Tampines Rovers started their StarHub League Cup campaign on a high after they cruised past Tanjong Pagar United 2-1 at the Clementi Stadium on Sunday.
An absolutely dominant Stags took a two-goal lead in the first half thanks to an Aleksandar Duric brace and though Ismael Benahmed pulled one back deep into stoppage time, it was too little too late.
Tampines coach Tay Peng Kee was pleased to see his players’ performance, after watching them register their first win under his charge.
“[The players] played according to the instructions that they were given and did really well to close down Kamel Ramdani," he praised.
“I could see that they were determined to win."
He also highlighted Duric’s great showing on the pitch, as the big forward put in extra effort to lead by example.
Peng Kee then asserted that the players have settled down under his management and all is well in the locker room.
“We have, and will be trying to play attractive football with more passing and good movement but we’ll need time to perfect it," he said.
On the flipside, beaten Jaguars coach Patrick Vallee was nonchalant as he approached the media.
“It’s simple: we didn’t play well tonight,” he conceded.
Vallee said that he had predicted the outcome of the game and suggested that Tampines' superior rest time had given them the edge.
“I think my players thought that it would have been an easy game and didn’t ‘fight’ for a win on the pitch,” the Frenchman added.
The Tanjong Pagar coach was not all that impressed with Duric’s performance and jested that Monsef Zerka could have done the same if given an equal opportunity.
Vallee was also glad that his side got a goal back, with goal difference potentially crucial if all three teams in the group end up with the same number of points.
Tampines and Tanjong Pagar are now on equal points in Group B with three a-piece.
The Stags will play the Courts Young Lions in the last group fixture on June 12 at the Clementi Stadium.
They only need a draw to top the group but if the Young Lions can muster an upset, Group B could prove to be the most exciting of the League Cup.