The Bulls and the Warriors will lock horns for the second time in three days to determine the identity of the first Cup finalist of 2012.
|By Kenneth Tan
The respective first legs of the RHB Singapore Cup semi-finals has been played and the picture is becoming clearer with SAFFC and Tampines Rovers looking likely to be the teams in the final on October 28.
SAFFC's slender one-goal victory over Gombak United on Wednesday evening automatically makes them the favorites to be the first Cup finalist of 2012.
Conquering this latest 90-minute affair at Jurong West Stadium means they will be through to their first final in four years.
It's no surprise that 'concentration' is the key word that Warriors coach Richard Bok reiterated when he spoke to Goal.com Singapore yesterday afternoon.
"Concentration is vital in this game as we're one foot in the final," said the S.League's most decorated coach.
"Although we have to defend at the back, we cannot sit back too. We have to play our own game, create some chances upfront and finish them."
He also threw down the guantlet for his side to improve on their first-leg display. The Warriors did not exactly sparkle in that game with only a controversial penalty decision separating the two sides with goalkeeper Shahril Jantan playing a huge role holding the fort towards the closing stages.
"We’re satisfied with the slim lead, but as you can see from the first leg, we definitely need to improve our performance," he assessed.
Just a goal down, with one strike bringing the tie level again, Gombak should be sniffing an opportunity to overturn the tie, given the manner which they entered this stage.
Trailing 1-2 down against Hougang United from the first leg in the quarter-finals, coach K Balagumaran produced a perfect gameplan with two goals in the second half to settle the tie at the Cheetahs' expense.
Bok acknowledged that playing Gombak at Jurong West won't be easy as they are a 'disciplined side who are quick on the counter'.
Useful attackers Hafiz Rahim, Julien Durand and former Warrior Mustaqim Manzur are the certain starters while Iqbal Hussein and Jung Hee Bong providing good options from the bench.
Jung, in particular was picked out by Bok as the dangerman who will give them trouble with his aerial prowess.
The 43-year-old will be the happiest man in Singapore if they manage to shut the Bulls out tomorrow.
"As long as we keep a clean sheet, we're through!" said Bok.
"I hope the players can have the hunger and determination to achieve that."