Tampines Rovers held to draw by relegated Terengganu in Malaysia
2016 S-League runners up Tampines Rovers warmed up for next week's AFC Champions League playoff with a 2-2 draw away to Malaysian side Terengganu on Saturday night.
Tampines, who saw former Liverpool and Arsenal winger Jermaine Pennant leave the club after a substandard 2016 campaign, struggled to get on top of their opponents, who were relegated from the Malaysia Super League last season. That was despite the recent signings of Singapore internationals Khairul Amri, Madhu Mohana, and Daniel Bennett.
Tampines netted through Irwan Shah and Japanese midlfielder Ryutaro Megumi while new Terengganu forward Federico Falcone scored for the Malaysians, along with newly purchased Lutfulla Turaev from Felda United.
Tampines are revamping their squad as they go after their first league title since 2013. Last season, they finished one point behind champions Albirex Niigata (S), and lost to the Japanese outfit in October's Singapore Cup final.
Terengganu are also determined to return to top flight football at the first attempt.
In newly arrived Irfan Bakti, they have a seasoned and experienced coach, ready to guide the troubled state side to their rightful place in the MSL.
Their main forward Issey Nakajima-Farran has recommitted his future to the team while the Turtles also snapped up Turaev, who played a key role in Felda's second-placed MSL last finish last year.
Tampines open their 2017 S.League campaign against Albirex on Feb. 26. while Terengganu will play PKNP FC in the Malaysia Premier League at Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium on Jan. 21.
But the Stags will first have a 2017 AFC Champions League preliminary round tie against Global FC, of the Philippines, on Jan. 24.
If they win that game, they will travel to Australia to face Brisbane Roar on Jan. 31 before a possible meeting with Carlos Tevez's Shanghai Shenhua on Feb. 8.
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