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[TNP League Cup] Laggy Warriors CRUSHED by Precise Tigers

Kristic (center) got a hat-trick
This could be the only trophy not within the reach of the most successful club in the S.League anytime soon, given the kind of display the Warriors dished out hours earlier.

The local scene got back to action after the SEA Games recess with The New Paper League Cup kicked start last evening with Alex Weaver led his troops to Toa Payoh to face their fellow AFC Cup representatives - Balestier Khalsa whom themselves were former winners of the Cup back in 2013.

Nico Velez (10) closed down by Ho Wai Loon
Ironically, the Cup, which is title-sponsored by a local newspaper of the same name this season, has never been won by any of those powerhouses of local football with the Warriors (when they were still known as SAFFC) came close in 2009 as runners-up to Brunei DPMM who are the most successful side in the tournament with three victories under their belt.

Due to the ongoing Ramadan period, all fixtures in this tournament are scheduled for 8.30pm kick-off.

Close attention on Robert Pericic (9)
Hafiz Rahim bodychecked by Igor Cerina (5)
By all accounts, this Group B fixture may not be the prettiest football on display with the much of the match from the start dominated by scrappy plays with attacking lacked fluency that often went off steam in the attacking third which one would wonder if the long layoff from competitive football for large part of the month could be culprit for such sloppiness.

Therefore, it was always the case of who took their chances well would be well-rewarded for their efforts and saw Croatian marksman Miroslav Kristic opened the account one minute before the interval by drove it low past Warriors' custodian Daniel Ong.

Barely two minutes into the second half, Kristic maintained his momentum by doubled his tally with a header amid some porous defending by the defending S.League champions.

"Iggy" scored the third goal for the Tigers
When substitute Ignatius "Iggy" Ang netted in the Tigers' third in the 73rd minute with a textbook finish, it could well signalled that the Warriors had lost their will to carry on in the match after Kristic completed his hat-trick in the 89th minute with an effortless tap in from close range to close the night on a 4-0 scoreline.

Inevitably, the former Hougang United coach got his men headed straight to the tunnel for a lengthy post-mortem after the match and only to see some of the players came out in the dark for their warming down session under the dim settings of the ground when everyone was about to pack and go.


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