Brunei DPMM hangs on for victory
Chang's own goal, defensive error see Brunei outfit hang on to win
HOUGANG UNITED 1
(Vuk Sotirovic 51)
BRUNEI DPMM 2
(Kenneth Chang 31-og, Rafael Ramazotti 72-pen)
Win ugly? No problem.
Just four days after they were held to a 4-4 draw at home to Home United, Brunei DPMM FC had to dig deep to see off second-from-bottom Hougang United 2-1 at the Hougang Stadium last night.
Brunei DPMM and former Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean, however, insisted that he didn't mind how his team collected their points, as long as they keep doing it for their final five matches of the season.
The result helped DPMM stay at the summit of the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League table, three points ahead of Balestier Khalsa and with a game in hand.
Said the Scot: "Performances like that are all we need. Teams around us are running out of games.
"We're top of the league and we've got a game in hand, so we just have to take every game as it comes."
Kean and his charges had Hougang defender Kenneth Chang to thank for the three points.
The 23-year-old had a night to forget at the heart of the Cheetahs' defence.
First, he turned the ball past his own goalkeeper to give DPMM a 31st-minute lead.
Then, after Vuk Sotirovic had equalised for Hougang with a sweetly-struck free-kick six minutes into the second half, Chang blundered again.
As he attempted to clear a cross in the 71st minute, the young defender clumsily sliced the ball onto his arm, and referee Jansen Foo had no choice but to point to the spot.
DPMM's Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti, the S.League's top scorer, stepped up and blasted home his 16th goal of the season.
Kean praised his opponents for giving his team a good fight.
"Hougang are in a false position, because they're a good team with a good coach and we saw that tonight," he said.
"I'm just happy we don't have to play them again this season and, hopefully, they can take a few points off teams around us from now."
Hougang coach Salim Moin said: "It's very disappointing.
"We did what we were supposed to and the boys carried out the game plan well but, at the end of the day, it came down to a lack of concentration and mental strength."
Get The New Paper on your phone with the free TNP app. Download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store now