Singapore Premier League • October 3, 2014
Captain Marvel Mustafic Leads Stags To Second Place
Written by: Muhammad Yazid
Reigning champions Tampines Rovers recorded a narrow 1-0 victory over fellow-giants Home United at the Bishan Stadium to put them second on the league standings in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League.
Skipper Mustafic Fahrudin scored the only goal of the game in the first half to award his side all three points and allow them to still have a chance in the championship.
It was a game of two halves with Tampines dominating the first and Home dominating the second, but the former proved to be more clinical as they managed to bag in the much-needed goal.
The victors started the game with desire to sit in the driving seat early as they created two chances in the opening three minutes.
Miljan Mrdakovic’s header off Jozef Kaplan’s cross bounced inches wide before the former’s low cross for Aleksandar Duric was denied by Masrezwan Masturi with a crucial last-ditch tackle.
The Stags settled down in the game pretty fast and were efficient in forcing pressure at the final third, having the lion’s’ share of possession.
The Stags finally broke the deadlock in the 26th minute well-deservedly, through Mustafic, after Jacob Butler’s long-range effort failed to find the target.
Shaiful Esah whipped in his trademark pin-point free-kick from the right side and Mustafic was at the end of it, glancing his header into the bottom corner of the net.
Home struggled to play their usual game for the whole of the first half, as they did not pose any threat upfront to test Justin Pasfield.
It was only after the interval that they got back on their feet. Fazrul Nawaz executed an on-target snapshot, but it lacked the necessary power to get past the custodian.
The former Singapore international was a constant menace as he had two more opportunities under his belt, but none of them found the back of the net.
Fazrul’s half-volley was parried away by Pasfield before the resulting corner by Sirina Camara saw his header loop over the crossbar.
The Protectors were hungry for the equaliser and were denied once again when Bruno Castanheira’s effort creeped wide off the upright.
Tampines started to sit back towards the end of the game to deny Home time and space at the danger areas.
The hosts huffed and puffed but nothing went their way as they succumbed to a crucial defeat, which allowed Tampines to overtake them, Warriors FC and Albirex Niigata (S) to second place.
The Stags are currently three points behind Brunei DPMM who have a game in hand.
Home on the other hand are still in the chase although they dropped to fifth place, with 41 points.