Defending champions Warriors FC produced a spirited display in the S.League on Friday to come from behind twice and beat Tampines Rovers 3-2 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
It was the Stags who drew first blood after 21 minutes when Rodrigo Tosi played an incisive pass to release Firdaus Idros, who unselfishly squared the ball past Daniel Ong to leave Indra Sahdan Daud with the simplest of tap-ins.
But right on the stroke of halftime, Warriors pulled level after Miroslav Pejic found space on the right and floated a good cross into the box, where Fazrul Nawaz was on hand to send a glancing header into the bottom corner.
However, Tampines managed to reclaim the lead seven minutes into the second half when Roberto Alviz latched onto Indra’s visionary through-ball and advanced into the box, before crossing for Tosi to finish past Ong from a couple of yards out.
Still, Alex Weaver’s charges refused to give in and equalised again in the 72nd minute; Hafiz Rahim playing a brilliant defence-splitting pass to pick out the run of Nicolas Velez, who made no mistake in slotting his shot into the bottom corner.
And with seven minutes remaining, Warriors went on to complete the remarkable comeback after Velez broke free down the right and cleverly lobbed the ball into the path of Fazrul, who volleyed away a powerful shot – despite Joey Sim getting a hand to it – into the back of the net to win it for his side.
The victory also means Warriors moved up to second on the table and level on points with leaders Albirex Niigata (S) although they have a game in hand, while Tampines remain in fifth and are six points off the pace.
In Friday’s other game, Harimau Muda notched their second win on the trot after beating Home United 1-0 at the Hang Jebat Stadium.
It looked as though a draw was on the cards after neither side were able to find the breakthrough for much of the 90 minutes.
But in the final minute, Syafwan Syahlan found space inside the box and headed home a Shahrul Igwan Samsudin cross to hand the Young Tigers maximum points.
Tampines Rovers: Joey Sim, Ismadi Mukhtar, Predrag Pocuca, Eddy Viator, Zulfadli Zainal Abidin, Fahrudin Mustafic (Shaiful Esah 77’), Fabian Kwok, Roberto Alviz, Indra Sahdan Daud (Noh Alam Shah 63’), Firdaus Idros (Aqhari Abdullah 70’), Rodrigo Tosi.
Warriors FC: Daniel Ong, Nur Asyidiq, Daniel Bennett, Marin Vidosevic, Irwan Shah (Syaqir Sulaiman 88’), Emmeric Ong (Thomas Beattie 71’), Kevin McCann, Miroslav Pejic, Hafiz Rahim, Nicolas Velez (Fazli Jaffar 90’), Fazrul Nawaz.