Tampines back in S.League title race
Croat inspires comeback to keep Tampines alive in title race
YOUNG LIONS 1
(Shameer Aziq 20)
(Mateo Roskam 27, Roberto Alviz 37, Ridhuan Muhammad 54)
Tampines Rovers are not about to throw in the towel in their bid to win this season's Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League title.
V Sundramoorthy's men comfortably saw off the Courts Young Lions 3-1 at the Jalan Besar Stadium last night, just eight days after a shock 1-0 reverse to the Under-23 developmental side at their own Jurong West Stadium home.
With eight games to go, the Stags are now eight points behind league-leaders Brunei DPMM, who have played a game more.
With that kind of gap between his side and the leaders, Sundram played down the significance of last night's win.
"It depends on the other teams," he said, when asked if he was confident of a late surge by his men.
"We should start to win games to put pressure on DPMM.
"Football is funny sometimes.
"Manchester City won five games and then lost two, and suddenly Manchester United take over at the top of the Premier League. Three weeks ago, nobody would think of it.
"So let's see how the other teams perform against DPMM."
The Stags had to thank midfield playmaker Roberto Alviz for their triumph last night.
The 31-year-old Croat had a hand in all three goals.
After the Young Lions had taken a shock lead following Shameer Aziq's close-range finish in the 20th minute, Alviz slid a perfectly weighted through-pass for overlapping fullback Zulfadli Zainal Abidin to serve up the equaliser on a plate for Mateo Roskam in the 27th minute.
Ten minutes later, Alviz pounced on an error by Young Lions midfielder M Anumanthan, raced towards goal and slid home Tampines' second.
The former Brunei DPMM import then crossed for Ridhuan Muhammad to seal the win nine minutes into the second half.
"We started very well and scored a brilliant goal, but our problem was we were too naive in defence," said Young Lions coach, Juergen Raab.
"It (the first Tampines goal) was like a knock on the head, because we were so strong at the time.
"Then we got another knock on the head with Anu's (mistake), that was like a gift for Tampines.
"We wanted to change things in the second half, but the third goal was too easy and came too early (in the second half).
"It was like tearing a cable from a power point. It was over."
YOUNG LIONS: Syazwan Buhari, Fadli Kamis, Faris Azienuddin (Suria Prakash 58), Amirul Adli, Farhan Rahmat (Nur Naiim Ishak 58), Safirul Sulaiman, M Anumanthan, Afiq Mat Noor, Shameer Aziq, Shahfiq Ghani, Adam Swandi
TAMPINES: Rodrigo Pacheco, Ismadi Mukhtar, Jufri Taha, Ismail Yunos, Zulfadli Zainal Abidin, Ridhuan Muhammad (Firdaus Idros 75), Naeem Rahimi, Roberto Alviz, Shaiful Esah (Jamil Ali 92), Mateo Roskam, Rodrigo Tosi (Noh Alam Shah 89)
MAN OF THE MATCH: Roberto Alviz