The Cheetahs faced off with Tiong Bahru FC last night in a friendly match at Hougang Stadium with a comfortable 3-1 win against the 2015 NFL Div 1 Runners-Up.
Coach Bala gave players like Nur Na’iim, Ridho Jafri, goalkeeper Fawwaz Anuar and Stipe Plazibat who is on trial with the club, their first start and they did not disappoint their head coach with good performances.
Stipe put the Cheetahs ahead after 25 minutes after a free-kick was awarded on the right flank. Hudzaifah Aziz sent in a teasing cross into the box which was met by the charging Croatian who place his header into goal before the defenders could react to it.
Ridho Jafri was extremely lively as an attacking midfielder; linking up well with the Stipe Plazibat. He capped off his fine performance with a well taken goal after Stipe have lay off a low cross from the left to him who made no mistake curling the ball into the far post beyond the goalkeeper reach.
The 2 quick fire goals put out the enthusiasm of the young Tiong Bahru side comprising of ex S.League players like Goh Swee Swee, Matthew Abraham and Kenneth Chang.
Hudzaifah got himself on the score-sheet after a lofted ball from Yusiskandar over the defence to Nazrul, who cleverly stopped his run as he was in an offside position. Seeing the defenders all stopping in their tracks and waiting for the referee whistle, Stipe who was in an onside position, continue his run and pick up the loose ball. Facing the goalkeeper in a 1 on 1 situation, he unselfishly squared the ball to an unmarked Hudzaifah to tapped into an empty goal.
A series of changes 15 minutes into the 2nd half saw Fumiya, Kaplan, Wahyudi and co took to the field and although the Cheetahs failed to find the back of the net, it was interesting to note on the understanding between Fumiya, Kaplan and Stipe.
The next friendly match against Warriors FC on Friday should provide a sterner test for the Cheetahs as they goes into final prep for the 2016 Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League season.