Singapore Premier League • September 23, 2015

Wounded Stags Aiming To Bounce Back


Home United vs Tampines Rovers
(Wednesday, 23 September, 7.30pm, Yishun Stadium)

Written by: Nigel Chin

Tampines Rovers will travel to Yishun Stadium to take on Home United knowing that a defeat will all but end any lingering hopes of lifting the S.League title.

The Stags are currently nine points behind league-leaders Brunei DPMM, although they do have two games in hand.

But defeat to the Protectors will push them down into the bottom half of the table as well, and with just eight games to go, will most likely spell the end of their title challenge.

Coach V. Sundramoorthy acknowledged that they will now need to rely on others to stand a chance of overtaking DPMM following Saturday’s defeat to Courts Young Lions.

“We need to depend on other teams to do a favour for us, and we need to do a favour for ourselves by winning games,” said Sundram.

“Like what I said previously, you must be consistent to climb up the table.

“We should keep going… we must pick ourselves up and move on.”

It will not be a straightforward game for the Stags, however. Home are coming into this game on the back of a 1-0 win over Hougang United, and will no doubt be looking to get back into the top half of the table once more.

Phillipe Aw’s charges are now unbeaten in seven league matches, and nine in all competitions. Their last defeat, incidentally, came against Tampines back in May.

Aw knows that the Protectors are not without their weaknesses. An inability to finish off games is one of those, and the first-year Home coach wants his charges to improve on that.

“Going into the last stretch of the league games, we need to learn how to kill opponents off as early as possible to make things easier for us,” Aw said.

Both teams have split the results in their first two meetings, with Home taking a 2-0 win in March, and Tampines emerging 3-0 victors in May.

With five goals in just two matches, one thing is for certain – there will definitely be goals to come.

Suspensions: Sirina Camara (Home United), Fahrudin Mustafic, Isa Halim (Tampines Rovers)

Key Men to Watch

Home United: Ken Ilso

The Danish striker has been gradually finding his form back after returning from a long term injury.

Against Hougang, Ilso netted the only goal of the contest, which brought his tally in the league to six for the season.

With Tampines set to miss captain Fahrudin Mustafic at the back due to suspension, Ilso will certainly look to take advantage and help guide the Protectors back into the top half.

Tampines Rovers: Rodrigo Tosi

The Brazilian striker has enjoyed an inconsistent thus far in his first year with Tampines. After scoring a hat-trick against Harimau Muda, Tosi was largely a bystander in the defeat to Courts Young Lions a few days later.

Still, on his day Tosi is arguably the best striker in the league, and he has already scored twice against Home United this year.

Should the Protectors leave him unchecked in the match, they will do so at their own peril.

Home United – WWWDW

17/09/15         Hougang United 0-1 Home United (S.League)
27/08/15         Courts Young Lions 0-2 Home United (S.League)
20/08/15         Albirex Niigata (S) 0-0 Home United (S.League)
15/08/15         Home United 2-0 Warriors FC (Singapore Cup)
12/08/15         Warriors FC 1-2 Home United (Singapore Cup)

Tampines Rovers – WDWWL

19/09/15         Tampines Rovers 0-1 Courts Young Lions (S.League)
15/09/15         Tampines Rovers 5-1 Harimau Muda (S.League)
27/08/15         Harimau Muda 0-1 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
21/08/15         Tampines Rovers 0-0 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
13/08/15         Tampines Rovers 1-0 Brunei DPMM (Singapore Cup)

Head To Head (S.League)

17/05/15         Tampines Rovers 3-0 Home United
13/03/15         Home United 2-0 Tampines Rovers
02/10/14         Home United 0-1 Tampines Rovers
18/05/14         Home United 2-2 Tampines Rovers
21/02/14         Tampines Rovers 1-0 Home United (Charity Shield)