HOUGANG UNITED 2
Mamadou Diallo 68′, Jerome Baker 70′
TAMPINES ROVERS 1
Alexander Duric 36′
Two goals in two minutes sent the Hougang crowd into delirious frenzy and the Tampines faithfuls visibly dejected and stunned.
The result happened in the aftermath of losing their head coach, Nenad Bacina and frontman Sead Hadzibulic, and also the horror 0-4 defeat at the hands of the Tigers.
However, the Cheetahs are looking to make Hougang Stadium their impregnable fortress, with their last four games at the northeast all ended in memorable victories.
The Cheetahs had several chances in the first five minutes with replacement striker Jerome Baker, in place of Liam Shotton who is down with tonsilitis, almost finding the back of the net, if not for Sasa Dreven heroic saves early in the game.
The Stags also almost found the net, with Alexander Duric’s header beaten Fadhil Salim. However, Shahir Hamzah cleared off the line just in time.
With the Cheetahs dominating, however, they did not convert their opportunities very well. Those chances made the Hougang faithfuls frustrated, as Tampines took the lead on 36 minutes.
Shahdan Sulaiman’s corner was flicked on by Seiji Kaneko. Alexander Duric pounced onto the loose ball and shot it past Fadhil Salim into goal to bring the visitors into an expected lead.
That was the score at half time, however, nobody told the punters that the Cheetahs had an excellent record in domestic cup competitions.
The best player in the pitch in the second half was Mamadou Diallo. His surge and runs made the Tampines defence confused and left them in sixes and sevens at some point. However, Diallo gave the Hougang crowd their first thunderous cheer of the day on 68 minutes.
From a counter attack, winger Fazli Jaffar ran from the left side and crossed the ball towards Diallo, who stretched his foot far enough to meet the cross for an equalizer.
However, the unexpected came two minutes later.
Jerome Baker, back from a niggling hamstring injury, which kept him out for eight weeks, finally showed why the Cheetahs signed him up in January. An ambitious long range pass from Azhar Sairudin was misjudged by Seiji Kaneko. Baker managed to get the ball, evade past his marker and thundered the ball into the net to give the hosts a deserved lead.
Tampines then decided to throw every player towards the Hougang defence, but the defensive wall and Fadhil Salim managed to deny them any opportunities to find that elusive goal.
The win denied the league leaders a passage to the quarter finals, and the night of 29 May 2013 will be remembered as one of the greatest giantkilling acts in the Singapore Cup history.
Fadhil Salim, Syaqir Sulaiman, Shahir Hamzah (Hasree Zais 84′), Faizal Amir, Lau Meng Meng, Thomas Beattie, Azhar Sairudin (Jeremy Chiang 85′), Nurhilmi Jasni, Fazli Jaffar, Mamadou Diallo, Jerome Baker (Sobrie Mazelan 87′)
Sasa Dreven, Mustafic Fahrudin, Seiji Kaneko, Shaiful Esah, Anaz Hadee (Ismadi Mukhtar 81′), Martin Wagner (Firdaus Kasman 45′), Imran Sahib, Shahdan Sulaiman, Jamil Ali, Khairul Amri (Kunihiro Yamashita 68′), Alexander Duric.