News • July 3, 2016
RHB Singapore Cup 2016: Stags Dispatch Global To Seal Semis Spot
Written by: Sebastian Lim
Tampines Rovers progressed into the last four of the 2016 RHB Singapore Cup after a narrow 2-1 victory over Global FC in the quarter-final second-leg at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night.
Strikes from Billy Mehmet and substitute Hafiz Abu Sujad rendered Hikaru Minegishi early opener inconsequential as the Stags ran out 5-2 winners on aggregate and will meet Brunei DPMM or Ceres La Salle in the semi-finals.
The designated home side were in firm control during the opening exchanges, hardly allowing Tampines a sniff at goal and they were rewarded with the lead on 20 minutes.
Serge Kaole chased down a long ball down the right and crossed low for Minegishi, who took a touch before rifling a shot that flew past Stags custodian Izwan Mahbud and nestled into the bottom corner of the net.
Leigh Manson’s charges then came close to a second just after the half-hour mark, but Omid Nazari saw his volley inside the box tipped over superbly by Izwan.
Both sides were reduced to 10 men five minutes before the break when Omid and Yasir Hanapi were sent off for an off-the-ball incident.
However, it failed to stop the Stags from restoring their two-goal cushion though, as an unmarked Mehmet swept home a low cross from Jufri to make it 1-1 on the night for the five-time Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League champions.
Tampines continued from where they left off after the restart and could have gone ahead in the 53rd minute, but Izzdin Shafiq blazed over after good link-up play between Mehmet and Jordan Webb down the left.
Three minutes later, Jufri’s cross-shot nearly beat Patrick Deyto, but the Global custodian recovered in time to push the ball over for a corner.
Webb and Irwan Shah then had opportunities to further extend the lead for the Stags, but were denied by Deyto, who would ultimately be beaten in the 72nd minute.
Hafiz pounced on a loose ball after the Global defence failed to clear their lines and hit a shot which took a deflection off Milan Nikolic before looping over a wrong-footed Deyto to help Tampines book a semi-final spot with a 5-2 aggregate win.
Global FC coach Leigh Manson: “For 40 minutes, we showed them (Tampines) what we were capable of – we were creating chances and played them off the park.
“Unfortunately a key player lost his head, in a key game (like this) and he made it difficult for his teammates. I thought we could have rescued at least a draw and credibility but it was hard once we lost a player there.”
Tampines Rovers coach Akbar Nawas: “I knew this game would be tough because this was our sixth game during the fasting month and it has definitely taken a toll on the players.
“At the end of the day, the players were fantastic and we had to utilise our reserves who did well today to achieve a result. There’s no secret (behind this success) and the players played to the best of their abilities and experience definitely helped today.”
Global FC: Patrick Deyto (GK), Serge Kaole (Dennis Villanueva 69’), Matthew Hartmann (C), Nathan Octavio (Misagh Bahadoran 46’), Omid Nazari, Amani Aguinaldo, Hikaru Minegishi, Mario Clarino, Milan Nikolic, Marco Casambre (Paolo Bugas 59’), Jerry Barbaso
Tampines Rovers: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Jufri Taha, Fahrudin Mustafic (C), Yasir Hanapi, Jermaine Pennant, Fazrul Nawaz, Jordan Webb (Sufian Anuar 79’), Izzdin Shafiq, Shakir Hamzah, Irwan Shah (Hafiz Abu Sujad 69’), Billy Mehmet (Fabian Kwok 73’)