Skip to main content

[AFC Cup] Stags Out of Group Wilderness After Five Years ...

Yasir Hanapi (middle) scored the winner
After seven five years in wilderness, Tampines Rovers finally made it out of the group stages of the AFC Cup tournament by beating Malaysian powerhouses Selangor FA one-nil at Kallang in front of a crowd of 11,875.

The solitary goal was a well-taken attempt from Yasir Hanapi in the 32nd minute that was deemed enough to pave the way for the Stags into the Round of 16.

“It was a great goal." said Tampines' coach V Sundram moorthy after the game of the match winner. "He (Yasir) took it well, bend the ball away and it's goal of a match winner."

Noh Rahman (5) denied R Gopinathan (25) from advancing
Little much were said by the shy 27-year-old midfielder who was also named Man-of-The-Match at the post-match media gathering when asked on his thoughts for scoring that all-important goal.

"I am very happy to score that (winning) goal and I can't describe my feelings now." replied Yasir who only joined the big-spending Stags this year after two seasons with Home United.

Shahdan Sulaiman (8) tussled with Mauro Olivi (16)
Much were said (source:1,2) during the building up of this Group E match between the two sides at the National Stadium which should be enough to entice fans to turn up at the game, despite the early kickoff of 7pm for one fact being this was a groundbreaking move to see staging of a match of this tournament for the first time in this 55,000-seated arena.

However, due to some peculiar arrangements only the lower-tier of the stand facing the grandstand was filled up with scattered fews spread out behind the goal-posts facing the CBD skyline and strangely, the visiting Selangor supporters known as the "UltraSel Curva" only made their entrance to the game minutes before the interval to back their heroes in the sector normally reserved for away fans.

It was later informed via various sources the group was held up at the checkpoint when entering the Republic.

Skipper "Fara" headed to defuse a crisis in the box
Despite the late appearance, it did not deter the Klang Valley folks from whipping up the fervour support with their usual routines of chants and stomping on the stands that were sporadically countered by the local fans from their end.

But sadly, such a passionate display on the terraces by the "Merah-Kuning" fans was not complimented by those Selangor players on the field which still bore the visible markings of a rugby field, as they struggled to break down the stubborn defence marshalled by Tampines' skipper Fahrudin Mustafic.

He did not go in depth when deciphered his opinions on his team's performance, as Selangor's coach Zainal Abidin Hassan provided straight-to-the-point replies to questions from the floor.

Contrasting feelings after the game
Said the one-time goal machine of Malaysian football:"Bad luck to Selangor when we gave away one goal and we tried to (get) the equaliser before half time."

"We got our chances in the game but couldn't score and we started to attack, we missed those chances we created, that's it." before hurriedly left the room.

At the meantime, Coach Sundram, his counterpart and former team-mate in Pahang FA back in the 1990s, lauded the result as a positive one for Singapore football.

Selangor fans registered their unhappiness over team's display after game
Said the former national striker:"I believe we are in the right direction and it's good for Singapore football."

"It shows that S.League is as good as the Malaysian League and quite even on its day, it would be another plus point for us to make it the quarter-finals and hope more fans will come to support us like today."

The "Dazzler", however, did not comment on the sending off of Billy Mehmet in the second half.


  1. I would like to apologize for a mistake made in the entry. After verification of details, it is confirmed Tampines Rovers last qualified for the tournament's Round of 16 FIVE years ago in 2011 instead of seven years ago.

    Necessary changes had been made to correct the mistakes, sincerely regret for any inconvenience caused.


Post a Comment

While I allow comment/feedback to be posted using Anonymous mode but comments containing discrimination of race, derogatory terms and seditious remarks will NOT be tolerated and will be deleted, if necessary, at the blog owner

Please do not abuse it, thanks

And the blog owner WILL not be responsible for comments by visitors except those of his own

All comments are subjected to moderation and publish upon determination, thanks

Thank You for your kind attention

Ko Po Hui

Please Check Out These Posts Below Before You Leave

Wishful Thinking...

End of #TheBerndStangeShow

Coach Stange remains defiant amid criticism ahead of Syrian test

[AFC Cup] - A Journey of Triumphs and Challenges for Singaporean Clubs

[Media Information] Singapore to face China PR, Jordan and Iraq in the Third Round of the 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP BRAZIL ™ ASIAN QUALIFIERS