SINGAPORE (19 May 2017) – Tampines Rovers moved into second spot in the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League standings after edging Home United 3-2 in an exciting affair at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night.
First-half goals from Khairul Amri, Shakir Hamzah and Daniel Bennett rendered Amiruldin Asraf’s brace on either side of half-time inconsequential as Home fell to their first defeat in seven league games.
Juergen Raab’s side took the game to the designated visitors from the get go, with Fazli Ayob and Ryutaro Megumi coming close inside the first ten minutes.
However, Home took the lead against the run of play in the 13th minute with Amiruldin calmly slotting the ball past an onrushing Joey Sim – who was deputising for the injured Izwan Mahbud.
Amri could have levelled matters for the Stags three minutes later but his header off Shahdan Sulaiman’s corner flew narrowly over the bar.
There was no denying Amri though, as the Singapore international sneaked in unmarked to thump home teammate Shahdan’s corner to pull Tampines level in the tie.
Song Uiyoung’s low drive trickled harmlessly wide in the 38th minute before Amri’s ambitious effort moments later went straight into the arms of Hassan.
Goals in the space of four first-half minutes would then put the Stags in the driving seat.
An unmarked Shakir finished off a well-worked move at the far post in the 41st minute, before Bennett nodded home off yet another Shahdan corner delivery on the stroke of half-time.
Tampines continued from where they left off and Amri could have netted two minutes after the restart but volleyed well over from six yards out.
Minutes after the hour mark, the lively Megumi then unleashed a long-range shot that just cleared the bar.
The Protectors threw everything at the Stags thereafter and managed to reduce the deficit eight minutes from time when Amiruldin latched onto Abdil Qayyim’s through pass before squeezing the ball underneath Sim.
Song nearly rescued a point for the Bishan-based side in the 85th minute but the South Korean saw his low shot deflected for a corner.
Yasir could have gotten his name on the scoresheet in the dying moments of the match, but he was denied by a flying save from Hassan as the Stags hung on for their fourth straight victory in the league.