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  • April 19, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Jalan Besar Stadium, Singapore
  • Referee: L. Hoe

Home United 1-0 Brunei DPMM: Protectors end Bruneian team's unbeaten run

Home United 1-0 Brunei DPMM: Protectors end Bruneian team's unbeaten run

Zeng Liwei

An early goal from Frederic Mendy was enough to seal yet another landmark win for the Protectors who have also ended Harimau Muda's unbeaten start

Home United were quickest off the blocks as they broke the deadlock just three minutes into kick-off, to secure a somewhat unconvincing win.

On-form French striker Frederic Mendy coolly slotted home his ninth goal of the campaign, after DPMM defender Shahrulrizal Rahman failed to clear a routine cross from Shotaro Ihata.

The speedy Mendy then nipped in to steal the ball from Rahman’s feet and gave Home United an early lead.

DPMM who came into the match as League leaders failed to show creativity and lacked the cutting edge upfront. Their only real opportunities in the first 45 minutes came from two free-kicks by Azwan Saleh; one on six minutes and again on the half-hour mark, but both failed to hit the back of the net.

Home United nearly made it 2-0 on 18 minutes after Singapore international Qiu Li nicely teed-up his captain Shi Jiayi, only for the shot to be deflected by the DPMM defence, and Firdaus Idros’ follow-up flicked shot agonisingly hit the post and went wide.

The remaining minutes of the first-half became a drab affair and did not live up to the opening minutes’ action with both sides playing the game at sluggish pace.

DPMM then tried to change things up by bringing on striker Adi Said, who replaced his brother Shahrazen Said with three minutes to go to half-time, but Home held on to their slender lead going into the dressing rooms.

The second-half saw DPMM playing at a much quicker tempo as they tried to get back into the game, but the better opportunities still went the way of the Protectors.

Former Singapore national striker Indra Shahdan who joined the fray on 53 minutes replacing Firdaus Idros nearly made an immediate contribution when he squared the ball towards Frederic Mendy, only for an alert DPMM defence to clear the ball away for a corner instead.

Frustration soon got the better of the DPMM players as Azwan Saleh and Sairol Sahari were both cautioned just after the hour mark - Azwan for a foul and Sairol for kicking the ball out of play after the free-kick had been awarded against Azwan.

DPMM however nearly equalised on 77 minutes after some good work by Ivan Jerkovic on the left flank, whose beautifully flighted cross met the head of Ghanian striker Osman, only to be denied by a flying save from Home’s custodian Lionel Lewis.

In the last throw of the dice, DPMM threw on speedy attacker Abu Bakar Mahari to replace a jaded Azwan Saleh with just under ten minutes left.

Abu Bakar’s impact almost made difference as two minutes into injury time, his volleyed shot went high over the bar, ensuring that the Bruneians failed to find the all-elusive equaliser and were condemned to their first defeat of the season in S.League.