HOUGANG UNITED 0
DPMM FC 1
Azwan Ali 75′
For the first time this season, the Cheetahs suffered back to back defeat. After their loss to Geylang International the previous week, they have now lost to DPMM FC on a rain soaked Wednesday evening at Hougang Stadium.
Azwan Ali’s goal in the 75th minute settled the game, much to the disappointment of the Hougang faithful. Their team had done well to hold the Wasps level until that crucial moment.
The rain had came pouring down in the north-eastern part of Singapore, causing the game to be delayed for fifteen minutes.
The Cheetahs were missing a couple of stalwarts in their line up with Djurica Zuparic out due to a knee problem and Azhar Sairudin serving his suspension for the red card he received in the previous match against Geylang International.
The Cheetahs did well to nullify the threats of DPMM’s attacking duo Rodrigo Tosi and Roy O’Donovan, who have shared 7 goals together so far this season.
However, the defensive heart of the Wasps – Boris Raspudic and Joseph Gamble did very well to fend off the Cheetahs’ attacks, especially those threatening crosses from Erwan Gunawan and Fazli Jaffar in the wings.
The Cheetahs themselves could have taken the lead in the 30th minute when Nurhilmi Jasni was sent clear by Geison Moura, only for the winger to miskick his shot straight to Wardun’s arms.
A defensive lapse by Firman Hanif almost led to an opening goal on 36 mins for DPMM but Roy O’Donovan only managed to chip the ball wide.
The second half fared no better for either sides as they both went for a counter-attacking approach. The wet pitch caused by the earlier downpour didn’t help either side to enhance the fluidity of their attacks.
Fazli Jaffar almost opened the scoring for Hougang on 51 mins. Sent clear by Nurhilmi Jasni, the 30-year old found himself in a one-on-one situation with Wardun but the Brunei custodian managed to save the ensuing shot with no trouble.
Firman Hanif almost had a wonder goal ten minutes later, similar to Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous wonder goal against Porto four seasons’ ago. He had lashed the ball towards the top left hand corner of Wardun’s goal from 40 metres out, only for Wardun to palm it out.
The introduction of Najib Tarif eventually settled the game for the Wasps. It was his crucial cross towards the Hougang goal that was met by Azwan Ali on the 76th minute for the solitary and winning goal of the game.
The Cheetahs’ next game sees them crossing the border to Pasir Gudang, Malaysia on April 24 and they will be determined to ensure their losing streak ends there.
Nazri Sabri, Firman Hanif, Igor Cerina (c), Wahyudi Wahid, Faizal Amir, Shunsuke Nakatake, Nurhilmi Jasni, Erwan Gunawan (Lau Meng Meng 65′), Fazli Jaffar, Geison Moura, Diego Gama
Wardun Yusoff, Boris Raspudic, Joe Gamble, Abdul Aziz, Roberto Alviz, Azwan Salleh (Amalul Arifin 56′), Hendra Azam (Najib Tarif 74′), Azwan Ali (Helmi Zambin 80′), Subhi Abdilah (c), Roy O’Donovan, Rodrigo Tosi