Raab hits out at fixtures list after Tampines draw
Tampines boss voices his displeasure after fourth game in 12 days
|TAMPINES ROVERS||WARRIORS FC|
|(Hafiz Sujad 15)||(SHAHRIL ISHAK 58-PEN)|
Tampines Rovers coach Juergen Raab saw his side lose a 1-0 lead at Our Tampines Hub last night, and eventually had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Warriors FC.
But the result wasn't what frustrated him most.
Rather, it was the fixtures list that got him all riled up when he spoke to the media after the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League match.
The German said: "We had four matches in 12 days, two of those with just two days' rest in between the games.
"We have so much time (in the S.League calendar), explain this to me, why?
"In the past, we faced this problem before... and Home United have also had this. Where is the fairness?"
Tampines started their four-match run with a 5-1 win over Hougang United on Sept 9, beat the Garena Young Lions 4-0 three days later, then managed a 1-0 victory over Balestier Khalsa on Sept 17, before last night's draw.
Raab also felt that the five-time S.League champions should have beaten the Warriors yesterday.
And the 58-year-old was not wrong.
With Ryutaro Megumi a constant threat down the wings, Tampines looked dangerous in attack, and took just 15 minutes to open the scoring.
Hafiz Sujad slotted the ball into the net at the far post off a Fazrul Nawaz pass, after a flowing Stags move that cut the Warriors defence wide open.
Shahril Ishak was the man who dragged a tired-looking Warriors side level in the second half.
The Singapore international was bundled over in the box by Jufri Taha in the 57th minute, then picked himself up to send goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud the wrong way to equalise from the spot.
Raab said: "We created so many chances in this game. Warriors had chances too, but this is a match we should have won."
While he was clearly unhappy with the scheduling of the games, he also felt that S.League clubs should be given a clearer picture of where it is heading soon.
"Nobody can say what is happening for next season - that is very strange," said Raab, who pointed to clubs' inability to make any plans with just two months left this season.
The league may face a 50 per cent cut in its annual budget of $16 million, with the Football Association of Singapore poised to meet authorities from Sport Singapore and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth to present its case at the end of the month to alleviate the situation.
"We must create a strong competition in the S.League, then we can improve. But we need money for this, yes?" said Raab, who called for a league with eight local teams.
He also believes that S.League sides are at a disadvantage in regional club competitions to teams who have better players because better wages are paid in other leagues.
He added: "We need more money, better pitches, better stadiums.
"I've lived so long in this country, and I'm so emotional because I can see what is possible (for football) here."
TAMPINES ROVERS: Izwan Mahbud, Jufri Taha, Mustafic Fahrudin, Madhu Mohana, Irwan Shah, Shahdan Sulaiman, Son Yong Chan, Shannon Stephen (Ismadi Mukhtar 70), Hafiz Sujad (Fazli Ayob 80), Fazrul Nawaz (Ivan Dzoni 56), Ryutaro Megumi
WARRIORS FC: Hyrulnizam Juma'at, Emmeric Ong, Baihakki Khaizan, Hafiz Osman (Syaqir Sulaiman 88), Ang Zhi Wei (Andrei-Cosmin Ciolacu 57), Ridhuan Muhamad, Kento Fukuda, Ho Wai Loon, Fazli Jaffar (Jordan Webb 70), Hafiz Nor, Shahril Ishak
TNP MAN OF THE MATCH:
Ryutaro Megumi (Tampines Rovers)
LAST NIGHT'S OTHER RESULT
- Garena Young Lions 0 Balestier 1