Wasps Secure First Victory Of The Season Against Cheetahs
Written by: Dwayne James
Brunei DPMM picked up their first win in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League with a 2-0 win over Hougang United on Sunday night.
Billy Mehmet and Hendra Azam netted early and late in the opening half to seal all three points for the Brunei side at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.
DPMM had a great start as they grabbed the lead in the ninth minute after Mehmet slotted home a Hendra Azam long ball over the top.
Azwan Ali Rahman tried his luck from 20 yards out five minutes later but his effort floated wide.
Rafael Ramazotti had an opportunity just after the half hour mark after getting at the end of a Maududi Hilmi Kasmi cross but headed wide.
Hougang United should have equalised in the 35th minute after Pablo Aracil connected on Fumiya Kogure’s ball into the box but Brunei DPMM custodian Alizanda Sitom, who became oldest player to ever lace up in the competition at 47 years old, denied him from close range.
Ramazotti rose highest to head Najib Tarif’s cross from the left five minutes later but it went over the bar.
The Wasps doubled their lead in first half injury time after Hendra Azam unleashed a powerful strike from just outside the box to beat Khairulhin Khalid in goal for Hougang.
The hosts could have added another eight minutes after the interval but Azwan Ali’s effort from close range was blocked for a corner.
A good string of passes resulted in Hougang United skipper Azhar Sairudin firing a shot from 12 yards out two minutes later but skyrocketed his attempt.
The visitors saw plenty of the ball and should have pulled one back in the 74th minute but Kogure’s freekick from the edge of the box was denied by the left post.
Kogure came close again in the four minutes from time with his strike from just inside the box but once again watched it bounce off the left post to his dismay.
Brunei DPMM Head Coach Steve Kean: "It is good to get our first three points of the season because in previous games we have played well enough and in my opinion have at least four points on the table but we never. It was vital we got three points tonight.
"What was even more pleasing is that we got a clean sheet. In the manner which we defended. In the last three weeks the emphasis of our training is about defending. it was pleasing to get the three points and the cleansheet is the icing on the cake."
Hougang United Head Coach Philippe Aw: "We knew that Billy (Mehmet) and (Rafael) Ramazotti are good strikers but I thought most of the time we kept them quiet. But we allowed Billy to score in the first 10 minutes and Brunei DPMM scored another at stroke of halftime.
"Timing of the goals crucial. If it was only 1-0 it would have been better. Even at 2-0 I thought we could come back. in the second half the boys gave it their all. We hit the post twice, we has chances but just couldn't find the first goal."
Brunei DPMM: Alizanda Sitom (GK), Reduan Petara, Azwan Saleh, Azwan Ali Rahman (Nur Ikhwan Othman 84’), Hendra Azam, Billy Mehmet, Najib Tarif, Maududi Hilmi Kasmi (Helmi Zambin 59’), Rosmin Kamis (C), Rafael Ramazotti, Zeljko Savic
Hougang United FC: Khairulhin Khalid, Fairoz Hasan (Nazrul Nazari 58’), Ali Hudzaifi, Atsushi Shirota, Azhar Sairudin (C), Pablo Aracil, Fumiya Kogure, Syahiran Miswan (M Anumanthan 45’) , Afiq Noor (Fabian Kwok 73’), Lionel Tan, Zulfahmi Arifin