Group H: Tampines Rovers FC 0-2 Song Lam Nghe An FC
Singapore: Goals from Ho Phuc Tinh and Ho Khac Ngoc saw a dominant Song Lam Nghe An defeat Tampines Rovers 2-0 in their opening match in Group H of the AFC Cup 2018 at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday.
The home side survived an early scare when goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari was caught outside his box after a failed attempt to clear the ball, with Afiq Yunos forced to clear Khac Ngoc’s header off the goal line.
Song Lam Nghe An’s Nigerian attacker Michael Olaha was a constant thorn in the side of the Tampines Rovers’ defence, linking up well with Khac Ngoc and Phuc Tinh and showing a willingness to take on defenders, which created numerous opportunities for his side throughout the game and led to the second goal.
The 2017 Vietnamese Cup winners took the lead in clinical style just after the half-time break after winning the ball back on half way from a goal kick.
With the Tampines Rovers defence caught out of position, Khac Ngoc slipped the ball in for Phuc Tinh who made no mistake in putting the ball past Syazwan in goal.
Khac Ngoc then scored an early contender for goal of the tournament with a rocket from outside the box with just 20 minutes remaining, sealing all three points for the visitors.
Song Lam Nghe An’s next match is at home against Malaysian powerhouse Johor Darul Ta’zim, while Tampines Rovers must recover from the disappointing loss and travel to Indonesia to face Persija Jakarta.