Stags slip again
Tampines lose more ground in title race after another winless outing at Jalan Besar
TAMPINES ROVERS 0
BALESTIER KHALSA 0
He masterminded an incredible 20-match unbeaten run at Jalan Besar as coach of the LionsXII when they won the Malaysian Super League in 2013.
However, as coach of Tampines Rovers, V Sundramoorthy just cannot seem to find a way to collect three points at the same venue, as the Stags continue to lose ground in the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League title race.
After last night's goalless draw with Balestier Khalsa - their second against the Tigers at Jalan Besar - the Stags are winless in six matches there this season after defeats by Home United, Geylang International, Warriors FC and Brunei DPMM.
Last night, they created chance after chance, especially through wicked deliveries by left back Shaiful Esah, but Mateo Roskam and Rodrigo Tosi either failed to find the target or a way past goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam.
With the point, Tampines are fifth on 22 points, eight behind leaders Albirex Niigata, although they have two games in hand.
Sundram said: "We dominated the second half and it was a one-sided affair. We had so many crosses and efforts on goal, but this has been the story of our season so far.
"We have a good team that are trying our best, but we are just not scoring. The strikers are not moving ahead of the defenders to create that extra metre of space to score.
"Jalan Besar is like my hometown (referring to his record with LionsXII), but things are just not going our way.
"We just have to keep believing we can still go on and win the league. Beat Harimau Muda in our next game, and we will be back on track."
Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic, in contrast, was happy as he saw his side cope without defender Ho Wai Loon, midfielder Fadhil Noh and striker Miroslav Kristic through injury and suspension.
The Tigers are now fourth on 26 points, and Kraljevic said: "I see it as a positive that we can bring on youngsters like Hazzuwan (Halim), Akbar (Shah Zainuddin) and Jeremy (Lam) to see if they can play against big teams like Tampines. It is a big achievement for them.
"We still have a dream to win the league. We need more luck and less injuries.
"We feel we can take on any team and, if we beat DPMM next week with Kristic back, we will take a big step forward."
- TAMPINES: Rodrigo Pacheco, Ismadi Mukhtar, Mustafic Fahrudin (Jufri Taha 6), Pedrag Pocuca, ShaifulEsah, Firdaus Idros (Jamil Ali 72), Roberto Alviz, Isa Halim, Ridhuan Muhd (Fabian Kwok 61), Mateo Roskam, Rodrigo Tosi
- BALESTIER: Zaiful Nizam, Hanafi Salleh, Emir Lotinac, Igor Cerina, Yusiskandar,Yusop (Hazzuwan Halim 69), Zulkifli Hassim, Poh Yifeng, Ridwan Jamil, Ignatius Ang (Jeremy Lam 90),Tarik Cmajcanin, Robert Pericic (Akbar Shah Zainuddin 76)
- TNP MAN OF THE MATCH: Shaiful Esah (Tampines Rovers)