Brunei DPMM win Singapore Premier League after Hougang draw

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Brunei DPMM have won the 2019 Singapore Premier League without kicking a ball after second-placed Hougang United could only manage a 4-4 draw at Geylang International on Sunday.

After seeing DPMM beat Warriors 3-0 on Saturday to maintain their charge towards the title, Hougang – the only other team still in the running – knew they needed a win at Our Tampines Hub to stand any chance of pipping the Bruneian outfit.

But the Cheetahs only have themselves to blame after some awful defending and suicidal errors saw them fall 3-0 down inside the opening 28 minutes, with Fareez Farhan the main beneficiary as he racked up a hat-trick.

Goals from Shahfiq Ghani and Faris Ramli either side of the break reduced the deficit, although Shawal Anuar struck in the 70th minute to make it 4-1 to Geylang.

To their credit, the visitors reduced to give in and Shahfiq and Faris were both on target again in the last 15 minutes to force the draw, although the point was not enough to keep the title race alive.

Instead, with two games still remaining, DPMM will now be celebrating a second SPL title – and their first since 2015 – in Bandar Seri Begawan, having been undoubtedly the competition’s dominant force throughout the campaign.

Elsewhere on Sunday, outgoing champions Albirex Niigata (S) defeated Young Lions 4-1 in a game which saw Ilhan Fandi – son of the legendary Fandi Ahmad – net his first professional goal at the age of 16 years and 331 days, which makes him the joint-fourth youngest scorer alongside Fareez in SPL history.

Photo credit: Singapore Premier League