HOUGANG UNITED 3
Liam Shotton 7′, Nurhilmi Jasni 21′, 76′
HARIMAU MUDA 1
Ridzuan Abdunloh 33′
Nurhilmi Jasni became an unlikely hero for his team, when his two headers in each half earned Hougang a valuable three points, and breaking a seven game winless streak for the Cheetahs.
The winger, also known as Mui by his team mates, surprised the crowd with his excellent timing of headers, which he isn’t well known of, according to coach Johana Johari.
With Thomas Beattie and Hasree Zais back to the team after missing the first eleven the last time out, Hougang looked more stronger defensively and provided an extra wall for the dependable Fadhil Salim in goal. Jerome Baker and Robert Eziakor both misses out with knocks and a groin strain respectively for this fixture.
It didn’t took long for the Hougang Boys to take the lead. With seven minutes on the clock, a corner kick from the right headed towards Thomas Beattie, and the Hull-born midfielder managed to head the ball towards Syaqir Sulaiman. Harimau’s custodian Hafizul Hakim managed to save the goalbound shot, however, Liam Shotton managed to stab home the ball from the rebound for the elusive lead.
The lead wasn’t enough for the boys to sit back as the Cheetahs increased their lead on 21 minutes. Fazli Jaffar, king of assists for Hougang for the last two seasons, managed to cross for Nurhilmi Jasni, who has the simplest headers to beat Hafizul into the net. It was Mui’s (Nurhilmi’s nickname) first ever Hougang senior goal, since joining from Balestier Khalsa in 2012.
However, Harimau Muda came back on 33 minuts, thanks to the hardwork of their rightback Ashmawi Yakin. Ashmawi crossed the ball to Ridzuan Abdunloh, whose header crashed against the crossbar. However, Ridzuan managed to stabbed in the rebound easily to revive his team’s hope of a comeback.
The second half was a different story, as Harimau Muda went in with more pressure, and tempers and tackles were flying around the pitch. However, an certain “goal of the season” contender was not seen by the referee and his assistant, who didnt wave his flag for the goal.
Mamadou Diallo managed to head down the ball from a clearance from Lau Meng Meng. Liam Shotton then unleased a shot 40 metres out which crashed the crossbar and certainly landed on the water bottle that was 6cm ahead of the goal line, and out of the goal area. However, the referee and his assistant, who could clearly see the goal, did not award the goal. Television replays showed that the ball had well indeed crossed over the line.
However, Shotton had the best chance to seal the game on 56 minutes, when he fluffed his chance from 6 yards out, after Nurhilmi Jasni managed to present him his golden chance.
However, the three points was sealed inside 76 minutes. Fazli Jaffar’s well timed run went past two Harimau Muda defenders. He passed the ball to Lau Meng Meng, who crossed towards Nurhilmi Jasni. Just like his first half goal, Nurhilmi rose the highest in the box to head home his second and Hougang’s third of the night.
The score remained the same till full time. The smiles returned to the Hougang Boys’ faces, however, with a fixture congestion approaching the Cheetahs, and with Jordan Webb’s Home United visiting Hougang on Monday, the Cheetahs will be prepared to take on the upcoming fixtures with a renewed confidence and the return of the renowned Hougang Spirit.
Fadhil Salim, Syaqir Sulaiman, Hasree Zais, Faizal Amir (Jeremy Chiang 80′), Lau Meng Meng, Thomas Beattie, Azhar Sairudin (Shahir Hamzah 76′), Nurhilmi Jasni, Fazli Jaffar (Fairoz Hassan 82′), Mamadou Diallo, Liam Shotton
Hafizul Hakim, Syazwan Tajudin, Nashriq Yahya, Ashmawi Yakin, Asri Mardzuki (Syawal Nordin 81′), Azizan Nordin (Akmal Ishak 87′), Akhir Bahari, Maxsius Musa (Iskandar Hanapiah 80′), Faizat Ghazali, Ridzuan Abdunloh, Syafwan Syahlan.