Sundram bemoans profligacy after narrow victory

Tampines Rovers coach V. Sundramoorthy wants his side to take their chances better as they look to challenge for the S.League title this season.

The Stags laboured to a 1-0 win against a gritty Courts Young Lions side on Thursday evening, with Croatian forward Mateo Rosjam scoring the winner in the 77th minute after several other gilt-edged opportunities had been spurned by the team.

Teammates Fabrice Noel, Roberto Alviz and Noh Alam Shah had all failed to hit the target before the goal, as Sundram clearly cut a relieved figure after the game.

“It’s one of those days where the ball just doesn’t want to go in,” he said at the post-match press conference.

“We missed nine to 10 chances; the ball hit the goalkeeper, hit the defender and even when the goalkeeper is down, somebody is there stopping the ball on the line. If not for all that, it should have been an easy win.”

The result meant the Eastern giants picked up two successive 1-0 victories, after Monday’s hard-fought game against fellow title rivals Albirex Niigata (Singapore).

Sundram believes the tight schedule took a toll on his side’s performance last night.

“It wasn’t easy to play two games in four days,” he said.

“Against Albirex, it was raining and the pitch was heavy, thus my players were drained out. Then we had just one to two days of rest before we went out there to try to win another game.

“It was tough but now we’ve more days to prepare (for our next game against Home United).”

Despite a 100 percent record thus far, the Dazzler believes his side can further improve in the upcoming games.  

“We’ve new players thus we need time to gel,” he said.

“As time goes on, they should get better, but it’s good to see that the boys are trying now. They fought for 90 minutes and credit to them that they still won 1-0 after missing so many chances.”

Photo: Amirul Asyraf/Football Association of Singapore