Raab: We worked for our luck
Super-sub Amri scores stoppage-time winner for Tampines but gets sent off for second yellow card
|TAMPINES ROVERS||GARENA YOUNG LIONS|
|(Khairul Amri, 90+4)|
For 93 minutes last night, the Tampines Rovers huffed and they puffed, but they couldn't blow the Garena Young Lions down at the Jurong West Stadium.
But, in the last minute of official time added on, national striker Khairul Amri finally broke the visitors' resistance and stabbed home the winner in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League tie.
The 32-year-old, who came on for Fazli Ayob in the 58th minute, connected sweetly in the six-yard box with Shakir Hamzah's low cross from the left to send the ball past Young Lions custodian Zharfan Rohaizad.
But he was sent off right after scoring for taking off his jersey - it was his second yellow card in the last 10 minutes of the game.
Tampines coach Juergen Raab said: "I was convinced that we could score in the last minute and the developments of the match showed that we were the stronger team and that we had the better fitness.
"Sometimes you can be very lucky, but we worked for this luck tonight."
The Stags started without an established forward, with Amri and Ivan Dzoni on the bench.
And, due to their mid-week exertions in the AFC Cup - they defeated Malaysian side Felda United 3-1 - Tampines were lethargic and blunt in front of goal in the first half, with Ryutaro Megumi the rare bright spark in the attacking third for the home team.
On the other hand, the Young Lions played a high-pressing game and should have gone ahead in the 33rd minute, when Muhaimin Suhaimi latched onto a looping free-kick into the box.
The 22-year-old midfielder found Taufik Suparno alone in the box with a smart cut-back, but the 22-year-old forward hashed his first-time shot wide of Izwan Mahbud's post.
The energetic play cost the developmental side in the second half, as various Young Lions players started to drop on the pitch with cramps, as Tampines came close on several occasions to finding the winner.
Shakir robbed a Young Lions defender at the start of the second half and bore down on goal, but shot wide of Zharfan's post.
In the 66th minute, Amri turned a defender just outside the box, but placed his shot just wide with the goal and Zharfan at his mercy.
Captain Mustafic Fahrudin connected well with a corner kick in the 73rd minute, but Zharfan managed to parry his point-blank header away to safety.
It was down to Amri to save the day with his last-gasp winner .
Young Lions coach V Selvaraj said: "We spent a lot of energy in the first half with our high-pressing game and went to sleep in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
"I thought in the last 10 minutes, it was still anyone's game... but (the result) comes with the job, we have to adapt and move on."
- TAMPINES: Izwan Mahbud, Ismadi Mukhtar (Zulfadhmi Sulaiman, 78), Jufri Taha, Mustafic Fahrudin, Son Yong Chan, Shahdan Sulaiman, Ryutaro Megumi, Shakir Hamzah, Fazli Ayob (Khairul Amri, 58), Daniel Bennett, Yasir Hanapi (Ivan Dzoni, 83)
- YOUNG LIONS: Amirul Adli, Shahrin Saberin, Ryan Syaffiq, Taufik Suparno Ikhsan Fandi, 65), Syahrul Sazali, Hami Syahin, Zharfan Rohaizad, Muhaimin Suhaimi, Jordan Chan (Ammirul Emmran, 65), Rusyaidi Salime, Muhelmy Suhaimi (Haiqal Pashia, 72)