Warriors pip DPMM to win ninth S.League title

Warriors FC claimed their ninth S.League title on Friday evening after recording a 1-0 win over Albirex Niigata (S) at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium.

Following a goalless first half, Hafiz Rahim broke the deadlock in the 48th minute when he scored with a close-range header, after Nicolas Velez had nodded Daniel Bennett’s right-wing cross into his path.

However, the Warriors then needed goalkeeper Hassan Sunny to help them claim maximum points, after the Singapore international made two fantastic saves to keep out efforts from Itsuki Yamada and Kazuya Okazaki.

In the end, the victory proved enough to see them finish top of the table by three points after previous leaders DPMM FC fell to a 2-1 defeat to Tampines Rovers at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

After Jozef Kaplan had fired the Stags ahead in the 65th minute, Miljan Mrdakovic netted from close range to double their lead eight minutes later.

Rodrigo Tosi managed to pull one back for DPMM eight minutes from time but it proved to be too little too late, as they were pipped to the title by Warriors in dramatic fashion.

In Friday’s other game, Home United sealed a fourth-place finish after beating Balestier Khalsa 1-0 at the Toa Payoh Stadium; Bruno Castaneira scoring the only goal of the contest in the 87th minute.

Friday’s S.League Results

Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Home United

Tampines Rovers 2-1 DPMM FC

Warriors FC 1-0 Albirex Niigata (S)

Pelita edge Persib to book spot in Super League semi-finals

Pelita Bandung Raya recorded a 2-1 win over Persib Bandung on Thursday to seal a second-place finish in Group B and a place in the semi-finals of the Indonesia Super League.

Following a goalless first half at the Si Jalak Harupat Stadium, Pelita took the lead in the 52nd minute when Kim Kurniawan smashed home on the rebound, after Achmad Jufriyanto’s miscued headed clearance towards his own goal had come back off the bar.

With ten minutes remaining, the hosts doubled their lead after Wawan Febrianto lined up a freekick on the edge of the box and curled a sublime left-footed effort into the top corner.

Persib did pull one back two minutes later when Tantan met Supardi Nasir’s corner with a deft header that took a deflection off Bambang Pamungkas, before making its way past Deniss Romanovs at the near post.

However, Pelita managed to hold out for the win to finish inside the top two of their group, and join their opponents in the last four.

Pelita will now meet defending champions Persipura Jayapura in the semi-finals, while Persib take on Arema Cronus.

The result also meant both Mitra Kukar and Persebaya Surabaya were eliminated after the two sides played out a 3-3 draw at the Aji Imbut Stadium.

Raphael Maitimo fired the hosts in front after seven minutes when he sent Yandri Pitoy the wrong way from the penalty spot, but Isaac Pupo equalised in the 14th minute when he was left in space on the edge of the box and blasted an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

Mitra reclaimed their lead five minutes later as Herman Dzumafo Epandi was left with a simple tap-in, after Yandri was unable to hold on to a shot and parried the ball straight to him.

Yet, the Green Crocodiles responded once more in the 32nd minute when Emmanuel Kenmogne’s initial shot was deflected into the path of Pupo, who made no mistake in stabbing home his second of the afternoon from close range.

Persebaya then hit the front for the first time eight minutes before halftime after Kenmogne beat the offside trap and clinically sent a first-time shot past the onrushing Dian Agus Prasetyo.

But seven minutes into the second half, Zulham Zamrun was picked out unmarked inside the box by Danan Puspito’s left-wing cross and smashed his shot into the back of the net to equalise and earn his side a share of the spoils, which ultimately did little good to either side’s bid to make the last four.

Thursday’s Indonesia Super League Results

Group B

Mitra Kukar 3-3 Persebaya Surabaya

Pelita Bandung Raya 2-1 Persib Bandung

Woodlands consign Harimau Muda to bottom spot

Harimau Muda finished the 2014 S.League season bottom of the table after being beaten 3-2 by Woodlands Wellington in their final game on Thursday evening.

Razip Ismail’s charges initially got off to a bright start at the Woodlands Stadium as they took the lead after just four minutes; Nurshamil Abdul Ghani winning possession off Shahril Alias before finishing past Ahmadulhaq Che Omar.

However, Woodlands hit back four minutes after the half-hour mark through Moon Soon-ho, who raced onto Fadhil Noh’s through pass before slotting into the back of the net.

The visitors were then dealt a huge blow eight minutes into the second half when they were reduced to ten men, after Afiq Fazail was shown a straight red by referee Ahmad A’Qashah.

And it took the Rams just five minutes to make the most of their numerical advantage as Fadhil got a goal of his own; beating Ramdhan Hamid in a one-on-one situation after the Malaysian goalkeeper had failed to clear his lines.

The contest was then effectively ended in the 66th minute as the hosts added a third when Milos Jevtic met Goh Swee Swee’s freekick with a powerful header into the bottom corner.

Nonetheless, Harimau Muda did grab a late consolation in injury-time when Akhir Bahari scored with a diving header, although it was not enough to save his side from finishing bottom of the table.

Woodlands, on the other hand, will have to settle for an 11th-place finish, although they can be satisfied in ending their campaign on a positive note, especially considering Thursday’s result was their first win in ten matches.

Woodlands Wellington: Ahmadulhaq Che Omar, Armanizam Dolah, Shahril Alias, Milos Jevtic, Fadhil Noh (Chang Jo-yoon 60’), Atsushi Shimono, Taufiq Ghani (Oswind Suriya 71’), Farouq Farkhan (Andy Ahmad 38’), Stefan Milojevic, Moon Soon-ho, Goh Swee Swee.

Harimau Muda: Ramdhan Hamid, Ashmawi Yakin, Annas Rahmat, Syawal Nordin, Azrul Nizam Muhammad, Faris Shah Rosli, Irfan Zakaria (Akmal Chin 85’), Afiq Fazail, Shahrul Igwan Samsudin, Syazwan Zaipol Bahari (Asri Mardzuki 73’), Nurshamil Abdul Ghani (Akhir Bahari 69’).

Buriram win to wrest Premier League lead from Chonburi

Buriram United moved back on top of the Thai Premier League on Wednesday evening after recording a 2-0 win over TOT at the TOT Stadium Chaeng Watthana.

The Thunder Castle got off to a dream start when Javier Patino fired them in front after nine minutes, before the hosts were dealt a real blow when Noppol Pol-udom was sent off in the 66th minute for a second bookable offence.

Just seven minutes later, Carmelo Gonzalez added a second for the visitors to help them wrap up the three points.

The result was enough to send Buriram top of the table by a point, after title challengers Chonburi were held to a 1-1 draw by Chainat.

Following a goalless first half at the Chainat Stadium, it looked as though the Sharks were headed for victory after Nurul Sriyankem put them ahead three minutes after the hour mark.

But in the 71st minute, Jitpanya Tisut popped up with the equaliser to earn the hosts a share of the spoils.

Meanwhile, Muangthong United remained on track for a top-three finish after claiming a 2-0 triumph over Osotspa Saraburi at the M-150 Saraburi Stadium.

Milan Bubalo opened the scoring for the Twin Qilins a minute before halftime, before Sarach Yooyen scored in the 57th minute to seal the win.

Fourth-placed BEC Tero Sasana can still overtake Muangthong in the weekend’s final round of matches due to their superior head-to-head record, after they remained three points behind with a 2-1 triumph over PTT Rayong at the 72-years Anniversary Stadium.

After Radomir Dalovic had broken the deadlock in the sixth minute, Sho Shimoji struck 11 minutes later to put the Fire Dragons firmly in control of proceedings.

PTT pulled one back with seven minutes remaining through a Yves Desmarets strike but it proved to be too little too late, as BEC Tero held out for maximum points.

The result also sealed the Oil Millionaires’ relegation to the Division 1 League as they can no longer finish higher than 16th spot.

Police United continued their amazing climb to safety after making it three wins in a row by defeating Suphanburi 3-1 at the Thammasat Stadium.

After Adnan Barakat had fired them ahead from the spot just before halftime, the Silver Shields made it 2-0 when Pokkhao Anan found the back of the net in the 58th minute.

The contest was effectively over seven minutes from time when Surachart Sareepim added a third for the hosts, although Suphanburi did grab an injury-time consolation through a Krissadee Prakobkong own-goal.

Over at the Leo Stadium, Predrag Sikimic netted a 90th-minute winner to help Singhtarua beat Bangkok Glass 3-2, while Mike Temwanjera’s brace and a Romain Gasmi strike handed Bangkok United a 3-0 triumph over Air Force Central at the Thai-Japanese Stadium.

Sisaket secured their top-flight status for another season after defeating Army United 4-2 at the Sri Nakhon Lamduan Stadium, and there were also plenty of goals at the Dragons Arena as Ratchaburi played out a 2-2 draw with Chiangrai United.

Finally, bottom side Samut Songkhram gave their fans something to cheer about at the Tinsulanon Stadium after goals from Sakdarin Mingsamorn and Guy Hubert handed them a 2-1 win over Songkhla United, who netted a late consolation through Pichit Ketsro in the second minute of injury-time.

Wednesday’s Thai Premier League Results

Bangkok Glass 2-3 Singhtarua

Bangkok United 3-0 Air Force Central

BEC Tero Sasana 2-1 PTT Rayong

Chainat 1-1 Chonburi

Osotspa Saraburi 0-2 Muangthong United

Police United 3-1 Suphanburi

Ratchaburi 2-2 Chiangrai United

Sisaket 4-2 Army United

Songkhla United 1-2 Samut Songkhram

TOT 0-2 Buriram United

Persipura finish top; Arema set up semi clash with Persib

Persipura Jayapura booked their spot in the semi-finals of the Indonesia Super League after finishing top of Group A with a 4-1 win over Persela Lamongan.

It took the Black Pearls just seven minutes to break the deadlock at the Surajaya Stadium through Boaz Solossa’s opener, but Addison fired Persela level in the 35th minute.

However, Ian Kabes found the back of the net five minutes later to restore the visitors’ advantage, and he scored again eight minutes into the second half to help his side surge further ahead.

From then on, there was never really any doubt over the result and Persipura went on to wrap up the win in the 90th minute when Robertino Pugliara added a fourth.

The victory was enough to seal top spot for Jacksen F. Tiago’s charges and seal their progress to the last four, where they will meet either the second-placed side in Group B.

Meanwhile, Arema Cronus also booked their berth in the semis after a 2-2 draw with Semen Padang at the Hagi Agus Salim Stadium helped them finish second in Group A.

Although Beto had fired Arema ahead after eight minutes, Kabau Sirah equalised through a Nur Iskandar strike in the 51st minute.

The visitors then reclaimed the advantage four minutes after the hour mark when Cristian Gonzales notched his 15th goal of the campaign, but Semen Padang again responded as Airlangga Sutjipto fired them level in the 85th minute.

Nonetheless, they were just unable to find the winner in the remainder of the contest, allowing Arema to claim the point they needed to progress to the final four.

Standing in between Singo Edan and a place in the final are Persib Bandung, who have already wrapped up top spot in Group B with one game left to go.

Wednesday’s Indonesia Super League Results

Group A

Persela Lamongan 1-4 Persipura Jayapura

Semen Padang 2-2 Arema Cronus

Hougang beat Tanjong Pagar to finish off season on a high

Hougang United finished off their 2014 S.League campaign with two straight victories after recording a 4-2 win over Tanjong Pagar United on Wednesday evening.

It took the Cheetahs just eight minutes to break the deadlock at the Hougang Stadium when Geison Moura raced through after beating the offside trap, before sending an emphatic finish past Aurelien Herisson.

A minute before the break, they made it 2-0 after Firman Hanif found the far corner with a cool finish, after breaking free inside the box and skipping inside Nor Azli Yusoff’s challenge.

Tanjong Pagar did manage to pull one back six minutes into the second half when they were awarded a penalty after Firdaus Idros was bundled over inside the box by Basil Chan; Kamel Ramdani stepping up and finding the back of the net from 12 yards.

However, the hosts always remained in control of proceedings and reclaimed their two-goal cushion in the 73rd minute when Igor Ferreira climbed highest to head home Shunsuke Nakatake’s corner.

The contest was then effectively ended five minutes later after Fairoz Hasan broke on the counter before picking out Nakatake, who created space for himself with a brilliant turn before sending Moura through with a visionary pass.

Despite an impending challenge from Herisson, the Brazilian kept his cool to push the ball past the opposition goalkeeper and fired into the unguarde goal for his side’s fourth.

To their credit, the Jaguars refused to give in and grabbed another consolation effort with three minutes remaining when Asraf Rashid was left unmarked inside the six-yard box to convert Firdaus’ low cross.

Despite the disappointment of missing out on a place in the top half, Hougang’s seventh-place finish is still their joint-best performance in the S.League, while Tanjong Pagar will have to settle for ninth spot.

Hougang United: Basil Chan, Faizal Amir (Benedict Chua 84’), Igor Ferreira, Igor Cerina, Lau Meng Meng, Syaqir Sulaiman, Firman Hanif, Fairoz Hasan (Hydhir Ramlan 88’), Shunsuke Nakatake, Geison Moura, Wahyudi Wahid.

Tanjong Pagar United: Aurelien Herisson, Ahmad Latiff, Hanafi Salleh, Hafiz Osman, Nor Azli Yusoff, Sazali Salleh, Kamel Ramdani, Firdaus Idros, Sebastien Etiemble, Asraf Rashid, Monsef Zerka.

DPMM reclaim top spot in S.League with Albirex triumph

DPMM FC moved back on top of the S.League with one round remaining after recording a hard-fought 1-0 win over Albirex Niigata (S) on Tuesday evening.

In a keenly-contested clash at the Jurong East Stadium, it was the Bruneians who enjoyed the dominant share of possession in the opening 45 but were just unable to carve out any real openings.

They did put the ball in the back of the net midway through the half when Rodrigo Tosi glanced home a corner at the near post, only for the strike to be chalked off after the Brazilian was adjudged to have shoved Kazuki Sakamoto in the process of winning the header.

Albirex had an excellent opportunity to take the lead shortly before the break when Itsuki Yamada created space for himself inside the area after skipping past Joe Gamble, but his fierce drive drew a smart save from Azman Ilham.

Nonetheless, the breakthrough did ultimately arrived a minute after the hour mark when Roy O’Donovan brought down Azwan Saleh’s long ball before chipping an inch-perfect cross onto the head of Adi Said, who made no mistake in nodding the ball past Kenjiro Ogino into the bottom corner.

The goal did spark the hosts into action but despite the best efforts of Sakamoto, Keisuke Ota and centre-back Norihiro Kawakami, who was thrown up forward in the closing stages of the game, they were just unable to find the equaliser.

However, there was still more drama to come in injury-time when O’Donovan, having been booked for not moving back to full ten yards at an opposition freekick, was shown a straight red seconds later after appearing to have mouthed off at referee Sukhbir Singh.

Although his dismissal did little to impact the result, he will now miss Friday’s decisive season-ending clash against Tampines Rovers.

Victory over the Stags at the Jalan Besar Stadium would be enough to guarantee Steve Kean’s charges their first-ever S.League crown, although they only have to match the result second-placed Warriors FC get against Albirex due to their vastly-superior goal difference.

Albirex Niigata (S): Kenjiro Ogino, Soichiro Tanaka, Kento Fujihara, Norihiro Kawakami (Hiroki Morisaki 90’), Itsuki Yamada, Shuhei Hotta, Koki Akasaka (Kazuya Okazaki 58’), Keisuke Ota (Kazuya Fukuzaki 82’), Kento Nagasaki, Kosuke Matsuda, Kazuki Sakamoto.

DPMM FC: Azman Ilham, Awangku Fakharrazi, Abdul Aziz Tamit, Boris Raspudic, Azwan Saleh, Joe Gamble, Roberto Alviz, Azwan Ali, Rodrigo Tosi, Roy O’Donovan, Adi Said (Shahrazen Said 88’).