Amri-led Tampines gun down Hougang

Khairul Amri stole the show on Friday evening as he played a significant role in Tampines Rovers’ 2-1 win over Hougang United at Jalan Besar Stadium. 

The Singapore international helped the Stags earn a penalty in the first half which Ivan Dzoni converted, before finding the back of the net just after the hour mark.

The first chance of the game came in the 15th minute, with Mustafic Fahrudin getting onto the end of a Hafiz Rahim corner only to head the ball just over.

The Singapore international helped the Stags earn a penalty in the first half which Ivan Dzoni converted, before finding the back of the net just after the hour mark.

Three minutes later, Amri uncharacteristically slammed his shot  from inside the box after just over the bar after Dzoni had found him with a cut-back.

The Cheetahs had chances of their own too, as Izwan was called upon to tip away Fumiya Kogure’s drive in the 27th minute.

Just a minute later, the Singapore goalkeeper pulled off the save of the game, as he palmed away Atsushi Shirota’s bullet-header from close range.

Izwan’s save also gave Tampines the opening they wanted, as the Stags went on the counter and Amri subsequently got brought down by Zulfahmi Arifin at the other end for a penalty.

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Amri was a nuisance to Hougang's defence all game

Dzoni, who missed his spot-kick against Albirex Niigata (S) in the previous match, made no mistakes this time as Tampines took a 1-0 lead into the break.

The Stags then doubled their advantage in the 61st minute, with Amri turning scorer this time. After Hougang goalkeeper Khairulhin Khalid had saved Amri’s header off Hafiz Rahim’s corner, the ball fell into Amri’s path again and he duly headed into an unguarded net.

Ryutaro Megumi then thought he had secured the win for Tampines in the 71st minute after meeting Amri’s cut-back but his toe-poke past Khairulhin was ruled out for him being offside.

Towards the end, Hougang piled on the pressure and came close to reducing the deficit through Iqbal Hussain in the 78th minute but he was denied by an onrushing Izwan.

The Cheetahs finally pulled one back at the end of regulation time, after Iqbal was tripped by Syed Haziq in the box and Fumiya Kogure duly converted the resulting penalty.

However, it proved too little too late for Hougang as they fell to their first defeat of the season.

Photos: S.League