HOME UNITED 1
Lee Kwan-woo 17′
HOUGANG UNITED 2
Geison Moura 83′ pen, Nurhilmi Jasni 86′
Two goals in three minutes in the dying minutes sent the Cheetahs to the semi-finals of the Starhub League Cup, at the expense of the Northeastern neighbours, Home United.
A penalty by Geison Moura, who just turned 28 the day before, and winger Nurhilmi Jasni’s excellent header ended with the Cheetahs victory at Bishan Stadium on Thursday night.
The Cheetahs had targetman Diego Gama suspended, therefore coach Amin Nasir, also concerned about the packed schedule of the competition, by approaching the game cautiously, with Geison Moura as the lone striker upfront.
Home had the first chance after two minutes, when Kwon Dae-kyung excellent long ball found Yasir Hanapi free on the right. The ex-LionsXII man sprinted on the right and decided to chip Fadhil Salim, however, it went wide.
The Cheetahs were man-marking the Protectors’ attacking line so closely, the home side was restricted to long range snapshots. Only time it found the way to Fadhil’s palms, with Lee Kwan-woo’s shot, which was parried away for Fadhil in the 13th minute.
However, Kwan-woo’s excellent freekick went past Fadhil four minutes later, to give the Protectors a well-deserved lead.
It could been two in the twenty minute mark. Qiu Li, pouncing on Igor Ferreira’s mistake. With only Fadhil to beat, Qiu Li dallied his shot, and Fadhil smothered his weak dink on the ball for the corner.
It stayed a goal advantage for the Protectors at half-time, however, normal services resumed for the home side in the second half.
Lee Kwan Woo had an excellent opportunity in the 60th minute. Qiu Li’s excellent dribbling from the left, and the Singapore international cut-back to Lee, however, the former Korean Republic international blasted the ball across the goal, much to the agony of the partisan National Servicemen crowd.
However, the Cheetahs came to life in the last ten minutes, which led to the penalty for Hougang. Shunsuke Nakatake pounce on an excellent one-two with Fairoz Hasan, proceeded towards the six yard box for his chance. However, the Japanese midfielder proved to be a handful for Song In-Young, as he fouled Take in the box.
Geison Moura stepped up for the spotkick, and slot the ball past Shahril Jantan, to give the Cheetahs any hopes to advance to the semifinals.
However, the moment of the match came three minutes later. Geison Moura’s volley was parried by Shahril Jantan. However, Shahril’s defenders were too slow to mark Nurhilmi Jasni, as he coolly headed home from Lau Meng Meng’s cross.
It was a free-for-all in the last five minutes, as Home came close to score on three occasions, however the Cheetahs held on, and got their first semi-final slot since 2011.
Fadhil Salim, Igor Ferreira Alves, Wahyudi Wahid (Firman Hanif 81′), Faizal Amir, Lau Meng Meng, Shunsuke Nakatake, Faiz Salleh (Azhar Sairudin 45′), Fazli Jaffar, Nurhilmi Jasni, Erwan Gunawan (Fairoz Hasan 33′), Geison Moura.
Shahril Jantan, Precious Emujeraye, Noh Rahman, Sirina Camara, Juma’at Jantan, Yasir Hanapi (Fazli Ayob 80′), Lee Kwan-woo (Indra Sahdan 72′), Kwon Dae-kyung, Song In-Young, Qiu Li (Masrezwan Masturi 72′), Brunojunichi Suzuki Castanheira