HOUGANG UNITED 1
Mamadou Diallo 55′
COURTS YOUNG LIONS 0
A heavy downpour fell above the Hougang skies upon kick off time – but that did not dampen the spirit of the Hougang Boys.
The Cheetahs seemed to be brimming with confidence as they took their third straight victory – this time Courts Young Lions being their prey, as Cheetahs took maximum points with a one-nil win.
This means Hougang had taken nine points out of nine for their last three games, which was the opposite a month ago when they had five points out of a possible 35, and looking ever frustrated.
However, it wasn’t an easy game from the start as the Cheetahs were missing two starting centrebacks – Hasree Zais was suspended for this game, and Johana Johari decided to give Shahir Hamzah a run out, resting Syaqir Sulaiman for the much anticipated game against Tampines on Sunday. Jerome Baker and Robert Eziakor still missing out with injuries.
The first half was a monotonous affair, as both teams cancelling out each other in the middle of the pitch. However, the Young Lions had the best chance to score on 20 minutes.
Sheriff El-Masri pulled clear of right back Faizal Amir and sped towards the six yard line. Sheriff then found an unmarked Stanely Ng in the box. With the gaping goal on mercy with Fadhil Salim lying flat on the floor, Stanely managed to blast the ball towards the group of flats behind the Hougang goal, much to the dismay of his team mates.
The Cheetahs weren’t devoid of chances either. Liam Shotton’s header from a corner was cleared off the line by Afiq Yunos. Shahir Hamzah also got another chance from his head from the subsequent corner, but it was tamed and Syazwan Buhari managed to grab the ball towards his chest.
It was scoreless at half time, however, in the second half, the Cheetahs managed to put a further gear up, and finally got a much needed goal on 55 minutes.
Azhar Sairudin’s corner was deflected by a group of Young Lions defenders. However, the deflected ball went towards Mamdou Diallo. The Guinean managed to use his neck muscles to divert the ball into the net, past Syazwan Buhari.
With a lead to hold on, the Cheetahs decided to went into defensive mode, and the game was devoid of chances after that. The Cheetahs managed to hold on the three points, and went up to eighth in the standings, while the unlucky Courts Young Lions, still yet to hit the points tally, goes home disappointed.
The Cheetahs will be looking forward to meet the Champions, Tampines Rovers, at the Clementi Stadium on Sunday
Fadhil Salim, Shahir Hamzah, Jeremy Chiang (Syaqir Sulaiman 57′), Faizal Amir, Lau Meng Meng, Azhar Sairudin, Thomas Beattie, Nurhilmi Jasni (Sobrie Mazelan 78′), Fazli Jaffar, Mamadou Diallo, Liam Shotton (Fairoz Hassan 79′)
COURTS YOUNG LIONS
Syazwan Buhari, Afiq Yunos, Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Farhan Rahmat, Al-Qaasimy Rahman, M. Arumanathan, Fareez Farhan, Stanely Ng (Afiq Noor 64′), Raihan Rahman, Iqbal Hussein (Nur Ridho 82′), Sheriff El-Masri