Photo Credit: Chris Harvey
Balestier Khalsa 2
Kim Minho 28′
Park Kang-jin 52′
Hougang United 1
Azhar Sairudin pen 88′
“They huffed and puffed, but failed to blow the house down” – was a famous line from the fairy tale “The Three Little Pigs”
Unlucky Cheetahs, although dominated through large parts of the game – still failed to come out with a positive result in this friendly game at Toa Payoh Stadium on Friday evening.
Balestier, well known for their staunch defence, as they only let in 36 goals last season, due to the excellent command of Kiwi defender and skipper Paul Cunningham.
With the addition of Gabriel Obadin at the back, the defence looked impregnable, although with many onslaughts by the Cheetah’s attack, still they stood compact and unbeatable.
Those times that the Cheetahs had managed to go through, Cheetah’s forward trident of Mamadou Diallo, Robert Eziakor and Liam Shotton just failed to get through the defence.
Hougang were also well known for their counters and staunch defence last season, however, with the defence played higher up than usual, they were suspectible to counter attacks.
That’s how Hougang conceded the first goal. A great solo run from Ruhaizad Ismail found an unmarked Qiu Li. Hasree Zais did well in covering Qiu Li for the shot, but Qiu managed to find Kim Minho unmarked in the far post and he wasted no time to tap in for the first goal for the Tigers.
Hougang forward line tried hard to find a goal, and the closest they had was on 42 mins. A great work from the left flank from Liam Shotton, found an on rushing Robert Eziakor, but he could not connect well through the cross.
Hougang entered the 2nd half strongly, however seven minutes after the break, the defence was suspectible again to counter attacks.
A cleared long ball found Zulkifli Hassim on the attack. With the Cheetah’s defence closing him down, however, Zul managed to find the peroxide blond Park Kang-jin and chipped the ball to him. Kang-jin managed to chip the ball high above Fadhil and into the net for a two-goal cushion.
Cheetahs replied strongly with pounding attacks into the Tigers’ defence, but they still cant find a way. Jerome Baker, Mamadou Diallo, Robert Eziakor, Fairoz Hassan and Azhar Sairudin all took turns to shoot past the defence, but the Tigers’ defence stood firm.
However, Hougang managed to get a consolation. Fazli Jaffar, playing in left back, managed to get through the entire Balestier defence, and was fouled in the box. Azhar Sairudin converted the spot kick beautifully for the goal.
There was almost a late drama as Fairoz Hassan was unmarked in the box, however, he managed a tame shot that didnt troubled Zaiful Nizam.