Monday, April 30, 201210-man IKLS force group leaders MS ABDB to 1-1 draw
The DST National Football League race for the second round took another twist yesterday when leaders of Group C MS ABDB were held to a 1-1 draw by 10-man IKLS at the Balapan Track and Field in Berakas.
Awg Mohd Fakhri Ismail struck early for IKLS when his cross from the right in the 7th minute flew past MS ABDB's goalkeeper Muhammad Suhandi Hj Awang Mahal and into the back of the net.
But, the early goal didn't kill the armymen, who worked hard to find the equaliser.
IKLS were kept under pressure for most parts of the first half, but MS ABDB were let down by their poor finishes.
MS ABDB had the chance to equalise in the 10th minute after Md Iswandi Abd Kadir handled in the area to gift the armymen a penalty. But, Md Safari Wahit's shot was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Nor Sahrul Hj Ibrahim.
The armymen found it hard to penetrate the IKLS backline, marshalled superbly by centre-back Noraiman Hj Ibrahim.
Still MS ABDB marched forward forcing IKLS to drop back into their own half to defend their slim lead.
IKLS' strategy backfired when Md Khairuddin Abd Kadir made a clever run albeit from an offside position to connect with a through ball from Abd Azizi Ali Rahman and slotted the ball past the goalkeeper to make it 1-1.
IKLS head coach, Hj Md Ali Rahman Hj Sulaiman, was furious that Md Khairuddin was not flagged for offside and that the goal in the 38th minute was given to MS ABDB.
"It was not difficult to tell he was offside ... the fans saw it and they too were unhappy with the decision," Hj Md Ali Rahman told The Brunei Times.
"I do not want to comment further about the decision, but he was obviously in an offside position. The goal should not be given.
"I am upset, but we have to accept the result. I always respect the officials, but they made a wrong decision today (Sunday)," he added.
"My boys played very well today, we managed to limit the opponents' movements and chances. In the second half, one of our players (Zulkifli Hj Mohammad) was red carded and we had to defend deep. We are happy with the draw."
Meanwhile, MS ABDB assistant manager Khalid Hj Bujang was unhappy with the performance of his players and said that the race for the second round was made even more difficult by yesterday's draw.
"It is difficult now. We only have two games left and we need to win all the games to make sure that we will qualify for the next round," Khalid said after yesterday's 1-1 draw.
"It was not a good game, it was not what we expected from the players. There were a lot of chances in the game, especially in the last 10 minutes, but the players failed to score," he added
Yesterday's other matches saw Setia Perdana draw with BIBD FC 1-1, Menglait FC lose to Kilanas FC 2-1, Perkasa defeat FC Phosphor 3-2 and MIISA United beat Youngsters FC 6-2.The Brunei Times