|Coach Sundram (right) looked away as Tigers celebrate|
Prior to the match at the Toa Payoh Stadium, the home ground of the Tigers, things were looking up for the visiting Stags who were looking nothing less than maximum points to narrow the gap between league leaders Brunei DPMM and themselves, especially when the men from the sultanate were upset by Geylang International two days ago.
|Pacheco was having a bad day in office|
The loss not only pushed Tampines to fourth spot on the ladder and are now five points adrift from the Bruneians with only one game in hand to their advantage.
Two close-range efforts at the early part of the game set the momentum that placed Balestier on the driving position when Zulkiffli Hassim and Igor Cerina pencilled their names on the scoresheet.
|Stags' Ismail Yunos got ahead of "Iggy" Ang of Tigers|
But a goal five minutes before the break ensured the deficit was cut to one and calmed the Stags with the header from former DPMM striker Rodrigo Tosi.
While the visitors dominated much the possession in the second half, it didn’t translate to the goals they badly needed just like their last match against the Warriors that ended goal-less.
|Cerina (left) tussle with Mateo Roskam|
The game was eventually rounded up with two late penalties awarded to each side in the last two minutes of the regular time with both Kristic and Tosi made no mistake from the spot to call it a day.
“It was a really good performance and we played beautiful,” said Coach Kraljevic in his post-match interview.
“The game plan was to push and pressure forward using the same 4-4-2 formation to create some chances in the game.” he added.
|Jonathan Xu (red) and Ismadi Mukhtar (2) outwit each other|
“And I am not surprised the way Balestier played as they are a group of fighters, it just that I don’t think we started the game well but if tomorrow Warriors can beat DPMM, we are back again (in the title race).”