Singapore: Muang Thong United coach Henrique Calisto cut an angry figure after seeing his side hang on for a 1-1 draw against Tampines Rovers on Wednesday.
Aleksandar Duric opened the scoring for Tampines in the 23rd minute before Phichitphong Choeichiu equalised just after the half-hour mark.
“I’m not satisfied. With these players, we should have done much better,” said Calisto.
“We needed to be more disciplined especially in our tactics. My team never followed what I told them.”
The former Vietnam national team coach bemoaned how his backline gave Duric the freedom of Jalan Besar to notch the opening goal of the game.
“The first goal was a crazy mistake. I was telling them before not to give him space and yet they lacked discipline,” he added.
Calisto then promised that failure to toe the line will not be tolerated on his watch and vowed to ring the changes as they look forward to the double header against Maldivian side Victory SC.
“With me here no more!” the Portuguese tactician said in reference to his players failure to follow instructions.
“I would like to change things but now we must take it one game at a time
“That said, tonight was probably a fair result in the end. We were better in the first-half but we got really tired in the second. Both teams had chances to score so it was probably fair.”
His opposite number Steven Tan could not help but rue the missed opportunities that could have seen Tampines grab an advantage in the group.
“When we play at home, we really needed to finish off the chances we had,” the 40-year-old said.
“The three chances that Duric had, he should have scored at least one. If one of them had gone in, things would have been very different.”
Former Singapore international Tan pointed to the introduction of diminutive winger Aliff Shafaein in the second-half as one of the factors that turned the tide for the home side.
“With Aliff, we had someone making the runs off the ball and that’s probably what helped us dominate the second-half,” he added.
“It was a game of two halves really and in the first, we were hanging on a bit I must admit. We were chasing shadows at times.
“My team worked really hard and everybody tried their best. That was what I told them at half-time which was to continue working hard and the chances will come.
“The group is now wide open and there’s everything to play for. The next two games against Hanoi will probably determine whether we go through before we go to Thailand to play Muang Thong again in the last game of the group.”
Singapore: Tampines Rovers and Muang Thong United played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in their AFC Cup Group G tie at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
Both sides had opened their campaigns with comfortable wins and the fans were treated to a high-quality match, with Aleksandar Duric opening the scoring for Tampines before Phichitphong Choeichiu equalised just after the half-hour mark.
The visitors settled quickly into their passing game on the artificial surface and Thai international Teerasil Dangda almost fired them into a deserved lead when his low effort hit Hassan Sunny’s right post with the goalkeeper well beaten.
Hassan then played a big role in the home side taking the lead midway through the first-half.
His long punt upfield caught the Thais flat-footed and found evergreen striker Duric racing clear on goal.
The prolific 40-year-old made no mistake as he drove his shot into the far corner for his seventh goal of the season and second in as many AFC Cup games.
Muang Thong should have been level immediately when Ivorian Siaka Dagno beat the offside trap but shot straight at the Tampines keeper.
The Thais were not to be denied after 31 minutes, though, as they equalised with one of the contenders for goal of the season.
Thailand international Phichitphong smashed a stunning drive into the top corner from 30 yards, leaving Hassan grasping at thin air.
Tampines’ Korean defender Park Yo-seb almost restored their advantage with a point-blank header moments later but it was just too high.
The dangerous Phichitphong then let fly with another long-range effort that Hassan did well to smother.
The second-half was played out in pretty much the same vein, with both teams committed to throwing men forward in search of the winner.
Ivorian Christian Kouakou’s solo effort on the hour mark drew a smart save from Hassan while substitute Anon Sangsanoi also went close for Muang Thong with a stoppage-time header.
However, it was the normally reliable Duric who was guilty of squandering the best chances to seal all three points for the home side.
He first side-footed wide with his weaker right foot when found unmarked in the box 14 minutes from time and a minute later, he chose to shoot straight at Kawin Thamsatchanan in the Muang Thong goal with two team-mates in space and screaming for the ball.