Singapore Cup • July 1, 2014

Jaguars Seek To Overcome Deficit In Return Leg


RHB Singapore Cup Quarter-Final Second Leg

Tanjong Pagar United vs Tampines Rovers

(July 1, Tuesday, 8.00pm, Queenstown Stadium)

(First Leg: Tampines Rovers 4-2 Tanjong Pagar United)

Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

Tanjong Pagar United have it all to do when they take on Tampines Rovers in their RHB Singapore Cup second leg encounter at Queenstown Stadium on Tuesday evening having lost 4-2 just three days ago.

The Jaguars put up a spirited performance in that match, pulling level twice after they went behind through Firdaus Idros and Monsef Zerka. However, they were ultimately undone at the end of the day by strikes from Jamil Ali, who got a brace, Miljan Mrdakovic and Jozef Kaplan.

Tanjong Pagar coach Patrick Vallee can certainly take heart from that display as his team dominated the opening exchanges and came close on occasions, only to be let down by lapses at the back.

Speaking ahead of the match, the Frenchman was optimistic and vowed that his charges would give their best.

“It’s only half-time, we lost 2-0 we will see what happens on Tuesday. Advantage Tampines and now we must play on Tuesday, but we have another half to come back,” Vallee said.

“We are motivated, we will never give up. We may lose the second-leg but we will always give our 100% – that’s most important. Making mistakes is part of football and i will never blame them for that.”

Having managed to find the net twice against the Stags, Vallee was also hopeful that his charges will be able to do the same in the return leg.

“My message to them is that nothing is finished, you never know what can happen. The most important thing is that we know we can score against Tampines,” the 52-year-old remarked.

“If it’s 2-0 then difficult to come back, but it’s 4-2. They made some mistakes so they must be focused and avoid mistakes but they know they can score.”

Tampines meanwhile will take a two-goal advantage going into this but coach Rafi Ali has warned against thinking that the job is done, saying that the tie is still pretty much alive.

Mrdakovic is once again expected to feature in place of the half-fit Aleksandar Duric upfront and he is ably supported by former Geylang International captain Kaplan as the duo aim to fire the Stags into the last four.

“We will go into the second leg at 0-0. It’s still unfinished and we will be going to Queenstown to play,” Rafi said.

“As you know, a two-goal lead is nothing and it can go away just like that so to me we are always going into a new game. We have to battle and fight again, playing at Queenstown is not always an easy game for sure.”

Having endured a disappointing Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League season, the Singapore Cup will present Tanjong Pagar with a chance of winning silverware so expect them to be fired up for this one as they seek to cause an upset.

Suspension: Jufri Taha (Tampines Rovers).

Tanjong Pagar United – LLLWW

27/6/14    Tampines Rovers 4-2 Tanjong Pagar United (RHB Singapore Cup Quarter-Final First Leg)

23/6/14    Warriors FC 4-1 Tanjong Pagar United

18/6/14    Tanjong Pagar United 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S)

12/6/14    Tanjong Pagar United 3-0 Courts Young Lions

7/6/14        Woodlands Wellington 0-2 Tanjong Pagar United

Tampines Rovers – WWDWW

27/6/14    Tampines Rovers 4-2 Tanjong Pagar United (RHB Singapore Cup Quarter-Final First Leg)

24/6/14    Balestier Khalsa 0-2 Tampines Rovers

19/6/14    Tampines Rovers 1-1 Hougang United

13/6/14    Harimau Muda 0-1 Tampines Rovers

10/6/14    Tampines Rovers 2-1 Brunei DPMM