Young Lions hold champs DPMM to 1-1 draw
National developmental side hold Kean's champions, earn praise
GARENA YOUNG LIONS 1
(Hazim Faiz 67)
BRUNEI DPMM 1
(Rafael Ramazotti 32)
When Rafael Ramazotti opened the scoring for Brunei DPMM in the 32nd minute, it looked as if last night's Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League clash was only headed one way.
The wonder goal by Ramazotti wowed the crowd of 1,209 at the Jalan Besar Stadium, but if anyone thought the Garena Young Lions would drop their heads, they were in for a surprise.
The national developmental side, consisting mostly of Under-21 players, took the fight to DPMM after the break, making their goalkeeper Wardun Yusoff work.
All the pressure on the visitors paid off in the 67th minute, when Hazim Faiz took advantage of a mix-up in the DPMM defence to stab home from in the box.
After a 6-1 hiding by Tampines Rovers last week, Young Lions assistant coach V Selvaraj said they are satisfied with a point.
He said: "We gave him (Rafael) too much space, and we paid for it in the first half.
"Second half, we bounced back and this time I think the boys gave a much better performance, especially in the first 20 minutes when we scored the equaliser.
"We are happy with a draw, compared to our last game where we conceded six goals."
In their 16 league games so far, they have lost 11 and won two - their opening game where they beat Balestier 1-0 and a shock 3-1 triumph over Warriors FC last month.
The Young Lions lost 4-1 to DPMM in April in Bandar Sri Begawan and, at the time, the Brunei outfit's coach Steve Kean had predicted they would be a different side with time.
Kean duly gave credit to the Young Lions.
He said: "From the first game we played against Young Lions, I knew they were going to get better.
"As the season goes on, young teams tend to get better as they get to know their coaches and teammates better when they start to play as a team.
"It doesn't matter if you go one, two or even three up, they don't get down and they just keep coming at you.
"We were the ones pushing them in the first half but, in the second, it was the Young Lions pushing us and we were the ones trying to hold on."
- GARENA YOUNG LIONS: Benjamin Bertrand, Amirul Adli, Joshua Pereira (Hami Syahin 46), Fareez Farhan (Muhaimin Suhaimi 75), Hazim Faiz, Shannon Stephen, Adam Swandi (Gareth Low 87), Khairul Amri, Dhukhilan Jeevamani, Firdaus Kasman, Rusyaidi Salime
- BRUNEI DPMM: Wardun Yussof, Brian McLean, Azman Salleh, Azwan Ali (Shahrazen Said 81), Paulo Sergio, Najib Tarif, Maudidi Kasi, Rosmin Kamis, Helmi Zembin (Aminuddin Zakwan 75), Rafael Ramazotti, Abdul Aziz (Yura Inderea Petera 63)
- TNP MAN OF THE MATCH: Hazim Faiz (Young Lions)