HOUGANG UNITED 1
Geison Moura 60′
Hougang United failed to reduce the gap between them and the other title aspirants in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League table after narrowly falling to Courts Young Lions for the second time this season, this time in a 2-1 scoreline.
A win would have put them level on points with fifth placed Albirex Niigata (S) and just four points away from the peak of the table but the Cheetahs struggled without the guidance of their Coach Amin Nasir, who had just undergone a surgery.
After their defeat to Warriors FC earlier in the week, Young Lions coach Aide Iskandar promised to rectify their backline and get back to winning ways. His players heeded the former international words and put on a solid and inspiring performance against the Hougang-based club.
Geison Moura cancelled out Sherif El-Masri’s opening first half goal before Sahil Suhaimi restored the lead for the Young Lions.
Five minutes into the game, Iqbal Hussain cleverly tossed a through pass in search of Sahil, but the forward was in inches away from finding the goal as he lobbed the ball over Fadhil Salim and the goal.
The Young Lions had two back-to-back chances 20 minutes later.
Iqbal’s free-kick unfortunately crashed onto the crossbar before Al-Qaasimy Rahman followed up with a half-volley which was parried away by Fadhil.
Their endeavour in drawing first blood paid off in the 32nd minute, thanks to a blunder by Fadhil.
The custodian could not handle Sherif’s powerful free-kick which curled in from 30 yards out, and saw the ball crept into the back of the net after he failed to put a complete stop to it.
Aide Iskandar’s side started the second half the same way as the half as they did not sit back to defend the lead, but surged forward to double the lead.
Sahil took on almost the entire defence before seeing his low finish saved by the legs of Fadhil, before Iqbal’s shot was palmed away.
The Cheetahs leveled the scoreline with their first real chance of the game in the hour mark.
Moura displayed his clinical ability with a well-executed header off Fazli Jaffar’s cross, which bouned into the bottom corner of the net.
Diego Gama then had his shot whizz wide of the post before Young Lions recuperated the lead in the 70th minute.
Sahil received a through ball from Iqbal before dashing his way to the penalty box before going round Fadhil and guiding the ball to goal.
It could have been a third for the Young Lions if not for Fadhil’s double-save.
Sherif cleverly picked out Jordan Webb with a deep through ball and the latter laid it back to Sahil, who was denied twice by the custodian.
The Cheetahs almost grabbed the equaliser late in the game but the Young Lions defence was alert enough to clear the ball off the line following a corner.
Fadhil Salim, Igor Cerina, Wahyudi Wahid, Lau Meng Meng, Faizal Amir, Shunsuke Nakatake, Azhar Sairudin (Erwan Gunawan 68′), Fazli Jaffar (Igor Ferreira 82′), Nurhilmi Jasni, Geison Moura, Diego Gama.
COURTS YOUNG LIONS
Syazwan Buhari, Fadli Kamis, Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Anumanthan Kumar, Nur Naiim Ishak (Shaikh Abdul Hadi 73′), Jordan Webb, Iqbal Hamid Hussain, Sahil Suhaimi, Sherif El-Masri, Amirul Adli Shameer Aziq (Afiq Noor 45′).