DPMM FC were handed their first defeat of the S.League season after falling to a shock 2-1 loss to Balestier Khalsa at the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Friday evening.
The visitors broke the deadlock when Miroslav Kristic scored from the penalty spot, although there was no shortage of controversy as he was ordered to retake his kick after his initial effort had been saved by Wardun Yussof.
And it then looked as though Balestier were cruising to victory when Robert Pericic made it 2-0 two minutes after halftime.
Rafael Ramazotti did manage to pull one back in the 72nd minute when he notched his ninth goal of the campaign although DPMM were just unable to find an equaliser, allowing the Tigers to hold out for an impressive win.
In Friday’s other game, Albirex Niigata (S) tentatively moved top of the table after recording a 2-1 win over Hougang United at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
The White Swans opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Shotaro Ihata found space on the edge of the box and floated a cross to Rui Kumada, who got enough on his header to steer it past Ridhuan Barudin despite the goalkeeper getting a touch onto it.
But three minutes after the half-hour mark, Hougang equalised after Kunihiro Yamashita broke free inside the box to meet Shunsuke Nakatake’s pinpoint corner and made no mistake in powering a header into the back of the net.
Nonetheless, it was Albirex who went on to claim maximum points in the end as they grabbed the winner in the 52nd minute; Hikaru Mizuno pouncing on a loose ball and clinically finding the bottom corner with a cool finish to extend his side’s unbeaten run to seven games.
The result allowed the White Swans to move one point clear at the league summit ahead of second-placed Warriors FC’s game against Geylang International on Saturday, while struggling Hougang are still looking for their first win in 2015 after nine games.
Friday’s S.League Results
Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 Hougang United
DPMM FC 1-2 Balestier Khalsa