahrazen was unable to keep his shot down as the home side pushed for a late leveler.