Match Previews

Ceres La Salle vs Tampines Rovers: Stags in control


Singapore Cup Semi-Final Second Leg| Jalan Besar Stadium | Wed 24 Aug | 7.30pm   

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Billed as

Tampines' chance to reach their first Singapore Cup final since 2012

The lowdown

Tampines Rovers Form

  • Tampines 2-1 Ceres (Singapore Cup)
  • Tampines 1-2 Hougang United (S.League)
  • Warriors FC 2-3 Tampines (S.League)
  • Tampines 2-1 Geylang International (S.League)
  • Albirex Niigata (S) 4-0 Tampines (League Cup)

Ceres La Salle Form

  • Tampines 2-1 Ceres (Singapore Cup)
  • Ceres 2-2 Stallion (UFL)
  • Green Archers 2-1 Ceres (UFL)
  • Ceres 3-3 Global (UFL)
  • Ceres 7-1 Green Archers (UFL)

Finally after two disappointing results against Ceres La Salle in the AFC Cup, Tampines enjoyed their first taste of success over the Filipino side last weekend.

It was not easy, but the Stags managed to claim a priceless 2-1 victory in the first leg of the Singapore Cup semi-final, taking them one step closer to their first appearance in the finale in four years.

Although Tampines hold a slender advantage, they still should be wary of Ceres. This was the same team that held Tampines to a 1-1 draw at Jalan Besar Stadium earlier in the season, before beating them 2-1 in the reverse fixture.

If anything, this Filipino side showed plenty of fight to suggest that they will come into this game giving Tampines a real run for their money.

Team News

Tampines have been hit with several long-term injuries, with Fazrul Nawaz joining Shahdan Sulaiman on the treatment table.

Fabian Kwok is still weeks away from full recovery, while captain Mustafic Fahrudin is suspended along with Yasir Hanapi and Shakir Hamzah.

Expect Sufian Anuar to take his place up front once again, while Jermaine Pennant is a strong possibility in the centre of midfield.

Ceres will welcome back Stephan Schrock and Kevin Ingreso, after both were suspended for the first leg. However, Son Yong Chan will miss out this time after collecting his third yellow card of the tournament.

Key Battle: Izwan Mahbud vs Stephan Schrock


Stephan Schrock cannot be left unchecked by the Stags

In the game against Ceres, Izwan was a vital factor in the Stags' win. His crucial saves, including one from the spot, denied Ceres a share of the spoils.

Izwan will need to be on his toes once again, as Ceres' danger man Schrock is available this time round.

The forward is a danger with the ball at his feet and he is not afraid to let fly at goal. If Izwan fails to maintain his concentration, he could find himself conceding more goals than he shoul.

The Coaches

Past Meetings

Tampines 2-1 Ceres (Singapore Cup, Aug '16)

Ceres 2-1 Tampines (AFC Cup, Apr ’16)

Tampines 1-1 Ceres (AFC Cup, Mar ’16)

Tampines coach Akbar Nawas knows what is at stake, but it is unlike his philosophy to hold out for a draw, which will be enough for the Stags to make the final.

Instead, do not be surprised if Akbar deploys a fairly offensive lineup, as he instructs his team to go for the kill and emphatically make their final to the final stage.

Ceres counterpart Ali Go will be confident his side has what it takes to overturn their deficit, even if they did lose in the first leg.

The equation is simple for Ceres, they have to win by a goal or more, or face elimination from the tournament. So expect Ceres to be instructed to go out all guns blazing right from the start.

Facts and Figures

  • Tampine overcame another Filipino side, Global FC, to reach the Singapore Cup quarter-finals
  • Ceres are third in the Philippines’ domestic league, behind Global FC and Loyola Meralco

FourFourTwo prediction

Ceres will pour forward, leaving plenty of space behind. This may result in an open game, which the Stags will take advantage of to win 3-2.

Photos: S.League