Tampines Rovers moved seven points clear of Home United in the race for second spot in the S.League after easily dispatching bottom-side Garena Young Lions 3-0 at Our Tampines Hub on Saturday night.
It also kept alive Tampines' remote title challenge. It is still possible for them to match the points' tally of Albirex Niigata (S), although the leaders have all but wrapped up a second consecutive title due to their vastly superior goal difference.
Jurgen Raab's side closed the gap between them and the defending champions to three points, but the White Swans need just a draw against Warriors FC next Friday to seal a second successive crown.
An early strike from Shannon Stephen put the Stags in the driving seat, before late goals from Hafiz Sujad and Daniel Bennett sealed the three points.
Hairul Syirhan stood in for the injured Zharfan Rohaizad in between the sticks for the Young Lions and was kept busy throughout the first 45 minutes.
Making two early saves to deny Khairul Amri and Bennett, the 21-year-old was, however, helpless to stop the opening goal on eight minutes.
Shahdan Sulaiman played in the perfect corner for Shannon to power home a bullet corner against his old employers.
Tampines continued to dominate proceedings, and should have gone 2-0 up on 35 minutes.
Shahdan stepped up from the spot after a Young Lions defender was adjudged to have handled in the area, but his resulting penalty was saved by Hairul.
The latter was then forced into action just two minutes later, as he denied a goalbound header by Amri.
Young Lions emerged for the second half with much more vigour, and could have equalised on 47 minutes.
However, Tampines custodian Izwan Mahbud did well to tip over Rusyaidi Salime's free kick.
Raab's men were largely in control though, and sealed the game with two late goals.
Hafiz fired home a superb drive from outside the area on 77 minutes, before Bennett headed home another excellent Shahdan corner five minutes later to round the night off.
The result means that Vincent Subramaniam's Young Lions will finish bottom of the S.League table for the second consecutive season.
Tampines Rovers: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Madhu Mohana, Fahrudin Mustafic (C), Daniel Bennett, Shannon Stephen, Son Yong Chan, Shahdan Sulaiman, Fazli Ayob (Irwan Shah 74'), Ryutaro Megumi, Khairul Amri (Ivan Dzoni 67'), Hafiz Sujad (Zulfadmi Suzliman 84')
Garena Young Lions: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Rusyaidi Salime, Shahrin Saberin, Amirul Adli, Faizal Roslan, Syahrul Sazali (Hafiz Sulaiman 70'), Yeo Hai Ngee, Illyas Lee (C), Hami Syahin (Ammirul Emmran 90'), Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Haiqal Pashia