Ikhsan snatches point for Young Lions in tense affair against Brunei DPMM

Young Lions striker Ikhsan Fandi

Young Lions held Brunei DPMM to a 1-1 draw in a heated affair in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) at Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday night.

DPMM opened the scoring through substitute Shah Razen Said at the start of the second period before Ikhsan Fandi leveled the score within two minutes from the spot.

Ikhsan threatened just four minutes into the game when he took a touch outside the box and unleashed a ferocious grounder that hit the right post before gliding across goal behind goalkeeper Haimie Nyaring and out for a goal kick.

DPMM had the next goalscoring opportunity when Brian McLean towered above the rest, off an Azwan Ali corner, only to see his header glance narrowly wide.

The visitors had another glorious chance to take the lead on 22 minutes when Azwan capitalized on a defensive lapse and was clean through on goal. Instead of taking a shot, he opted to lay it off for Volodymyr Priyomov who saw his shot palmed away by an alert Zharfan Rohaizad.

It was Azwan who caused mayhem yet again on 28 minutes when he released Shafie Efenddy who failed to score from a tight angle as Zharfan closed him down.

DPMM’s dominance was telling but Rene Weber’s charges just failed to find that final touch in the attacking third and both teams went into the break on level terms.

The second half got off to a blistering start as DPMM scored the first goal within a minute of the restart.

Azwan released substitute Shah Razen Said down the left and the winger ghosted between two Young Lions defenders before curling an unstoppable shot from a tight angle past a stranded Zharfan.

Barely two minutes later, Young Lions’ substitute Haiqal Pashia, was fouled by McLean in the box to allow Ikhsan the chance to slot home his seventh league goal of the season from the spot.

DPMM thought they had retaken the lead on 53 minutes when Shah Razen scored from a corner but the referee pulled up play for a foul on Zharfan.

Things began heating up as both teams were guilty of rash tackles with Azwan’s high boot on Syahrul Sazalui the pick of the lot.

Tensions continued to build with every passing minute as both benches were up on their feet with things threatening to boil over.

Ikhsan almost scored his second goal in the 70th minute but his brilliant turn failed to be matched by his shot that went into the sidenetting.

With nine minutes left on the clock, Shah Razen almost got the winner when he glided past three defenders only to thump the ball into the Jalan Besar floodlights with only Zharfan to beat.

Pashia stung the gloves of Haimie in the 86th minute when his shot from outside the box was destined for the bottom right corner but the DPMM stopper pulled off a good save.

The result left DPMM stuck in fourth place while the Young Lions maintain their position of seventh with their fifth draw of the campaign.

Young Lions: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK)(C), Nazhiim Harman (Rusyaidi Salime 48’), Syahrul Sazali, Jacob Mahler, Irfan Fandi, Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Syed Firdaus Hassan, Joshua Pereira, Hami Syahin, Naufal Azman (Haiqal Pashia 45’), Ikhsan Fandi (Danial Syafiq 90+2’)

Brunei DPMM: Haimie Nyaring (GK), Brian McLean, Abdul Mu’iz Sisa, Helmi Zembin, Abdul Aziz Tamit (C), Nurikhwan Othman (Abdul Hariz Herman 70’), Hendra Azam, Azwan Ali, Adi Said, Shafie Efenddy (Shah Razen Said 45’), Volodymyr Priyomov