|Tampines will now play in AFC Cup instead|
Some quarters may argue that the Caroliners are having the advantage over the hosting Stags, for they are in the midst of their domestic season and just claimed their 31st Senior Shield win weeks earlier and therefore being the much conditioned and prepared side of the two.
Whereas, Tampines Rovers are still in their pre-season preparation for the upcoming S.League season and playing their first competitive match of the year.
|Imran Sahib (no 11) received his marching order for 2nd yellow|
Given such an unbalanced landscape it was not a much a surprise to see the Hong Kong powerhouses exorcised their 2008 ghost in the same stadium where they were thrashed 4-0 by Home United in that season's AFC Cup campaign with a 2-1 win over the reigning S.League champions.
|Andrew Barisić (with ball) destroyed Stags again|
|Clear for safety in the box|
However, much of Asia have been progressing in the recent years with the Singapore clubs heading for a slide that saw Tampines Rovers not making it to the knockout stages of the second tier AFC Cup in the last two years of their participation (in 2012 and 2013).
|Alek Duric found in tough going in a tussle|
|Tempers flared up occasionally|
SALIM STAYS POSITIVE
In spite of that, Tampines coach Salim Moin continued to brace the media with a positive front after the game that went into extra time with Mrdakovic's 64th minute equalizer.
"Basically, I'm proud of my team with the fighting spirit they have shown," said the former national midfider in addressing the press.
He added:"I think we created more chances in the first half, which both sides did and I felt we were having the upper hand in the first forty-five (minutes)."
"And I am proud of the performance tonight, given that South China are already in their season, whereas my team are still in their pre-season, but we will train hard, as there's no holiday for the team when we need to correct some of the things and you will see a different team in the Charity Shield."
|Coach Salim with 'keeper Hyrulnizam Juma'at|
"It was very difficult for us, as we have not play in any AFC tournament for a long time," said the 43-year-old former police officer.
"It has been a good experience for the team and the players had shown they never gave up easily, however I think it would be difficult in the next games." he added.
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