Warriors FC continued their unbeaten start to the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League campaign with a thrilling 5-3 win over Brunei DPMM last night.
The victory sent the Warriors joint top with defending champions Albirex Niigata (S) with 13 points after five games into the season.
Jordan Webb netted a brace while Kento Fukuda, Ridhuan Muhammad and Joel Tshibamba notched a goal each in the victory at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
On the other hand, Rafael Ramazotti bagged a double while Billy Mehmet scored the other for DPMM.
The hosts were on top for the opening 20 minutes but it was the Warriors who had the first real chance of the match.
After doing all the work on the right flank, Webb put the ball across the face of goal for Tshibamba but the latter somehow missed the tap in from point blank range.
However, he made up for it five minutes later after sending Webb through on goal to fire past DPMM custodian Alizanda Sitom for the lead.
The momentum shifted in favour of the visitors with DPMM struggling to keep possession of the ball.
In turn, DPMM equalised on the stroke of halftime after Ramazotti headed home Hendra Azam’s ball into the box.
The Warriors could have restored their advantage inside the opening minute of the second half after Webb set up Tshibamba but he skied his shot from 10 yards out.
Webb would net his second of the game in the 55th minute after playing a good one-two with a teammate before finishing low past Alizanda.
Nurikhwan Othman almost replied three minutes later with a cracking long range shot, only to be denied by the crossbar.
DPMM levelled in the 62nd minute with Mehmet bulging the net from just inside the area.
Warriors regained the lead 11 minutes later after Alizanda punched a freekick from the left only for it to come off another player, allowing Fukuda the simplest of tap ins.
The visitors created a two-goal cushion in the 81st minute after Shahril Ishak put the ball across the face of goal for substitute Ridhuan to fire home.
DPMM kept themselves in the game with Ramazotti heading home his second of the match three minutes later.
Tshibamba then put the match to bed three minutes from time after he faked his initial shot to skip past his marker before slotting the ball past Alizanda to end the Warriors’ seven-game run without a win against DPMM.
Brunei DPMM Head Coach Steve Kean: “We know as a team we have to do better – both individually and collectively; we have to defend better. It shouldn’t get to a stage where we need six goals to win at home.
“That can’t happen. We always look like we will score but also look like conceding. That is the first of all that we need to put right. We will move forward again and the good thing is we got another game in five days.”
Warriors FC Head Coach Razif Onn: “It was a thrilling game. I was a bit shocked that after we scored, they scored. Brunei DPMM played very well, in fact, I watched them in their past few matches and this is one of the best they have played.
“Unfortunately our attacking power is much better than what they did and that’s why we managed (to score) five goals in 90 minutes. I have to thank my players, coming back to take the lead is not easy. They played their hearts out.”
Brunei DPMM: Alizanda Sitom (GK), Azwan Ali Rahman, Hendra Azam (Azim Izamuddin 87’), Billy Mehmet, Nurikhwan Othman, Najib Tarif, Rosmin Kamis (C), Helmi Zambin (Awangku Fakharazzi 66’), Rafael Ramazotti, Adi Said (Shahrazen Said 63’), Zeljko Savic
Warriors FC: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Hafiz Osman, Kento Fukuda, Emmeric Ong (Ridhuan Muhamad 72’), Joel Tshibamba (Syaqir Sulaiman 88’), Jordan Webb, Baihakki Khaizan (C), Shahril Ishak, Hafiz Nor, Firdaus Kasman, Ho Wai Loon
Written by: Dwayne James