Lounis cries foul
Rams defender sees red but makes startling accusation against DPMM striker O' Donovan
WOODLANDS WELLINGTON 0
BRUNEI DPMM 2
(Rodrigo Tosi 14-pen, Azwan Ali 45+2)
A red card flashed to Woodlands Wellington defender Walid Lounis after just 13 minutes for kicking DPMM striker Roy O' Donovan changed the complexion of the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League match last night.
The Rams, who had won just one of their previous five games, struggled against the S.League's leaders with just 10 men and ended up 2-0 losers at Woodlands Stadium.
Tunisian-born citizen Lounis made a remarkable claim about his sending-off, which also resulted in a penalty and DPMM's first goal.
The 31-year-old admitted he lashed out at O' Donovan, but says it was in retaliation to the Irishman squeezing his testicles.
"He grabbed my b...., man," a fuming Lounis told The New Paper, after the game.
"I was in so much pain.
"I gave him (a kick), yes, but it's only because of what he did."
Lounis claimed the incident occurred when the two players lay in a heap on the ground after a 50-50 challenge.
Referee Sukhbir Singh had his back turned to the alleged testicle-grabbing incident as well as Lounis' kick, but his assistant Ivan Lim flagged after spotting the Woodlands player's violent reaction.
Former Sunderland player O' Donovan denied doing anything to provoke Lounis.
"I don't know him... so why would I do something like that," he said.
"There was a coming together, he lashed out at me and it was a red card.
"He (Lounis) is probably under pressure because his coach will ask him why he got sent off."
After Lounis saw red, DPMM's Rodrigo Tosi stepped up to fire home the resulting penalty.
Tosi, the S.League's top scorer with 10 goals, then saw an effort come off the woodwork, but Azwan Ali scored a stunning second goal with a long-range shot just before the end of the first half.
DPMM were stifled by a hardworking Woodlands team and failed to add to their tally, although O' Donovan's chipped effort in the 54th minute came off the crossbar.
Woodlands coach Darren Stewart admitted his team went into "damage limitation" mode, after DPMM scored their second goal.
Said Stewart: "I'm extremely proud of my boys, more than when we beat (champions) Tampines two weeks ago.
"We were playing the best team in the league and there's no chance of coming back when you have only 10 men.
"DPMM's goals were a penalty and a great strike from 30 metres, so they didn't break us down."
DPMM coach Steve Kean said: "The referee and his assistants can only make a decision as they see it, sometimes teams get that (decisions), sometimes they don't.
"The decision changed how Woodlands set themselves up tactically and, at times, it was difficult to play.
"We didn't play how we usually do by any stretch, but I'd put that down to the tempo and rhythm of the game."
In last night's other match, Balestier Khalsa recorded their first win in seven games after they comfortably saw off bottom side Harimau Muda 2-0.
The Tigers got the win after first-half goals by Zulkiffli Hassim and Goran Ljubojevic.
- TNP Man of the Match: Rodrigo Tosi (Brunei DPMM)
He grabbed my b...., man. I was in so much pain. I gave him (a kick), yes, but it’s only because of what he did.
— Woodlands Wellington defender Walid Lounis on why he kicked out at Brunei DPMM striker Roy O’ Donovan