ALBIREX NIIGATA (S) 0
HOUGANG UNITED 1
Geison Moura 50′
Geison Moura’s header in the 50th minute saw the Cheetahs pulling clear from the bottom half of the table with a 1-0 win over Albirex at Jurong East Stadium.
The win gave Hougang United a 5 points cushion over seventh placed Balestier Khalsa.
The Cheetahs were missing young centre-back Firman Hanif, who had collected his fifth caution of the season in their previous. Wahyudi Wahid was reverted from his usual left back position to centre half.
Both teams were looking for victory. Geison Moura and his opposite half Kazuki Sakamoto had opportunities in the opening minutes of the game but neither were able to convert their chances successfully.
In the 13th minute, Fazli Jaffar’s long distance shot went into the side netting.
Diego Gama had the best chance of the first half after he evaded the left side of the Albirex defence with his great footwork but his shot went wide.
Five minutes after the break, Nurhilmi Jasni’s hard work on the right paid off as he kept the ball from going across the line. His pass found Diego Gama, who shielded the ball from his marker. Finding an unmarked Geison Moura in the six yard box, the Brazilian lobbed the ball towards his compatriot, who headed the ball home to put the visitors into the lead.
That buoyed the visitors and Fazli Jaffar almost found the net three minutes later but the ball flashed wide off the goal post.
The White Swans had two close chances to equalize. A Fadhil punch from a corner found an Albirex player outside the box, who laid off the ball to Yamada but his shot went well-wide. Fadhil Salim then came to his team’s rescue, when Fujihara’s fierce shot seemed destined to the bottom corner of his net, but the Singapore international goalkeeper managed to kick out the shot in time.
The result keeps the Cheetahs in sixth, just a solitary point behind their opponent. Next up for the Cheetahs is a meeting with their former coach Alex Weaver’s team Warriors FC.
Fadhil Salim, Igor Cerina, Wahyudi Wahid, Lau Meng Meng, Faizal Amir, Shunsuke Nakatake, Azhar Sairudin, Nurhilmi Jasni, Fazli Jaffar, Geison Moura (Fairoz Hasan 71′), Diego Gama (Erwan Gunawan 90′)
Kazuki Kishigami, Taiyo Nishida, Kento Fujihara (Soiichiro Tanaka 88′), Koki Akasaka (Kazuya Okazaki 56′), Itsuki Yamada, Keisuke Ota, Kosuke Matsuda, Kento Nagasaki, Hiroki Morisaki (Koya Yoshida 70′), Kazuki Sakamoto, Kazuki Kishigami, Shuhei Hotta.