Irwan Shah to Tampines' rescue after Yangon nullify Amri's hat-trick
A Khairul Amri hat-trick was not enough to seal victory for Tampines Rovers, who needed a late winner by Irwan Shah to pip Yangon United 4-3 yesterday.
The Stags have shown another case of complacency in their Asian Football Confederation Cup Group F campaign, when they dropped gears to give away their lead twice, in front of over 1,800 fans at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Amri opened accounts by volleying past custodian Wai Lin Aung in just the second minute.
Just before the half-time whistle, he caught the rebound off Yasir Hanapi's shot to double the Stags' lead.
But the Myanmar side were hungrier and responded through midfielders Soe Min Naing and Maung Maung Lwin after the break to make it 2-2.
Amri, who missed several gilt-edged chances, then headed the ball home after being set up by Ryutaro Megumi in the 77th minute.
ENTERTAINMENT FOR FANS
Midfielder Kyaw Zin Oo restored parity for Yangon eight minutes later, but Irwan snatched the three points for the Stags at the death.
The left-back fired in a left-footed volley in injury time, after receiving a header from defender Madhu Mohana.
Yangon coach Myo Min Tun was delighted by the support from their vociferous fans, who made their presence felt.
He said: "Today's game was entertainment for the fans… The first 45 minutes was not Yangon United style, the last half was."
Tampines head coach Kadir Yahaya was smiling after the game, but revealed that he has grave concerns over his team's inability to maintain a lead.
"We cannot have this type of mistakes," he said.
"If we want to progress further, we need to be more focused especially towards the end of the game. Most of the goals we concede are in the last 10-15 minutes. It's quite worrying."
Amri, who described the seven-goal fest as "crazy", said: "I'm happy to contribute the three goals but, at this level, three goals are not enough."
The Stags lead Group F with 13 points, just three above Hanoi FC who thrashed Nagaworld FC 5-1 yesterday.