Stags and Protectors End Campaign With Goalless Draw
Written by: Nevin Gabriel Khoo
Tampines Rovers and Home United played out a 0-0 draw in their final game of the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League at Our Tampines Hub on Saturday night.
Despite the match having no effect on the final placing of both teams, both sides showed their desire to end the season on a high.
The action began from the get go, as Protectors’ midfielder Amiruldin Asraf broke down the right wing and sent a teasing cross across the face of goal but no one was on hand to slot the ball home.
The next chance fell to Stags’ Japanese forward Ryutaro Megumi in the seventh minute. Cutting in from the right, the speedy forward tried to bend his shot beyond Hassan Sunny, but the Singapore custodian managed to get a hand to it.
The home side had to wait until the 16th minute for their next best chance on goal. Set-piece specialist Shahdan Sulaiman’s freekick looked destined for the top corner but was denied yet again by a top-drawer save from the in-form Hassan.
Both sides registered numerous shots as the match progressed to half-time, but the best chance fell to Khairul Amri in the 40th minute. The striker was at full stretch when trying to reach the end of a Megumi cross but could only stab the ball past the upright.
Jurgen Raab’s charges piled on the pressure in the second-half with Shahdan Sulaiman trying his luck from distance in the 49th minute.
However, it was Juma’at Jantan’s scorcher in the 61st minute that proved to be a better effort. The defender’s shot from 25 yards out rattled the underside of the crossbar before it was cleared away to safety.
Substitute Fazli Ayob then found the back of the net in the 68th minute after being put through by Shahdan Sulaiman but the offside flag went up against him.
With both sides failing to capitalise on their chances, the game could only end in a goalless draw.
After the match, Tampines were presented with their runner-up medals while Home collected their second-runners up medals.
Tampines Rovers Head Coach Jurgen Raab: “It was a good game for me. In the 90th minute you could see that the team had much power and pace. It was good football and this shows that it is possible to play good football in Singapore.”
“I must say that Home played very well in the second half and we were a bit lucky. We did not have as much clear cut chances as we did in the first half. Overall, I think that the draw was a fair result for both sides.”
Home United Head Coach Aidil Sharin: “I feel that the game was exciting with both teams doing well in terms of attacking play. It was just unfortunate that there were no goals. You could see that the flow of the game was good. The boys did well especially in the second half.”
“(On the disallowed goal in the first-half,) Well I have to respect the referee’s decision. We have to accept it, even though I was quite sad because that could have been a crucial winning goal for us.”
Tampines Rovers: Haikal Hasnol (GK), Fahrudin Mustafic (C), Madhu Mohana, Son Yong Chan, Shahdan Sulaiman, Ryutaro Megumi, Shannon Stephen (Ismadi Muktar 64’), Daniel Bennett, Hafiz Sujad (Fazli Ayob 46’), Khairul Amri (Fazrul Nawaz 74’), Irwan Shah
Home United: Hassan Sunny (GK, C), Afiq Yunos, Juma'at Jantan, Haziq Azman, Aqhari Abdullah, Stipe Plazibat, Faris Ramli, Izzdin Shafiq, Amiruldin Asraf (Iqram Rifqi 67’), Christopher van Huizen (Song Uiyoung 58’), Adam Swandi (Marijan Suto 82’)