Saturday, July 14, 2007


Tampines Rovers v Baleister Khalsa 1-2

After a good performance last time out at Geylang United Tampines went into this fixture confidant knowing that they had a game in hand on leaders Home United and they were on an unbeaten run.

1-0 up at half time they may have thought another 3 points were in the bag. There were however danger signs. Overelaborate approach play is something I'm used to from Arsenal and, like Arsenal last season, it was of the Hleb variety, not the Bergkamp vintage. After you football if you like.

Second half Baleister started brightly especially down the left where Giscard looked lively.

On 53 minutes Udo equalised and it was no more than the visitors deserved. It wasn't quite one way traffic but you felt that the longer the game went on it was Khalsa who looked the more comfortable.

Rovers responded with some neat interplay but the resulting shot probably ended up by the airport.

The inspirational Riduan was involved in a collision that needed attention off the field and while he was gone Giscard took advantage of the extra space to bring a finger tip save from the keeper.

On 79 minutes Khalsa came down the left but the cross shot just eveaded two onrushing forwards. It was all Baleister and the local fans had gone quiet.

Tampines still pressed. Riduan hit the post and the Khalsa keeper saved easily from a free header.

On 87 minutes Giscard chased a long, high ball. He failed to bring it down, instead he wa brought down and the visitors got themselves a penalty. Udo scored, 2-1 Baleister.

It may have only been the S League. It may have only been a small crowd but when you're having a yo yo season you don't expect much from visiting one of the best teams in the country. When you go 1-0 down you think here we go again. Even an equaliser isn't really a cause for joy. You've seen them thrown away far too often. But when you get a penalty in the dying moments. When you're one nil down, two one up, it doesn't matter if you're English Premier League or the SLeague. It just feels soooo good.

As the few visiting fans sang and danced in the main stand and beat their drums I walked back to the station. I've been there before. It's a great feeling and one they'll savour for days to come.

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