Despite dominating the entire second half against their Bruneian opponents, the Singapore side failed to get anything from a game in which they deserved at least a point
|FROM JALAN BESAR STADIUM
By Teng Kiat
A dogged defensive performance from Brunei DPMM saw them come away from the Jalan Besar Stadium with a smash-and-grab 1-0 victory over Balestier Khalsa on Friday night.
The Singapore side dominated the entire second period after falling behind to an unfortunate goal in the first half, but failed to find the back of the net in an undeserved defeat.
Both sides struggled to assert themselves in the opening stages, as passes went astray and attacks petered out all too often.
A corner from Qiu Li near the half-hour mark swung over everyone’s heads in the box, which was an indication of how the game was going, although the next set-piece brought about the opening goal in the 35th minute.
Joao Moreira had forced goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam into a smart block from his rasping half-volley a minute earlier, after latching on to a long ball over the Balestier defence. The striker then had a hand in giving his side the lead, as he bundled a corner towards the far post. Despite the best efforts of the Balestier players to clear it, the Portuguese's attempt trickled over the line.
TheTigers came flying out of the traps after the restart, with Jung’s flick from close range deflected away and substitute Zulkiffli Hassim blasting wide from a tight angle moments later.The winger got into the same area again in the 57th minute after springing the offside trap, but could only fire his effort straight at DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof this time.
Even the defenders were joining in, as Obadin Aikhena’s fierce drive from the edge of the box flew straight at Wardun, although Balestier were frustrated on several occasions by the Wasps’ perfect execution of the offside trap.
Zaiful, who had been a virtual spectator in the Balestier goal up to this point in time, then did superbly to push away a freekick from Rosmin Kamis that looked headed for the top corner in the 66th minute.
The Balestier barrage continued and Qiu Li thought he had equalized in the 78th minute after taking down a brilliant diagonal ball from Park before slotting it past Wardun, but his celebrations were cut short at the sight of the linesman’s flag.
The DPMM goalkeeper then got down smartly to push away Zulkiffli’s cutback from the right, and watched Jung’s snapshot from the edge of the area rise over the bar with relief a minute later.
Despite more late pressure, Balestier simply could not find a way to breach their opponents’ goal, and their players collapsed to the ground at the final whistle as they succumbed to a harsh defeat.