A wonder goal from Ikhsan Fandi gave Young Lions a 1-1 draw against Brunei DPMM in the Singapore Premier League at Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday.
Young Lions and Brunei DPMM FC had to settle for a 1-1 draw in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) at Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday night.
Ikhsan Fandi opened the scoring with a superb volley in the 66th minute but a late goal by Adi Said salvaged a point for DPMM.
Young Lions were under heavy pressure from the start and were contented to let the visitors see much of the ball as they packed their half and relied on counter-attacks.
Despite dominating possession, DPMM barely had a sniff at goal and relied on shots from distance in an attempt to break down the hosts.
A well-worked move in the sixth minute could have paid off had Shah Razen Said hit the ball venomously, but instead it rolled into the grateful arms of Zharfan Rohaizad.
Azwan Ali came close next in the 23rd minute, as he ran onto Volodymyr Priyomov’s lay-off and had a go from 18 yards out but a sprawling Zharfan was able to deny him.
The Young Lions could have scored against the run of play in the 39th minute, as a rare foray forward saw Ikhsan deliver a good cross into the box but Naufal Azman was just inches away from connecting at point-blank range.
A hopeful volley by Adi then flew over the bar just two minutes before the half concluded, to send both teams into the dressing room on level terms.
In the second half, the Young Lions showed more attacking intent and should have scored right after the restart, but Haiqal Pashia found the wrong side of the post despite having the goal at his mercy after DPMM failed to clear their lines.
They could have paid for that miss in the 50th minute, when Priyomov found himself with the ball at close range and went for goal but Zharfan produced a sublime save to thwart him.
Five minutes after the hour mark, Shah Razen Said failed to make his header count after a good delivery by Azwan to steer the ball towards the near post.
The opener finally arrived in the 66th minute, as Ikhsan caught DPMM napping and stole the ball before unleashing a thunderbolt from distance for his second goal in as many games.
Clearly in confident mood, the forward went for goal again from outside the box in the 75th minute and was unlucky to see his low drive flash past the post.
The last ten minutes saw DPMM piling the pressure on as Zharfan was called upon to pull another good save out of his bag to deny Shah Razen while Azwan Saleh’s shot was deflected just wide.
Their efforts finally paid off in the 87th minute, after Shafie Efenddy was given plenty of space to make his way into the box and he picked out Adi who finished off from close range.
There was still time for a winner though and Irfan Fandi should have done better as the game went into injury time but he failed to get his header on target following Haiqal’s corner.
Both teams will have no time to rest as they have two days to recuperate before playing again. Young Lions face Warriors FC at Jalan Besar Stadium while DPMM face Home United at Bishan Stadium on Saturday, 26 May.
Brunei DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber: “Draw is one point but I am not happy about the result because we could have won this game. We must improve the team, they must be there to face different kind of solutions. I am sad we could win this game, not because the opponents don’t deserve it, they are strong. I have no complaints about my team but we must play more football.”
Young Lions Head Coach Fandi Ahmad: “In the end we could have won in the last five minutes, they worked really hard, but DPMM is a good footballing team. We closed down a lot of their players so I thought they worked very hard. Lots of discipline. Our discipline compactness kept us in the game, Haiqal should have scored the open goal. You can see the difference, the experience of the DPMM team, but our players were very determined to get that result.”
Young Lions: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Aniq Iskandar (Haiqal Pashia 46’), Irfan Fandi, Taufiq Muqminin (C), Adam Hakeem, Joshua Pereira, Syahrul Sazali (Prakash Raj 90’), Hami Syahin, Rusyaidi Salime, Ikhsan Fandi, Naufal Azman (Asshukrie Wahid 85’)
DPMM: Haimie Nyaring (GK), Brian McLean, Azwan Saleh, Azwan Ali ( Abdul Azizi Rahman 70’), Hendra Azam (Shafie Efenddy 77’), Volodymyr Priyomov, Suhaimi Sulau, Helmi Zembin, Adi Said, Abdul Aziz Tamit, Shah Razen Said (C)