The third and final round of matches in Group B Singapore Cup commence with all 4 teams having equal opportunity to snatch the top 2 spots in order to qualify for the semi-finals.
The game was slightly delayed due to clash of socks colour from both teams. Match officials requested the away side, Geylang International to change the colour of their socks prior to the players’ march out.
Similarly to the previous game against Brunei DPMM at Jalan Besar Stadium, the Cheetahs started the brighter side, dominated the first half but lacking the final touch. The front trio, Farhan Zulkifli, Faris Ramli and Stipe Plazibat all carve out good chances but was denied by the Eagles’ defence.
The Eagles’ needing a win in this game to qualify, seemingly sat deep in their own half, absorbing all the attacking threats from the home side, committing several fouls along the way. With Shawal Anuar out through injury and Fareez Farhan on the bench, Hougang United’s defence did not have much to do in the first 45 minutes.
A carbon copy of the first half, the Cheetahs played the better football, but were unable to convert their chances. The Eagles marshalled their defence and rely on counter attacks to catch out the United’s backline.
With the match still goalless with 70 minute, the onus is on the home side to hold for a point to reach the semi-final as Brunei DPMM were leading by 0-1 against Albirex Niigata.
Coach Clement Teo substituted Shahfiq Ghani, Iqbal Hussian and Fazrul Nawas on with the hope to create better chances to score.
A breakaway in the 75 minute releases Christopher van Huizen on the left before he cross in to the box for Amy Recha to hit it pass Khairulhin. Advantage to the away side and with 15 minutes to go, the Eagles will qualify if the score stays the same.
9 minutes later, heartbreak for the home side as Geylang International were awarded a penalty. Amy Recha and Fareez Farhan exchanged an one two before cutting the ball back to the box for Christopher van Huizen, but the ball unfortunately struck Afiq Yunos’ hand. The former Cheetah’s winger, Fareez Farhan, then converted from the spot to make it 0-2.
With DPMM winning 0-1 against Albirex Niigata, Geylang International took the 2nd spot where they have only collected 1 point from the 2 earlier games.
The Cheetahs bowed out of this year’s Singapore Cup with much hope of achieving the first piece of silverware. With the home side boasting the several attacking talent, with a combined of 58 goals scored in the SPL, the Cheetahs has gone 2 matches without scoring.
Date: 23 October 2019, Wednesday
Stadium: Jalan Besar Stadium
Half-time: Hougang United 0-0 Geylang International
Full-time: Hougang United 0-2 Geylang International
Geylang International: Amy Recha 75′, Fareez Farhan 84′ (P)
Photography: Haiqal Tahir