Singapore Premier League • May 9, 2014
Rafi Hails Stags’ Fighting Spirit
Written by: Khalis Rifhan
Tampines Rovers interim coach Rafi Ali was full of praise for his players after seeing them twice claw their way back into the match to force a 3-3 draw against Warriors FC.
Down by two goals going into the break, the Stags romped to a two-goal blitz within 10 minutes of the restart.
Warriors’ central defender Marin Vidosevic then turned from hero-to-zero as he gave his side the lead with a minute of regulation time left, only to deflect the ball past his own goalkeeper minutes later after he failed to clear Abraham’s shot from the byline.
“First half was a nightmare. We conceded two easy goals. But the second half, they discussed in the dressing room and come out fighting,” said Rafi after the match.
“We were dominating the game and that was very positive.
“We could have won the game but we conceded a last minute goal. But credit to all the players, they never stop until the last minute and with their hard work we got that equalising goal.”
For Warriors’ coach Alex Weaver, he was still in a state of shock as he shared his thoughts on the topsy-turvy match.
“It is very disappointing on one hand. On the other hand, just extremely pleased,”admitted Weaver who was happy to see his team putting on a better performance compared to their 4-1 thumping by Home United a week ago.
“Not that surprise by our reactions because I know what characters we have in our dressing room. We have come here to Clementi and take on the champions and probably gave them their toughest game of the season.”
Despite missing out on the three points, Weaver commended the players for sticking to their game plan and giving the Stags a run for their money.
“The first half was excellent. We came here with a plan to take the game to them and we did that. We were excellent and we forced them to change before half-time and that shows how good we were,” explained the ex-Hougang United coach.
“Then it was one of those things which we talked about it. Regarding standard, complacency and focus.
“But this is where sometimes you just have to give credits to the opposition. They came out in the second half, had several chances and they took it.”