DPMM stunned by Balestier; Albirex move top of S.League

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

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DPMM down S.League leaders Warriors to stay unbeaten

DPMM FC remain unbeaten in the 2015 S.League season after recording a 3-1 win over leaders Warriors FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.

The Bruneian outfit took the lead after seven minutes when Rafael Ramazotti towered above a sea of players to meet Azwan Ali’s right-wing freekick, before powering a header past Daniel Ong from eight yards out.

Just four minutes later, DPMM doubled their lead after Azwan intercepted a stray pass from Kevin McCann and slipped a lovely pass through to Ramazotti, who made no mistake in lifting his shot past the onrushing Ong.

Warriors did manage to reduce the deficit three minutes before the hour mark through a Nicolas Velez strike; the Argentine finding space just inside the box following a short corner routine before curling a lovely shot into the far corner.

Both sides were then reduced to ten men in the 71st minute when Velez and DPMM midfielder Joe Gamble were sent off for an off-the-ball altercation, after players from both sides had clashed following a poor challenge by McCann on Paulo Sergio.

From then on, it was always going to be tough for the hosts in their bid for an equaliser, and it was their opponents who looked the likelier to add to their tally as gaps began to appear in the Warriors backline.

And in injury-time, DPMM went on to seal the win when they were Sergio confidently sent Ong the wrong way from the penalty spot, after the Portuguese had been brought down by Ong inside the area.

Despite the result, the Warriors remain top of the table but are now only two points ahead of Albirex Niigata (S) and third-placed DPMM, who still have two games in hand.

Warriors FC: Daniel Ong, Nur Asyidiq (Fazli Jaffar 90’), Daniel Bennett, Marin Vidosevic, Irwan Shah, Thomas Beattie (Hafiz Rahim 46’), Emmeric Ong (Shi Jiayi 67’), Kevin McCann, Nicolas Velez, Miroslav Pejic, Fazrul Nawaz.

DPMM FC: Wardun Yussof, Aminuddin Zakwan, Boris Raspudic, Brian McLean, Sairol Sahari, Helmi Zambin (Ak Yura Indera Putera 62’), Joe Gamble, Hendra Azam (Rosmin Kamis 80’), Azwan Ali, Paulo Sergio, Rafael Ramazotti.

Spirited Harimau Muda fight back for Hougang draw

Ten-man Harimau Muda produced a determined display on Thursday to come from behind twice and force a 3-3 draw against Hougang United in the S.League.

It was the Cheetahs who got off to a dream start at the Hougang Stadium as they took the lead after nine minutes, when Nurhilmi Jasni climbed high to meet Shunsuke Nakatake’s corner and firmly nodded the ball past Ramdhan Hamid.

Eight minutes later, it was 2-0 when the hosts made the most of another set-piece situation; Kunihiro Yamashita meeting another excellent delivery by Nakatake and sending a powerful header into the back of the net.

Things got from bad to worse for Harimau Muda in the 22nd minute when they were reduced to ten men, after Ramdhan Hamid was shown a straight red for handling the ball outside the box.

But on the stroke of halftime, they were handed a lifeline when referee Nathan Chan awarded them a penalty after Faiz Salleh was penalised for handball inside the area, paving the way for Amirul Hisyam to fire home from 12 yards and pull one back for his side.

Still, Hougang continued to remain in control of proceedings and they reclaimed their two-goal cushion in the 69th minute with a brilliant team goal.

Receiving possession down the left, Manato Takahashi left his opponent for dead before crossing to Chupe, who unselfishly laid a first-time pass back to the edge of the area for Fairoz Hasan to blast past Ilham Amirullah.

Nonetheless, the visitors were awarded another spot-kick ten minutes later when a poor back-header by Lau Meng Meng forced Basil Chan to come off his line, and the goalkeeper was only able to hack down Syazwan Andik in a 50-50 challenge.

This time, it was Shahrul Igwan Samsudin who stepped up to the spot but he too showed no signs of nerves as he clinically found the bottom corner to reduce the deficit.

And four minutes from time, the remarkable comeback was completed when Amirul lined up a freekick down the right and curled a dangerous cross inside the area, where Adam Nor Azlin proceeded to tower above a sea of players and send an unstoppable header into the bottom corner to force the draw.

Despite failing to extend their winning streak, the result means Harimau Muda are now unbeaten in their last four matches and they are only behind fourth-placed Balestier Khalsa on goal difference.

Meanwhile, the Cheetahs’ woes continue as they remain winless after eight matches and are only above bottom side Courts Young Lions in the table, and already the pressure is mounting on coach Salim Moin.

Hougang United: Basil Chan, Lau Meng Meng, Kenneth Chang, Kunihiro Yamashita, Faiz Salleh, Renshi Yamaguchi, Shunsuke Nakatake, Nurhilmi Jasni, Muhaymin Salim (Fairoz Hasan 62’), Manato Takahasi, Chupe (Fareez Farhan 80’).

Harimau Muda: Ramdhan Hamid, Amirul Ikmal (Ilham Amirullah 24’), Annas Rahmat, Wan Ahmad Amirzafran, Nazirul Naim, D. Kenny Pallraj, Amirul Hisyam, Shahrul Igwam Samsudin (Syawal Nordin 90’), Adam Nor Azlin, Ridzuan Abdunloh (Syazwan Andik 71’), Syafwan Syahlan.

LIONSXII, Pahang book last-four berths in Malaysia FA Cup

LIONSXII are through to the semi-finals of the Malaysia FA Cup after beating Johor Darul Ta’zim II 2-0 on Wednesday to claim a 4-0 aggregate win in their quarter-final tie.

The Singaporean outfit took the lead at the Pasir Gudang Corporation Stadium after 18 minutes when Khairul Nizam was left in acres of space inside the area, and met Khairul Amri’s freekick with a glancing header into the back of the net.

Four minutes after the hour mark, the visitors went on to seal their progress by putting the result beyond doubt; Faris Ramli leading a counterattack before playing a visionary through-ball to find the run of Nazrul Nazari, who advanced on goal before coolly finishing past Afiff Aizad Azman.

Wednesday’s other quarter-final tie saw Pahang book their place in the last four with a 4-2 aggregate triumph over Penang, after both sides had played out a 2-2 draw at the Bandaraya Stadium.

Heading into the tie leading 2-0 from the first leg, Pahang further extended their lead when Dickson Nwakaeme opened the scoring in the sixth minute, before the contest was effectively ended when the Nigerian struck again just five minutes later.

The visitors did however manage to reduce the deficit in the 77th minute through a strike from Hilton Moreira, who popped up once more with three minutes to remaining to level the scores on the night.

Nonetheless, the Brazilian’s efforts did little more than add some respectability to the scoreline as Tok Gajah went on to deservingly move one step closer to the FA Cup final.

The semi-final line-up will now see Kelantan take on Pahang while LIONSXII will meet Terengganu, with the first legs and second legs set to take place on May 8 and 9 and May 15 and 16 respectively.

Wednesday’s Malaysia FA Cup Quarter-final Second Leg Results

Johor Darul Ta’zim II 0-2 LIONSXII (0-4 on aggregate)

Penang 2-2 Pahang (2-4 on aggregate)

Tampines denied late on by Balestier; Albirex held by Home

Tampines Rovers went a third game without victory in the S.League on Wednesday after being held to a 1-1 draw by Balestier Khalsa at the Toa Payoh Stadium.

The Stags were initially on course for victory after taking the lead three minutes before the half-hour mark, when Rodrigo Tosi climbed highest inside the box to head home a Roberto Alviz freekick.

But with two minutes remaining, Balestier were awarded a penalty after Zulfadli Zainal Abidin was penalised for handball inside the area, paving the way for Miroslav Kristic to fire home the equaliser from 12 yards out.

The result means did however end the Stags’ two-game losing streak following consecutive 3-2 defeats to Geylang International and Warriors FC, although they remain sixth on the table and are eight points behind leaders Warriors FC.

Over at the Yishun Stadium, Albirex Niigata (S) saw their five-game winning run finally come to an end as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Home United.

In an evenly-contested clash, it was the White Swans who arguably came closest to grabbing the win but Kento Nagasaki and Fumiya Kogure both had goal-bound efforts expertly kept out by Hyrulnizam Juma’at, while Rion Taki was unlucky to drill a low shot off the foot of the post in the second half.

Home also threatened with Ang Zhiwei coming close inside the opening 20 minutes when he caught Yosuke Nozawa out of position with a clever lob, only for Kento Fujihara to race back in time to head off the line.

In the end, both teams just lacked a cutting edge in the final third and ultimately had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Wednesday’s S.League Results

Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Tampines Rovers

Home United 0-0 Albirex Niigata (S)

Warriors fight back to go top; three straight wins for Harimau

Warriors FC moved top of the S.League on Monday after coming from behind to record a 2-1 win over Courts Young Lions at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

It was Young Lions who drew first blood in the 23rd minute after Adam Swandi dispossessed Daniel Bennett and made his way into the area, before clinically slotting his shot into the far corner.

But in the 71st minute, the visitors equalised after Miroslav Pejic found space at the far post to head home a Marin Vidosevic cross for his first goal of the campaign.

And just five minutes later, the comeback was completed when Pejic cleverly brought down Nicolas Velez’s left-wing delivery on his chest before finishing past Syazwan Buhari to win it for his side.

The result was enough to send Warriors top of the table with a three-point lead over Albirex Niigata (S), although third-placed DPMM FC still have two games in hand and could eventually move to the summit.

Meanwhile, Harimau Muda continued their recent resurgence as they recorded a third straight win after beating Geylang International 2-1 at the Hang Jebat Stadium.

Ridzuan Abdunloh fired the Young Tigers in front after just nine minutes when he converted from the penalty spot, after Yuki Ichikawa had needlessly dragged Syafwan Syahlan down inside the area.

Four minutes later, it was 2-0 with Ichikawa the main culprit once more – sending a clearance straight to Akhir Bahari, who immediately spotted Yazid Yasin off his line and proceeded to send a perfectly-weighted lob into the unguarded net.

The visitors were able to reduce the deficit on the stroke of halftime when Jozef Kaplan lined up a freekick on the edge of the box, and sent a scorching effort past Ramdhan Hamid into the top corner.

Nonetheless, Geylang never really looked like threatening their opponents as they lacked any real endeavour and guile, allowing Harimau Muda to hold out for a well-deserved triumph.

Monday’s S.League Results

Courts Young Lions 1-2 Warriors FC

Harimau Muda 2-1 Geylang International

Selangor rout LIONSXII to stay top; JDT down Kelantan

Selangor remained top of the Malaysia Super League on Saturday evening after cruising to a 4-0 win over LIONSXII at the Shah Alam Stadium.

It took the Red Giants just seven minutes to break the deadlock, when LIONSXII’s failure to clear their lines from a freekick allowed Afiq Azmi to pounce on a loose ball and lash home from a couple of yards out.

Just four minutes later, the striker doubled his and his side’s tally when he nicked possession off Zulfahmi Arifin inside the opposition’s six-yard box before slotting past Izwan Mahbud from a tight angle.

In what turned out to be a blistering start, the hosts then firmly took control of proceedings in the 15th minute when Guilherme burst past Nazrul Nazari before squaring a pass to Afiq, who emphatically placed a shot into the top corner to complete his hat-trick.

And with 11 minutes remaining, Selangor went on to complete the rout when they hit their opponents on the counter; Guilherme being allowed to advance into the box and find the bottom corner with a left-footed strike.

FELDA United remain second and behind Selangor only on goal difference after recording an emphatic 3-1 triumph over Terengganu at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium.

Ahmad Syamim Yahya fired FELDA ahead after 19 minutes when he reacted quickest after Sharbinee Allawee Ramli had parried a header back into the danger zone, and smashed home on the rebound.

However, Terengganu equalised three minutes after the hour mark when Paulo Rangel made a darting run into the box to meet Norshahrul Idlan Talaha’s lovely cross with a bullet header past Farizal Harun.

But the visitors were able to reclaim the lead in the 79th minute after Edward Junior Wilson forced his way down the left before floating the ball to the back post, where Ndumba Makeche had ghosted in to score with a simple finish.

Four minutes later, FELDA made sure of the win as Wilson turned provider again, playing an audacious back-heel into the path of Zah Rahan Krangar, who calmly finished past Sharbinee for his side’s third.

Over at the Larkin Stadium, Johor Darul Ta’zim got back to winning ways after coming from behind to beat Kelantan 3-1.

It was Kelantan who drew first blood in the tenth minute, after Austin Amutu did brilliantly to latch on Gilmar’s layoff and burst in between two defenders before firing past the onrushing Izham Tarmizi.

It could easily have been 2-0 a minute later when Gilmar found the back of the net with a simple finish after the ball hard broken to him inside the area, but the goal was ruled out for offside even though replays suggested otherwise.

The hosts made the most of that reprieve when they pulled level in the 18th minute, as Amri Yahyah skipped past his man down the right and swung a dangerous cross into the box, where it was met by Hariss Harun with a thumping header into the back of the net.

Five minutes later, Harimau Selatan edged ahead when Alhaji Kamara escaped his marker’s clutches on the edge of the area before clinically finding the bottom corner with a low shot.

And three minutes before halftime, JDT went on to complete to comeback after adding a third; Amri playing a neat one-two with Kamara outside the area and rifling a left-footed effort past Khairul Fahmi’s despairing dive.

Meanwhile, PDRM also managed to get back on track following defeat last weekend as they cruised to a 4-1 rout of bottom side Sime Darby at the Majlis Perbandaran Selayang Stadium.

Ali Ashfaq opened the scoring for the Cops in the 36th minute when he broke free inside the box and managed to force the ball past opposition keeper Suffian Abdul Rahman, before slotting into the unguarded goal.

Three minutes into the second half, the Maldives international repeated the feat as he managed to nip in ahead of Suffian after a freekick had been deflected into his path and fire home emphatically.

PDRM then made it 3-0 four minutes later and this time it was Mohamadou Sumareh on target, as he climbed highest inside the area to meet Isma Alif’s cross with a deft header into the back of the net.

Sime Darby did reduce the deficit in the 76th minute when Reinaldo da Costa converted from the penalty spot, but any hopes they had of pulling off a fightback were effectively ended nine minutes from time when they had Nur Areff Kamaruddin sent off.

From then on, there was only ever going to be one winner and PDRM went on to complete the rout in the final minute as Fauzi Abdul Majid was picked out unmarked inside the area by V. Thirumurugan’s low cross, and proceeded to curl a first-time effort into the top corner.

Finally, ATM were able to snap a two-game losing streak as they played out a 1-1 draw with Sarawak at the Sarawak State Stadium.

It initially looked as though the Armed Forces were headed for another defeat when Ryan Griffiths fired Sarawak ahead in the 63rd minute, although Jerry Palacious struck the equaliser five minutes later to earn them a share of the spoils.

Saturday’s Malaysia Super League Results

Johor Darul Ta’zim 3-1 Kelantan

Sarawak 1-1 ATM

Selangor 4-0 LIONSXII

Sime Darby 1-4 PDRM

Terengganu 1-3 FELDA United