The Brazilian defender's stunning volley nine minutes from time helped his team come away with a deserved point against their fourth-placed opponents in their Brunei home
Tales dos Santos spared Brunei DPMM's blushes after netting a contender for goal of the season in a 1-1 draw with Balestier Khalsa at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Wednesday night.
A first-half penalty from Qiu Li looked to have earned Balestier all three points following an industrious performance, but Dos Santos popped up with an absolute screamer in the 81st minute to salvage a point for the home side.
Rodrigo Tosi came close to opening the scoring in the third minute when he demonstrated some slick samba skills to beat three Tigers defenders, but his finishing did not match his dribbling as he rifled his shot wide of the top corner.
Azwan Salleh's inswinging corner then almost snuck in at the far post before Shahrazen Said volleyed wildly over from a Shahrulrizal Abd Rahman long throw.
Pg Salehuddin Damit has made a name for himself with his aggressive style of play, which every now and then comes at a cost; this time, it resulted in a penalty after the stand-in skipper dived in rashly on Qiu after the Balestier forward's foray into the box.
“Chubby Qiu”, as he is endearingly known by the Singapore papers, managed to hold his resolve despite Wardun Yussof's attempts to distract him by dancing on the line, sending the DPMM shot-stopper the wrong way to nestle the ball in the bottom right corner.
Arturas Rimkevicius then had a penalty appeal turned down after Yusiskandar Yusop appeared to have brought the Lithuanian down unfairly in the box, but Jansen Foo waved away his protests as Yusiskandar angrily told the 30-year-old to get back on his feet.
Balestier missed a gilt-edged opportunity to put themselves two to the good after an uncharacteristic intricate passing move that started with Qiu ended with Ruhaizad Ismail failing to connect with Kim Minho's square lay-off, the midfielder instead committing a handball offence.
Foo had his work cut out for him five minutes before the break when a brawl broke after Helmi Zambin had been brought down by Ruhaizad on the half-way line, with all 22 players locked in a heated debate that resulted in some pushing and shoving.
Foo just about managed to diffuse the situation with the help of Wardun as he brandished yellow cards to Helmi, Rimkevicius, Ruhaizad, Kim and Tigers skipper Jaslee Hatta for their part in the ruckus.
Azwan Ali Rahman then replaced the ineffective Rimkevicius at the break and brought some much-needed creative flair to a lacklustre DPMM side.
The change was an inspired one and the Wasps were soon back on top as Balestier resorted to parking the bus in hopes of clinging on to their slender lead.
Azwan Salleh forced Zakariah Nerani into an improvised save with his feet with a scorching 40-yard freekick, before Tigers substitute Zulkiffli Hassim missed a glorious opportunity to kill off the game after turning Qiu's saved shot around the post.
Dos Santos then stole the headlines when he brilliantly controlled Adi Said's flick-on before turning to viciously volley the ball into the net from the edge of the box.
It was a deserved equaliser and left everyone in the stadium dumbfounded.
A defender by trade, Wasps coach Vjeran Simunic may very well be giving serious thought to playing the breathtaking Brazilian permanently up front after that superb finish.