Tampines Rovers

TAMPINES ROVERS IN MORE MONEY PROBLEMS, FOOTBALL IN SG HEADING INTO TROUBLE

In yet more signs that the Singapore Professional football scene is going downhill towards a self oblivion, S.League club Tampines Rovers are in the news again for all the wrong reasons. They were caught in a cash flow problem last April, and the latest reports coming out indicated that the CPF Board is looking into the club's CPF contributions to staff, and their former sponsor, Komoco Motors, are also recalling a $190,000 loan.

They are also reportedly facing a repayment of a $756,000 "sponsorship credit line" from Taiwanese tech company Nogle, starting next year. Tampines Rovers have repeatedly said that all these issues will be settled, as they were involved in the Asia Cup matches, which takes up a lot of their administrative time. The problem with this line of argument is that, if you are a professional outfit, shouldn't you be able to manage your time and resources better?

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ON FORM TAMPINES ROVERS TRASHED GARENA YOUNG LIONS 6-1

Can Tampines Rovers out together a run of wins to pip Albirex Niigata to the S.League title? On such free-scoring form, don't bet against it.

With rookie S.League coach Akbar Nawas at the helm, and a gungho attitude to boot, there seems to be a new lease of life about the Stags after his predecessor V Sundramoorthy left the post to become national football coach.

Throwing caution to the wind, Tampines have now scored 10 goals in just two games under Akbar. After posting a 4-3 win over defending champions Brunei DPMM FC last week, the Stags thrashed Garena Young Lions 6-1 at Jurong West last night.

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TAMPINES ROVERS SECURE VICTORY IN GOALS GALORE MATCH

The S.League was awaiting a response from Tampines Rovers after Albirex Niigata beat Warriors FC 3-2 to lead the table by 10 points, and last night, the Stags delivered a resounding statement that they are not going to give up the title race without a fight.

Delivering on his promise to deliver more attacking impetus, Tampines coach Akbar Nawas showed there can be life after V Sundramoorthy, who has now gone on to be national football coach.

Forwards Fazrul Nawaz, Jordan Webb, Billy Mehmet and Jermaine Pennant all scored to win a ding-dong match in which defending champions Brunei DPMM FC seemed to have an answer for every thing the hosts through at them at the Jurong West Stadium.

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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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TAMPINES ROVER HELD TO STALE DRAW, TITLE HOPES FADING?

It has been barely a week after news emerged that V Sundramoorthy will take over the national team, and his current Tampines Rovers side have dropped five points in the title race. Last Friday, they lost 2-1 to and in-form Home United. Last night, with a starting XI that boast nine locals with international experience, they were held to a 0-0 draw by Warriors FC, who lost 3-1 to bottom team Garena Young Lions before parting ways with Jorg Steinebrunner.

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TITLE FAVOURITES TAMPINES ROVER SUNK BY SPIRITED HOME UNITED

At this rate, Tampines Rovers may have to win the AFC Cup to qualify for the second-tier continental competition next season. The S.League title may be their ultimate goal, but after losing 2-1 to Home United at Jalan Besar last night in front of 2,099 fans, they have failed to close the five-point gap on Albirex Niigata who lead with 26 points from 11 games.

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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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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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MINNOWS BALESTIER KHALSA SCALPS HONG KONG CHAMPIONS KITCHEE SC IN AFC CUP

For the second gameweek in a row, S.League teams Balestier Khalsa and Tampines Rovers stayed unbeaten in the AFC Cup, indicating that local football is on the up.
In fact, they beat Kitchee SC and Selangor 1-0, earning crucial wins against teams widely regarded as the best in Group F and E respectively. Both teams also rose to the top of their respective tables, putting them in a good position to fly Singapore's flag in the knockout rounds for the first time since Home United made the last 16 in 2012.

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PENNANT'S WORLD CLASS FREE KICK RESCUES A POINT FOR MISFIRING TAMPINES

Twenty minutes into the match, and there was still a long line for tickets outside Bishan Stadium. Half an hour after the game between Home United and Tampines Rovers, there was still a queue of cars on a single lane waiting to exit. And it goes to show that the best way to put bums on seats at the stadiums is not free potato chips but pedigree. The two great goals were definitely worth the price of the match ticket and the two scorers in an almost tempestuous match have played at the highest level, in addition to 12 Singaporeans who have been capped at the senior level.

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