League Cup • July 19, 2014
Redemption Time For Stags Against Police
StarHub League Cup Plate Semi-Final
Tampines Rovers vs Police SA
(July 19, Saturday, 8.00pm, Clementi Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Having finished as the third-placed team in their respective groups, Tampines Rovers and Police SA will square off at Clementi Stadium in the StarHub League Cup Plate Semi-Final on Saturday evening.
It will also be a battle between the champions of the respective divisions in Singapore’s football, Tampines, who lifted the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League title for the third year running last year and Police who finished as winners of the National Football League (NFL) Division One in 2013.
Placed in a tough Group B alongside Warriors FC and Geylang International, Rafi Ali’s side suffered two straight defeats (3-2 and 2-1) to find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table with zero points.
Police meanwhile also lost both group games, falling to Albirex Niigata (S) 13-0 in the opener before they were beaten 7-1 by Tanjong Pagar United with Danial Razali scoring the sole goal of their Group A campaign.
Although Jaguars head coach Patrick Vallee had question marks over Danial, the Frenchman was full of praise for the Police forward.
“He’s a very good player. He’s now a good player in NFL and tonight he performed well. I’m happy for him because he scored a very nice goal and he showed his skill,” he said of the former Tampines Prime League player.
“But I’m not sure if he is able to play in S.League, to change his life to being a professional. For him to come play in S.League, he must change a lot and I don’t know if he can perform the same.”
Despite that, the Tampines defence should have enough in them to keep Danial at bay with the likes of skipper Fahrudin Mustafic and Kunihiro Yamashita expected to play a key role while being supported by holding midfielder Jacob Butler.
In midfield, it remains to be seen if Rafi will keep faith with Prime League winger Christopher Van Huizen after the 21-year-old put in a decent shift down the left against Warriors with his direct running and decent crossing ability.
The winners of this clash will play either Balestier Khalsa or another NFL side, Singapore Recreation Club in the Plate Final scheduled for next Thursday.
Tampines Rovers – LLWWW
12/7/14 Tampines Rovers 2-3 Warriors FC (StarHub League Cup Group B)
7/7/14 Geylang International 2-1 Tampines Rovers (StarHub League Cup Group B)
1/7/14 Tanjong Pagar United 1-4 Tampines Rovers (RHB Singapore Cup QF 2nd Leg)
27/6/14 Tampines Rovers 4-2 Tanjong Pagar United (RHB Singapore Cup QF 1st Leg)
24/6/14 Balestier Khalsa 0-2 Tampines Rovers
Police SA – LLWWW
13/7/14 Tanjong Pagar United 7-1 Police SA (StarHub League Cup Group A)
10/7/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 13-0 Police SA (StarHub League Cup Group A)
22/6/14 Singapore Khalsa Association 0-2 Police SA
15/6/14 Police SA 5-2 Admiralty FC
8/6/14 Singapore Cricket Club 0-3 Police SA