Football: Tampines Rovers begin AFC Cup quest with 4-0 rout of Sheikh Jamal

Tampines Rovers' Jermaine Pennant (centre) evading the tackle of Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi, at Jalan Besar Stadium on Feb 23, 2016.
Tampines Rovers' Jermaine Pennant (centre) evading the tackle of Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi, at Jalan Besar Stadium on Feb 23, 2016. ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

SINGAPORE - Tampines Rovers comfortably beat the reigning Bangladeshi Premier League champions Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi 4-0 on Tuesday night at the Jalan Besar Stadium in their opening AFC Cup tie in front of 2,378 spectators.

As early as the second minute, a lovely dummy by star signing Jermaine Pennant found Fabian Kwok free on the right-hand side, and Kwok crossed for Billy Mehmet to finish with an easy tap-in.

The Stags doubled their lead in the 33th minute, when left-back Hafiz Abu Sujad was given all the time and space in the penalty box to nod home a cross from Mehmet.

In the 52nd minute, Pennant was involved again as his corner was bundled home by Afiq Yunos from close range. It was 4-0 barely a minute later, after an own goal by Sheikh Jamal's defender Topu Barman.

Pennant then came off to rapturous cheers from the home crowd in the 73rd minute when he was replaced by Fazrul Nawaz.

In Group E's other game, Malaysia Cup holders Selangor were held by Filipino league champions Ceres La Salle to a 2-2 draw.

The Stags will next travel to Malaysia to face the Red Giants in their second AFC Cup group game on March 8, while Sheikh Jamal will entertain Ceres La Salle at home on the same day.

Singapore's other representative in the AFC Cup, Balestier Khalsa drew 2-2 away to New Radiant SC of Maldives.