Singapore Cup • June 28, 2014
Jamil Hits Brace As Tampines Edge Closer To Semis
Written by: Muhammad Yazid
Tampines Rovers placed one foot in the RHB Singapore Cup semis, after their exciting 4-2 victory over Tanjong Pagar United quarter-finals first leg encounter at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.
Goals by Miljan Mrdakovic and Jozef Kaplan, and a brace by Jamil Ali were enough to cancel out goals from Firdaus Idros and Monsef Zerka.
The Jaguars were resilient as they managed to equalise twice in the game, but that was of minimal use.
Tanjong Pagar were the ones who settled down in the game early, as they were constantly exploring various ways to penetrate the Tampines defence.
Fifteen minutes into the game, Ramdani squeezed in a cross for Sebastien Etiemble to head it wide, before Zerka’s effort from outside the penalty box missed Justin Pasfield’s near post.
In the 23rd minute, the Jaguars almost took the lead through an efficient counter-attack.
Sazali Salleh won the ball in his own penalty box before leaving it to Kamel Ramdani, who made a few good touches to sweep the ball wide to Monsef Zerka. The Frenchman released Sazali as the midfielder whipped in a cross for Etiemble to head it towards Pasfield.
It was then Tampines who took the lead in the 26th minute, with their first real chance of the game.
Shahdan Sulaiman lobbed a through ball from the centre for Kaplan to lay the ball towards Mrdakovic, who beat Aurelien Herisson with his first touch before slotting the ball into an open net.
Tanjong Pagar were not keen in marching down the tunnel with a goal down, and were rewarded with an equaliser on the brink of half-time.
Firdaus was at the right place in the time as he coolly finished off Zerka’s cross from the left in the 45th minute.
Tampines regained their lead after the interval through Jamil, after a defensive miscommunication between Herisson and Ruzaini Zainal.
Mrdakovic pulled off a low shot from the right side of the penalty box which was saved by the custodian, but Ruzaini failed to clear the ball in time as Jamil sneakily came from behind to finish off into the back of the net in the 54th minute.
The lead only lasted for twelve minutes as the Jagaurs equalised once again, this time through Zerka.
Firdaus was brought down in the 18-yard box by Kaplan and Zerka stepped up to send Pasfield the wrong way with a low penalty which reached the bottom corner of the net in the 65th minute.
Tampines immediately restored their advantage in the 69th minute through Jamil with a top-class goal.
Kaplan made a marauding run down the right side before threading a timely-release to Jamil with a low through-ball, and the midfielder exquisitely lobbed the ball over Herisson from just outside the penalty box.
Rafi Ali’s side sealed the win with a fourth goal through Kaplan, as the Slovakian unleashed a low finish from a tight angle in the 90th minute to conclude the goal-galore, before his earlier effort curled wide off the post.
Both sides will lock horns once again on Tuesday in the second-leg encounter to see which team shall march on to the semi-finals.