Warriors FC sealed their second win of the Singapore Premier League season on Sunday as Jonathan Behe snatched a superb hat-trick at Our Tampines Hub.
Warriors FC continued their road to recovery as they earned a second consecutive win in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) after beating Tampines Rovers FC 3-2 at Our Tampines Hub on Sunday evening.
Jonathan Behe grabbed a hat-trick which took his tally for the season to ten goals, while Khairul Amri and Jordan Webb scored for the Stags.
The hosts had come into this game on the back of a five-game winning streak and were widely expected to extend that run, but it was the Warriors who began the better of the two teams.
They first threatened in the sixth minute, after Tajeli Salamat swung in a corner which caused mayhem in the box. Several Warriors players tried to force the ball over the line but Syazwan Buhari was on hand to claim the ball.
Tampines responded through Fahrudin Mustafic at the other end three minutes later, as he rose the highest to meet Yasir Hanapi’s corner, but he could only glance his effort over the bar.
It would be a miss Mustafic would come to regret, as the visitors took the lead in the 11th minute through a penalty. Tajeli was brought down by Webb and Behe duly converted the resulting spot-kick.
The Frenchman nearly turned provider in the 23rd minute, finding Ignatius Ang at close range but with the goal at his mercy the latter failed to find the target and instead saw his shot deflected out for a corner.
It became 2-0 in the 32nd minute, when Behe had sight of goal from 20 yards out and he slammed home a powerful grounder which left Syazwan with no chance.
Pressed into action, Tampines sent on Amri and Madhu Mohana in the second half but it was the Warriors who continued to carve out the better chances.
Three minutes in, Ho Wai Loon made a marauding run into the danger area and he laid the ball on for Behe, who forced a save out of Syazwan with his low shot.
The striker did not need to wait long to secure the match ball though, doing so just a minute past the hour mark.
Going on the break, Behe first ran past Tampines defender Daniel Bennett before drawing out Syazwan and poking home from an acute angle.
It was seemingly going to be a comfortable win for the Warriors then, until Tampines scored twice in the last ten minutes to set up a nervy ending.
Mukundan Maran had a reasonably quiet evening but he was called into action in the 83rd minute, pulling out a top-drawer save to catch onto Amri’s equally sublime volley which seemed destined for the top corner.
But Amri was not to be denied, sending in a cross-shot which left Mukundan gasping at thin air to give the Stags a lifeline with six minutes remaining.
Webb would then reduce the deficit to just a mere goal difference after picking his spot from distance to make it 3-2.
However, the hosts could not conjure any more goals despite piling on the pressure and had to leave the game empty-handed.
Warriors will have a week to recover before they take on Balestier Khalsa on 23 June, while Tampines will get a ten-day break before playing Home United FC on 26 June.
Tampines Rovers FC Head Coach Jurgen Raab: “There’s not much to say. First half I am not sure what happened, we played very badly, there was no energy, no power, there were so many mistakes. We gave them the chances to score and so we came in a bad position for the second half but we tried to change things and we tried very hard, but we did not make the best decisions.
“I thought we would lose 3-0, I thought it was their day and nothing would work for us, but great effort from the team to score the late goals. If we had more luck, we could have scored the equaliser. The team has not delivered what they had in the last few matches, we always came in and dominated and had the right mind set, so for me I must think about what happened and speak with the players.”
Warriors FC Head Coach Mirko Grabovac: “What can I say about this game, in the first half I thought we had a good game we make very good decisions today, because you can see Behe when he is 100 per cent fit he is a different player but most of the players played very well, even Tajeli. For 85 minutes, we played very well. I told them, many good attacking plays from behind. A lot of good options and we are improving.
Tampines Rovers FC: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Fahrudin Mustafic (C), Amirul Adli, Zulfadhmi Suzliman (Khairul Amri 46’), Ryutaro Megumi, Fazrul Nawaz, Jordan Webb, Daniel Bennett, Irwan Shah (Shah Shahiran 78’), Yasir Hanapi, Faizal Raffi (Madhu Mohana 46’)
Warriors FC: Mukundan Maran (GK), Ismadi Mukhtar, Delwinder Singh (Anmmirul Emmran 68’), Kento Fukuda (C), Emmeric Ong, Jonathan Behe, Ignatius Ang (Hafiz Sulaiman 60’), Daniel Shafiq, Nur Luqman (Shamil Sharif 46’), Tajeli Salamat, Ho Wai Loon