Gombak United progressed to the Singapore Cup quarter-finals with a comprehensive win in their preliminary round clash at Jurong West Stadium
Christopher Anderson, Fairoz Hasan and K. Vikraman netted the goals to end their club’s losing run against foreign opposition which extends to previous editions of the Cup.
The victory lifted their recent poor run of form in the S.League and set up a two-legged last-eight encounter with Hougang United in early July.
Gombak coach K. Balagumaran made a few adjustments in his tactical approach against the Malaysian novices, with regular defenders Walid Lounis and Adrian Dhanaraj suspended and injured respectively.
Regular centre midfielder Anderson was deployed at right-back with winger Vikraman partnering Fairoz in the middle of the park.
The switches paid off for the Bulls as they dominated the game from the start against the Malaysian Premier League outfit, who were boosted by the inclusion of Mahalli Jasuli and Affize Faisal from the senior S.League side.
It took them 11 minutes to break the deadlock when a well-worked attacking play between strikers Julien Durand and Hafiz Rahim set up for Anderson to slot home inside the six-yard box.
Harimau forward Farizzuan Azhar tried to bring the visitors back into the game midway in the first-half with two solo attempts towards goal, but Gombak goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam was equal to the task.
The misses were to prove costly for Ismail Ibrahim’s boys when they fell further behind eight minutes after the break.
A determined run from Hafiz saw him keep possession and lay up the ball for Fairoz to produce the goal of the night with an unstoppable drive into the top corner from outside the box.
Any hopes of a spirited comeback from the raw Malaysians were dashed nine minutes from time when Vikraman converted a direct free-kick from 25 metres to keep the hosts in the cup competition and prevent a foreign team from progression for the third consecutive night.