With a new head coach in charge, Hougang United will be looking to put an end to their ongoing winless streak when they face Harimau Muda in their final home match of the season. Coincidentally, the last time K. Balagumaran took charge of an S.League team, his first opponents were also Harimau Muda. Gombak United lost that game 0:2 back in February 2012 but they did went on to defeat Harimau Muda in their other two meetings that year with a 3:0 and a 1:2 scorelines.
This year, under former head coach Salim Moin, Hougang United had secured a win and a draw against the Malaysian youth development team. And yet, coming off an impressive 1:0 win over Home United, the Young Tigers can be forgiven if they feel confident of getting a result against a Cheetahs side that has not won in seven matches. On the flip side, the last time Hougang United won a competitive match were against Harimau Muda themselves back in mid-August.
That game saw the red card brandished three times by the referee, thus ensuring a rather unlikely streak live on between the two sides. In their past five encounters stretching back to April 2014, at least one player had been dismissed from the game with the tally currently standing at four Cheetahs and three Young Tigers. Oddly enough, Harimau Muda actually had a good disciplinary record this season with just one red card before that meeting with Hougang United in August. Two of their players were dismissed within four minutes of each other in that game and since then, they have received four further red cards for a total of seven, the most of any team this season thus far. Hougang United’s only red card this year was in that same August game against the Malaysian side.
While attention is naturally riveted towards the top of the table where Brunei DPMM, Balestier Khalsa, Albirex Niigata (S), and Tampines Rovers are all still in contention for the S.League title, there’s another battle at the other end of the table between Hougang United and Geylang International to avoid the wooden spoon. The Eagles had taken the advantage after an upset 2:1 victory over Brunei DPMM on Tuesday evening gave them a three points cushion from the bottom. A win against the Young Tigers is vital for the Cheetahs to maintain pace with their rivals. With a dedicated and loyal group of fans to reward in their last home game of the season and a new head coach on the bench to impress, there’s no shortage of motivating factors for Hougang United’s players to give it their all.
Hougang United F.C. vs Harimau Muda
2015 Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League
6th November 2015, Friday
7:30 pm, Hougang Stadium