Singapore Premier League • October 24, 2014
Warriors Go Four Points Clear At Summit
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Warriors FC pulled four points clear at the top of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League standings after a slender 2-1 victory over Tampines Rovers at Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Thursday evening.
Noh Alam Shah opened the scoring for the Stags after just four minutes, but Agu Casmir responded with a stunning strike seven minutes later before Miroslav Pejic came up with the winner ten minutes from time to seal the win for Warriors and end Tampines’ hopes of winning the title for the fourth straight year.
The result means Warriors now have 50 points heading into the final game of the season, albeit having played two more games than Brunei DPMM.
Requiring a victory to keep their title hopes alive, Tampines came out with all guns blazing and got off to the best possible start as they put their noses in front.
A corner was whipped in by Shaiful and it was Alam Shah who connected with it at the near post as he glanced a header past Hassan Sunny to stun the hosts.
However, Warriors refused to be cowed and replied in the 11th minute through Agu.
Picking up the ball from outside the penalty area, the Nigerian-born forward unleashed an unstoppable shot which flew into Justin Pasfield’s top corner to put Alex Weaver’s side back on level terms.
Warriors looked dangerous on the break thereafter as Tampines hardly had a sniff at goal apart from a tame header by Miljan Mrdakovic, which went straight into the arms of Hassan Sunny on 16 minutes.
Just before the half-hour mark, Nicholas Velez was next to come close as his effort from a tight angle trickled inches wide with Pasfield already beaten.
It was 1-1 at the break and mere moments after the restart, Velez could have put Warriors ahead. Latching onto a precise through pass from Ismail Yunos, the Argentine’s shot on the turn was however kept out by an alert Pasfield.
Warriors skipper Daniel Bennett then saw his volley go wide on 50 minutes after the Tampines defence failed to clear their lines from a corner while Kunihiro Yamashita headed just over moments later.
Velez was in the thick of things again and in the 56th minute, he was put through on goal by Shi Jiayi but prodded wide with only Pasfield to beat.
It was end-to-end stuff and Pasfield was called into action once again on the 70th-minute mark, producing a superb reflex save to deny Velez whose shot was looping in.
Two minutes later, Jozef Kaplan tested Hassan from inside the area but the Warriors custodian was equal to the task and pushed it away with Ismail completing the clearance.
With ten minutes to go, Pejic had other ideas as he struck the winner for the eight-time league champions.
After Velez was fouled on the edge of the area, Pejic stepped up and curled a free kick past Pasfield who could only watch on as the ball found the corner of the net.
Tampines defender Yamashita was dismissed for a second bookable offence deep into injury time, but it proved to be inconsequential as the damage had already been done with Warriors hanging on for a valuable 2-1 victory.