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Group H - MD1: Tampines Rovers FC 2-1 PSM Makassar 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Singapore: Singapore’s Tampines Rovers held off a fast-finishing PSM Makassar of Indonesia to win their 2020 AFC Cup Group H match 2-1 at Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday.

Goals to Jordan Webb and Boris Kopitovic had the hosts cruising at 2-0 up with just under half an hour remaining, but PSM Makassar captain Ferdinand Sinaga’s volley ensured a tense finish.

The visitors fought hard for an equaliser, but the late sending off of Serif Hasic ended their challenge, as the 2019 Singapore Cup winners claimed all three points.

The win puts Tampines Rovers second on the group table, behind Kaya FC-Iloilo, who beat Shan United 2-0 earlier on Wednesday.

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Eager to make the most of home ground advantage, Tampines Rovers began strongly, with both Madhu Mohana and Muhammad Yasir Hanapi going close to opening the scoring before Canadian livewire Webb did so, benefitting from both a clever return pass from Yasir and poor defending to make it 1-0 in the 24th minute.

That lead lasted until half-time,and, with Tampines Rovers leading handsomely in most statistical indicators, it was difficult to imagine a comeback from the visitors, particularly when Kopitovic doubled the lead in the 64th minute, catching the defence napping before slipping the ball under goalkeeper Miswar Saputra Nurdin from 15 yards.

But just when Bojan Hodak’s PSM Makassar side looked out of the contest, they found a way back in, with Sinada evading the attention of the Tampines Rovers defence to volley home Rizky Pellu’s cross and give the visitors a lifeline in the 68th minute.

The Indonesian side nearly completed what would have been an improbable recovery with six minutes remaining, but Giancarlo Rodrigues’ thumping 30-yard free-kick was kept out by the upright, before Hasic was shown a second yellow card in the dying minutes for a late challenge on Taufik Suparno.

Tampines Rovers will battle for top spot when they face Kaya FC-Iloilo in the Philippines on Matchday Two, while PSM Makassar will host Myanmar’s Shan United.

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