Singapore Premier League • May 22, 2014
Cheetahs Pop Up With Late Goal To Earn Draw
Written By: Kenneth Ho
Hougang United and Tanjong Pagar played out a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Hougang Stadium on Wednesday evening to go home with a point apiece.
Kamel Ramdani had put the visitors ahead with a superb free kick in the first half but a second half onslaught by Hougang saw Lau Meng Meng rescue a point for his side with a well-taken strike seven minutes from time.
The Cheetahs started the game brightly, and were knocking on the Tanjong Pagar goal relentlessly for the opening 30 minutes of the game.
However, Tanjong Pagar goalkeeper Aurelien Herisson and his backline worked well to deny the Cheetahs a clear shot at goal.
Tanjong Pagar then showed some signs of life as they begun to trouble their opponents with some well-worked plays.
Monsef Zerka should have done better when he had sight of goal two occasions but both times he failed to properly test Hougang custodian Fadhil Salim.
The Jaguars then took the lead through a beautiful free kick by Ramdani, as he guided a 20-yard curler past a stranded Fadhil in the 37th minute.
The hosts could have equalised before the break only for Hougang defender Igor Cerina to see his header sail over the crossbar.
On the hour mark, Ramdani should have extended his side’s lead when Zerka delivered a tantalising cross to him in the box but the former failed to get a proper touch on the ball despite being in front of goal.
To Hougang’s credit, they never gave up and continued to pour men forward in search of the equaliser.
The pressure eventually paid off in the last ten minutes of the game, as substitute Lau popped up with a late goal to draw his side level.
Having spotted Lau unmarked in the danger area, Diego Gama slipped him the ball and allowed the former to calmly slot the ball home.
Thereafter, Lau could have sealed a win for the Cheetahs, but was twice denied by Herisson in the dying minutes of the game.
Lau first saw his shot saved on the line by Herisson in the 88th minute, before being denied by a smart reflex save by the goalkeeper again in injury time.