AFC Cup: Know the Rivals of East Bengal - Tampines Rovers (Singapore)

East Bengal take on Tampines Rovers from Singapore in a vital game for the Red and Gold. has a look at what they are up against...

East Bengal take on Tampines Rovers in an AFC Cup game on 3rd April. gives you an insight into what to expect, against the Singapore based side.

Origin – The side was formed in 1945, after several football enthusiastS from Tampines decided to form a club. While there were several name changes in the nascent stages of the team, they eventually settled on Tampines Rovers.

History – After their formation, the club spent most of the next two decades in the Singapore Amateur Football Association League, where they were among the top teams, until they were placed in Division II of the newly formed National Football League in 1974.  In 1975, they were promoted to the top tier, after winning all their league games, and also reached the President’s Cup final. They went on to win the national championship in 1979, 1980 and 1984 and were selected as one of eight clubs selected to compete in the newly-formed S.League in 1996.

Trophies Won – The Stags have won the national league championship seven times, the Singapore Cup thrice, the S.League four times and the ASEAN Club Championship once.

Stadium And Rivals - Their temporary home ground is the Clementi Stadium as their traditional home ground, the Tampines Stadium is being replaced by the Tampines Town Hub. Their main rivals are Geylang United FC, with whom they contest the Eastern Derby.

Their symbol is supposed to signify 'Wisdom'...

Club Logo And Fans – With animal symbols being a necessity in the S-League, the Rovers chose a stag to represent their logo. The Stag is supposed to represent wisdom, its antlers are associated with the tree of life and in Chinese culture, it is a symbol of virility. Their official supporters group of the club is known as the Yellow Brigade. They are known for their fanaticism and their support towards the club, often sending large group of fans for away games.

Coach – Croatian Nenad Bacina tookover as coach of the defending S-League champions in December 2012. The 42 year old is no stranger to the game in Singapore, having won the S-League with Singapore Armed Forces Football Club twice, in a spell as a player from 2000-2005. He has also coached two S-League sides, Woodlands Wellington FC and FC Hougang United in the past.

Key Players - The key player in the team is its captain Mustafic Fahrudin, who is a tough no-nonsense midfielder and leads his team by example. Left-back Shaiful Esah likes to venture upfield and packs a wicked left foot with his crosses from corner kick and is also the team's set-piece taker. 

AFC Cup Record – The club has only once failed to make it out of their Group in the AFC Cup in 5 appearances before this season, and that was last campaign. They have reached the quarter-finals thrice, while being knocked out in the round of 16 once. This season, in their two games, they have managed just a single point, drawing with Selangor, while losing to Sai Gon Xuan Thanh.

The stags have brushed aside all oppositions in the S-League this season...

Recent Form - They have made a perfect start to the S.League season with six wins in a row, and are the only side to have won every game so far. They have scored the most (14) and conceded the least (2) number of goals this season.

Expected XI -   Sasa Dreven; Jufri Taha – Kunihiro Yamashita – Anaz Hadee – Shaiful Esah; Mustafic Fahrudin ;  Ismadi Mukhtar – Shahdan Sulaiman – Imran Sahib; Khairul Amri – Sead Hadzibulic


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