DPMM snatch last-gasp winner to move five points clear in Singapore League.
DPMM FC snatched a dramatic last-gasp winner to seal a 3-2 win against Hougang United in the top-of-the-table clash in the AIA Singapore Premier League at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night.
The Gegar Gegar men preserbed their unbeaten start to the season and more significantly move five points clear at the top ahead of second-placed Hougang after eight games.
DPMM FC's foreign import duo Blake Ricciuto and Andrey Varankou continued their prolific form,but it was a local influence in midfielder Hendra Azam that provided the winner.
The midfielder's retaken setpiece evaded the reach of both Charlie Clough and Blake Ricciuto and importantly Hougang goalkeeper Khairulhin Khalid to hit the back of the net.
The Hougang match came as a stern test this season outside the league's traditional three despite their favourable record against them but the home side made a good start.The hosts opened the lead in the 20th minute as Blake Ricciuto bundled the ball home after Charlie Clough's initial header crashed agianst the crossbar.
DPMM FC endured a setback after Helmi Zambin was forced to come off injured as Ak Kakharazzi took his place.
Hougang captain Zulfahmi Arifin arrowed his set-piece wide as they made their move in search of an equaliser.
The visitors had a chance tolevel the scores right at the end of the first half as Stipe Plazibat was not able to direct a decent cross into the box across goal.
A 1-0 lead was preserved at the break but the visitors came into the second half fired up as they responded through a quick-fire double by Plazibat,who was a main threat in attack.
Hougang's Kong Howon looked for options and a quick-thinking from a team-mate helped pull off a brilliant pass that sets Plazibat on his way.The striker provided a deft touch to steer the ball past DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof.
Danger loomed as Faris Ramli instigated the attack and exchanged passes with Amir Zalani.As the former received a return pass,the Hougang star ws brought down on the box by Yura Indera which prompted the referee to award a penalty.
Plazibat made no mistake from the spot which did not only threaten DPMM FC's unbeaten start but also their foothold at the top of the table.
Hendra Azam nearly scored directy from a corner as the ball flew past Khairulhin but the Cheetahs were rescued by the post.
Khairulhin spilled Hendra's cross and the ball fell to Ricciuto who teed up Yura.he loose ball found Charlie Clough and his shot struck a hand which convinced the referee to award another penalty.
Varankou drilled the ball home from 12 yards to help his team restore parity in the 65ht minute for his 11th goal of the season.
Hougang's Muhaimin Suhaimi pulled DPMM FC substitute Razimie Ramlli shirt to conced a freekick which would turn out to be the platform for the winner.
Hendra played a quick free-kick to Abd Muiz Sisa but the referee ordered for the setpiece to be retaken.
The midfielder delivered a cross into the box and evaded everyone including the goalkeeper into the back of the net to spark euphoric scenes.