Singapore Premier League • March 15, 2014
Tampines Seek Third Win On Trot Against Winless Eagles
Tampines Rovers vs Geylang International
(March 16, Sunday, 7.30pm, Clementi Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Two traditional eastern giants face off as Tampines Rovers look for their third league win on the trot when they entertain a winless Geylang International at the Clementi Stadium.
Geylang come into this game after suffering defeats in their opening two matches, their latest being a heavy 4-1 loss to Home United earlier this month. New signing Leonel Felice got off the mark in that match and netted the consolation goal for Geylang on his debut.
With the departure of top scorer Jozef Kaplan, the Eagles will look to Felice to deliver the goods this season but they will also need the likes of captain Ridhuan Muhammad and Aliff Shafaein to step up and supply the ammunition.
Against a Tampines side which boasts Aleksandar Duric and marquee signing Miljan Mrdakovic, Geylang defenders Yuki Ichikawa and Joaquin Lopez will have to keep things tight at the back if the Eagles are to stand a chance of getting something from this game.
Tampines on the other hand, remain unbeaten in the league and sit joint-top with Brunei DPMM on six points.
The defending champions beat the Courts Young Lions 3-2 in their last match as Mrdakovic struck twice to sink Aide Iskandar’s side.
Mrdakovic has taken the league by storm and currently leads the goalscoring charts with three goals to his name. The Serbian forward has also displayed good understanding with the evergreen Duric upfront and this could well be key in unlocking Geylang’s defence.
At the back, Salim Moin’s side have the tendency to switch off during matches and they can ill afford to do so especially with Geylang winger Hafiz Nor having a knack of scoring spectacular goals. The winger has already done so in his side’s opening fixture against Warriors FC where he scored the only goal in a 2-1 defeat.
Whatever it is, fans can expect the two teams to go on the offense and be attack-oriented as both sides orchestrated the most attacks (113) in round two of the S.League.
Key Men To Watch
Tampines Rovers: Miljan Mrdakovic
With three goals in two matches, Mrdakovic currently sits on top of the goalscoring charts and has proven his ‘marquee signing’ tag thus far. In their last match, he scored twice as Tampines beat Courts Young Lions 3-2.
According to InStat, the forward was ranked third with an index score of 153 for his lethal performance in Round Two. The striker was not only a threat in front of goal with three shots on goal, but also showed he could turn provider if need be with his high success rate of passes being made into the box (88%).
Geylang International: Yuki Ichikawa
If Geylang are to stand a chance of getting something out of this tie, they have to keep things tight at the back and one man the Eagles can rely on is centre-back Yuki Ichikawa.
With 21 challenges won out of the 26 made, the former Albirex Niigata (Singapore) player was one of the best defenders of Round 2 with a 81% success rate
Tampines Rovers – LWLWL
12/3/14 Nay Pyi Taw 3-1 Tampines Rovers (AFC Cup)
1/3/14 Tampines Rovers 3-2 Courts Young Lions
26/2/14 Tampines Rovers 0-5 Kitchee (AFC Cup)
21/2/14 Tampines Rovers 1-0 Home United
2/2/14 Tampines Rovers 1-2 South China (ACL)
Geylang International – LLDLW
1/3/14 Home United 4-1 Geylang International
23/2/14 Warriors 2-1 Geylang International
6/11/13 Brunei DPMM 2-2 Geylang International
29/10/13 Hougang United 1-4 Geylang International
24/10/13 Geylang International 1-0 Courts Young Lions
Head to Head (S.League)
9/5/13 Tampines Rovers 1-0 Geylang International
20/2/13 Geylang International 0-5 Tampines Rovers
15/9/12 Tampines Rovers 2-1 Geylang International
27/4/12 Geylang International 1-5 Tampines Rovers
25/10/11 Geylang International 0-2 Tampines Rovers
3/8/11 Tampines Rovers 0-2 Geylang International
21/4/11 Geylang International 0-1 Tampines Rovers