Needing a win to progress to the Round of 16 of the AFC Cup for the first time since 2011, a feat last accomplished by an S.League club in 2012 via Home United, the Stags rose to the occasion in front of 11,875 to beat Selangor 1-0 in their final Group E match.
It was also the perfect retort to Selangor coach Zainal Abidin, who had claimed in the pre-match press conference that "the (standard of the) Malaysian league is higher than here (Singapore)."
As the Malaysia Cup holders returned home with their tails between their legs, with some of their 200 travelling fans heckling their team after the final whistle, Tampines started dreaming of bigger things to come in Asia's second-tier club competition.
As Group E runners-up, they will next take on Group G winners Mohun Bagan in Kolkata. The Indian side had earlier beaten Tampines 3-1 in the AFC Champions League qualifiers.