Singapore Premier League • April 7, 2018
Webb stars as Tampines trump Geylang in first Singapore Premier League Eastern Derby
Canadian winger nets brace as Stags get first win of season against Eagles
Tampines Rovers clinched victory in their first home match of the Singapore Premier League at Our Tampines Hub.
SINGAPORE, 7 APRIL 2018 – Tampines Rovers FC bounced back from their season-opening Great Eastern Community Shield defeat with a resounding 3-1 win over Eastern rivals Geylang International FC at Our Tampines Hub (OTH) on Saturday evening.
Canadian winger Jordan Webb was the star of the show as he scored two first-half goals to set the Stags on the way to their first Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League (SPL) victory.
Geylang pulled one back on the stroke of half-time through Fairoz Hasan, but Tampines killed off any hopes of a Eagles comeback after the break through a late Khairul Amri penalty.
The visitors came into the game on the back of an encouraging 1-1 draw against title-chasing Warriors FC, but their hopes of an upset took a massive blow after just 24 seconds.
Japanese winger Ryutaro Megumi tore down the right before putting a teasing cross into the six-yard box that Amri missed, but Webb was on hand to tap home at the far post.
Geylang could have grabbed a quick equaliser, but Fairoz failed to get a clean connection on Shawal Anuar’s cross.
The game was then halted for a few minutes midway through the first half due to Geylang goalkeeper Basil Chan sustaining a head injury. Fortunately, he was able to continue after treatment.
Tampines doubled their lead on 37 minutes, with Megumi instrumental once again. Striding onto a superb through pass by captain Fahrudin Mustafic, the 25-year-old then unselfishly squared the ball for Webb to convert his second.
Geylang would halve the deficit just before the break though. Ryan Syaffiq latched onto Azhar Sairudin’s defence-splitting pass before crossing in from the right for Fairoz to tap home his first Eagles goal.
The goal gave the Eagles renewed belief and Hirotaka Usui’s side came close to restoring parity on 58 minutes, with Yuki Ichikawa’s header off Fumiya Kogure’s corner blocked off by Shameer Aziq on the line.
However, all hopes of a comeback was ended nine minutes from time as captain Anders Aplin was adjudged to have fouled Amri in the area.
The latter stepped up and duly sent Chan the wrong way to seal all three points for the Stags.
The win meant Juergen Raab’s Stags extended their unbeaten league record to seven games at OTH since returning home in August 2017.
What they said
Tampines Head Coach Juergen Raab: “The main target was to win and we did it. We played really well in the first half and showed our style of football, which I was very happy with. But we conceded just before half-time and Geylang changed their system in the second half, which made it difficult for us. For that, we must learn to manage the game.
“I’m happy that Jordan and Megu(mi) can start together again. They are the best wingers in Singapore and we missed them earlier in the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup. But they cannot do it themselves, the other players must give them the backing.”
Geylang Head Coach Hirotaka Usui: “It was a mismatch of tactics in the first half and we lost the ball too many times. In the second half, I changed the system and that worked better for us.
“We must improve on our possession game. The ball doesn’t get tired, the players do. So we must move the ball around and we need more technique in doing that.
“For me, the most important thing is youth development. I used five Under-23 players and that’s good for the future of Singapore football. The coaches must be patient (to blood young talent).”
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irfan Najeeb, Fahrudin Mustafic (C), Daniel Bennett, Shameer Aziq (Madhu Mohana 85′), Yasir Hanapi (Zulfadhmi Suzliman 76′), Amirul Adli, Irwan Shah (Safirul Sulaiman 75′), Ryutaro Megumi, Jordan Webb, Khairul Amri.
Unused subs: Haikal Hasnol (GK), Afiq Yunos, Shah Shahiran, Fazrul Nawaz.
Geylang: Basil Chan (GK), Anders Aplin (C), Jufri Taha, Darren Teh, Ryan Syaffiq, Fumiya Kogure, Yuki Ichikawa, Danish Irfan (Noor Ariff 46′), Fairoz Hasan (Yeo Hai Ngee 70′), Azhar Sairudin (Ryson Yap 77′), Shawal Anuar.
Unused subs: Zainol Gulam, Umar Akhbar, Sadiq Rahim, Cameron Bell.
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