SINGAPORE- Tampines Rovers were left to rue several missed chances after they squandered their best chance for a victory in their maiden Asian Football Confederation Champions League (ACL) campaign in a 1-0 loss to Chiangrai United on Monday night (June 28).
After a bruising encounter against Japanese giants Gamba Osaka last Friday, Tampines were hoping to register points against the Thai FA Cup champions. But they came up short in the match played behind closed doors at the Bunyodkor Football Stadium in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
A late sucker punch in the 87th minute from Sivakorn Tiatrakul was enough to condemn the Stags to another defeat. Just as they did in the 2-0 loss to Gamba, they impressed against the Thai side but once again lacked the cutting edge in front of goal. They came close on several occasions – twice in the first seven minutes and hit the post twice during the match.
A spot of drama arrived in the 70th minute as the match was stopped for seven minutes after the stadium’s lights went out.
When play resumed, Tampines pressed hard for the opener but the goal arrived at the other end.
In the 87th minute, Somkid Chamnarnsilp’s cross somehow made its way to Sivakorn, who finished past Syazwan Buhari in goal.
After two matches played, the Stags are bottom of their group with no points or goals. They will next face South Korean champions Jeonbuk on Thursday.
Tampines coach Gavin Lee said: “We definitely played well enough to get something from this game… At this level, it’s a matter of fine margins. They got a good chance and took their goal.
“Everyone is feeling disappointed, but we’ve got characters in the team who will rally each other. All we can do now is to recover and prepare well for our next match.”