Tampines return to winning ways
|HOUGANG UNITED||TAMPINES ROVERS|
|(Khairul Amri 58, Madhu Mohana 85, Jamil Ali 90+3)|
Tampines Rovers bounced back from last week's morale-crushing defeat by Albirex Niigata with a 3-0 win over Hougang United in a Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League match yesterday.
Tampines were guilty of missing several excellent chances during the match at Hougang Stadium, but still proved too strong for a lacklustre Hougang outfit.
Tampines coach Juergen Raab believes that his team's loss to Albirex turned out to be all the motivation they needed for last night's match.
He said: "The (4-1) loss last week was very heavy. It's not a question of the performance, but the decision-making.
"I was sure we'd be able to win here. I was impressed with how we controlled the match over 90 minutes.
"My team know they have to perform and take their chances."
The first half ended goal-less, although both sides had opportunities to take the lead.
Striker Fumiya Kogure almost gave the home side the lead in the first half, but missed with his header.
Khairul Amri, too, went close, but his effort was saved by Khairulhin Khalid.
After the break, Amri flashed another shot wide.
But there was no stopping the Singapore striker in the 58th minute, when he found his way into the box to finally put the ball past the goalkeeper to put the Stags 1-0 ahead.
Following the strike, Tampines grew in confidence and their dominance paid off five minutes from time.
Defender Madhu Mohana fired the ball into the net from close range to put the issue beyond doubt.
But there was still time for one more goal and, this time it was Jamil Ali who scored in the dying seconds to complete a comprehensive victory.
The win over Hougang takes the third-placed Stags to 21 points, four points behind leaders Albirex, who play the Garena Young Lions tonight.
Hougang coach Philippe Aw attributes his team's loss to Tampines' superior firepower.
He said: "What we're lacking is a scorer like Khairul Amri, a player who can score the goals.
"At the start of the season, we wanted him to join Hougang."
"We can create chances, but we can't finish."