The Cheetahs faced off with Warriors FC in a pre-season friendly match at Hougang Stadium on 29 Jan 2016. The match was full of end to end actions and keenly watched by National team coach Bernd Stange and his assistant Fandi Ahmad.
In the starting line-up was trial players Stipe Plazibat and Yusiskandar Yusop. Croatian Stipe, who spent the last 3 years plying his trade in the J2 with FC Gifu and V-Varen Nagasaki shone brightly with 2 goals to his name. Facing the twin-towers of ex-Lions 12 and National defender Madhu Mohana and Kento Fukuda, Stipe did well to evade their attention and scored HGFC 1st goal via a corner- kick that was not cleared from the goal-mouth and Stipe was on hand to thumped the loose ball into the goal with his left foot.
Former Balestier Khalsa defender Yusiskandar also played his 2nd friendly match for the Cheetahs and he showed his presence in the back-line partnering the Hools favorite Wahyudi Wahid. On 2 occasions, Yusiskandar showed his vision with 2 through ball over the Warriors defence and set Nazrul Nazaru the space to chase down the ball and sent in tantalizing crosses into the box and 1 of it was nearly turned into goal but was spectacularly cleared away by the last ditched sliding leg of Madhu before it reaches Jozef Kaplan.
Yusiskandar was guilty for giving away a soft penalty to Warriors FC in the 2nd half after he appeared to pushed Ignatius Ang from the back. Warriors FC capitalized on the gift and the retaken penalty kick was converted by Nikola Rak.
Although the match ended 3-2 in favor of the Warriors, Coach Bala took the positive side that the boys had improved on the tactical knowledge of the team play and was pleased with the performance of the players.
The Cheetahs have another 2 friendly matches lined up against Young Lions and Albirex Niigata (S) on 2nd Feb, 7.30pm and 6th Feb, 7.00pm respectively at Hougang stadium.