Jordan Webb 39'
DPMM FC 3
Azwan Salleh 25', Patrick Roberto 52', Ampuan Azami 60'
The Great Eastern-YEO's S.League title race will go down to the final week after DPMM FC stayed in contention with a 3-1 win over Hougang United on Wednesday.
After the hosts took the lead in the 10th minute through an opportunistic strike by Jordan Webb, DPMM hit back six minutes before the half-hour mark when Azwan Saleh curled home a delightful freekick.
Patrick da Silva then scored six minutes after the break to put the visitors in front, before Ampuan Nurul Azami made sure of the three points when he added a third from close range.
The victory was enough to keep alive DPMM's title hopes as they are now three points behind leaders Tampines Rovers, but with a better goal difference, but things were far from smooth-sailing as they fell behind after just ten minutes, when their failure to clear a Fazly Hasan cross saw Webb pounce inside the area and plant a shot into the back of the net.
Five minutes later, Azwan swung in a dangerous cross that Fadhil Salim did well to tip away before Shahrazen Said could connect, but in the 24th minute, the DPMM dead-ball expert duly equalised when he scored with a sublime curler, after Da Silva had been tripped on the edge of the area by Syaqir Sulaiman.
Despite being six places below DPMM, Hougang showed no signs of being daunted by their opponents and came close to reclaiming the lead four minutes later when Sobrie Mazelan flashed a left-footed half-volley just wide after a good passing move had resulted in Azhar Sairudin picking him out with a floated ball.
A minute after the hour mark, it was the visitors' turn to come close when Da Silva pounced on a loose ball inside the area and slid a pass out left to Azwan, who drilled a shot inches wide of Fadhil's far post.
Four minutes before the break, DPMM came close once again when Basiru Osman darted towards the near post to meet a good cross by Shahrazen but just failed to keep his effort on target.
However, there was no denying them in the 51st minute when Osman went on a terrific run straight through the middle before playing the ball to Da Silva, who showed plenty of composure to bring the ball under control and create space for himself before placing his shot into the bottom corner.
Nine minutes later, Vjeran Simunic's men surged further in front when Shahrazen met an Ivan Jerkovic corner with a firm header that forced Fadhil into a fantastic reflex save, only for Ampuan to react quickest and stab home at the far post.
Despite their opponents now holding a comfortable lead, Hougang refused to be deterred and should have pulled one back in the 66th minute when Mamadou Diallo sent a free header wide from ten yards out, after Fazly had broken down the left and swung in a good cross.
Osman, who was beginning to pose all kinds of problems to the Cheetahs backline, then came close to adding his name to the scoresheet in the 71st minute when he went on another driving run and left two players in his wake, but could only fire a fierce drive into the sidenetting.
11 minutes from time, Hougang came excruciatingly close to pulling one back when Fazli Jaffar picked out Ignatius Ang, but the substitute could only watch in disbelief as Wardun Yussof kept out his point-blank range effort with a fine save.
The hosts had one final chance to set up a tense finish to the came seven minutes from time when Webb swung in a dangerous delivery into the box, but Syaqir, who had did well to rise above his marker, could only send his header wide.
In the end, it was DPMM who were left to celebrate what could prove to be a vital win at the final whistle.
Hougang United: Fadhil Salim, Lau Meng Meng, Hasree Zais, Syaqir Sulaiman, Fazly Hasan, Faizal Amir, Mamadou Diallo, Azhar Sairudin (Ignatius Ang 76'), Fazli Jaffar, Sobrie Mazelan (Nurhilmi Jasni 64'), Jordan Webb.
DPMM FC: Wardun Yussof, Ampuan Nurul Azami (Shahrulrizal Abd Rahman 69'), Pg Sallehuddin Damit (Abdul Aziz Tamit 87'), Sairol Sahari, Helmi Zambin, Rosmin Kamis, Ivan Jerkovic, Azwan Saleh, Shahrazen Said, Basiru Osman, Patrick da Silva (Adi Said 90'). (SOURCE)