The 2015 Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League competition returns on the 20th of July with a bottom of the table clash as Hougang United takes on Courts Young Lions at Jalan Besar Stadium. The two sides had met each other in their first match of the season and as fate would have it, they will now square off again in their first match following the mid-season break.
With one win and one draw in seven games, the Young Lions sits three points behind the Cheetahs but with four games in hand. Coincidentally, both sides had only gotten their first competitive win of the year in their last match of this competition – a 0:1 away defeat of Home United for the Young Lions at the end of April and a 1:0 home win over Geylang International for Hougang United at the end of May.
The two teams experienced mixed fortunes during the mid-season break in their respective competitions. In the 2015 The New Paper League Cup tournament, Hougang United impressed in defeating Brunei DPMM but struggled to gain a draw with NFL side Singapore Recreation Club before they were knocked out at the semi-final stage by a 3:2 loss to Balestier Khalsa.
In the meanwhile, 16 players from Young Lions comprised the bulk of the 20 man squad that competed as the Singapore Under 23 side in the 28th SEA Games. Wins over the Philippines and Cambodia were not enough for the team to progress beyond the group stage of the competition. In the aftermath, Aide Iskandar resigned as the head coach of both the Singapore Under 23 side and the Young Lions. His replacement has yet to be confirmed but former East German football player Juergen Raab is expected to be in charge of the side on Monday.
Four Young Lions players have also departed to the LionsXII team – Shakir Hamzah, Safirul Sulaiman, Shafiq Ghani, and Al-Qaasimy Rahman – while the Canadian duo Jordan Webb and Sherif El-Masri are expected to return to the side after an eight months absence from competitive football. The Young Lions will be a different side to the one that drew 1:1 with Hougang United at the start of the year – but the same could also be said for the Cheetahs with their six additions in the mid-season transfer window.
Courts Young Lions vs Hougang United Football Club
2015 Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League
20th July 2015, Monday
7:30 pm, Jalan Besar Stadium