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  • May 22, 2014
  • • 19:30
  • • Choa Chu Kang Stadium, Singapore
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Hafiz hits winner as Warriors rein in DPMM

Hafiz hits winner as Warriors rein in DPMM

FAS

The winger's free-kick eluded everyone in the box for the only goal of the game as the uniformed giants closed the gap on the leaders to four points at the top of the table

Warriors FC pulled off a superb victory over Brunei DPMM on Thursday night in a top-of-the-table clash, as the hosts edged the S.League leaders 1-0 at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium.

Hafiz Rahim's solitary strike in the first half proved to be the winner, as the uniformed giants halted DPMM's winning run and closed the gap to four points between themselves and the table-toppers.

The Wasps arrived on the back of an eight-game unbeaten run, having won the last seven of those, while scoring 25 and conceding only four times. Coupled with stumbles from the other teams at the top, that saw Steve Kean's men threatening to open up a massive advantage at the top.

But the Warriors brought them back down to earth with a solid defensive display, which left DPMM failing to score for the first time in a match this season.

Goalkeeper Hassan Sunny set the tone by denying Roy O'Donovan on 13 minutes, standing tall when faced with the Irishman one-on-one before spreading himself to block the eventual shot. A minute later, the custodian was at full stretch to push away Roberto Alviz's free-kick.

The only goal of the game arrived in the 22nd minute. After being fouled near the left touchline, Hafiz picked himself up to whip in a wickedly curling effort from 35 yards. The ball eluded a mass of bodies in the box, bouncing a couple of times before nestling in the far bottom corner.

Both sides had their fair share of chances to alter the scoreline, with Hassan pulling off a tremendous save in the second half to deny Azwan Ali as the Warriors eventually held on to their slim advantage to secure a big win.

It was little surprise that Alex Weaver praised his side after the game, proclaiming them as deserved victors.

"I thought we were superb today, I thought our midfield was fantastic, we shut them down all over the field right from the very start," he told s.league.com. "We controlled large parts of the game, we kept our discipline and focus and we were excellent."

Kean admitted that his team were off their usual game, stating that his players were "tentative" in possession.

"We were a little slow in pushing forward and as a consequence of that, we were a bit late in midfield when there were change-overs," the Scot said. "They won a lot of second balls and most of their attacks sprung from that."

Weaver acknowledged the importance of the result in terms of the title race, but was also keen to highlight his satisfaction at the way Warriors have been performing this season.

"We are showing very good, high standards and I think this squad will keep working very hard to make sure that we keep that [up]."

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