WOODLANDS WELLINGTON 1
Chang Jo-Yoon 27′
HOUGANG UNITED 1
Diego Gama 90+3′
The Cheetahs came from behind to salvage a point in a tough fixture at Woodlands Stadium on Thursday evening.
Diego Gama coolly converted a spot kick deep in injury time to put the Hougang faithful in delirium.
The Cheetahs did not have the best of games in the first half, with much of the possession on the home side, who were looking to salvage their season after a shock defeat at the hands of bottom side Harimau Muda.
The Rams took the lead on the 27th minute when Moon Soon-Ho’s effort was punched away by Fadhil Salim. The Cheetahs’ defence failed to clear the rebound and Moon’s compatriot Chang Jo-Yoon gleefully volleyed a shot past the Hougang goalkeeper.
Hougang almost equalised soon after. Wahyudi Wahid’s cross met the head of the advancing Fairoz Hasan but the ball went wide off Yazid Yasin’s goal.
The Rams held the lead at half time but when Cheetahs’ gaffer Amin Nasir decided to unleash his midfield maestro Azhar Sairudin in the second half, things started to improve for Hougang.
Azhar’s presence in the middle of the park opened up the passage of play, particularly with his distribution of the ball towards the flanks. Hougang almost scored a goal on the 75th minute mark. Substitute Erwan Gunawan got the better of his man-marker and curled the ball towards goal but the shot went past the far post.
Things looked bleak when referee Mohd Taqi gave the marching orders to Hougang’s Faizal Amir for his second bookable offence on the 80th minute.
Despite the one man disadvantage, the Cheetahs kept pushing onwards, throwing everything towards Yazid Yasin and his defensive wall. In the dying minutes, the referee pointed to the spot after Andy Ahmad had fouled Shunsuke Nakatake in the box. Diego Gama was presented with the duty to convert the spotkick, and he delivered it well, much to the delight of the visiting fans from the Northeast.
Fadhil Salim(c), Firman Hanif, Igor Cerina, Faizal Amir (sent off 85′), Wahyudi Wahid, Shunsuke Nakatake, Nurhilmi Jasni, Fairoz Hasan (Azhar Sairudin 45′), Fazli Jaffar (Erwan Gunawan 65′), Geison Moura, Diego Gama
Yazid Yasin, Milos Jevtic, Rosman Sulaiman, Farouk Farkhan, Andy Ahmad, Atsushi Shimono, Sobrie Mazelan (Shafuan Sutohmoh 55′), Taufiq Ghani, Fadhil Noh, Chang Jo-Yoon (Patrick Paran 81′), Moon Soon-Ho (Goh Swee Swee 78′)