DPMM arrest slump with Young Lions win

DPMM FC ended their recent poor form in the Great Eastern-YEO's S.League on Thursday evening after coming from behind to beat Courts Young Lions 3-1.

Celebration time for DPMM!

By Gabriel Tan at the Jalan Besar Stadium

Benjamin Kristofferson Lee opened the scoring for Young Lions in the 64th minute when he glanced a header into the bottom corner, but the visitors hit back seven minutes later when Rosmin Kamis curled home a delightful freekick.

An mistake from Emmeric Ong then allowed Ivan Jerkovic to double DPMM's lead from close range in the 74th minute, before Sairol Sahari made sure of the victory five minutes from time when his corner sailed straight in after an error in judgment from goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari.

Having picked up just four points from six games since the second round of the campaign started, the Bruneian outfit headed into Thursday's game desperately needing a win to keep alive their fading title hopes.

Young Lions, on the other hand, were looking to bounce back from consecutive defeats against Balestier Khalsa and Gombak United, and it was them who got off to the better start, carving open the visitors' defence as early as the second minute when Sherif El-Masri found space in the box and fired in a half-volley that was tipped wide by Wardun Yussof at full stretch.

DPMM were then unlucky not to take the lead in the 18th minute when Brazilian striker Patrick da Silva outjumped Syazwan and met a Jerkovic freekick with a firm header, only to see his effort come back off the crossbar.

El-Masri, who has been one of Young Lions' best players all season long, then went on another blistering run down the wing in the 22nd minute and left his marker for dead, before floating a ball into the box that eventually made its way to Fazli Ayob. However, the 22-year-old was fooled by the bounce of the ball and could only head over from eight yards out.

Eight minutes later, El-Masri nearly found his way in behind the opposition defence after a slack touch by Sairol outside his own area, but Pg Sallehuddin Damit responded quickest and weighed in with a timely intervention before the Canadian winger could pounce.

Young Lions were then presented with an excellent opportunity to break the deadlock in the 33rd minute when they were awarded an indirect freekick 12 yards from goal after Tales dos Santos was penalised for dangerous play inside the area. However, Wardun was equal to the task and stuck out a strong right hand to keep out a low drive from El-Masri, before Hafiz Abu Sujad's follow-up effort was blocked by Sairol.

But while they had looked the more dangerous of the two sides for much of the opening period, the hosts almost fell behind on the stroke of halftime when Syazwan raced off his line and punched a long ball into an opposition player and back into the danger zone. Thankfully for Young Lions, Shamil Sharif was back covering his goalkeeper and lashed the loose ball away.

While they spent much of the first half on the back foot, DPMM looked the brighter of the two teams after the break and created a good chance in the 55th minute when Rosmin sent Jerkovic racing into the box with an incisive pass, but his ball back across the face of goal was cleared by an alert Sirina Camara.

Three minutes after the hour mark, Basiru Osman was next to threaten the hosts' goal when he danced past a challenge on the edge of the area before firing in a ferocious effort just over, but DPMM's failure to capitalise on their dominance came back to haunt them a minute later, when Kristofferson Lee leapt highest in a crowded box to meet a freekick from Fazli and glance a header into the bottom corner.

Stunned at going behind, the visitors nearly produced an instant replay when Osman went on a blistering run down the right and crossed the ball to Da Silva, who got plenty of pace on his header but directed it straight at Syazwan.

However, there was to be no denying them in the 71st minute when they were awarded a freekick on the edge of the area after Faritz Hameed was penalised for handball. The ever-reliable Rosmin stepped up and drilled an effort into the top corner, beyond the goalkeeper's despairing dive, to level the score.

Three minutes later, DPMM edged ahead after a shocking back-pass from Ong sent Osman racing through, where he proceeded to draw Syazwan out before unselfishly squaring the ball to an unmarked Jerkovic, who made no mistake tapping the ball into the unguarded net.

Despite seeing their lead evaporate in a blink of an eye, Young Lions refused to be disheartened and immediately went out in search of an equaliser of their own. Following a patient build-up, Hafiz Abu Sujad was presented with a shooting chance on the edge of the area in the 82nd minute and had Wardun scrambling with a curling left-footed strike that crept just wide of the post.

Nonetheless, the contest was ended five minutes from time after another individual error from the hosts. Under no apparent pressure, Syazwan left his line to claim a corner from Sairol Sahari but completely missed the ball, allowing it to sail past him and nestle into the back of the net.

Young Lions' then let their frustration get the better of them and were reduced to ten men a minute later when substitute Shahfiq Ghani put in crude tackle from behind on Jerkovic and received his marching orders from referee Sukhbir Singh, compounding a miserable evening for Robin Chitrakar's side.

Courts Young Lions: Syazwan Buhari, Faritz Hameed, Emmeric Ong, Sirina Camara, Hafiz Abu Sujad, Shamil Sharif (Shahfiq Ghani 66'), Zulfahmi Arifin, Fazli Ayob (Faris Ramli 80'), Benjamin Kristofferson Lee, Sherif El-Masri (Sufianto Salleh 85'), Jonathan Toto.

DPMM FC: Wardun Yussof, Pg Sallehuddin Damit, Tales dos Santos, Sairol Sahari, Subhi Abdilah, Rosmin Kamis (Ampuan Nurul Azami 84'), Ivan Jerkovic, Helmi Zambin, Shahrazen Said (Adi Said 82'), Basiru Osman, Patrick da Silva (Najib Tarif 90').

Attendance: 1,389

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