FFT's Five Finds: One last chance for Tampines Rovers

A season that promised so much is in danger of ending empty-handed, but Tampines Rovers have one more shot in this week's Singapore Cup decider. Plus there is news from Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia...

Hope for Tampines' trophy quest

The AFC Cup campaign ended in September and soon after their S.League title hopes went with it. And then there was the news that Tampines players may have to accept a pay cut for next season.

So a season that had been looking so promising when it started was in danger of ending on a low point. There is a little hope, however, in the Singapore Cup final this weekend against newly-crowned league champions Albirex Niigata.

Albirex and Tampines will tussle once more. Photo: Weixiang Lim/FFT

In losing to Home United 3-1 on Friday, Niigata looked listless. It could be that they are saving themselves for the final a few days after winning the league title. It was always going to be hard for the team to match the hosts for energy and a will to win.

"The most important thing is motivation, which we lacked a bit today," said Niigata coach Naoki Naruo. "Of course I am a bit worried, but the players gave their best to win the title last week ... (and) we can learn from tonight and improve."

The worry is that after winning three trophies this season, Niigata may not be able to get fully focused and ready for one last game. Tampines may well want this more and could end a roller-coaster season on something of a high.

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