SINGAPORE - Tampines Rovers qualified for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup round of 16 when they beat Selangor 1-0 at the National Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The Stags, buoyed by a fully-fit Jermaine Pennant, needed a win to progress. They started the match third with seven points, one behind their opponents and two behind leaders Ceres of the Philippines.
With 11,875 fans cheering them on at the 55,000-seat venue, the stage was set for an intriguing showdown and the five-time S-League champions, who are the first local club to play at the venue since it reopened its doors in 2014, duly delivered.
Midfielder Yasir Hanapi got the hosts off to a running start. Just after the half-hour mark, he curled Billy Mehmet's lay-off past Selangor goalkeeper Khairulazhan Khalid and into the top left corner.
Selangor came close to equalising just before half-time. Argentinian attacker Mauro Olivi free-kick was struck well, but was met with an equally good save by Izwan Mahbud.
In the second-half, Selangor coach Zainal Abidin threw on striker Ahmad Bakri and midfielder Adam Nor in search of the equalising goal but the Tampines defence held strong.
There was a scuffle with five minutes left and Mehmet was sent off for his role. Luckily for him and coach V. Sundramoorthy, Selangor couldn't make their one-man advantage count.
In the group's other match, Phillippins side Ceres La Salle thrashed Bangladesh's Sheikh Jamal 5-0 to top the group.