Defending champions Tampines Rovers ran riot on the opening day of the 2013 S.League season with a big win over Geylang International, who seemed to have no ideas upfront.
The Stags bullied a new-look Eagles side and put five goals past them, with three first-half strikes from Sead Hadzibulic, Shaiful Esah, Firdaus Kasman and a double in the second period from Jamil Ali and Khairul Amri.
Tampines coach Nenad Bacina was very pleased with his team’s performance against a Geylang side he thought were excellent, as he spoke to the media after the match.
“Geylang International have a very good squad of players and to win here in [Bedok] is a good result for us,” the Croatian said.
The former Hougang coach also praised his forwards for being clinical and that all credit should be given to them for putting away their chances.
“We kept pushing for goals even though we were three goals up. We made our set pieces count and made sure that we held on for the win,” Bacina added.
Meanwhile, Geylang coach Vedhamuthu Kanan was thoroughly disappointed with the result, but still felt that his side did well.
“To lose 5-0 is a very bad result. We started the night confident of getting a victory, but we were unlucky. After positive results in friendlies against Malaysian clubs in the break, we should be doing well,” he said.
Kanan pointed to forwards Jozef Kaplan and Shotaro Ihata, who kept trying for goals but were unlucky, especially in the second half.
“Their shots were either blocked or saved. Tampines were not really playing out there. They got two good set-piece goals - that we could do nothing about - and got lucky with the third that came from a counter-attack,” he said.
The former Geylang Prime League coach was also frustrated that his team were not awarded a penalty for a foul against Ihata early in the second period, which would have “changed the game” for the Eagles.
Geylang will travel to face Balestier Khalsa in their next fixture while Tampines are scheduled to take on the Courts Young Lions at home.