By Gabriel TanFollow @@gabetan13
In a flying start to the match at the Jalan Besar Stadium, Nenad Bacina's men burst out of the blocks and raced to a two-goal lead inside 12 minutes thanks to Kunihiro Yamashita's excellent header and a close-range strike from Khairul Amri.
Nonetheless, after an abject first-half display, the Warriors eventually found their groove and hit back in the 55th minute when Sufian Anuar pounced on a loose ball and fired home, but they were just unable to find a second to send the game to penalties.
As the traditional curtain raiser to the S.League campaign, the Charity Shield has long provided the platform for sides to unveil their off-season signings on the pitch, and two of the league's new marquee players had their first taste of Singaporean football on Friday.
Ex-Japan international Kazuyuki Toda was named in the Warriors starting XI by coach V. Selvaraj, who also handed debuts to Sufian and teenage full-back Zakir Samsudin, while Bacina blooded three new faces in Argentine star Martin Wagner, Yamashita and Shaiful Esah, as well as the returning trio of Amri, Shahdan Sulaiman and Seiji Kaneko.
Eight minutes in, Tampines came close to opening the scoring when Shahdan drilled in a freekick that forced Hassan Sunny into a flying save, but from the resultant corner the deadlock was duly broken when Yamashita towered over his opponent to head home a pinpoint delivery from Shaiful.
However, the Warriors nearly mustered an immediate reply two minutes when Ruzaini Zainal bombed down the right and whipped in a cross that Sufian met with a diving header, only for it to take a deflection off Kaneko and trickle wide of the far post.
And Kaneko's intervention proved vital a minute later as the Stags raced forward after clearing their lines and doubled their advantage.
In a sweeping counterattack, Shahdan broke free down the right and raced through before playing the ball across the face of goal for Amri to stab home past a hapless Hassan.
But far from being stunned into action at going two goals down, Selvaraj's charges continued to look lethargic and regularly resorted to aimless long balls, which were easily picked off by Yamashita and Kaneko.
Faced with little resistance, the Stags gradually became content to sit back and stroke the ball around leisurely and it took until the 50th minute before goalkeeper Sasa Dreven was finally called into action, diving down low to gather a snapshot from Shimpei Sakurada.
But five minutes later, the contest was back on when the Warriors pulled one back through Sufian, who reacted quickest to the loose ball and fired home from close range after Sakurada's cleverly-dinked shot over the onrushing Dreven had come back off the post.
Sufian then nearly doubled his and his side's tally four minutes later when he attempted a spectacular bicycle kick but narrowly missed connecting with the ball after Sakurada had floated a ball into the box.
In what was proving to be a game of two halves, Tampines were now struggling to match their opponents' intensity and they had Yamashita to thank for keeping their lead intact in the 74th minute, after he bravely put his head in the way of Tatsuro Inui's blistering 25-yard drive.
The ex-LIONSXII man was beginning to pose real problems to the Stags defence and looked poised to equalise eight minutes later when the ball dropped to him after Dreven had spilled a spectacular volley by substitute Abdil Qaiyyim, but the linesman's flag halted his progress before he could get a shot away.
Sufian had one final chance to force the draw two minutes from time when he impressively outmanoeuvred two opponents to meet a dangerous right-wing cross by Inui, but his header sailed just wide of the post, as Tampines held out for a winning start to the season.
Tampines Rovers: Sasa Dreven, Jufri Taha, Kunihiro Yamashita, Seiji Kaneko, Shaiful Esah, Mustafic Fahrudin, Martin Wagner (Firdaus Kasman 76'), Imran Sahib (Ahmed Fahmie 40'), Shahdan Sulaiman, Khairul Amri (Jamil Ali 64'), Aleksandar Duric.
Warriors FC: Hassan Sunny, Ruzaini Zainal (Abdil Qaiyyim 78'), Daniel Bennett, Marin Vidosevic, Zakir Samsudin, Shi Jiayi (Prakash Manikam 68'), Kazuyuki Toda, Shimpei Sakurada, Tatsuro Inui, Erwan Gunawan, Sufian Anuar.