SINGAPORE PREMIER LEAGUE
Hougang United 2
Tampines Rovers 4
Jordan Webb starred for Tampines Rovers as the Stags moved above Hougang United into third place in the Singapore Premier League after a six-goal thriller at the Jalan Besar Stadium last night.
Tampines took advantage of the space made available from Hougang's high press, with their wingers Webb and Ryutaro Megumi using their pace on the counter. The Stags came close in the 22nd minute, with Megumi volleying Webb's lofted through ball over the crossbar before Yasir Hanapi headed wide minutes later.
It took Tampines until first-half stoppage time to get the breakthrough. Forward Taufik Suparno was fouled in the box and Webb scored the resultant penalty.
The Cheetahs equalised through Stipe Plazibat 10 minutes after the restart, but Tampines regained the lead when Hanapi pounced on a rebound in the 69th minute.
Webb took his tally to eight goals in his last six games when he scored soon after. Hougang's Fabian Kwok (80th) and Tampines' Joel Chew (94th) were the other scorers.
The win, coupled with defending champions Albirex Niigata's 1-0 loss to Geylang International on Friday and league leaders Brunei DPMM's surprise 1-0 defeat by Home United last night, completed a good week for Tampines. They are on 30 points, one behind Albirex and four behind DPMM.
Webb, 31, said both could be overhauled. He added: "It feels good to be scoring consistently and I want to win the league. But we have to worry about ourselves and continue winning games and putting pressure on Brunei."
Despite the four goals, Tampines coach Gavin Lee felt his side were not clinical enough. He said: "We were expecting them to close down on us quickly and that would give us opportunities to get in behind and to come out of their pressure.
"But we won't be pleased because we should have finished the majority of the chances we created. Megumi should have closed the game but he chose to give all of us a heart attack. We had to send on defender Daniel (Bennett) to help us organise and win the game."
Hougang coach Clement Teo also rued several missed chances. He said: "We were terrible in the first half, but we came back very strongly in the second half. When we were 1-1, we could have been 2-1, 3-1 up but it swung the other way.
"Sometimes we play well but we don't get the results we want. But I won't take the credit from Tampines and we have to regroup for our next game."