Hougang emerge victorious in Battle of Cats


Diego Gama 25′, Geison Moura 58′

Goran Ljubojevic 39pen’

The Cheetahs clawed to their fifth win of the season with a 2-1 win over Balestier Khalsa at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.

Goals from Hougang’s Brazilian duo Diego Gama and Geison Moura sandwiched Goran Ljubojevic’s first half penalty.

The Tigers had started the match strongly with Zulkifli Hashim beating the Cheetahs’ offside trap and their goalkeeper Fadhil Salim in the first minute, only for Zulkifli to thunder his shot into the side netting.

The Tigers had another good chance in the 16th minute. Kim Minho plundered his volley into the crossbar after good work from Paul Cunningham.

However, it was Hougang who took the lead through Diego Gama, who produced another S.League wonder goal to follow the recent effort from Geylang International’s Fabien Kwok. From a corner set piece, Diego curled his shot above Zaiful Nizam’s reach and into goal for the lead on the 25th minute mark.

14 minutes later, the assistant referee raised up his flag for an infringement by Durica Zuparic, who was adjudged to have pushed down Paul Cunningham in the penalty box. Goran Ljubojevic sent the resulting spotkick into the middle for the equalizer.

The introduction of Park Kang-Jin for the Tigers breathed life into Balestier Khalsa’s attack. He delivered a pass that was deflected by Igor Cerina but Fadhil Salim managed to get the resulting bumbling ball before Goran Ljubojevic could pounce on it. Later, Park almost scored with a shot that was only milimeters away from the far post.

The winning goal came in the 58th minute when Geison Moura’s shot from outside the box was deflected by a Balestier defender onto the path of Fairoz Hasan. Racing inside the penalty box to receive the ball back from Fairoz, Geison scored his 9th goal of the season.

Fadhil Salim, Durica Zuparic, Igor Cerina, Wahyudi Wahid (Lau Meng Meng 75′), Faizal Amir, Shunsuke Nakatake, Nurhilmi Jasni (Nazirul Islam 90′), Erwan Gunawan (Azhar Sairudin 67′), Diego Gama, Geison Moura.

Zaiful Nizam, Paul Cunningham, Emir Lotinac, Nurullah Hussein (Tajeli Selamat 70′), Yusiskandar Yusop (Park Kang-Jin 58′), Ridhwan Jamil (Ruhaizad Ismail 81′), Poh Yi Feng, Syed Thaha, Zulkifli Hashim, Kim Minho, Goran Ljubojevic.

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