Tampines Rovers make it two in two against tired Young Lions

Tampines Rovers made it two consecutive victories against Young Lions in a 3-1 win at Our Tampines Hub on Sunday night.

Tampines Rovers FC inflicted misery on Young Lions for the second time in a week after running out 3-1 victors at Our Tampines Hub on Sunday night.

The Stags trounced Young Lions 4-0 just days ago in a Singapore Premier League (SPL) clash and goals from Yasir Hanapi and Khairul Amri ensured they reaped three points again, despite Ikhsan Fandi reducing the deficit for the visitors.

The Young Lions threatened first after ten minutes, with Hami Syahin’s inch-perfect cross finding Haiqal Pashia in the danger area but the latter’s woeful first touch saw the visitors’ chance to take the lead go begging.

That wasted opportunity would come back to haunt them as Tampines began to settle into the game and fashion out chances of their own.

Yasir tested Young Lions goalkeeper Hairul Syirhan from distance while Ryutaro Megumi was similarly denied in the 15th minute.

But the Stags were relentless and they soon took the lead in the 19th minute, with Yasir on hand to meet Fahrudin Mustafic’s delightful inswinging cross and head it beyond the reach of Hairul.

It was soon 2-0 to the hosts in the 27th minute, after Joshua Pereira lost possession and allowed Tampines to break free. Fazrul Nawaz cleverly drew out several bodies before laying the ball on for an unmarked Yasir to calmly stoke in his second goal of the night.

Undeterred, the Young Lions pulled one back four minutes later. Irfan Fandi’s header was parried by Syazwan Buhari but the rebound was tucked away by his brother Ikhsan for his fourth goal in five games.

It could have been a stunning turnaround for the Young Lions moments later, after Daniel Bennett fouled Irfan and allowed Rusyaidi Salime a go from the edge of the box but his free-kick swung just over the bar.

However, Tampines reminded the Young Lions of the dangers they still faced as Fazrul clipped the bar with his volley just before half-time.

The tempo of the game died down a little after the restart, but Tampines were still in control and never looked in danger of throwing away the lead.

They should have scored on the hour mark, when Hairul parried Yasir’s cross-shot towards Madhu Mohana but Irfan made a vital goal-line clearance to hack clear the defender’s attempt.

In the 74th minute, Madhu went for goal again but his aim was off the mark after Jordan Webb worked hard to keep the ball in play and flicked it towards him.

The third goal finally came in injury time, with Webb making his way to the byline before finding Amri and the striker made no mistake from close range to place the icing on the cake.

The Young Lions’ busy schedule continues as they face Home United FC three days later on 6 June at Bishan Stadium. Tampines will have six days to recover before they take on winless Hougang United FC at Hougang Stadium on 9 June.

Tampines Rovers FC Head Coach Jurgen Raab: “I knew it would be a totally new match after the great win on Wednesday. So I expected a very aggressive team and the Young Lions did this, they were brave and put high pressure on us. But I think we managed well, we were prepared and we created nice goals. This goal from Young Lions was a little knock for us because we controlled everything. We were more fresh, we had more power and we scored the third goal. I am very satisfied with the performance the team were very calm. But how we done it is nice to see, now we are in a great position so it’s nice for us.”

Young Lions Head Coach Fandi Ahmad: “I am happy with our performance, today we worked very hard until the last 90th-minute goal. Second half we tried to score goals but they have experienced players and they have many good strikers. I am with my boys, they tried to push and you can see they struggled in the last few minutes. But above all, the plan was good but we are lacking in experience.”

Tampines Rovers FC: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Madhu Mohana (Afiq Yunos 90’), Fahrudin Mustafic (C), Amirul Adil, Zulfadhmi Suzliman (Khairul Amri 46’), Ryutaro Megumi, Fazrul Nawaz (Irwan Shah 76’), Jordan Webb, Shameer Aziq, Daniel Bennett, Yasir Hanapi

Young Lions: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Adam Hakeem, Joshua Pereira, Ikhsan Fandi, Syahrul Sazali, Hami Syahin (Asshukrie Wahid 77’), Irfan Fandi, Haiqal Pashia, Rusyaidi Salime (Amirul Hakim 89’), Tafuiq Muqminim (C), Ifwat Ismail (Naufal Azman 71’)