HOUGANG UNITED 1
Lau Meng Meng 85′
TANJONG PAGAR UNITED 1
Kamel Ramdhani 37′
Substitute Lau Meng Meng was the hero for the Cheetahs yesterday as his late equalizer earned Hougang a point at home, the second 1-1 draw in succession for the Cheetahs.
This was Lau Meng Meng’s first goal in Hougang colours since he first turned up for the team in 2009, then known as Sengkang Punggol.
The fixture was played on a wet pitch after heavy rain in the late afternoon.
The Cheetahs started brightly and looked more likely to get an early lead. Diego Gama pounced upon a Fazli Jaffar’s cross but the Tanjong Pagar’s keeper Aurelien Herrison managed to catch the ball with both hands. Shunsuke Nakatake then had a thunderbolt punched out by Herrisson on the 20th minute mark.
Tanjong Pagar then applied the pressure and it paid off when Kamel Ramdhani curved an excellent freekick past Fadhil Salim to give the Jaguars the lead.
In the second half, Shunsuke Nakatake almost provided an equalizer for Hougang on the 55th minute, after Fazli Jaffar’s cross was met by the Japanese, but the ensuing shot went wide.
The Japanese playmaker was involved in another close chance on the 70th minute. From Fairoz Hasan’s pass, Nakatake crossed the ball across the box to Geison Moura, who could only manage to hit the side netting.
Hougang’s manager Amin Nasir made an inspiring substitution in playing veteran full back Lau Meng Meng and it paid dividends almost immediately as the 31 year old got into the scoresheet for the first time in five years since joining Hougang United. Receiving a through pass from Diego Gama, Meng coolly slot the ball past Aurelien Herrison to equalize on the 85th minute.
Meng had a good chance to double his one goal career tally for the Cheetahs when Fairoz Hasan’s cross found the full back in the six yard box. This time, the full back’s shot was cleared off the line by the Jaguars’ defence.
The Cheetahs will next meet the same opposition on the 26th May at Queenstown Stadium for the opening round of the RHB Cup.
Fadhil Salim, Igor Cerina, Firman Hanif, Wahyudi Wahid, Nurhilmi Jasni (Durica Zuparic 75′), Shunsuke Nakatake, Azhar Sairudin, Fazli Jaffar (Lau Meng Meng 66′), Erwan Gunawan (Fairoz Hasan 19′), Diego Gama, Geison Moura
TANJONG PAGAR UNITED
Aurelien Herrisson, Hafiz Osman, Tengku Mushadad, M Arvin (Justin Khiang 63′), Ruzaini Zainal (Syafiq Noh 90′), Ahmad Latiff, Firdaus Idros, Asraf Rashid, Kamel Ramdhani, Sebastien Etiemble, Monsef Zerka.