Singapore Premier League • October 19, 2014
Rafi: Alam Shah The Best Of The Lot
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Tampines Rovers ran out 3-1 winners against Balestier Khalsa at Clementi Stadium on Saturday evening, and even though he did not manage to find the net, Noh Alam Shah was singled out by Rafi for praise for his gutsy performance.
“Noh Alam Shah was the best player for me on the pitch today,” added Rafi.
“He was a warrior and a fighter. When he tells me, ‘Boss I’m going to give you my best today’, he doesn’t disappoint me. He’s the guy I depend on and he was really excellent today.”
The result saw the Stags move second with Brunei DPMM in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League standings, one point adrift of leaders Warriors FC, heading into the final two matches of the season.
“I’m very happy, we played good football especially in the second-half so I hope we can build on that,” Rafi said after the match. “The whole team were tremendous.”
“A 3-1 win against Balestier today, a bogey team we lost in the RHB Singapore Cup and [I could see] the boys really wanted to win this game so kudos to them. I see them smiling, playing and enjoying their football which is the most important thing.”
With the title still in sight, Rafi remained optimistic and has urged more fans to come watch the teams in action.
“I’ve never backed down on the title race and I have always believed that we can win the title. Warriors and Brunei DPMM, too,” the ex-international shared.
“We are going to take one game at a time. We will just play our hearts out and see how it goes. To me, if everybody gives their 100 percent, the results will come.
“I hope to see more fans come because this is one of the most exciting seasons and it’s always nice for the players to play in front of big crowds.”
On the other hand, Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic was gracious in defeat and he felt Tampines deserved the victory.
“It’s a disappointing result, we worked very hard but today Tampines were the better team and won the game,” he admitted.
“We were a bit slow on the ball in the final third and the combination play was not really there.
“For the first goal, I mean it’s a corner, but we just lost the marking and it resulted in a tap-in by Jacob Butler. Second goal was a rebound, great finish from Shahdan.”