| Fadhil Yunus |
DPMM FC could not put a stain to the wonderful storyline of an unbeaten record by the picture perfect Albirex Niigata (S) after slipping to a 3-1 defeat in the Singapore Premier League at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night.
DPMM FC forward Adi Said managed to squeeze in a cross despite being closed down by two Albirex defenders, illustrating that they would be afforded limited time on the ball.
The newly-crowned champions had a half-hearted chance for the opener after forward Shuhei Hoshino volleyed the ball wide.
The duo of Adi Said and Hendra Azam, the two men that head coach Rene Weber has called to cause damage provided the foundation for the breakthrough after their combination nearly yielded in a goal. Adi flicked a header agonisingly wide after connecting from a free kick by Hendra.
Adi gave the Albirex’s defence plenty of headaches down the right with his pace and his menacing run drew an illegitimate contact from Kenya Takahashi leaving the referee no argument of stonewall penalty.
DPMM FC forward Volodymyr Pryiomov coolly dispatched the penalty for his 13th goal of the season.
The match was stopped in the 13th minute due to heavy winds with Albirex waiting to take a free-kick.
Albirex made a strong run in the box before releasing a fine drive but unfortunately the ball arrowed wide.
DPMM FC right back Helmi Zambin seemed unfazed by the heavy pressure from the Albirex players after sending a ball into the middle allowing Volodymyr to turn and unleash a fierce drive, but his effort was blocked by Albirex defender Shuhei Sasahara.
Albirex drew level after Hoshino nodded home from close range, continuing his fine scoring form in the league.
The home side escaped further trouble after Albirex’s defender Riku Moriyasu saw an attempt rattle the crossbar as the White Swans were rampaging forward.
Albirex midfielder Taku Morinaga sneaked in the near post for a header after connecting from Takahashi which ended well wide.
The hosts came close in regaining the lead after Adi Said’s header was scrambled clear with Brian McLean also denied in quick succession.
Volodymyr curled a fine effort which Albirex custodian Yohsuke Nozawa parried away for a corner.
DPMM FC forward Mojtaba Mollasaraei was alone when he burst forward but his ambitious long range cleared the top corner.
The visitors engineered a fine team move after a secondary assist from the middle of the park by Daiki Asaoka tore the defence apart with the ball falling to Adam Swandi but he could not square it to Hoshino.
On the opposite end, Volodymyr hit his shot straight at Nozawa after being teed up by Adi.
The visitors took the lead after defender Riku Moriyasu probed the DPMM FC’s defence before drilling a low finish in the 71st minute. Takahashi laid the ball for Hoshino who somehow fluffed his lines as the White Swans looked to put the tie to bed.
Morinaga drove forward into the box but DPMM FC goalkeeper Haimie Anak Nyaring stood firm and blocked his shot.
The White Swans had been knocking on the hosts’ door for quite some time as Morinaga buried a fine effort at the end of normal time and hammered the final nail in the coffin.