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  • May 25, 2013
  • • 20:15
  • • Stadium Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Bandar Seri Begawan
  • Referee: L. Hoe

The Courts Young Lions battled hard to earn their first point of the season against Brunei DPMM

Young Lions fight back to claim first point of season against Wasps

The Courts Young Lions battled hard to earn their first point of the season against Brunei DPMM


The cellar-dwellers finally broke their duck after recovering from a goal down to hold the Bruneian side in their own fortress

Courts Young Lions claimed their first point of the season after a 1-1 draw with S.League runners-up Brunei DPMM, which was marred by two sending offs at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Saturday night.

DPMM began the game with their typical high-pressure strategy, forcing the visitors onto the back foot from the first whistle.

Having failed to register even a single point in 12 games, it came as no surprise when the league's whipping boys fell behind in the 9th minute.

Hendra Azam's first-time ball to Rosmin Kamis set the DPMM skipper free on the left, and the 32-year-old swung a ball in towards the heart of the Young Lions penalty area that was met by Adi Said, who didn't need a second invitation as his header beat Syazwan Buhari in the Young Lions goal.

It seemed that the Sultanate's only professional club would be set for smooth sailing from then on, but their fortunes took a turn for the worse as in a moment of madness, Shahrazen Said was given his marching orders.

The Wasps’ top scorer in 2012 slid in hard on Sheikh Abdul Hadi and received a yellow card in the process. The two exchanged words in the aftermath of the incident, which led to Shahrazen head-butting Sheikh Abdul Hadi. That drew back memories of Zinedine Zidane's infamous head-butt on Italy's Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup Final, and resulted in an early bath for the 27-year-old.

The one-man numerical advantage would pay dividends for the Young Lions, who equalized just before the break after a delightful finish from Fareez Farhan.

DPMM were caught pressing too high up the field, leaving their backline exposed in a two-on-three situation.

Bursting down the right was Farhan, who cut inside his marker and instead of laying the ball off to teammate Sahil Suhaimi, curled the ball into Wardun Yussof's far post before celebrating provocatively in front of the home supporters, who returned his gesture with a shower of water bottles.

The Young Lions had the chance to take the lead shortly after the restart, when Sahil Suhaimi was released down the left off the back of a defensive clearance. The 21-year-old striker, jockeyed closely by Pg Salehuddin Damit, failed to find the killer ball as his low centre was gobbled up by the alert Wardun.

Adi was left rubbing his head in disbelief as he pounced on a loose ball in the Young Lions box and prodded the ball past Syazwan but against the post as the hosts, spurred on by the rhythmic drumbeat from their supporters, pushed for a winner.

The playing field was evened out when Sahil Suhaimi stamped on Salehuddin following a sliding challenge from the veteran defender, and subsequently was shown a second yellow, drawing his evening to a premature end.

Substitute Faiz Salleh missed his moment of glory as the 21-year-old's ball across the face of goal was intercepted by Sairol Sahari, whose clearance fell back to Faiz, but the Young Lions attacker fired hopelessly into the side-netting.

However, the visitors would not be made to rue their wastefulness in front of goal as they travelled back to Singapore with their first point of the season, on the ground where head coach Aide Iskandar made his debut.