Singapore Premier League • February 20, 2014

Tampines and Home Lock Horns in Season Opener


Tampines Rovers vs Home United

(February 21, Friday, 7.30 pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)

Written by: Muhammad Yazid

Tampines Rovers will look to put behind their disappointment of their recent AFC Champions League (ACL) exploits when they take on Home United in the Charity Shield, which also serves as a Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League match.

With this match also doubling as a league clash, both teams will be keen to get their respective seasons off to a winning start here.

Tampines have a new man at helm in Salim Moin who guided perennial strugglers Woodlands Wellington to a top-half finish last season and have also signed Serbian forward Miljan Mrdakovic – who netted in their ACL play-off defeat to South China AA – as their marquee player for 2014.

Home on the other hand, will look to build on their RHB Singapore Cup success last season and win their first league title since 2003.

Retaining marquee signing Lee Kwan Woo, the Protectors have also swooped for Albirex Niigata (Singapore) star Bruno Castanheira and welcomed back forward Qiu Li for his third spell with the club.

Other notable names include ex-LionsXII trio Fazrul Nawaz, Izzdin Shafiq and Fazli Ayob as well as hardworking winger Yasir Hanapi who joins from Geylang International. and former Singapore international Precious Emuejeraye.

Tampines’ new head coach Salim Moin is saturated with excitement for Friday as he looks to kick start his reign with the Stags in the local league.

“I am very excited for the opening game. The fighting spirit must be unleashed against Home United because that is very important for a start. My team is tactically prepared and there is motivation everywhere, which is good for team’s performance,” , the former international comments.

“We’ve been winning the charity shield for the past 3 seasons and we have to retain it once again. My players know what to do and Home United is a very good team. They do show some glimpse of champion-material”

Salim believes that the unfortunate exit from the Asian Champions League Qualifiers against South China would not affect his team’s vision and motivation on Friday.

“It definitely won’t affect our rest of the season. We had a good chat after the loss. They know what the next task is, which is to do well in the league and go a step further in the region.”

His counterpart Lee Lim Saeng feels that the match would be two times important than a mere Charity Shield game. “This is not only a Charity Shield match as it doubles up as a League match, this match is very important to us so we will do our best against our opponents,” Lee says.

Head-to-head records point to Tampines as the favourites to win, with the Stags claiming two victories from their three meetings last season.

Tampines Rovers – LWLDL

2/2/14              Tampines Rovers 1-2 South China (ACL)

4/11/13            Woodlands Wellington 3-6 Tampines Rovers

1/11/13            Tampines Rovers 1-3 Albirex Niigata (Singapore)

26/10/13          Tampines Rovers 1-1 Tanjong Pagar United

21/10/13          Home United 2-0 Tampines Rovers

Home United – WWWWW

8/11/13            Home United 4-1 Tanjong Pagar United (Singapore Cup)

4/11/13            Home United 3-1 Albirex Niigata (S)

30/10/13          Tanjong Pagar United 0-1 Home United

25/10/13          Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Home United

21/10/13          Home United 2-0 Tampines Rovers

Head to Head (S.League)

21/10/13          Home United 2-0 Tampines Rovers

14/7/13            Tampines Rovers 4-1 Home United

29/3/13            Home United 0-1 Tampines Rovers

30/8/12            Tampines Rovers 2-0 Home United

29/3/12            Home United 0-2 Tampines Rovers

23/11/11          Tampines Rovers 1-0 Home United

25/6/11            Home United 2-0 Tampines Rovers

1/4/11              Tampines Rovers 1-1 Home United