The Cheetah’s quest into 2019 Komoco Motors Singapore Cup started when they travelled to Jurong East Stadium for their first match in Group B. The match was highly anticipated as both teams want to start their Singapore Cup campaign on a winning note. It is also worth noting that the Cheetahs is going up against the defending champion, Albirex Niigata.
The away side welcomed back captain, Zulfahmi Arifin to the starting eleven but still were without the injured, Stipe Plazibat. The team is kitted with their new third jersey (ocean blue) and dominated the game from the first minute, mostly holding possession in the opposition half.
The first goal came when Hougang United were awarded a corner where Zulfahmi Arifin whipped in a perfect cross for Kong Howon to nod in from the far post. It was the captain’s eight assist of the season, and Kong’s second goal this season.
The Swans immediately hit back from the restart when Daizo Horikoshi pounced on the loose ball when Nazrul Nazari initially cleared the ball off the cross bar. The match ended 1-1 going into the break.
The Cheetahs continued to dominate the second period, but were unable to get pass goalkeeper’s Kengo Fukudome. The defending champions could only rely on counter attacks where the away side back-line handled with ease.
The winner came when Faris Ramli was brought down in the box by captain, Kaishu Yamazaki on the 89th min. The Cheetah’s top scorer then make no mistake from the spot to ensure the first three points in the bag.
It was good commanding display by the boys before they travel to Brunei on 27 September to take on the newly crowned Singapore Premier League champion.
The Cheetahs will play their second Group B game against Brunei DPMM on 19 October at Jalan Besar Stadium.
Date: 25 September 2019, Wednesday
Stadium: Jurong East Stadium
Half-time: Albirex Niigata 1-1 Hougang United
Full-time: Albirex Niigata 1-2 Hougang United
Albirex Niigata: Daizo Horikoshi 30′
Hougang United: Kong Howon 29′, Faris Ramli 90′ (P)