“We don’t want to come back from behind” - Gavin Lee’s thoughts after victory over Balestier Khalsa.
Photo:Tampines Rovers Football Club

The match commenced with Tampines holding much of the possession but it was the visitors who drew first blood after 15 minutes. Gareth Low knocked the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Balestier and became his team’s first local scorer. Conceding early was not only disappointing to the Tampines players but to the home fans as well.

However, Tampines persisted and Zehrudin Mehmedović, volleyed the ball into the back of the net in the 32nd minute.

In the second half, the Stags were dealt a massive blow when their skipper Yasir Hanapi had to be brought off after receiving a tough challenge.     

Despite losing skipper Yasir Hanapi, Tampines pushed through and scored the second goal thanks to a Boris freekick.

In the dying embers of the fixture, tensions flared up between the Stags and the Balestier players as both teams were determined to get away with a victory. Balestier Khalsa lost defender Delwinder Singh in injury time to two quick yellow cards.

The game ended with Tampines Rovers walking away with three points and it was a good result for Tampines as they beat an in-form Balestier Khalsa 2-1.

Tampines Rovers head coach, Gavin Lee, was approached by Vavel that night after the game against Balestier and faced questions on the game.

  • What are your thoughts on your team’s performance against Balestier today?

"In the first half, our performances weren't very good. In terms of our pressing, we didn’t get that right but we sorted it out after half time after looking through the footage. In terms of possession, we weren't standing in the right areas to create opportunities and, you know, we scored the first goal using good positioning, so we just used that to reinforce what we wanted in the second half."

  • Your team came back from behind to win this game again. How do you feel about it?

"Disappointing really. Because we don’t want to come back from behind. We know we have it in us to always score goals, to always attack and to always create chances. We should be helping ourselves better by not conceding first."

  • Were there any special strategies that were implemented for this game?

"Yes. For every game, we have a different game plan. I think our style is the same throughout the season and our principles are the same throughout the season. But for every game, we have a different game plan for which areas to attack."

  • There were a few scuffles between the players of the two teams in the second half and it got quite heated in the last few minutes. What are your thoughts about it?

"It is natural when players are at their hundred percent, especially in the last few minutes of the game. Players are tired and cannot suppress their emotions but you rather see footballers playing with some emotion rather than no emotional response at all."

  • Your next game is against Lion City Sailors,  how confident are y’all for the next game? How different will your preparations be for the next game?

"In terms of the process, things won’t be a lot different, but how we want to play against the Sailors will probably be very different from the Balestier game. I am confident that every game we go in with the intention to win the game."