Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Charity Shield 2011: Etoile FC 1 Tampines Rovers 2

A packed Jalan Besar Stadium witnessed a remarkable comeback from Tampines Rovers as the Stags defeated the Stars 2-1 to win the Charity Shield 2011.

Etoile FC started off with only Nordine Talhi the only recognizable player from last season's championship winning squad. Trellis was named the Captain of the team whilst Justin fronted the attack for the Stars. Bouchelmel and Stan were named in midfield.

The game started off in good spirits and it took all of 11 minutes for the Stars to net in their first competitive goal for 2011 - although it came with a great tinge of luck. Abdul Malik spotted a push on Justin, just as the striker was picking up a good cross and through on goal, and awarded the penalty. Up step Belouet and the midfielder shot to the right, with Hassan Sunny diving the wrong way, to open his Singapore account.

The Stars gave a good introduction of themselves and certainly did not show that they had in fact trained only once on the artificial turf at Jalan Besar. Some tidy defense by Camara and co ensured that Duric was limited to only pot shots at goal, with Trilles comfortably handling them.

However, fatigue started to show on the Stars and a bad tackle from Imran Sahib saw left back Camara having to be replaced by Nlate. Imran continued to exchange flanks with sub Taufiq and very soon, Tampines found themselves into the game when, despite tightly marked by Talhi, evergreen striker Aleksander Duric shot the ball into the top right corner of the net.

The 2nd goal also came from the right flank of Tampines as Camara, who was so able in defending that side of the field until he was injured, saw his deputy Nlate allowed a cross to creep in and all it needed was an accurate shot from Park Yo-Seb to win the Charity Shield for the Stags.

From the onset, it may had been Etoile's trophy had they defended better against Duric, but in truth, the 40-year old striker was too hot to handle for the Stars' defence. As Pierre Foucaud of Ultras Etoile rightly mentioned after the game, for a team that was formed and played only 2 weeks together to put up a good fight against a Tampines Rovers that had played together for over a season now, it is indeed commendable.

Let's hope that we can see more sterling performance from the Stars, which would translate into wins, as the Stars seek to defend the S-League title that they had won on the last day of the season in 2010.

Allez Etoile!

Starting XI for Etoile FC
1. Anthonin Trilles (C)
4. Anthony Aymard
12. Sirina Camara
22. Nordine Talhi
23. Selim Kaabi
8. Theo Raymond
10. Stan Fougeroud
11. Maxime Belouet
21. Hicham Bouchemlal
7. Kevin Lefranc
14. Jonathan Justin

58": 19. Anthony Moulin for 10. Stan Fougeroud
65": 25. Pierre Nlate for 12. Sirina Camara
91": 15. Julien Durand for 14. Jonathan Justin

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