After taking only a point from their last two matches, Brunei DPMM got back to winning ways at the Jalan Besar Stadium with a 3-1 victory over the Courts Young Lions.
The home side nearly got off to a dream start when a fast break in the first minute saw winger Sherif El-Masri’s dipping shot tipped over by DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof.
In the 19th minute, DPMM striker Patrick da Silva beat Young Lions goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari to a freekick from Ivan Jerkovic but could only watch in agony as his header crashed back off the crossbar.
El-Masri then skipped past two players before floating in an inch-perfect cross to Fazli Ayob at the far post, who somehow contrived to head over from six-yards.
Wardun blocked well from El-Masri’s drilled effort after an indirect freekick had been awarded in the DPMM box for dangerous play, with Shamil Sharif blasting the rebound just over the bar from the edge of the area.
The visitors came close to breaking the deadlock on the hour-mark when forward Basiru Osman flashed a fierce drive narrowly over from just outside the box.
They were made to pay for that miss, as the Young Lions took the lead moments later.
Denmark-born midfielder Benjamin Lee met a freekick from Fazli with a perfect glancing header past a rooted Wardun, as the ball nestled gently into the far corner.
DPMM hit back seven minutes later, as skipper Rosmin Kamis curled a beauty of a freekick into the near corner from 20 yards out to level the scores.
Two minutes later, the Bruneians went ahead.
Centreback Emmeric Ong under-hit his back-pass to Syazwan and Basiru was on hand to take advantage, pulling the ball back into the area for Ivan Jerkovic to knock into the empty goal.
Things got worse for the Young Lions five minutes from time, as Sairol Sahari’s corner from the left sailed over everyone into the far corner to give DPMM a two-goal advantage.
Any hopes of a comeback were extinguished in the 87th minute, when substitute Shahfiq Ghani was shown a straight red card after a poor challenge from behind.
With this win, DPMM move into third place on 36 points, three behind leaders Tampines Rovers, who have a game in hand.