News • February 26, 2014

Salim Targets for a Debut Win in AFC Cup


Written By: Kenneth Ho

Tampines Rovers will take on Hong Kong club Kitchee SC in the Asian Football Federation (AFC) Cup on Wednesday evening to begin their continental campaign, and coach Salim Moin has stated his intention to progress out of the competition’s group stages.

“As a coach, I want to push Tampines to the highest level that we can but unfortunately we lost the playoff in the ACL (AFC Champions League) against South China and our objective is very straightforward. We want to ensure that we make Singapore flag fly higher and higher,” said Salim during the pre-match press conference at Hotel Royal on Tuesday afternoon.

Tampines had earned a 1-0 win over Home United in their season-opening Great Eastern Charity Shield over the weekend, and Salim revealed he intends to adopt the same game plan of making his team soak up the pressure and hit Kitchee on the counter.

“Against Home United we were defending and we let the opponent dominate the game,” added the former Woodlands Wellington coach.

“But nevertheless in the second half we made some excitement and you can see now Home United coach was standing up from on his seat and telling his players what to do.

“Sometimes this is what I do to change the situation so hopefully tomorrow match I will be able to do the same and the players understand the game plan well and hopefully we can get a good result.”

Kitchee tactician Chu Chi Kwong is wary of the physical threat Tampines posed up front.

“The team plays a high ball game, they are strong and they have a good attitude but sometimes they keep the ball. But their game is to play the high ball into our penalty box,” he said.

Despite that, Cheng was fairly confident his players could still match up to Tampines Rovers with their patient build-ups and insisted anything can happen during the game.

“It’s 90 minute and I trust in their confidence to deliver,” Kwong said.

“We changed the coach but we still keep the same system. We also use the system to keep possession and keep the ball on the ground. “

The AFC Cup tie between Tampines Rovers and Kitchee SC will be played on 26 February at Jalan Besar Stadium at 7.30pm.