News • April 23, 2014
Salim Assumes Blame For AFC Cup Disappointment
Written by: Muhammad Yazid
Just another ten minutes of regulation time, and Tampines Rovers would have secured progression to the last 16 of the AFC Cup if they held on for the point they needed.
However, it was not to be, as Nay Pyi Taw scored the decisive goal through Carlos Delgado to defeat Tampines 1-0 and push them down to third place in Group H, while the Myanmar-based side leapfrogged the Stags to second with eight points.
This result meant that the Stags crashed out of the AFC Cup at the group stages once again for the third year running.
However, Tampines coach Salim Moin refused to lay the blame on his players and took it upon himself to shoulder the fault for the early exit in the regional competition.
“It is every coach’s dream to progress to the next round and I was almost there,” Salim said.
“At the end of the day, I will take responsibility of the team’s performance but nevertheless I am happy because it is a big challenge for me.”
“We will come back stronger and I want to motivate my players to concentrate in the S.League so that we can play in the AFC cup next year once again.”
Clearly stating his disappointment at the result, Salim rued how the Stags were unable to maximise the few chances they had.
“I am clearly disappointed. We were too comfortable with the situation as we only needed a draw, which resulted in lapses of concentration,” Salim expressed.
“Yes I was confident of a win but whichever team which takes their chances would win, and today it was not us.
“Maybe our closest opportunity which went wide early in the game by Mustafic Fahrudin free-kick changed the complexion of the game.”
His opposite number, Myo Hlaing Win was pleased with the win against a ‘strong-sided team’ and praised the two former S.League players in his team.
“Tampines is a tactically strong team with both local and foreign quality players and I am happy we beat them because our players are young and we have no national players,” Myo said.
“Carlos Delgado knew that he would score for sure while Obadin Aikhena controlled the match very well.”
With the win, Nay Pyi Taw marched on to the next round of the AFC Cup for the first time in their history.