Sluggish Stags do just enough to tame Tigers
|TAMPINES ROVERS 1||BALESTIER KHALSA 0|
Tampines Rovers looked sluggish but still saw off a disciplined Balestier Khalsa 1-0 in a Singapore Premier League (SPL) match at Our Tampines Hub last night.
The normally effective Ryutaro Megumi laboured with little effect on the right flank, while Jordan Webb - often penetrative in the box - was largely anonymous.
Tampines broke the deadlock in the 49th minute when 19-year-old defender Irfan Najeeb headed in a Safirul Sulaiman cross at the far post - one of the few occasions the Balestier defence lost focus.
"Tampines are too strong on both flanks and, if you give Webb and Megumi too much space, they will kill you. That's why I couldn't open up too much to play, even after we went a goal down," said Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic.
"But I am very satisfied with the performance of the boys."
Balestier, who were previously unbeaten in four matches, had a clear chance to score when Hazzuwan Halim was through on goal, but he blazed his shot over the bar.
"That was the turning point of the game, not (Keegan) Linderboom's injury," said Kraljevic of his leading scorer, who was substituted at half-time due to an ankle problem.
With the win, Tampines moved up to second spot, owing to a better goal difference over the Tigers. Defending champions Albirex Niigata lead the standings with a perfect record after five games.
LAST NIGHT'S OTHER RESULTS
- Warriors FC 2 Brunei DPMM 2
- Hougang United 3 Home United 3
Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy semi-final:
- Singapore 1 Timor Leste 2