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Competitive Edge counts nothing in Warriors' AFC Cup opening defeat

Nico Velez (right) looks on a Persipura's celebrations 
Unfortunately, having the competitive edge after went through grills offered by the Asian Champions League (ACL) playoffs in recent weeks did not give Warriors FC the necessary advantage, as perceived by many, during their AFC Cup Group E opener against Persipura Jayapura with the former succumbed to a 3-1 defeat at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

After all, the Indonesian side did not have the most ideal preparation prior to this fixture due to delay commencement of their domestic season that denied any serious match practice before coming to Singapore.

However, the last evening's result should more or less cast those doubts aside in the words of Metusalach Dwaramury, the assistant coach of the West Papua-based side.

Boaz Solossa (hands raised) scored the second goal
Speaking through a translator after the match, the bespectacled assistant to Brazilian Oswaldo Lessa opined:"While this is our first competitive match (of the year), but it is not the first time we are in this tournament and having played Home United last season, we know how Singapore clubs prepare for this competition too.

"And I felt that both Indonesian and Singaporean clubs level is similar, however, it's all about how we prepare ourselves for the AFC Cup."

Indeed, while both sides started the match on a shaky note, it was the away side that gradually took the control of the game by taking the lead in the half-hour mark through Ivorian Lancine Kone who tapped onto Marin Vidosevic's blunder to open the account of the night.

Dominggus Fakdawer (left) tussle with Velez for ball 
Vidosevic (right) had a bad day in office
The last year's semi-finalists upped the score four minutes later with a Boaz Solossa's loop over a hapless Neezam Aziz in goal to set the path right for the three points at stake.

Midfielder Nelson Alom made it three-nil in the 58th minute and only to see substitute Andy Ahmad, who came in for veteran Shi Jiayi in the 64th minute, to reduce the deficit to two with clinical finishing in the 69th minute.

"We didn't approach the game on a cautious note," replied a visibly disappointed Alex Weaver, the Warriors' coach, to a suggestion made by a reporter after losing the opener.

Hafiz Rahim (left) robbed of the possession by Ian Kabes
Andy Ahmad scored the consolation in 69th minute
Continued the Englishman when he stressed:"The reason we lost tonight is because we literally gave the (first) two goals away to Persipura,

"I had been disappointed with team performance or individual performance in the past, but this is the first time I am disappointed with a group of players,

"We just did not show the standard we have after we done so during our training and we need to move forward after this to prepare ourselves against Balestier this Sunday." he said in referring to the Charity Shield match-cum-league opener against the reigning Singapore Cup holders on the same ground.

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