Football: Stags slaughtered

Tampines Rovers footballer (in yellow) tussling with Kitchee SC footballer during their AFC Cup, Group H match held at the Jalan Besar Stadium on 26 February 2014.

AFC CUP, GROUP H

TAMPINES ROVERS 0

KITCHEE SC 5 (Jordi Tarres 40, 45+1; Chan Man Fai 46; Xu Deshuai 56, Juan Belencoso 90+1)

Fitter, faster and fluid in movement and thought, Hong Kong's Kitchee SC embarrassed Tampines Rovers at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday night.

The AFC Cup Group H fixture ended 5-0 in favour of the visitors - a result believed to be the worst home defeat suffered by a Singapore side in the tournament.

And it could have been worse for the three-time reigning champions (above, in yellow) of the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League.

"Kitchee were better organised, better in technical terms and they played very good fluid football. We lost to a better team and I take this as a lesson," said Tampines coach Salim Moin, who was making his first appearance in the AFC tournament.

"We wanted to take advantage of home ground and win, but we lost in tactical terms.

"It was an eye-opener."

Kitchee dominated from start to finish, with Lam Ka Wai dictating proceedings in the engine room and Lo Kwan Yee tormenting Shaiful Esah and Ang Zhiwei down Tampines' left flank.

Their slick passing football tore Tampines to shreds, although it took the visitors 40 minutes to open the floodgates.

Jordi Tarres tucked in the first goal after beating Norihiro Kawakami for pace, then scored again in first-half injury time to cap a lovely passing move started by Lam.

Another fluid passing move involving Lo and Lam presented Chan Man Fai with space and time to score the third just a minute after the break, and substitute Xu Deshuai (56th minute) and Juan Belencoso (90+1) rounded off the scoring.

Stags goalkeeper Hyrulnizam Juma'at pulled off several good saves to actually keep the scoreline down.

Kitchee coach Alex Chu was not surprised at the result.

"We have been preparing for this game for about one month... and we analysed how Tampines play," he said.

"But the S.League is only one game into the season. In Hong Kong, we have already played 12 games," Chu added, showing grace in victory.

"That made a difference."

shamiro@sph.com.sg

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