| SINGAPORE (Oct 20, 2007) – Defending champions Tampines Rovers will take on Singapore Armed Forces FC in the final of the RHB Singapore Cup slated for Nov 25.
Tampines, who lost their second leg semi-final tie 1-0 to Bangkok University, went through on a close 2-1 aggregate while for SAFFC, they had little difficulty in beating Woodlands Wellington 5-3 on the night for a 7-4 aggregate win.
“We went into the match in defensive mode. My players have been tired as the match could have gone either way. What matters most is that we are in the final,” said Vorawan Chitavanich, the head coach for Tampines.
A cross in the 69th minute from Masahiro Fukasawa allowed Nopphon Phon-Udom to head home the only goal of the evening at the Jurong East Stadium.
SAFFC on the other hand stayed true to form to overcome a resilient Woodlands Wellington side when they took a 4-1 lead at the break before finishing off their opponents in the second half.
A place in the final of the RHB Singapore Cup this year has played up hopes for SAFFC to win the rare double considering that the army men are also at the top of the S-League standings.
“The whole team played well. We stuck to the plan, showed our desire and hunger to reach the finals of this tournament,” said Richard Bok, the head coach for SAFFC.
“The score might be 5-3, it could even be 5-4, but the most important thing is that we scored more than our opponents to win this fixture.”
With the realisation that SAFFC last lifted the Singapore Cup back in 1999; the early pressure saw John Wilkinson taking the lead for the homesters in the fourth minute with a well-taken free kick.
Ashriff Shariff then headed SAFFC to a 2-0 lead in the 30th minute before Woodlands pulled a goal back five minutes later off Moroccan import Laakkad Abdelhadi.
However, SAFFC were quick to stretch their lead further off Thai midfielder Therdsak Chaiman in the 37th minute and then off Shaiful Esah with seconds remaining to the break.
With a 4-1 lead going into the second half, Mustaqim Manzur then made the score sheet for SAFFC when he curled in for the team’s fifth goal of the evening.
Woodland’s then staged a late fight back but failed to stop the inevitable even though they did score two more goals off Laakkad in the 63rd minute and then Park Tae Won five minutes to the end.