Singapore Premier League • August 1, 2014
Tampines Level On Points With DPMM After Woodlands Win
Written by: Muhammad Yazid
Tampines Rovers have finally caught up with Brunei DPMM in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League table, after a 2-0 victory over Woodlands Wellington on Thursday evening at Woodlands Stadium.
Skipper Shahdan Sulaiman bagged the first goal of the night before Christopher Van Huizen scored his first ever S.League goal near the end of regulation time to kill off the Rams’ hopes.
With the win, the Stags are now on similar points with league leaders DPMM, albeit having played a game more.
Both Woodlands and Tampines struggled to create chances throughout the game but Rafi Ali’s side proved the more clinical of the two in this encounter.
The hosts were playing with five men at the back in hopes of keeping tight and ensuring they gave minimal space for their opponents to penetrate.
That worked for most of the match as Tampines only created two real chances in the first half, with one hitting the back of the net.
Jozef Kaplan’s finish off Shahdan’s cross flew way over the bar before the latter broke the deadlock for his side in the 29th minute.
Ismadi Mukhtar then laid the ball into the path of the Singapore international, who unleashed a powerful effort which ricocheted off the bar and went in.
Woodlands on the other hand failed to create any chances in the first half, but showed signs of hunger in getting into the final third with Moon Soon Ho and Chang Jo Yoon trying their utmost best to pose threat, but could never test Justin Pasfield.
Determined to claim an equaliser, Salim Moin made changes to his formation at half-time, as he changed to a 4-4-2.
His charges started to get more attacking-oriented and displayed composure in their build-up plays as defender Milos Jevtic was pushed upfront since the early stages of the restart, while Tampines remained consistent in their movements.
The Stags were rewarded with the best of opportunities halfway through the second half to double their lead but Kaplan could not maintain his balance as his eight-yard finish from Miljan Mrdakovic’s pass was skied over despite having only Ahmadulhaq Che Omar to beat.
The Rams the relished their first chance of the game in 77th minute as they were presented with a free-kick from 25 yards out.
Jevtic volunteered himself for the set-piece and executed it very well but was unlucky as the sweet-sailing attempt smashed the upright, before Tampines sealed the win with a goal in the 85th minute.
Substitute Van Huizen clinically finished off from close range to diminish the Rams’ hopes of getting back into the game.
The hosts were denied a consolation at the end as Chang saw his left-foot shot saved by Pasfield.