Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Tampines Fail In Global Bid
It was always going to be a tough shout. Tampines Rovers chances of entering the AFC Champions League were close to zero even before they travelled to Manila to face Global given how poorly they fare on the road.
Even had they defeated the Philippine side last night next up was a daunting tie against Brisbane Roar. Win there and a trip to China to play Shanghai Shenhua was on the cards. Win all three and then they could have looked forward to a few months in the spotlight against the likes of Kashima Antlers and Muang Thong United. Mind that gap.
Mind the Stags won't necessarily find the AFC Cup a push over either. Now the competition has been rejigged and the group stage is something the backers of the ASEAN Super League can only dream bout Tampines find themselves locking horns, or should that be antlers, with Hanoi T&T, Felda United and Ceres Negros from the Philippines.
21/02 Tampines v Felda United
07/03 Ceres Negros v Tampines
15/03 Hanoi T&T v Tampines
05/04 Tampines v Hanoi T&T
19/04 Felda United v Tampines
03/05 Tampines v Ceres Negros
Nobody said it would be easy.
Quarter finalists last year Tampines Rovers are sure getting plenty of experience mixing it with regional powerhouses but the hoodoo they face is on their travels. They lost to Ceres in the group stage 2-1 and Bangladesh side Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi recorded their only win against the Singapore side. Victory away to Selangor though was enough to reach the knock out stages and after extra time Tampines did beat Mohun Bagan. They lost 1-0 to Bengaluru last year and were only able to manage a 0-0 when they got them back to Jalan Besar leaving the eventual beaten finalists to face Johor Darul Ta'zim in the semi finals.
In 2014 they failed to get out of the group stage managing to do the double over Indian side Pune but ending up pointless in their other games. That though was an improvement on 2013 when they finished bottom of the group with no wins and draws away to Saigon and Selangor breaking the losing streak. They were also bottom in 2012 with just a single win, away to Terengganu. They did reach the Round of 16 in 2011 after finishing second in their group, incuding a win away to Maldives side Maiyza but they lost to Arbil. Away from home,
Tampines Rovers away record AFC Cup since 2011
18 5 3 10.
Of those five victories
With two victories from their travels up the highway in Malaysia perhaps the Stags will be looking forward to their clash with Felda United!