Warriors FC’s hopes of a first RHB Singapore Cup triumph since 2012 were dashed by Brunei DPMM, whom produced a resounding 3-0 win in the second leg of the quarter-final tie at Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Wednesday night to progress 5-2 on aggregate.
Having to come back from two goals down to draw 2-2 in the first leg at Jalan Besar Stadium in late August, it was much more straightforward for DPMM this time out.
Shah Razen Said and Azwan Ali Rahman put the Wasps two goals up within the first 30 minutes before Volodymyr Priyomov added the icing on the cake late in a game which was played under muddy conditions.
Fresh off a comeback 2-1 Singapore Premier League (SPL) win at the same venue over the weekend, DPMM started off the better of the two sides and it was no surprise that they opened the scoring after just 10 minutes.
Adi Said continued his imperious form this season with a wicked right-wing cross that found elder brother Shah Razen, who rose well at the back post to nod past a helpless Mukundan Maran in the Warriors goal.
The Wasps continued to dominate proceedings after the goal, but were continually thwarted by an inspired Mukundan.
The 20-year-old repelled a stinging long-range effort from Azwan Ali on 14 minutes, before producing a stunning reflex save to tip away a Shah Razen snapshot which looked destined for the top right corner a minute later.
He then denied Azwan Ali twice, rushing out well to close the angle in the 21st minute before smothering a close-range effort from the latter five minutes later.
Warriors did have a couple of chances to equalise, but Fadhil Noh could not keep his volley from inside the area down while French hot shot Jonathan Behe fired straight at DPMM goalkeeper Haimie Nyaring from range.
DPMM would duly double their advantage on 28 minutes – making it 4-2 on aggregate. Receiving a pass from the right, Azwan Ali expertly turned past his marker in the box before thrashing a clean shot past Mukundan from eight yards out to send the away fans into jubilation.
Needing two goals to come back into the tie, the Warriors almost got one back on the stroke of half-time – with Hafiz Sulaiman’s header off Tajeli Salamat free-kick clipped the crossbar before going over.
Mirko Grabovac’s men carried where they left off after the restart and carved out a number of opportunities, but somehow failed to score even one.
Behe fired straight at Haimie from just outside the area on 47 minutes, before somehow lashing wide of the left-hand post from a similar defence 15 minutes later.
The mercurial striker then turned provider on 63 minutes with a gorgeous outside-foot cross into the area, but strike partner Khairul Nizam somehow failed to make contact with the leather from two yards out.
Behe had another chance four minutes later after exchanging passes with Emmeric Ong, but Haimie rushed out of goal well to close the angle.
Substitute Ho Wai Loon then fired over from just inside the area on 80 minutes after Behe’s shot was palmed away – adding to the Warriors’ frustrations.
The result was eventually sealed on the stroke of full-time. With Ho given a straight red card for a horribly mistimed challenge on Azwan. Priyomov subsequently stepped up to deliver a rasping 30-yard free-kick that flew past the grasp of Mukundan.
However DPMM’s night ended on a slightly sour note though, with Coach Rene Weber given his marching orders after an argument with the officials and thus facing a ban from the touchline for the semi-finals.
DPMM will face Balestier Khalsa FC in the semi-finals scheduled for September 26 and October 3.
However for now, they will need to focus on their SPL campaign as they host Tampines Rovers on Saturday while Warriors play Home United the following evening.
What they said :
Warriors FC Head Coach Mirko Grabovac: “DPMM had a really good game with their attack force. They made two goals in the first half, but we made some changes and were very good attacking-wise in the second half. I don’t know how we never scored a goal. If we had one goal back, it would be a different game.
“This DPMM team is just too tough to beat and we just have to focus again for the league to finish in the top five.”
Brunei DPMM FC Team Manager Hj Ali Momin: “We’re very happy with the way we played, especially in the first half where we controlled the game and scored two goals. Second half, we were disciplined in our defending to stop Warriors from scoring.
“We are happy with not scoring and not scoring for second half, but late on we got one free kick and that resulted in one goal. (For Weber’s sending off) Coach was angry with Referee’s (Muhammad Zulfiqar) decision. Usually he’s very cool but today he lost control. These things happen, even to me a few years ago.
“We have not won the Singapore Cup since joining SPL so that’s our main target right now.”
Warriors FC: Mukundan Maran (GK), Emmeric Ong, Kento Fukuda (C), Hafiz Sulaiman, Ismadi Mukhtar, Ammirul Emmran (Ho Wai Loon 46’), Firdaus Kasman (Shamil Sharif 64’), Khairul Nizam (Sahil Suhaimi 75’), Tajeli Salamat, Fadhil Noh, Jonathan Behe
Brunei DPMM FC: Haimie Nyaring (GK), Abdul Aziz Tamit, Brian McLean, Najib Tarif, Azwan Saleh, Hendra Azam (Abdul Azizi Rahman 67’), Azwan Ali Rahman, Adi Said (Mojtaba Mollasaraei 88’), Volodymyr Priymov, Shah Razen Said (C)