Tay hails players for Tampines triumph

Tay Peng Kee believes his Tampines Rovers players deserve plenty of credit after they were crowned Great Eastern-YEO's S.League champions on Friday.

The Stags edge closer to the title...

By Gabriel Tan

Mustafic Fahrudin scored the only goal of the game from the spot in the 41st minute to hand the Stags a 1-0 win over Harimau Muda at the Jalan Besar Stadium, which was enough to guarantee them a second straight league title.

Nonetheless, second-placed DPMM FC's 2-0 loss to Balestier Khalsa meant they even defeat would have been enough to see Tampines retain the title, although Tay hails the professionalism of his players.

"All the credit has to go to the players," he said. "They are the ones who are on the field.

"They are responsible for all we have done this season and really wanted to win. They showed a lot of effort and determination and the unity of the team was key."

The victory also meant Tampines bounced back from last Sunday's RHB Singapore Cup final defeat to SAFFC in the best way possible, but the former Singapore striker admits it had not been an easy outing on Friday.

"The morale has been very good even after the Singapore Cup defeat," Tay added.

"We tried to go for the early goal and press them really high early on.

"Harimau Muda are a fit team and are well organised, but they are young players and naturally lack experience, and I think we took advantage of that in the end."

Apart from Tampines, who also won back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005, only eight-time champions SAFFC have managed to retain the S.League trophy.

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