News • April 27, 2016
AFC Cup 2016: Tigers Notch Up Important Victory, Stags Suffer Shock Defeat
Written by: Aysha Ridzuan
The AFC Cup 2016 group stage action on Tuesday night saw Great Eastern S.League sides Balestier Khalsa mauled New Radiant 3-0, while Tampines Rovers were downed 3-2 by Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi in a surprise defeat.
Going into the game at Jalan Besar Stadium without suspended main striker Miroslav Kristic did seem to not be a problem for the Tigers as they went two goals up before the break.
The Tigers, who won their first league game last week, opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when Emir Lotinac’s attempt hit the post amd Zulkiffli Hassim slammed the rebound home
Ten minutes later, Balestier doubled their lead when Jamil Ali met Zulkiffli’s cross and fired passed New Radiant second-choice custodian Fairooz Ahmed.
New Radiant, who had no chance of moving to the next round after collecting only two points from four matches, could have pulled a goal back minutes later when Rilwan Waheed’s dangerous free-kick looked destined for the net, but Zaiful Nizam managed to pushed the ball away.
Balestier started the second period much like the first as they pressured immediately and their third goal came in the 61st minute when Fadhil Noh tap the ball home after a defensive mistake by the visitors.
The Tigers will take on Kitchee SC next in Hong Kong to play Kitchee in the last game of the AFC Cup group stage on May 10.
Meanwhile at Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka, Tampines Rovers failed to secure three points in Group E clash against Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi.
The surprising defeat means that the Stags will have no choice but to win against Selangor in their last group stage match on 10 May to progress to the next round.
The hosts took the lead in the 20th minute when Fahrudin Mustafic blocked Emeka Onuoha’s attempt and Landing Darboe fired the rebound into the net from close-range.
Mustafic pulled Tampines level after he headed home Jermaine Pennant’s corner just before half-time.
Sheikh Jamal went ahead again in the 57th minute when Emeka Onuoha scored from the spot after Wedson Anselme was brought down by Mustafic inside the box.
The Stags equalised again 13 minutes later when Shahdan Sulaiman’s long-range shot was blocked by Mazharul Islam, but Billy Mehmet was first to the rebound and poked the ball into the back of the net.
However, eight minutes from time, Darboe broke through Tampines’ defence to score the winning goal for the Bangladeshi side.