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V SUNDRAMOORTHY APPOINTED NATIONAL FOOTBALL COACH BUT WHY CARETAKER ONLY?

So, the open secret is finally confirmed. No we are not talking about Jose Mourinho's Manchester United appointment. But coincidence or not, at roughly the same time the Special One was unveiled, the Football Association of Singapore announced at Jalan Besar yesterday that V Sundramoorthy has officially taken over as national football coach.

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HOME UNITED BEATS HOUGANG UNITED 2-1 WITH CONTROVERSIAL REFEREEING

Just when the Cheetahs looked like they have survived the storm to take it into extra time, some controversial refereeing resulted in a late winner that knocked them out of the competition.

Kogure was clearly fouled by Sirina Camara near the touchline of the Home United half, but linesman Jeffrey Goh kept his flag firmly by his side.

Incensed, Hougang midfielder Raihan Rahman went in hard on Faris Ramli, who appeared to kick out in retaliation, but referee G Letchman remained unmoved and allowed play to go on.

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TAMPINES ROVERS CONTINUE THEIR MARCH TOWARDS AFC CUP QUARTER FINALS

This would be the first time an S.League club have made it into the last eight of this competition since SAFFC lost to Omani side Al Nahda 4-2 on aggregate in the quarter-finals in 2008.

And Tampines had to do it the hard way.

From the start, they were missing three key players. Big forward Billy Mehmet was after being sent off, so was Yasir Hanapi the matchwinner against Selangor in their crucial final group game, and playmaker Shahdan Sulaiman was ruled out with a knee injury.

They then went a man down when left back Shakir Hamzah collected two yellow cards in the 51st and 54th minute and was sent off with the score at 0-0.

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LAST PLACED YOUNG LIONS STUN WARRIORS FC TO PILE ON THE MISERY

If Hougang United are the S.League's Leicester City, then Warriors FC coach Jorg Steinebrunner must be the equivalent of beleaguered Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal. Both are dead men walking because they don't seem to listen to anyone but themselves as they make bewildering decisions that leave their teams, both of which have illustrious histories, in precarious positions.

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TAMPINES ROVERS BEAT SELANGOR 1-0, ADVANCES TO ROUND OF 16 FOR AFC CUP

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.

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WARRIOR FC HOLDS DEFENDING CHAMPIONS, BRUNEI DPMM IN 1-1 DRAW

After the Bruneians opened the scoring through Paulo Sergio, Marijan Suto (former Portugal Under-21 forward who used to be team-mates with Cristiano Ronaldo at Sporting Lisbon) almost equalised just nine minutes later.

He showed good skill to spin on a six pence before firing his shot against the bar. The woodwork came to the Bruneians’ rescue again when Poh Yi Feng’s 81st-minute effort hit the post.

But Suto was determined to stamp his mark on his debut and was rewarded when his 89th-minute header crept into the corner for a dramatic equaliser.

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TITLE CONTENDER, TAMPINES ROVERS HELD BY 10 MEN CHEETAHS, HOUGANG UNITED

Tall and lanky, he bears a passing resemblance to Juventus dynamo Paul Pogba.

Sure, he is nowhere near the 23-year-old French international who has already played in a Champions League final, but Hougang United forward Iqbal Hussain is definitely an exciting prospect for Singapore football as his team continue to confound skeptics by continuing their fairytale run.

Last night at the Hougang Stadium, the 22-year-old came on as a 66th-minute substitute for Nur Na'iim Ishak and took just four minutes to score a brilliant solo goal to salvage a point for the 10-man Cheetahs against title favourites Tampines Rovers and preserve both their five-match unbeaten home record and their place in the S.League's top three.

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AFTER TERRIBLE START, HOME UNITED FINALLY SHOW GLIMPSES OF CHAMPIONSHIP FORM

They were one of the title contenders pre-season, but endured a terrible start when they went winless in their first four games and dropped 10 points in the process, effectively killing their title hopes before they could even start to dream. But once they got into the groove, once they kickstarted their campaign with their first win, a 4-1 cakewalk over Garena Young Lions despite conceding the opener, they are now one of the form teams outside of the seemingly unstoppable league leaders Albirex Niigata.

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