News • February 27, 2014

AFC Cup Debut Victory Eludes Salim Moin


Written by: Khalis Rifhan

Salim Moin’s desire to notch an AFC Cup debut win went up in smoke as Tampines Rovers were handed a 5-0 reverse against Kitchee Sports Club at Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday night.

Jorge Tarres Paramo netted twice before the interval, and Chan Man Fai added the team’s third minutes after the restart. Second half substitute Xu Deshuai grabbed Kitchee’s fourth goal before the hour mark and Juan Carlos Belencoso snatched the final goal in injury time.

The Stags started their Group H encounter against the 2013 Hong Kong First Division runners-up without their marquee player Miljan Mrdakovic and Imran Sahib, as both were sent off in their Asian Champions League play-off against South China earlier in the month.

Coach Salim Moin started with ex-Singapore international Aleksandar Duric as the lone striker but introduced another former Lions, Noh Alam Shah, after his side went a goal down.

After holding out Kitchee’s attack in the opening stages, the hosts’ defence finally crumbled towards the end of the first half as their defensive duo, Norihiro Kawakami and Kunihiro Yamashita, were caught out by their opponents’ pace.

Lam Ka Wai sent a defence-splitting ball to Tarres and the latter broke away from his marker and sent the ball into goal for the opener in the 40th minute.

Tarres added to his tally in the first-half injury time, beating the offside trap to get to the end of Chan’s long ball over the Stags defence. Seeing Hyrulnizam Juma’at rush out of his goal line, Tarres lifted the ball over the Tampines custodian and blasted the ball into an empty net.

It was three goals up for the visitors two minutes after the break. A swift interchangeable passes from midfield ended with Lam Ka Wai threading the ball to Chan who was lurking on the left side of the penalty box, and the 25-year-old gleefully placed the ball into the bottom corner.

Despite trailing by three goals, the Stags showed character and determination to get back into the match. Captain Mustafic Fahrudin rallied his troops on and managed to give the Kitchee’s defence a scare on several occasions.

Tampines were unfortunate to concede another goal in the 56th minute as Deshuai’s attempt from 25 yards slithered through Hyrulnizam’s body for Kitchee’s fourth of the night.

Undeterred by the scoreline, Salim brought on the speedy and adventurous Jamil Ali for Ang Zhiwei in the 67th minute. Jamil’s presence added life to Tampines’ attacks and his crosses from the left were a nuisance for the opponents.

With the match coming to a close, Alex Chu Chi Kwong’s side added the fifth and final goal of the night. Belencoso was left to wander alone in the final third and the Spaniard added his name to the score-sheet.

Tampines will next travel to Myanmar to face Nay Pyi Taw on 12 March while Kitchee will host Indian club Pune FC on the same day.

Tampines Rovers: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Mustafic Fahrudin (C), Jufri Taha, Kunihiro Yamashita, Shaiful Esah, Shahdan Sulaiman, Aleksandar Duric, Anaz Hadee, Norihiro Kawakami, Ang Zhiwei (Jamil Ali 67’), Luis Closa Gonzalez (Noh Alam Shah 41’)

Kitchee SC: Wang Zhenpeng (GK), Lo Kwan Yee (C), Fernando Comi, Gao Wen (Tsang Chi Hau 65’), Juan Carlos Belencoso,  Lam Ka Wai (Tsang Kam To 73’), Cheung Kin Fung, Chan Man Fai (Xu Deshuan 50’), Jorge Tarres, Huang Yang, Jang Kyungjin