News • July 13, 2016

The New Paper League Cup 2016: Stags And Cheetahs Turn To Youth


Written by: Shawn Lim

The New Paper League Cup (Group A)

Tampines Rovers vs Hougang United
(Wednesday, 13 July, 7.30pm, Jurong West Stadium)

Attacking-minded Tampines Rovers will kick-off their The New Paper League Cup campaign against Hougang United when they welcome the Cheetahs to Jurong West Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Stags have yet to lose a game since new coach Akbar Nawas took over from V.Sundramoorthy and are on course to complete a quadruple this season if they keep up their imperious form.

With a chance to win the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League, RHB Singapore Cup, AFC Cup and the League Cup, Tampines know that they can at least bag a trophy given their dominance on all fronts.

The hosts however, will miss the services of up to seven key players, as the likes of Izwan Mahbud, Yasir Hanapi, Hafiz Sujad, Izzdin Shafiq, Shakir Hamzah, Afiq Yunos and Fazrul Nawaz are away on international duties.

While coach Akbar Nawas admitted that the loss of the players that makes up the core of the team will hurt the Stags, he is ready to make use of the depth he has in the squad for the competition.

“Let’s be realistic, without our key players, it is not easy to beat DPMM, who are the favourites,” Akbar said in an interview with TODAY.

“But we will still take the competition seriously and go out there and compete with whatever players we have left.”

Hougang are in a similar predicament, as the Cheetahs have lost Nazrul Nazari, Khairulhin Khalid and M.Anumanthan to the national team, with fringe players set to be given a run out by coach K.Balagumaran.

“We are planning to play those that do not have much playing time yet. We are thinking of a mix here – we need to evaluate players for next season,” the tactician told FourFourTwo.

“Players like Iqbal (Hussein) is a Singapore international but he is not playing enough for us as he only comes in as a substitute. So we are trying to let him play a full game.

“But we still want to do well, so we will balance it.”

Tampines Rovers – WWWWW

02/07/16  Global FC 1-2 Tampines Rovers (Singapore Cup)
29/06/16  Tampines Rovers 3-1 Global FC (Singapore Cup)
24/06/16  Tampines Rovers 1-0 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
17/06/16  Balestier Khalsa 2-3 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
14/06/16  Tampines Rovers 6-1 Garena Young Lions (S.League)

Hougang United FC – DDLWL

23/06/16  Hougang United 1-3 Warriors FC (S.League)
18/06/16  Geylang International 1-2 Hougang United (S.League)
15/06/16  Hougang United 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S)  (S.League)
10/06/16  Balestier Khalsa 2-2 Hougang United (S.League)
19/05/16  Hougang United 1-1 Garena Young Lion (S.League)