S.League: Two-horse race at the top as Fazrul proves a point

The 2015 S.League season is drawing to a close, but Kenneth Tan says things are only just starting to get interesting...

Down to the wire again

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised anymore. If there's one thing the S.League specialises in, it's nail-biting finishes. For the fifth time in six years (2013 being the exception), the league champions could be decided on the final day of the season. While the likes of Balestier Khalsa and Albirex Niigata (S) are mathematically still in with a shout, it certainly looks like a two-horse race between Brunei DPMM and Tampines Rovers at the moment.

While DPMM are currently holding a six-point advantage, Tampines’ two games in hand means they could very well wrest the title away should they continue their recent fine form.

Steve Kean’s side will be hoping that history does not repeat itself after a disappointing 1-0 home loss to the Stags last Wednesday. It was just last season where the Bruneians let slip a five-point lead, embarking on a feckless run of just one win in their last five league matches as they surrendered the crown to Warriors FC.

Another similar collapse will surely be deemed inconceivable by DPMM's expectant fans.

A Rodrigo Tosi-led Tampines are still firmly in the title hunt. Photo: FAS

Tampines aim to regain their crown

Despite a shaky start to the season, Tampines have built up a head of steam and find themselves well and truly in the title mix. Six points behind leaders DPMM with two games on hand, they now have their fate in their own hands – winning their remaining five games could see them reclaim the trophy which they last lifted in 2013. Will it be a challenge? Definitely. Is it impossible? Certainly not.

V Sundramoorthy was brought in to lift flagging Tampines fortunes after the traditional powerhouses failed to snag a fourth consecutive S.League title last year. The former LionsXII head coach has not enjoyed the smoothest of rides, but he has buckled down and seems to have found the winning formula lately.

'The Dazzler' is set to become the first Tampines head coach to last the entire season since Steven Tan in 2011, after all the chopping and changing that defined their last few years. Regaining the league title will certainly enhance his job security in the Stags' hot seat.

Ignatius Ang has been one of Balestier's success stories this season. Photo: FAS

Balestier are potential kingmakers

It has been a fine season indeed for an unfancied Balestier Khalsa outfit as they embarked on an unlikely title pursuit. Sure, it seems their title dreams have faded after last Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Hougang United, which left them five points behind pacesetters DPMM and having played a game more.

However Marko Kraljevic’s men still have an excellent chance to seal a best-ever finish in the S.League since the merger between Balestier Central and Clementi Khalsa in 2002. Their highest position achieved was in the 2013 season where they finished fourth out of 12 teams.