Tampines Rovers booked their place in the last four of the Singapore Cup after a 4-1 win over Tanjong Pagar United on Tuesday saw them seal an 8-3 aggregate win in the quarter-finals.
Having claimed a convincing 4-2 win in last Friday’s first leg, it looked like it would be a mere formality for the Stags to advance into the semi-finals.
However, Tanjong Pagar very nearly broke the deadlock at the Queenstown Stadium on the half-hour mark when Ruzaini Zainal did well to cut inside Matthew Abraham and cross for Firdaus Idros to touch home at the far post, only for the strike to be ruled out for offside.
And just three minutes later, the visitors took the lead after a costly slip by Hafiz Osman allowed Anaz Hadee to nip in behind him and fire home.
Anaz then turned provider in the 42nd minute when he played a terrific 50-yard ball to release Miljan Mrdakovic, who beat the offside trap and skipped past the onrushing Aurelien Herisson before firing into the unguarded net.
Nonetheless, the Jaguars did manage to pull one back two minutes after the hour mark as Sebastien Etiemble emphatically sent a penalty into the roof of the net, after Ahmad Latiff was adjudged to have been brought down inside the box by Abraham.
But any hopes the hosts had of pulling off a miraculous comeback were effectively ended in the 68th minute when Latiff was sent off for a two-footed challenge on Fahrudin Mustafic, before Hafiz followed him two minutes later after being harshly shown a second yellow for remonstrating with referee Farhad Mohd.
The Stags went on to make the most of their two-man advantage as they added a third seven minutes from time when Ang Zhi Wei raced through down the left and cut the ball back to Jozef Kaplan, who made no mistake in smashing it into the back of the net.
And in injury-time, Tampines completed the rout when Jamil Ali broke free down the right and whipped in a pinpoint cross to leave Noh Alam Shah with a simple finish at the near post.
Tanjong Pagar United: Aurelien Herisson, Ruzaini Zainal (Nor Azli Yusoff 65’), Ahmad Latiff, Hafiz Osman, Asraf Rashid (Zahid Ahmad 85’), Anthony Aymard (Tengku Mushadad 72’), Sazali Salleh, Kamel Ramdani, Firdaus Idros, Monsef Zerka, Sebastien Etiemble.
Tampines Rovers: Justin Pasfield, Anaz Hadee, Fahrudin Mustafic, Kunihiro Yamashita (Shariff Samat 79’), Matthew Abraham (Ang Zhi Wei 72’), Jacob Butler, Jamil Ali, Shahdan Sulaiman, Ismadi Mukhtar, Jozef Kaplan, Miljan Mrdakovic (Noh Alam Shah 57’).