BY YEE CHUN LEONG
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - DPMM FC ended their Singapore League (S-League) season with a surprising 2-0 defeat at the hands of Balestier Khalsa FC last night.
The Croatian duo of Niko Tokic and Miroslav Kristic found the back of the net at the Toa Payoh Stadium in Singapore to give the Tigers their first victory in nine games in all competitions and send the Brunei side to their first league defeat in 10 matches. According to the S-League’s Twitter updates, Balestier troubled early on after Fadhil Noh sent a cross deep into the box but Tokic couldn’t place his header on target.
Hazzuwan Halim delivered a cross off a free-kick minutes later but Tokic was unable to head the ball in.
At the other end, Paulo Sergio got past three defenders but his cross to S-League topscorer Rafael Ramazotti was stopped by Nurullah Hussein.
Tokic connected on Hazzuwan’s ball from their own half on the half hour mark but couldn’t put the ball past DPMM FC goalkeeper Wardun Yussof.
Ramazotti did get another chance after a ball was chested down by Azwan Ali Rahman (pic) for him, but the Brazilian blasted his attempt wide.
Balestier were on target on the hour mark after Tokic got at the end of a Kristic cross but the former fired straight at Wardun.
The hosts then took the lead in the 67th minute after Tokic tapped home Hazzuwan’s ball across goal.
DPMM FC made two attacking changes for the last 15 minutes by sending on brothers Shahrazen and Adi Said for the duo of Ak Yura Indera Putera Pg Yunos and Azwan Ali.
However, it was Balestier who killed off the game completely with Kristic firing past Wardun at the death.
Over at the Jalan Besar Stadium, newly crowned champions Albirex Niigata (S) FC were hammered 5-1 by Tampines Rovers FC.
Both teams will face off again in the final of the Singapore Cup on Saturday, with the Japanese side aiming for a treble having already won the Singapore League Cup at the end of July.
The White Swans secured the S-League title on Oct 14 with two games remaining, finishing the competition with 50 points.
The Stags end the season a point behind after the triumph while DPMM FC follow in third on 41 points.
Home United FC are in fourth on 37 points, just ahead of Geylang International FC on better goal difference.
-- Courtesy of The Brunei Times