Tampines Rovers opened their 2017 Singapore League Cup campaign with a heavy defeat as they were beaten 5-1 by Brunei DPMM FC in Group B on Saturday evening.
Based on their respective positions on the S.League table, the title-chasing Stags would have entered the clash at Jalan Besar Stadium as favourites against DPMM, who had managed just one previous victory in 2017.
While Tampines coach Jurgen Raab opted to hand a start to three Prime League youngsters, his team still boasted several Singapore internationals, including Fazrul Nawaz, Hafiz Abu Sujad and Ismadi Mukhtar.
However, the visitors who drew first blood in the 13th minute when Maududi Hilmi's left-wing cross found Adi Said. The Brunei international made no mistake in guiding his shot past Joey Sim.
A minute after the half-hour mark, it was Maududi's turn to strike as he converted an Azwan Ali corner from close range to make it 2-0.
DPMM certainly looked a far different outfit to the one that has been struggling in the S.League, adding a third four minutes before the break. Azwan clinically sent a left-footed shot into the back of the net after being picked out by Adi.
By now, Steve Kean's charges were firmly in control and showed no sign of taking their foot off the pedal after half-time.
Shahrazen Said was the next to get in on the act just three minutes into the second half , nodding home another clever delivery from Maududi at the near post.
Tampines, third on the S.League table, did pull one back in the 67th minute when Jamil Ali found space and finished past Mu'izzuddin Ismail.
But, four minutes later, Maududi grabbed his second of the evening with a cheeky back-heel after the hosts had failed to clear their lines to cap off a fine display by the visitors.
In Saturday's other Group B clash, Geylang International produced a steady display to record a 2-0 triumph over Balestier Khalsa at Toa Payoh Stadium.
Amy Recha got the Eagles on their way when he converted a brilliant cross by Shawal Anuar in the 31st minute. Ricardo Sendra headed home a second four minutes after the restart to make sure of the three points.
Group B action resumes next Tuesday with DPMM facing off against Balestier, while Tampines will be desperate for a win against Eastern Derby rivals Geylang.