By: Eric Teo & Ng Ching Yan
Courts Young Lions will head into the fixture against a rampant Hougang United side on high morale after technically notching a commendable, though controversy-marred, victory against Malaysian side Harimau Muda B and also recorded their first home victory as they prevailed 2-1 against Warriors FC in dramatic fashion.
Similarly for Hougang United FC, Courts Young Lions’ adversary on Tuesday night, the Cheetahs are also on a rich vein of form as well with a 2-game winning streak on their slate which includes breaking their wretched fortunes against Geylang International. The former had lost to the latter thrice before finally prevailing against the Eagles at the fourth attempt with a 4-1 mauling. The limelight will be on Guinean striker, Mamadou Diallo, who has been on red hot form. His slick dribbling and goalscoring prowess has been an intimidating attribute to oppositions. Just last week, Diallo unleashed an exquisite hit into the bottom corner of the net from 20 yards out, after a well worked one-two with mercurial winger Fazli Jaffar.
The spotlight will also be shed on Igor Cerina, the Croatian centre-half who joined Hougang United in the mid-season transfer window. Packing strength and boasting a lanky frame, he has been an asset to the leaky Hougang United defence. He has also contributed in the goalscoring department, by bagging a brace against Harimau Muda B 2 weeks ago. The side from the north-east would have to be wary of Courts Young Lions play-a-maker Shamil Sharif, who netted a late winner against Warriors FC and therein, notching their first home win of the season.
A win for Hougang United, will ensure that they not face the wrath of the league’s penalization rules for the bottom 2 SLeague Clubs. It would be intriguing to witness a clash of sides who have managed to overcome their abysmal starts to the season with encouraging displays of late. Hougang United would undoubtedly be fervent on eyeing another victory to ensure eschewal from the penalization but with industrious Young Lions proving to be their final impediment, the Cheetahs would need to be on their toes throughout the whole game.