Tampines Rovers climbed into second place in the S.League on Thursday after recording a 1-0 win over Home United at the Bishan Stadium.
Having gone their last four games in the league without victory, which included costly defeats to Tanjong Pagar United and Warriors FC, Tampines suffered a further blow last week when their defeat to Balestier Khalsa in the semi-finals of the Singapore Cup ended their hopes of winning silverware on that front.
However, despite their poor run of form, they started Thursday’s clash the brighter of the two sides with both Miljan Mrdakovic and Aleksandar Duric failing to convert decent opportunities.
But there was no denying them in the 26th minute when captain Fahrudin Mustafic notched only his second goal of the campaign; meeting a dangerous freekick from Shaiful Esah and glancing a header into the bottom corner.
The hosts did manage to muster some sort of response after the break and Fazrul Nawaz was looking extremely threatening in particular.
Nonetheless, he was unable to beat Justin Pasfield with a well-struck half-volley, while Sirina Camara and Bruno Castanheira both missed the target from good openings as the Stags ultimately held out for maximum points.
The win was enough to take Tampines three spots up to second on the table and just three points DPMM FC, although the leaders now have a game in hand.
Home United: Shahril Jantan, Masrezwan Masturi, Song In-young, Sirina Camara, Juma’at Jantan, Noh Rahman (Indra Sahdan Daud 88’), Lee Kwan-woo (Kwon Da-kyung 33’), Yasir Hanapi, Qiu Li, Bruno Castanheira, Fazrul Nawaz (Fazli Ayob 78’).
Tampines Rovers: Justin Pasfield, Ang Zhiwei (Anaz Hadee 90’), Jufri Taha, Fahrudin Mustafic, Shaiful Esah, Jacob Butler, Shahdan Sulaiman, Ismadi Mukhtar, Jozef Kaplan, Aleksandar Duric (Noh Alam Shah 80’), Miljan Mrdakovic.