Balestier upset Home to win Singapore Cup

Balestier Khalsa won the 2014 Singapore Cup on Friday evening after claiming a 3-1 win over Home United at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Goran Ljubojevic fired the Tigers ahead in the 15th minute when he brilliantly brought down a searching cross by Park Kang-jin, and proceeded to unleash an unstoppable half volley past Shahril Jantan’s despairing dive.

Two minutes before the half-hour mark, they doubled their lead when Kim Min-ho sent Shahril the wrong way from the penalty spot, after he had been brought down inside the area by Masrezwan Masturi.

Despite their best efforts at forcing their way back into the game, Home were just unable to find a way through; captain Noh Rahman coming closest with a 30-yard piledriver that came back off the bar.

Balestier continued to remain in control of proceedings for most of the second half, and they went on to make sure of the win in the 90th minute when Ljubojevic broke free after giving Masrezwan the slip before unselfishly squaring the ball for Park to tap home.

The Protectors did manage to pull one back deep into injury-time after Sirina Camara was tripped inside the box by Zulkiffli Hassim, and picked himself up to convert the resultant penalty.

Nonetheless, it proved to be a mere consolation as Marko Kraljevic’s charges went on to claim a deserving win and their first Singapore Cup title.

Balestier Khalsa: Zaiful Nizam, Jaslee Hatta, Emir Lotinac, Nurullah Hussein, Syed Thaha (Ho Wai Loon 32’), Poh Yi Feng, Ridwan Jamil (Jonathan Xu 62’), Ruhaizad Ismail (Zulkiffli Hassim 68’), Park Kang-jin, Kim Min-ho, Goran Ljubojevic.

Home United: Shahril Jantan, Masrezwan Masturi, Song In-young, Sirina Camara, Juma’at Jantan, Noh Rahman, Izzdin Shafiq (Kwon Da-kyung 46’), Yasir Hanapi (Fazli Ayob 71’), Lee Kwan-woo, Bruno Castanheira, Indra Sahdan Daud (Fazrul Nawaz 51’)

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DPMM finish third in Singapore Cup with Tampines win

DPMM FC sealed a third-place finish in the Singapore Cup after beating Tampines Rovers 2-1 in Wednesday’s playoff at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

It was the Stags who got off to a brighter start and took the lead in the 16th minute when Miljan Mrdakovic sent Wardun Yussof the wrong way from the penalty spot, after Ismadi Mukhtar had been brought down inside the box by Awangku Fakharrazi.

However, DPMM equalised two minutes after the half-hour mark following a well-worked move that saw Roberto Alviz play an incisive pass to release Azwan Ali, whose low cross was stabbed home by Rodrigo Tosi from inside the six-yard box.

Tampines then had a number of chances to reclaim the lead in the second half as Ismadi Mukhtar and Aleksandar Duric both forced Wardun into fine saves with excellent efforts, before Jozef Kaplan could only volley wide from an acute angle after being picked out unmarked at the back post by Jamil Ali’s terrific cross.

But as the clock ticked over into injury-time, it was the Bruneian outfit who stole the win when Tosi nodded home his second of the evening from close range, after his initial header had been parried by Pasfield and Shahrazen Said’s follow-up effort had smashed off the bar and back into play.

Tampines Rovers: Justin Pasfield, Ang Zhiwei, Fahrudin Mustafic, Jufri Taha, Shaiful Esah, Jozef Kaplan, Shahdan Sulaiman, Jacob Butler, Ismadi Mukhtar, Miljan Mrdakovic (Jamil Ali 69’), Aleksandar Duric.

DPMM FC: Wardun Yussof, Awangku Fakharrazi, Abdul Aziz Tamit (Shahrazen Said 83’), Rosmin Kamis, Azwan Saleh (Sairol Sahari 90’), Hendra Azam, Joe Gamble, Roberto Alviz, Roy O’Donovan, Azwan Ali, Rodrigo Tosi.

Home through to SG Cup final after stunning comeback

Home United produced a brilliant fightback to beat DPMM FC 3-2 on Friday in the second leg of their Singapore Cup semi-final and claim a 4-3 aggregate win.

With the tie evenly poised after a 1-1 draw in Tuesday’s first leg, it was DPMM who drew first blood after just five minutes when the Protectors’ failure to clear their lines after an Azwan Ali freekick had come back off the post allowed Roy O’Donovan to poke home on the rebound.

In the 35th minute, the Bruneians looked well and truly on their way when they were awarded a penalty after Juma’at Jantan had hacked O’Donovan down inside the box; Rodrigo Tosi stepping up and coolly stroking his shot into the bottom corner.

However, Home managed to pull one back just before the break when Sirina Camara reacted quickest after Lee Kwan-woo’s dangerous freekick had caused all sorts of havoc inside the opposition box, and sent a deft chip over Wardun Yussof.

Still, it looked as though it was not going to be their day as they were continually denied an equaliser – Wardun doing well to push Lee’s 25-yard freekick onto the post in the 73rd minute, before Juma’at Jantan saw his cracking effort smash into the woodwork four minutes later.

But with seven minutes remaining, the Protectors finally pulled level when DPMM’s failure to clear a corner saw Lee lay the ball back to the edge the box for Noh Rahman, who proceeded to send a rocket of a strike past a hapless Wardun.

Just when it looked as though extra-time was beckoning, Home went on to claim the win in the 89th minute when Song In-young nodded home on the rebound after Qiu Li’s initial header had come back off the bar to set up a final showdown with Balestier Khalsa.

DPMM FC: Wardun Yussof, Joe Gamble, Abdul Aziz Tamit (Shahrulrizal Abdul Rahman 80’), Boris Raspudic, Azwan Saleh, Rosmin Kamis,Hendra Azam (Najib Tarif 87’), Roberto Alviz, Rodrigo Tosi, Roy O’Donovan, Azwan Ali.

Home United: Shahril Jantan, Masrezwan Masturi, Song In-young, Sirina Camara, Juma’at Jantan, Noh Rahman, Lee Kwan-woo, Yasir Hanapi (Indra Sahdan Daud 82’), Qiu Li, Bruno Castanheira, Fazrul Nawaz (Kwon Da-kyung 46’).

Balestier edge Tampines to make Singapore Cup final

Balestier Khalsa are through to the Singapore Cup final with a penalty shootout victory over Tampines Rovers after both sides played out a 2-2 aggregate draw in the semi-finals.

It was Tampines who had claimed the honours with a 2-1 win in Monday’s first leg, but given how slender their lead was, the Tigers headed into Thursday’s return encounter at the Toa Payoh Stadium with everything to play for.

And following a goalless first half, Paul Cunningham marked his return to the Balestier starting XI following a wretched year with injury in fine style; handing the hosts the lead in the 62nd minute with a thumping header from close range after their opponents had failed to clear their lines.

The goal was enough to take the tie into extra-time but with neither side able to find a winner in the additional 30 minutes, the game then proceeded to the dreaded penalty shootout.

Cunningham, Goran Ljubojevic and Kim Min-ho were all successful with the Tigers’ first three efforts but it was goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam who emerged as the hero as he denied both Shahdan Sulaiman and Fahrudin Mustafic, before Jacob Butler finally got the visitors on the board.

Fittingly enough, it was Zaiful who stepped up to take the decisive fourth spot-kick for Balestier and he coolly slotted past Justin Pasfield to seal their spot in the final.

Balestier Khalsa: Zaiful Nizam, Jaslee Hatta, Emir Lotinac, Paul Cunningham, Syed Thaha, Ridwan Jamil (Sofiyan Abdul Hamid 75’), Poh Yi Feng, Ruhaizad Ismail (Muhaymin Salim 82’), Park Kang-jin, Zulkiffli Hassim (Kim Min-ho 61’), Goran Ljubojevic.

Tampines Rovers: Justin Pasfield, Anaz Hadee (Ang Zhiwei 33’), Fahrudin Mustafic, Jufri Taha, Ismadi Mukhtar, Jacob Butler, Shahdan Sulaiman, Shaiful Esah, Jozef Kaplan, Aleksandar Duric, Noh Alam Shah.

Honours even between Home, DPMM in Singapore Cup semis

DPMM FC remain firmly in the running to win the treble after coming from behind to force a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Singapore Cup semi-final against Home United.

Currently leading the S.League by five points and having already won the Singapore League Cup, the Bruneian side entered Tuesday’s clash at the Bishan Stadium looking to move one step closer to booking their place in the final.

However, it was the Protectors who started the game the brighter of the two sides and Lee Kwan-woo came close twice inside the opening seven minutes; forcing Wardun Yussof into an uncertain save straight from a corner before sending a 20-yard freekick fizzing past the far post.

But six minutes after the half-hour mark, the ex-Korea Republic international duly opened the scoring when he fired home on the rebound after his initial penalty had been saved by Wardun, following a foul on Qiu Li by Helmi Zambin inside the box.

Home continued to create the better chances in the second half but were just unable to add a second with Bruno Castanheira failing to beat Wardun in a one-on-one situation on the hour mark, before Yasir Hanapi narrowly missed connecting with a Fazli Ayob cross from four yards out in the 71st minute.

And with 15 minutes remaining, DPMM went on to force the draw after Roy O’Donovan managed to break free inside the box following a quickly-taken throw-in before squeezing his shot past Shahril Jantan at the near post.

Both sides meet again in the return encounter on Friday at the Jalan Besar Stadium, where Home will be looking to extend their unbeaten record against their opponents this season.

Home United: Shahril Jantan, Masrezwan Masturi, Song Inyoung, Song In-young, Sirina Camara, Juma’at Jantan, Noh Rahman, Lee Kwan-woo, Yasir Hanapi (Ahmed Fahmie 83’), Qiu Li (Fazli Ayob 56’), Bruno Castanheira, Fazrul Nawaz (Kwon Da-kyung 46’).

DPMM FC: Wardun Yussof, Helmi Zambin, Abdul Aziz Tamit (Shahrulrizal Abdul Rahman 78’), Boris Raspudic, Azwan Saleh, Rosmin Kamis, Roberto Alviz, Azwan Ali, Adi Said, Roy O’Donovan, Rodrigo Tosi.

Tampines claim advantage over Balestier in SG Cup semis

Tampines Rovers edged closer to the final of the Singapore Cup on Monday after recording a 2-1 win over Balestier Khalsa in the first leg of their last-four tie.

The Stags took the lead at the Clementi Stadium in the 18th minute when Jacob Butler played a brilliant 50-yard pass into the box to find Miljan Mrdakovic, who coolly placed his shot beyond Zaiful Nizam’s despairing dive.

However, Balestier equalised seven minutes into the second half following an excellent passing move; Goran Ljubojevic finding Kim Min-ho who immediately fed an incisive ball for Park Kang-jin to run onto, and the South Korean made no mistake in poking one past Justin Pasfield.

Still, Tampines continued to look the likelier of the two sides to score again and Noh Alam Shah was unlucky not to net a minute before the hour mark when his bullet header was cleared off the line by Syed Thaha.

The hosts did eventually reclaim the lead in the 71st minute when Ismadi Mukhtar broke free down the left and cut the ball back into the path of substitute Jamil Ali, who clipped a perfectly-weighted strike in off the woodwork.

But as the game entered injury-time, it looked as though the Tigers would force the draw when they were awarded a penalty after Thaha was adjudged to have been brought down inside the box.

But Ljubojevic, who had a miserable evening in front of goal, opted to send his shot straight down the middle and saw it saved by Pasfield, who earned his side the slimmest of leads ahead of Thursday’s return encounter at the Toa Payoh Stadium.

Tampines Rovers: Justin Pasfield, Anaz Hadee, Fahrudin Mustafic, Jufri Taha, Ang Zhiwei (Shaiful Esah 69’), Jacob Butler, Shahdan Sulaiman, Ismadi Mukhtar, Jozef Kaplan (Jamil Ali 62’), Miljan Mrdakovic, Noh Alam Shah (Aleksandar Duric 69’).

Balestier Khalsa: Zaiful Nizam, Jaslee Hatta, Emir Lotinac, Nurullah Hussein, Syed Thaha, Poh Yi Feng, Jonathan Xu, Zulkiffli Hassim (Kim Min-ho 46’), Park Kang-jin, Ahmad Syahir (Ho Wai Loon 73’), Goran Ljubojevic.

DPMM book last-four berth after seeing off Albirex

DPMM FC beat Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 in the second leg of their Singapore Cup quarter-final tie on Friday to book their place in the last four with a 6-4 aggregate triumph.

Holding a slender lead following a thrilling 4-3 victory in the first leg, DPMM got off to a perfect start in the 17th minue when Rodrigo Tosi put them ahead after heading home an Azwan Ali corner.

Eight minutes later, the contest was effectively ended when Azwan put the Bruneian outfit 2-0 up on the night, latching onto a long ball by Roberto Alviz and lashing a stunning shot past Kenjiro Ogino and in off the post.

Albirex did manage to salvage some pride as they pulled one back five minutes from time as Kento Nagasaki – having seen his initial shot parried by Wardun Yussof – fired the rebound across the face of goal for Norihiro Kawakami to stab home from a yard out.

But it ultimately proved to be a mere consolation as DPMM had done enough by then to secure their place in the semi-finals, where they will meet defending champions Home United.

DPMM FC: Wardun Yussof, Joe Gamble, Abdul Aziz Tamit, Boris Raspudic, Azwan Saleh, Rosmin Kamis, Awangku Fakharazzi (Hendra Azam 69’), Roberto Alviz (Najib Tarif 84’), Roy O’Donovan, Azwan Ali, Rodrigo Tosi.

Albirex Niigata (S): Kenjiro Ogino, Soichiro Tanaka (Koki Akasaka 46’), Shuhei Hotta, Norihiro Kawakami, Itsuki Yamada, Kosuke Matsuda (Hiroki Morisaki 72’), Kento Fujihara, Keisuke Ota, Kazuya Okazaki (Taiyo Nishida 75’), Kento Nagasaki, Kazuki Sakamoto.