News • April 4, 2016
Young Lions Give Stags A Run For Their Money
Written By: Stanley Yeo
Tampines Rovers scored in each half to secure a 2-1 win at Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday night, bringing them back to second place in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League table.
Shakir Hamzah and Christopher Van Huizen got on the scoresheet for the Stags, while Fareez Farhan grabbed a consolation goal for the Young Lions.
However, the result flattered the visitors as they failed to impose themselves on the hosts, who were determined not to be pushovers against one of the highest scoring team in the league.
While Tampines dominated possession in the first-half, the Young Lions held their own against the Stags as they kept their shape well defensively and created a few chances of their own at the other end of the pitch.
The first chance of the game fell to Tampines just four minutes into the game, but Jermaine Pennant’s free-kick just cleared the bar.
Shahdan Sulaiman then made a sublime pass with the outside of his foot to find Van Huizen in the 14th minute on the right wing. However, the 23-year-old winger’s subsequent cross was too close to Benjamin Bertrand and the Frenchman was able to collect the cross easily.
Bertrand was then required to tip away Shakir’s header from a dangerous Van Huizen cross, before getting down well to save Jordan Webb’s effort from close range.
There was nothing the Frenchman could do however in first-half stoppage time, when Webb’s shot from Van Huizen’s cross cannoned off the bar and Shakir pounced to slam home the rebound.
Tampines doubled their lead just minutes into the second period when Van Huizen turned the ball home from close range after Bertrand had blocked Pennant’s shot at goal.
The Young Lions were thrown a lifeline when Shakir handled Muhaimin Suhaimi’s cross inside the 18-yard box and Fareez Farhan calmly slotted the resulting penalty into the bottom corner of the goal to bring his tally for the season to four goals.
The goal seem to rejuvenate the hosts and they should pulled level in the 66th minute when Fareez’s cross found Shannon Stephen, but the defender’s header crashed off the woodwork.
In the end, the experienced Tampines side managed to hang onto their lead and pick up all three points.
Garena Young Lions coach Patrick Hesse: “For the first time we played with four true defenders, I think it was a very good match but we concede a goal just before the half-time again. It is the worst possible time to concede a goal, we must learn.”
“For me, I see progress, there were less mistakes. In the second half of the season we will definitely be better, I promise.”
Tampines Rovers FC coach V.Sundramoorthy: “It is not easy like what people say, Tampines is going to score seven or eight goals against the Young Lions. The young boys are motivated. They want to show that they are able to compete in the S.League.
“They are seven games old and you can see that they are gaining confidence and making it difficult for other teams. In anywhere in the world, when the big team play the small team it will be especially difficult.”
Garena Young Lions: Benjamin Bertrand (GK), Amirul Adli, Irfan Asyraf, Shannon Stephen, Rusyaidi Salime, Josua Pereira, Ammirul Emmran, Fareez Farhan (C) (Gareth Low 87’), Adam Swandi, Hazim Faiz (Muhaimin Suhaimi 59’), Hami Syahin (Zulfadhmi Suzliman 81’)
Tampines Rovers: Izwan Mahbud (GK) (Joey Sim 77’), Mustafic Fahrudin, Fabian Kwok, Shakir Hamzah, Irwan Shah, Christopher van Huizen ( Fazrul Nawaz 61’), Shahdan Sulaiman, Jermaine Pennant, Jordan Webb (Hafiz Abu Sujad 64’), Izzdin Shafiq, Billy Mehmet