Singapore Premier League • September 20, 2015
Stags Fall To Unexpected Defeat
Written by: Nigel Chin
Courts Young Lions pulled off a huge upset on Saturday evening when they earned a hard-fought 1-0 win over Tampines Rovers at the Jurong West Stadium.
M. Anumanthan’s stunner early in the first half settled the contest, which was marred by fracas off the pitch that saw both Jordan Webb and Fahrudin Mustafic sent off after the full-time whistle.
Just seven minutes into the game, Anumanthan had given a warning sign when he tried his luck from range but fired it straight into Tampines goalkeeper Rodrigo Pacheco’s arms.
In the 11th minute Amy Recha was slipped through by Afiq Noor, only to be denied by Pacheco who came off his line quickly.
Four minutes later, the visitors took the lead. Picking up a layoff from Adam Swandi just outside the box, Anumanthan unleashed a ferocious left-footed shot into the top corner, with Pacheco unable to stop it.
Tampines could have equalised in the 27th minute when Mateo Roskam met Firdaus Idros’ cross with an overhead kick, but he scuffed his finish and the ball landed on the wrong side of the post.
Roskam then missed two chances minutes later, before Rodrigo Tosi forced Syazwan into a big save with a glancing header.
The hosts were eager to turn the game around, and it showed in their performance in the second period as they played with far more urgency.
But once again, they could not find the back of the net, which has been the story of their season.
Twice, Firdaus missed the target narrowly, while Alviz did the same as well with a free-kick.
Zulfadli Zainal’s low cross in the 83rd minute was stabbed towards the bottom corner by Roskam, but Syazwan came up big once again, this time preventing the ball from going in with his outstretched legs.
Substitute Suria Prakash could have wrapped up the win with five minutes on the clock, but Pacheco pulled off two stupendous saves in quick succession to deny him.
Left-back Zulfadli had one final chance in the dying minutes, but fired straight at Syazwan instead.
That compounded the Stags misery, and frustrations boiled over after the full-time whistle which saw captain Mustafic squaring up to Webb, resulting in both men receiving their marching orders.
Tampines Rovers: Rodrigo Pacheco (GK), Ismadi Mukhtar, Jufri Taha, Fahrudin Mustafic (C), Zulfadli Zainal, Firdaus Idros (Shaiful Esah 87’), Isa Halim (Ridhuan Muhamad 70’), Naeem Rahimi, Roberto Alviz (Indra Sahdan 79’), Rodrigo Tosi, Mateo Roskam
Courts Young Lions: Syazwan Buhari (GK)(C), Fadli Kamis, Faris Azienuddin, Amirul Adli, Farhan Rahmat, M. Anumanthan, Afiq Noor (Nur Na’iim Ishak 79’), Adam Swandi, Jordan Webb, Shahfiq Ghani (Suria Prakash 61’), Amy Recha (Danial Razali 76’)