Singapore Premier League • September 18, 2014

Coaches Blame Luck For Result


Written by: Muhammad Yazid

The opening fixture of the final round in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League saw reigning Tampines Rovers and Albirex Niigata (S) battle out in a goalless draw, and both coaches shared similar sentiments after the final whistle, as they felt that luck was not on either side.

Tampines’ coach Rafi Ali was clearly disappointed that his charges were not able to produce a victory.

“It was two points dropped. Both teams had chances but we were unlucky because we dominated the game throughout,” Rafi mentioned.

“Albirex came into pitch with a gameplan of soaking us and they did very well.”

The ex-Singapore international, however, was more interested in looking forward to the rest of the season than to dwell on the result, as he shared how he and his team are going to approach the remaining four games.

“We should work on scoring goals in our training sessions,” he suggested.

“At this crucial point of the season, every team needs favours from other teams. Brunei DPMM is on the driving seat but anything can happen at anytime.

“We just have to do our job, start focusing and the results will come our way.”

The former Tampines skipper believed that his team is lacking the a key ingredient of a successful team right now – composure.

“We are going through the last round in the league and there is pressure on us because we are the Champions and need to retain the title,” he expressed.

“Thus, we need composure. I need to keep my players calmed and they have to look up.

“Sometimes when you try too hard, it is not helping the team. If we had a little bit more composure, we could have won the game.

“Composure comes with playing experience but I cannot fault them on their effort because they have been trying and trying.”

His counterpart, Tatsuyuki Okuyama, was upset as his side was denied by the woodwork for a number of times in the game.

Okuyama was adamant that while luck had played a part in the draw, his team too could brush up on their finishing abilities.

“We had huge chances to score in both halves but we missed them all, that was why we could not win,” Okuyama said.

“I really wanted all three points tonight, but sadly we lost two points.

“In attack we need to get more goals. Finishing is the problem but we have been trying to score more goals in the past few games”

However, the Albirex coach finally admitted that his side had a shot at the title, after initially expressing his hopes to take it one game at a time and not be distracted by talks of the championship.

“We are aiming for the title. There are four games left but we will progress together and get the expected results.”