Photo Credits: Goal.com Singapore
Woodlands Wellington 0
Hougang United 0
A record high 3,108 fans turned up for the most anticipate first Noisy Derby of the year, surprassing a previous record for a domestic competition crowd of 3,050 for another game that involves Hougang, a Singapore Cup Quarter Final fixture against Myanmarese opposition, Okkthar United in Jalan Besar.
The game lived up to its name, due to its well known supporters’ groups, Hougang HOOLS and Woodlands Black Sheep, who are well known for their fervent and loud support in all stadiums, wherever each team plays.
The big turnout was largely due to Woodlands Wellington lucky draw contest, which match goers could win cash prizes up to $5,000, and also a section occupied by St Gabriels’ Secondary School, invited by the Rams Management.
The game almost lived to its name, however, play was largely around the middle of the pitch and also wayward shots by both teams in the first 25 minutes. Hougang were sorely missing a hardworking Lau Meng Meng on the left, who often would cut into the middle and lay off to the advancing Liam Shotton or Mamadou Diallo that would convert their chances.
Liam Shotton was clearly missing some chances, including a well crossed ball by Eziakor in 30th minute, but he headed wide. However, he almost got the only goal of the game, on 40 minutes, when he headed in Diallo’s freekick. Linesman flagged for offside, when replay shows that he was slightly offside, although difficult to see, but his striking partner Eziakor was behind the offside line.
Hougang were also denied another stonewall penalty, not one, but two. Mamadou Diallo cleared off Rosman Sulaiman. Although the first slightly bounced off the Rams’ no.14, but he clearly manhandled Diallo to the ground, in which referee waved off the protests from the Hougang players.
Where Hougang left frustrated after largely dominating two-thirds of the first half, but Woodlands coming out strongly after the break. The introduction of Armanizam Dolah clearly showed the midfielders’ flamboyancy and good combination with Khalid Hamdaoui. Where Arman played the flamboyant midfielder, Hamdaoui came in with dangerous tackles on second balls, which left many wonder how he was still on the field.
A particular incident was off the ball when Sobrie had clearly got the ball away from Hamdaoui, the Dutchman planted his studs into Sobrie’s jaw, in which left the Cheetah striker with a bloodied jaw. Referee see no foul play, however a throw for the Rams. Only an altercation with Hasree Zais late in the game, earned a Dutchman a caution, when he was supposed to be sent to an early bath.
The robust tactics which the Rams adopted in the second half were clearly frustrating the men in blue. Woodlands looked more dangerous late in the game and the referee was having none of it, waving each protests by the Hougang players.However, Robert Eziakor had his opportunity to win it for Hougang where he got a good pass from Fairoz Hassan. Turning away from his marker, Eziakor unleashed a shot, tame enough for Ahmadulhaq to lie down on the ball.
The final whistle showed signs of frust from the Hougang players, but they know with Monsef Zerka and the Jaguars to visit them next Friday, added with the defence good work in getting their second clean sheet of the season, they have to make their work cut in the final third.
Ahmadulhaq Che Omar, Cho Seung Hwan, Shariff Samat (Shahril Alias 41′), Rosman Sulaiman (Fadhil Noh 81′), Khaled Hamdaoui, Ridhwan Osman (Armanizam Dolah 70′), Ang Zhi Wei, Taufiq Rahmat, Atsushi Shimono, Chang Jo Yun, Goh Swee Swee
Fadhil Salim, Syaqir Sulaiman, Hasree Zais, Fazly Hasan, Faizal Amir, Thomas Beattie, Azhar Sairudin (Sobrie Mazelan 56′), Fazli Jaffar (Basit Hamid 70′), Robert Eziakor, Liam Shotton (Fairoz Hassan 60′), Mamadou Diallo.