News • June 19, 2017

Aw Believes Hougang Can Upset Odds

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RHB Singapore Cup 2017 (Preliminary Round)

Hougang United vs Ceres-Negros FC (Philippines)

(20 June, Tuesday, 8.30pm, Hougang Stadium)

Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

It is going to be tough but not mission impossible, says Hougang United head coach Philippe Aw ahead of their RHB Singapore Cup 2017 Preliminary Round tie against Ceres-Negros of the Philippines at the Hougang Stadium on Tuesday night.

Having seen the Busmen’s performances in the AFC Cup this season, Aw is well-aware of the threat they can pose.

“It’s not going to be easy against Ceres, they are AFC Cup ASEAN zone finalists and have good quality all around,” he noted.

“We have studied them and we know that they have quality players whom we need to stop. If we allow them to dictate play, then we are going to have problems (dealing with them).

“The Spanish striker, Fernando Rodriguez, the no. 7 (Bienvenido Marañón) and Stephen Schrock who recently returned to the team – they are offensively key to Ceres. We saw how Schrock was scoring goals for fun in the Singapore Cup last year and was influential for them. Therefore, we have to be extra careful.”

Echoing the sentiments of his coach, Hougang midfielder Fabian Kwok said: “Ceres are a decent side and we can see that from their progress in the AFC Cup this season.

“They have good players who are technically sound. It is not going to be an easy game for sure.”

However, Aw is confident that his charges are up to the task although he acknowledges that they will go into this encounter as underdogs.

“This is a Cup game, a one-off and anything can happen,” said the Hougang coach.

“It’s all about who turns up on that day, and we all know upsets like this happen all over the world. Based on that fact alone, we know it’s going to tough but it’s definitely possible.

“We are not going to turn up and say ‘Thank you very much Ceres, you progress to the next round.’. That’s not going to happen, we are going to give them a good fight.”

“We have a gameplan and if the team works hard together and carry it out, we can pull off an upset because let’s be honest, they are the favourites to beat us.

Having already seen Warriors FC and Balestier Khalsa crash out of the competition to foreign opposition, Kwok is keen to not let history repeat itself.

“It’s not a good thing to see Singapore sides losing to clubs from other countries,” the former Tampines Rovers player lamented.

“We are definitely determined to put up a fight because if we ever want to play in the AFC Cup, this is a good test for us. Also, the league title is drifting a little far now so this is a good opportunity for us to win something this season.”

Hougang United – LWWDL

25/05/17 Hougang United 0-3 Tampines Rovers

20/05/17 Geylang International 1-1 Hougang United

11/05/17 Warriors FC 0-2 Hougang United

27/04/17 Hougang United 1-0 Balestier Khalsa

14/04/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Hougang United

Ceres-Negros FC – DLWWL

17/06/17 JP Voltes FC 2-1 Ceres-Negros FC

03/06/17 Ceres-Negros FC 1-0 Global Cebu FC

31/05/17 Ceres-Negros FC 2-1 Johor Darul Ta’zim (AFC Cup)

17/05/17 Johor Darul Ta’zim 3-2 Ceres-Negros FC (AFC Cup)

06/05/17 Kaya FC 1-1 Ceres-Negros FC