Cheetahs and Protectors share spoils in a feisty Northeastern derby


Bruno Castanheira 62′, Fazrul Nawaz 89′

Geison Moura 52′, Diego Gama 88′

When Diego Gama scored in the 88th minute, the Cheetahs thought they had claimed another famous victory against another title hopeful.

However, straight from the kick off, Fazrul Nawaz netted an equalizer, much to the dismay of the Hougang faithful.

The first north-eastern Derby of the season was played in hazy conditions but that did not deter the spirit and hunger of both sides.

Hougang United, without the services of their captain Fadhil Salim, were looking for a third successive derby victory over their rivals, in which Hougang did a double whammy against the Protectors.

Home United, on the other hand, had their injury list reduced, with Bruno Castanheira, Fazrul Nawaz, and Kwon Daekyung all back from the treatment table and looking for bragging rights in this encounter.

The first half was an equal affair between the two, with both teams having half-decent chances that did not troubled Shahril Jantan in the Home goal nor Nazri Sabri in the Hougang goal. However, the second half was worthy of any derby affair.

Home United were reduced to ten men in the 49th minute. Lee Kwan Woo, cautioned earlier in the first half, was sent off by the referee after he played a free kick early.

With a man advantage, the Cheetahs soon took the lead. A goalmouth scramble and the resilience of Erwan Gunawan and Geison Moura to bundle the ball across the net proved to be successful when Geison gleefully slotted home for the visitors to take a precious lead.

However, ten minutes later, a defensive mix-up between Nazri Sabri and Firman Hanif saw Nazri’s clearence deflected into the body of Firman Hanif. The ball landed on the path of Bruno Castanheira and with an open goal in front of him, Bruno bundled the ball into the net for the equalizer.

Late in the game, substitute Nurhilmi Jasni took down a lob pass from Shunsuke Nakatake and delivered a cross that found Diego Gama, who slotted home his second of the season. With two minutes plus extra time remaining, almost everyone in the ground must have thought that Hougang United had claimed another scalp against teams from the top half of last season’s final standings.

However, Qiu Li and his team mates had other ideas. The Singapore International marched through the wings straight from the kick off and crossed the ball towards the unmarked Fazrul Nawaz, who scored an all important equalizer for both teams to share the spoils.


Nazri Sabri, Igor Cerina (c), Firman Hanif, Lau Meng Meng, Faizal Amir, Azhar Sairudin (Wahyudi Wahid 90′), Shunsuke Nakatake, Erwan Gunawan (Fazli Jaffar 59′), Fairoz Hasan (Nurhilmi Jasni 78′), Diego Gama, Geison Moura.


Shahril Jantan, Ismail Yunos, Kwon Daekyung, Jumaat Jantan (c), Sirina Camara, Izzdin Shafiq (Ahmad Fahmie 81′), Lee Kwan Woo (sent off 49′), Bruno Castanheira, Qiu Li, Fazrul Nawaz.

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