Thursday, March 8, 2012

Opponent Watch: Tampines Rovers

A defeat on tuesday evening for Tampines Rovers in their AFC Cup Group F campaign means that both the Stags and the Rams enter our Friday night encounter looking to bounce back from respective losses to Kitchee (Hong Kong) and Albirex Niigata (S).

Our next opponent, Tampines Rovers, will try to bounce back from their defeat against Kitchee.
Photo Credit:

Tampines return home after being scathed by Hong Kong champions Kitchee by three goals to one in their encounter at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground. The Hong Kong champions proved to be too strong for Tampines and the solitary goal scored by Tampines came from former Woodlands winger Jamil Ali, who played one season for the Rams back in 2009.

After a slow start to their 2012 S-League season, the S-League champions remain winless so far, clawing back to a 2-2 draw in Brunei against DPMM before falling 1-0 to Balestier Khalsa. The midweek loss in Hong Kong did not do the Stags any favours as they enter this next home fixture knowing that the revitalised Rams are not going to be an easy opponent, as compared to the Woodlands Wellington of past seasons.

Ever since moving to Clementi Stadium early this year, the Stags have yet to play in front of their adopted home crowd and it remains to be seen if they can garner support from the 88,000 population, whom must have become accustomed to the frequent change of teams based in their town, housing Tanjong Pagar United last season and Etoile FC the season before that. The Rovers have spared no effort in connecting with Clementi residents as they held a fanfare at Clementi MRT station on 3rd March to drum up support. Apart from giving out souvenirs and flyers which entitled the holders to watch any Tampines Rovers home game free during the month of March, they have also graciously promised free popcorn and candy floss for the game tomorrow.

Captain Hammond and Hard Man Lewis - The Rocks of Woodlands.
Photo Credit: Andrew Him (The Black Sheep)

Looking at the team lineups for this cruncher, we are assured of the defensive prowess of our back four. Our stingy defence has only let in two goals so far and custodian Ahmadulhaq Che Omar must be praised for his safe hands in keeping the goals out. On top of that, captain Daniel Hammond, who marshalled the defence rather commendably, has been mentioned in two S-League teams of the week (, FootballOPOD) while Duncan "Wooooooo!" Elias made it to's team of the week as well. Fullback K Sathiaraj and hard man Fabien Lewis will also be called upon once again to deflect the spirited Tampines attack, led by the evergreen Aleksandar Đurić.

We can also take heart from the lion hearted performance from our midfielders and wingers, and judging by their fantastic discipline in the last bout against Albirex, we should see the rock-steady Armanizam Dolah starting once again in central midfield alongside the enterprising Shamsudin Abdul RahmanGuntur Djafril will be plying the length of the wings once again along with Hussein Akil, will be looking to provide the killer assists and darting mazy runs that he is so well known for.

Moon Soon-Ho will seek to add a few more goals to his tally.
Photo Credit: Andrew Him (The Black Sheep)

Up front, the performances of Goh Swee Swee and Moon Soon-Ho have been nothing short of fantastic so far. Although both failed to get on the scoresheet against Albirex, they were nonetheless a thorn to the Japanese outfit's defence, testing the Albirex backline time and again with quick counter attacks. Moon will be looking to add to his tally of 2 goals so far while Goh Swee Swee will be encouraged by his sweet curler against Geylang United, which made it to third place in ESPN's goal of the week. (You could replay that goal numerous times and still be awed by its beauty and precision.)

Apart from the 11 men on the field, we can be assured of the depth in the squad with the quality we have on our bench. Defender Vincent Lee has tasted first team action in the match against Geylang and held his own, while experienced campaigner Farizal Basri can be counted upon to lend some extra bite to the squad at any point of time during the game. Midfielders Han Yiguang and Prime League captain Farhan Hairoddin can also provide support if the need arises. Last but definitely not least, former Gombak midfielder and new signing Aloysius Yap also joins the Rams this week and we could see the debut of our new boy pretty soon.

The infamous "confetti storm" of the Black Sheep
Photo Credit: Aaron Chan (The Black Sheep)

And, of course, the 12th man (The Black Sheep) will be there to back up the Kambing Boys with our brand of songs and our "Kambing Power".

The stage is set for a nail-biting encounter between the Rams and the Stags tomorrow at Clementi Stadium. Woodlands is once again billed as the underdog for this match as we are facing the champions. However, it is time to shake off this tag once and for all and what better time to do it than against a sputtering Tampines side that is low in confidence. Bring on the Stags, I say! Let's fill the stands of Clementi Stadium with confetti and back our boys for the win!


Match Information
Date: Friday, 9th March, 2012 (7.45pm kick-off)
Venue: Clementi Stadium
Tickets: $5.00 (Adult), $ 1.00 (Student)

Our boys will be in the blue away kit tomorrow.
Photo Credit: Andrew Him (The Black Sheep)

All WWFC supporters are encouraged to come in blue (away colours) and to sit with the Black Sheep. Let's rock Clementi Stadium!

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