Tampines beat Home to win Charity Shield

Tampines Rovers' pre-season spending spree paid handsome dividends on Sunday when they beat Home United 2-0 to win the 2012 Great Eastern Charity Shield.

Tampines Rovers

Goals either side of half-time from Croatian Davor Piskor and Macedonian Gligor Gligorov handed Singapore's reigning S.League champions a win they thoroughly deserved after dominating proceedings from start to finish.

Although neither coach will read too much into the result, the way in which Tampines constantly hassled and harried their opponents into submission would appear to bode well for Steven Tan's talented charges as they prepare to defend their title.

After razzmatazz galore and even a couple of songs banged out by 2009 Singapore Idol runner-up Sylvia Ratonel, Tampines started brightly and did not have to wait long for the breakthrough.

Only four minutes were on the clock when the livewire - and hugely impressive - duo of Ahmed Fahmie and Jamil Ali cut a retreating Home defence to ribbons.

After a neat one-two between the speedy duo, Fahmie's shot from close range was parried by Lionel Lewis. Amid the chaos, the predatory Piskor headed in Jamil's headed cross from close range.

In an instant, Home coach Lee Lim-saeng's pre-match declaration about the vulnerability of his defence, took on an almost prophetic nature. Rather worryingly for the former Korea Republic international, his worries were not to be eased as the game wore on.

Instead, it was Tampines who grew in confidence, Fahmie going close with a delicate lob that went narrowly over the bar in the 14th minute and Jamil's shot from the angle being smartly turned away by an alert Sabri.

With strikers Frederic Mendy and Shotara Ihata promising much but delivering little, Home simply could not find a way through an impressive Tampines defence, a backline which was superbly marshalled by captain and Singapore international Mustafic Fahrudin.

The 2011 Singapore Cup winners came closest to opening their account shortly before the break, but Hafiz Nor's low drive was smothered at the second attempt by Tampines custodian Sasa Dreven.

With the S.League season proper set to start on Thursday, both sides appeared to ease up in a second period notably lacking the frenetic goalmouth action of the first.

Mendy's miscued header from Shi Jiayi's delivery proved to be a rare glimmer of hope for Home. Instead, it was left to another recent Tampines acquisition to seal the deal for his side.

On 60 minutes, Jamil's run and cross from the left found an unmarked Gligorov who smashed the ball home, beating Lewis at his near post. It was, in all honest, the very least Tampines deserved.

As Home huffed and puffed their way to the final whistle, there was even time for ESPNSTAR.com's Man of the Match Jamil to miss when clean through.

A third would, perhaps, have been a little harsh on Home on a night when the pre-season favourites were sent a very clear message that Tampines are not ready to give up their title without one heck of a scrap.

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