Football: Tampines draw 1-1 with Geylang International to finish second in SPL

Tampines Rovers finished second in the Singapore Premier League this season.
Tampines Rovers finished second in the Singapore Premier League this season.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
200 fans occupied the stands for the first time since March 14, 2020.
200 fans occupied the stands for the first time since March 14, 2020.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Tampines Rovers' 1-1 draw with Geylang International at Our Tampines Hub ended any title hopes.
Tampines Rovers' 1-1 draw with Geylang International at Our Tampines Hub ended any title hopes.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A fan undergoing a free Antigen Rapid Test ahead of the game at Our Tampines Hub.
A fan undergoing a free Antigen Rapid Test ahead of the game at Our Tampines Hub.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Fans queueing to undergo a free Antigen Rapid Test ahead of the game at Our Tampines Hub.
Fans queueing to undergo a free Antigen Rapid Test ahead of the game at Our Tampines Hub.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - In the end, there was no fairy-tale ending for Tampines Rovers on the final day of the Singapore Premier League (SPL) season as a 1-1 draw with Geylang International at Our Tampines Hub on Saturday (Dec 5) ended any title hopes.

That result, coupled with a 1-0 win for league leaders Albirex Niigata over Hougang United at Hougang Stadium, saw the Japanese outfit lift their fourth SPL trophy in five seasons.

The Stags trailed Albirex by a point and needed to not only beat Geylang but also hope the Japanese club dropped points against Hougang United.

There was barely a moment of silence as 200 fans - 150 home and 50 away - occupied the stands for the first time since March 14.

In the 24th minute, Geylang International took the lead when Barry Maguire planted a fine header past Syazwan Buhari from Fareez Farhan's corner.

As the clock ticked down, Tampines poured forward relentlessly in search of a lifeline to haul them back into the game.

Geylang withstood each charge until Tampines defender Baihakki Khaizan equalised with a header from Irwan Shah's free-kick with 10 minutes to go.

The draw was enough for Geylang to secure the second and final AFC Cup berth as Balestier Khalsa lost 5-2 to Lion City Sailors at Bishan Stadium.