Geylang International FC

Eagles fight back to steal last-gasp draw in Brunei

Brunei DPMM 2-2 Geylang International

Geylang International gave departing Brunei DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic an unforgettable send off after coming back from two goals to take their first-ever point off the Wasps in a 2-2 draw at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Wednesday night

Rodrigo Tosi’s eighth goal of the season and a Shahrazen Said header either side of the break had put DPMM on course for top spot in Tier 2, but Jozef Kaplan’s pot-shot and Tales dos Santos’ unfortunate own goal, later credited to Stefan Milojevic, meant the fixture ended in a dead heat.

Warriors FC had left the door open for DPMM to pip them to seventh place after a 1-1 draw with Harimau Muda the night before, with Simunic desperate to claim something before handing the reins over to Steve Kean in the off season.

The former Blackburn Rovers manager and successor for the DPMM hot seat was in attendance and it was clear that his presence had an effect on the Bruneians, for better or for worse, knowing that their place in the starting eleven was no longer guaranteed for the 2014 season.

Azwan Salleh has gained cult status in the Sultanate for his dangerous deliveries and pin-point free-kicks, but his first two corners of the night failed to clear the near post, withone of them going straight out for a goal-kick.

Tosi, as has been the case in DPMM’s last few matches, found himself on the scoresheet after glancing Rosmin Kamis’s free-kick beyond the reach of Takuma Ito in the Eagles goal in the 18th minute.

The goal settled the home side’s nerves and they began to play the kind of football that won them the League Cup and runners-up in the league last season, but danger was never far away.

Brunei DPMM 2-2 Geylang International

Kaplan, sitting on 13 goals, two behind Aleksandar Duric and Moon Soon Ho, was sniffing around and sent two efforts midway through the first half astray from goal.

Rosmin missed a chance to put the home side two goals to the good when Azwan Ali Rahman’s delicate touch afforded the DPMM skipper the space and time to pick his spot, but after beating one defender, the 32-year-old fired over from eight yards out.

Rosmin atoned for that howler by setting up the second goal, curling a corner into the near post that was met by the shimmering head of Shahrazen and guided past Ito in the 46th minute.

Brunei DPMM 2-2 Geylang International

Despite his misfortune with the first two goals, Ito was doing a good job at preventing the scoreline from increasing further, denying Azwan Ali not once or twice, but on three separate occasions, whilst also winning a battle of wits with Shahrazen in a one-on-one situation.

The hosts’ complacency was punished by Kaplan when the Slovakian forward got on the end of a long punt forward and took a touch inside his marker, before firing low and hard past Azwan Ilham at his near post in the 66th minute.

The Eagles continued to pile pressure on and with a little bit of fortune, they were rewarded. Yasir Hanapi’s stoppage time shot ping-ponged around the penalty box and snuck over the line after cannoning off the underside of the bar.

An all too familiar feeling swept across the entire DPMM team, who dropped to their knees as the referee pointed to the center circle, as they settled for being runners-up in Tier 2.

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