Football: Tampines Rovers win S-League title after nearest rivals Albirex lose to Balestier

Aleksandar Duric (centre) celebrates with teammate Khairul Amri (left) during a match between Tampines Rovers and Hougang United on May 12, 2013. Tampines Rovers clinched a third successive Great Eastern-YEO'S S-League title on Sunday evening without
Aleksandar Duric (centre) celebrates with teammate Khairul Amri (left) during a match between Tampines Rovers and Hougang United on May 12, 2013. Tampines Rovers clinched a third successive Great Eastern-YEO'S S-League title on Sunday evening without so much as kicking a football. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: NURJANNAH ZULKIFLI

Tampines Rovers clinched a third successive Great Eastern-YEO'S S-League title on Sunday evening without so much as kicking a football.

Needing a win to keep their title race alive, Albirex Niigata crashed to a 1-2 defeat by Balestier Khalsa at the Jurong East Stadium to hand their rivals the championship with four matches to go.

First-half goals by Qiu Li and Park Kang Jin left the hosts with a mountain to climb, although Kento Nagasaki's late free kick gave their fans some reason to cheer.

Tampines will be in action on Monday evening when they visit Home United but will only be presented with the S-League trophy at their next home match - against Tanjong Pagar United on Oct 26.