News Singapore Premier League • July 8, 2021
Daniel Bennett scores Tampines Rovers’ first ever AFC Champions League goal
Daniel Bennett (no. 16) celebrates after scoring in the AFC Champions League for Tampines Rovers , 7 July 2021 (Photo: Shintaro Tay/Tampines Rovers)
SINGAPORE, 8 JULY 2021 – Veteran defender Daniel Bennett wrote himself into the history books on Wednesday night when he scored for Tampines Rovers in their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) 2021 match against Gamba Osaka.
The centre-back’s fine looping header from Zehrudin Mehmedović’s corner on 27 minutes halved the deficit for the Stags in their fifth Group H encounter at the Bunyodkor Stadium in Tashkent, Uzbekistan last night. However, their Japanese opponents would run out 8-1 winners.
Nonetheless, Bennett’s strike meant he scored Tampines’ first ever goal in the ACL, with this being the club’s debut in the tournament. At 43 years and 181 days, Bennett also eclipsed Dejan Damjanović (39y 341d) as the oldest ever scorer in the tournament’s history.
🎥 HIGHLIGHTS | 🇯🇵 Gamba Osaka 8-1 Tampines Rovers 🇸🇬
— #ACL2021 (@TheAFCCL) July 8, 2021
Remarkably, it came 11 years and 85 days after his first goal in the ACL – a 65th-minute opener for Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) against Henan Jianye in their Group G encounter in 2010, which SAF won 2-1. That remains the only victory by a Singaporean club in ACL history. With his goal against Gamba, Bennett also drew level with Erwan Gunawan on two ACL goals, which is believed to be a joint-leading tally by a Singaporean player in the tournament’s history.
Tampines goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari also made his mark by pulling off two penalty saves in the same match, which is believed to make him the first Singaporean goalkeeper to save a spot-kick in the ACL.
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Gavin Lee’s charges, who have already been eliminated in the group stage after five defeats in as many matches, face Thai side Chiangrai United in their final match on Saturday night.