The Tanjong Pagar coach was adamant that Tampines' Fahrudin should have walked for a bad challenge after seeing his own player sent off late in the gameWhile Tanjong Pagar United were fully wired to take maximum points from their game against Tampines Rovers at Clementi Stadium on Saturday night, their opponents did their very best to make their life difficult.
But the single point secured by the Jaguars was probably about right in the context of the game, where Tampines had a makeshift side, due to the absence of five regulars and looked good enough to press their own claims for a win after Khairul Amri had given them the lead early in the second-half.
Although Jaguars’ defender, Zahid Ahmad, was sent off by referee, Ahmad A’Qashah, after picking up two cautions, late in the match, Tanjong Pagar coach, Patrick Vallee, was far more concerned about incidents elsewhere in the game, which might have seen Tampines, themselves, reduced to ten men.
“You saw that Fahrudin was not punished in the first 15 minutes, when he should have been for a bad tackle,” protested the Frenchman.
“It could have been a different game if he had been the one to get two yellows.
“We came to win and to collect three points, but we only got one. Against a strong side like Tampines I think it’s a good result, just not the one we needed tonight,” he reasoned.
Tanjong Pagar would like to rise as high as third now, but will need to win both of their final matches and that will not be easy for them as players like John Wilkinson and Sazali Salleh will be sorely missed in the run home.
Tampines Rovers coach, Tay Peng Kee, was dismissive when asked to discuss the match, as the presentation of the trophy had been made and the winners’ medals had just been handed out.
“You are asking me about the game? Who cares?” he offered at first, with a chuckle, but then remembered a little more about how his team had done in this match.
“They played well, I feel, the players all worked hard and I can’t ask for more than that from them."