Football: Tampines Rovers thrash Home United 5-1 to top Singapore Premier League table

Home United goalkeeper Nazri Sabri saving from Tampines full-back Irwan Shah in the Singapore Premier League game at Our Tampines Hub.
Home United goalkeeper Nazri Sabri saving from Tampines full-back Irwan Shah in the Singapore Premier League game at Our Tampines Hub.ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA

SINGAPORE - Two games, two wins, 10 goals scored.

The 2019 Singapore Premier League may only be in its second round this week, but Tampines Rovers are proving themselves worthy contenders for their first domestic league title since 2013.

This, after the Stags thrashed fellow title contenders Home United 5-1 on Friday (March 8) at Our Tampines Hub, just five days after walloping Hougang United by the same score in their first match of the season.

Tampines have now scored almost a quarter of the 43 goals they netted over 24 games in the 2018 season, in just two games.

Tampines coach Gavin Lee said: "I think we did well; two wins out of two games is a good start but we have to be cautious now because every team that play us will be coming for us.

"I think that the result really flattered us but the message today was simple: we had to work hard, we had to match them for their desire and determination.

"But I think towards the end of the game we should've controlled the game a lot better. We gave away too much and the boys know that."

Both sides attacked from the get-go, with the home side missing an opportunity to take the lead early, when Taufik Suparno missed from the penalty spot in the 14th minute.

As in the Hougang match, goals by Irwan Shah and Jordan Webb bookended the eastern giants' scoring on home ground on Friday, with Yasir Hanapi, Taufik and captain Shahdan Sulaiman adding their names to the score sheet.

Adam Swandi gave the Protectors a consolation goal in the 57th minute to prevent a total whitewash.

Despite the loss, Home United coach Saswadimata Dasuki was still proud of his team for putting up a good fight.

He said: "Before the penalty I thought the boys were controlling (Tampines) well by minimising their space and time.

"After the second goal, I thought that we could still get back into the game but a mistake by my defender caused us to be 3-0 down and there was a mountain for us to climb against a very good team.

"I hope the boys don't give up because it's just two games. I hope that they keep on going."

Despite the maulings of two fellow title contenders, Lee is tamping down on the title talk.

He said: "There are 22 more games to go and anything can happen in the 22 games. It's a long season and we're not thinking about the end of the season. We're just taking one game at a time. Consistency is our target."