Barring a miracle, Brunei DPMM can wave goodbye to a top-three finish after another disappointing performance saw them slip to a 2-0 defeat to Warriors FC on home soil.
In a game of two halves, DPMM grabbed the first by the scruff of the neck but failed to capitalize on their abundance of chances.
Helmi Zambin's center was too hard for Hendra Azam, who came within inches of connecting with the ball in front of a gaping goal, before Dino Drpic headed against the bar in the opening exchanges of the game.
Shimpei Sakurada saw his goal-bound header cleared off the line by an alert Tales dos Santos, and the ball fell to Prakash Manikam, who flashed a shot just wide of Wardun Yussof's goal.
A mistake by Wardun and some sketchy defending by the DPMM players almost allowed Shi Jiayi a simple tap-in, but the cutback was prodded away from danger by Dos Santos.
The home side then had a penalty appeal turned down after Ivan Bosnjak appeared to be brought down by Abdil Qaiyyim in the box, but to call it stonewall would have been an exaggeration.
Mislav Karoglan was making a nuisance of himself with his well-timed runs off the back of defenders, and the 2011 S.League topscorer's vicious strike was touched onto the bar and out for a corner by Wardun.
The visitors should have snatched the lead just before the half ended when Prakash beat the offside trap, but his final ball let him down as he over-hit his center for Karoglan, who was lurking at the far post.
The Croatian-born Bosnian was denied by Wardun again just after the break after finding space inside the box with some fancy footwork and taking one touch too many, which allowed the DPMM goalkeeper to sweep the ball away from under his feet.
The Wasps broke straight up the other end and Hassan Sunny produced a fantastic point-blank save to deny Hendra's first-time volley from putting the hosts ahead.
The Warriors were indebted to the former Singapore number 1, as just moments later they dealt their hosts a sucker-punch courtesy of Sakurada.
Jiayi's pinpoint ball over the top of the defense found Sakurada, who controlled the ball well with his chest before prodding the ball into the back of the net in the 72nd minute.
The old one-two would effectively end any hopes of a DPMM comeback as just five minutes later, Wardun was picking the ball out of the back of the net once more.
The Warriors made the most of DPMM's high defensive line as Shukor Zailan slid the ball through delicately to Karoglan, and the 31-year-old finished with the utmost conviction by stroking the ball back across Wardun and into the bottom right-hand corner.
It could have been worse for the home side as Jiayi’s header, which appeared to have blatantly crossed the line, was scooped out from the goal without the officials noticing it.
Skipper Rosmin Kamis could have salvaged a consolatory goal five minutes from time after skipping past a Warriors defender, but his extra touch allowed Hassan to gather and deny the hosts, who simply did not turn up for the second half.
Whenever Roy Steven Danker was on standby as a riot police man in Singapore back in the 1960s, he would sleep in his boots waiting for the emergency bell to ring. …