I was a regular reporter at the national football league in Singapore. I reported on two matches every week from various football stadiums for a complete season. Find an archived version of the article here.
Reporting from the Jalan Besar Stadium
Rosmin Kamis scored an 82nd-minute freekick to help DPMM FC secure a 1-0 defeat of a resilient Geylang International side at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Geylang were without captain Jozef Kaplan as the Slovakian was sent off in his side’s 1-0 win over Hougang United last week. Nevertheless, they gave a good account of themselves in Friday’s Great Eastern-YEO’s S.League encounter and managed to resist a barrage of attacks throughout the game to ensure a respectable scoreline.
Led by Stefan Milojevic, the Eagles threatened first when Khairulnizam Jumahat swung in a free-kick that Wardun Yusoff did well to tip over the post in the third minute.
The DPMM custodian was also called to action a minute later when Wahyudi Wahid went close with a glancing header off a corner from the left.
Captain Rosmin began DPMM’s attack in earnest in the ninth minute when he curled in a free-kick that went over the bar.
It was Joao Moreira, however, who really helped the Bruneian side secure control of the match as the attacker was regularly winning aerial challenges and his flick-ons often helped his team-mates get decent opportunities within the box.
In the 16th minute, the Portuguese even went close to opening the scoring when he controlled Arturas Rimkevicius’ weighted lob and skipped past a defender to get into the box but his fierce drive from the right clattered off the post.
Attacking midfielder Rodrigo Tosi was next to get involved as a quick one-two in the 25th minute enabled him a try his hand with a similar opportunity.
From then on, the Eagles defended deeply inside their own half although they could have turned the tide had Milojevic timed his run to meet an overhanging cross from the left in the 36th minute.
As the half came to a close, Milojevic was also doing his best to maintain possession for his side and the Spaniard did well to shepherd the ball out of his own half in the 42nd minute with an excellent run that took him past three DPMM players.
His industry paid dividends as his side came up with the final attack of the half when Taufiq Ghani reached Jalal’s free-kick from deep; the midfielder somehow angled the ball with a header towards the far corner but Wardun was equal to the challenge.
DPMM came out of the dugout with all guns blazing, though, and Rimkevicius, in particular, appeared determined to see his name registered on the scoresheet on the night.
He started an energetic spell by heading a punt into the box towards Subhi Abdilah but the Bruneian shot the ball straight towards Ito in the Geylang goal.
Rimkevicius was again a nuisance three minutes later when he collected the ball down the left and wound his way into the box, firing a shot that was blocked by his marker.
Shortly thereafter, Moreira was next to threaten as he chested a pass down the right and bore down on goal but his shot was well off target.
Rimkevicius even clamored for a penalty after being unfairly pushed inside the box in the 52nd minute but he nearly made the most of the subsequent corner as a header went marginally over the bar.
And just two minutes later, the Lithuanian again snuck into the box from the left and saw another left-footed shot go wide of the post.
Geylang could do nothing but soak up the pressure and they were lucky that Moreira could not find much accuracy with a shot from outside the box in the 56th minute.
It could have been an altogether different story if Shotaro Ihata had not ruined a perfectly good opportunity two minutes before the hour mark after being picked out at the edge of the box. Instead of utilising the time to shoot at goal, the Japanese inexplicably opted to pass along towards a team-mate, only to see the ball get intercepted.
After the blistering start to the half, both sides made substitutions in the 66th minute as Geylang’s Duncan Elias and DPMM’s Moreira were swapped for Andrew Tan and Azwan Ali respectively.
Azwan made an impact just four minutes after his introduction as he caught the Geylang defence by surprise by collecting a long pass just outside the box. Luckily for V. Kanan’s side, a nearby defender rushed into position to block the substitute’s shot.
A minuter later, Tosi tried his luck as well with a long-range piledriver that just whizzed past the right post.
And as the game entered the final fifteen minutes with the scoreline still goalless, Rimkevicius was replaced by Adi Said but not before going close twice with decent opportunities inside the box.
Ihata also made his final contribution to the game a minute later when he nodded back Tan’s left-wing cross that Yasir Hanapi could only fire well over the bar.
Brunei finally got the goal that their dominant football deserved eight minutes from time, though, when Rosmin succeeded with a free-kick from the 30-yard distance. The DPMM captain did benefit from a huge slice of luck with that opportunity as the ball bounced off a defender in the wall and also earned a deflection off the goalkeeper’s back on its path towards goal.
Geylang did not just give up, though, and Milojevic did his best to level the scoreline when he collected the ball inside the box and made space for himself at the edge of the six-yard box in the 86th minute.
He failed with that attempt but he threaded through a pass to makeshift forward Norihiro Kawakami in the 89th minute, only for the Japanese defender to be denied by his marker.
DPMM kept things simple from then on and held on through three minutes of added time to edge Geylang for the win while also preserving a clean sheet in the process. The Wasps are now just one point behind Home United in seventh place in the S.League table and next face Global FC in the Singapore Cup quarter-finals at the same venue on Wednesday
Geylang remain in ninth place and face Home for the first leg of their cup fixture at the Bedok Stadium on Tuesday.