Late Jamil goal spoils DPMM return party
Bruneian outfit DPMM FC started their 2012 Great Eastern-YEO’S S.League campaign with a 2-2 draw against defending champions Tampines Rovers in front of 8,672 fans at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Sunday evening.
Both teams marched onto the pitch with the intention to cap their start to the new S.League campaign with a win.
They showed the desire from the get-go with end-to-end goalmouth action, and it was hosts DPMM who broke the deadlock on 38 minutes through young Ghanaian Basiru Osman, who scored with a header.
Despite trying their best, Tampines were unable to break down the Bruneians’ defence in the first half.
Things went better early on in the second half, when they equalised through a thunderous Fahrudin Mustafic free kick from 25 yards out after just three minutes of play.
DPMM surged forward in search of the winning goal, and they had something to cheer for on 69 minutes when former SAFFC midfielder Ivan Jerkovic caught Tampines custodian Sasa Dreven off guard with his well-taken shot from outside the penalty box.
But just as the match was nearing an end that would have given the Wasps all three points, Stags No.17 Jamil Ali latched on to a rebound off DPMM’s goalkeeper Wardun Yussof in the final minute of play to cleverly flick the ball into an empty net
That ensured his team headed back to Singapore with a point in the bag.
Despite seeing victory snatched away from him, DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic claimed he was a happy man.
“I am happy with the one point gained today, and I feel that it was a deserving game for both teams,” he said.
“I will now have to see the injuries we sustained tonight and prepare for the next match. I am looking forward to the next match against SAFFC; after missing out on football for three years, we are glad to be back in the S.League.”
Tampines coach Steven Tan was meanwhile heartened by the good turnout at the game, even as he praised his players’ work after a nervous start.
“It was a good game, and I believe that my players showed the character needed to match the opponents,” remarked the 41-year-old.
“They were overawed by the crowd in the first half, but they got their nerves under control and came back well in the match.
“Tonight’s attendance is a good advertisement for football, and I hope we can follow it up back in Singapore.”