Singapore Cup • June 29, 2014

Rafi Full Of Confidence After Triumphant First Leg


Written by: Muhammad Yazid

Tampines Rovers beat Tanjong Pagar United 4-2 in the first leg of the RHB Singapore Cup quarter-finals and their coach Rafi Ali was elated with the win.

“I am very happy tonight because my players showed a lot of character,” he mentioned.

“We kept on scoring and conceding for two times and then went on to score two further goals and that displayed what we are made of.

“We kept on fighting and never gave up despite failing to keep the lead twice.

“I am extremely delighted with the attitude we had.”

The former Tampines skipper however admitted that it was not an easy game.

“Tanjong Pagar is a good team and they tried to play good football by going forward,” he said.

“The flow of the game was very good and as the game built up, there was a good exchange of football.”

Even though Tanjong Pagar did well to equalise again the Stags, the former international  expressed that he was unfazed by what happened.

“When we conceded, I was confident that we would score again,” he revealed. “As the game went by, it had more fluidity and smoothness.

“We need to keep going to get the confidence back after conceding and the only way for that to happen is to play good football. We need to be switched on for the full 90 minutes.”

The gaffer then praised Jamil Ali for the peach of a goal he scored, which provided his side the 3-2 lead.

“The goal he scored was a fantastic one; it was a flash of genius.”

His counterpart, Patrick Vallee, voiced out that he was not dismayed despite the defeat.

“I am neither disappointed nor worried after today, because we still have the second leg to play for,” he uttered.

“Of course I rather win, but even if we had won tonight, it is still not over. It is now half-time and we are two goals down; we will see what happens on Tuesday.

“Yes, Tampines do have the advantage but we have got the second half (leg) to come back.”

The Frenchman believed that his side put up a good show which may not have clearly reflected the scoreline.

“We played very well especially in the first half,” he commented.

“We missed some chances but we played good football; nothing is finished.

“Congratulations to Tampines, they played well.”