Ceres-La Salle Football Club suffered a blow in their quest to win the 2016 Singapore Cup after a first leg loss to S.League side Tampines Rovers Football Club, yesterday (August 21, 2016) at the Jurong West Stadium in Singapore.
Spaniard Bienvenido Maranon scored Ceres’ solitary goal (17′) of the evening as the Bacolod club lost with a scoreline of 1-2 at the end of ninety minutes. On the other hand, Fahrudin Mustafic (12′) and Sufian Anuar (49′) provided the goals for the Rovers.
The Rovers got themselves off to a dream start after their forward Billy Mehmet was fouled outside the Ceres penalty box. Up stepped Mustafic, who unleashed a fantastic free kick to give the Rovers first blood in the 12th minute.
Despite conceding early, Ceres were unfazed and looked to impose themselves on the Rovers. Ceres forward Patrick Reichelt was through on goal and only a fantastic save from Rovers goalie Izwan Mahbud prevented him from getting the equalizer. Moments later, Maranon capitalized on some Rovers defensive woes to level the scores in the 17th minute.
Both teams had chances to get the lead before the break, but some fine goalkeeping from Mahbud and Ceres’ Louie Casas kept the score as is. Ceres and the Rovers entered halftime with a goal each and on equal footing.
Unfortunately for Ceres, the Rovers started the second half as bright as the first. Izzdin Shafiq’s goal-bound attempt found its way towards Anuar who then directed the ball home in the 49th minute. The situation got worse for Ceres after they were awarded a penalty after a foul on Reichelt. Maranon took the penalty, but his attempt was saved by Mahbud.
The Rovers were on the ascent and should killed off the tie if it hadn’t been for poor shooting. Ceres were on the back foot and only threatened the Rovers from a Jeffrey Christiaens shot that was headed wide by Jason Sabio.
Frustration got to Ceres ,and their head coach Risto Vidakovic got ejected for continuous complaining ten minutes from fulltime. However, Vidakovic wasn’t the only man sent off, as Rovers defender Shakir Hamzah was given his marching orders after incurring two yellow cards. In the end, Ceres had to make do with a 1-2 defeat at the hands of the Rovers.
All is not lost for Ceres, though, as they still have the second leg of the tie to mount a comeback against the Rovers. That fixture will be played on August 24, 2016 (Wednesday, 7:45PM) at either the Jurong West Stadium or Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.