News • April 13, 2016
Toothless Tigers Defeated At Home, Stags Suffer First Loss In All Competitions
Written by: Aysha Ridzuan
Balestier Khalsa and Tampines Rovers both failed to grab any points in their AFC Cup 2016 Group Stage games on Tuesday night.
The Tigers were handed a 3-0 defeat by Kaya FC at Jalan Besar Stadium while the Stags were handed their second defeat of the season in all competitions after losing 2-1 to Ceres La Salle FC.
Kaya extended their lead in Group F to nine points as Balestier dropped to third place, while Ceres secured their first-ever home win in the AFC Cup and leapfrog the Tampines into first place in Group E.
Balestier who have yet to win a game in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League this season, were pressed hard by the visitors from the get-go and conceded just 15 minutes into the game when Kaya’s Ghanaian midfielder Alfred Osei put his side ahead with a header from Kenshiro Daniels corner.
Just ten minutes later, Daniels met Jovin Bedic’s lobbed pass to fire beyond Tigers’ custodian Zaiful Nizam from close range and double Kaya’s lead.
Balestier had a chance to pull one back in the 64th minute after Miroslav Kristic was fouled in the box by Kaya’s defender Masanari Omura, but the striker’s spot-kick was saved by goalkeeper Matt Acton.
It was also the second time the Croatian was not able to convert his penalty in the competition and is still searching for his first goal in all competitions.
Failing to take advantage of their chances, Tigers were punished for the third time when substitute Louis Max Clark latched on to a long ball before calmly rolling the ball into the net in the 73rd minute.
Meanwhile in Bacolod City, Philippines, the match between Tampines and Ceres was delayed for 30 minutes due to the heavy rain.
Tampines, who started with Jermaine Pennant, Billy Mehmet and Jordan Webb on the bench while Fazrul Nawaz was deployed as a lone forward, got off to the worst possible start when Bienvenido Maranon put the hosts ahead from the spot in the 20th minute.
Both teams however, struggled to string passes together on a poor pitch condition at the Pana-ad Park and Football Stadium as the game went on.
The Stags had a chance to pull level in the 26th minute, but Ceres goalkeeper Louie Casas saved Fazrul’s header.
Ceres were then awarded another penalty in the 36th minute after Adrian Gallardo was fouled inside the 18-yard box. The Spaniard converted the penalty himself for his fifth goal of the competition.
Tampines came out firing after the break and two minutes into the second period, Mehmet who had came on for Christopher van Huizen at half-time, saw his bullet header saved by Casas.
With the scoreline remaining in Ceres’ favour as the minutes ticked by, Tampines coach V.Sundramoorthy decided to thrown on Webb and Pennant to add more bite upfront.
The move worked wonders as Mehmet pulled one back for the Stags in the 64th minute when his deflected shot left Casas with no chance.
However, the London-born Irishman’s goal proved to be a consolation for the Stags as Sundram’s charges went home empty-handed.