By Ian Griffiths at the Jalan Besar Stadium
Rodrigo Grahl's 59th-minute opener for the Bruneian outfit, and Gary Robbat's equaliser may have been the meat on the bones of a match that constantly threatened to boil over, but it was Kim Swee's subsequent verbal attack on DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic which will capture all the headlines in the lull after the Jalan Besar storm.
Enraged by what he perceived to be Simunic's antagonistic and DPMM's overly aggressive tactics, Kim Swee claimed that the Croatian was not professional, adding that he had no regrets about not shaking his opposite number's hand following the duo's touchline showdown at the tail end of a blood and thunder second half. A 45 minutes which saw Simunic and DPMM goalkeeping coach HajI Zainol Ariffin eventually sent to the stands by referee Abdul Malik..
"He [Simunic] was complaining from the very first moment. Why should I shake hands with someone who is not professional?" the usually mild-mannered Kim Swee told reporters after the match.
"This is the first time I have seen anyone like this. Because of him provoking [his] players, he was making them more aggressive. They [DPMM] provoked my players and that should not happen. My players did well not to retaliate.
"We came to play a fair and entertaining game, and I am trying to teach my players to be fair and play good football. I don't mind losing, but this is not the way to play football," the former Malaysia international added.
The clash's aftermath was, perhaps not surprisingly, a perfect reflection of what had gone on before. Blood and thunder, no quarter asked for or given and a perfect example of just how enthralling Singapore's top-flight can be.
After being absent since 2009, DPMM have returned to the S.League with a bang, and, the team seemed by many as one of the S.League's finer footballing sides were the first to stir, Subhi Abdilah's flicked header from Ivan Jerkovic's free-kick forcing Harimau goalkeeper Izham Tarmizi into a fine third-minute save.
Fleet of foot and quick of mind, Harimau Muda, with Irfan Fazail and Nazmi Faiz impressing in midfield, responded well, but were grateful for Wan Zack Haikal's excellent last-ditch tackle in the 22nd minute to deny Basiru Osman as the Ghanaian striker bore down on goal.
Indeed it was Wan Zack - preceded by Grahl's drilled effort past the far post on 32 minutes - who was then to provide Harmua Muda's brightest moments during a half in which Kim Swee's charges all too often floundered on the rocks of a resolute DPMM defence.
The player, who many observers regard as Malaysia's next best thing, scuffed his side's first real opportunity badly wide when well placed in the 34th minute. In the last meaningful action of an absorbing first period, the 21-year-old then saw his thunderous free-kick expertly tipped over by Wardun Yussof.
Within 15 minutes of the restart, DPMM were ahead. Osman's clipped pass found Grahl whose vicious left-footed shot flew past a helpless Izham to maintain his side's record of scoring in each of their first four S.League matches.
Bloodied and yet unbowed, and with DPMM briefly threatening to impose themselves, Harimau Muda dug deep and drew level in the 68th minute, midfielder Gary Robbat unleashing a swerving shot that Wardan somehow failed to hold. Game on once again.
Like two heavyweight boxers, both sides traded blows, each looking for that decisive knockout blow. Substitute Thamil Arasu going close for a resilient Harimau Muda, who to their eternal credit simply refused to buckle.
On a night of high drama, D Saarvindran could have won it late on for Harimau Muda, his last minute shot striking the post before rebounding to safety.
The result was enough to see DPMM move ahead of Balestier Khalsa at the top of the table. Even though the Tigers can reclaim first place with a win over Geylang United on Friday, Simunic, who made light of his altercation with Kim Swee was left a happy man.
"We expected a game like this, we came for a point and got a point," Simunic declared.
"Harimau Muda are a very good team and I was very wary of them. The game was a big challenge for us, but I am happy that we are almost at the same level as we were in 2009."