Warriors coach fumes as Tampines post comeback win in S.League
Red card controversy as Tampines stay in touch of leaders Albirex
TAMPINES ROVERS 4
(Billy Mehmet 38, Jermaine Pennant 54-pen, Hafiz Abu Sujad 75, 87)
WARRIORS FC 2
(Hafiz Nor 42, Ridhuan Muhamad 45)
They were win the driver's seat, leading 2-1 against a Tampines Rovers side who had been making negative headlines with off the pitch issues in recent weeks.
The home side had opened the scoring when Billy Mehmet struck in the 38th minute, but the Warriors reacted with two quick goals in reply through Hafiz Nor (42nd) and Ridhuan Muhamad (45th), respectively to silence the crowd at the Jurong West Stadium.
But five minutes into the second half, the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League clash was turned on its head after Warriors' veteran goalkeeper Yazid Yasin was sent off.
Tampines striker Fazrul Nawaz was brought down in the penalty box by Yazid and referee Farhad Mohd pointed to the spot immediately.
The official then consulted his linesman and after talking to the two team captains, Farhad brought out the red card and sent Yazid off.
Play was held up as the Warriors' players surrounded the referee, and eventually, Tampines substitute Jermaine Pennant slotted home to start the Tampines comeback.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Warriors coach Jorg Steinebrunner was fuming over the referee's decision and let fly with four-letter words.
"What's happening out there is a disgrace," said Steinebrunner, who was livid over Yazid's red card.
"The team are 2-1 up, and almost 10 minutes into the second half he gives a penalty and sends off the goalkeeper, there's nothing else to say about that.
"I'm going to wait and see what FAS (Football Association of Singapore) is going to do, are the officials going to keep quiet like they always do, or are they going to do something in the name of football."
The penalty incident was the game changer as 10-man Warriors struggled to cope with a Tampines side boosted by the second-half appearance of Pennant.
"Pennant was great when he came on," said Tampines coach V Sundramoorthy.
"He was holding the ball and creating many key chances for the team."
After being pushed forward to play as a left winger, Hafiz Abu Sujad was a thorn in the visitors' side, pouncing on a defensive mistake to score his first goal in the 75th minute for Tampines to lead 3-2.
He bagged his second three minutes from the end with a long range effort that sailed in after a slight deflection as the Stags bounced back from their 3-2 defeat to Bangaldesh side Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi in the Asian Football Confederation Cup on Tuesday.
"Hafiz has got good shots ever since my LionsXII days," said Sundram, whose side moved three points behind leaders Albirex Niigata.
"We always encourage him to try and take shots around the box and we saw that today with two on target.".
In the night's other match, Geylang International stunned defending champions Brunei DPMM 3-1 in Bandar Seri Begawan.
● Tampines Rovers: Izwan Mahmud, Ismadi Mukhtar, Mustafic Fahrudin, Yasir Hanapi (Irwan Shah 71), Christopher Van Huizen (Jermaine Pennant 46), Shahdan Sulaiman, Fazrul Nawaz (Sufian Anuar 61), Izzdin Shafiq, Hafiz Abu Sujad, Shakir Hamzah, Billy Mehmet)
● Warriors FC: Yazid Yasin, Zulfadli Zainal, Kento Fukuda, Madhu Mohana, Emmeric Ong (Hafiz Rahim 77), Poh Yi Feng, Nikola Rak, Hafiz Nor, Ridhuan Muhamad (Hafsyar Farkhan 71), Hafiz Osman (Zainol Gulam 53), Jonathan Behe
MAN OF THE MATCH
● Hafiz Abu Sujad (Tampines)