Singapore Premier League • June 27, 2018

Amirul Adli stunner gets Tampines back to Home comforts

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The midfielder struck the only goal of the game to see the Stags return to winning ways at Our Tampines Hub

Amirul Adli scored his second goal of the season to win it for Tampines Rovers FC.

SINGAPORE, 26 JUNE 2018 – Khairul Amri was robbed of a possible Goal of the Season contender, but it did not matter as Amirul Adli’s second-half stunner ensured Tampines Rovers FC edged Home United FC 1-0 at Our Tampines Hub on Tuesday night.

The result meant Tampines opened up a seven-point gap between them and third-placed Home, with another game in hand.

Having played their last game nine days ago as compared to Home, whom played three days earlier, Tampines made full use of their fresher legs and they dominated the entire first half.

The first chance of the night came on 10 minutes, with Japanese winger Ryutaro Megumi somehow nodding Irwan Shah’s teasing left-wing cross over from a yard out.

The Stags tested Rudy Khairullah for the first time six minutes later, as the Home goalkeeper repelled Megumi’s header off another Irwan cross.

They had the ball in the net in the 20th minute, but Megumi was adjudged to be in an offside position when he diverted home Amri’s shot from close range.

Juergen Raab’s side then thought they had finally broken the deadlock just past the half-hour mark when Amri intercepted Shakir Hamzah’s pass out of defence and instinctively sent a stunning 40-yard left-footed effort that flew over Rudy.

The ball struck the underside of the bar before clearly bouncing over the line but a goal was somehow not awarded to the amusement of Amri, who had wheeled away in celebration as the customary goal celebration song rang out in the stadium.

Home’s only opportunity of the first half came on 35 minutes, with Abdil Qaiyyim failing to keep his header down from Izzdin Shafiq’s free kick.

The visitors were prevented from going behind four minutes before the break by Rudy, who stood up tall with a superb double save to deny Shameer Aziq and Jordan Webb.

But the Protectors’ resistance finally crumbled just 45 seconds into the second half.

Capitalising on Shakir’s poor clearance, Adli strode onto the loose ball in a flash before producing a stunning pile-driver from 25 yards out that whistled past Rudy and almost broke the net.

Home Head Coach Aidil Sharin reacted by throwing on Iqram Rifqi and Amy Recha for Arshad Shamim and Amiruldin Asraf soon after, but the Protectors continued to struggle to create chances upfront.

Without strike partner Song Ui-young, Shahril Ishak cut a frustrated figure upfront as he lacked quality service all night.

Tampines could have doubled their lead on 82 minutes when Yasir Hanapi’s neat back-heel put Webb through on goal, but the Canadian winger saw his curling shot tipped away by Rudy.

Home went agonisingly close to finding an equaliser moments later, but Hafiz Nor’s well-struck shot from the edge of the area could only find the roof of the net.

Tampines was denied a second in injury time when Shameer thudded the ball off the left-hand post after being put through on goal by Webb, but that miss did not matter in the end.

The Stags will take confidence from the result as they face Balestier Khalsa FC away on Saturday evening, while Home face Hougang United FC at Jalan Besar Stadium 24 hours later.

WHAT THEY SAID
Tampines Head Coach Juergen Raab: “I must say we showed a fantastic response to last week’s defeat to Warriors FC, in which we played one of our worst matches. It was a brilliant performance defensively and offensively. The situation (in race for second) now is good for us and I hope we can start a new (winning) run by bringing forward this performance like tonight’s. We still have to play Brunei (DPMM FC) three times… By the end of July, I will know the situation better.”

Home Head Coach Aidil Sharin: “It was a game of two halves. Tampines did very well in the first half, but we came back strongly in the second half. Without a few key players and two foreigners, it’s not easy but the boys gave everything they got. There’s a big difference without Song there. The players that came in did their best… It’s just that (the) connection (between them) needs time (to be built) and they need to adjust to how Shahril plays.”

Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irfan Najeeb (Madhu Mohana 72’), Fahrudin Mustafic (C), Daniel Bennett, Shameer Aziq, Amirul Adli, Yasir Hanapi, Irwan Shah (Hafiz Sujad 80’), Ryutaro Megumi, Khairul Amri (Fazrul Nawaz 76’), Jordan Webb.
Unused subs: Haikal Hasnol (GK), Zulfadhmi Suzliman, Shah Shahiran, Faizal Raffi.

Home: Rudy Khairullah (GK),  Aqhari Abdullah (Faritz Hameed 78’), Abdil Qaiyyim, Shakir Hamzah, Faizal Roslan, Hafiz Nor, M. Anumanthan, Izzdin Shafiq (C), Arshad Shamim (Iqram Rifqi 55’), Amiruldin Asraf (Amy Recha 62’), Shahril Ishak.
Unused subs: Kenji Rusydi (GK), Eko Pradana Putra (GK), Shahrin Saberin, Suhairi Sabri.