The Bruneian side were forced to dig deep to hold off the battling home team and secure victory after centreback Pg Sallehuddin Damit saw red in the first half
|FROM JALAN BESAR STADIUM
By Teng Kiat
Both sides entered this game looking for their first win of the season, and in the end it was Brunei DPMM who prevailed over the Courts Young Lions as two first-half goals proved enough to seal victory on Thursday night at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
It was the visitors who started the game on the front foot as they tested Young Lions goalkeeper Rudy Khairullah twice within the first seven minutes.
The 19-year-old spilled a freekick in the second minute and had to thank an alert Sheikh Abdul Hadi for bailing him out, before he then redeemed himself with a smart save off Joao Moreira’s towering header.
The Portuguese striker was causing all sorts of problems for the home side as he next forced Rudy into a sprawling save with a long-range effort, before his header was cleared off the line after Rudy had flapped at a cross.
The DPMM pressure finally paid off in the 20th minute as skipper Rosmin Kamis pounced on a half-cleared freekick at the edge of the area and turned to fire low into the bottom corner.
They doubled their lead just five minutes later, as forward Shahrazen Said sneaked in at the near post to glance a corner from Sairol Sahari beyond the hapless Rudy.
Things then started to heat up as players from both sides put in hefty challenges that stoked tensions, with Wasps centreback Pg Sallehuddin Damit the first to crack.
The 40-year-old appeared to kick out at an opponent who was shielding the ball out for a goal-kick and paid for that moment of frustration with a second yellow card in the 37th minute.
DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic brought on midfielder Azwan Saleh for striker Adi Said at half-time in a bid to tighten things up, but the Young Lions managed to pull a goal back nine minutes after the restart.
Taking down a pass just outside the area, Sherif El-Masri neatly sidestepped two players before bending a sweet right-footed shot beyond Wardun Yussof’s reach to put his side firmly back into the game.
The home side was doing all the pressing by now and Wardun denied them an equalizer in the 64th minute when he recovered well to block from Shamil Sharif after spilling Nur Na’iim Ishak’s hard drive into the midfielder’s path.
Despite conceding, DPMM were happy to sit back with five players in defence as they tried to shut up shop, and they were aided by the Young Lions’ inability to find a telling final pass in the attacking third.
The Young Lions supporters, vocal throughout the match, continued to sing their hearts out as they tried to inspire their team, but the DPMM rearguard held firm to bring three points back home to Brunei.