Wasps Victorious In Five-Goal Thriller
Written by: Dwyane James
Warriors FC’s chances of a top-four finish in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League took a hit after Brunei DPMM came back from a goal down to win 3-2 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Bandar Seri Begawan on Saturday night.
The result, coupled with Geylang International FC’s 4-0 victory over the Garena Young Lions on the same day, saw the Warriors slipping down to fifth spot on 30 points with the Eagles three points ahead.
On the other hand, it was the fourth victory of the season for DPMM and they are now within two points of seventh-placed Balestier Khalsa with a game in hand.
Azwan Ali Rahman netted a brace, his first goals of the competition this season, while Rafael Ramazotti scored the other for the Wasps.
For the Warriors, Jordan Webb and Shahril Ishak found the back of the net in the defeat.
The hosts were on target as early as the third minute after Azwan Ali met Helmi Zambin’s low cross from the right but the shot was saved by Warriors custodian Hyrulnizam Juma’at.
At the other end three minutes later, Shahril had his shot from close range blocked by a DPMM defender.
Azwan Ali sent a ball to the far post but the angle was too difficult for Ramazotti to volley on target in the 20th minute.
The Warriors duly grabbed the lead four minutes later after a piece of brilliance by Jordan Webb.
He took the ball onto his right foot from just inside the box before curling it into the top right corner past the outstretched arm of DPMM goalkeper Awangku Mu’izzuddin.
Ramazotti was a handful and headed wide twice in a span of two minutes after the half hour mark.
The Brazilian then threaded a delightful through pass to send Azwan Ali on goal to fire past Hyrulnizam for the equaliser in the 36th minute.
DPMM went on the counterattack four minutes later and Azwan Ali cutback for Hendra Azam from just inside the area but Webb was there to block the shot.
The hosts almost got in front just before the halftime whistle but Hendra Azam’s freekick from 25 yards out was tipped over by Hyrulnizam.
DPMM took the lead three minutes into the second half with Adi Said sending a short pass into the box for Ramazotti to fire home with his right foot.
At the other end, Andrei-Cosmin Ciolacu headed inches wide off a Hafiz Nor cross from the right in the 56th minute.
The hosts went on the attack moments later but Hyrulnizam once again came to the rescue of the Warriors having to parry Azwan Ali’s effort.
Hyrulnizam denied Adi Said at the far post in the 64th minute but the Warriors failed to clear the ensuing corner kick allowing Azwan Ali to nod home his second of the match to make it 3-1.
The Warriors were given a lifeline after Shahril scored off a superb freekick from 25 yards out in the 81st minute.
DPMM could have restored their two-goal cushion two minutes later but Vincent Salas’ header floated wide.
The Warriors almost stole a point from the encounter at the death with Baihakki Khaizan heading just wide to the relief of the DPMM fans.
Brunei DPMM FC coach Steve Kean: “The result looks as though it is close but apart from when they almost scored at the end, I was never really worried that we will lose the points because we controlled possession and had more chances.
“They had two shots on target and got two goals which is disappointing. The good thing is that we showed our determination and will to win from 1-0 down.”
Warriors FC coach Razif Onn: “We didn’t have any clear chances except for the last one when Baihakki headed the ball near the end. We had attacking options but we didn’t have the finishing. We are now three points behind and have three difficult matches to go.
“There are no excuses to lose any more points. It will be good to win but we have difficult fixtures ahead.”
Brunei DPMM: Awangku Mu'izzuddin (GK), Hazwan Hamzah, Yura Indera Putera (Najib Tarif 90’), Rosmin Kamis (C), Vincent Salas, Helmi Zambin, Azwan Saleh, Hendra Azam, Azwan Ali (Abdul Mu’iz Sisa 85’), Rafael Ramazotti, Adi Said (Haizul Rani 80’) Warriors FC:
Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Emmeric Ong, Baihakki Khaizan, Kento Fukuda, Zulfadli Zainal, Jordan Webb, Firdaus Kasman, Shahril Ishak (C), Fazli Jaffar (Poh Yi Feng 73’), Hafiz Nor, Andrei-Cosmin Ciolacu (Ridhuan Muhammad 57’)