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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Coach Jurgen Raab blasts Ivan Dzoni, Tampines lapses after win

Tampines coach Jurgen Raab
Coach Jurgen Raab says Tampines have plenty of room for improvement despite a comfortable win over Balestier.

Tampines Rovers may have secured their sixth victory in seven S.League matches, but head coach Jurgen Raab sent a pointed message to his defenders, plus striker Ivan Dzoni.

The Stags defeated Balestier Khalsa 3-1 at Jurong West Stadium on Saturday night, with Dzoni's 50th-minute goal effectively sealing the contest after the home side had scored twice in the first half.

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But Germany's Raab was furious that his team switched off to allow former Singapore defender Fadli Kamis pull a goal back for Balestier in the 83rd minute.

And he added that Croatian import Dzoni needs to improve his decision-making in the final third.

"The result's okay, but I'm angry about last goal from Balestier. I hoped we could have scored one or two more, we were not so smart in some situations," Raab said.

"Dzoni must learn to make decisions... they must learn what is the best. I know he scored, but could have done better."

The win lifted Tampines to second spot on the S.League table, seven points behind champions Albirex Niigata (S).

Raab added that the most satisfying part of the victory was how Tampines managed without four of their mainstays from earlier in the season.

"Joey [Sim], Izwan [Mahbud], [Khairul] Amri are all out [through injuries], Yasir [Hanapi] is in Malaysia [having signed with PDRM FA]. For this, I think players showed a good performance, and showed they can step up.

"It's not easy to play a team [like Balestier] with this style, so I'm satisfied with how we managed this."

As for Balestier, it was their sixth consecutive defeat in the S.League, leaving them in seventh position on the nine-team standings.

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Hanoi completed the comeback to down Tampines Rovers 2-1 in Group G of the AFC Cup.

"I was not satisfied with the result. I thought we should do better. I'm not happy with performance. We did okay until we conceded first goal where we lost concentration," Balestier Khalsa head coach Marko Kraljevic said.

"The problem is up front and putting the ball in the net. We're trying to solve and change. We need to win against Young Lions next, it's tough not playing for 17 days before this game but no excuse."

Balestier have the equal-worst scoring record this season, with only five goals in 11 matches.

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