By Gabriel TanFollow @@gabetan13
Reporting from the Jalan Besar Stadium
The Bruneian side looked firmly on track for a routine victory on Thursday after racing to a 2-0 lead inside 26 minutes through goals from Rosmin Kamis and Shahrazen Said.
However, they were reduced to ten men eight minutes before the break when Pg Sallehuddin Damit was issued his marching orders for a second bookable offence, and although Young Lions managed to pull one back through Sherif El-Masri in the 55th minute, DPMM were able to hold out for the win and leave their opponents still searching for their first points of 2013.
Heading into the game following last Thursday's 2-0 loss to Tampines Rovers, Young Lions coach Aide Iskandar opted to retain most his starting XI, making just one change by replacing Firman Hanif with Sheikh Abdul Hadi.
Although the visitors had to do without former Croatia international Ivan Bosnjak, coach Vjeran Simunic was still able to field a formidable forward line boasting of Brunei internationals Shahrazen Said and Adi Said, and Portuguese Joao Moreira, and they certainly started brightly on Thursday evening.
In what ultimately proved to be a busy evening for hosts' goalkeeper Rudy Khairullah, he was put in the firing line for the first time after just three minutes when he flapped at a freekick from Sairol Sahari, but thankfully for him, Hadi was on hand to clear the danger.
Four minutes later, the young goalkeeper gave a better account of himself when he made a flying save to keep out a bullet header from Moreira, before doing enough to tip wide a speculative 25-yard strike from the Portuguese striker shortly after.
Despite those two good stops, the 18-year-old was looking very unsteady when dealing with high balls and he once again put his side under duress in the 16th minute when he failed to gather an over-the-top ball by Helmi Zambin. However, Hadi was once again there to bail him out by weighing in with a goal-line block to keep out a goal-bound header from Moreira.
But there was little either of them could do as DPMM's mounting pressure finally paid off four minutes later; Rosmin picking up possession on the edge of the area after the hosts failed to fully clear their lines and sending a powerful shot back into the bottom corner.
Just six minutes later, the visitors doubled their lead when Sairol swung in another dangerous set-piece delivery onto the head of Shahrazen, who rose highest inside the area and expertly sent the ball into the back of the net.
Shahrazen, who netted twice in DPMM's last outing - a 3-3 draw with Hougang United - then almost doubled his tally two minutes after the half-hour mark when he was presented another free header from a Rosmin freekick, but he was just unable to keep his effort on target this time around.
Although the Bruneian side were now firmly in control of proceedings, they were dealt a blow in the 38th minute when Sallehuddin, four minutes after picking up his first caution for an altercation with Tajeli Salamat, was handed his second caution by referee Sukhbir Singh after kicking out at the Young Lions defender in an off-the-ball incident.
Buoyed by the numerical advantage, Young Lions began the show more energy and initiative and came close to pulling one back four minutes before the break; Sufianto Salleh breaking free down the left and firing in an effort that was unconvincingly pushed to safety by the previously untested Wardun Yussof.
Four minutes into the second half, Wardun was called into action once again as he had to keep out an attempt by Ignatius Ang at the near post, after the ex-Hougang forward had latched onto a lovely through-ball by Nur Na'iim Ishak and skipped past Dino Drpic down the left.
By now, the hosts were firmly in the ascendancy and they finally pulled one back five minutes before the hour mark thanks to a moment of brilliance from El-Masri, who skipped past a challenge on the edge of the box before drilling a sweet strike on his weaker right foot past Wardun's despairing dive.
Eight minutes later, the DPMM keeper made a splendid double save to prevent the opponents from drawing level, parrying a fierce drive by Tajeli into the path of Shamil Sharif, before recovering well to block the midfielder's effort from point-blank range.
Although they looked content to sit back and defend their lead, DPMM continued to threaten on the counter and from set-pieces, and Rudy weighed in with a good punch in the 69th minute to deal with a Sairol freekick, just as Moreira looked set to meet it with a header.
As the game entered its closing stages, El-Masri had a chance to grab his second when he raced onto a glorious 30-yard pass by Tajeli in the 72nd minute but just as he was about to pull the trigger, Azwan Saleh raced back in time to head the ball clear from the Canada Under-23 international.
Ten minutes later, the DPMM defence was carved apart when another visionary ball by Tajeli sent substitute Faiz Salleh racing through, but just as the Young Lions bench erupted after he poked the ball home, their celebrations were cut short as the strike was chalked off for offside.
Four minutes later, Moreira had one final opportunity to wrap up the points when Azwan found space inside the area and laid the ball into his path, but the ex-Valencia man completed miscued his effort and sent the ball trickling past the post.
Nonetheless, his miss did not prove costly as Vjeran Simunic's charges held on to record their first win of the season.
Courts Young Lions: Rudy Khairullah, Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Emmeric Ong, Nurullah Hussein (Nicholas Cher 25'), Tajeli Salamat, Shamil Sharif, Nur Na'iim Ishak (Nur Ridho 64'), Sufianto Salleh, Sherif El-Masri, Ignatius Ang (Faiz Salleh 80').
DPMM FC: Wardun Yussof, Subhi Abdilah (Abdul Aziz Tamit 78'), Dino Drpic, Pg Sallehuddin Damit, Helmi Zambin, Rosmin Kamis, Stephane Auvray (Hendra Azam 69'), Sairol Sahari, Adi Said (Azwan Saleh 46'), Joao Moreira, Shahrazen Said.
Image courtesy of S.League