Singapore Premier League • April 25, 2014

Cheetahs See Off Brave Young Tigers

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Written By: Kenneth Ho

A young Harimau Muda side got caught out for their inexperience as they crashed to a 4-3 defeat by 10-man Hougang United at Pasir Gudang Stadium on Thursday night.

A series of goalkeeping blunders were committed in this game by both sides but it was Hougang who bounced back from two consecutive losses to condemn the hosts to their ninth successive loss of the season.

The clock had read 28 seconds when the Cheetahs drew first blood through Nurhilmi Jasni.

Latching onto a through ball from Erwan Gunawan, the midfielder duly dispatched past Harimau goalkeeper Solehin Mamat to open the scoring.

However the lead did not last long as the hosts struck back five minutes later with the first goalkeeping error of the game aiding their cause.

Hougang goalkeeper Nazri Sabri rushed out to claim the ball from Ramzi Haziq but he inexplicably spilled the ball into the latter’s path. The winger promptly sent the ball in for

Ramzi Sufian who had the simple task of heading it in from three yards out.

Despite that, the Cheetahs went on to create several chances which saw Solehin making a number of fine saves.

Geison Moura found his way through on goal twice in the 26th and 30th minute but on both occasions, Solehin managed to pull off superb saves to deny the forward.

However, Moura finally got on the score sheet when the young custodian would undo all his good work with a poor mistake just before half-time.

Making a hash of a catch from Erwan’s cross, Solehin dropped the ball for Moura to poke home and provide the Cheetahs with the advantage again.

The nightmare for Solehin would then carry on in the second half, as he conceded another goal due to an error just before the hour mark.

Diego Gama had went on a run down the left and unleashed a shot from 25 yards which Solehin had tried to push behind goal, but unfortunately he only succeeded in pushing the ball past his own line.

Deciding to shake things up, Harimau sent on Nurshamil Abd Ghani and replaced Solehin with Ilham Amirullah as the goalkeeper indicated that he had no confidence to carry on in goal.

The substitutions provided mixed results, as Nurshamil proceeded to score three minutes after coming on, with Nazri this time guilty of another goalkeeping error.

Appearing to have the angle covered for the substitute’s 20-yard effort, a horrified Nazri somehow allowed the ball to squirm under him to reduce the deficit.

But there was to be no reprieve for the Young Tigers in the goalkeeping department, as Harimau substitute goalkeeper Ilham would then commit an error of his own in the 76th minute to give Hougang a two-goal advantage again.

After the custodian made the wrong judgement call to come out and collect the ball, a frenzied clearance saw the ball landing into Shunsuke Nakatake’s path and the Japanese coolly lobbed into an unguarded net for Hougang’s fourth goal of the night.

Hougang then went a man down four minutes from time as Firman Hanif received a straight red.

Harimau would pull one back right at the death as Nurshamil slotted the ball home through Nazri’s legs, but the final whistle came immediately after that and there was nothing more the hosts could do.