League Cup • July 14, 2014
Firdaus-Inspired Jaguars Romp To Big Win
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Tanjong Pagar United comfortably brushed aside Police SA 7-1 at Queenstown Stadium on Sunday evening to ensure they finished top of Group A in the 2014 StarHub League Cup.
A hat-trick from Firdaus Idros, coupled with Ahmad Latiff’s brace and one each from Asraf Rashid and Monsef Zerka gave the Jaguars a dominant victory over the National Football League Division One side.
Danial Razali pulled one back for Police midway through the second-half but that proved to be a mere consolation.
After a slow start to the game, Tanjong Pagar drew first blood in the tenth minute with the floodgates opening thereafter.
Breaking free down the left, Zerka cut the ball back for a waiting Latiff on the edge of the six-yard box and he made no mistake from close range to put the Jaguars in front.
Four minutes later, Zerka nearly turned provider but the Moroccan-born forward could only scuff his shot wide before Sazali Salleh came close moments later with Raimi Misnam denying the 34-year-old.
In the space of five minutes, the lead was then increased as Asraf and Firdaus struck.
Off another cutback from the left, Asraf was left with all the time and space and he duly punished the Police defence with a well-hit left-footed shot past a hapless Raimi inside the penalty area.
It became 3-0 on 25 minutes with the goal coming from the left-hand side once again as Firdaus fired home the rebound after his initial effort was saved by Raimi.
Tanjong Pagar goalkeeper Shamsudin Hashim was then forced into action for the first time in the match, pushing a shot around the post for a corner in the 34th minute.
Just before the break, the home side further extended their advantage courtesy of goals from Zerka, Latiff and Firdaus as the referee called time on the first-half.
Patrick Vallee’s side continued from where they left off in the second-half as Firdaus completed his hat-trick six minutes after the restart.
An inswinging corner was headed goalward by Zerka and although Raimi managed to keep it out, the rebound fell kindly to Firdaus who gleefully tapped home from close range for 7-0.
Despite the huge deficit they had to overcome, Police refused to throw in the towel and managed to pull one back to score their first goal of the competition in the process.
Suhaimi Maskun released Danial and the latter raced through on goal before curling an unstoppable finish past Shamsudin on 69 minutes.
Tanjong Pagar took their foot off the pedal in the final twenty minutes or so but Police were still unable to breach the opponents’ defence as they fell to their second straight defeat in the competition.
The Jaguars will now play either Warriors FC or Geylang International from Group B in the last eight scheduled for this week, while Police will be up against reigning Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League champions Tampines Rovers in the Plate semi-finals.