Singapore Premier League • July 21, 2018

Hat-trick hero Khairul Amri leads Tampines derby comeback win over Geylang


The veteran striker grabbed his second treble of the season as the Stags overturned a half-time deficit

Khairul Amri brought his league tally to a career-best 13.

SINGAPORE, 21 JULY 2018 – Tampines Rovers FC tightened their grip on second spot in the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League (SPL) after dishing out a 4-1 hammering to Geylang International FC at Our Tampines Hub (OTH) on Saturday evening.

Geylang had taken the lead in the 33rd minute through Fairoz Hasan, but Khairul Amri’s hat-trick helped Tampines come from behind before Amirul Adli added the icing on the cake.

Tampines had dominated the first half but profligacy and a superb showing by Geylang goalkeeper Zainol Gulam kept them at bay.

The custodian was first called into action in the 12th minute, getting down superbly to repel Jordan Webb’s snapshot.

In the 21st minute, Ryutaro Megumi sent a great ball across the face of goal, only for Amri to volley wide at the far post.

Zainol then denied Webb again in the 24th minute, before he parried away a brilliant free-kick by Fahrudin Mustafic moments later. Megumi could have opened the scoring from the rebound, but he blasted the ball over instead.

Against the run of play, the Eagles then broke the deadlock. Jufri Taha launched a free-kick towards Afiq Yunos, whose knock-down found Ryson Yap. The midfielder forced a good save out of Syazwan, but the ball fell for Fairoz and he drilled his sixth goal of the season into the bottom left corner.

Tampines continued to pound on the doors and Bennett was unlucky to see his header pushed away by Zainol in the 35th minute, while Amri saw a fierce strike tipped onto the post by the goalkeeper.

The 15-minute reprieve did nothing to change the face of the game though and it was no surprise when Tampines leveled five minutes after the restart.

Amri made up for all his earlier misses by scoring a hat-trick in the space of 20 minutes, first tapping the ball into goal after Adli’s cut-back found him in the 50th minute.

He scored a similar effort on the hour mark, this time finishing off Megumi’s low cross and capped it all off in the 66th minute by converting a penalty he earned to complete his second treble of the season.

Adli, who had spurned two chances earlier, was finally rewarded for his endeavour in the 88th minute. Webb lobbed a ball towards Zulfadhmi Suzliman, who backheeled it into the path of Adli for him to calmly place it beyond Zainol to make it 4-1.

Tampines Head Coach Juergen Raab: “We are very happy because we played on Wednesday evening. We had a short night, not much sleep before flying back and three days later we have this game. But we were motivated to do a good job and it was a great performance. We were down 1-0 and you think it’s wrong for this to happen to us but its football and it happens. The team never lost their patience and we created and deserved these four goals.

“I was not worried when we went behind because I have spoken about this in meetings. We need to do what we can. Geylang couldn’t stop us. With one action they scored a goal, but it was important we continued to play our way.”

Geylang Head Coach Hirotaka Usui: “Of course I am disappointed, but… they did their best. So I cannot criticise my players of course. In the first half, they (Tampines) also had many chances… There was nothing for me to change in the second half, we double-teamed their players but it did not work and it caused big trouble for us. After the goal, we lost our concentration and the first goal came in, then the second goal.”

Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Fahrudin Mustafic (C), Amirul Adli, Ryutaro Megumi, Jordan Webb, Shameer Aziq (Madhu Mohana 71’), Daniel Bennett, Yasir Hanapi, Khairul Amri, Irfan Najeeb (Irwan Shah 85’), Hafiz Sujad (Zulfadhmi Suzliman 61’).
Unused subs: Hariz Farid (GK), Haziq Razzali, Shah Shahiran, Faizal Raffi.

Geylang: Zainol Gulam (GK), Jufri Taha, Darren Teh, Ryan Syaffiq, Fuad Ramli (Azhar Sairudin 63’), Fumiya Kogure, Ryson Yap (Ahmad Zaki 79′), Afiq Yunos, Fairoz Hasan, Yuki Ichikawa (C), Zikos Chua (Anders Aplin 48’).
Unused subs: Basil Chan (GK), Yeo Hai Ngee, Danish Irfan, Noor Ariff.